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Eben Upton on BBC Radio 4 "The Life Scientific"

Posted: Tue Jan 09, 2018 8:05 pm
by Paul Webster
Will be on 16th Jan. Interview by Professor Jim Al-Khalili
Series has been running for a few years.

"Eben Upton on Raspberry Pi

When Eben Upton was in his twenties, he wanted to get children thinking about how computers think, to boost the number of people applying to read computer science at university. He dreamt of putting a chip in every classroom. The result was Raspberry Pi, a tiny gadget, little bigger than a credit card, that can be hooked up to any keyboard and monitor, to create a programmable PC. And it's cheap. Raspberry Pi Zero, sticker price just £5, was given away free with a computer magazine in 2015. Eben tells Jim how it all began, in his loft with soldering irons and post it notes, and how, by ruthlessly pursuing a philanthropic goal he became CEO of a highly successful business enterprise."

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b09ly60f

Re: Eben Upton on BBC Radio 4 "The Life Scientific"

Posted: Mon Jan 15, 2018 2:41 pm
by B.Goode
Just a timely reminder that this radio programme will be broadcast in the UK at 0900 am GMT tomorrow, Tuesday 16th January 2018.

Re: Eben Upton on BBC Radio 4 "The Life Scientific"

Posted: Mon Jan 15, 2018 3:15 pm
by scotty101
Or available on the podcast any time afterwards.

Re: Eben Upton on BBC Radio 4 "The Life Scientific"

Posted: Mon Jan 15, 2018 4:23 pm
by k-pi
I have it set to record - just have to remember to switch on the TV tomorrow morning. :D

Re: Eben Upton on BBC Radio 4 "The Life Scientific"

Posted: Mon Jan 15, 2018 6:18 pm
by Burngate
Irritating - my recorder won't record radio channels!

Re: Eben Upton on BBC Radio 4 "The Life Scientific"

Posted: Mon Jan 15, 2018 6:22 pm
by W. H. Heydt
Burngate wrote:
Mon Jan 15, 2018 6:18 pm
Irritating - my recorder won't record radio channels!
But will your Pi?

(I'm going to have to wait for the podcast, if I can get it to play. The initial airing will be at 1AM in my timezone.)

Re: Eben Upton on BBC Radio 4 "The Life Scientific"

Posted: Tue Jan 16, 2018 9:48 am
by Burngate
Interesting interview.

I liked his comment that he loathed de-bugging. I must be odd - the joy at finally finding that obscure and irritating, possibly silly, error is akin to ... well, insert your own simile

One thing he didn't mention was how he came to choose the Broadcom chip. But maybe there wasn't time to include that sort of thing.

Re: Eben Upton on BBC Radio 4 "The Life Scientific"

Posted: Tue Jan 16, 2018 10:04 am
by jamesh
A number of historical things missed out, but time was limited. Interesting nevertheless!

Our long time contributor PeterO gets a mention!

Re: Eben Upton on BBC Radio 4 "The Life Scientific"

Posted: Tue Jan 16, 2018 10:20 am
by jahboater
Burngate wrote:
Tue Jan 16, 2018 9:48 am
One thing he didn't mention was how he came to choose the Broadcom chip.
Because he worked for Broadcom.

Re: Eben Upton on BBC Radio 4 "The Life Scientific"

Posted: Tue Jan 16, 2018 11:25 am
by hippy
Eben tells Jim ... how, by ruthlessly pursuing a philanthropic goal he became CEO of a highly successful business enterprise."
There are still a lot of people I meet who don't realise quite how big the PI 'empire' has become, still think it's 'a couple of nerds running a charity on a shoe string' with no idea of the huge amount of money involved.

Re: Eben Upton on BBC Radio 4 "The Life Scientific"

Posted: Tue Jan 16, 2018 11:32 am
by Mortimer
Now he is a celeb', how long before we see him on 'Strictly'?

Re: Eben Upton on BBC Radio 4 "The Life Scientific"

Posted: Tue Jan 16, 2018 11:36 am
by jamesh
hippy wrote:
Tue Jan 16, 2018 11:25 am
Eben tells Jim ... how, by ruthlessly pursuing a philanthropic goal he became CEO of a highly successful business enterprise."
There are still a lot of people I meet who don't realise quite how big the PI 'empire' has become, still think it's 'a couple of nerds running a charity on a shoe string' with no idea of the huge amount of money involved.
Some bloke called Eben sitting opposite me right now, just told me the sales figures for last year and profits.

Impressive, as in, blimey, THAT MANY??

(Can't give actual figures for reasons).

We sold more Pi's last year than Sinclair sold computers in total! It really is big business. No longer a charity on a shoestring.

Re: Eben Upton on BBC Radio 4 "The Life Scientific"

Posted: Tue Jan 16, 2018 12:45 pm
by k-pi
Basically, a history of the Pi, from the man who made it all possible, but an interesting listen none the less. ;)

Re: Eben Upton on BBC Radio 4 "The Life Scientific"

Posted: Tue Jan 16, 2018 1:43 pm
by PeterO
jamesh wrote:
Tue Jan 16, 2018 10:04 am
A number of historical things missed out, but time was limited. Interesting nevertheless!

Our long time contributor PeterO gets a mention!
8-)
PeterO

Re: Eben Upton on BBC Radio 4 "The Life Scientific"

Posted: Tue Jan 16, 2018 1:57 pm
by Paul Webster
Given there was quite a lot spoken about BBC not wanting to take it on ... I would have asked about BBC micro:bit that came out later and late) and is aimed directly at schools (with a huge giveaway to get it started.
eg was it the success of RPi that dragged BBC back into this arena?

From their site:
"the BBC micro:bit is the BBC's most ambitious education initiative in 30 years, with an ambition to inspire digital creativity and develop a new generation of tech pioneers"

Re: Eben Upton on BBC Radio 4 "The Life Scientific"

Posted: Tue Jan 16, 2018 2:01 pm
by jamesh
Paul Webster wrote:
Tue Jan 16, 2018 1:57 pm
Given there was quite a lot spoken about BBC not wanting to take it on ... I would have asked about BBC micro:bit that came out later and late) and is aimed directly at schools (with a huge giveaway to get it started.
eg was it the success of RPi that dragged BBC back into this arena?

From their site:
"the BBC micro:bit is the BBC's most ambitious education initiative in 30 years, with an ambition to inspire digital creativity and develop a new generation of tech pioneers"
Except the program was about Eben and Raspberry Pi, and nothing to do with the Microbit. As to whether the RPI success kicked that off, I don't believe so, but if Eben walks past, I'll ask him.

Re: Eben Upton on BBC Radio 4 "The Life Scientific"

Posted: Tue Jan 16, 2018 4:10 pm
by hippy
jamesh wrote:
Tue Jan 16, 2018 11:36 am
Some bloke called Eben sitting opposite me right now, just told me the sales figures for last year and profits.

Impressive, as in, blimey, THAT MANY??
I'm pleased it has done well but not surprised. After all I was predicting a million sales of Pi originals and Pi Zeroes when people were refusing to believe such numbers were even remotely likely and laughing at the preposterous ridiculousness of such fanciful predictions :lol:

I imagine there was quite a wad gifted to the Foundation last year. It would be nice to have more detail in the accounts on what exactly that money is then spent on but I guess that's the Foundation's department rather than RPT's.

Re: Eben Upton on BBC Radio 4 "The Life Scientific"

Posted: Tue Jan 16, 2018 4:52 pm
by W. H. Heydt
hippy wrote:
Tue Jan 16, 2018 4:10 pm
jamesh wrote:
Tue Jan 16, 2018 11:36 am
Some bloke called Eben sitting opposite me right now, just told me the sales figures for last year and profits.

Impressive, as in, blimey, THAT MANY??
I'm pleased it has done well but not surprised. After all I was predicting a million sales of Pi originals and Pi Zeroes when people were refusing to believe such numbers were even remotely likely and laughing at the preposterous ridiculousness of such fanciful predictions :lol:

I imagine there was quite a wad gifted to the Foundation last year. It would be nice to have more detail in the accounts on what exactly that money is then spent on but I guess that's the Foundation's department rather than RPT's.
When it's railroad time, it's railroad time. And Eben seems to be Chief Engineer.

The RPF finances are, if I'm not mistaken, a public record in the UK, probably through annual tax reporting. It'll be a summary, but you'd probably go blind if you had to wade through all the details, anyway. (At least, I know I would. I am *not* an accountant and I don't want to be.)

Re: Eben Upton on BBC Radio 4 "The Life Scientific"

Posted: Tue Jan 16, 2018 6:37 pm
by W. H. Heydt
Hey, Eben...a real programmer can write a FORTRAN program in any language.

Re: Eben Upton on BBC Radio 4 "The Life Scientific"

Posted: Tue Jan 16, 2018 10:20 pm
by hippy
W. H. Heydt wrote:
Tue Jan 16, 2018 4:52 pm
The RPF finances are, if I'm not mistaken, a public record in the UK, probably through annual tax reporting.
That's correct, but it's basically (rounded) £17 million in, £10 million spent, total funds at the end of 2016; £14 million.

There's details on how the business costs are arrived at but little on how the Foundation is spending its money on its actual goals, who's getting support, which projects are being funded, etc.

That's not a requirement for the accounts which have to be submitted but it would be nice to know where the money was going. I'm much less interested in knowing 6 members of staff got paid over £120K in 2016, than what good causes are benefiting.

Re: Eben Upton on BBC Radio 4 "The Life Scientific"

Posted: Wed Jan 17, 2018 11:14 am
by Burngate
Burngate wrote:
Tue Jan 16, 2018 9:48 am
One thing he didn't mention was how he came to choose the Broadcom chip. But maybe there wasn't time to include that sort of thing.
jamesh wrote:
Tue Jan 16, 2018 10:04 am
A number of historical things missed out, but time was limited.
Paul Webster wrote:
Tue Jan 16, 2018 1:57 pm
Given there was quite a lot spoken about BBC not wanting to take it on ... I would have asked about BBC micro:bit that came out later ...
If the interview was done in the same manner as we used to do "This is Your Life", etc. (since radio is merely television without the pictures) I would guess the pair rabbited for a couple of hours, and the less interesting bits were chopped out.

Re: Eben Upton on BBC Radio 4 "The Life Scientific"

Posted: Wed Jan 17, 2018 4:40 pm
by W. H. Heydt
Burngate wrote:
Wed Jan 17, 2018 11:14 am
If the interview was done in the same manner as we used to do "This is Your Life", etc. (since radio is merely television without the pictures) I would guess the pair rabbited for a couple of hours, and the less interesting bits were chopped out.
You're probably right. It'd be fun to get ones hands on the rest of it....

Re: Eben Upton on BBC Radio 4 "The Life Scientific"

Posted: Wed Jan 17, 2018 4:49 pm
by RaTTuS
W. H. Heydt wrote:
Tue Jan 16, 2018 4:52 pm

The RPF finances are, if I'm not mistaken, a public record in the UK, probably through annual tax reporting. It'll be a summary, but you'd probably go blind if you had to wade through all the details, anyway. (At least, I know I would. I am *not* an accountant and I don't want to be.)
http://apps.charitycommission.gov.uk/Sh ... ryNumber=0

Re: Eben Upton on BBC Radio 4 "The Life Scientific"

Posted: Thu Jan 18, 2018 1:47 pm
by hippy

Re: Eben Upton on BBC Radio 4 "The Life Scientific"

Posted: Thu Jan 18, 2018 2:06 pm
by jamesh
I wonder who the 120+ earners are. I can guess 4, not sure of the others!

I think the figures will change dramatically for the following year - massive increase in engineering staff, and they ain't cheap.