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David Braben's $25 PC


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#21 Ravyne   GDNet+   -  Reputation: 8193

Posted 08 May 2011 - 12:46 PM

This is close to be sexy. But 128 MiB of RAM? Perhaps this is still enough in the ARM ecosystem. It seems likely this is closer to an accessible smartphone experience rather than a full computing one.


I'll get away from the third-world thing since that's a dead horse now, but this is basically the same attitude I was speaking about earlier. I realize 128MB might sound small to "you kids" but good lord, it is a lot of memory. This may pale by today's standards, but this little $25 device is literally 3 times the computer that was the one my family first bought, circa 1998. As I recall, that computer ran my word processor, internet browser, spreadsheets, development environment and games like Quake, Half-Life, Age of Empires and Diablo just fine.

This isn't an attack on Krohm at all -- its just a simple question really: Why do we dismiss such a device simply because it sounds meek compared to today's full-blown PCs and laptops? I mean, we went to the moon with what was essentially a pocket-calculator, and all the chips that keep you comfortable and safe as you ride in your car are probably a few tens of megahertz.

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#22 Krohm   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 3261

Posted 09 May 2011 - 05:35 AM

I understand. But I'm not talking about games.
Chrome is taking me about 80 Megs right now. OpenOffice writer is another 100 Megs. What I don't see is how this can deliver a "true" low-power PC experience. I never really intended to touch any of the aspects you mention. Even taking out software from the Pentium II era leaves some problems...
Perhaps this is just a learning device - a truly great device in that regard - but it really looks more like a smart phone to me (ironically without being a phone). This is still very impressive.
Or perhaps I don't understand at all what you're writing about.

#23 d000hg   Members   -  Reputation: 828

Posted 09 May 2011 - 09:22 AM

Every new monitor for the last few years has an HDMI input. It's the universal connector now.

It took me about 8s to prove you wrong.

I think youll be shocked by the number of mobile phones you actually see in these places

In many countries, mobile phones are the phone network. They don't have landlines so mobiles are the only way to talk.

#24 Luckless   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1891

Posted 09 May 2011 - 09:56 AM


I think youll be shocked by the number of mobile phones you actually see in these places

In many countries, mobile phones are the phone network. They don't have landlines so mobiles are the only way to talk.


This is getting really off topic, but cellular phone systems really are cheaper to set up and maintain in nearly all regions than traditional land lines. (It can get iffy in really mountainous regions with few customers spread over several valleys.)

Which really makes you wonder why you can have unlimited local calling for dirt cheap, and you pay an arm and a leg for it on a mobile phone in many regions.
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#25 yaustar   Members   -  Reputation: 530

Posted 09 May 2011 - 10:27 AM

What I don't see is how this can deliver a "true" low-power PC experience. I never really intended to touch any of the aspects you mention.

Damn Small Linux: http://www.damnsmalllinux.org/
Puppy Linux: http://puppylinux.org/

I suppose it does depend on your definition on 'true' though.

#26 BattleMetalChris   Members   -  Reputation: 158

Posted 09 May 2011 - 01:30 PM

$25 and it has 1 more usb ports than the iPad :rolleyes:

#27 alnite   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 2133

Posted 09 May 2011 - 06:40 PM

HDMI with 1080p. So you can play all your games from 1999 in high-def.


Normally a 42" TV is 30" tall. If your game runs at 640x480, you'll see 16 pixels per inch. If your DOS game runs at 320x240, you'll see about 8 pixels per inch of your TV!

#28 MrDaaark   Members   -  Reputation: 3555

Posted 09 May 2011 - 08:11 PM


Every new monitor for the last few years has an HDMI input. It's the universal connector now.

It took me about 8s to prove you wrong.

That monitor is several years old. Even the monitor I have from fall 2007 only has VGA and DVI.

Every monitor and TV made since has HDMI. Most mid range TVs tend to have 3 or 4 these days. It's the new standard. Even mobile devices that have AV out have all switched over to HDMI. It's also nice that HDMI sends out both video and sound. If you have to choose 1 AV port, HDMI is the one to choose.




#29 ddn3   Members   -  Reputation: 1328

Posted 10 May 2011 - 01:10 AM

If the goal is to teach children the fundamentals of program and get them interesting in computers, it's better to give them a small self contained computer like a older model used iPhone/iPod or out of date cell phone. Jailbreak it and install some custom built app using touch interface and visual programming model like Scratch ( Scratch Programming ). A child isn't gonna lug around a big screen TV and keyboard nor will they hook up a keyboard to a TV.. Millions of used phones are destroyed or recycled which could be re-purposed for this use..All the child needs is electricity to charge up the phone and their imagination, having an internet connection doesn't hurt either.

-ddn

#30 Bregma   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 5498

Posted 10 May 2011 - 07:12 AM

<br />This is close to be sexy. But 128 MiB of RAM? Perhaps this is still enough in the ARM ecosystem. It seems likely this is closer to an accessible smartphone experience rather than a full computing one.

128 MiB is tight but usable for a modern ARM processor running a light Linux system.

Big problem is really the graphics: the GPU and VPU use the same memory as the CPU. If you're doing 1080p you're going to be very tight, and swap is not really an option on these things. If the silicon comes with video codecs and DSP colour conversion, you will have a kickass high-def video player (only in fullscreen mode) but forget modern FPS games. Casual games only.
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#31 Rattrap   Members   -  Reputation: 1793

Posted 10 May 2011 - 07:56 AM

I'd love to see what a cluster made of these could do.

[edit]
Fixed grammar

#32 way2lazy2care   Members   -  Reputation: 782

Posted 10 May 2011 - 08:24 AM

I'd love to see how what a cluster made of these could do.


cheapest render farm ever?




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