Borner
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keep it inexpensive

Wed Oct 31, 2012 9:10 am

For me there is a big different between:

1.) which features i would like to have / i need <- which results in a higher price X
2.) the other view is: fix price ($35), and what can i realize with the buget? Try to get the best.

The raspberry pi world seams think the 2nd way and i hope, they will never change this point of view.
Because of 2 reasons:
1.) less price results in an low threshold which have to be exceed in the decision if someone buy (or if someone can buy) this device or not.
2.) small technical resources promote/support the knowledge in programing applications. Think of the ATARI 2600 gaming console. The programmers had to work with 128 bytes (Bytes, not Kilobytes) RAM and 2kBytes, later 4 kBytes of storage. This is the "art of programming". You will never learn that, if resources doesn't matter.

W. H. Heydt
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Re: keep it inexpensive

Wed Oct 31, 2012 6:09 pm

Borner wrote:For me there is a big different between:

1.) which features i would like to have / i need <- which results in a higher price X
2.) the other view is: fix price ($35), and what can i realize with the buget? Try to get the best.

The raspberry pi world seams think the 2nd way and i hope, they will never change this point of view.
Because of 2 reasons:
1.) less price results in an low threshold which have to be exceed in the decision if someone buy (or if someone can buy) this device or not.
2.) small technical resources promote/support the knowledge in programing applications
So far as I can tell (from the outside....WAY outside) the Foundation is wedded to approach #2, for the Raspberry Pi. The only changes I could see them making at this point would be improvements without functional (from the applications programming/hardware hacking perspective). These would be things like improved power regulators or *possibly* a better LAN chip or better SD card holder, but these changes would only happen if the retail price of the Pi can be held where it is. Of course, as hardware develops, there would be possibilities like a faster version of the BCM2835.

Now I put it as "for the Pi" because the Foundation could have other tricks up their collective sleeves. We know that a camera module for the Pi is in the work, for instance. As the number of Pis in the wild grows, one could foresee some other machines to work with the Pi or extend the Pi. The Pi is more than adequate at this point for elementary schools and children (US pattern...grades K to 6 or 8, depending on where in the US) and perhaps into high school (grades 9 to 12). At the college level--should the Foundation even wish to go there--a "beefier" machine might be considered because larger projects could be undertaken and budgets would be correspondingly looser.

Thus, I could see two potential directions. One is what I've called "Pi server"...basically a Pi with a faster, possibly dual- or quad-core processor, more memory (1GB to 4GB), and a SATA connector. The other direction could just be a "Pi on steroids"--1GB to 2GB memory, 1.5+GHz clock.

Mind you, I don't *expect* the Foundation to do either of those. The simple existence--and wild popularity--of the Pi appears likely to induce someone else to try to do one or both of those (and that appears to be happening).

...
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Re: keep it inexpensive

Wed Oct 31, 2012 9:28 pm

W. H. Heydt wrote:Thus, I could see two potential directions. One is what I've called "Pi server"...basically a Pi with a faster, possibly dual- or quad-core processor, more memory (1GB to 4GB), and a SATA connector. The other direction could just be a "Pi on steroids"--1GB to 2GB memory, 1.5+GHz clock.

Mind you, I don't *expect* the Foundation to do either of those. The simple existence--and wild popularity--of the Pi appears likely to induce someone else to try to do one or both of those (and that appears to be happening).
But if others succeed and the Foundation doesn't update their hardware in order to compete the Pi will be rendered irrelevant.

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Lob0426
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Re: Ideas for the next Raspberry

Wed Oct 31, 2012 11:26 pm

@w. H. Heydt:
Just last month or so we were discussing a board revision, And we were right. We were discussing a Larger Memory Package, we were right again. We thought these would come about next spring, we were wrong. So who knows what they have next.

I will guess the BCM11311 on a board with 512MB to 1GB, 10/100 Ethernet, improved sound, improved USB, more GPIO, no LAN9512, and improved power scheme. By next Fall.

WHY?:
If the foundation had to waste their effort to produce and sell their boards, they would have not even made it to revision 2.0 yet. Their partners have taken quite a bit of pressure off of them. Not all, but a lot. Their partners have experienced a couple of surges in sales. The latest is the huge demand for the 512MB board. There is no real possibility that this will happen again, with say a 1GB board. It just will not be done within the current board specs and the $25 or $35 price range. I think their partners will help push for more improvements in the Raspberry Pi series. RS has not been in a position to benefit much so far, but Farnell is doing very well. Unfortunately I think this state will continue for a while. RS just has not and probably will continue to stay at the back of the pack. Farnell went fom a supplier to a manufacturer very easily.

@...:
The foundation always has hoped that the Raspberry Pi would spawn more boards in a similar price range. Until they took on partners, they fully intended to release all of the details, this would have opened the door to clones. I do not know where those plans stand now!
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Re: keep it inexpensive

Thu Nov 01, 2012 12:20 am

... wrote:
W. H. Heydt wrote:Thus, I could see two potential directions. One is what I've called "Pi server"...basically a Pi with a faster, possibly dual- or quad-core processor, more memory (1GB to 4GB), and a SATA connector. The other direction could just be a "Pi on steroids"--1GB to 2GB memory, 1.5+GHz clock.

Mind you, I don't *expect* the Foundation to do either of those. The simple existence--and wild popularity--of the Pi appears likely to induce someone else to try to do one or both of those (and that appears to be happening).
But if others succeed and the Foundation doesn't update their hardware in order to compete the Pi will be rendered irrelevant.
That's not necessarily true. As I noted, it is entirely possible to have other boards that work *with* the Pi rather than as a *replacement* for the Pi. Even something with as little extra resources as the cubieboard (1GB memory, SATA port) costs nearly half again as much as the Pi and the people developing have gone the crowd sourcing route to fund...1000 boards. (Compare that to the Foundation where they dug into their own pockets far enough to finance 10,000 boards.) So far, the cubieboard folks are straining to reach 10% of the initial production run that the Pi managed. That doesn't argue very well that those extra specs (and extra money) are going to displace the Pi.

On top of that, I don't see anyone else out there hitting the $35 price point.

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Re: Ideas for the next Raspberry

Thu Nov 01, 2012 12:35 am

Lob0426 wrote:@w. H. Heydt:
Just last month or so we were discussing a board revision, And we were right. We were discussing a Larger Memory Package, we were right again. We thought these would come about next spring, we were wrong. So who knows what they have next.
I seem to recall that there was discussion around 512MB last Spring...call it 6 months ago. Yes, more memory arrived 6 months to a year (or more) before I expected it to, but the principle of when it would arrive was sound: When it could be used without impacting the final price.
I will guess the BCM11311 on a board with 512MB to 1GB, 10/100 Ethernet, improved sound, improved USB, more GPIO, no LAN9512, and improved power scheme. By next Fall.
For that you are looking at a fundamental board redesign, complete with new FCC/CE testing. It would also--as others have noted--fragment the support community.

Personally, given the way ICs go, I think a die shrink of the BCM2835 would be a more likely route over the next year or so. That would probably permit a higher clock speed by default and possibly lower power as well.

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Re: Ideas for the next Raspberry

Thu Nov 01, 2012 2:47 am

@W. H. Heydt:
A total board re-design definitely. But it would not fragment the community as is thought.

Point one: It is also a VideoCoreIV GPU. So the work done, will not have to be redone there. It is done or being done.

Point two: The Operating Systems would need to be re-compiled, to include the V7 instructions. But they would also be basically the same OS's that they are now. I also believe this would bring in other OS's such as Ubuntu. It might have an impact on other OS's such as RISCOS. It might also help some such as Android!

These two points mean that the work carried out so far would not go to waste. This was discussed a while back also and these points were brought up then.

And there are several advances in it even if you discount the addition of the 1GHz dual core (which I really do not think it needs). Namely the USB has been designed to be a host, so it should not have the problems the BCM2835 is having. It has a newer ARM core design, that will be faster even at the same speed. Supports newer memory packages that will be cheaper than the older memory types. I believe it has Ethernet built-in. This means a new design would be able to leave out the second most expensive component on the board. Saving space for the other goodies we would like to see.

I believe the "Community" will embrace a new board just as it has the 512MB. There will be detractors, but it will be overall a good thing. I think the community would end up with more avenues in software. The newer instructions would open up many more packages for us to install and to use.

A "Die Shrink" would be a welcome advance. If that was done then I believe they would move the ARM up to a newer core. I would also hope that they would include the USB fixes that would be open to them at that time. I just do not know that It would be worth Broadcoms time, to shrink the BCM2835, rather than support a move to a newer package. I also do not know that this would not cause a redesign in and of itself. It probably would not.

@...: I have a Panda Board. It does not cause me to ignore my RasPii In fact I use the RasPii more. The Community, that has answers for my questions, is much better for the RasPi than it is for the Panda Board. The cubieboard also has a lack of community. Most of these companies want to sell boards and make money. They consider the time it takes to support a "Community" a waste of their time and money. That Community is a resource that you cannot find in a datasheet or a manual!
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Re: keep it inexpensive

Thu Nov 01, 2012 3:17 am

W. H. Heydt wrote:
... wrote:
W. H. Heydt wrote:Thus, I could see two potential directions. One is what I've called "Pi server"...basically a Pi with a faster, possibly dual- or quad-core processor, more memory (1GB to 4GB), and a SATA connector. The other direction could just be a "Pi on steroids"--1GB to 2GB memory, 1.5+GHz clock.

Mind you, I don't *expect* the Foundation to do either of those. The simple existence--and wild popularity--of the Pi appears likely to induce someone else to try to do one or both of those (and that appears to be happening).
But if others succeed and the Foundation doesn't update their hardware in order to compete the Pi will be rendered irrelevant.
That's not necessarily true. As I noted, it is entirely possible to have other boards that work *with* the Pi rather than as a *replacement* for the Pi. Even something with as little extra resources as the cubieboard (1GB memory, SATA port) costs nearly half again as much as the Pi...
For now. They haven't started mass production of the Cubieboard yet. If they reach that point and it reduces their per board costs to the point where they can afford to drop the price to match the Pi's then they might replace it. I hope they do.

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Re: keep it inexpensive

Thu Nov 01, 2012 4:54 am

... wrote: For now. They haven't started mass production of the Cubieboard yet. If they reach that point and it reduces their per board costs to the point where they can afford to drop the price to match the Pi's then they might replace it. I hope they do.
That does strike to the heart of the matter....*will* they succeed in getting into a high enough production rate to achieve economies of scale? Most small business fail in the first couple of years, so figure that probably 80% of the small companies that try to compete on very small, very cheap computers will disappear within a year or two. How sure are we that we can pick the winners from the losers?

Since the Pi has achieved large scale production (and, given the continuing order backlogs *before* truly mass use starts...not actually large *enough* production), it will likely be a survivor.

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Re: Ideas for the next Raspberry

Thu Nov 01, 2012 4:58 am

@...:
I have to side with W. H. Heydt on this.

The Cubieboard in the 512MB version is $45. The 1GB board is $49. Though these prices do not seem to outrageous to us, how about if you were buying a hundred of them for your school. No I think the idea that there will be boards on the market as supplemental developments is right.

Raspberry Pi gets the kudos for opening up the under $50 boards, in a market that was selling 200MHz 16Kb devolpment boards for $150. Probably the next best selling boards in the price range are arduino's, everything else is much much more expensive. The RasPi has power levels that far surpass arduinos.

The Raspberry Pi is proving that such a board, with relatively low performance specs(compared to the average PC), can be a profitable product.

There is plenty of room in the market for all comers. After the release of the 512MB board there is again tens of thousands of back orders out there. It would be a very good time for cubieboard, or others, to hit the market!
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Re: Ideas for the next Raspberry

Thu Nov 01, 2012 9:16 am

Lob0426 wrote:@...:
I have to side with W. H. Heydt on this.

The Cubieboard in the 512MB version is $45. The 1GB board is $49. Though these prices do not seem to outrageous to us, how about if you were buying a hundred of them for your school.
How many organisations have actually done this though? A huge amount of Pi's have been sold but it remains to be seen how well it will do in the education sector.

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Re: Ideas for the next Raspberry

Thu Nov 01, 2012 12:25 pm

Well as everyone's having a go so shall I. I vote for keeping the raspi as it is, for at least a few years. It already does exactly what it was designed to do, at the right price. People asking for more would be better served by a mini-PC of some sort.

Wanderlei
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Re: Ideas for the next Raspberry

Thu Nov 01, 2012 12:40 pm

I want one that makes me coffee and gives me blowjobs.

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Re: Ideas for the next Raspberry

Thu Nov 01, 2012 12:46 pm

Wanderlei wrote:I want one that makes me coffee and gives me blowjobs.
That is a completely different form of laptop and runs different software, and its hardware may not always be hard...
Just another techie on the net - For GPIO boards see http:///www.facebook.com/pcservicesreading
or http://www.pcserviceselectronics.co.uk/pi/

Ravenous
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Re: Ideas for the next Raspberry

Thu Nov 01, 2012 12:48 pm

Firmware is the better quality stuff really, if you can get it.

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Re: Ideas for the next Raspberry

Thu Nov 01, 2012 2:47 pm

Firmware for that type of laptop is normally called a ring on the finger :D
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or http://www.pcserviceselectronics.co.uk/pi/

...
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Re: Ideas for the next Raspberry

Thu Nov 01, 2012 11:54 pm

Wanderlei wrote:I want one that makes me coffee and gives me blowjobs.
I want one that has fully functional USB and Ethernet and which doesn't corrupt the SD card under certain conditions.

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Lob0426
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Re: Ideas for the next Raspberry

Fri Nov 02, 2012 3:22 am

... wrote:
Lob0426 wrote:@...:
I have to side with W. H. Heydt on this.

The Cubieboard in the 512MB version is $45. The 1GB board is $49. Though these prices do not seem to outrageous to us, how about if you were buying a hundred of them for your school.
How many organisations have actually done this though? A huge amount of Pi's have been sold but it remains to be seen how well it will do in the education sector.
Where is the OLPC at right now? The $100 education solution. There has been nowhere near the interest in it as is being shown for the Raspberry Pi. Why? OLPC does not have the multi-media capabilities of the RasPi. It is already packaged so it is not as flexible. You do not hear much about them, but 2.4 million have been delivered as of 2011. Their full scale production started in 2007. Of course its target was for the third world. The Raspberry Pi Foundation is aiming at all education not just the third world. they have not been able to meet their $100 price point.

The RasPi is at 500,00 in its first 5 months of production. It has wide interest beyond its educatrional goals. More powerfull than the competing products except the Classmate PC by intel.

I think it will do just fine.
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Re: Ideas for the next Raspberry

Fri Nov 02, 2012 3:32 am

Lob0426 wrote:The RasPi is at 500,00 in its first 5 months of production. It has wide interest beyond its educatrional goals.
It seems to me that the only real interest the Pi has received is beyond it's educational goals, despite all the "teaching kids" hype. I don't think schools have shown that much interest in them at all.

Wanderlei
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Re: Ideas for the next Raspberry

Fri Nov 02, 2012 4:19 am

techpaul wrote:
Wanderlei wrote:I want one that makes me coffee and gives me blowjobs.
That is a completely different form of laptop and runs different software, and its hardware may not always be hard...
I have one of those but it has annoying glitch where it nags all the time and keeps getting 'head ache' errors. I thought mine was broken but apparently its pretty normal.

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Lob0426
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Re: Ideas for the next Raspberry

Fri Nov 02, 2012 5:36 am

... wrote:
Lob0426 wrote:The RasPi is at 500,00 in its first 5 months of production. It has wide interest beyond its educatrional goals.
It seems to me that the only real interest the Pi has received is beyond it's educational goals, despite all the "teaching kids" hype. I don't think schools have shown that much interest in them at all.
There have been sales to a number of educators so far. You would have to read more widely in the forums, but they are there.

You do not seem to be much of a fan of the Raspberry Pi. Only a few posts, some of them negative and the rest asking for $200 worth of features at a $35 price.

There are a number of PC's systems that have all the features you want and more at the Local Wal-Mart. They are under $300, but are not very impressive for PC's. But they are feature rich and much faster than a Raspberry Pi. They will not fit in your pocket! I am sure you have those same type of retailers in your country also. That is not the aim of the Foundation.


http://www.raspberrypi.org/phpBB3/viewt ... ls#p187767

http://www.raspberrypi.org/phpBB3/viewt ... om#p177879

http://www.raspberrypi.org/phpBB3/viewt ... om#p178578

http://www.raspberrypi.org/phpBB3/viewt ... om#p159628

I hope you do find an ARM based board you will be happy with. Maybe the cubieboard!
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Re: Ideas for the next Raspberry

Fri Nov 02, 2012 6:33 am

Lob0426 wrote:
... wrote:
Lob0426 wrote:The RasPi is at 500,00 in its first 5 months of production. It has wide interest beyond its educatrional goals.
It seems to me that the only real interest the Pi has received is beyond it's educational goals, despite all the "teaching kids" hype. I don't think schools have shown that much interest in them at all.
There have been sales to a number of educators so far. You would have to read more widely in the forums, but they are there.
Yes, but they are a drop in the ocean. If the upcoming version of the Pi which is aimed specifically at schools only sells as well to schools as the current models have then it would have to be considered a failure.
You do not seem to be much of a fan of the Raspberry Pi. Only a few posts, some of them negative and the rest asking for $200 worth of features at a $35 price.
Huh? What features have I asked for apart from working USB, Ethernet and SD card? You think those are $200 worth of features? I'm just so sick of all the hype surrounding the Raspberry Pi that the actual hardware itself doesn't justify. This is mainly in regards to the Pi's reliability issues, not really the performance/speed ones which I don't think are a particularly pressing issue at the moment.

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Re: Ideas for the next Raspberry

Fri Nov 02, 2012 7:21 am

Sorry @...:
Reading too darn many posts. That was not you asking for multi-core, 1.5GHz, 2GB memory, WiFi, Bluetooth plus SATA.
It was not even this thread. :oops:

Though @W. H. Heydt did bring something close up.

The real issue with USB lies in the BCM2835 itself. It was designed to hook to a computer, not be the computer. They are working on "work arounds" for it. They have cured many of the problems already. I have all USB 2.0 devices and really do not have issues with the USB at all. Wifi works, keyboard/mouse work, USB HDD works and the USB hubs I have tried work. There seems to be issues with USB sound cards, USB camera's and mixing USB 1.1 with USB 2.0 devices. There are some commands that can be added to config.txt that help with those issues.

All the "Hype" is that there is nothing on the market currently, that is comparable, in the same price range. The other thing to remember is that the device was designed for a purpose. It is being used for so much more. If it was being used for "only" education rather than everything else it is doing, it would not be showing most of the problems that you mentioned.

As I have said;
I believe there will be a redesign of the Raspberry PI in the future.
I believe it will use a different SoC than the BCM2835.
I do not believe it will be a "designed only for RasPi" SoC. It will be something already available.
It will have more features. The foundation has a lot more info about that now, than it had.
It will not have USB 3.0, WiFi, Bluetooth, SATA or a single edge connector.

What I would like to see for the education market is an ARM device buried in a keyboard with at least two USB ports and an Ethernet port, bundled with the proper power supply. Hook it to a T.V. or monitor and get to work. Not have to put a bunch of components together to get a working system.

Design it from the beginning as a keyboard system. I believe it could be done for under $60 if it was designed this way. It would, Overall, be cheaper to buy than individual components. The "use what is laying around" was a great idea but it really is not as simple as it seems to be!
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Re: Ideas for the next Raspberry

Fri Nov 02, 2012 9:24 am

Lob0426 wrote:The real issue with USB lies in the BCM2835 itself. It was designed to hook to a computer, not be the computer.
This isn't the first time I've heard this myth. The Synopsys controller present in the BCM2835 is a USB On-The-Go controller which means it is supposed to be able to function as both a host and as a peripheral. It has been successfully used as a peripheral but with much less success as a host. This is partly down to the buggy vendor-supplied drivers, partly down to the hardware's timing requirements that seem to need a real time OS in order to satisfy, i.e. not Linux.
All the "Hype" is that there is nothing on the market currently, that is comparable, in the same price range.
This isn't really true. There are now a number of devices on the market with a similar feature set and price point to the Pi. None of them are direct replacements for the Pi though, other than the Cubieboard, and none of them have the community the Pi currently has.
The other thing to remember is that the device was designed for a purpose. It is being used for so much more. If it was being used for "only" education rather than everything else it is doing, it would not be showing most of the problems that you mentioned.
I don't agree. I think the problems would still exist and would be much less tolerated by teachers and schools than they are by the typical forum poster here.
As I have said;
I believe there will be a redesign of the Raspberry PI in the future.
I believe it will use a different SoC than the BCM2835.
I do not believe it will be a "designed only for RasPi" SoC. It will be something already available.
I'm not sure what you're implying here but the BCM2835 was already available and it was certainly not designed only for the Raspberry Pi! It doesn't appear to have been a very successful SoC though as I know of only one other device which uses it. Which might explain why the Raspberry Pi Foundation got it for the special price they did...
It will have more features. The foundation has a lot more info about that now, than it had.
It will not have USB 3.0, WiFi, Bluetooth, SATA or a single edge connector.
USB 3.0 is really a requirement for any next-gen device. It's already quite common.
What I would like to see for the education market is an ARM device buried in a keyboard with at least two USB ports and an Ethernet port, bundled with the proper power supply. Hook it to a T.V. or monitor and get to work. Not have to put a bunch of components together to get a working system
If the Pi had been designed well we wouldn't have had the problems we have had and to a lesser extent are still having with power supplies, keyboards, mice, webcams, etc.
Design it from the beginning as a keyboard system. I believe it could be done for under $60 if it was designed this way. It would, Overall, be cheaper to buy than individual components. The "use what is laying around" was a great idea but it really is not as simple as it seems to be!
It really should've been as simple as has been claimed. It would've been, had the Pi been designed well.

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Re: Ideas for the next Raspberry

Fri Nov 02, 2012 9:58 am

@ ...
How many organisations have actually done this though? A huge amount of Pi's have been sold but it remains to be seen how well it will do in the education sector.
Have a listen to some of the videos of presentations by Eben Upton. Whilst there is a desire to have schools take up the Pi, it's software and supporting materials by the boat load there is a whole other side to the "education" concept. Get the Pi into kids dens and bed rooms. Give them a toy to play with. Make it cheap enough it does not matter if they lose or break it. Put the possibility of programming under their noses. Give them the chance to become aware that you can program a thing or even aware of what a program might be.

In that way the Pi fills the place previously occupied by C64s, Sinclair Spectrums and such back in the early eighties. At that time there were no computers in school, one would not expect there to be, cheap computing had only just hit the scene, But thousand or millions of kids suddenly had access to programmable things and exposure to what it means to program. Of those hordes, many just playing games, a few were inspired to get into computing or electronics and build the computing landscape we have today.

Sadly 30 years later computing education in schools seems to be still mostly non-existent having been usurped by Windows and Power Point and Word.

I hope the Pi does make it into schools. I'm a bit worried by recent UK government "initiatives" that plan to blow away current ICT in school and replace it with a curriculum designed and run by MicroSoft and FaceBook. They will not stomach the Pi in the class room. MS in particular is pushing Windows 8 there according to the education page on FaceBook. What a disaster.

Be aware also that this is the first run of Pi. Getting the hardware and manufacturing sorted out. The push of Pi + its supporting materials into schools is only just starting as the foundation can now turn it's attention to that task.

Anyway there is a least one gentleman discussing on this forum that is getting Pi's into about 100 schools in South Africa, so things are moving.
Memory in C++ is a leaky abstraction .

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