Raspberry Pi Serves Up First Batch of Low Cost Linux PCs

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JohnP

Oops, I take back most of my posts! I went back to the Raspberry Pi FAQ page and realized that the board did indeed have a rack of GPIO interface pins.
http://elinux.org/RPi_Hardware
BTW, the best page for information is NOT from the Pi site, it's here:
http://elinux.org/RaspberryPiBoard

There are a couple of expansion boards (Gertboard) to plug into the GPIO "header". I would consider this an ESSENTIAL add on for anyone considering using the Pi for running external motors, sensors, etc.

The cost with VAT and shipping from GB is $50, not $35. Be prepared.

The only supported video codec for the GPU is H264 but we will have to see what XBMC does for the box.

Others on the Pi forums are questioning the "educational benefits" to the Pi. I would much rather learn to program Linux on a PC rather than on a Linux distro with only 256MB of RAM and a ARM processor. Not for high school kids under a normal classroom environment for sure!

There are HUNDREDS of microcontroller kits other than the Pi for projects and they would not have to have daughterboards attached just to do basic stuff like servos, motor control, or LEDs. Do your homework before deciding on which of the boards fits your project needs. And some of these boards are less expensive than the Pi!

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EarthBoundMisfit

John, we get it...you don't like this model or the specs.
Don't try and deprive people from having fun with buying computers and Experimenting.
Puppy Linux and Tiny Core are currently working on including a os for this puppy (pardon the pun)
Teenpup (now Legacy OS) would run like a champ on this.

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acidic

i think i'll grab a few. i haven't played with any linux in well over 12 years. linux and xbmc will stream movies from my NAS to the bedroom tv

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JohnP

I donno why this is getting such a lot of press. I have looked over the specs and they are not anything that I could find useful. At best, they could be used as a low cost network streamer but the device does not have a gigabit LAN. No power supply so that will cost you, I/O is via USB, and storage is down to a SD card's worth which you have to stuff in your own distro. No case either (seen $30 cases, as much as the board!)
Yes, it can do things but a low cost media player could do oh so much more. For $90 each, I bought several media boxes that play high def movies in 5.1 surround sound in MKV format via the network or a 2TB hard drive (when they were cheap). It also has a remote and external storage via USB ports. A LOT better buy.

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acidic

they have already stated that they aren't going to offer any cases for the first few batches as people just want to receive the product quickly. they will implement cases in future batches along with other possible tweaks/fixes. i don't know how you encode your movies but it should be plenty fast enough to stream anything. i encode mine at 1080 with hd audio and i'm pretty sure that wouldn't even saturate a 100mb connection

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scoop6274

Really?

The power is from a micro USB, so one of your old cell phone chargers should power it no problem, and who doesn't have one of those lying around? Also, with a LAN connection and XBMC you have an internet media streaming device. Plus their nearly impossible to brick as the os resides on an SD card. Mess up the os, reflash the SD card in another PC. Plus, the big reason these were created was to get people interested into the nitty gritty of computers and get a new younger generation interested. The cost of the unit takes away a lot of the fear of breaking it. I, for one, am very excited about this device, and the opportunities it presents.

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JohnP

If you want to get into microcontrollers, then an Ardino is a MUCH (MUCH MUCH) better fit.

With the Raspberry (apt name, eh) you get to:
1. Hook up a LAN cable (if you get the expensive one mind)
2. Hook up a USB power supply
3. Plug in a TV or monitor via HDMI
4. Use a computer to load up an operating system on an SD card. Don't have a computer? Sorry, no working Raspberry for you!
5. Plug in the SD card and hope it boots. repeat steps 4 and 5 with various distros and options until you manage to get it to run.
6. Use as a cheap media player or a very s l o w Linux computer with limited I/O.

How is this getting "nitty gritty" or even fun? You boot it once, find that it runs like a pig in a swamp, won't play the type of streaming file you want it to, and throw it into your "to be played with (never) later" drawer.

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scoop6274

also the distributions that are currently available boot to a command prompt, so students are forced to learn cli not just GUI. They have GUI on them, but you must learn how to get there. They've already confirmed it runs 1080p, and if I remember correctly the first net books couldn't even do that (and they sold like hotcakes). This will also teach people to be efficient with coding as they aren't coding for a quad core with a giant graphics card.

Is this a "maximum PC", no. Is it cool, to many of us, very cool!

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EyesSewnShut

You COULD substitute this for an Arduino, but that's not the device's intended purpose. This is mainly targeted at schools who have computer related courses that can cheaply purchase these for future computer science/computer engineering students. The Linux images provided by the Raspberry Pi Foundation come preloaded with Python but other languages such as C++ could also be used by installing the proper components. I don't believe these will run "like a pig in a swap." They won't run Crysis but if you REALLY want to game on them it will run Quake 3 and most likely many different emulators.

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