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Author Topic: Anyone Wanting to Try Rasberry Pi ?  (Read 2949 times)
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Anchorage, AK
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I think the bit about RP being used for educational purposes (vs. a PC or VM of Linux) is that you can outfit a classroom with RPs, KBs, mice, and cheap TVs for a bit less money than a room full of computers.  Especially when you consider maintenance costs.

It'll also work for the DIY crowd, because it's a fairly complete mini-PC platform -- even the Linux distro is usable out of the box, with the provided images.  That removes quite a bit of the uncertainty for those less than familiar with hardware and Linux to get to the point where they can follow online walkthroughs with a minimum of effort.  The exception being DVR and IPTV use.  Without MPEG2 licenses (read: support), it's useless.  (Anyone here dealing strictly with VC-1/AVC yet?  Not me.)  And I don't think a 700MHz ARM has any hope of handling it in software.

As a hacker's toy, this is not the ideal platform.  Sorry, but unless you can get down to the silicon level, it's still a black box.  That rubs against the grain for me, especially when it's touted as the ultimate experimenters kit.  Look, either I'm allowed to take it apart or I'm not.  This halfsees stuff doesn't cut it.  Sure, you can peek under the hood, but you're confined to running compatible kernels because someone doesn't want to give away their trade secrets.  Fine.  Then it is what it is, and (IMO) what it is, isn't for hackers.

But, I think dhunt hit it on the head... What alternatives are there for full-featured GPUs?  Technology at this level is just always encumbered by patents.  Frustrating how much further a community could take a technology if there weren't always legal roadblocks in the way.
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Ill tell you now, typing 80 column text or anything higher resolution on a cheap composite TV will drive you away in about 20 seconds, so replace cheap TV with couple hundred dollar HDMI enabled HD TV

Cause I myself went though oh about 5 composite TV's over the last 2 years before finding one that actually useable, and its been out of production for a decade

Thats my biggest beef, no VGA or even DVI
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DVI to HDMI (or visa versa) adapter ($5 bucks, problem solved) .. or even HDMI to VGA (if they're around)
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HDMI to DVI is cheap and easy since they are both digital.  HDMI to VGA is much more difficult and expensive since VGA is analogue.  I can see their point that 'VGA is end of life' but the trouble is VGA has been 'end of life' for over a decade, it just refuses to lie down and die.  It would make the Pi much more expensive to put VGA on it, and previous posters are right. the analogue composite video option is basically c**p.  I have an old 4:3 aspect monitor sat under my bench that has DVI, so that'll do me.  Ultimately it'll be controlled by SSH, so the display won't matter.

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/DVI-MALE-HDMI-FEMALE-ADAPTER-CONNECTOR-CONVERTER-/270890136395?pt=UK_Computing_CablesConnectors_RL&hash=item3f124f734b#ht_3051wt_1141
« Last Edit: April 18, 2012, 05:44:41 am by pluggy » Logged


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VGA is much more difficult and expensive since VGA is analogue.

so is composite, so they are taking a RGB space and squashing it down to a color burst and sync's all on one wire, seems more trouble unless the chip just wont do a vga signal

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I can see their point that 'VGA is end of life'

yea and composite has been on the chopping block since the early 90's with SVIDEO and SCART, it just seems to be a very odd choice for a computer system other than media playback on a SDTV, and even then it could be better with the above outputs

shrug
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a very odd choice
What "choice"?  You're probably talking about Broadcom-provided SoC originally designed for digital settop boxes, so HDMI was probably already there (complete with content security features demanded by the main customers) (and VGA wasn't.)
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Its cheap because its little more than the Broadcomm SOC, so if the SOC does it, the Pi does it.  Think video streaming box and it being plugged into a modern telly which is what it was designed for.  The cheap educational computer bit is a sideline..........
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Can't wait for the eBay flood of Pi to begin. Loads of people without a clue will have ordered one and they'll either hit the desk draw or the bay smiley-grin
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Well yeah lots of people will buy one for the simplicity and never touch it again, which could ultimately be it's down fall, too many people who really have no clue just buying it for price and oh that's cool, shame I have no idea about any of it, and i'm hoping some of them will learn how to use it, but buying one of these to get kids programming just can't see it happening personally.
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but buying one of these to get kids programming just can't see it happening personally.
The problem is that a lot of teachers in UK schools are quite poor at the subject they are supposed to teach and many will not let the kids have exposure to something they don't understand on their machines in case they "break" them.
Otherwise Processing would fill the bill nicely.

With the Pi they can isolate programming kids from their expensive machines.
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I doubt you could break the machine if you gave the kids VB to use... and if they could i'd be interested how lol
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That is precisely not the point. The teachers THINK they can break it. I said they were poor.
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