NateTheGreat922
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PI "obsoletion-resistant"?

Wed Feb 10, 2016 2:48 am

I subscribed to an iTunesU class on programming. The instructions said I should buy the Raspberry Pi to learn. I talked to a bunch of my computer-savy friends and they all said something along the lines of "That hardware is crappy, it will become obsolete in about 3 months, not worth the price". I want to know if the Raspberry software/hardware is "obsoletion-resistant".

ghans
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Re: I need some help...

Wed Feb 10, 2016 7:47 am

The skills you can learn on the Pi transfer to a wide range of devices, even if the Pi becomes obsolete your skills will not.

Furthermore the newest and greatest hardware is useless as learning tool if it has no community or support. There literally dozens of competitors to the
Pi , but none have such a great community , none are backed by a charity whose very mission is computer literacy , and few have a proven track record of running a
sustainable business. They and their boards might vanish or they might simply lose interest in supporting older models.

The foundation actually invests hard cash and manpower into maintaining their software , FREE educational materials and more. The efforts on Epiphany web browser
is only one of many many examples.

You didn't expect an unbiased answer here , did you ? ;)

ghans

EDIT: factual error , Broadcom is sponsoring the work on the VC4
Last edited by ghans on Thu Feb 11, 2016 9:40 am, edited 2 times in total.
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elatllat
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Re: I need some help...

Wed Feb 10, 2016 7:57 am

1) Title your posts properly.
2) There is no need to buy a raspberrypi to learn programming any computer will do.
3) The raspberrypi is about to become obsolete the same way any computer is, the main difference is the raspberrypi is $5 to $100, and normal computers are $70 to $5k.
SBC with 32GB RAM: https://hardkernel.com

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Unanswered: https://www.raspberrypi.org/forums/search.php?search_id=unanswered

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rpdom
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Re: I need some help...

Wed Feb 10, 2016 8:22 am

elatllat wrote:3) The raspberrypi is about to become obsolete the same way any computer is, the main difference is the raspberrypi is $5 to $100, and normal computers are $70 to $5k.
It also depends on your definition of "obsolete". My laptop is well over 10 years old now. It runs Debian Wheezy. I also have another the same age that runs Debian Jessie. Both have about the same specifications as a Pi 2, except they only have a single CPU core. I have no real reason to upgrade either. They do the job. (I'm not a gamer). The only issue I have with them is that neither has a properly supported video chipset, so no accelerated graphics. Video playback stutters at times. Obsolete? Yes, perhaps. Useless? No, not by a long way :)

I'm sure I will still be using my current Pi's and their successors in 10 years from now :-)

(Toshiba Tecra M1 1.6GHz/1GB and IBM Thinkpad T40 1.5GHz/1GB, in case anyone is wondering)

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GTR2Fan
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Re: I need some help...

Wed Feb 10, 2016 8:54 am

NateTheGreat922 wrote:I talked to a bunch of my computer-savy friends and they all said something along the lines of "That hardware is crappy, it will become obsolete in about 3 months, not worth the price".
As a £30 Pi2 Model B has recently replaced my far more powerful tower PC for everything apart from heavy-duty gaming, I'd disagree with your friends and suggest that they've probably never used one. ;)
Pi2B Mini-PC/Media Centre: ARM=1GHz (+3), Core=500MHz, v3d=500MHz, h264=333MHz, RAM=DDR2-1200 (+6/+4/+4+schmoo). Sandisk Ultra HC-I 32GB microSD card on '50=100' OCed slot (42MB/s read) running Raspbian/KODI16, Seagate 3.5" 1.5TB HDD mass storage.

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DougieLawson
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Re: PI "obsoletion-resistant"?

Wed Feb 10, 2016 10:17 pm

NateTheGreat922 wrote:I subscribed to an iTunesU class on programming. The instructions said I should buy the Raspberry Pi to learn. I talked to a bunch of my computer-savy friends and they all said something along the lines of "That hardware is crappy, it will become obsolete in about 3 months, not worth the price". I want to know if the Raspberry software/hardware is "obsoletion-resistant".
What a load of tosh.

The Raspberry is just about to reach it's fourth birthday, how does that make it obsolete?

I think your "computer savvy" friends need a session with a clue stick, an educational Louisville Slugger or a piece of clue by four. They've missed that fact that eight million raspberries are out in the wild and each & every one has enabled it's owner to learn at least one new trick. The raspberry pi the most exciting development in personal computing for forty years. We've stopped breeding end users and we're back to breeding folks who might just have a clue about how computers work and what they're capable of doing. Those folks have been missing or hiding in the wilderness for the last twenty years.
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Re: PI "obsoletion-resistant"?

Thu Feb 11, 2016 9:49 am

DougieLawson wrote:
NateTheGreat922 wrote:I subscribed to an iTunesU class on programming. The instructions said I should buy the Raspberry Pi to learn. I talked to a bunch of my computer-savy friends and they all said something along the lines of "That hardware is crappy, it will become obsolete in about 3 months, not worth the price". I want to know if the Raspberry software/hardware is "obsoletion-resistant".
What a load of tosh.

The Raspberry is just about to reach it's fourth birthday, how does that make it obsolete?

I think your "computer savvy" friends need a session with a clue stick, an educational Louisville Slugger or a piece of clue by four. They've missed that fact that eight million raspberries are out in the wild and each & every one has enabled it's owner to learn at least one new trick. The raspberry pi the most exciting development in personal computing for forty years. We've stopped breeding end users and we're back to breeding folks who might just have a clue about how computers work and what they're capable of doing. Those folks have been missing or hiding in the wilderness for the last twenty years.
I've got a Louisville Slugger. Just sayin'.
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GTR2Fan
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Re: PI "obsoletion-resistant"?

Thu Feb 11, 2016 9:54 am

DougieLawson wrote:...or a piece of clue by four.
That just triggered a nasal coffee expulsion. :lol:
Pi2B Mini-PC/Media Centre: ARM=1GHz (+3), Core=500MHz, v3d=500MHz, h264=333MHz, RAM=DDR2-1200 (+6/+4/+4+schmoo). Sandisk Ultra HC-I 32GB microSD card on '50=100' OCed slot (42MB/s read) running Raspbian/KODI16, Seagate 3.5" 1.5TB HDD mass storage.

Heater
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Re: PI "obsoletion-resistant"?

Thu Feb 11, 2016 10:21 am

NateTheGreat922,

Your "computer-savy" friends appear to be anything but computer savy.
That hardware is crappy
The Pi is not crappy. It's very well constructed. Reliable. Cheap. There have been over 6 million of them sold over four years or so. Do you really think that would happen if it was "crappy". Don't you think this forum and all the worlds blogs would be full of horror stories if it was.

Anecdote: I have four Pi here. Two very early ones from the beginning and two new ones including a Pi 2. They all work as advertised. The Pi 2 running GPU accellerated OpenGL is pretty amazing and will only improve as the GL driver gets perfected.

Perhaps they meant it's processor is not some latest and greatest ARM version. Well so what? It is plenty capable for the intended task and has a very valuable asset, the tremendous amount of support here and else where.

Perhaps they could state what exactly they think is wrong with it rather than some vague hand waving "it's crappy" statement.
...it will become obsolete in about 3 months
Do they imagine that a machine that has been selling in ever increasing numbers over four years is about to become obsolete in 3 months? Experience so far is that the Pi has been evolving and improving over that time. It's not going away any time soon.

But what if it did? This is a possibility for anything you can buy. So what? It could go out of production the day after you buy it. You still have a great device in your hands. It will still work. It is still a bargain.

But even in the worst case anything you learn with the Pi, as long as it's not Windows IoT or RiscOS will be transferable to many other machines if need be. Other ARM boards, or PC's or whatever.
...not worth the price
That's daft. There are few similar machines that match the price vs performance/capabilities of the Pi. Recently there has been a rash of cheap SBC coming available. Which is great and all. But as a you are just starting out I would suggest sticking with a known working system, that has very good software support and heaps of documentation and most importantly a huge community following willing to help out.

By all means try your luck with alternatives, but expect hassle and pain when you do.

Get the Pi.

Make some new friends in the Pi community. They are really computer savy :)

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Re: PI "obsoletion-resistant"?

Thu Feb 11, 2016 11:05 am

Also note, that the Pi Foundations has always ensure upwards compatibility of their devices, so each time a new model comes up, you should be able to use your experience (and code!) from earlier models with no further effort. The advantage of this shouldn't be underestimated.
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Re: PI "obsoletion-resistant"?

Thu Feb 11, 2016 11:27 am

Definately not obsoletion-prone. My pi powered troll detector is pinging at 70 ribs per quantile!

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Re: PI "obsoletion-resistant"?

Thu Feb 11, 2016 3:34 pm

Because this is an issue of perspective, I want to start with giving my background. I'm a retired programmer. Most of my career was spent working on mainframes. Some of it was on minicomputers. I started building my own PCs in the mid-1980s. I think I know about "obsolete".

So...is (or can be) the Pi obsolete? Yes, of course it can be. Indeed, it *is* obsolete. That doesn't mean that it isn't *useful* nor that it can't do the sorts of tasks for which it has been designed. What is more, while your latest and greatest $3000 to $5000 (or more!) desktop machine fades into the inability to do it's assigned tasks, the PI (like the DC-3) will keep plodding along doing what it has always down.

In short, your friends don't really understand either obsolescence or value for money. I will happily keep my--upwards of 20--Pis as they gracefully operate into the future.

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Re: PI "obsoletion-resistant"?

Thu Feb 11, 2016 4:21 pm

obsolete:

adjective
1.
no longer produced or used; out of date.
...
verb (For Americans only)
1.
cause (a product or idea) to become obsolete by replacing it with something new.


This is 2016. Technology moves faster than it has ever done. Everything is "obsolete" the minute you get it home.

When you are starting out learning to program the last thing you want is you software and hardware platform disappearing or changing under you feet. What you want is something that stable for some time. Like years. That has the great side effect of nurturing a great deal of support from a large user community.

What you want, therefore, is obsolete. You don't want the newest shiniest things that pops up today and is gone tomorrow.

This stability is what the Pi offers. And demonstrably delivers.

Those "computer savy" friends may well be knowledgeable experts. That's fine, they can take whatever comes an run with it.

They are not savy as to your problem of learning to program. Or to what the Pi is and has to offer.

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Re: PI "obsoletion-resistant"?

Thu Feb 11, 2016 4:31 pm

There are definitely issues that impede the learning:
lack of diagrams for some of the hardware
unavailability of source code and interface info on the GPU
lack of descriptions for functions and ioctls in the drivers
and on and on
That said, I have not seen anything that gives you a more well-rounded opportunity to explore all aspects of computing. And nothing I have seen comes anywhere close to the community support that is available here.
So as for the difficulties, maybe that's just the way it is so get used to it.
Technology advances. If you want "obsoletion-resistant" pick up a rock.

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Re: PI "obsoletion-resistant"?

Thu Feb 11, 2016 4:58 pm

experix,
If you want "obsoletion-resistant" pick up a rock.
I love it. Stone Henge is still up and running, mostly, after four or five thousand years !

Whilst we may look forward to the day the all details of the hardware and software we use are open for inspection I don't think any of those things you listed impede learning for the intended audience of the Pi or millions of it's other users.

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Re: PI "obsoletion-resistant"?

Thu Feb 11, 2016 5:07 pm

My car is eight years old. The same model now comes with:
  • Bluetooth and USB to the media system
  • Display of phone screen on media system
  • Sending vehicle data to a phone/tablet over WiFi
  • Driver fatigue sensing and alert
  • Post-collision braking and signalling
  • Automatically dipping headlights
  • Keyless entry and start
  • Normal, Sport and Eco modes.
My car still gets me from A to B the same as it always did. It's not suddenly obsolete just because something better has come along. It still has dual-zone air con and one of the best sounding audio systems I've heard.

All of the Raspberry Pi computers all run the same software that any earlier models ran. As time goes by you may find that more recent applications are targetted to newer models, but that's true for all computers and more true for some than for the Pi.

So to answer your question, yes; the Pi is obsoletion-resistant.
Heater wrote:Whilst we may look forward to the day the all details of the hardware and software we use are open for inspection I don't think any of those things you listed impede learning for the intended audience of the Pi or millions of it's other users.
+1
The listed issues are issues for 99%+ of computers and they are only of interest to users advanced beyond undergraduate degree level. Some people like to mess with that stuff and teach themselves about it; most people don't.

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Re: PI "obsoletion-resistant"?

Thu Feb 11, 2016 5:15 pm

experix wrote:There are definitely issues that impede the learning:
lack of diagrams for some of the hardware
unavailability of source code and interface info on the GPU
lack of descriptions for functions and ioctls in the drivers
and on and on
I don't think any of those impede the huge majority of learning at all. None of them stop you learning Scratch, C, C++, Python, Assembler, OpenVG, OpenGL, OpenMAX, GPIO programming, Linux kernel development, and a multitude of other things. The ratio of stuff you can learn, to stuff you cannot because of the above, I reckon is above 1000:1, which is insignificant.
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Re: PI "obsoletion-resistant"?

Fri Feb 12, 2016 8:57 am

morphy_richards wrote:Definately not obsoletion-prone. My pi powered troll detector is pinging at 70 ribs per quantile!
I nearly got a nose full of coffee with that one. :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Re: PI "obsoletion-resistant"?

Fri Feb 12, 2016 10:09 am

experix wrote:There are definitely issues that impede the learning:
lack of diagrams for some of the hardware
unavailability of source code and interface info on the GPU
lack of descriptions for functions and ioctls in the drivers
and on and on
...
As I've always said**: if you get to a point where stuff like this is a barrier to learning then our work here is done :)

[**To the guy at the back of Pi talks who asks at the end about things like "binary blobs ... won't you think of the children?" etc. There's always one, even if it is a talk about Scratch in Primary school. (Might even be the same guy.) ]

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Re: PI "obsoletion-resistant"?

Fri Feb 12, 2016 10:40 am

clive wrote:
experix wrote:There are definitely issues that impede the learning:
lack of diagrams for some of the hardware
unavailability of source code and interface info on the GPU
lack of descriptions for functions and ioctls in the drivers
and on and on
...
As I've always said**: if you get to a point where stuff like this is a barrier to learning then our work here is done :)

[**To the guy at the back of Pi talks who asks at the end about things like "binary blobs ... won't you think of the children?" etc. There's always one, even if it is a talk about Scratch in Primary school. (Might even be the same guy.) ]
Probably is the same guy, no-one else has any issues.
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Re: PI "obsoletion-resistant"?

Fri Feb 12, 2016 1:15 pm

jamesh wrote: Probably is the same guy, no-one else has any issues.
Does he look like this guy?
Image

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r3d4
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Re: PI "obsoletion-resistant"?

Fri Feb 12, 2016 1:49 pm

Dont know about you but
i would rather be `that guy` than this **************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************
:roll:
"There's always one" eh
Image
fanoush wrote:
jamesh wrote: Probably is the same guy, no-one else has any issues.
Does he look like this guy?
Looks are unimportant ;) what we NEED to know what car the "issues guy" drives!

closed source deception and air ploution
make the world a better place
Real life is, to most, a long second-best, a perpetual compromise between the ideal and the possible.
-
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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