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Bbc Micro Anniversary And Raspberry Pi


Riedquat

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On a slightly related note, I've just got my 8-year old lad writing his first lines of code, in a computer language called Squirrel. It's an object-oriented language with a syntax similar to Java and is used to write AIs for OpenTTD, an open source game based on Transport Tycoon. He loves playing the game, so this was the perfect opportunity to introduce him to programming.

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What is it that needs to be complied with exactly?

The big ones are electrical safety, and electromagnetic compatibility.

There are specific regulations for low-voltage devices (although I suspect that low voltage in this context means > 50 volts, so won't apply to the r.pi).

Electromagnetic interference is a very troublesome issue and one difficult to deal with. Essentially, the device must not disturb any nearby electrical equipment, and must not malfunction when exposed to electromagnetic interference (e.g. a mobile phone). This is often very difficult to deal with in computer systems, and typically requires that the device be fully enclosed in a metal chassis.

There are also "toy" regulations, if the device is intended to be used by children.

There are exemptions for prototype or training devices (e.g. a manufacturer of microchips can sell a demonstration system featuring a particular product, without the need for certification). However, for products intended for use by the general public, this is not permitted.

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CE marked, LOL, if ever there was a piece of legislation that completely ******ed a market sector here and in the rest of europe and opened it up to foreign comeptition who just shoved a silk screen or label on a product this is it.

And this is the problem. The CE marking is required, but not well enforced - as a lot of it is self certification.

After all, the faulty breast implants were CE marked indicating compliance with the requirement for medical devices (these requirements are merely that you have a written policy covering design methods, materials selection methods, and manufacturing methods, and a written quality control policy). It doesn't actually require that the actual design is validated.

Same sort of thing with the other electrical regulations - you could say you have tested, but it's unlikely anyone would find out that you hadn't.

It's onerous on people who want to be legit, but doesn't stop scammers.

I can give you an example of a proactive doctor with an interest in IT. His hopsital had recently purchased a very expensive IT system to provide "paperless" requesting of tests, and retrieval of results. The aim was that it would record when a result had been "signed off" by the responsible doctor, to ensure that important results didn't go astray.

The doctors hated the system; it was slow, difficult to use, unstable, made it easy to mix-up results from different patients and inefficient as it didn't collate the different results for one patient. Recent audits suggested that only about 3% of results were being acknowledged by the doctors that had ordered the tests.

This doctor decided he could produce a better software package. It took him 4 weeks to design and build it, and 4 weeks after his idea, it was being piloted at the hospital. It took the place by storm. The doctors loved it; consultants were writing to him saying how it was saving 45 minutes per day, by presenting all the results in context, etc. 2 weeks after it went live the "acknowledgement" rate was 100%, and the number of "missed" important results had dropped to zero.

Anyway, the hospital lawyers have now told him, that this software must be withdrawn immediately, and cannot be used as it is not CE marked. This was a project for which there was no budget - it was developed purely in spare time for no fee, and the costs of CE marking it (probably £10k +) mean that it is likely to be consigned to the bin.

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And this is the problem. The CE marking is required, but not well enforced - as a lot of it is self certification.

After all, the faulty breast implants were CE marked indicating compliance with the requirement for medical devices (these requirements are merely that you have a written policy covering design methods, materials selection methods, and manufacturing methods, and a written quality control policy). It doesn't actually require that the actual design is validated.

Same sort of thing with the other electrical regulations - you could say you have tested, but it's unlikely anyone would find out that you hadn't.

It's onerous on people who want to be legit, but doesn't stop scammers.

I can give you an example of a proactive doctor with an interest in IT. His hopsital had recently purchased a very expensive IT system to provide "paperless" requesting of tests, and retrieval of results. The aim was that it would record when a result had been "signed off" by the responsible doctor, to ensure that important results didn't go astray.

The doctors hated the system; it was slow, difficult to use, unstable, made it easy to mix-up results from different patients and inefficient as it didn't collate the different results for one patient. Recent audits suggested that only about 3% of results were being acknowledged by the doctors that had ordered the tests.

This doctor decided he could produce a better software package. It took him 4 weeks to design and build it, and 4 weeks after his idea, it was being piloted at the hospital. It took the place by storm. The doctors loved it; consultants were writing to him saying how it was saving 45 minutes per day, by presenting all the results in context, etc. 2 weeks after it went live the "acknowledgement" rate was 100%, and the number of "missed" important results had dropped to zero.

Anyway, the hospital lawyers have now told him, that this software must be withdrawn immediately, and cannot be used as it is not CE marked. This was a project for which there was no budget - it was developed purely in spare time for no fee, and the costs of CE marking it (probably £10k +) mean that it is likely to be consigned to the bin.

catch 22 in operation.

Not sure CE even applies:

  1. Medical Devices

    A "Medical Device" is defined in Directive (93/42/EEC) as: any instrument, apparatus, appliance, material or other article, whether used alone or in combination, including the software necessary for the proper application, intended by the manufacturer to be used for human beings for the purpose of :

    • diagnosis, prevention, monitoring, treatment or alleviation of a disease, an injury or a handicap.
    • investigation, replacement or modification of the anatomy or of a physiological process.
    • control of conception

and which does not achieve its principal intended action in or on the human body by pharmacological, immunological or metabolic means, but which may be assisted by such means. more >>

AND

Is my software a medical device?

It may be depending upon its purpose. The European Commission Guidelines Document MEDDEV 2.1/1 (external link) draws a distinction between software provided for a diagnostic or therapeutic tool and software for handling general patient-related data. A medical purpose may be determined only in the first case.

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And this is the problem. The CE marking is required, but not well enforced - as a lot of it is self certification.

After all, the faulty breast implants were CE marked indicating compliance with the requirement for medical devices (these requirements are merely that you have a written policy covering design methods, materials selection methods, and manufacturing methods, and a written quality control policy). It doesn't actually require that the actual design is validated.

Same sort of thing with the other electrical regulations - you could say you have tested, but it's unlikely anyone would find out that you hadn't.

It's onerous on people who want to be legit, but doesn't stop scammers.

I can give you an example of a proactive doctor with an interest in IT. His hopsital had recently purchased a very expensive IT system to provide "paperless" requesting of tests, and retrieval of results. The aim was that it would record when a result had been "signed off" by the responsible doctor, to ensure that important results didn't go astray.

The doctors hated the system; it was slow, difficult to use, unstable, made it easy to mix-up results from different patients and inefficient as it didn't collate the different results for one patient. Recent audits suggested that only about 3% of results were being acknowledged by the doctors that had ordered the tests.

This doctor decided he could produce a better software package. It took him 4 weeks to design and build it, and 4 weeks after his idea, it was being piloted at the hospital. It took the place by storm. The doctors loved it; consultants were writing to him saying how it was saving 45 minutes per day, by presenting all the results in context, etc. 2 weeks after it went live the "acknowledgement" rate was 100%, and the number of "missed" important results had dropped to zero.

Anyway, the hospital lawyers have now told him, that this software must be withdrawn immediately, and cannot be used as it is not CE marked. This was a project for which there was no budget - it was developed purely in spare time for no fee, and the costs of CE marking it (probably £10k +) mean that it is likely to be consigned to the bin.

I get where you're coming from and usually I agree with your posts, they are very proffesionally written on a wide variety of subjects, but you're off the mark in this case.

Firstly, if the product was really that good he would easily find someone to stump up 10K to get it marked, or be able to sell it on to a firm who would. 10K is nothing in that industry.

Secondly, software packages are CE marked and have proper audit trails for a reason. The reason is to be able to apportion blame.

Example, some new software mixes up two patient records. Result, one kid has the wrong kidney pulled out. Hospital is accused of negligence. They say, but we employed the correct procedures and were using approved software that complied with CE blurb. The blame then shifts to the manufacturer. If they can demonstrate a proper audit trail no negligence. If they can't ....

One may argue that all these audit trails are a waste of time. Until it's your kid that ends up with having the wrong kidney pulled out. Then most people would be screaming blue murder and looking for a hefty payout.

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And this is the problem. The CE marking is required, but not well enforced - as a lot of it is self certification.

Nah, it's worse than that. As i understand it, EU governments are not allowed to block the sale of a product that's CE marked even if it's a harmful piece of crap.

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  • 2 weeks later...

No I got it about two or three days after I ordered. (It was a second that overrode the first e-mail that said tomorrow. Gutted.)

Still at least I've had plenty of time to assemble an old USB mouse and keyboard, HTC phone charger, SD Cards, etc. ready to go. Dunno what to do about a case. May go homebrew, get a laser-cut or 3D printed one.

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People are getting real Raspberry Pis now - apparently the work well but early distros have zero graphic acceleration enabled so only so-so desktop speeds.

Who will be the first to post from their Pi?

Here's a professional-looking case solution.

I might get one of these as they're not much money. Green and red I think.

http://www.modmypi.com/products.php

004-raspberry-pi-black-red.jpg

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 4 weeks later...

Mine's coming week commencing 21/05/2012

Posted from MY Pi....

anyone else have theirs now?

As a review it's VERY cool. Boots quite quick. Desktop isn't fast as there's no driver for the relatively powerful GPU yet.

But I'm going to try and get it working as a pretty basic Samba-based file server if I can so that doesn't really matter.

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I think there's a few gotchas. One is problems from not using a decent 5v adaptor - some older/crappier mobile phone ones may not work well. Ditto for some types of SD card. Also, USB devices that draw too much power can be a pain too - did you try a whole bunch of keyboards and mice, made sure you weren't using a weird hub and all that?

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Posted from MY Pi....

anyone else have theirs now?

As a review it's VERY cool. Boots quite quick. Desktop isn't fast as there's no driver for the relatively powerful GPU yet.

But I'm going to try and get it working as a pretty basic Samba-based file server if I can so that doesn't really matter.

A colleague brought his into the office earlier this week and, as you might expect, we geeks flocked around it as if it were a cute kitten.I'm afraid I don't recall what linux distribution it was running but it was abysmally slow to start firefox. It was running from a very lowly class of SD card, which can't have helped.

I am quite excited about the project but I do wander why it's taken so long (apparently seven years) given it's basically sticking an off-the-shelf and now moderately obsolete SOC on a board.

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I want one! I don't know what on Earth I will do with it, but I am happy to criticise the Apple fans for the same problem! :blink:

Actually I have just bought an Arduino Mega to play with! I can make a light go on and off! :blink:

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I want one! I don't know what on Earth I will do with it, but I am happy to criticise the Apple fans for the same problem! :blink:

Actually I have just bought an Arduino Mega to play with! I can make a light go on and off! :blink:

Today if I get time I'm going to try and get Samba up and running - very basic, just going to plug in a big cheap USB enclosure with a spare 2TB drive and use it a basic shared space on the home network. I may also try and configure it as a LAMP server - I've done this on Linux a few times but probably not in the last five years so it'll test my memory.

The good thing about the Pi is that as it's basic you are encouraged to do everything from the command line - I can see how this would be much better for Da Kidz than a big glossy Ubuntu distro, which you could use as if it's Windows or Mac OS.

So if it's supposed to encourage you to hack and do things at a lower level than you would with a full PC I think it's succeeded.

I suspect if they can get the GPU driver going it won't be too shabby as a basic surfin' computer to hang off your telly. I have Chromium browser on mine and that really does bog down. Midori is pretty passable in terms of performance buts bogs down on sites with constant Javascript updates like Twitter or Facebook.

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I want one! I don't know what on Earth I will do with it, but I am happy to criticise the Apple fans for the same problem! :blink:

I also have absolutely no idea what I'd do with one which is why I've not bought one. I suspect that I would play around with it for a little while and then it would end up gathering dust somewhere. Mind you, it's cheap enough that I could still say "So what?" to that and it would be nice to get RISC OS running on it...

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