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Re: What chance the Raspi against the might of Microsoft

Tue Mar 27, 2012 8:23 pm

Raspi needs a same form factor gertboard rather quickly. The gadgeteer stuff (which i admit i"d never heard of) has the touchy-feely advantage right now. The software will get there quite quickly and will be lightweight linux based compared to (an almost certainly bloated) microsoft solution.
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Re: What chance the Raspi against the might of Microsoft

Tue Mar 27, 2012 8:45 pm

<>

sadly =[ i dont has da bandwidth

as im also trying to view panorama "exploit ting"

tho this from the link

"There is concern that children are no longer being equipped with the necessary computer development skills needed to fuel a 21st century tech-based economy. "

reminded me of the madness!! mentioned in the link below

understandable-madness-economic-growth

and also a a quote from previous rsa lecture

"Any sensible person right now would join an anti-Capitalist organization."

interesting times XD

</>

3+7 = 0.999r
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Re: What chance the Raspi against the might of Microsoft

Tue Mar 27, 2012 8:59 pm

Is there a transcript?

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Re: What chance the Raspi against the might of Microsoft

Tue Mar 27, 2012 9:22 pm

John Beetem said:


Is there a transcript?





i guess you mean a transcript of the bbc thing

.. if there is one i cant see it
Real life is, to most, a long second-best, a perpetual compromise between the ideal and the possible.
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Meanwhile, the sysadmin who accidentally nuked the data reckons "its best not run anything more with sudo today"
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what about spike milligan?

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Re: What chance the Raspi against the might of Microsoft

Tue Mar 27, 2012 9:24 pm

Quick precis: Microsoft and others are also in the running to help Britain solve the computing problem, and have a set of boards that they call gadgeteer, which you can plug together in various combinations to produce new devices. It looked quite cute in the video, but I note that all three devices they demonstrated had custom, professional quality, cases made for them. As bare boards they would be less exciting.

it's something RaspPi could do quite easily with both USB and I2C connected devices, but it would need someone to put together the hardware board set and the software libraries.

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Re: What chance the Raspi against the might of Microsoft

Tue Mar 27, 2012 9:31 pm

I do wonder how much the MS stuff is going to cost. But then, cost hasn't stopped them getting Office in to every school.

I think the Raspi could make some interesting moves in to that area but it would take a lot of community effort. But there is a lot more community than MS engineers.
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Re: What chance the Raspi against the might of Microsoft

Tue Mar 27, 2012 9:45 pm

This seems to be the place for Gadgeteer, and looks to be a 'NetDuino' style system; C# using the .NET Micro Framework ...

http://www.netmf.com/gadgeteer

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Re: What chance the Raspi against the might of Microsoft

Tue Mar 27, 2012 9:56 pm

rurwin said:


Quick précis: Microsoft and others are also in the running to help Britain solve the computing problem, and have a set of boards that they call gadgeteer, which you can plug together in various combinations to produce new devices.


I'm assuming it's the same as "Microsoft Research's .NET Gadgeteer" as described in this engadget.com article.  If so, you're talking US$250 for the Spider Starter Kit and US$120 for the Spider Main Board, whatever those are.

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Re: What chance the Raspi against the might of Microsoft

Tue Mar 27, 2012 10:18 pm

Gadgeteer base kit is 250GBP  AFAIK. They are currently trialling it in some UK schools.

I've had a play, it's fantastic stuff, but for 250 quid I could take my pick and mix of Pis/Gerboards/Kinects/Lego Mindstorms/Arduino / old stepper motors from printers etc etc . It's programmed in C# 'which might not appeal/ be useful to everyone.

The beauty of the Gadgeteer is that it is polished, "ready to go", modular (and probably comes with lesson resources and schemes of work). But I'd go with Pis etc and scabby bits and bobs that you cobbled together, any time. Then the cute, photogenic, mini arcade cab Snake game would come in at somewhat less than 300 quid

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Re: What chance the Raspi against the might of Microsoft

Wed Mar 28, 2012 6:26 am

I'd much rather see a British solution to a British problem, otherwise all we do is enrich Microsoft who certainly don't need any more money.

What price a Raspberry Pi in a BBC Micro case?

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Re: What chance the Raspi against the might of Microsoft

Wed Mar 28, 2012 7:56 am

C#., although a decent language, does limit the teaching possibilities I suppose. And makes Linux a PITA (yes, I know about Mono).

Someone needs to take the Raspi by the horns and do something similar to Gadgeteer, but cheaper! And using Python.
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Re: What chance the Raspi against the might of Microsoft

Wed Mar 28, 2012 8:27 am

JamesH said:


Someone needs to take the Raspi by the horns and do something similar to Gadgeteer, but cheaper! And using Python.


If you put an R-Pi alongside a Gadgeteer, apart from the price, what are the headline differences ?

R-Pi is a single board computer, primarily for software engineering with a GPIO connector. Its USP is software flexibility and HDMI capability.

Gadgeteer is a collection of boards with multiple, connect and use links, primarily for electronic interfacing coupled with software programmability. Its USP is its standardised interface connection system and having add-on interface boards as part of the whole.

Each has a particular target audience albeit with some crossover. One can see how each fits, and is designed to fit, its intended target market.

The questions are; how would one turn an R-Pi into what a Gadgeteer is, how much would such a system then cost, and how well that would compare ? Is it even worth competing in that market against Microsoft and their commercial partners and who is going to bring it all to fruition ?

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Re: What chance the Raspi against the might of Microsoft

Wed Mar 28, 2012 9:14 am

The only things that the Gadgeteer has that the RaspPi currently does not, is a camera and an LCD screen, and those are coming.

The RaspPi (£30) has I2C, and a Gertboard (£50). Given those, any number of cheap I2C bits can be added:

Ultrasonic range: £10

Servo controller (21 servos): £22 + servos at £5 ea

Compass: £20

See: robot-electronics.co.uk

other suppliers provide gyro and acceleration sensors for similar prices.

The Gertboard will handle switches and motor control.

Python and scratch libraries for the above pieces would be trivial to produce.

The Gadgeteer has cute software and a standard(ish) socket system. The RaspPi has Ethernet and USB on-board. If someone provided the above bits as an integrated kit, I"d say they were about evenly matched, with the RaspPi a little cheaper to start, and the Gadgeteer a little less fiddly in use.

But of course, the RasPi also has a screen, keyboard and mouse, far more memory and storage, and is useful for a far wider range of activities even starting from the same point.

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Re: What chance the Raspi against the might of Microsoft

Wed Mar 28, 2012 9:57 am

Haven"t seen gadgeteer report yet but I assume its some sort of processor with pre assembled boards which seems kind of limited in many respects in comparison to sticking your own components into breadboard via gpio or gert.

Ie. You can only produce a gadget if MS have produced a prefab board that will allow that gadget to be built ... Or have I got the wrong end of the stick? Still seems horribly sanitized either way.

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Re: What chance the Raspi against the might of Microsoft

Wed Mar 28, 2012 10:27 am

I don't see any problem...they are different enough they can suit different roles.  The RPi has a nice trick that it can be flexible to be a homework computer and a low level hardware interface too.

Also remember the foundation is aiming for the change, the hardware RPi is just a tool which will help.
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Re: What chance the Raspi against the might of Microsoft

Wed Mar 28, 2012 10:45 am

Had a bit more of a read on the Gadgeteer site and note the following from

http://www.netmf.com/gadgeteer.....arted.aspx

Gadgeteer seems to be made up of:-

1. Devt Platform – Visual C# on a PC

2. USB to Main Board connector – (red usb module)

3. A Mainboard – (Fez Spider/Hydra or Sytech NANO) – these look like fancy Arduinos yes?

4. Modules (sensors/screens/hw etc – Starter Kits Exist)

It would seem to me sensible to me to be able to plug a raspi into that architecture as a replacement for items 1 and 2 – so an interface (via GPIO) to the Selected Mainboard plus some software libraries for (Programming Language X) running on the raspi would provide that replacement perfectly.

And items 3 and 4 aren't Microsoft anyway so its a win-win
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Re: What chance the Raspi against the might of Microsoft

Wed Mar 28, 2012 10:51 am

Fez Spider or Fez Hydra, or the Sytech NANO ($80, $120, £70)....ouch, ouch, ouch.

Hopefully they won't force schools to pay that much.
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Re: What chance the Raspi against the might of Microsoft

Wed Mar 28, 2012 11:18 am

To use a RaspPi as the controller of a Gadgeteer system, you would need software on the RaspPi that implemented .NET (Gadget version) and some hardware to turn the GPIO into a set of Gadget sockets. That's just a scrap of PCB with some sockets on it. There's nothing difficult there -- the software is available for ARM and appears to be compatible. I did not find the boot loader, but it's probably available, and you probably don't have to sign away your first-born in order to use it.

There's a lot of "Open Source" being trumpeted about Gadgeteer, but I could not find the license anywhere. I can't install the software here because I don't have VS2010 installed.

It is true that the foundation are only interested in education, not in the success of any particular hardware. However you can bet that Microsoft will be pushing their kit as hard as they can and using every trick in the book, with the sole purpose of ensuring that no child leaves school knowing any other language than C#, any other IDE than Visual Studio, and any other Operating System than Windows. That is not something that should be supported.

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Re: What chance the Raspi against the might of Microsoft

Wed Mar 28, 2012 11:41 am

JamesH said:


C#., although a decent language, does limit the teaching possibilities I suppose. And makes Linux a PITA (yes, I know about Mono).

Someone needs to take the Raspi by the horns and do something similar to Gadgeteer, but cheaper! And using Python.



Something like this?

http://www.tinkerforge.com/

Not exactly cheap, but cheaper than a full Gadgeteer Kit as you can order only the components you need. The main dev platform for their software is Linux and its Open Source.

kyb (not related to TinkerForge, but I will try some stuff in combination with a Pi)

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Re: What chance the Raspi against the might of Microsoft

Wed Mar 28, 2012 2:14 pm

To be fair to MS they generally released their Kinect sensor onto Windows, which is an awesome bit of kit, although they only support c# dev for it . It shows a step in the right direction albeit with an alternative agenda . In the true spirit of open source and to show them how its really done, wouldn"t it be good if the community manages to get that, this gadget thing, Gertboards, raspi"s and arduinos all working together nicely on Linux. Not sure what you would do with it though. :-/

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Re: What chance the Raspi against the might of Microsoft

Wed Mar 28, 2012 2:16 pm

kyb said:


Something like this?

http://www.tinkerforge.com/

Not exactly cheap, but cheaper than a full Gadgeteer Kit as you can order only the components you need. The main dev platform for their software is Linux and its Open Source.

kyb (not related to TinkerForge, but I will try some stuff in combination with a Pi)


Oooo – that looks cool

The raspi has been noted on their forrms at http://www.tinkerunity.org/for.....144.0.html

I've registered and made a request for some info...

I'm almost tempted to order a board and a few bits…
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Re: What chance the Raspi against the might of Microsoft

Wed Mar 28, 2012 3:57 pm

morphy_richards said:


Haven"t seen gadgeteer report yet but I assume its some sort of processor with pre assembled boards which seems kind of limited in many respects in comparison to sticking your own components into breadboard via gpio or gert.

Ie. You can only produce a gadget if MS have produced a prefab board that will allow that gadget to be built ... Or have I got the wrong end of the stick? Still seems horribly sanitized either way.


Yes, Gadgeteer is as you describe; just another variant of similar 'ready to connect together' systems which already exist in various forms.

Whether that's 'horribly sanitized' or exactly what schools are looking for depends on ones viewpoint and how they'll be used. After all it doesn't matter what the product is so much as is it what the customer wants. What appears to be somewhat limiting in 'take this, connect here' can be an advantage over greater flexibility; why complicate things if you only need simplicity ?

From the "Open" claims of Gadgeteer I would expect it to be possible to use breadboard rather than pre-built sensor boards if preferred but I don't know. It seems primarily aimed at the 'buy this, it's got all you'll need' market which is often what schools want.

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Re: What chance the Raspi against the might of Microsoft

Wed Mar 28, 2012 6:28 pm

hippy said:

Yes, Gadgeteer is as you describe; just another variant of similar 'ready to connect together' systems which already exist in various forms.
Whether that's 'horribly sanitized' or exactly what schools are looking for depends on ones viewpoint and how they'll be used.


I can see I might be looking at this in the wrong way on two fronts. Firstly, in spite of the fact that I am a secret .net fan I all too easily jump on the MS bashing bandwagon. I suppose, grudgingly, I have to give it to MIcrosoft.

Back in the early noughties when it first appeared and I was barely in my twenties, just out of uni, unemployed and I wanted to teach myself about Flash and Actionscripting. The price of a license for Flash was astronomical. That didnt stop me for a moment though and - I'm running the risk here of the ACTA police knocking down my door, I 'obtained' a copy of Flash through 'other' methods.

Microsoft on the other hand have provided their (again I have to say this grudgingly) really rather good .net framework as well as lite versions of their IDE for free! Thus circumnavigating people criminalising themselves just because they want to learn!

Good business and good for society in general. Well done Microsoft! (bah humbug)

Secondly:-

I'm responsible for the teaching (soon to be rebooted - how exciting) of ICT at a secondary school. I do have a personal interest in the nitty gritty bits of computers and hardware. Until very recently I used to think that no other device in education could match the "user port" that was tucked away under the keyboard of a BBC micro. I remember jabbing bits of wire into it and into a breadboard and lunchtime walks to Maplin to buy stepper motors and opto-isolators with my lunch money so that I could try to build doomed never to quite work robot projects ... ahhh ...

So, looking at this modular electronics kit from Microsft I felt a bit dismayed that, in essence, all you will be making is people who cant actually do electronics, they are just yet more consumers of something that is 'sanitized' and quite high level. I dont want students who give up if the "Acme-Bat Alphabet Soup Bubble Sorter Board" doesnt exist, I want them to go out and make their own instead ... But ...

I have got the audience all wrong!

When I think about going into partnership with the technology department to make robots or central locking systems for homes etc etc I am thinking of kids who are 12 years old and above, Where (generally speaking) they just about have the maturity to handle sticking resisitors into breadboard and doing all kinds of funky things.

What I am not considering is primary education. Given that every year I am partly responsible for "transition" from primary to secondary, I need to work with our 'feeder primaries'. At no point would I consider giving a seven year old a germanium filled tiny transistor, just about small enough to be swallowed and cause goodness knows what damage... I need some sort of prefabricated, sanitized module in a nice safe housing. Something a bit like this gadgeteer or Tinkerforge stuff, in fact.

So, actually, putting aside my long standing dislike of the big bad monopoly Microsoft (who arent really a monopoly anymore and I suppose (grudgingly) are pluckily fighting their corner) this kind of thing is actually quite a good idea. Generally speaking, I suppose.

(how much did you say it costs again?)

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Re: What chance the Raspi against the might of Microsoft

Wed Mar 28, 2012 7:06 pm

Everyone seems intersted int the gadgets and missed that MS have been asked to set the GCSE questions. So how many questions will be outside MS products?

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