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Raspberry Pi review

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proxess 16th April 2012, 14:33 Quote
I'm actually considering one to use as a SOCKS proxy to get around my works' proxy.
Using my PC is a bit overkill.
RedFlames 16th April 2012, 14:36 Quote
I've waited months for this... they're in short supply... I know! I'll potentially ruin it by overclocking it!

Welcome to Bit-tech

I'll wait a bit longer for the software kinks to be ironed out and for them to get a few batches under the belt before getting one... but I am definitely getting one...
Parge 16th April 2012, 14:48 Quote
Is this Gareths first review??? Nice work!
Gareth Halfacree 16th April 2012, 14:51 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Parge
Is this Gareths first review??? Nice work!
For bit? Eermm... D'you know, I think it might be. Achievement Unlocked!
Bauul 16th April 2012, 14:58 Quote
So did you brick it, or did it survive your whipping?
misterd77 16th April 2012, 14:59 Quote
a must buy !, excellent work by the foundation....
steveo_mcg 16th April 2012, 15:02 Quote
I wonder how well it would manage as a terminal?

Good review, need to get one of these....
Nexxo 16th April 2012, 15:06 Quote
Needs to run ELITE. Because it's right.
Gareth Halfacree 16th April 2012, 15:08 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nexxo
Needs to run ELITE. Because it's right.
I didn't mention it in the review, but I did try to run Frontier: First Encounters in dosbox on it. The result was... Uninspiring. I don't have an official reading, but I eyeballed it at about 0.3 frames per second...

That's without hardware-accelerated video, of course. Once I've got that running, things might be very different.

Elite in a BBC emulator, on the other hand, should run fine. I might give that a go this evening, actually...
GuilleAcoustic 16th April 2012, 15:09 Quote
This paired with an arduino = Robotic cheesecake :D
vampalan 16th April 2012, 15:14 Quote
Does anyone whom is a secondary school student, or know of one, wish to own and do programming on one of these?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3oSTHLvfzGM
Was watching the youtube about it, he mentioned cost as a barrier to learning computer programming, yet left out demand, as lots of programming jobs are out sourced to foreign places in big companies in the UK.
wuyanxu 16th April 2012, 15:26 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by GuilleAcoustic
This paired with an arduino = Robotic cheesecake :D
Arduino is just an AVR, really no need for a general purpose processor when you could program a more efficient state machine on the AVR.


LOL at the article. first picture "Warning....... This product should not be overclocked." article index: "Overclocking". yep, im on Bit-tech. :D
r3loaded 16th April 2012, 15:46 Quote
Farnell, I want my slice of Pi now!!! :D
mayhem 16th April 2012, 15:58 Quote
Its runs mame fine but not all the games. Just don't try and attempt to load up a CHD though it .. hahaha. tested on all the older games and was happy to see it running at sec. the only problem is heavy loaded games dont load well at all.
GuilleAcoustic 16th April 2012, 15:59 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by wuyanxu
Arduino is just an AVR, really no need for a general purpose processor when you could program a more efficient state machine on the AVR.


LOL at the article. first picture "Warning....... This product should not be overclocked." article index: "Overclocking". yep, im on Bit-tech. :D

I agree with the state machine being loaded on the Arduino (or any other AVR), but the PI could be used for heavier calculation while leaving the sensor / motor /etc to the duino :). I think we'll see nice things using the GPIO pins, just have to make the duino and the pi communicate.
schmidtbag 16th April 2012, 16:14 Quote
Quote:
As a result, the software available for the Pi is far from mature.
Uh.... aside from the drivers, how? Compared to what? Debian's ARM support is pretty much as mature as x86, which is arguably more stable than Windows. Linux's immense ARM support is what gives it such an incomparable edge over Windows 8.
Quote:
...the fact it ships without hardware accelerated video makes it awkward to use for web browsing, while the lack of working ALSA drivers in the current build can make audio software a pain too.
It is not the responsibility of any distro to ensure that it works with all hardware on any platform, just as it isn't Microsoft's responsibility (or obligation, for that matter) to include drivers for any device it may be connected to. Distro developers put together the OS, they don't make drivers. Unless I misinterpreted that comment, that's a pretty unreasonable point of view.
Quote:
Adobe is rumoured to be looking into the possibility of porting an existing ARM build of its Flash Player to the Pi.
I'd bet money this won't happen, especially not for the exclusivity of the Pi. Adobe recently just officially stopped making their flash player plugin for Linux a couple weeks ago for x86 and they're already incredibly lazy with getting flash operating on Android (which is largely ARM based and a modified linux variant). Adobe will continue to update the current flash plugin (version 11) for the next 5 years, but they won't be adding any features or future releases.

Anyone who wants official updated Flash support on any platform is (for now) going to have to use Google Chrome, which I would recommend for Pi anyway.



So I'm jw, has any 3D worked on the pi yet? Because it has been proven possible that 3D acceleration works. If you're using Debian squeeze, then don't. Use wheezy or even sid - they might include the drivers and they're a hell of a lot more up-to-date.

Aside from those few points, this was a very nice review and you should do more.
Nikumba 16th April 2012, 16:24 Quote
Looks good, would have been nice to hear some feedback about the XBMC port for it, as a lot of people will be getting them for HTPC's

Kimbie
Gareth Halfacree 16th April 2012, 17:00 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by schmidtbag
Uh.... aside from the drivers, how? Compared to what? Debian's ARM support is pretty much as mature as x86, which is arguably more stable than Windows. Linux's immense ARM support is what gives it such an incomparable edge over Windows 8.
"Aside from the drivers?" That's a pretty big aside...
Quote:
Originally Posted by schmidtbag
It is not the responsibility of any distro to ensure that it works with all hardware on any platform, just as it isn't Microsoft's responsibility (or obligation, for that matter) to include drivers for any device it may be connected to. Distro developers put together the OS, they don't make drivers. Unless I misinterpreted that comment, that's a pretty unreasonable point of view.
Except that the maintainers of the distributions in question are *specifically* releasing them for use with the Raspberry Pi. Sure, it's not Debian's responsibility to write drivers - but if a sub-set of Debian developers are releasing a remix designed for the Raspberry Pi (which they are, and have) then it would be nice if it had things like hardware accelerated graphics and working audio, n'est-ce pas?
Quote:
Originally Posted by schmidtbag
So I'm jw, has any 3D worked on the pi yet? Because it has been proven possible that 3D acceleration works.
Yes - if you re-read the article, you'll see that Quake III has already been shown up-and-running on a Pi at playable framerates. It's not impossible by any means, but for someone who's bought the Pi as an introduction to the world of Linux it may as well be - at least, for now. Once the Pi-themed distro spins have out-of-the-box acceleration, that will change.
Quote:
Originally Posted by schmidtbag
Aside from those few points, this was a very nice review and you should do more.
Thanks!
Gareth Halfacree 16th April 2012, 17:03 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nikumba
Looks good, would have been nice to hear some feedback about the XBMC port for it, as a lot of people will be getting them for HTPC's
I just need to get my hands on some more SD cards, and then I'll be taking a look at the various different distributions - for now I've only really played with Debian and Fedora Remix.
schmidtbag 16th April 2012, 17:16 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gareth Halfacree
"Aside from the drivers?" That's a pretty big aside...
It is, but I wouldn't say its fair to call the OS in general immature strictly because of drivers. And as I've said before, debian squeeze is extremely out of date, there have been immense performance improvements to ARM that squeeze doesn't offer. Note that in the linux world, 6 months is like 3 people-years.
Quote:
but if a sub-set of Debian developers are releasing a remix designed for the Raspberry Pi (which they are, and have) then it would be nice if it had things like hardware accelerated graphics and working audio, n'est-ce pas?
Fair enough, although I don't remember you specifying that you used one of these remixes. Keep in mind that many changes that occur in derivatives of distros don't always make it back to the parent distro, so it is completely possible that the Pi remix is notably faster than the default. Again, remix or not, squeeze is not going to give you desirable results. You just said "latest release" which could mean latest stable, unstable, or testing. I'm not trying to be an ass or anything, I'm trying to be informative. You'd be surprised how big of a difference there is between each repo of debian.

I actually completely forgot that you mentioned Quake III, my bad.
Gareth Halfacree 16th April 2012, 17:25 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by schmidtbag
It is, but I wouldn't say its fair to call the OS in general immature strictly because of drivers. And as I've said before, debian squeeze is extremely out of date, there have been immense performance improvements to ARM that squeeze doesn't offer. Note that in the linux world, 6 months is like 3 people-years.
It's impossible to get a vanilla build of Debian (or any other operating system) to boot on the Raspberry Pi. You need to either do some serious hacking, or use one of the spins available from the Raspberry Pi download page, where someone has done the hacking for you.

Re-reading the review, I wasn't clear enough in what I was saying: where I'm talking about the 'default Debian distribution,' I don't mean vanilla Debian - I mean the default distribution provided on the Foundation's download page, specifically for use on the Raspberry Pi.

I'll go and amend that bit, save other people's confusion - ta!
Quote:
Originally Posted by schmidtbag
You'd be surprised how big of a difference there is between each repo of debian.
Given that I do distro reviews for Linux User & Developer Magazine, I don't think I would be surprised. ;)
MiNiMaL_FuSS 16th April 2012, 17:39 Quote
I'm interested in one as bit-torrent box, would I be able to use a USB hard drive alongside one, or is that asking too much?
IanW 16th April 2012, 17:54 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gareth Halfacree
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nexxo
Needs to run ELITE. Because it's right.
I didn't mention it in the review, but I did try to run Frontier: First Encounters in dosbox on it. The result was... Uninspiring. I don't have an official reading, but I eyeballed it at about 0.3 frames per second...

That's without hardware-accelerated video, of course. Once I've got that running, things might be very different.

Elite in a BBC emulator, on the other hand, should run fine. I might give that a go this evening, actually...

Not sure it has enough power to support an emulator & game.
That said, try Oolite - a freeware Mac Os / Windows / Linux port of Elite. You'd need to compile it from source though.
Gareth Halfacree 16th April 2012, 18:27 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by MiNiMaL_FuSS
I'm interested in one as bit-torrent box, would I be able to use a USB hard drive alongside one, or is that asking too much?

That'd work fine. There's actually a trick to getting host bus powered devices working: plug a powered USB hub into the mains, connect it to the RasPi's USB port, wire in your bus-powered device and then connect a lead from the hub to the Pi's microUSB power socket. The result: everything draws its power from the hub, and you only need one mains socket for the whole lot.
Angel OD 16th April 2012, 18:28 Quote
Must... Water Cool... It... :D
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