RPi Observations

This page is about my Observations and opinions of the Raspberry Pi and the Forums.

  • I think the Raspberry Pi Foundation made a mistake. Releasing the 512MB Model before releasing the A Model. Many people already thought the A Model just was not needed. Now it has been delayed in release again. This is due to the new back log created by the 512MB B Model. At the same time they announced that the A Model would remain at 256MB. These things are really kicking the A Model in the teeth. At the beginning they had most of their education hopes pinned on the A Model. The real deal is that most “schools” are probably going to prefer the B Model. I think the only reason to even keep trying to push the A Model is its $25 price tag. It will use somewhat less power, but the “B” is not a real power waster either. In robotics or similar projects, where batteries are used, It may provide a clear benefit. But the new back log tells the story. Almost everyone wants the larger memory versions. Even though I am a proponent for the 512MB boards I think they just released them too early. The Foundation just might find that the A Model is just going to be too little(memory), too late. The Foundation should have waited until the entire back log was finished from the B Models. Of course RS may not clear that until after the new year, though they finally seem to be getting the hint. Then they should have released the A Model, then finally the 512MB. They are worried so much about the “Osborne Effect”, but they may have created the RPi (A) effect instead!
  • There are some people that believe that a RasPi can be a desktop replacement for only $35. While the Raspberry Pi can do a whole lot of tasks, it is not a desktop replacement. Point one; it does not have enough memory to run the numerous items that want to be installed on a desktop. Auto-updaters, toolbars, weather apps etc.. 256MB (now 512MB) just is not enough. Point 2; there is not enough expansion to attach all of the stuff we attach to our desktops. Printers and USB Camneras microphones joysticks etc. But people still insist on trying to get it run as a desktop. This is the next largest crowd that wants a 2GHz USB 3.0 with SATA……. for $35. Sorry RasPi is not it! The best use for the RasPi is as a educational tool and as a special purpose computing device!
  • The most active crowds appear to be the “media center” and “home theater” people. I think they have totally missed out on the true goals of the foundation. The majority of them seem to be just waiting for the newest XBMC to appear. They are also the majority of the crowd that wants a 2GHz, USB 3.0, SATA connector plus built-in Wireless and bluetooth, etc… $35 device. The Raspberry Pi runs a whole lot better as a home theater than I thought it ever would. But that was not its intended purpose. Most of us, including me, will not really use the RasPi as it was intended.
  • The people at the Foundation are watching what is being done to and on the RasPii. This is obvious in the fact that the F1/F2 polyfuses are being replaced with 0 ohm resistors. I believe a fix for the 1v8 power rail is also in the works. I expect there will be a board revision in the near future. I do not expect it to be anything major, just some fixes (and what was done). There are some of problems with the production boards as they were released. They tend to be finicky about keyboards/mice. They do not work with all Wall Wart style phone chargers. The 1v8 issue is contributing to this in a very small number of cases. The 140ma polyfuses have been a large contributor to this. These fuses are higher resistance, on average, than they are supposed to be. PCB revision (fixed) Now if they would just give credit to the forum members that either modded their RasPi’s or contributed to the posts that helped cure these problems. It seems the Foundation designed all of these cures and fixes, without their memberships help!
  • 11/14/13 It has been stated that the Foundation may not look at a new version until near 2016. I think this is a mistake on their part. There are a number of competing boards starting to appear, The beagle Bone Black and the Cubieboard are the top two on the list. There is another interesting board from SolidRun called the Carrier One (C1). Made to have its connectors in approximately the same places as the Raspberry Pi. It uses the IMX.6 processor and is available in single, dual and quad cores. This processor was used in the Army Land Warrior project. They use a Win 2000 OS. Up to 2GB of RAM can be supported. It has mSATA and a host of other options.
  • I think the simplest thing the foundation could do would be to bring out a server version of the Raspberry Pi. An upgraded ARM core with very little GPU and maybe a newer memory package. A 1GHz core and 512MB DDR3 would be a vast improvement for this server version. I would not even bother putting a USB hub on it. A single USB and you add your own hub if you need it. I would only put a RCA on the board and no HDMI either. A real Keep It Simple Server (K.I.S.S.)! It probably would fall into the $25 board price range and would be very popular. This would fit well as a NAS, Web server, Content server, File server. It also would take very little change to their available Operating Systems.

Leave a Reply