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Liuqahs15

Is anyone else having doubts about the Raspberry Pi?

33 posts in this topic

@Bacterius - what would you choose to get someone interested in computers, out of interest?

 

It depends on the person, really. What initially got me interested was more the algorithmic aspect of things than their implementation ("how does performing this particular series of operations on an input give me a meaningful output?", "why does it work for every input?", "what magic is this?", etc..) which is a more abstract perspective, some people prefer the hands-on, "make things happen" approach which seems more compatible with the Raspberry Pi's goals.

 

It just comes across as more of a cool gadget for geeks than an educational tool. I mean, I could see it being used as one, but it doesn't strike me as its primary purpose.

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Oh, I agree. Slight bit of rambling here:
The whole educational goal aspect of the Pi has been neglected, in my opinion. I fear that the Foundation has missed the boat a bit on this by not doing the promised "educational version". I also think that the lack of a VGA output is a mistake, simply due to the number of VGA monitors schools have that could've been used had the port been added to the board. Leaving that aside, though, schools at the moment are under no obligation to teach programming or computer concepts in a manner in which the Pi would be an essential, so the market is limited to those in ICT who see the Pi and understand what it can do. There's the problem, of course, that schools love to teach students how to use MS Office which, of course (duh), can't be used on the Pi. So, it's not like schools can just buy Pis to replace their PCs. It would have to be in addition to the PCs. Straight away the question is "What's the point of getting the Pi?" At which point the answer becomes a huge burden on teachers to create their own mini-curriculum.

I guess my point in all that is that the Foundation needs to come up with a plan for teachers - the why and the how of Raspberry Pis in education. And I'm not sure they have anyone actively working on that plan in their self-confessed techie group.

That's not to say they do everything wrong, you understand. They're pretty good at getting themselves "out there" and the product known, it's just that they often leave people wondering "Okay, _now_ what do I do?" It's the difference between _saying_ that education is your goal and actually doing something about it. Edited by Recantha2
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I got a raspberry pi this christmas. It is brilliant, even for £50. Sure, the processors slow even on the connect 4 graphical game, and can't run any dos game past 1991 in dosbox, but it is useful as somewhere i can program without the internet and beats an emulator like qemu or bochs. One major problem is the current for extra components with a 1 amp charger. You can connect nothing more powerful than a keyboard and mouse. So a powered usb hub is the only way short of disconnecting the keyboard to put infomation on the sd.
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Oh, I agree. Slight bit of rambling here:
The whole educational goal aspect of the Pi has been neglected, in my opinion. I fear that the Foundation has missed the boat a bit on this by not doing the promised "educational version".

<snip>

I guess my point in all that is that the Foundation needs to come up with a plan for teachers - the why and the how of Raspberry Pis in education. And I'm not sure they have anyone actively working on that plan in their self-confessed techie group.

That's not to say they do everything wrong, you understand. They're pretty good at getting themselves "out there" and the product known, it's just that they often leave people wondering "Okay, _now_ what do I do?" It's the difference between _saying_ that education is your goal and actually doing something about it.

As if by magic - the first release of The Raspberry Pi Education Manual appears.

It's worth bearing in mind that the foundation haven't done the official educational launch of the Pi yet. The original plan involved getting the 10,000 Pis out in the first year into the hands of early adopter techies who would iron out the software bugs whilst educationalists were producing educational material so that both would be ready together for an educational launch. Of course, it became wildly popular before they had chance to complete those developments and people's expectations have been that everything would be available at the start and before the foundation had planned or announced.
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I have a couple of technical problems with the RPi: some of the soldering is kind of shitty (I had to reattach a filter capacitor after it snapped off when I put it back in the box for the first time. This is apparently common, and the common suggestion is to do without it) and the GPIO pins are hardwired to the chip with no static protection built in (static electricity can be very high voltage, much higher than the 3.3v max for the GPIO pins). For these reasons, I think a case is absolutely necessary. But honestly, if you can't build one out of cardboard, you aren't creative enough to be bothering with the RPi. Go get yourself a Facebook account instead.

Edited by capn_midnight
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But honestly, if you can't build one out of cardboard, you aren't creative enough to be bothering with the RPi. Go get yourself a Facebook account instead.

that seems a bit harsh.

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But honestly, if you can't build one out of cardboard, you aren't creative enough to be bothering with the RPi. Go get yourself a Facebook account instead.

that seems a bit harsh.
 
 
 
 
 
 



He does have a point, though. A case in particular is pretty easy to improvise. As a somewhat unrelated example, I used to keep my model paints in an empty box that used to hold teabags. Something like that would be about the right size for an RPi (maybe a little too large, but it can be cut down, of course). When I ran out of space in that, I could have gotten a dedicated carousel for them, but I didn't want to spend the money, and so now both my modelling supplies live in the bottom part of the (somewhat larger) box in which a model I already built came. My first thought for the RPi was Lego, though.

Things like these are why I have a giant pile of cardboard (and various other materials) in my closet. One can find a use for all sorts of things with some imagination. Edited by Oberon_Command
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He does have a point, though. A case in particular is pretty easy to improvise. As a somewhat unrelated example, I used to keep my model paints in an empty box that used to hold teabags. Something like that would be about the right size for an RPi

 

You could always just poke a few holes in the box it came in and use that as a case. I'm considering doing that with mine for until I can get around to getting the bits I need to make the things I want to make.

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