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Page history last edited by jerry 8 years, 7 months ago






RaspberryPi.org developed a small low  cost computer like the

OneLaptopPerChild XO ( http://Laptop.org ).  It was very popular,

with the now typical hype and overwhelming web servers to order

the first batches.  Having gotten in line, months ago, and finally

got one, thought I'd report (not full journalistic reporting, as I'd

like some time to spend on the machine), but something for those

who may not be as geeky...







Simply a nightmare, advanced press created problems, provisioning was lacking,

and well it was popular, new toys usually are...


Scalping, profiterring and other nastiness seemed like the case...

$25 base model, $35 with Ethernet and more memory, etc,

but Shipping and Handling was $15, take it or leave it,

we are so popular/ in demand, that's all we can do...


Not the social aims of poverty, much less combining for reducing

shipping and handling, can't buy many, as there was a 1 unit

limit, which the web ordering didn't say...




Anyone in the public system is probably already familiar with this,

the line is over there, wait for it, and you may not get it,

Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt, are the normal emotions,

though some are not creating fear, it's already there,

Doubt it will happen, ever get to the front of the line,

WaitingForGodot  and many other instances...


And what will it really be like, as nobody but the people

creating the hype have it to really tell, Consumer Reports

where are you when we need you?




Almost had to wrestle the shipping person for the package,

they denied they had it, and not easy to tell how it was

going to get there, much less when.  There ought to be a law,

I'm sure there are many, but don't seem to apply to the Poor,

In The Projects...




So it has a HDMI port instead of VGA,

the next big thing, I guess, I don't have an HDMI

monitor, only converter boxes for HDTV, when that happened

years ago, subsidized options were available if one kept the ears

to the ground,  but that required antennae too, so maybe just pay

through the nose for cable like everyone else...


Only Basic, Mad Men is not something you've ever seen...

Hmmmm....  Poverty is low tech, and nasty...

But what is the choice?


OK, it also takes Composite RCA connector, some old TVs have

that, we are now into the old Timex Sinclair and Atari age, for those that

are old enough to remember, or history buffs that look it up...


I had neither, but did build a HeathKit ETA 100 Electronics Trainer

after dropping out of working at a medical school lab...


As personal completion for Computer Engineering,

was my intended Major, though didn't get the 3.5 GPA

required to get in, rolling admissions

and procrastination is a Bitch, as a life course...


So Electrical Engineering, and more Computer Science...


Eventually finishing elsewhere, adding Clinical Psych,

Java was advanced and not taught where I was

much less the advanced research types stuff

I'd been doing at work...


RPi's Input power is Micro USB, in the 700 mA to 1 Amp range,

(depending upon graphics and peripheral use)

higher than a computer's USB port will put out,

and only some chargers like for Apple's iPads/ iPhones/ etc

not many USB hubs even list the port's much less

wall wart power output...




(will eventually be it's own page)


MicroUSB is not something I have much of,

only a BioLogic ReeCharge iPhone case uses that, and the plug just

broke out (goes to a bike dynohub generator, power on the go,

for commuting and touring,  generated by pedaling, When It Works,

at least for me rarely if at all, first headlights, and burn them out,

conditioned / regulated power, rare odd connectors and

mounting the light on the front of a bike frame, old style megaphone type

shape doesn't work on my beater fork, new style doesn't work,

handle bar mounts cheap plastic breaks like Garmin clips,

$20-30/ to replace... you can probably see where I'm going with this...




Not MicroSD cards, the adaptered and other sizes don't work, they say,

I haven't tried, all the photography/ video and don't have any new or spares handy,

(remember poor), filled or wrong type. Classes 4 or expensive and rare Class 10,

or basic unclassed, no name, which they say used Brand Named

cards...  You are replacing a hard drive with a memory card,

so might loose all data, which I've been doing for a few months,

learning the hard way SD is not SSD (Solid State Drive) despite

with newbook EeePC.  Other geeks persistent statements to the contrary, 

Wear Leveling (like bad blocks), yes the read writes are limited in number

on electronics of this sort, so part of why (rumored) the OLPC took longer to come out,

and most commerical SSD drives have special controllers/ adapters and other stuff,

and are high cost, and low availability (in stores), who knows on line,

see above about WrestlingShipping issues....




Worried about the board and electrostaticly damaging the precious

new toy, no cases available except 3DPrinted versions,

more on that geekery later...


But make due with the shipping box, enough plugs in all directions

to hold it up off it's board, but worried about stepping on it,

knocking the other RCA connectors into it,

wash hands after bathroom/ snacks (remember to eat?), etc...


I can't really read the screen, low character resolution, multiple

RGB screen points / character blurring, and tinted, but did

see a red graphic of a Raspberry logo to start, all sorts of Linux

screen output, and Fedora Core 14 Remix would resize the partitions

for you, but doing it blind, you wonder what is taking so long,

get the right input channel, no reset button on the board,

like some kits and microcontrollers ( Arduino.cc ?)

BeagleBoard, Arm Cortex and other development boards

might have, so all the addons and accessories market is

probably gearing up, all dependent on huge quantities of small

relatively inexpensive BroadCom boards coming out,

they are not as OpenHardware as I would like the specifications

have slowly come out, Richard M Stallman of FreeSofrwareFoundation

fame would balk, as do many purists, but some of us poor

don't have a choice, if we want a computer,

and OLPC XO are not commercially available,

or underpowered,  these are the types of things that we get, or Want,

if we hear about it, can afford it (even if we can't,

food is now a problem poor moi, toys and other activities took precedence,

unknown payment times, and other personal issues I don't want to get into ),


So I'm still, after a day of mucking with it, trying to get past login,

it boots, consistently displays something, but my one USB keyboard

( misses essential characters like 'a' in Raspberry Pi one of the passwords,

and others want my toys, or are jealous, I'm rarely the one with the toys

the employed and other geeky professionals have,

usually have something interesting in the human services

and disability communities (this site was part of a Web component

of Mental Health Recovery, but whined so much about other stuff,

even O'Reilly Publishers didn't want me in as Media in eGov Con...



Here in the market for inexpensive, though seems to be well made,

SMT board and other high tech (chip on chip memory on Top Of GPU)

makes it not solderable as a kit at home nor easily serviceable/ repairable,





































I'm glad I have it, it will help me learn some things, already has,

all the new tech and peripherals necessary to run it,

dd command in Linux, risks wiping out your hard drive

if you do the wrong device, GUIs are spotty based on OS choice,

RPi runs Linux in various varieties/ distros (Arch, Debian, Fedora, QtOnPi),

but they are still in the early stages, ARM based processor kernels

and tools are in infancy, as are touch screen and other portable output

and input, AdaFruit.com's MicroTouch and presumably other SparkFun.com

EvilGenius or wherever suppliers, Radio$hack started carrying

Arduinos now that they have been out for years,

and DARPA is involved in MakerSpaces training

High Schools and other places (see RadioShack PR),

I guess the Arms race has reached Sputnik levels again,

shortage of tech, and math and science, nerds

(the N word, from back in my day),

Geek is Sheik (green $ always probably was,

except maybe 1960''s torn jeans, etc)




Translated: What Are You Going To Do With It?


My plans are learning,

some bike projects

http://wiki.laptop.org/go/DynoHubSolarPowerCombo ,

and whatever else comes along,

it combines a lot of interests of mine,

low cost, portable, low power, educational,

assistive, empowerment, and geekery,

most geeks probably think I'm not,

baggy is usually having all the stuff,

but not enough to be at risk,

dropping, losing or breaking, it's a material

world, and I'm a material guy, just poor, that's all...







Summary of experience or similar


Learning curve is steep...


Requires lots of accessories the poor won't have already,

but stimulates the creativity and economy, right?


Fun, at least to me...


So Why Not? (tm)





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