AlWebb
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Re: The Foundation

Sun Mar 04, 2012 5:06 am

Just can't find anything about the foundation / charity's work - is there a section I am missing? Is it simply about making and selling a cheap computer that hopefully more people can actually afford?

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abishur
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Re: The Foundation

Sun Mar 04, 2012 5:11 am

Check the about us page
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Skygod
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Re: The Foundation

Sun Mar 04, 2012 5:38 am

Abishur said:


Check the about us page



Abishur,

The OP has a point. The homepage blog just looks to be about the device itself now and there's no link in the Top Menu, so I guess this is something that needs to be addressed quickly.

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ds18s20
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Re: The Foundation

Sun Mar 04, 2012 5:40 am

Where can one find your filing with HM Revenue and Customs?

PiOfCube
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Re: The Foundation

Sun Mar 04, 2012 5:45 am

ds18s20 said:


Where can one find your filing with HM Revenue and Customs?



Filings would be with the Charities Commission:

http://www.charity-commission......ryNumber=0
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Skygod
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Re: The Foundation

Sun Mar 04, 2012 5:51 am

This is an excerpt from the Homepage of one of the Trustees :

http://www.cl.cam.ac.uk/~rdm34/raspi/

The Raspberry Pi Foundation is a UK registered charity that aims to promote the study of computer science and electronics at the school level.

The Challenge

We believe that everyone can benefit from a solid foundation in computer science as they do from one in mathematics. The skills it provides are becoming increasingly important to our economy as computer systems are used to enhance an ever wider range of human endeavours.

Computer science describes how computers work, how they may be programmed and even helps determine how hard a problem will be to answer. This is in stark contrast to ICT or IT skills that simply teach how to use computers and their applications. Unfortunately, many young people are only ever exposed to ICT courses rather than the much broader, richer and exciting world of computing. The ability to write even simple programs is a powerful tool for helping solve difficult problems or for just having fun! Of course, thinking like a computer scientist also means more than being able to program. Designing algorithms, using abstraction and decomposition, selecting appropriate representations, learning how to build  correct, robust and scalable systems are now key skills in the information age.

The Computing at School working group describe the challenges faced at school in this area.

The Raspberry Pi Computer

Our first project is an ultra-low-cost (and low-power) computer.

It will provide an ideal environment for experimenting with programming and electronics. The final computer will be credit-card sized, fanless, will start almost instantly, consume  at most 2 watts of power and cost 22 pounds/$35 for the Model-B  (15 pounds/$25 for Model-A).

Of course there are numerous other applications for a powerful and low-cost computer including helping to close the digital divide.

jamesh
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Re: The Foundation

Sun Mar 04, 2012 9:02 am

ds18s20 said:


Where can one find your filing with HM Revenue and Customs?


And why on earth would you want that?
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Kernel
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Re: The Foundation

Sun Mar 04, 2012 9:21 am

JamesH said:


ds18s20 said:


Where can one find your filing with HM Revenue and Customs?


And why on earth would you want that?



Legitimacy is one reason - a lot of small companies who start online can be scams (especially in the area of webhosting) so people try and look for proper registered companies etc.

- Though in this case it isn't as necessary i.e. the foundation has been on the BBC etc.

- He also probably means a set of accounts (so charity commission as already mentioned) rather than tax returns

Lynbarn
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Re: The Foundation

Sun Mar 04, 2012 9:50 am

The Raspberry Pi Foundation is also registered as a UK company: see

http://wck2.companieshouse.gov.....ompdetails

(If the link doesn't work, goto http://www.companieshouse.gov.uk click on WebCheck, then Raspberry Pi Foundation in the search box)

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Tass
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Re: The Foundation

Sun Mar 04, 2012 9:52 am

Does it really matter? The foundation CERTAINLY isn"t making any money selling the Pi at this price and anything they might make is going straight back in. Is there anything that you might find out that would prevent you from buying a Pi? The way the foundation operate is up to them really, and the goal of this project is to get this into the educational sector - selling to us is just a by-product/means to achieve their goal.

Lynbarn
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Re: The Foundation

Sun Mar 04, 2012 1:58 pm

Tass said:


Does it really matter? The foundation CERTAINLY isn"t making any money selling the Pi at this price and anything they might make is going straight back in. Is there anything that you might find out that would prevent you from buying a Pi? The way the foundation operate is up to them really, and the goal of this project is to get this into the educational sector - selling to us is just a by-product/means to achieve their goal.



It does matter to some, and it should perhaps matter toall of us. There is information in the public domain (see the links to Charity commission and Company House in earleir posts) that anyone is entitled to access to.

The way the Foundation operates ISN'T entirely up to them - they have to work within several sets of rules and regulations, and their goals (and everything they do) are determined by their charitable aims:

"TO FURTHER THE ADVANCEMENT OF EDUCATION OF ADULTS AND CHILDREN, PARTICULARLY IN THE FIELD OF COMPUTERS, COMPUTER SCIENCE AND RELATED SUBJECTS"

Believe me, running a charity is by no means an easy way to fame and fortune!

steviewevie
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Re: The Foundation

Sun Mar 04, 2012 2:05 pm

It's a fair question guys, especially for those new to the product/Foundation/website, don't bite the OP's head off !

Matthew Jones
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Re: The Foundation

Sun Mar 04, 2012 2:12 pm

ds18s20 said:


Where can one find your filing with HM Revenue and Customs?



Given that money has only just started comming in, there wouldmay not be any returns to HMRC until April 2013. (that's the deadline, they can submit for FY 2011/12 any time after April 2012)

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abishur
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Re: The Foundation

Sun Mar 04, 2012 2:43 pm

Getting back to the actual point of the thread

Skygod said:


Abishur said:


Check the about us page



Abishur,

The OP has a point. The homepage blog just looks to be about the device itself now and there's no link in the Top Menu, so I guess this is something that needs to be addressed quickly.



There's no link to the about us page on the top menu?
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tufty
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Re: The Foundation

Sun Mar 04, 2012 2:52 pm

Goddamn it.  Bloody database errors.  Let's try again.  And copy the post before hitting send.

It used to be that the "About Us" page had a short and succinct description of the Raspberry Pi Foundation's goals, and how the Raspberry Pi model A and B SBCs were intended to further those goals.

That is no longer the case.  the "About Us" page is now a bunch of waffle, and it appears to now contradict the originally stated goals, ending as it does with:


We want to break the paradigm where without spending hundreds of pounds on a PC, families can’t use the internet. We want owning a truly personal computer to be normal for children.


This, at least to my jaded and cynical view, is the complete opposite of the originally stated goals - these were about educating children (in particular) to the point where they understand and control (more specifically, are able to program) the technology in their grasp rather than blindly using it.

Now, it may be that the foundation have, in fact, done a total "about turn" and are now producing something intended to be used in the current status quo of ICT (i.e. word processing and filling in spreadsheets with the help of a handheld calculator) rather than trying to break the mould but I'd hope not.  The twisted old cynic in me says that the current emphasis on selling a frickin' media player rather than an educational computer might actually indicate that this is the case.

In any case, it would be a bloody good idea to have a separate, easily accessible, page which enumerates the foundation's goals (whatever they are now) and how the Pi is supposed to help them.  Y'know, like there used to be.

Simon

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Re: The Foundation

Sun Mar 04, 2012 3:33 pm

Maybe your twisted old cynic should read more carefully. I just read the About us page, and i think it is rather clear in its message.

I suppose this is the old page that you mean?


The Raspberry Pi Foundation is a UK registered charity (Registration Number 1129409) which exists to promote the study of computer science and related topics, especially at school level, and to put the fun back into learning computing.

We plan to develop, manufacture and distribute an ultra-low-cost computer, for use in teaching computer programming to children. We expect this computer to have many other applications both in the developed and the developing world.

Our first product is about the size of a USB key, and is designed to plug into a TV or be combined with a touch screen for a low cost tablet. The expected price is $25 for a fully-configured system.

How would you use an ultra-low-cost computer? Do you have open-source educational software we can use? Contact us at info@raspberrypi.org.


I for one don't see the big change, other than a plus of information. And they left out the bits about the USB key.

PS: Damn those database errors.

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abishur
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Re: The Foundation

Sun Mar 04, 2012 3:39 pm

The entire paragraph that your quote comes from says

We don’t claim to have all the answers. We don’t think that the Raspberry Pi is a fix to all of the world’s computing issues; we do believe that we can be a catalyst. We want to see cheap, accessible, programmable computers everywhere; we actively encourage other companies to clone what we’re doing. We want to break the paradigm where without spending hundreds of pounds on a PC, families can’t use the internet. We want owning a truly personal computer to be normal for children. We think that 2012 is going to be a very exciting year.

It certainly true that the page has become a better about us page in that it really talks more about who they are and where they came from, and a "our goals" page would probably be beneficial (you know in their free time ) when the paragraph is taken in its entirety, it would appear that their goal is still to improve programming abilities, and their means to accomplish that goal is by making "owning a truly personal computer to be normal for children."
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jacklang
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Re: The Foundation

Sun Mar 04, 2012 3:56 pm

From the Foundation's original manifesto:

The Raspberry Pi Foundation exists to promote the study of Computer Science and
related topics, especially at school level, and to put the fun back into learning
computing.

Over the last decade, universities have experienced a steep decline in both the
quantity and quality of applicants to Computer Science and Engineering courses.
In the case of the University  of Cambridge applicant numbers have fallen by 60% and web page design has replaced assembly language programming in the typical applicant's skill set. MIT reports a similar fall in numbers. We believe this lack of skill will have disastrous consequences for the UK and the wider world, and lead to the creation of a two tier society, of those with and without computer skills. These vital skills are being lost from schools and industry, leading to a generation of mere computer users without the knowledge or understanding of what goes on under the hood, passive
consumers incapable of challenging the data collection and manipulation of
those who can.

A significant contributor to this has been the dearth of programmable hardware
for children; modern PCs and games console are harder to develop software for
than 1980s home computers such as the BBC Micro, Apple II and TRS-80.  Raspberry Pi intends to fill this gap by developing, manufacturing and distributing an ultra-low cost programmable computer system and support materials.

The system should be cheap enough, in the first instance, that units could be
distributed to participants by Universities and the like in open days and
outreach programs, providing high-school students with an opportunity to
develop programming skills prior to applying to the University. If it proves
popular, the hope is to roll the scheme out more widely within the UK and wider
educational community, and eventually overseas as well.

- Events and demand have moved much faster than our wildest dreams

- Google insights demonstrate the interest

http://www.google.com/insights.....038; ... 038;cmpt=q

Jack Lang

Trustee and Secretary

Raspberry Pi Foundation

hippy
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Re: The Foundation

Sun Mar 04, 2012 4:06 pm

IMO the emphasis has changed from promoting computer science to ownership of a cheap computer.

Perhaps it is just simply a different presentation of the how and why but I commented some time ago that the tagline "An ARM GNU/Linux box for $25" says nothing about educational aspirations and is more about cheap computers. Particularly with respect to Linux when it can run other OS or even be bare metal programmed. That seemed to be explicitly targeting the market for those who want cheap Linux computers, and "hey, it can run XBMC" likewise set it up as competition in the media player market. I know the argument why, but the educational aspirations do seem to have taken a back seat in recent months.

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Re: The Foundation

Sun Mar 04, 2012 4:25 pm

Hey Jack, Abishur.

Yeah, I'm a pessimistic old cynic, and the original "About Us" page as quoted by Abishur was enough to light a little spark of hope in my embittered worldview. I really believe in those goals, in the idea that computer science is important, that understanding and controlling technology is one of the ways we can help our children, and our children's children, mould their future by themselves, to break free of the shackles of the conglomerates who want to control everything, who want to force feed pre-processed ideas into their heads, who want to produce a malleable, unresisting mass of mediocrity.

I'm glad that the Foundation still have the same goals. Back in December, I was of the opinion that maybe 1% of purchases from the first batch would be used for furthering the Foundation's goals.  As of today, I'd revise that down to 1 in 10,000 of the first few batches, probably less. The way the launch has unrolled, the ever-more-xbmc-biased forum and news posts, and, of course, the goddamned database errors, may well have triggered my pessimistic side a little; perhaps I'm being too down.

But even with a positive hat on, I don't think a passing reference to "cheap, accessible, programmable computers" is anywhere near explicit enough.  All computers are programmable, what's needed are the tools to allow people to be taught to program them, and that's what the Pi is, at least to me.  A revolutionary, cheap-as-chips tool that's aimed as a teaching tool. The rest is, as they say, gravy. Unfortunately, there seems to be a vast sea of gravy at the moment, and precious little else.  Dammit, pessimism again.

Now, those who have been watching the project for a while should at least know what the Pi is about, even if they don't particularly subscribe to the goals themselves, but we have a mass of newcomers hitting the site who are only after a cheap pvr/stb/htpc; I think it would be a worthwhile exercise to put something official up, perhaps a rewording of the manifesto, separate from the "About Us" page.  Yeah, in that copious free time you all have

I'd suggest (at least) changing


We want to break the paradigm where without spending hundreds of pounds on a PC, families can’t use the internet. We want owning a truly personal computer to be normal for children.


to something more like


We want to break the paradigm where a PC, costing hundreds of pounds, is, for fear of damage, "off limits" for programming and experimentation by children. We want owning and programming a truly personal computer to be normal for children.


What think you?

Simon

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Re: The Foundation

Sun Mar 04, 2012 5:06 pm

tufty said:


I'm glad that the Foundation still have the same goals. Back in December, I was of the opinion that maybe 1% of purchases from the first batch would be used for furthering the Foundation's goals.  As of today, I'd revise that down to 1 in 10,000 of the first few batches, probably less.

...



What think you?


My order - and at least one other order that I know of - will be used to explore how to use PIs in schools.

Of course, since the first batches don't have cases, SD cards, turn-key software packages etc, these devices can't be used directly in schools. Of course, by the time the education versions are out, we'll know what we can do with them, what additional hardware we'll need, and it's likely that there will be robust software packages available. Seems to me like the Foundation has got their initial roll-out in the right order and they haven't lost focus on their original aims.

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scep
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Re: The Foundation

Sun Mar 04, 2012 8:19 pm

tufty said:

to something more like

We want to break the paradigm where a PC, costing hundreds of pounds, is, for fear of damage, "off limits" for programming and experimentation by children. We want owning and programming a truly personal computer to be normal for children.


What think you?


It's a hard read. If that was the text (and I'm making no judgement on this as it's nowt to do with me ), I'd recast it as:

"At the moment, children are discouraged from programming and experimenting with their family's expensive PC in case they break it. We want it to be normal for children to own and to program a truly personal computer. "

There - Faulkner to Hemingway in one easy paragraph

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