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Raspberry Pi: the modder's dream machine?

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Gareth Halfacree 26th January 2012, 13:29 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by HandMadeAndroid
What about a dozen of these networked together to render?
There's already a name for a cluster of Raspberry Pis: a Bramble Patch. Yarly.
DbD 26th January 2012, 13:52 Quote
It's just a 700mhz ARM11, same as for example you got in a zune or a lot of old phones. i.e. in nvidia terms it's basically a tegra 1. We are now onto quad core A9's (tegra 3).

Shame they didn't do a faster version - not just for performance benefits but the old cpu doesn't support many of the features of newer chips for which most software is now designed making it harder to port that software to a rasberri (e.g. flash).
jezmck 26th January 2012, 13:56 Quote
It's a matter of cost.

The RasPi is intended to be for developing hacking (in the original sense) skills, not just for grunt work.
Jake123456 26th January 2012, 14:53 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by GiantKiwi
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jake123456
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tangster
Waiting for the first watercooled Pi mod.

Challenge accepted..

;)

Already working on designs for a fullcover waterblock for it ;)

Ahhh, the problem I found there is no screws near the CPU, and like I said in one of the topics, you could try and bend it across, or possibly, make new holes in the motherboard..
Phil Rhodes 26th January 2012, 15:08 Quote
I don't get it.

It's just an ARM dev board.

And even if it does run linux, well, it runs... linux.

If you want to get people coding, give them something they can write for in, say, Visual Studio.
GuilleAcoustic 26th January 2012, 15:15 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil Rhodes
I don't get it.

It's just an ARM dev board.

And even if it does run linux, well, it runs... linux.

If you want to get people coding, give them something they can write for in, say, Visual Studio.

Linux has lot's of nice devel tools. I'm a computer engineer and code for a living for 10 years now, I used to use Visual but sincerely I really prefear coding with emacs.

It is a perfect and cheap way to learn the very basics and this is a treasure for people like me who are interested in embedded computing (drone's, etc.). It is easy to have a soft running smoothly on our crunching machine ... but how many developper can make a good program with restricted CPU and memory ? This board is the way to learn great programming skills.
Bauul 26th January 2012, 15:20 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil Rhodes
I don't get it.

It's just an ARM dev board.

And even if it does run linux, well, it runs... linux.

If you want to get people coding, give them something they can write for in, say, Visual Studio.

Are you saying a fully operational computer with all the relevent inputs and outputs that can be bought for $35 (or less) isn't interesting? I'm half tempted to buy one just to use it as an uber-geeky dandly-dice in my car.
wuyanxu 26th January 2012, 15:21 Quote
screw Linux. this is even cheaper, and it's an actual microcontroller :D don't have to faff about with Linux (speaking as a Hardware Engineer)

http://e2e.ti.com/group/msp430launchpad/w/default.aspx

yes, $4.30.
debs3759 26th January 2012, 15:51 Quote
The Pi is one of the options I am considering for controlling my cooling loop (by the end of the year I expect to have a complex wc loop cooling multiple computers, possibly using underground pipes to cool the water). I have been considering a mini-itx system to double as a dedicated firewall, but the pi would be an excellent and nicely compact way of doing it :) If I take that route, it would be housed in the bottom section of the Little Devil case I'll be building a system in throughout this year :)
Gareth Halfacree 26th January 2012, 15:52 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by wuyanxu
screw Linux. this is even cheaper, and it's an actual microcontroller :D don't have to faff about with Linux (speaking as a Hardware Engineer)
http://e2e.ti.com/group/msp430launchpad/w/default.aspx
yes, $4.30.
I liked the sound of that, so I tried to order it from Mouser (TI's UK distributor). £4 for the device. £12 for the postage. :(
Risky 26th January 2012, 15:55 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by debs3759
The Pi is one of the options I am considering for controlling my cooling loop (by the end of the year I expect to have a complex wc loop cooling multiple computers, possibly using underground pipes to cool the water). I have been considering a mini-itx system to double as a dedicated firewall, but the pi would be an excellent and nicely compact way of doing it :) If I take that route, it would be housed in the bottom section of the Little Devil case I'll be building a system in throughout this year :)

I'm using a T-balancer for this at the moment but would be interested if a project to use this as a WC monitor/control device gets some momentum.
Jake123456 26th January 2012, 16:06 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by DbD
It's just a 700mhz ARM11, same as for example you got in a zune or a lot of old phones. i.e. in nvidia terms it's basically a tegra 1. We are now onto quad core A9's (tegra 3).

Shame they didn't do a faster version - not just for performance benefits but the old cpu doesn't support many of the features of newer chips for which most software is now designed making it harder to port that software to a rasberri (e.g. flash).

I read somewhere, can't remember where that this is a lot more powerful than the new iPhone 4S, not sure if thats correct or not..
Picarro 26th January 2012, 16:30 Quote
Pair this with a USB powered touch monitor and you have an extremely power efficient jukebox. Ahh, the possibilities are endless!
wuyanxu 26th January 2012, 16:32 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gareth Halfacree
I liked the sound of that, so I tried to order it from Mouser (TI's UK distributor). £4 for the device. £12 for the postage. :(
uk.farnell.com/texas-instruments/msp-exp430g2/kit-dev-msp430-launchpad/dp/1853793
Farnel never fails :)


Jake, what it is saying is that its graphics processing is twice faster than iPhone 4S, which has one of the fastest SoC in terms of graphics. RPi's CPU unfortunately will be very weak, not comparable to those modern SoC's out there.
Jake123456 26th January 2012, 16:47 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by wuyanxu
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gareth Halfacree
I liked the sound of that, so I tried to order it from Mouser (TI's UK distributor). £4 for the device. £12 for the postage. :(
uk.farnell.com/texas-instruments/msp-exp430g2/kit-dev-msp430-launchpad/dp/1853793
Farnel never fails :)


Jake, what it is saying is that its graphics processing is twice faster than iPhone 4S, which has one of the fastest SoC in terms of graphics. RPi's CPU unfortunately will be very weak, not comparable to those modern SoC's out there.

Ahh, thats it, but still it has a lot of capabilites ^.^

I was talking to Dweller last night, and I'm certain that this will open the door for the likes of Asus a Gbyte.

Would be brilliant if we started to see boards like these from them, but more powerfull..
Gareth Halfacree 26th January 2012, 16:48 Quote
Quote:
Ta - ordered. And also one of these. I must stop spending now...
GuilleAcoustic 26th January 2012, 16:56 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Picarro
Pair this with a USB powered touch monitor and you have an extremely power efficient jukebox. Ahh, the possibilities are endless!

that's what I'll probably do with it : Rpi + USB touchscreen + USB DAC
Waynio 26th January 2012, 17:03 Quote
That is nice & cheap, not interested in programming but I'll very likely get 1 of these to make a super portable crazy low power XBMC :D.

Micro modding if I have time to do 1 this year I will :) will be crazy making a case for something so small :D.

I'm pretty sure it's more powerful than my first PC which was an AMD 700hmz single core & 35 times cheaper & about 500 or a heck of a lot more times smaller what is not to like.

Tried Linux before briefly & quite like it but it's biggest perk is it's freeeeee & so is XBMC :).
schmidtbag 26th January 2012, 17:26 Quote
i'm surprised about the amount of people willing to use linux here. i hope they realize that windows CE is not supported.

being a long term extensive linux user, i'm excited about this and i intend to install debian on it and do extensive robotics development on it.

as for the guy wanting visual studio - seriously? visual studio is not that good. there are linux based programs such as geany or kate that i find just as good but without the bloat. obviously this depends on the language you use but new versions of visual studio are very bloated and older ones lack features.

just because theres a small, cheap computer on the market, it doesn't mean you're supposed to get it. i think a lot of people are going to end up buying this and get disappointed. i've noticed a lot of people here act like 4gb of ram is required for gaming and bash AMD like it's their job. if you're one of these people, you are not going to like RPi.
Bungletron 26th January 2012, 17:26 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jake123456
I read somewhere, can't remember where that this is a lot more powerful than the new iPhone 4S, not sure if thats correct or not..

That was engadget, reckoned on balance of capability it could be more potent than iphone 4s and tegra 2 I think, custom broadcom chip this time showing that Mhz is not everything.
Phil Rhodes 26th January 2012, 18:04 Quote
Quote:
Linux has lot's of nice devel tools.

Well, no, Linux has lots of devel tools. Most of them are very far from nice. Most of the "devel tools" on Linux are indistinguishable from a text editor (although, to be fair, quite a lot of linux is indistinguishable from a text editor...)

Much as people like to promote it as such, the idea that linux is in any way friendly or easy to get into as a brand-new software engineer is absolute fantasy.

P
bobwya 26th January 2012, 18:24 Quote
Nice article. Liked the (unusually) detailed article. Thanks Bit-Tech!! Respect :-)

People who complained about how rubbish this board is... I compared it to the price I paid for a commercial PIC programming board and PIC's. The PI is competative in this market.

@The folk with dumb Windows and MS Visual Studio comments. Linux tools like Qt Creator are free for non-commercial use. How much does a Visual Studio license cost these days? One word for ya - "duh".

Notice that no one commented that UK Plc. is completely screwed... When UK-based companies are actually charged extra to "try" and produce products in this country. Never mind the salary+benefits overheads they would incur anyway... ARGGGG!!
GuilleAcoustic 26th January 2012, 18:29 Quote
I think the PI + arduino combo will make a lovely couple :) ...
schmidtbag 26th January 2012, 18:42 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil Rhodes
Quote:
Linux has lot's of nice devel tools.

Well, no, Linux has lots of devel tools. Most of them are very far from nice. Most of the "devel tools" on Linux are indistinguishable from a text editor (although, to be fair, quite a lot of linux is indistinguishable from a text editor...)

Much as people like to promote it as such, the idea that linux is in any way friendly or easy to get into as a brand-new software engineer is absolute fantasy.

P

I gather you haven't used Linux in a while, because what you said is the stereotypical Linux, or what Linux was like from 2006 and earlier.

+1 @ bobwya
Blackshark 26th January 2012, 18:56 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tynecider
I wonder what type of stuff the GPIO can be used for? mPCIe? eSATA? USB3?

Unfortunately, at the moment, it is not possible to support direct storage (SATA) or PCI/e. USB3 could be added, but note that the actual bandwidth available is only really enough for USB 2 (hence why it has the USB2 ports and 10/100 ethernet.

Even then, the USB2 and ethernet are shared. We are yet to see what effect it has, reading off the network (for media playback, say 20 to 40Mbs for Bluray) and accessing the USB port at the same time. But so long as you are not trying to push too much through the USB, its looking like network performance is stable enough.

I also really like the idea of putting the RPi inside the receiver. I have a Sony system with a large central Sub and I am sure there will be space in that plus plenty of power.


In terms of power - 5V at 700mA is enough to run the device and display. However 1A is 'preferred' and you should be looking at more than that if you want to run bus powered USB / 2 devices. So a 2A 5V power supply would be the perfect solution.

Solar power - actually need a fairly big panel to supply 5V 1A, but, what is not known is how much the board will consume without the display being used. But with a storage battery and maybe a 1.5 or 2A panel and you could have a self sustained field station for monitoring.

Clustering / Render farm - The GPU has reasonable power, the CPU doesnt. At the moment, there is no GPGPU available, so how ever many of these you tie together (yes even 10,000!!) it would be extremely inefficient and not a supercomputer. However, a small cluster would provide a great resource for learning parrallel programming, cluster set up and monitoring etc...

Car media and/or monitoring - as mentioned in the article, there is a Car Media project running (well as soon as the RPi ships!) as well as talk of turning it in to a car monitoring device that hooks up via the car data port in modern cars


Would be great support for the project if Bit-Tech supported (not monetary more exposure) a project of two.
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