mannerisms

Ruminations on the electronics industry from David Manners, Senior Components Editor on Electronics Weekly.

January Sales For Raspberry Pi

January should see the ARM-based £16 computer, the Raspberry Pi, go into production.

The first ten devices will be auctioned to the highest bidder.

The ARM-based computer will be produced in multiple factories and comes in two versions - with Ethernet and two USB ports for £22 and without Ethernet and one USB port for £16.

The computer uses a 700MHz ARM 1176JZF-S processor, 128/256MB of RAM, and SD card for long-term storage. It runs Linux or RISC OS and comes with Debian GNU/Linux, Iceweasel and Python.

The general public will be able to order the device in January 2012. Pre-orders are not being accepted.

Tags: debian gnu, highest bidder, iceweasel, sd card, usb ports

Related posts

9 Comments

  1. Mike Bryant
    January 11, 2012 07:33

    For those interested in education in this area :
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-16493929
    “Instead of children bored out of their minds being taught how to use Word or Excel by bored teachers, we could have 11-year-olds able to write simple 2D computer animations,”

  2. Tony Morris
    January 03, 2012 13:00

    I certainly do remember the Oric-1, my best mate had one :-) There seemed to be machines coming out all the time for a few years and it was great to see the possibilities being played out – some were lavish, some minimal and some used some great tricks.
    I learnt Z80 programming and a lot of hardware tricks from the Spectrum ROM Disassembly. The all-in-one ROM code contained some of everything: keyboard scanning, floating point, BASIC commands, text/graphics etc. It was very compact, which made it slow but showed you lots of neat ideas to milk the most out of the thing.
    At the other end, the BBC Micro showed you how an OS could be used properly and had lots of different hardware control you could understand. It cost a fortune to us but our training school had them.
    It was also a time when I thought Clive had his finger on the pulse and just loved giving us his best in home computers…! That didn’t turn out to be quite as true – I’ve got an old £400 QL I paid £30 to Currys for in 1989, bless him :-)
    Good stuff, David.

  3. David Manners
    January 03, 2012 11:46

    Yes Tony it was a brilliant time. And do you remember Oric? I recall the the CEO Barry Muncaster getting into The Sun for buying a Ferrari on his Barclaycard and Chris Curry of Acorn buying a village! Happy days. Hopefully we’ll see them again thanks to this run of innovation at ARM and, hopefully, a more subdued Intel now it is operating under a Consent Decree. A period of computer bio-diversity is something devoutly to be wished

  4. Tony Morris
    January 03, 2012 09:23

    Glad you’re bringing out this story, David. I do think this machine is a wonderful idea.
    As I remember them, the lively and rolling first five-odd years of home computers had a great effect on many later programmers and engineers. It’s anyone’s guess as to how it’ll all go but I do welcome an attempt to bring any part of that energy back.
    I’m sad about the be-a-user stuff now taught and the complicated ‘closed black box’ look of PCs/tablets doesn’t welcome exploration by potential engineers.
    To the other posts, I can’t remember friends buying ZX81s, Spectrums, BBC Micros or Dragon 32s because of the microprocessor they used; I don’t think people today buy an X-box or Wii because they like the processor. It’s more about how much fun it looks or how reachable it is. Back then, the ZX81 sold in on beyond its years.
    Also, I don’t think lots of MIPs make programmers sloppy – the old machines were struggling and these ones will be trying to do far more. As an old Z80/Sinclair and 6502/BBC programmer, we always wanted to do far more with the processors in those days and had to make do with much less. Today’s definition of a machine reacting fast is something quite different to what we called fast then.
    I imagine they were programmers in 1981 looking down on the ZX81 because it didn’t have a disk drive and wasn’t six foot tall. Look where that little box took us though.
    I hope it’s a self-contained little system with all sorts of possibilites. I reckon home electronics magazines would love it, although they won’t be able to flog PIC boards all over the shop any more! :-)

  5. Mike Bryant
    December 30, 2011 20:00

    Arduino is nice but I think it’s essential people learn industry standard processors – i.e. X86 or ARM. Anything else is adding complication for no gain. And of course being based in Cambridge it ain’t going to be x86 :-)
    Also modern programming needs lots of power and memory – you can hardly use Java or C++ on a PIC. We don’t want another generation of NIH assembly language programmers :-)

  6. Bitter
    December 30, 2011 16:07

    Arduino springs to mind here. Fast and easy to get going with prototyping on constrained hardware.

  7. Robert
    December 30, 2011 14:16

    @Mike B
    I read the web page but I’m not sure this is the right product to train real programmers on. The problems that I see repeatedly are at a more fundamental level than this, they are probably better addressed with a small robot or similar electro-mechanical problem and a simple uC say 8051 or PIC or TI’s MSP430. Lot’s of MIPS trains programmers to be sloppy, and that’s what comes around and bites you. It’s where memory leaks come from, it’s the root cause of Multi-tasking failures… I think I’m preaching to the choir so I’ll just wish everyone a Happy new year and get back to that double scotch…Cheers

  8. Mike Bryant
    December 30, 2011 11:18

    It’s for a different market Robert. The aim is to get young people back into contact with hardware and programming the software for it. The UK is desperately short of quality programmers and this may stimulate the next generation of them. Conversely it may just fail completely but at least someone has tried to do something positive.
    That said, whoever programmed their website needs one – the FAQ page crashes out many browsers :-(

  9. Robert
    December 30, 2011 02:57

    Is there really a market for this sort of thing?
    It looks like a typical STB processor with all the usual I/O interfaces but packaged and sold as a small CPU. (good it is 700Mhz instead of the typical 400Mhz ARM but…)
    I’m also hearing some very low 2012-2013 pricing for small touch Pads (5in color LCD screen stuff) quad ARM processors running Android with integrated WiFi, BT, and EDGE etc and selling for about $100. It’s going to be hard to compete..