and there's me. Who's just banned you.
That's an extremely funny wield of the old banhammer, Liz.
I do think some of the points our (now ex) friend raised are worthy of discussion, though.
My viewpoint, coming from someone who cares *only* about the educational uses of the Pi (and then, only within the restricted field of teaching and learning Computer Science), is that the Pi is a beautiful, if somewhat flawed, project. And my questions are whether the flaws will eventually prove to be fatal.
So, what do I see to be its flaws?
Well, software-wise, there's, first and foremost, the choice of Linux. Although an exceptionally capable operating system, it's simply not the solution for every problem, no matter how hard people try to make it so. It gets shoehorned into every possible product not because it's the best solution, but because it's the cheapest solution.
In an educational environment, we unfortunately have to deal with the fact that the majority of administrators are Windows-only, the majority of those holding the purse-strings are Windows-only, and the entire infrastructure is more-or-less owned by Microsoft. It's gonna be really hard to get any non-MS product through the door, let alone one that's running MS's arch-nemesis, Linux. Linux scares non-*n*x sysadmins, and MS regularly push FUD about how it's a patent violation nightmare. Something non-Linux, a microkernel with "language packs" that provide something akin to the micros of yore, might well be an easier "sell" than "hey, it's linux, how hard can that be".
We also have a software fragmentation issue. At least 2 separate distributions to choose from, god alone knows how many different languages, user interfaces, and so on. If you don't know exactly what you're doing, it's extremely easy to get lost. Witness Abishur's problems with GL, and Abishur is a helluva lot more clued up on what Pi is and isn't than most.
There's also the lack of GPU accelerated desktop when using the Pi through Linux. That hurts. Unfortunately, being "linux" means we have to wait for someone motivated to develop a GL/ES accelerated x server. Have you ever asked yourself why the other GL/ES based platforms out there mainly *don't* use X?
Kernel source isn't pushed up to the main tree yet, which means upgrades are going to be a bear. Hopefully that will get fixed soon.
Then there's the hardware issues.
The main one that's gonna hurt educational takeup directly is the lack of VGA. Yep, I know, it's been done to death, but it's still an issue, it's still a flaw. A reasonably priced (probably Pi-specific), fixed resolution HDMI or DSI to VGA adaptor would seem to be a must.
It seems that a lot of the power supplies out there simply aren't "good enough" to drive a Pi in a real world situation. Phone chargers don't seem to be cutting it. Requiring a decent power supply is workable for a dev board, and maybe even for in-school usage, but not where you're expecting to to be in the hands of potentially /millions/ of kids with iffy crackberry chargers.
Likewise keyboards. The "keyboard crashes Pi" thing looks like it might well be hardware-related, in particular USB power related. Again, maybe fine on a dev board for thousands of users, but not where schools are going to be buying Pis to use with their existing keyboards, and, potentially, whatever cheap supermarket crap keyboards the kids have lying about at home.
The hardware problems wouldn't be an issue if we were looking at merely 10,000 development boards. But we're looking at close to half a million hitting the streets soonish.
Then again - maybe I just worry too much.
 Sorry, all those people who bought a Pi "to learn about Linux", I simply don't care about you.
Almost everything in your post is, hopefully, going to be covered by the early adopters, prior to any educational release. That's the reasons there is a big sell to all and sundry. Get a critical mass of people working on the system to fine tune it and sort out any issues. That's always been the aim. I have high hopes in that respect, they may not all pan out, but the majority of issues will be sorted out by the community.
The only one I don't know how to fix is the Windows bias in schools. But maybe, just maybe, there are some good teachers and tech support people out there who will embrace and push the systems rather than just stick with what they know.
Principal Software Engineer at Raspberry Pi (Trading) Ltd.
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