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 Post subject: Raspberry Pi
PostPosted: Sat Feb 18, 2012 19:09 

Joined: 30th Mar, 2008
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http://www.raspberrypi.org/

It's the BBC Micro for a modern generation!

Even if I never use it for much, I'm getting a Model B and a case when they do a case. Should have a spare SD lying around for Chromium OS as well - that and a wireless keyboard with trackpad would be the ultimate Web TV for next to sod all money.


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 Post subject: Re: Raspberry Pi
PostPosted: Sat Feb 18, 2012 19:26 
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SavyGamer

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Aye, would make a great portable media centre too.

I'll be getting one of these I reckon.


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 Post subject: Re: Raspberry Pi
PostPosted: Sat Feb 18, 2012 19:31 
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They have already got xbmc running on it, the gpu in this thing can run hi-def video. So £30 for a low powered media centre. Yes please.

So hush, I have a feeling these are going to be very hard to get hold of for a while. What nerd wouldn't want one of these?


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 Post subject: Re: Raspberry Pi
PostPosted: Sat Feb 18, 2012 19:42 

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Exactly. I've got money set aside already and the day orders go live I'm on it like a dainty bonnet.


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 Post subject: Raspberry Pi
PostPosted: Sat Feb 18, 2012 19:55 
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baron of techno

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Get a nanose instead.


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 Post subject: Raspberry Pi
PostPosted: Sat Feb 18, 2012 19:56 
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Umm, nanode.


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 Post subject: Re: Raspberry Pi
PostPosted: Sat Feb 18, 2012 20:45 
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I don't get all the excitement over these. Is it purely that they are small? Pretty much anyone can get hold of a PC for peanuts capable of doing hobbyist type stuff with if they want to.


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 Post subject: Re: Raspberry Pi
PostPosted: Sat Feb 18, 2012 21:54 
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I have zero idea what I'd use this for. I really, really want one.


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 Post subject: Re: Raspberry Pi
PostPosted: Sat Feb 18, 2012 23:53 
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ugvm'er at heart...

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As I've mentioned, I saw one up and running about 6 months ago and it was extremely impressive. The potential for teaching computing in schools properly is fantastic.

Personally I want to buy one to run Xbmc on it for the bedroom tv


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 Post subject: Re: Raspberry Pi
PostPosted: Sun Feb 19, 2012 2:14 

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What gets me is that the 8-bit era was perfect of teaching children to code because we had BBC basic in schools which was the benchmark and your C64, Amstrad, SPectrum all managed to more or less be similar. But then you had direct addressing of the hardware, which was standard. Assembler and having fun with memory and so on was the key to the good games of the generation, and the demoscene.

Maybe the basic and standard spec of the Pi will bring this back to learning to code, but surely they'll just all be running python under Linux and never talk to the hardware? Let's assume Breadbin et. al. know what they're doing. He should port Elite to it officially.


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 Post subject: Re: Raspberry Pi
PostPosted: Sun Feb 19, 2012 18:54 
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GovernmentYard wrote:
Maybe the basic and standard spec of the Pi will bring this back to learning to code, but surely they'll just all be running python under Linux and never talk to the hardware?


The problem is less about the tech involved as to why computing is off the menu, more about the lack of investment in it and the lack of understanding of how to teach it properly. The Raspberry Pi will go some way to helping in the lack of funding/investment, as the price will help a lot of schools justify buying them. It won't help the lack of understanding, but at least it gets the cost argument off the table so one less barrier.


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 Post subject: Re: Raspberry Pi
PostPosted: Sun Feb 19, 2012 21:07 
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Is the industry short on programmers, then?

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 Post subject: Re: Raspberry Pi
PostPosted: Sun Feb 19, 2012 21:09 
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GovernmentYard wrote:
Maybe the basic and standard spec of the Pi will bring this back to learning to code, but surely they'll just all be running python under Linux and never talk to the hardware? Let's assume Breadbin et. al. know what they're doing. He should port Elite to it officially.

This is a bit like arguing that you can't hope to learn how to repair a car engine if you don't fabricate your own parts from steel you smelted yourself. Programmers not needing access to assembler is no kind of problem at all.


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 Post subject: Re: Raspberry Pi
PostPosted: Sun Feb 19, 2012 21:13 
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Grim... wrote:
Is the industry short on programmers, then?

The argument goes, as I understand, that no, we don't need more full-time programmers. What we need are for far more normal people in non-technical jobs to be able to knock scripts up and whatnot to help them work on whatever it is they do. Think how many untrained people make Excel spreadsheets with intensely complicated formulas which are then used to make multi-million pound decisions. Would we all be better off if normal people understood how computers worked a bit better? Would less mistakes be made? Would more tasks be automated -- not the big things you hire programmers to do anyway, but the little things that you don't?


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 Post subject: Re: Raspberry Pi
PostPosted: Sun Feb 19, 2012 21:21 
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Doctor Glyndwr wrote:
GovernmentYard wrote:
Maybe the basic and standard spec of the Pi will bring this back to learning to code, but surely they'll just all be running python under Linux and never talk to the hardware? Let's assume Breadbin et. al. know what they're doing. He should port Elite to it officially.

This is a bit like arguing that you can't hope to learn how to repair a car engine if you don't fabricate your own parts from steel you smelted yourself. Programmers not needing access to assembler is no kind of problem at all.


But someone needs to be able to have access to assembler, else how do future program languages get written?

I do think it's worrying what they are taught in computers at school, my son is 13, and he's not really learnt anything about programming, whereas when I was his age (late 80s), I had done some basic BASIC routines, and stuff about databases and so on.

I would expect students to be able to at least have the option to learn the basics of HTML/CSS/PHP and the simple programing concepts.

They are basically just learning how to use word, excel, powerpoint etc

I suspect I will probably aim to get one of these, I mean for £20-£30 you'd almost be silly not to.

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 Post subject: Re: Raspberry Pi
PostPosted: Sun Feb 19, 2012 23:11 
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ugvm'er at heart...

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Doctor Glyndwr wrote:
Grim... wrote:
Is the industry short on programmers, then?

The argument goes, as I understand, that no, we don't need more full-time programmers. What we need are for far more normal people in non-technical jobs to be able to knock scripts up and whatnot to help them work on whatever it is they do. Think how many untrained people make Excel spreadsheets with intensely complicated formulas which are then used to make multi-million pound decisions. Would we all be better off if normal people understood how computers worked a bit better? Would less mistakes be made? Would more tasks be automated -- not the big things you hire programmers to do anyway, but the little things that you don't?


Indeed, i'll paraphrase Ade Oshineye (as I can't remember his direct quote) "Imagine what would be possible if the designers and business owners understood computing"
What if everyone knew computing, in the same way that everyone knows english and maths, what could we create if everyone knew the possibilities?


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 Post subject: Re: Raspberry Pi
PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2012 2:01 

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Doctor Glyndwr wrote:
GovernmentYard wrote:
Maybe the basic and standard spec of the Pi will bring this back to learning to code, but surely they'll just all be running python under Linux and never talk to the hardware? Let's assume Breadbin et. al. know what they're doing. He should port Elite to it officially.

This is a bit like arguing that you can't hope to learn how to repair a car engine if you don't fabricate your own parts from steel you smelted yourself. Programmers not needing access to assembler is no kind of problem at all.


There's a lot more magic t be felt in having a single-spec platform and learning it backwards, which is what these 8-Bit systems offered. A text editor and a compiler have little to no personality by comparison.


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 Post subject: Re: Raspberry Pi
PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2012 10:27 
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Doctor Glyndwr wrote:
Grim... wrote:
Is the industry short on programmers, then?

The argument goes, as I understand, that no, we don't need more full-time programmers. What we need are for far more normal people in non-technical jobs to be able to knock scripts up and whatnot to help them work on whatever it is they do. Think how many untrained people make Excel spreadsheets with intensely complicated formulas which are then used to make multi-million pound decisions. Would we all be better off if normal people understood how computers worked a bit better? Would less mistakes be made? Would more tasks be automated -- not the big things you hire programmers to do anyway, but the little things that you don't?


I know it's hardly "proper" coding, but the handful of simple Excel VBA bits I've knocked together saves our team hours every week, yet I appear to be the only person that has any motivation to learn it. I think there is a perception that it's programming, and programming is VERY HARD and only for experts, yet all I've done is muck around with macro recorder, read the help file and type random stuff in the VBA editor for a bit to see if it worked. It's probably not even efficient or the "right" way to do things, but it works for what I use it for, and is still far quicker than doing the whole tedious lot manually.


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 Post subject: Re: Raspberry Pi
PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2012 10:31 
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Malc wrote:
But someone needs to be able to have access to assembler, else how do future program languages get written?


Absolutely, just as in the same way that some people need to be able to make engine parts from blocks of steel to make new prototypes. However, the idea, I think, is to get people from seeing their computers as magic black boxes to seeing them as a tool they can use to do things other than word processing and spreadsheets. There is no reason why any smart 13 year old, with one of these and a webcam and a mic and speakers and a few other USB gizmos couldn't do all sorts of clever things pretty easily. Make fancy web games, make a school register you can sign into with your smart phone or make a clever social media app that collates or something.


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 Post subject: Re: Raspberry Pi
PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2012 10:33 
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Aye, and the more we get this stuff into the hands of kids, the more likely that some of them are going to want more.


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 Post subject: Re: Raspberry Pi
PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2012 10:34 
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GovernmentYard wrote:
There's a lot more magic t be felt in having a single-spec platform and learning it backwards, which is what these 8-Bit systems offered. A text editor and a compiler have little to no personality by comparison.

I can't stress this enough -- you are absolutely not going to encourage anyone who isn't already fascinated by computers to engage with them by making them use assembler or anything equally low-level. Or even C, probably. It's just too hard. The folk who are fascinated will seek it out on their own (this also answers Malc's question above about "who will write programming languages").

@MrPSB -- yes, as I understand it, your self-example is exactly what the current school of thinking about ICT education should enable.


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 Post subject: Re: Raspberry Pi
PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2012 10:39 
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Heck, we want to de-mystify computers and programming - a boring python script that works everywhere is probably a better way of doing that. It's like Cavey's cars with soul - some people want a bleeding edge sports car where you can feel every little thing that's going on, but if you want to get people start driving at all, you want to give them something straightforward and uniform, but that can still get them to where they want to go. And, of course, there's no reason why you can't start programming with C on a Pi.


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 Post subject: Re: Raspberry Pi
PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2012 10:40 
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I find that people fall in love with the first programming language their shown. Why not make it C? There's enough people knocking out shoddy Javascript in my opinion :)


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 Post subject: Re: Raspberry Pi
PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2012 10:44 
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You don't make it C because malloc().


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 Post subject: Re: Raspberry Pi
PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2012 10:45 
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DavPaz wrote:
I find that people fall in love with the first programming language their shown. Why not make it C? There's enough people knocking out shoddy Javascript in my opinion :)


I would suggest that there are a large amount of concepts in vanilla c that are largely redundant and only serve to make the process more dull and inpenetrable. A starting language should be something that is powerful, but still easy to make stuff that does something.

I'm marginally capable in about a dozen languages and skilled in half a dozen more. I hate them all equally. I certainly never fell in love with Pascal.

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 Post subject: Re: Raspberry Pi
PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2012 10:46 
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Doctor Glyndwr wrote:
You don't make it C because malloc().


:this:

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 Post subject: Re: Raspberry Pi
PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2012 10:47 
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 Post subject: Re: Raspberry Pi
PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2012 10:53 
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Craster wrote:
I'm marginally capable in about a dozen languages and skilled in half a dozen more.

Which list are you putting VB on?


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 Post subject: Re: Raspberry Pi
PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2012 10:54 
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 Post subject: Re: Raspberry Pi
PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2012 10:56 
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 Post subject: Re: Raspberry Pi
PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2012 10:57 
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Craster wrote:
I'm marginally capable in about a dozen languages and skilled in half a dozen more.

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 Post subject: Re: Raspberry Pi
PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2012 11:03 
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 Post subject: Re: Raspberry Pi
PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2012 11:06 
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I don't think I've ever come across a programming language that I "fall in love with."

They all have their problems.

But yes, RaspberryPi - sign me up, sounds like a neat little device.

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 Post subject: Re: Raspberry Pi
PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2012 11:32 
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GazChap wrote:
I don't think I've ever come across a programming language that I "fall in love with."

Maybe when C becomes DD.

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 Post subject: Re: Raspberry Pi
PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2012 17:06 
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DavPaz wrote:
10 print "Geeks"
20 goto 10
run

Shouldn't that be '30 run'? I suppose it depends on the type of BASIC used... seems inconsistent, though. I'd either have numbered lines or not.

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 Post subject: Re: Raspberry Pi
PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2012 17:10 

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It'd be correct in BBC basic. Run isn't part of the program so wouldn't need a line number, it's a command to the computer to run the currently defined program, belongs with List et. al.

The bickering over languages in this thread proves my point. The Pi is standardised hardware and can circumvent this problem.


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 Post subject: Re: Raspberry Pi
PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2012 17:14 
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GovernmentYard wrote:
The Pi is standardised hardware and can circumvent this problem.


How? Being standardised hardware doesn't stop you being able to run compilers or interpreters for 50 different languages on it should you so wish.

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 Post subject: Re: Raspberry Pi
PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2012 17:16 
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More so, really. Python with or without 50 billion libraries and extensions for a start. BBC BASIC was pretty consistent!


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 Post subject: Re: Raspberry Pi
PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2012 19:13 
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Quote:
Or even C, probably.


Actually, every other year I start teaching students on C. It's a two year course with combined first and second years so I teach mostly VB for one year of units and and C for the other. I've found generally that the students end up preferring the language they started with.

It's possible that the ones that start with C end up with better understanding by the end, although this is more a hunch and I'm kind of biased. It must be beneficial to prefer the language that is more like everything ever instead of VB with it's stupid syntax stupidness.

Quote:
You don't make it C because malloc().


The year we do C, we get as far as malloc(), have a laugh about it and move onto Java for the rest of the year.

Thinking of looking into getting iPhone dev stuff next year, which would mean Objective C instead. Maybe.

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 Post subject: Re: Raspberry Pi
PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2012 20:25 
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Objective C is hateful. But then maybe that's just me finding it hard to adjust.

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 Post subject: Re: Raspberry Pi
PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2012 20:38 
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GazChap wrote:
Objective C is hateful. But then maybe that's just me finding it hard to adjust.
Nah, it's OK. It helps if you've done some Smalltalk or other similar language first -- it derives more of it's philosphopy from there than it does from other modern C-derivatives like C++, Java, and C#.

ltia wrote:
The year we do C, we get as far as malloc(), have a laugh about it and move onto Java for the rest of the year.
Sensible. I don't think manual memory management has much place in a teaching language outside of a dedicated computer science degree (which isn't what we're talking about here, of course -- we're talking more general eduction). In fact, I wasn't even required to do any memory management in either of my computer science degrees -- I worked in Pascal (yes, I'm that old), Java, Python, Perl, and Prolog. I did do my undergraduate disseration in C++, but only because I chose to.


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 Post subject: Re: Raspberry Pi
PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2012 20:40 
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I did my Undergrad dissertation in Unreal. :p


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 Post subject: Re: Raspberry Pi
PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2012 20:54 
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Doctor Glyndwr wrote:
I worked in Pascal (yes, I'm that old)


Same here. I maintain that it is a better teaching language by far than c. We did Pascal at school, and Ada at University.

ltia wrote:
VB with it's stupid syntax stupidness.


Pfft. Anything's better than semi-colons all over the place for no appreciable reason.

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 Post subject: Re: Raspberry Pi
PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2012 20:55 
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Craster wrote:
Doctor Glyndwr wrote:
I worked in Pascal (yes, I'm that old)


Same here.


And me. Then Delphi.

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 Post subject: Re: Raspberry Pi
PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2012 22:08 
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In my course I did Modula 3, Modula 4, Pascal, assembler, C, C++, fortran and a few other weird shitty languages that I can't remember.

It was all crap :D


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 Post subject: Re: Raspberry Pi
PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2012 22:28 
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Craster wrote:
ltia wrote:
VB with it's stupid syntax stupidness.


Pfft. Anything's better than semi-colons all over the place for no appreciable reason.

Yeah I also hate full stops and other puncuation it makes things messy and hard to read only thickies like such syntax


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 Post subject: Re: Raspberry Pi
PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2012 22:51 
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Craster wrote:
Pfft. Anything's better than semi-colons all over the place; for no appreciable reason.

FTFY.

Try fun JavaScript, where if var a, b and c are all ten, a+b+c can return 1020 ?:|

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 Post subject: Re: Raspberry Pi
PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2012 23:32 
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Grim... wrote:
Try fun JavaScript, where if var a, b and c are all ten, a+b+c can return 1020 ?:|


Okay, I'll bite, how does that work then?

Oh, and another one who cut their teeth on Pascal here. It was so long ago that I don't remember anything at all about it as a language but it taught me the concepts (variable, control flow statements, etc) well enough for me to move onto C so it did it's job.


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 Post subject: Re: Raspberry Pi
PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2012 23:36 
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Bamba wrote:
Grim... wrote:
Try fun JavaScript, where if var a, b and c are all ten, a+b+c can return 1020 ?:|


Okay, I'll bite, how does that work then?

Oh, and another one who cut their teeth on Pascal here. It was so long ago that I don't remember anything at all about it as a language but it taught me the concepts (variable, control flow statements, etc) well enough for me to move onto C so it did it's job.

I'm guessing at 10 + 10 + 10 = 10 + (10 + 10) = 10 + 20 = 1020?


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 Post subject: Re: Raspberry Pi
PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2012 23:38 
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var a = 10;
var b = "10";
var c = 10;

At least, I assume that's what Grim... means. JavaScript's type handling pisses me off every day.

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