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Open Source Linux Hardware

$25 PC Prototype Gets Award At ARM TechCon 238

New submitter gbl08ma writes "The Raspberry Pi project, which aims to create a $25 Linux box, won an award for the category 'Best in Show for Hardware Design' at ARM TechCon, even though they haven't yet released any final product (the release will be sometime in late November). Eben Upton demonstrated the capabilities of one of the prototypes that have been built. From advanced graphics at 1080p resolution to simple web browsing and desktop productivity, the small boards with ARM-based processors and PoP SDRAM have proven to be very versatile, fast and durable."
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$25 PC Prototype Gets Award At ARM TechCon

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  • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus ( 1223518 ) on Saturday October 29, 2011 @11:59PM (#37883880) Journal
    At present, it looks comparatively similar to the situation on the BCM devices that show up in routers: There is a general purpose CPU, with well known and GCC supported instructions, and a way to get Linux up and going; but the further you get from 'boot a kernel image and chat with it on TTY0' the more likely it is that the feature is NDA or supported by a giant blob.
  • by PerlPunk ( 548551 ) on Sunday October 30, 2011 @12:06AM (#37883894) Homepage Journal
    Well, the author of the article is a true geek, because his take on reality is not completely based in it (though I agree with most everything else he writes): From the article: "Do Java programmers make more money than .NET programmers? Anyone describing themselves as either a Java programmer or .NET programmer has already lost, because a) they’re a programmer (you’re not, see above) and b) they’re making themselves non-hireable for most programming jobs. In the real world, picking up a new language takes a few weeks of effort and after 6 to 12 months nobody will ever notice you haven’t been doing that one for your entire career." I disagree. Not only is "how many years have you worked in (C|JAVA|Perl|Python|etc)" the first question you get asked, but the questions aren't merely about which language but particular frameworks that happen to employ whatever language it is they are asking about. And I turn down .NET jobs. What language you know matters nowadays because languages and the frameworks built on them have become exceedingly complex. For example, one recruiter recently asked me if I have any architectural experience. I had the certs (SCEA), and I had the experience, but the recruiter came back to me and told me the client didn't see any Struts or Spring experience on my resume. Now, that's not architecture, but that's what the client (not recruiter, mind you) thinks architecture is all about. And still, aside from client misconceptions about what something like "software architecture" is, I wouldn't for example try to attempt to say I know Ruby on Rails when I've done my 6 - 12 hour crash course in Ruby any more than I would suggest anyone to say he knows J2EE after he has done his 6 - 12 hour crash course in Java (even if he is a hot-shot C/C++ programmer). These frameworks are complex. If you don't have real experience with them, you are going to fall flat on your face if you are being called in to troubleshoot someone else's implementation that used any of these frameworks.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 30, 2011 @02:16AM (#37884384)

    The original intent of this PC is in the spirit of the VIC 20. It is a little computer for kids to hack around with. The difference between it and the VIC 20 is that it costs so little the adults won't mind if the kids hack around with it.

  • by tp1024 ( 2409684 ) on Sunday October 30, 2011 @06:00AM (#37885074)
    1 or 2 percent of the general population is a market of 70 to 140 million people ....
  • by tp1024 ( 2409684 ) on Sunday October 30, 2011 @06:13AM (#37885112)
    Or if you feel that a 100W system simply has too much of an impact on your electricity bill.

    If you want to keep it running for an average of 10 hours a day, it will consume 365 kWh per year. Even in the USA that's $36.50 per year. In places were people don't waste energy like they own the world - devastatingly poor countries like Germany - you're talking upwards of $100 per year.

    The Raspberry is using 1W at full power.
  • by TheRaven64 ( 641858 ) on Sunday October 30, 2011 @07:30AM (#37885300) Journal

    It's intended to teach computing, not to teach media consumption using a computer. Like the BBC Micro that inspired it, it's intended to have a reasonable range of I/O capabilities for controlling electronics projects and a decent programming environment. Everything else is a bonus.

    When the BBC Micro started to be replaced by Archimedes machines and later IBM PCs in schools, the focus on computer education shifted away from how it works and how you can control it to using off-the-shelf packages. I was right at the tail end of that transition, and my lecturers noticed a fairly abrupt jump in the programming abilities of people who were taught with the BBC to those a few years later who were taught with PCs.

    We live in a society where basic programming is as important as basic penmanship was a century ago. Most people won't become programmers, but they will need to be able to use various domain-specific languages, even if just to write office macros. Yet, during this transition, our school system has moved away from teaching programming to young children - the time when they are most receptive to it - and taught them how to use specific software packages, rather than how to understand the underlying logic behind them.

  • by vlm ( 69642 ) on Sunday October 30, 2011 @08:22AM (#37885482)

    treating ARM boards like contemporary desktops just isn't going to work

    Do I have permission to treat it as a 2002 desktop, which for 99% of the population is exactly the same as a 2012 desktop?

"If it's not loud, it doesn't work!" -- Blank Reg, from "Max Headroom"