Feeds
90%
Raspberry Pi ARM PC

Review: Raspberry Pi

Bare bones computing

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

No review is ever written in isolation, absent from context. Usually, you can guess the reviewer's bias within a few paragraphs, and compensate accordingly. He hates LCD display quality, she dislikes proprietary software, they yearn for the days of full bandwidth vinyl. You get the idea.

Raspberry Pi ARM PC

Raspberry Pi Alpha board – a work in progress

So here's some context up front. This July, I'll have been writing hardware and software reviews for 22 years and, for me, reviewing the Raspberry Pi (Rπ) is a first on two counts: one, I've never had to review what amounts to a physical manifesto before, and two, as a 43-year-old father of two wee boys – squarely pegged in the reliving-my-youth demographic – I so so so want this pocketmoney PC to succeed.

But understand, this is neither pure nostalgia, nor am I alone. The stated aim of the Raspberry Pi Foundation is to provide a modern, inexpensive counterpart to "the Amigas, BBC Micros, Spectrum ZX and Commodore 64 machines that people of an earlier generation learned to program on." As if you were in any doubt, even the naming of the Rπ itself tips the hat to the stalwart of that bygone era: Model A (one USB port, no Ethernet) and Model B (two USB ports, 10/100MBps Ethernet).

Raspberry Pi ARM PC

Rπ production model has a few component positioning changes but the concept remains intact

So what do you get for your money? The Rπ is a credit-card sized GNU/Linux computer with RCA video out, 3.5mm audio out, the appropriate aforementioned USB/Ethernet setup, HDMI out, and an SD card reader for OS and userfile storage. The SD is of course down to cost, but it's worth pointing out that using an SD for the OS offers a number of benefits; replacement media is relatively cheap; it's pretty difficult to brick an Rπ in software; image restore is just another SD card away; and pupils can take their drives home with them.

And whilst the Rπ does need to boot from an SD card, it's possible from the command line to switch post-boot so that the OS and filesystem run from an external USB drive.

Raspberry Pi ARM PC

Source: Paul Beech @guru

Additionally, despite no software support as yet, there's a DSI connector for hooking it up to LCD panels, and the Model B has a [CSI MIPI connector] for adding a camera down the line. There are also GPIO pinouts (though limited to 16 mA according to spec), which could make expansion and hobbyist extras a distinct possibility; projects to tie Arduinos into an Rπ, or use Arduino shilds on an Rπ are already off the drawing board.

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

Next page: Clock this...

More from The Register

next story
Oi, Tim Cook. Apple Watch. I DARE you to tell me, IN PERSON, that it's secure
State attorney demands Apple CEO bows the knee to him
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Will BlackBerry make a comeback with its SQUARE smartphones?
Plus PC PIMs from company formerly known as RIM
Apple's iPhone 6 first-day sales are MEANINGLESS, mutters analyst
Big weekend queues only represent fruity firm's supply
Hey, Mac fanbois. HGST wants you drooling over its HUGE desktop RACK
What vast digital media repository could possibly need 64 TERABYTES?
Soundbites: News in brief from the Wi-Fi audiophile files
DTS and Sonos sing out but not off the same hymnsheet
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.