ProDigit
Posts: 125
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Server Pi

Sun Dec 09, 2018 11:35 pm

So, my last topic got locked and moved to the off-topic forum, without warning, or any reason why (not very nice I'd say, whomever did this).
As far as I know, I haven't broken any rules or anything, just merely asked for information on Lithography, a server version of the Pi, and pi Overclocking.
Been a member on this site, for longer than many of the moderators.. Not meaning anything with it, just saying...
Anyway, without knowing why it was moved or locked, I'll reinstate one of the questions, that haven't been answered,

Is the Raspberry Pi foundation able to make a server based on the ARM chipset, and how viable is a server based on several ARM 7 cores?

It appears to me, that many have tried, and gone, but none succeeded.
To my amazement, currently Broadcomm and Qualcomm are the only ones on the market offering an ARM server CPU, but none offer a 'server package', where the CPU, Motherboard and case can come in one pack.

For servers, we currently have to look at lousy AMD, or top dollar Intel.
Current offers are well above $1k, and well above my pay grade.

But if Pi has easy access to ARM cores, can't they somehow build a PI board, with extra sockets for ARM processors, and write a Linux extension to support the various cores?

I mean, if the Pi costs $35, and they can build the Pi with like 5 extra CPU sockets for $50, and sell each ARM core for what... $15-25?
I would pay the money for a $50 board + $100 on ARM cores, if it results in a stable server with 5 CPU dies, each being a quadcore.
That would give me a 20 core system 1/10th of the price of a similar performing Xeon system; counting on 2,5W per core, that's a 10-15W server; ridiculously low in power consumption for a server!
Heck, even a 10 die, 40 core system would use less than an older laptop on power under full use!

Nothing like this exists yet.
I think the market is wide open for it, lots of companies need servers, data processors, etc... for cheap!

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HawaiianPi
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Re: Server Pi

Mon Dec 10, 2018 12:13 am

I suspect your earlier post got moderated because threads discussing wishes for hardware features or configurations are frowned upon. RPF has their own agenda, which is primarily focused on education, and not the personal needs or wishes of individuals. If you've been on the forums as long as you claim, you should know that already (threads like this have always been locked).
My mind is like a browser. 27 tabs are open, 9 aren't responding,
lots of pop-ups...and where is that annoying music coming from?

fruitoftheloom
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Re: Server Pi

Mon Dec 10, 2018 12:23 am

ProDigit wrote:
Sun Dec 09, 2018 11:35 pm
So, my last topic got locked and moved to the off-topic forum, without warning, or any reason why (not very nice I'd say, whomever did this).
As far as I know, I haven't broken any rules or anything, just merely asked for information on Lithography, a server version of the Pi, and pi Overclocking.
Been a member on this site, for longer than many of the moderators.. Not meaning anything with it, just saying...
Anyway, without knowing why it was moved or locked, I'll reinstate one of the questions, that haven't been answered,

Is the Raspberry Pi foundation able to make a server based on the ARM chipset, and how viable is a server based on several ARM 7 cores?

It appears to me, that many have tried, and gone, but none succeeded.
To my amazement, currently Broadcomm and Qualcomm are the only ones on the market offering an ARM server CPU, but none offer a 'server package', where the CPU, Motherboard and case can come in one pack.

For servers, we currently have to look at lousy AMD, or top dollar Intel.
Current offers are well above $1k, and well above my pay grade.

But if Pi has easy access to ARM cores, can't they somehow build a PI board, with extra sockets for ARM processors, and write a Linux extension to support the various cores?

I mean, if the Pi costs $35, and they can build the Pi with like 5 extra CPU sockets for $50, and sell each ARM core for what... $15-25?
I would pay the money for a $50 board + $100 on ARM cores, if it results in a stable server with 5 CPU dies, each being a quadcore.
That would give me a 20 core system 1/10th of the price of a similar performing Xeon system; counting on 2,5W per core, that's a 10-15W server; ridiculously low in power consumption for a server!
Heck, even a 10 die, 40 core system would use less than an older laptop on power under full use!

Nothing like this exists yet.
I think the market is wide open for it, lots of companies need servers, data processors, etc... for cheap!

Duplicate of:

viewtopic.php?f=62&t=228580&p=1401872#p1401872

Seems totally unspecific to RPT /RPF, move along, thank you...



Just one final point where does RPT find the millions of $$$ it would cost to get ready for manufacturing ??

BoM cost analysis would be helpful !!!!
adieu

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https://www.asus.com/uk/Mini-PCs/Chromebit-CS10

W. H. Heydt
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Re: Server Pi

Mon Dec 10, 2018 1:19 am

ProDigit wrote:
Sun Dec 09, 2018 11:35 pm
Is the Raspberry Pi foundation able to make a server based on the ARM chipset, and how viable is a server based on several ARM 7 cores?
What do you define as a "server"?

For many "server" uses, the current Pis are capable of doing a fine job. In that sense, the RPF/RPT hav already designed and licensed for manufacture "server" boards. For other uses, not so much. In extreme cases--depending on data volume, expected reply times, number of concurrent users, etc.--it is unlikely that anything the RPF/RPT has ever designed, or contemplates ever designing would suffice.

tl;dr: Your question is too poorly defined to have a definitive answer.

ProDigit
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Re: Server Pi

Mon Dec 10, 2018 3:47 am

I'm wondering if this is a troll, or a real answer?
My question is too vague?
I wonder how many pages of explanation you need, to understand?

Anyway, feat request and ideas are not against the forum rules,
And they shouldn't be, If they are.

As far as a server pi goes,
I want 16+ cores, sufficient fast ram, and cheap.
If no one else makes them, who will?
The raspberry foundation is closest to it.
If their pis were only for education, they could have stuck with the first model. No reason to upgrade.
But it's not only for education.
Raspberry pi is for education, as well as engineering, as well as for gamers, tinkerers, robotics and the likes.
They have a variety of uses, so to put them as poster child for the education market would not be correct.

I remember when ideas were welcomed, not banned.
What happened on the forum since last time I visited here 5 odd years ago?

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Re: Server Pi

Mon Dec 10, 2018 5:08 am

ProDigit wrote:
Mon Dec 10, 2018 3:47 am
I'm wondering if this is a troll, or a real answer?
My question is too vague?
I wonder how many pages of explanation you need, to understand?
"Server" is not well defined, unless you specify what sort of "server" you have in mind. My brother-in-law has been using a Pi as a print server for several years. I've been running another board as a database server for over 5 years. It does just fine. Any number of people use Pis as web servers.
Anyway, feat request and ideas are not against the forum rules,
And they shouldn't be, If they are.
So far as I know, there is no explicit rule against feature requests. The problem is that such threads usually devolve--and do so rather quickly--into competing requests almost immediately followed by ridicule of one or more side of the discussion. Chaos and acrimony follow and the mods lock the thread. You've been around long enough to have seen this...repeatedly. (Though from your remark wondering what happened since you were last reading the forums, perhaps this happened in your absence.)

It is *possible* make suggestions for products or features, but it has to be done very, very carefully.

All of that said, this isn't a "feature request". Rather, it is a request for the RPF/RPT to produce a specific product with particular--and unspecified--characteristics and that said product is only remotely related to what has gone before, what the RPF intends, and what fits the RPFs goals.
As far as a server pi goes,
I want 16+ cores, sufficient fast ram, and cheap.
If no one else makes them, who will?
The raspberry foundation is closest to it.
If their pis were only for education, they could have stuck with the first model. No reason to upgrade.
But it's not only for education.
Raspberry pi is for education, as well as engineering, as well as for gamers, tinkerers, robotics and the likes.
They have a variety of uses, so to put them as poster child for the education market would not be correct.
I won't say it...but I know what sort of reply anyone making those statements should expect. To address it it with at least some seriousness, though, you're asking for a very expensive SoC, coupled with a lot of expensive DRAM, and you want it to be "cheap". I will take a guess that by "cheap", you probably mean less than $100, retail. The simplest answer is, "it can't be done because the components cost too much", and that ignores the cost of developing the board, sourcing the components, and setting up production and test equipment. Bear in mind that the component producers, assembly firm, and vendors all have to show sufficient profit for it to be worth their while to get the boards out the door. Plus there has to be some royalty money back to the RPT to cover the development and support cost.
I remember when ideas were welcomed, not banned.
What happened on the forum since last time I visited here 5 odd years ago?
It's not the ideas that are banned. It's the fights over what is meant and how feasible people judge the idea to be that gets threads locked and--occasionally--people banned. Watch this thread carefully. Either someone will say something that sets people off, or the moderators will lock the thread in anticipation of that happening.

As I said, it *is* possible to have a thread about suggested products. I started one making the business case that the Pi3A+ should be launched. It ran 6 pages before being locked *after* the Pi3A+ launched. But that was about a board that was known to exist in prototype and there was nothing really new about it. Yu are asking for something that is radically new. The RPT doesn't have a an SoC that meets your specifications (such as they are) in hand. Nor are they likely to.

Really...the short form of all this is to take your pick among three possible courses of action. You can tune and optimize your project to work on the Pi (or another board) as it is. You can wait for a Pi that is more capable and better fits your needs. Or you can look elsewhere to find another board that fits your needs.

As it is, I will agree that there is one thing that I think the Pi actually needs, and it would fit the use case you are talking about--servers--though probably not the way you envision it. That feature is: faster I/O. I think that is the bottleneck for the Pi as it is now.

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scruss
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Re: Server Pi

Mon Dec 10, 2018 5:32 am

ProDigit wrote:
Mon Dec 10, 2018 3:47 am
As far as a server pi goes,
I want 16+ cores, sufficient fast ram, and cheap.
The last multicore ARM server with that sort of spec was over US $2000. ISTR one of the 96boards manufacturers makes a backplane that can take multiples of their quad-core boards.
What happened on the forum since last time I visited here 5 odd years ago?
Many millions of new users, no time for speculation.
‘Remember the Golden Rule of Selling: “Do not resort to violence.”’ — McGlashan.

ejolson
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Re: Server Pi

Mon Dec 10, 2018 6:04 am

scruss wrote:
Mon Dec 10, 2018 5:32 am
ProDigit wrote:
Mon Dec 10, 2018 3:47 am
As far as a server pi goes,
I want 16+ cores, sufficient fast ram, and cheap.
The last multicore ARM server with that sort of spec was over US $2000. ISTR one of the 96boards manufacturers makes a backplane that can take multiples of their quad-core boards.
What happened on the forum since last time I visited here 5 odd years ago?
Many millions of new users, no time for speculation.
There is a 48-core ARM processor being developed by Fujitsu and RIKEN for high performance computing. More details are here. I'm not sure why the headline has a misspelling.

fruitoftheloom
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Re: Server Pi

Mon Dec 10, 2018 6:22 am

ProDigit wrote:
Mon Dec 10, 2018 3:47 am
I'm wondering if this is a troll, or a real answer?
My question is too vague?
I wonder how many pages of explanation you need, to understand?

Anyway, feat request and ideas are not against the forum rules,
And they shouldn't be, If they are.

As far as a server pi goes,
I want 16+ cores, sufficient fast ram, and cheap.
If no one else makes them, who will?
The raspberry foundation is closest to it.
If their pis were only for education, they could have stuck with the first model. No reason to upgrade.
But it's not only for education.
Raspberry pi is for education, as well as engineering, as well as for gamers, tinkerers, robotics and the likes.
They have a variety of uses, so to put them as poster child for the education market would not be correct.

I remember when ideas were welcomed, not banned.
What happened on the forum since last time I visited here 5 odd years ago?

May 2018 you posted a similar post:

viewtopic.php?f=62&t=212814&p=1311875#p1311875
adieu

My other Computer is an Asus CS10 ChromeBit
https://www.asus.com/uk/Mini-PCs/Chromebit-CS10

jamesh
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Re: Server Pi

Mon Dec 10, 2018 10:13 am

ProDigit wrote:
Sun Dec 09, 2018 11:35 pm
So, my last topic got locked and moved to the off-topic forum, without warning, or any reason why (not very nice I'd say, whomever did this).
As far as I know, I haven't broken any rules or anything, just merely asked for information on Lithography, a server version of the Pi, and pi Overclocking.
Been a member on this site, for longer than many of the moderators.. Not meaning anything with it, just saying...
Anyway, without knowing why it was moved or locked, I'll reinstate one of the questions, that haven't been answered,

Is the Raspberry Pi foundation able to make a server based on the ARM chipset, and how viable is a server based on several ARM 7 cores?

It appears to me, that many have tried, and gone, but none succeeded.
To my amazement, currently Broadcomm and Qualcomm are the only ones on the market offering an ARM server CPU, but none offer a 'server package', where the CPU, Motherboard and case can come in one pack.

For servers, we currently have to look at lousy AMD, or top dollar Intel.
Current offers are well above $1k, and well above my pay grade.

But if Pi has easy access to ARM cores, can't they somehow build a PI board, with extra sockets for ARM processors, and write a Linux extension to support the various cores?

I mean, if the Pi costs $35, and they can build the Pi with like 5 extra CPU sockets for $50, and sell each ARM core for what... $15-25?
I would pay the money for a $50 board + $100 on ARM cores, if it results in a stable server with 5 CPU dies, each being a quadcore.
That would give me a 20 core system 1/10th of the price of a similar performing Xeon system; counting on 2,5W per core, that's a 10-15W server; ridiculously low in power consumption for a server!
Heck, even a 10 die, 40 core system would use less than an older laptop on power under full use!

Nothing like this exists yet.
I think the market is wide open for it, lots of companies need servers, data processors, etc... for cheap!

A few points, but to start, don't try and tell the mods what to do. They are perfectly cognisant with what is requried. If you disagree with any of the actions or rules, that is your perogative, but don't bother mentioning it. That's just mod baiting.

On to your points.

You probably need to read up a bit on how CPU's can be connected togther to form multicore devies. The interconnect is vital to get any sort of preformance. Simply having some sort of plugin scheme doesn't really work - you cannot ge the required speed to RAM or betwween cores. This is why all multi core ARM devices are single package. There are also limits to how many ARM cores can be in the same buses using the standard ARM memory bus scheme, I think it is 8. So that's a sort of maximum you can do without custom interconnects, and they really REALLY need to be on the same die.

Secondly, servers (you haven't been particularly specific about what you want to serve) require very fast IO off board. That's going to require a new SoC design to get round the USB2 limitations o the current devices.

Thirdly, much of what you are suggesting would be WAY more expensive than the numbers you are quoting.

Fourthly, there's a reason none of what you suggest doesn't yet exist at our level, or even much at all....because it's really quite a difficult (and therefore expensive) thing to do. There are some 16 core ARM chips available and I think one 32 core die, they are all over $800 EACH (fast interconnect is expensive to develop!)

EDIT: Apparently the big multicore ARM's are socketed. This is worth a read, https://www.theregister.co.uk/2018/05/0 ... thunderx2/
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mahjongg
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Re: Server Pi

Mon Dec 10, 2018 10:18 am

Its got locked because speculation about the PI is off-topic, and frowned upon by other members of this forum, as you might well know if you have spent any time reading this forum.

Speculation is seen as offensive to the RPF, as said many times the roadmap for future products is already determined, and nothing you say will change it.

Also the RPF NEVER releases any info before a product is launched.

Calling other members here "trolls" is also completely against the rules, its one of the reasons why threads like this are locked.

If the in-fighting here becomes too bad, again I will need to shut it down, rather than having to give perpetrators a ban...
enjoy your discussion, but keep it nice.

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Re: Server Pi

Mon Dec 10, 2018 10:22 am

ProDigit wrote:
Mon Dec 10, 2018 3:47 am
I'm wondering if this is a troll, or a real answer?
My question is too vague?
I wonder how many pages of explanation you need, to understand?

Anyway, feat request and ideas are not against the forum rules,
And they shouldn't be, If they are.

As far as a server pi goes,
I want 16+ cores, sufficient fast ram, and cheap.
If no one else makes them, who will?
The raspberry foundation is closest to it.
If their pis were only for education, they could have stuck with the first model. No reason to upgrade.
But it's not only for education.
Raspberry pi is for education, as well as engineering, as well as for gamers, tinkerers, robotics and the likes.
They have a variety of uses, so to put them as poster child for the education market would not be correct.

I remember when ideas were welcomed, not banned.
What happened on the forum since last time I visited here 5 odd years ago?
We are not closest to it. Not by a VERY long way. There are dedicated ARM server manufacturers out there. Buy one of those. They are over $2000 but have the specs you need.

As for your comments on what Pi's are for, I say's you were quite wrong. Yes, we sell outside of education, but all the profits from the sales of Pi go to education, and a continual upgrade cycle ensures that income stream stays solid. So obviously we will continue to design/build machines that serve education, and other areas as well, but the target is education.

Ideas are welcome btw, but badly thought through ones will in all likelihood be fairly thoroughly shot down. And if threads go south, they get locked.
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hippy
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Re: Server Pi

Mon Dec 10, 2018 11:20 am

mahjongg wrote:
Mon Dec 10, 2018 10:18 am
Speculation is seen as offensive to the RPF
By whom; the Foundation or others presuming to speak on behalf of the Foundation?

I don't see why speculation should be seen as "offensive" unless the Foundation are unwilling to listen to what their customers and potential customers have to say. And that seems at odds with Eben and others saying the Foundation are open to hearing what people have to say and what they would like. Unless that's a lie and they aren't?

I don't have a problem with speculative threads being locked. "Thank you for your input. The Foundation bears all views in minds when setting its course but the Foundation will ultimately decide what features and products will best serve the Foundation and its customer's interests" is absolutely fine.

The offence taken seems to mostly come from those who take an arrogant stance and deem it that the Foundation knows best, that its staff know better than anyone else, that it doesn't need others to tell it how to do its job.

Unfortunately that asserted God-like superiority is laid bare as false given the problems most recently with the PoE HAT and other mistakes made in the past.

Last time Eben said he was seeking input and comments on future product and I merely asked how to give that I was jumped on for even having the audacity to ask. That's utterly ridiculous.

It would be nice to have an official, authoritative and definitive comment on whether the Foundation is open to hearing from its customers and potential customers or not, whether they consider feedback and input to be offensive or not.

Heater
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Re: Server Pi

Mon Dec 10, 2018 11:37 am

I find it absurd to suggest that the Pi Foundation does not listen to feedback from Pi users and suggestions for improvements. Why would they?

On the other hand there are so many off the wall wish lists popping up here, like this opening post, it's not reasonable to expect the Pi folks to enter into a lengthy debate about all of them.

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Re: Server Pi

Mon Dec 10, 2018 11:56 am

Heater wrote:
Mon Dec 10, 2018 11:37 am
there are so many off the wall wish lists popping up here, like this opening post, it's not reasonable to expect the Pi folks to enter into a lengthy debate about all of them.
Indeed; "Thanks for your input; we'll bear it in mind. Locked" is good enough.

The problem I would say is that there doesn't seem to be such a policy in place to pursue that path. Most of the fractious argument, calling the OP offensive, wrong, and the like, comes from others piling in and presuming to speak on behalf of the Foundation.

It's that "debate" is allowed to continue which causes the problem, and it's often not so much a debate as others taking their opportunity to attack an OP. No doubt in the knowledge that, in siding with the Foundation, they won't themselves be punished for such attacks.

It's that which leads to the "in-fighting", as people take sides as to whether the OP is wrong or has a point.

The issue could mostly and easily be resolved by a change of moderation policy. Give the "thanks for your feedback", delete posts which presume to speak on behalf of the Foundation, and lock the thread.

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Re: Server Pi

Mon Dec 10, 2018 12:04 pm

Heater wrote:
Mon Dec 10, 2018 11:37 am
I find it absurd to suggest that the Pi Foundation does not listen to feedback from Pi users and suggestions for improvements. Why would they?

On the other hand there are so many off the wall wish lists popping up here, like this opening post, it's not reasonable to expect the Pi folks to enter into a lengthy debate about all of them.

After 15 as an "IT Repair and Installation" life it beggars belief what some people think is reasonable or cost effective or even should be considered perfectly feasible on a minuscule budget.

Maybe I get zealous about knocking this types of posts, but then I do realise what a talented bunch of guys and gals work at Pi Towers and find it distasteful that people feel their "blue sky thinking" is the greatest and most affordable way forward.

Maybe EU or one of his colleagues should a write a thesis titled "How to bankrupt Raspberry Pi Trading" in one easy lesson using the various post of this nature which are locked as a starting point ?

IMO all these post should be eradicated (nuked) every 6 months or so :twisted:
adieu

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Re: Server Pi

Mon Dec 10, 2018 12:18 pm

fruitoftheloom wrote:
Mon Dec 10, 2018 12:04 pm
After 15 as an "IT Repair and Installation" life it beggars belief what some people think is reasonable or cost effective or even should be considered perfectly feasible on a minuscule budget.
That's what I mean about presuming to speak on behalf of the Foundation. It is up to them to decide what is reasonable, cost effective or feasible and what isn't, not you, me, or anyone else.

It doesn't matter if someone wants or would like something infeasible; it's simply enough that they do. It's for the Foundation to decide if it's feasible or not, whether it fits with their plans or doesn't.

As for "minuscule budget"; the RPT has had a turnover in excess of £61 million, has made a profit in excess of £24 million, the Foundation has had an income of over £68 million, and has £23 million 'sitting in the bank'.

And what anything costs is largely irrelevant so long as there is a return on that investment.

You are often pretty much saying what the Foundation should and shouldn't do as much as any OP is.

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Re: Server Pi

Mon Dec 10, 2018 12:22 pm

Creating a "wish list" or "feedback" section in the forum would probably go a long way to improving the current situation. That would give somewhere for people to post, somewhere to move such posts to, while giving easy access to them when the Foundation are looking at what people have wished for.

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Re: Server Pi

Mon Dec 10, 2018 12:26 pm

And once again, the thread turns to crap. And people wonder why we lock them....

I try to use these sort of threads to educate as usually the OP is unaware of the issues involved in whatever they are suggesting, as in this case.

However, there are some cases (not this one) where 5 seconds with Google will have show the question have been asked before, and is just going over old well trodden ground. Often just using common sense before posting would help!

As for taking customer feedback on board, generally, by the time someone comes up with an idea on here, we have already been discussing it, probably for years. If I do see an idea that I think is worth following up, I usually pass it on to the HW team. Done that about three times in 6 years. And in two cases they had perfectly reasonable reaons why it was not going to be done, or it was already in progress. The third, me and the HW team disagreed, but they generally have the last say, they are the experts! And no, not going to say what that was.
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fruitoftheloom
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Re: Server Pi

Mon Dec 10, 2018 12:27 pm

hippy wrote:
Mon Dec 10, 2018 12:18 pm
fruitoftheloom wrote:
Mon Dec 10, 2018 12:04 pm
After 15 as an "IT Repair and Installation" life it beggars belief what some people think is reasonable or cost effective or even should be considered perfectly feasible on a minuscule budget.
That's what I mean about presuming to speak on behalf of the Foundation. It is up to them to decide what is reasonable, cost effective or feasible and what isn't, not you, me, or anyone else.

It doesn't matter if someone wants or would like something infeasible; it's simply enough that they do. It's for the Foundation to decide if it's feasible or not, whether it fits with their plans or doesn't.

As for "minuscule budget"; the RPT has had a turnover in excess of £61 million, has made a profit in excess of £24 million, the Foundation has had an income of over £68 million, and has £23 million 'sitting in the bank'.

And what anything costs is largely irrelevant so long as there is a return on that investment.

You are often pretty much saying what the Foundation should and shouldn't do as much as any OP is.

Total piffle as per usual, why should I expect different ?
adieu

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jamesh
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Re: Server Pi

Mon Dec 10, 2018 12:30 pm

hippy wrote:
Mon Dec 10, 2018 12:22 pm
Creating a "wish list" or "feedback" section in the forum would probably go a long way to improving the current situation. That would give somewhere for people to post, somewhere to move such posts to, while giving easy access to them when the Foundation are looking at what people have wished for.
Well, that's easy. A list of these few would cover 99% of problems.

More memory
Faster IO e.g. USB3
H265 decode
4K HDMI


And the same points would be raised over and over and over again.

That said, I will suggest a feedback forum. I think that might have benefits outside the HW design arena.
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DirkS
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Joined: Tue Jun 19, 2012 9:46 pm
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Re: Server Pi

Mon Dec 10, 2018 12:30 pm

hippy wrote:
Mon Dec 10, 2018 12:22 pm
Creating a "wish list" or "feedback" section in the forum would probably go a long way to improving the current situation. That would give somewhere for people to post, somewhere to move such posts to
Yes, /dev/null or what we call in Dutch 'het ronde archief' would do nicely

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