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Bbc Micro Anniversary And Raspberry Pi


Riedquat

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Some of you people are cynical. I blew some beer money on this for pure nostalgia. I might even get RISC OS on it if that comes to fruition. Still, even if I don't get back into learning a bit of code as a hobby I'll have it dangling off the never-used TV/Monitor on my desk and surf the hell out of HPC.co.uk at the very least.

This is exactly why I don't get it why you are all so keen on it: What can you do with the Pi that you can't do with any other sytem capable of running Linux?

Do you realise the Pi will be running a cut down version of Fedora? The same Fedora you can install on practically every PC and on which you could equally well (if not better) be "learning a bit of code as a hobby"?

With the power of computers these days you could even install Fedora in a virtual machine under Windows, so you wouldn't even need to dual-boot.

I can certainly see the point of the Pi for schools (if it really will be used in place of standard PCs) as it would save them lots of money, the same goes for the pupils, especially those from a poorer background who won't be disadvantaged as they can afford one for home too, but I don't see the point of the Pi for an adult who already has at least one PC at home.

Ok, the Pi has GPIO connections which most PCs don't have as standard (but could be easily added), but how many people do you think have the skills (or are prepared to acquire them) to make use of them?

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This is exactly why I don't get it why you are all so keen on it: What can you do with the Pi that you can't do with any other sytem capable of running Linux?

Do you realise the Pi will be running a cut down version of Fedora? The same Fedora you can install on practically every PC and on which you could equally well (if not better) be "learning a bit of code as a hobby"?

With the power of computers these days you could even install Fedora in a virtual machine under Windows, so you wouldn't even need to dual-boot.

I can certainly see the point of the Pi for schools (if it really will be used in place of standard PCs) as it would save them lots of money, the same goes for the pupils, especially those from a poorer background who won't be disadvantaged as they can afford one for home too, but I don't see the point of the Pi for an adult who already has at least one PC at home.

Ok, the Pi has GPIO connections which most PCs don't have as standard (but could be easily added), but how many people do you think have the skills (or are prepared to acquire them) to make use of them?

It's like the iPad. I thought, 'Okay, it does angry birds and surfs without Flash - so what?' Now I have to admit there's some cool apps and addons that really do point to a reduced role for standard PCs down the line.

I think the Pi will be the same - there'll be media centres, in-car stuff, embedding them here and there, people attaching a small solar panel and using them in african villages, people running Risc OS on them for kicks, people turning them into mini midi sequencers and sound boxes, etc., etc. Even the less tech savvy will probably enjoy ready-made add ons for their Pi soon.

People geek out over all sorts of things - 8-track tapes, short scale guitars, tall buildings, mexican horror movies... they'll geek they heck out of a little circuit board with an ARM chip on it.

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Thanks for the info.

I think if this release was aimed at people that want to fiddle with it (i.e. geeks) then they should have reserved the media hype for the cased launch. Given the low price I imagine too many units of these initial batches will get in the hands of people who have no clue how to handle a bare electronics board, and consequently get broken/shorted fairly quickly, simply contributing to landfill and resource waste.

Or by the looks of it, loads were bought simply to sell on ebay at an inflated price.

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My problem is effectively one of willpower. That is, as soon as I am on a normal PC, I run a desktop and waste my time in places like this. :lol: (Concentration can go hang.)

This little thing, I can take to my garage, where it won't be connected to the Internet, and just focus on it.

This cartoon sums up my usual "computer on" experience:

let_go.png

The web has been the death of my 'tinkering'!

I was tempted when I saw it on the Daily Mail website.

I reckon I could run up a few daughter boards for that GPIO connector in a couple of days.

Could slam on a few I2C perhipherals, fan controller, couple of leds, digital temperature sensor, relays, adc etc. I reckon you could get the whole lot done for 30 quid or so and get yourself a nice little e business going.

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(The point for me is that my garage has no router/wi-fi, and the raspberry pi is a tiny thing to carry back and forth in its (recently purchased) 'cigarette pack' case - much less weight (and cash) than a tiny laptop.)

So you have a monitor installed in your garage or do you carry that around too (not to mention the keyboard)?

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Bang on. According to the BBC it will solve the programmer shortage, which according to them is due to the current ICT teaching in schools. No numb nuts it's because kids have looked at the unemployment figures for degree subjects and surprise surprise have seen that Comp. Sci/IT grads have the highest unemployment rates of any subject, and hence it's a waste of time as you will be competing against outsourcing and immigrant labour. FFS.

Er... which unemployment figures.. massive lack of developers, we are offering a £500 recruitment bounty to our current devs if they suggest someone. Salaries have also risen 20% over the past couple of years..

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TBF, my garage helps me a lot with everything. There is no TV, no radio, no landline and no Internet there, and it is a good half hour walk away from where I live (so it's cheap).

When I go there, there are quite literally no distractions. (I don't carry a mobile - if I did, I wouldn't take it.) Suddenly, all the things that really interest me spring back into my mind!

It is the ultimate shed.

EDIT: I'd recommend a solitary space with no distractions above even a raspberry pi. Nowadays, home certainly isn't it. An allotment might even do, if you can put a shed on it, and a small solar rig for power.

you know, you might be onto something here. before so much technology and (high speed) web.i used to be into allsorts - programming, electronics, creating art, making music, reading...

and now, all i do is sit and be distracted by pointless stuff on the web..at work I check my emails, surf the web, on the move, I have my smartphone which i continually check for mails, texts, facebook updates, new news items, and surf the web occasionally...then at home I sit on the sofa with my laptop and...search the web, check facebook, read hpc..etc

Its like I'm constantly distracted by the technology around me..its just so easy to fill your time with it all..and yet so pointless and uninspring

maybe if i had somewhere to go without all that my passion for 'stuff' would come back

or maybe its just age ;-/

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I would have thought that if you really want to learn something new then one of these is the way to go.

http://reprap.org/wiki/RepRap

I would say these printers are in their infancy, much like personal computers were in the 70s and 80s.

Admittedly, they are not as cheap, about £400 I think.

Doesn't really make sense. I get the 3d printer that prints plastic. But that's hardly self replicating. Where's the electronics? (version 2 apparently)

Right now I'm struggling to think of what I would print that justifies a £400 tag. If I were still into models that could be fun. But aren't we heading into a virtual world rather than printing and actually creating stuff? Printing coat hooks is a bit of a p1ss take. Far cheaper and quicker to just buy them. Printing a coat hook overnight, seriously?

Fun idea though.

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Doesn't really make sense. I get the 3d printer that prints plastic. But that's hardly self replicating. Where's the electronics? (version 2 apparently)

That's kind of like asking what you could use a ZX80 for (and no, it couldn't really run a nuclear power station, regardless of what the ads said). Computers barely seemed to progress over the few years from there to the first PCs, yet they've transformed the world in the couple of decades since.

3D printing could do the same to the physical world that computing has to the virtual world. Imagine if the protesters in the Middle East could download assault rifles and print them out in their kitchen.

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Doesn't really make sense. I get the 3d printer that prints plastic. But that's hardly self replicating. Where's the electronics? (version 2 apparently)

Right now I'm struggling to think of what I would print that justifies a £400 tag. If I were still into models that could be fun. But aren't we heading into a virtual world rather than printing and actually creating stuff? Printing coat hooks is a bit of a p1ss take. Far cheaper and quicker to just buy them. Printing a coat hook overnight, seriously?

Fun idea though.

Electronics, stepper motors, extruder metal and high temp pieces, belts, wiring, switches, nuts, bolts, bearings - yes the self-replicating has a certain tinge of marketing hook. However a well constructed one (largely using even fewer replicated parts for long term durability and accuracy) can produce results similar to $3K to $10K machines.

For very quick, clean, no fuss prototyping of mechanical parts (ones that would require a lathe, mill, workshop with every conceivable site of tooling etc etc (mostly likely cnc), for the money to build a good one (nearer £800) they are awesome. Short run production is not out fo the question either to test a market for a product. Nothing like having a tangible product to show people either. You can get web-ordered high quality parts made just by uploading the files - but you have many days turnaround (rather than hours) and around $50 a pop with postage. You don't have to make many mistakes/iterations for the printer to pay for itself in no time at all, just on one design.

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I would have thought that if you really want to learn something new then one of these is the way to go.

http://reprap.org/wiki/RepRap

I would say these printers are in their infancy, much like personal computers were in the 70s and 80s.

Admittedly, they are not as cheap, about £400 I think.

IIRC that's a lot cheaper than the first computer I bought you.

If you really want one, buy it and I'll pay (up to £1000). I'm sure that many of the artist members of your family will soon find out how to use it creatively. :D

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Electronics, stepper motors, extruder metal and high temp pieces, belts, wiring, switches, nuts, bolts, bearings - yes the self-replicating has a certain tinge of marketing hook. However a well constructed one (largely using even fewer replicated parts for long term durability and accuracy) can produce results similar to $3K to $10K machines.

For very quick, clean, no fuss prototyping of mechanical parts (ones that would require a lathe, mill, workshop with every conceivable site of tooling etc etc (mostly likely cnc), for the money to build a good one (nearer £800) they are awesome. Short run production is not out fo the question either to test a market for a product. Nothing like having a tangible product to show people either. You can get web-ordered high quality parts made just by uploading the files - but you have many days turnaround (rather than hours) and around $50 a pop with postage. You don't have to make many mistakes/iterations for the printer to pay for itself in no time at all, just on one design.

LOL I just saw why it is impossible for this thing to ever be self replicating.

It's formed from melted plastic, so by nature it couldn't make the parts that melt the same plastic.

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Er... which unemployment figures.. massive lack of developers, we are offering a £500 recruitment bounty to our current devs if they suggest someone. Salaries have also risen 20% over the past couple of years..

Are you well paid? Where I currently work I find 2 of us do the work of 4 because the other 2 are seriously lazy.

I love developing but I find all my time is taken up because my predecessors (or some of the current devs) can't use source control, won't document anything and also make a habit of fiddling with my live code without mentioning it! It's frustrating having to do something again because the other person didn't do it right the first time.

All IT companies seem to be like this, so if I get another job I might end up in a worse position.

I had to leave one place after only 5 months as I was working well into the night fixing other peoples awful code, while being paid half what they were getting.

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Are you well paid? Where I currently work I find 2 of us do the work of 4 because the other 2 are seriously lazy.

I love developing but I find all my time is taken up because my predecessors (or some of the current devs) can't use source control, won't document anything and also make a habit of fiddling with my live code without mentioning it! It's frustrating having to do something again because the other person didn't do it right the first time.

All IT companies seem to be like this, so if I get another job I might end up in a worse position.

I had to leave one place after only 5 months as I was working well into the night fixing other peoples awful code, while being paid half what they were getting.

You are doing it all wrong, you are making yourself disposable - others can pick up on your documentation - the other staff are essential becuase they are the only ones that understand their output. :ph34r:

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That's kind of like asking what you could use a ZX80 for (and no, it couldn't really run a nuclear power station, regardless of what the ads said). Computers barely seemed to progress over the few years from there to the first PCs, yet they've transformed the world in the couple of decades since.

3D printing could do the same to the physical world that computing has to the virtual world. Imagine if the protesters in the Middle East could download assault rifles and print them out in their kitchen.

3D printing falls bang in my area of expertise and to be honest printing a rifle is pretty unlikely.

You can't escape the fundamental physical properties of materials. So whilst you could probably print something in the shape of a rifle you couldn't print it so it has all the physical properties neccesary to actually be a rifle.

You also need all the raw materials, so even if you could print a rifle and do something like laser sinter it as it's printed to give it some kind of mechanical strength, you're still going to need access to a store of powdered metal. Where are the terrorists going to buy that from? I think it would probably be easier for terrorists to just buy rifles.

Rapid prototyping technology is good, but it's just that: rapid prototyping.

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Er... which unemployment figures.. massive lack of developers, we are offering a £500 recruitment bounty to our current devs if they suggest someone. Salaries have also risen 20% over the past couple of years..

Are you taking the pee ?

Unemployment stats

Unemployment stats for IT grads

What skills and experience do you want and what are you paying ? Let me guess you are paying £20K and want advanced C++,Java, .NET and extensive knowledge of finance sector/domain.

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3D printing falls bang in my area of expertise and to be honest printing a rifle is pretty unlikely.

Today, yes.

But that's like looking at a ZX80 and laughing at the idea that a home computer could control a nuclear power station. It was a silly thing to suggest back then, but after three decades of development a home computer is more than powerful enough to do so today.

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Today, yes.

But that's like looking at a ZX80 and laughing at the idea that a home computer could control a nuclear power station. It was a silly thing to suggest back then, but after three decades of development a home computer is more than powerful enough to do so today.

I can see where you're coming from but you need to distinguish between the virtual and real domains.

With computers anything is possible because everything is virtual. You just need an equation to describe something and the computer can make it happen. If you want the computer to do something faster and more complex, you just make a faster and more complex computer. It's inevitable and incredibly simple.

However, with 3D printing you're working with real objects and real objects are governed by physical laws.

So there's no reason why you couldn't 3D pring a simple electronic component, for instance. Multi-material printing is already happening, and it's already reasonably fast. And really the lithographic methods used to make electronic components are only sophisticated printing anyway.

However, something like a rifle needs a certain physical strength, and 3D printing would require powder metallurgy. The rifle would really need to be HIPped post printing to make it suitably strong, and hipping ain't really something you're ever going to be doing in your kitchen. Well you probably could if you wanted, but it would be easier to just buy a gun.

Of course I'm not satupid enough to rule out some disruptive technology that could make this happen, but it would have to be a disruptive tech. Not simply an equivalent progression from a ZX80 to a modern PC.

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3D printing falls bang in my area of expertise and to be honest printing a rifle is pretty unlikely.

You can't escape the fundamental physical properties of materials. So whilst you could probably print something in the shape of a rifle you couldn't print it so it has all the physical properties neccesary to actually be a rifle.

You also need all the raw materials, so even if you could print a rifle and do something like laser sinter it as it's printed to give it some kind of mechanical strength, you're still going to need access to a store of powdered metal. Where are the terrorists going to buy that from? I think it would probably be easier for terrorists to just buy rifles.

Rapid prototyping technology is good, but it's just that: rapid prototyping.

A true statement but it does not support the idea that pinting, say a nozzle. or a gun, is impossible. Many materials 'cure' and harden over time, so it is feasible for a cured nozzle to be used in contact with the molten material from which it is made.

Materials can harden by drying, curing, exposure to UV, chemical processes, case hardening, etc.

Ceramics can be soft and malleable until baked in ovens.

Then we have new materials like fullerenes.

I believe the Israalis developed a plastic pistol that cannot be detected by most airport scanners.

Materials science is constantly developing. Don't underestimate the possibilities.

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A true statement but it does not support the idea that pinting, say a nozzle. or a gun, is impossible. Many materials 'cure' and harden over time, so it is feasible for a cured nozzle to be used in contact with the molten material from which it is made.

Read my post again, I never said it was impossible. I even outlined a route for doing it. However it would be far, far simpler to just buy a gun. And excepting some disruptive technology it will always be so.

Ceramics can be soft and malleable until baked in ovens.

No they can't. The plastic processing of ceramics relies on having a second phase that is malleable and combining it with the ceramic.

Then we have new materials like fullerenes.

So what? Fullerenes are old news.

Go and have a read about MAX phases and metallic glass. Metallic glass actually excites me. Sad, but true :)

I believe the Israalis developed a plastic pistol that cannot be detected by most airport scanners.

You believe wrongly.

Materials science is constantly developing. Don't underestimate the possibilities.

:lol:

Thanks for the advice

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snapback.pngAteMoose, on 02 March 2012 - 08:47 PM, said:

Er... which unemployment figures.. massive lack of developers, we are offering a £500 recruitment bounty to our current devs if they suggest someone. Salaries have also risen 20% over the past couple of years..

Are you taking the pee ?

Unemployment stats

Unemployment stats for IT grads

What skills and experience do you want and what are you paying ? Let me guess you are paying £20K and want advanced C++,Java, .NET and extensive knowledge of finance sector/domain.

Depends what is meant by IT Graduate. It has the same problem as the word Engineer.

Someone with an MEng or Master of Compute Science from a top university is not the same as someone who has done an IT Course at a Former Poly. Some of the low end course teach how to use Word and Excel, while the top end courses teach advanced mathematics, information theory, control theory etc.

I am sure some of this is a deliberate conspiracy by the arty types who run the country. Personally I think we need a law allowing someone who has passed their Politics Diploma at Preston Poly to legally be entitled to call themselves an Oxford PPE Graduate. That way we can both experience the fact and go around saying "Oxford PPE Graduates are useless" and thereby remove them from positions of power.

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3D printing falls bang in my area of expertise and to be honest printing a rifle is pretty unlikely.

You can't escape the fundamental physical properties of materials. So whilst you could probably print something in the shape of a rifle you couldn't print it so it has all the physical properties neccesary to actually be a rifle.

You also need all the raw materials, so even if you could print a rifle and do something like laser sinter it as it's printed to give it some kind of mechanical strength, you're still going to need access to a store of powdered metal. Where are the terrorists going to buy that from? I think it would probably be easier for terrorists to just buy rifles.

Rapid prototyping technology is good, but it's just that: rapid prototyping.

Yes, sometimes I look at the REPRAP websites and think, "wow! I should spend some cash on one of these"

Then I think, I have hand tools, I can make whatever I want quicker and easier by hand. I don't have much use for weak plastic objects. And like you, I don't see a natural progression from a REPRAP machine to a device that can assemble metals and heat-treat them.

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