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Re: RaspberryPi heralds the next era of computing

Posted: Wed Mar 14, 2012 3:10 am
by pal
Since the introduction of Microprocessors in 70s, we have seen tremendous change in computing. First Computers were used by big Corporations, Universities etc., to process data. Then they ended up in every home as desktops. Now they become mobile phones and tablets. But the future for computing seem to be in RaspberryPi. In the current world computing is beyond desktops, phones and tablets. We need specific purpose computers for doing our own specific jobs. For example, I may want my computer to do these tasks everyday automatically.

1. Check stock prices every few hours if price go up or low and report me.

2. Check news for certain things and report me.

3. Receive updates from me and post to the webpage.

4. Through the home webpage, home members can share their schedules, ideas etc.

The beauty of RaspberryPi is that it can be on all the time while consuming less power. So it can be used as a home web-server, as an internet search and report device, even as a home phone. I would love to get one and start my projects.

Re: RaspberryPi heralds the next era of computing

Posted: Wed Mar 14, 2012 7:22 am
by SN
May be. But my permanently homedocked touchpad can do all of that and be a fab skypephone and facebook screen and kitchen browser. Always on. Always ready, big Touchscreen, solid state low power computing. THIS is the future. The raspi has 2 things more than the tp - HDMI output and GPIO. Weave all the capabilities together and you have nirvana IMHO. (find raspi a touchscreen and compact portable power and you have it)

Re: RaspberryPi heralds the next era of computing

Posted: Wed Mar 14, 2012 8:46 am
by art san
No question, the possibilities of the raspi seem endless...and this before they are in the hands of the general population. What surprises are in store when students and other imaginative folks get their hands on this awesome product. It's going to be a game changer, a whole new generation of skilled geeks, programmers, whatever, irrespective of age.

Way to go Raspi.

Re: RaspberryPi heralds the next era of computing

Posted: Wed Mar 14, 2012 9:22 am
by Alchemy
Computers can multitask these things. But people with a computer still buy digital radios, Dvd players, TVs, Barometers, Alarm Clocks. Even though the computer could do it all.

I think the fun is in the price. For once making stand alone projects with programming will cost less. That feels good like your talents are valuable. Until now DIY cost more which really promoted a consumer society over a clever society.

It would certainly be a new era of I made that and saved money. Making people educate themselves to feel good not bargain hunt.

Re: RaspberryPi heralds the next era of computing

Posted: Wed Mar 14, 2012 11:05 am
by josh89
In my opinion what makes this so exciting is that tinkering, modifying, changing code, flashing whatever is all legal and supported when using RasPi.  Alot of the things you just mentioned are pretty much done on my smartphone, yet if i am to say try modify the way it behaves and the code level i could be in some trouble with said phone manufacturer.

So in a sense yes! this is the way of the future and maybe big corporations will listen and like everything it starts at the grassroots level

Re: RaspberryPi heralds the next era of computing

Posted: Wed Mar 14, 2012 11:50 am
by Alchemy
If you put personal 3D printing into the mix. What you get is the only Brand that people will place above corporations. The brand of yourself.

Also take the scary modern attitude. Twitter calls personal private messages "direct" messages. This means they can sell their content. Google say if you don't pay for something you are the product. And you don't pay for Gmail. They already sell your web searches.

Its so easy to email a book you've written or your product idea during development. So easy for that to be archived and sold. It really is time to know exactly what you are doing. Because what we think is fair is just not legally enforced.

Re: RaspberryPi heralds the next era of computing

Posted: Wed Mar 14, 2012 12:14 pm
by gritz
Alchemy said:


If you put personal 3D printing into the mix. What you get is the only Brand that people will place above corporations. The brand of yourself.

Also take the scary modern attitude. Twitter calls personal private messages "direct" messages. This means they can sell their content. Google say if you don"t pay for something you are the product. And you don"t pay for Gmail. They already sell your web searches.

Its so easy to email a book you've written or your product idea during development. So easy for that to be archived and sold. It really is time to know exactly what you are doing. Because what we think is fair is just not legally enforced.


Ah yes, the real cost of corporate altruism. If one of those guys decided to start knocking out cheap computers "for the kids" I'd be looking very hard for exploits in their OS and installing a good firewall…

Re: RaspberryPi heralds the next era of computing

Posted: Wed Mar 14, 2012 1:02 pm
by Andre_P
I suspect when you get to the point of having an entity that appears to be selfaware (Chinese Room) that get's it right all of the time then computers will completely disappear from the average persons day to day awareness.

It is almost getting there as people are not aware of the computer that helps them brake successfully, or the processor that works out their TV guide.

Getting the RPi into childrens hands will remind them that they do exist.

What WILL be interesting will be the point where something is created that is NOT a Chinese Room and is self aware.

As to programming such an entity, well will there be anything to 'program' and would it let you ?

IMHO the entity will either be neural net or a vast array of simple nodes that while being 'classic' machines provide emergent behaviour that is self aware, see this

http://apt.cs.man.ac.uk/projec.....SpiNNaker/

Re: RaspberryPi heralds the next era of computing

Posted: Wed Mar 14, 2012 1:14 pm
by Alchemy
I think you refer to the Turing Test? Unsure. The "chinese room".

Certainly many people think computers can not exceed what you tell them. This is total nonsense, surprise is common place in programming. From the chess program you write you can't beat. To the laugh out loud reply of your artificial intelligence bot.

So even when you have that "technically" smarter than yourself computer program. That can self improve. It is in the interest of computers to still allow the stupid creator access. If only because we think differently and a different opinion should be valued.

Re: RaspberryPi heralds the next era of computing

Posted: Wed Mar 14, 2012 1:35 pm
by Kernel
pal said:


Since the introduction of Microprocessors in 70s, we have seen tremendous change in computing. First Computers were used by big Corporations, Universities etc., to process data. Then they ended up in every home as desktops. Now they become mobile phones and tablets. But the future for computing seem to be in RaspberryPi. In the current world computing is beyond desktops, phones and tablets. We need specific purpose computers for doing our own specific jobs. For example, I may want my computer to do these tasks everyday automatically.

1. Check stock prices every few hours if price go up or low and report me.

2. Check news for certain things and report me.

3. Receive updates from me and post to the webpage.

4. Through the home webpage, home members can share their schedules, ideas etc.

The beauty of RaspberryPi is that it can be on all the time while consuming less power. So it can be used as a home web-server, as an internet search and report device, even as a home phone. I would love to get one and start my projects.


Interesting post but as SN says his tablet can also do all this. I think the Raspi will take over from a number of devices such as media players i.e. WDTV live  and of course people will make their own devices however I expect it will co-exist in an ecosystem along with smartphones and tablets rather than replace the latter two.

As for consuming less power the real beauty comes from the ARM architecture which is also present in a number of tablets and smartphones (not to mention TVs, washing machines etc.) but also depends on the programmer - badly written apps drain battery on smartphones

Re: RaspberryPi heralds the next era of computing

Posted: Wed Mar 14, 2012 2:10 pm
by rurwin
Andre_P said:


IMHO the entity will either be neural net or a vast array of simple nodes that while being 'classic' machines provide emergent behaviour that is self aware,


Just because we do not understand how the machine works, it does not make it self-aware. A lot of this neural-net stuff seems to be an effort to create a machine which nobody understands, as if in some mystical sense that makes it better.

This seems to be a far better approach. The individual behaviours are simple and well understood, but the emergent behaviours can be highly complex.

Re: RaspberryPi heralds the next era of computing

Posted: Wed Mar 14, 2012 3:04 pm
by Alchemy
rurwin said:


Just because we do not understand how the machine works, it does not make it self-aware. A lot of this neural-net stuff seems to be an effort to create a machine which nobody understands, as if in some mystical sense that makes it better.


I always use A* search algorithm long before I knew what it was called. Or that my very different uses where in effect the same algorithm. I've never used neural-nets and I agree with you the popularity seems odd.

The robots are cool. Here is an example of when you build a commercial solution deliberately and then find emergent efficiency by doing so. I guess the other way round to the robots study. feature=player_embedded

Re: RaspberryPi heralds the next era of computing

Posted: Wed Mar 14, 2012 3:48 pm
by gritz
Back in the (very) early '90s there was a lot of buzz about neural networks and from the little that I experienced it does get pretty deep and a lot of people felt uncomfortable with it because they essentially didn't feel in control, or because it just wasn't boolean enough. But machine learning is everywhere - maybe it was used to develop the algorithm that got burned into that innocuous controller in the thinger that you've never given a second thought to.

It's just fuzzy logic with a bit of common sense, but it intrigues me.

Re: RaspberryPi heralds the next era of computing

Posted: Wed Mar 14, 2012 4:46 pm
by Skygod
I found that video slightly disturbing in that the human interaction is still felt necessary, but they are simply part of the 'machine'.

Just put your hand out and the part is delivered to you. Can you really imagine doing that every working day for 30 years?

How could you ever have a sense of fullfilment? The alternative is to have the machines do the work (they are probably better at it), but then there is an issue of no employment for the masses. Computers and Robots can do all the 'production line' work, but what happens to the labour force?

Re: RaspberryPi heralds the next era of computing

Posted: Wed Mar 14, 2012 4:58 pm
by Andre_P
Alchemy said:


I think you refer to the Turing Test? Unsure. The "chinese room".


No I mean the "Chinese Room".

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C.....inese_room

rurwin : I think I mentioned emergent behaviour but within replicant arrays/neural nets, the 'classic' machine node is perfectly understandable. I suggust that emergent behaviour has a better chance of going self aware because it's not an attempt at having a universal rule set which gets around the Chinese Room issue.

I do flag that this is not my area of expertise by a long chalk, I only look around me seeing reduced rule set automata getting on quite well (refers to 7 yr old step daughter  ).

I think the spiNNacker project is an attempt to understand what is going on though.

gritz : Yes I've heard a couple of stories, specifically when they put a neural net onto a Challenger 2 Tank with live ammunition . Now THAT was funny .

Re: RaspberryPi heralds the next era of computing

Posted: Wed Mar 14, 2012 5:01 pm
by gritz
Skygod said:


How could you ever have a sense of fullfilment? The alternative is to have the machines do the work (they are probably better at it), but then there is an issue of no employment for the masses. Computers and Robots can do all the 'production line' work, but what happens to the labour force?


The labour force become the delivery men - the guys who don't waste five seconds of their time by ringing your doorbell to actually see if you're home to receive your package, rather they just leave the "yeah, we couldn't be bothered" card. Or they leave your package out in the rain, or with your kleptomaniac neighbour.

I've temped in a warehouse (in a frozen food company's coldstore).The robots are welcome to it.

Re: RaspberryPi heralds the next era of computing

Posted: Wed Mar 14, 2012 5:32 pm
by Alchemy
Andre_P said:


No I mean the "Chinese Room".

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C.....inese_room


That's a bit silly, but thanks for the link. Computers beat people at chess and jeopardy. Saying after the computer doesn't understand chess or jeopardy is pointless and it certainly won't make the developers give you tips.

Terms are only useful if you make discoveries with them. And clearly that "Chinese Room" concept won't help its a thought brake. I suspect you've got lots of Chinese rooms to make before you get something beyond it. So no point in insulting your direction of travel or measuring things that way.

Re: RaspberryPi heralds the next era of computing

Posted: Wed Mar 14, 2012 6:33 pm
by Andre_P
Alchemy : I disagree about it being a thought brake. I think it might be a spur for different directions of investigation.

You might be right about having to create a lot of chinese rooms before either something goes click or it is decided that it might not be a feasible approach. I suspect you are going to be able to do a lot of interesting things along the way but I have reservations as to a general result.

Whatever happens it's going to be interesting

Re: RaspberryPi heralds the next era of computing

Posted: Wed Mar 14, 2012 6:43 pm
by Alchemy
Andre_P said:


Whatever happens it's going to be interesting


Total agreement. Try it, find out and enjoy ourselves either way.

I'm not writing Artificial Intelligence. I'm writing a computer program to make 3D commercial models suitable for games and animations. So its not sacred human intelligence but the other sacred cow of human creativity I'm taking on. Its a long way from done. But its already making stuff a lot prettier and realistic than I could. Which isn't saying much my CAD skills are laughable.

Re: RaspberryPi heralds the next era of computing

Posted: Wed Mar 14, 2012 7:08 pm
by johnbeetem
Skygod said:

How could you ever have a sense of fullfilment? The alternative is to have the machines do the work (they are probably better at it), but then there is an issue of no employment for the masses. Computers and Robots can do all the 'production line' work, but what happens to the labour force?
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. explored this question brilliantly IMO in his first novel Player Piano (1952).  Excellent novel, but really, really depressing to see it playing out 60 years later.

Re: RaspberryPi heralds the next era of computing

Posted: Wed Mar 14, 2012 7:24 pm
by Alchemy
I'm looking forward to the future. I want my plastic and metal 3D home printers. I want to print that Solar cell or Wind Turbine for my power. I want that SynBio slaughter free meat and veg growing in the hatchways in the roof alongside the plastic producing bacteria. That drip of Solar Fuel. Everything recyclable with just the consumption of sunlight to ultimately power it.

No reason for money because resources are no longer scarce. No reason for work. Just a life of personal creativity with perfect health for 1000 years.

Re: RaspberryPi heralds the next era of computing

Posted: Wed Mar 14, 2012 8:49 pm
by TheTap
Alchemy said:


I want my plastic and metal 3D home printers.



You only need a plastic and metal 3D printer, once you have that, you can use it to print a much bigger 3D printer, one that is big enough to print a home.  Your footnote about acorns is very true.

10+9=countdown