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Author Topic: Severe competition for the Rasp Pi?  (Read 2206 times)

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reptileink

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Severe competition for the Rasp Pi?
« on: January 21, 2016, 05:00:49 pm »
Now bear with me as I am not a huge tekkie, but I saw this link yesterday via Fakebook


Apparently this guy was the 12th employee of Apple and has created a system for $15!

Kickstarter:

http://pine64.com/

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Slippyblade

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Re: Severe competition for the Rasp Pi?
« Reply #1 on: January 21, 2016, 05:13:59 pm »
Meh, there is a ton of Pi competition around.  What is keeping the Pi at the top is the huge community around it.

pbj

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Re: Severe competition for the Rasp Pi?
« Reply #2 on: January 21, 2016, 05:17:59 pm »
Pi community = "yeah, you could probably do that.  Maybe.  RTFM."


vwalbridge

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Re: Severe competition for the Rasp Pi?
« Reply #3 on: January 21, 2016, 05:20:20 pm »
That price is good at $15 and it's nice to see the Pi getting some stiff competition.

Their tagline is "Help us bring affordable computing to all"

...except their irony in that statement is that people that want affordable computing don't want Linux. Yep, I said it. I'm gonna go out on a limb and say people that want affordable computing are the wrong people to be using this device. This is NOT a primary computer so if you are buying it, then you already have a computer and don't need another one to be affordable.

Sure, they can sell a few and might even take some market share from the Pi but I just don't see these devices "taking off" any time soon until they run Windows. I'm one of those guys that's not afraid to say I like windows.
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RandyT

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Re: Severe competition for the Rasp Pi?
« Reply #4 on: January 21, 2016, 05:20:59 pm »
The Apple guy was brought in as an "Advisor"  and IMHO, to lend credibility to the project.  They also call it a "$15 Supercomputer", so I'm already skeptical.  The feature set sounds like the Chinese cell phone I just bought (similar 64-bit, Allwinner chip) for $150 shipped, except the phone is an Octa-core.  It's a snappy phone, but I don't think I would call it a "Supercomputer", and with half the cores, the project board is bound to be slower with some things. :)

Still, how can you complain for $15?  If it's even 50%-100% faster than a Pi2b, and costs less or the same, it could get some traction.  Slippy is right, however.  There needs to be as much community support as there is for the Pi, or it will likely be a $15 footnote.

Slippyblade

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Re: Severe competition for the Rasp Pi?
« Reply #5 on: January 21, 2016, 05:22:36 pm »
I'm one of those guys that's not afraid to say I like windows.

Only reason I still have Windows is because of gaming.  Which is funny, because back around the Windows 95 era, the game industry HATED Windows.

RandyT

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Re: Severe competition for the Rasp Pi?
« Reply #6 on: January 21, 2016, 07:18:05 pm »
Only reason I still have Windows is because of gaming.  Which is funny, because back around the Windows 95 era, the game industry HATED Windows.

Windows is starting to get so smarmy with 10 (basically institutionalized malware underpinings) that I'd forego PC gaming to use something else.  Unfortunately, a lot of productivity software I like doesn't run on anything else, so I'm sticking with the older versions.

But these little systems are capable of decent web browsing, email, social networking (for those who like that sort of thing), media playback and older game emulation, so if that's all someone wants a computer for, these things might actually be enough.  They'd just need to get a PS4 or XBOX ONE to do their fancier gaming with.  No Windows required.

All said and done, I'd rather pay an extra $15 for as much power as they can pack into one of these (i.e. Octa-core and more RAM).  This focus on lowest price is a little absurd.

pbj

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Re: Severe competition for the Rasp Pi?
« Reply #7 on: January 21, 2016, 09:08:26 pm »
I'm kinda with Randy.  I just bought some new phone off Amazon.  Unlocked, works globally, recent version of Android blah blah blah.  $60.  I miss iMessaging but my iPhone 5c was hot garbage and screw paying $300+ to replace it.

Anyway, point being, these cheapo computers are gonna have to play Gauntlet Legends 100% to impress me at this point...  I've got 50 other devices that play Angry Birds on my TV.



yotsuya

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Re: Severe competition for the Rasp Pi?
« Reply #8 on: January 21, 2016, 09:10:39 pm »
Pi community = "yeah, you could probably do that.  Maybe.  RTFM."
So true.
***Build what you dig, bro. Build what you dig.***

elvis

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Re: Severe competition for the Rasp Pi?
« Reply #9 on: January 21, 2016, 10:12:38 pm »
Pi community = "yeah, you could probably do that.  Maybe.  RTFM."
To be fair, people have spent literally millions of man hours writing incredible documentation that many folks don't read, and then continue to ask the same questions over and over on forums.

90% of problems are documented clearly in the freely-available, and bundled documentation ("man" and "apropos" commands are your friend).

Speaking as someone who supports Linux professionally, I find myself often reading documentation to people verbatim to solve their problems.  And even when I very gently explain to them how to read the documentation for themselves, they'd still rather ask in person.

At least I get paid to be patient.  I can't blame the RPi community for saying "RTFM" after the 1000th "how do I resize my installer to fit my SD card?" question.


leapinlew

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Re: Severe competition for the Rasp Pi?
« Reply #10 on: January 22, 2016, 04:39:54 pm »
Pi community = "yeah, you could probably do that.  Maybe.  RTFM."
To be fair, people have spent literally millions of man hours writing incredible documentation that many folks don't read, and then continue to ask the same questions over and over on forums.

90% of problems are documented clearly in the freely-available, and bundled documentation ("man" and "apropos" commands are your friend).

Speaking as someone who supports Linux professionally, I find myself often reading documentation to people verbatim to solve their problems.  And even when I very gently explain to them how to read the documentation for themselves, they'd still rather ask in person.

At least I get paid to be patient.  I can't blame the RPi community for saying "RTFM" after the 1000th "how do I resize my installer to fit my SD card?" question.

It's human nature. It's not as if Windows, Office, etc. doesn't have their fair share of people asking the same question. There is a reason the linux folks got the "RTFM" reputation and I believe it has a direct correlation on why Linux hasn't been able to succeed.

nitrogen_widget

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Re: Severe competition for the Rasp Pi?
« Reply #11 on: January 22, 2016, 04:55:33 pm »
Quote
The Pine A64 CPU is quad-core ARM A-53 64-bit processor and runs at 1.2GHz. The CPU’s MIPS benchmarks around 11,040 which makes it capabilities roughly equivalent to the Sony PS3’s level of performance or a netbook running AMD E-240 CPU at 1.5GHz.

I have one of these apu's in my old media center PC.
Not bad for media playback & light gaming.

But I really wish they would put some damn ram on these things.
Lubuntu is great & all for old PC's but modern browsers & web surfing will crush 512MB regardless of whether you're OS only need 60MB at boot.

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Re: Severe competition for the Rasp Pi?
« Reply #12 on: January 23, 2016, 01:05:21 am »
There is a reason the linux folks got the "RTFM" reputation and I believe it has a direct correlation on why Linux hasn't been able to succeed.
I disagree entirely. 

Firstly, flexibility and ease of use are always at odds with each other.  Linux is far more flexible, and can do an enormous array of tasks.  But the trade-off is ease of use.  Compare and contrast Windows which is less flexible but easier to use, and then taking one step further to Mac OS X which is by far the easiest OS to use, but offers little flexibility and customisation.  Mac OS X gives very simple menus with few options.  Linux gives a powerful scripting command line and highly complex configuration system.  Windows offers something in the middle.

Each OS has their place in the world, and is good at what they do in their area.  But some of these OSes are far more friendly to non-technical users than others.

Secondly, Linux has indeed succeeded.  There are more Linux installs out there than any other operating system.  Just because they aren't on desktops, doesn't mean they're not there.  Amazon's AWS is built on Linux, most of the Internet is built on Linux, Android is built on Linux and blitzes every other mobile operating system for number of users, and even Microsoft use Linux as their software-defined-network layer for their Azure services that power Office 365.  This post you're reading right now is hosted on a Linux server, delivered to you by infrastructure running on and managed by Linux.

If you're only considering Linux on the desktop, then that's a tiny fraction of what Linux is used for.  Again, it has far greater flexibility than either Windows or Mac OS X, and by virtue of that is used in all sorts of weird and wonderful ways by very clever and qualified technical people.  When these busy people get asked for the hundredth time how to install a bit of software, often they tell people to go RTFM.  If that sort of thing drives people away from Linux, it's not always a bad thing.  Sometimes those people really ought to go and use easier alternatives if they're not the sorts of folks who like to bury their noses in technical documentation for days on end. 

Horses for courses.  Plenty of room in the market for everyone.

nitrogen_widget

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Re: Severe competition for the Rasp Pi?
« Reply #13 on: January 23, 2016, 08:29:43 am »
My 72 yr old mom's computer has PCLinuxOS on it and running the MATE desktop.
She can use it just fine for email,web, word processing, scanning, printing. :dunno

maybe because she used a dumb terminal/mainframe at work & never really used windows she doesn't have an issue?

Sometimes when I read posts about people thinking linux is hard to use I think about those late night infomercials for things like cookie dunkers because like dunking cookies in milk with your hand is WAY too difficult.  :dizzy:




leapinlew

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Re: Severe competition for the Rasp Pi?
« Reply #14 on: January 23, 2016, 02:46:50 pm »
There is a reason the linux folks got the "RTFM" reputation and I believe it has a direct correlation on why Linux hasn't been able to succeed.
I disagree entirely. 

Firstly, flexibility and ease of use are always at odds with each other.  Linux is far more flexible, and can do an enormous array of tasks.  But the trade-off is ease of use.  Compare and contrast Windows which is less flexible but easier to use, and then taking one step further to Mac OS X which is by far the easiest OS to use, but offers little flexibility and customisation.  Mac OS X gives very simple menus with few options.  Linux gives a powerful scripting command line and highly complex configuration system.  Windows offers something in the middle.

Each OS has their place in the world, and is good at what they do in their area.  But some of these OSes are far more friendly to non-technical users than others.

Secondly, Linux has indeed succeeded.  There are more Linux installs out there than any other operating system.  Just because they aren't on desktops, doesn't mean they're not there.  Amazon's AWS is built on Linux, most of the Internet is built on Linux, Android is built on Linux and blitzes every other mobile operating system for number of users, and even Microsoft use Linux as their software-defined-network layer for their Azure services that power Office 365.  This post you're reading right now is hosted on a Linux server, delivered to you by infrastructure running on and managed by Linux.

If you're only considering Linux on the desktop, then that's a tiny fraction of what Linux is used for.  Again, it has far greater flexibility than either Windows or Mac OS X, and by virtue of that is used in all sorts of weird and wonderful ways by very clever and qualified technical people.  When these busy people get asked for the hundredth time how to install a bit of software, often they tell people to go RTFM.  If that sort of thing drives people away from Linux, it's not always a bad thing.  Sometimes those people really ought to go and use easier alternatives if they're not the sorts of folks who like to bury their noses in technical documentation for days on end. 

Horses for courses.  Plenty of room in the market for everyone.

Success can be measured in a variety of ways... getting linux into the hands of non-geeks is the measure of success that I am referring to and often what many linux distros strive for and in that regard they have failed. It doesn't matter how many flavors of Linux I've used or heard about, none of them come to close being a windows killer that they advertise to be.

I really bought into the hype with Ubuntu - Gutsy Gibbon. It seemed the community was there as well as a mature platform. I loaded it and for 2 weeks I struggled to get a printer and dual screen to work. I probably spent 80-100 hours researching, posting and RTFM. I learned that while Ubuntu had a large community, it was mostly full of snot nosed "I'm smarter than you" types ready to post a picture to make you feel small. The size of the community got much smaller as I tried to get help with my specific hardware. The fix? Oh, they had to rebuild the linux kernal to support the hardware I was using.

I currently use RHEL and CentOS on a semi-regular basis. Is it hard? Yes, but like Elvis was saying, it's the trade off you get when getting high customization options.

Sure, when dealing with cloud deployed instances that you plan to deploy & destroy, linux gives you the best options, but when dealing with a desktop - I'll take easy to use every time. Why wouldn't I? If I want to run Linux, I'll use a virtual machine.

leapinlew

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Re: Severe competition for the Rasp Pi?
« Reply #15 on: January 23, 2016, 02:50:14 pm »
My 72 yr old mom's computer has PCLinuxOS on it and running the MATE desktop.
She can use it just fine for email,web, word processing, scanning, printing. :dunno

maybe because she used a dumb terminal/mainframe at work & never really used windows she doesn't have an issue?

Sometimes when I read posts about people thinking linux is hard to use I think about those late night infomercials for things like cookie dunkers because like dunking cookies in milk with your hand is WAY too difficult.  :dizzy:



See, you don't even realize you are part of the problem I was talking about. You say your old mom can use Linux and then suggest  that maybe someone who can't use linux should also use a cookie dunker. Come on man... this is EXACTLY the attitude that turns people away from Linux.

nitrogen_widget

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Re: Severe competition for the Rasp Pi?
« Reply #16 on: January 23, 2016, 04:32:25 pm »
That is NOT what i'm saying at all.
Why so defensive?

What i'm saying is people aren't even really giving linux a serious try.
They just say "it's not windows, it's too hard"
C'mon.
Did they even really try?
I mean really try with the same effort they used to configure mame or the front end they are running in windows?
I'm going to say no.

They made a half-hearted attempt, saw it looked different, gave up, then demonized it instead of admitting they didn't really try before going back to windows.
Hence the cookie dunker mention.
The people promoting the cookie dunker (window's user's) are saying using your hand to dunk cookies without breaking them (using linux) is too difficult.

It's just plain silly.

I will admit the RPI forum & ubuntu forum have some elistist jerks who really don't want to help people all that much and love telling them to use the search function.
But every forum out there has a population telling people to use the search function or read the stickies.

So I don't know why being told to RTFM gets peoples nickers in a twist when they most likely didn't put much effort into doing a search of the forums where most likely what they want to know has been addressed & there just waiting for them to read.
 
PCLinuxOS is my chosen distro because the forum is actually helpful with knowledgeable people.
It isn't ubuntu or debain so not as many packages nor will we see it on ARM, but it works and i've been using it as my main OS for years.
I keep a windows partition for some games & VPN into work.

All that said I did see they have boards with more ram so I did fund for a 1gb version of this board for 26$.
Why not?

My 72 yr old mom's computer has PCLinuxOS on it and running the MATE desktop.
She can use it just fine for email,web, word processing, scanning, printing. :dunno

maybe because she used a dumb terminal/mainframe at work & never really used windows she doesn't have an issue?

Sometimes when I read posts about people thinking linux is hard to use I think about those late night infomercials for things like cookie dunkers because like dunking cookies in milk with your hand is WAY too difficult.  :dizzy:



See, you don't even realize you are part of the problem I was talking about. You say your old mom can use Linux and then suggest  that maybe someone who can't use linux should also use a cookie dunker. Come on man... this is EXACTLY the attitude that turns people away from Linux.

leapinlew

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Re: Severe competition for the Rasp Pi?
« Reply #17 on: January 24, 2016, 12:18:11 pm »
That is NOT what i'm saying at all.
Why so defensive?

I guess I could say you are also being defensive, at least as I read it. Maybe the problem is text.  ;) The assumption that anyone who asks about Linux can't dunk their own cookies is insulting and meant to be an insult. Really no other way to look at it.

There is a large group of folks who think they are anti-establishment and would never own a iPhone or use Windows because it's too mainstream, even when it's the best tool for the job. In my experience, it's mostly Linux and Android users. Most of the a-holes I run into are the linux admins who look down their nose at windows and iphone users. Why? Because iphone users are snobs, lol.

RTFM is insulting and equivalent to telling anyone who asks "What joysticks should I buy" to "Do research n00b". We can have a difference on opinion on that though.  :)


RandyT

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Re: Severe competition for the Rasp Pi?
« Reply #18 on: January 24, 2016, 12:33:29 pm »
I'm not a "Linux guy", rather someone who just understands how widespread it's installed base is, and owns several devices which use it. 

The main issue holding it back for widespread desktop use is the high level of fragmentation.  Hardware support is much better nowadays than it was years ago, but it still doesn't offer users the "plug and go" experience that Windows does.  Computer users are just that...users.  They aren't code junkies, and don't think like programmers.  RTFM doesn't help this massive group, because the manual might as well be written in Jabutí.

Anyone who has played with replacing firmware on a phone, knows exactly the challenges associated with Linux.  While some talented folks are able to tweak stock Android installations for specific hardware, there are almost always portions of the hardware which either end up not working correctly, or even not working at all.  Desktops are similar, but in some ways worse.  At least the phone guys have a closed box environment when dealing with a specific phone model.  A desktop can literally have millions of variations, depending on the hardware attached.  To make matters worse, even if your hardware comes with the required drivers (it usually won't), the average "user" needs to jump through hoops which are outside of their comfort level, and those hoops aren't even the same for all distributions.  Sure, you can limit the hardware you use to a specific distributions "supported hardware", but that is a limitation which few desire to have associated with the use of their desktop. 

Then there is the issue of application support.  There are some amazing free applications for Linux.  There's also a lot of open-source stuff attempted to be used by others with a different hardware base than the individual who coded it.  Again, this is great for the linux coding crowd, as they are able to tweak the code to do what they want it to, possibly even growing the application to support more hardware to the benefit of those less technically inclined.  The problem is that this is an "organic" process.  It's much like being hungry now, and having only some cash, vegetable seeds and a pot of dirt.  Eventually you might have some food with the latter two, but you'll likely starve before that time.  To take the analogy further, it's like having seeds which grow at a pace controlled by someone else, unless you learn how to control that pace yourself.  The Linux community views this as a means to bring novices into the realm of coding, a philosophy, if you will, and it it does do that to some extent.  But the vast majority will just use their cash to buy "food" elsewhere. i.e. Windows.

One example I have seen over and over again is something as simple as generic HID joysticks.  In Windows, they just work, as variations in report structures are already recognized and accounted for and/or they can be calibrated in the common software interface in the OS.  And, every application uses the same calls to make sure it it is receiving the calibrated data.  Linux, on the other hand, uses external utilities for joystick calibration (JSCAL, IIRC) and unless the application is specifically written to use the values it creates, or the kernal is modified, your joystick may not work properly.  If you have to deal with issues like this for a dead simple HID joystick, I'd hate to think what else was in store for other hardware lacking specific support.

Linux smacks of MS-DOS with Windows 3.1 layered atop.  It's much more powerful than that old combo, but the need to often resort to the command line, something "users" loath and Windows has done everything it can to avoid happening, still has it in that realm.

Linux claims to be free, but if you place any value at all on your time, it's not, unless you operate strictly within the parameters of the distribution, or have a good friend like Nitrogen_Widget :)

Again, I don't claim to know much about the OS, so some of my observations may not be 100% (i.e. feel free to correct) but these are my observations from my incidental contact with it.  I'm also not your average "user", and even I don't find myself to be too excited about rolling up my sleeves and becoming "good" at it.  But I'm happy it's out there, and use it often (some version of it is on just about every portable device or "smart" appliance out there.)
« Last Edit: January 24, 2016, 08:10:13 pm by RandyT »

leapinlew

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Re: Severe competition for the Rasp Pi?
« Reply #19 on: January 24, 2016, 12:49:44 pm »
I'm not a "Linux guy", rather someone who just understands how widespread it's installed base is, and owns several devices which use it. 

The main issue holding it back for widespread desktop use is the high level of fragmentation.  Hardware support is much better nowadays than it was years ago, but it still doesn't offer users the "plug and go" experience that Windows does.  Computer users are just that...users.  They aren't code junkies, and don't think like programmers.  RTFM doesn't help this massive group, because the manual might as well be written in Jabutí.

Anyone who has played with replacing firmware on a phone, knows exactly the challenges associated with Linux.  While some talented folks are able to tweak stock Android installations for specific hardware, there are almost always portions of the hardware which either end up not working correctly, or even not working at all.  Desktops are similar, but in some ways worse.  At least the phone guys have a closed box environment when dealing with a specific phone model.  A desktop can literally have millions of variations, depending on the hardware attached.  To make matters worse, even if your hardware comes with the required drivers (it usually won't), the average "user" needs to jump through hoops which are outside of their comfort level, and those hoops aren't even the same for all distributions.  Sure, you can limit the hardware you use to a specific distributions "supported hardware", but that is a limitation which few desire to have associated with the use of their desktop. 

Then there is the issue of application support.  There are some amazing free applications for Linux.  There's also a lot of open-source stuff attempting to be used by others with a different hardware base than the individual who coded it.  Again, this is great for the linux coding crowd, as they are able to tweak the code to do what they want it to, possibly even growing the application to support more hardware to the benefit of those less technically inclined.  The problem is that this is an "organic" process.  It's much like being hungry now, and having only some cash, vegetable seeds and a pot of dirt.  Eventually you might have some food with the latter two, but you'll likely starve before that time.  To take the analogy further, it's like having seeds which grow at a pace controlled by someone else, unless you learn how to control that pace yourself.  The Linux community views this as a means to bring novices into the realm of coding, a philosophy, if you will, and it it does do that to some extent.  But the vast majority will just use their cash to buy "food" elsewhere. i.e. Windows.

One example I have seen over and over again is something as simple as generic HID joysticks.  In Windows, they just work, as variations in report structures are already recognized and accounted for and/or they can be calibrated in the common software interface in the OS.  And, every application uses the same calls to make sure it it is receiving the calibrated data.  Linux, on the other hand, uses external utilities for joystick calibration (JSCAL, IIRC) and unless the application is specifically written to use the values it creates, or the kernal is modified, your joystick may not work properly.  If you have to deal with issues like this for a dead simple HID joystick, I'd hate to think what else was in store for other hardware lacking specific support.

Linux smacks of MS-DOS with Windows 3.1 layered atop.  It's much more powerful than that old combo, but the need to often resort to the command line, something "users" loath and Windows has done everything it can to avoid happening, still has it in that realm.

Linux claims to be free, but if you place any value at all on your time, it's not, unless you operate strictly within the parameters of the distribution, or have a good friend like Nitrogen_Widget :)

Again, I don't claim to know much about the OS, so some of my observations may not be 100% (i.e. feel free to correct) but these are my observations from my incidental contact with it.  I'm also not your average "user", and even I don't find myself to be too excited about rolling up my sleeves and becoming "good" at it.  But I'm happy it's out there, and use it often (some version of it is on just about every portable device or "smart" appliance out there.)

That's a good summary Randy. In my experiences, there is lots of excitement and claims of support, but when it's time to deploy linux to your specific hardware using the packages you need, it feels like an island.

stigzler

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Re: Severe competition for the Rasp Pi?
« Reply #20 on: January 24, 2016, 01:10:32 pm »
My 2p worth. I think these sbc's are fantastic. You can essentially buy a fully functioning PC for less than a game.

If I think back to my youth where I was tinkering with 'puters (in 1653) a PC would set you back about £2000. It wasn't until my mid 20s they came down to around £1000. Now, they are $15.

So basically , if yer a kid now, you can buy a full PC + if you have a soldering iron and a weekly pocket money allowance - you can buy bits and bobs (add-ons for these things seem ridiculously cheap) and make the next-best Thing in your bedroom. If you've got a rich mate with a 3D printer - you've got a company. It's like Jobs/Wozniac or Gates/Allen, but for poorer kids (i.e. you don't need a garage, just electricity).

I'm like some others - I don't mind M$ that much really. I think the fact you can download Visual Studio for free and use other free services is just great. Same for Google. Draw the line at Apple - I find them a little propriety and megalomaniacal. And their software sucks.

However, having just yesterday bought my first sbc hence necessitating I take a step into linux when it arrives, I have a dreadful image of having to learn computing again from scratch, from command line upwards. Mind you it's probably like politicians at the end of the day - different box but pretty much made of the same stuff on the inside.

It's also interesting that all these things (apart from a select few) seem to be running linux. Could be a bit of a sea change regarding OSs.




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Re: Severe competition for the Rasp Pi?
« Reply #21 on: January 24, 2016, 08:22:23 pm »
I'm not a "Linux guy", rather someone who just understands how widespread it's installed base is, and owns several devices which use it. 

The main issue holding it back for widespread desktop use is the high level of fragmentation.  Hardware support is much better nowadays than it was years ago, but it still doesn't offer users the "plug and go" experience that Windows does.  Computer users are just that...users.  They aren't code junkies, and don't think like programmers.  RTFM doesn't help this massive group, because the manual might as well be written in Jabutí.

Anyone who has played with replacing firmware on a phone, knows exactly the challenges associated with Linux.  While some talented folks are able to tweak stock Android installations for specific hardware, there are almost always portions of the hardware which either end up not working correctly, or even not working at all.  Desktops are similar, but in some ways worse.  At least the phone guys have a closed box environment when dealing with a specific phone model.  A desktop can literally have millions of variations, depending on the hardware attached.  To make matters worse, even if your hardware comes with the required drivers (it usually won't), the average "user" needs to jump through hoops which are outside of their comfort level, and those hoops aren't even the same for all distributions.  Sure, you can limit the hardware you use to a specific distributions "supported hardware", but that is a limitation which few desire to have associated with the use of their desktop. 

Then there is the issue of application support.  There are some amazing free applications for Linux.  There's also a lot of open-source stuff attempting to be used by others with a different hardware base than the individual who coded it.  Again, this is great for the linux coding crowd, as they are able to tweak the code to do what they want it to, possibly even growing the application to support more hardware to the benefit of those less technically inclined.  The problem is that this is an "organic" process.  It's much like being hungry now, and having only some cash, vegetable seeds and a pot of dirt.  Eventually you might have some food with the latter two, but you'll likely starve before that time.  To take the analogy further, it's like having seeds which grow at a pace controlled by someone else, unless you learn how to control that pace yourself.  The Linux community views this as a means to bring novices into the realm of coding, a philosophy, if you will, and it it does do that to some extent.  But the vast majority will just use their cash to buy "food" elsewhere. i.e. Windows.

One example I have seen over and over again is something as simple as generic HID joysticks.  In Windows, they just work, as variations in report structures are already recognized and accounted for and/or they can be calibrated in the common software interface in the OS.  And, every application uses the same calls to make sure it it is receiving the calibrated data.  Linux, on the other hand, uses external utilities for joystick calibration (JSCAL, IIRC) and unless the application is specifically written to use the values it creates, or the kernal is modified, your joystick may not work properly.  If you have to deal with issues like this for a dead simple HID joystick, I'd hate to think what else was in store for other hardware lacking specific support.

Linux smacks of MS-DOS with Windows 3.1 layered atop.  It's much more powerful than that old combo, but the need to often resort to the command line, something "users" loath and Windows has done everything it can to avoid happening, still has it in that realm.

Linux claims to be free, but if you place any value at all on your time, it's not, unless you operate strictly within the parameters of the distribution, or have a good friend like Nitrogen_Widget :)

Again, I don't claim to know much about the OS, so some of my observations may not be 100% (i.e. feel free to correct) but these are my observations from my incidental contact with it.  I'm also not your average "user", and even I don't find myself to be too excited about rolling up my sleeves and becoming "good" at it.  But I'm happy it's out there, and use it often (some version of it is on just about every portable device or "smart" appliance out there.)

I have a rock candy PS3 gamepad with the dongle plugged into my linux PC and have been using it for steam no issue.
Just as a test I also plugged in an xbox 360 controller, an old wingman rumble pad & a generic ebay joystick encoder with the up & down from an arcade joystick hooked up & all were recognized by the PC correctly in the hardware panel & worked with steam games no issue or configuration.


Perhaps Its just the distro I use?
The creator is more concerned about hardware compatibility over packaging the latest version of a piece of software so that could be it.

In the past i've used some really cheap gamepads to test mame on this distro of linux also without issue.
Some software doesn't recognize the joystick correctly so joy2key is needed.

Everything has a learning curve & requires an investment in time to learn.
It's up to each individual to decide if it's worth it to them to invest that time into it.

I think these little arm boards are great.
You can run full featured desktop on a 1GB board for example without too much trouble.
an RPI 2 with a class 10 SDcard is surprisingly quick when it comes to email,web browsing, word processing, ect. and with retroarch mame .70 they are starting to get CRT curvature shaders working now.
And it didn't take 20 hrs to compile either like the RPI1.

This new board is cheaper & faster but much like the ODROID boards that are similar the community after a year of me being aware of them just isn't as strong as the RPI community.

I am though really curious to see how mame runs on a 64 bit quad core arm computer that isn't android.
I know they claim speed is close to E series amd chips but much like the intel sticks I still think we will be limited to mame .106 in order to play most games full speed.

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Re: Severe competition for the Rasp Pi?
« Reply #22 on: January 24, 2016, 08:41:43 pm »
2016 and we're arguing about Linux.

Still wishing we had an ignore thread option around here.


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Re: Severe competition for the Rasp Pi?
« Reply #23 on: January 24, 2016, 09:26:42 pm »
2016 and we're arguing about Linux.

Still wishing we had an ignore thread option around here.

Arguing? no. Everyone agrees that Linux is easy and Windows users are dumb!  ;)

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Re: Severe competition for the Rasp Pi?
« Reply #24 on: January 25, 2016, 06:36:05 am »
I'm like some others - I don't mind M$ that much really. I think the fact you can download Visual Studio for free and use other free services is just great. Same for Google. Draw the line at Apple - I find them a little propriety and megalomaniacal. And their software sucks.

However, having just yesterday bought my first sbc hence necessitating I take a step into linux when it arrives, I have a dreadful image of having to learn computing again from scratch, from command line upwards. Mind you it's probably like politicians at the end of the day - different box but pretty much made of the same stuff on the inside.

Everything you said regarding your opinions about OSes, I was like  :laugh2:

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Re: Severe competition for the Rasp Pi?
« Reply #25 on: January 25, 2016, 01:06:01 pm »
I feel truly happy and privileged to make you happy, keilmillerjr. :)

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Re: Severe competition for the Rasp Pi?
« Reply #26 on: January 25, 2016, 02:38:28 pm »
I can start games on an apple IIe and type dir to see what files are in a directory.  That's the end of my ability to use command line.  So let me offer a point and click user perspective.

I have no interest in windows 10 and don't like 8.1.  So I gave linux a try after learning here that my odds were good regarding compatible hardware.  I tried the regular ubuntu and wanted to do something that I considered basic, but I needed root access. I had to dig around to find out that it required command line.  Well, forget it, no go, it's just not worth the trouble.  I wouldn't recommend to an average user.  I dug in a little more and found out that Mint has a right click option to open as root and I've been using it for several months as my main computer.  I even took the HD out of one computer and dropped it in another.  (both dell laptops)  It installed a couple of drivers automatically and didn't seem to care that I'd switched.  It's been great for general use and I don't think it would be hard for the general public to get used to.  I still had to leave it as a dual boot set-up with windows 7 for a lot of gaming, a couple of utilities and netflix, but I prefer Mint it for everything else.

I don't know what to do with my rasberry pi.  The retro gaming OS is nice, but it's nothing compared to a standard set-up on a $70 desktop.

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Re: Severe competition for the Rasp Pi?
« Reply #27 on: January 25, 2016, 05:25:14 pm »
I can start games on an apple IIe and type dir to see what files are in a directory.  That's the end of my ability to use command line.  So let me offer a point and click user perspective.

I have no interest in windows 10 and don't like 8.1.  So I gave linux a try after learning here that my odds were good regarding compatible hardware.  I tried the regular ubuntu and wanted to do something that I considered basic, but I needed root access. I had to dig around to find out that it required command line.  Well, forget it, no go, it's just not worth the trouble.  I wouldn't recommend to an average user.  I dug in a little more and found out that Mint has a right click option to open as root and I've been using it for several months as my main computer.

The command you are looking for is sudo.

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Re: Severe competition for the Rasp Pi?
« Reply #28 on: January 25, 2016, 09:00:34 pm »
I have to use Linux at work sometimes, doing so always boosts my appreciation for Windows.

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Re: Severe competition for the Rasp Pi?
« Reply #29 on: January 26, 2016, 05:06:31 pm »
So y'all are tellin' me that all this time there's been a "Dunkin' Buddy" out there and here I am dunking cookies in milk with my own hand like a sucker?! :(

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Re: Severe competition for the Rasp Pi?
« Reply #30 on: January 26, 2016, 06:24:10 pm »
So y'all are tellin' me that all this time there's been a "Dunkin' Buddy" out there and here I am dunking cookies in milk with my own hand like a sucker?! :(

It changed my life.

RandyT

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Re: Severe competition for the Rasp Pi?
« Reply #31 on: January 26, 2016, 07:58:21 pm »
So y'all are tellin' me that all this time there's been a "Dunkin' Buddy" out there and here I am dunking cookies in milk with my own hand like a sucker?! :(

If you think that's cool, you should check out the automated USB version.  But it only works with Windows  ;D

lilshawn

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Re: Severe competition for the Rasp Pi?
« Reply #32 on: January 27, 2016, 02:48:13 pm »
it's fairly easy to disable all the data logging and telemetry win windows 10...

https://www.reddit.com/r/Windows10/comments/3f38ed/guide_how_to_disable_data_logging_in_w10

heck some people even made an automated script you can run and it's done.

https://www.reddit.com/r/pcmasterrace/comments/3fbbtf/i_made_a_tool_for_inexperienced_users_to_disable/

between this (and if you really want to lock things down) throw a hand full of IP's in your firewall to block computers in your network from contacting them... and it's done.

the whole windows 10 spy bla bla thing is not really an issue any more thanks to these kinds of people and the work they do. People need to stop trusting companies thinking they have the users best interest in mind, because it doesn't happen. You need to take it upon yourself...to make your computing experience what it should be. Stop being complacent and take charge.

if that means blocking out the BS. So be it. You think your safe running windows 7 or 8 still? think again....they dumped the same spy crap in there disguising it as a "security update". so if you have KB 3068708, 3022345, 3075249, or 3080149 installed...you may as well be running windows 10.  :dunno

PS - you can get rid of these updates if you have them installed by opening a command prompt and typing

"wusa /uninstall /kb:XXXXXXX /quiet /norestart" where XXXXXXX is the patch number. for instance

wusa /uninstall /kb:3068708 /quiet /norestart

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Re: Severe competition for the Rasp Pi?
« Reply #33 on: January 27, 2016, 03:32:28 pm »
Good advice. 

There's also a resident tool to help take care of these issues, as well as to watch for and refuse any "push" updates to Win10.  Don't have a link, but it's not hard to find.

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Re: Severe competition for the Rasp Pi?
« Reply #34 on: January 27, 2016, 08:20:12 pm »
I don't waste time worrying about non-existent issues myself.

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Re: Severe competition for the Rasp Pi?
« Reply #35 on: January 27, 2016, 09:47:08 pm »
The main issue holding it back for widespread desktop use is the high level of fragmentation.
Assuming desktop use is a *primary* goal of Linux.  As a person who uses Linux a lot, I don't think it is.

And for what I use Linux for, fragmentation is great.  The choices are endless, and I can customise it to ridiculous extremes for very niche requirements.  I quite like that.

but it still doesn't offer users the "plug and go" experience that Windows does
Ubuntu and Mint do.  You can run a functional OS off a USB stick.  Can't get more "plug and go" than that.

Other distros, not so much.  But as above, their primary goals differ, and that's a good thing.

FWIW, I am a "Linux guy" and use it both at work and home as my primary OS (I do all the R&D for a VFX studio, and we are heavily invested in Linux as our platform of choice).  A lot of this talk of "there's no standards, there's no support" I think is largely people confusing their familiarity with other systems with how Linux works.  We run 3 complete different distros in our environment, and an enormous volume of proprietary applications written by third party vendors, all on very complex hardware.  All of this works with little effort and very few incompatibilities between the distros, which is the complete opposite of what most people claim should happen in a majority-Linux workplace.  The difference being we have people here who are as skilled in Linux as most of the people on these forums are skilled in Windows.  "Familiarity" is not the same as "ease of use", and that's worth remembering when you try something new and different.
« Last Edit: January 28, 2016, 07:31:42 pm by elvis »

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Re: Severe competition for the Rasp Pi?
« Reply #36 on: July 05, 2017, 11:31:22 am »
Sorry to revive an old thread, but has anyone tested the Rock64 yet? (Pine64)

Looks like price has went up some since this thread started, still cheaper than comparable RPi though.

https://www.pine64.org/?page_id=7147

ark_ader

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Re: Severe competition for the Rasp Pi?
« Reply #37 on: July 05, 2017, 01:45:35 pm »
The problem with the Raspberry Pi is the price.  You want the Pizero W that supposed to cost $10 but is somehow $20 because someone wants to make money off you.  There is no control over it.  So you have the said device at an inflated price, then you look at the other gear in your possession.  The Pi makes your old laptops obsolete as they are running windows, and have cables running everywhere (a particular bugbear with me), then it is made worse that this little device is multi-functional, and is seriously knocking on my 2012 server door.

Then we have the recent NSA exploits floating around, which makes an secures/unsecured winbox a magnet for this ---steaming pile of meadow muffin---.  Where as the Pi is linux based and unaffected.

Maybe 2017 is the year of Linux.  Yes there is a learning curve, but no so bad for us 30 plus somethings to figure out.  The millennials?  Well they have apple and windoze.  Migrating from Windows to Linux is really hard. Tried it twice with suse and slackware. Will personal security online make it much more easier to make the jump?   Or should we just unplug the PCs from the internet and call it a day?
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Re: Severe competition for the Rasp Pi?
« Reply #38 on: July 06, 2017, 01:37:24 pm »
Sorry to revive an old thread, but has anyone tested the Rock64 yet? (Pine64)

Looks like price has went up some since this thread started, still cheaper than comparable RPi though.

https://www.pine64.org/?page_id=7147
I don't believe the Mali graphics driver is working correctly yet for stuff like a RetroPie-port. So I think it's virtually not useable for retro gaming yet.
Actually all those RPi alternatives are crap for retro gaming compared to the RPi(3). I've learned the hard way. I got myself one of the first Orange Pi PC2's. Also 64-bit and the same Mali400 graphics chip. Nothing still works properly on that board (so an expensive paper weight). Few weeks ago I decided to get its predecessor, the Orange Pi PC. This one has a working RetroPie port: RetrOrangePi. Believe me: doesn't work quite as good as a RPi3. Without a *proper* community it will never. And maybe even more important, without any support from the chip manufacturers. They should release proper drivers, which they don't.

So, please, buyer beware. Those Pi alternatives look good on paper, but they are crap without any *good* functioning software.

---edit--- Ah, I didn't know the Rock64, but if it's quite the same as with the Pine64, the Mali450 (which the Rock64 is using) won't be working with some useable retro gaming either...

The problem with the Raspberry Pi is the price.  You want the Pizero W that supposed to cost $10 but is somehow $20 because someone wants to make money off you.  There is no control over it.  So you have the said device at an inflated price, then you look at the other gear in your possession. 
The price for the RPi3 (the Pi you want for retro gaming) is pretty constant everywhere in the world as far as I know.

The Pi makes your old laptops obsolete as they are running windows, and have cables running everywhere (a particular bugbear with me), then it is made worse that this little device is multi-functional, and is seriously knocking on my 2012 server door.

Then we have the recent NSA exploits floating around, which makes an secures/unsecured winbox a magnet for this ---steaming pile of meadow muffin---.  Where as the Pi is linux based and unaffected.
Linux isn't unaffected by virusses and exploits. And I certainly don't believe NSA can't hack in those systems. I think there is quite a low to obtain from Linux systems for hackers (both from governments as (other) criminals).
« Last Edit: July 06, 2017, 04:37:04 pm by barrymossel »

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Re: Severe competition for the Rasp Pi?
« Reply #39 on: July 09, 2017, 02:54:51 pm »
Unfortunately, it doesn't really matter whether Linux is easier to use than Windows or not, because there's another much more fundamental reason why desktop Linux isn't being taken up by non-technical users.

If you go into a regular computer store with a view to purchasing a desktop PC (or laptop) you'll find that 99.9% of them come with Windows pre-installed, and the same situation applies if you try and buy a PC online (there is of course the option to buy an Apple product, but Apple also bundles their OS with their computers).

This creates two problems.

Firstly, there's inertia. If a PC comes with an OS pre-installed, then the vast majority of users are going to continue using that OS unless they're given a compelling reason not to.

Secondly, it gives consumers the erroneous impression that windows is just as “free” as Linux, even though the “Microsoft tax” is built into the price of the PC.

Basically, for regular non-technical consumers, Linux isn't even on the menu.

Until this blatantly anti-competitive practice is addressed by industry regulators (and I'm not holding my breath) I don't see how Microsoft's de-facto monopoly on the desktop is going to be broken.
"Patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel." - Samuel Johnson

  
 

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