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Gooseberry Launches Android-based Raspberry Pi Rival 170

Posted by timothy
from the where-are-mullberry-blueberry-and-lingonberry? dept.
New submitter masternerdguy writes with this snippet from Tom's Hardware about yet another tiny, Linux-capable single-board computer: "The manufacturer claims that the Gooseberry is 'roughly 3 x more powerful in processing power,' and twice the RAM (512 MB) [compared to] the Raspberry Pi. The Gooseberry does not come with analog video and lacks a LAN port, but supports Wi-Fi. At this time, the board only supports Android 4 ICS and Ubuntu without graphics acceleration. However, Gooseberry is offering premade images for Ubuntu. Support for Arch Linux is 'expected in the future.'"
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Gooseberry Launches Android-based Raspberry Pi Rival

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  • by undefinedreference (2677063) on Friday July 20, 2012 @09:38PM (#40720805)
    Even the Raspberry Pi is nothing special. I've been working with cheap tiny COTS SBCs that run Linux for many years... Clearly the average person working in IT/software development/etc has absolutely no awareness of this market.
    • by Aeros (668253) on Friday July 20, 2012 @10:16PM (#40721001)
      Yes, you are clearly much more aware the the average bear. Where is the appropriate place that we may worship your knowledge? I just want all of us to know.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Yes, you are clearly much more aware the the average bear. Where is the appropriate place that we may worship your knowledge? I just want all of us to know.

        Funny that's not how I interpreted that at all.

        Then I'm not the sort of douchebag who looks for the worst in everyone so he can condemn it. "What's that? Did he stick his neck out 0.001 inches so now I can cut it verbally? Did he say something I can use against him even if that means twisting it around? Hah! Gotch, biatch!" Nah I don't want to live like that.

        If that makes you happy then you go and have fun with that. Tell me how fun the end of that path is. Don't worry. It's popular so you wi

        • by asdf7890 (1518587) on Saturday July 21, 2012 @06:54AM (#40722717)
          I think what the person you are replying to was pointing out, perhaps too flippantly, is that the previous poster's post was the very definition of unhelpful in that it pointed out help could be given then failed to do so in any way shape or form. A couple of links to devices that already exist at good prices (for the home user buying one or two, not the commercial user buying by the thousand) that could be used for the projects people are planning to play with the Pis on, would have been the ideal way to help educate those of us who are missing the clue that is, in his estimation, obvious.

          Of course the less charitable interpretation of what Aeros said is "prove you know something or I'm going to assume you are a blabbler mouth who really knows nothing and is just trying to look important", but if that is the case then the very same little bits of info in the original post would also render such a response irrelevant.

          In either case the post by undefinedreference basically amounts to "I know something you don't know". Whether that is simply a matter-of-fact-statement, in invitation to politely ask for enlightenment, or something that in the playground would be followed by "ner ner n' ner ner", is a matter for individual interpretation until more information becomes apparent.

          I've just (well, yesterday) taken delivery of an rPi and if my playing goes well might well buy more of the same or similar devices, so I for one would be most interested in hearing some detail of what undefinedreference says he knows and I don't (yet).
      • by undefinedreference (2677063) on Saturday July 21, 2012 @12:47AM (#40721531)

        GIYF: https://www.google.com/search?q=linux+sbc [google.com] Come back and complain about my stating the obvious once you've finished reviewing those 1.7M results (this query just scratches the surface - try linux+arm, linux+mips, or linux+[processor model] to get even more options, ranging from SoCs through SoMs and SBCs).

        Here's a site that posts press releases about embedded Linux devices/SBCs/etc all this time (and has for at least a decade, I believe): http://www.linuxfordevices.com/ [linuxfordevices.com]

        The only thing these new products have are marketing departments that can catch the attention of a big tech press site or two. The spin from there is incredible, considering they're not really doing anything that hasn't been done thousands of times before.

        • by AmiMoJo (196126)

          No, the difference is that the Pi et al are aimed at non technical people who want to learn. I too do embedded development and the desktop programmers I work with wouldn't know where to start with an SoC. A school child can use an RP.

          It is as much about the community and support as it is about the hardware.

        • by gv250 (897841)

          Here's a site that posts press releases about embedded Linux devices/SBCs/etc all this time (and has for at least a decade, I believe): http://www.linuxfordevices.com/ [linuxfordevices.com]

          They appear to have ceased operation in February of this year.

      • by BeanThere (28381)

        Thank you - was beginning to think I was the only one getting annoyed with how every thread on /. seems to start with someone declaring loudly to the world how the topic is simply not new/surprising to them. Get over your little egos folks.

    • by rsilvergun (571051) on Friday July 20, 2012 @11:33PM (#40721273)
      to where I can buy a cheap linux ($50 usd or less) board that's got ethernet & USB 2.0 and enough horse power to run Quake III at 30fps? Seriously, I've been looking and I can't find them.
      • Re:Links? (Score:5, Informative)

        by Hadlock (143607) on Saturday July 21, 2012 @12:54AM (#40721561) Homepage Journal

        They're getting very, very close to that price point. The VIA mini/micro ATX boards have run about $75 for about five years now. There's a number of $45 motherboards that with processor and ram clock in around $65. I really don't think you can get a whole lot cheaper than that and still reliably run windows.
         
        Most of those machines I described will run Quake 3 at 60-120fps.

        • by kenh (9056)

          The recent miniITX motherboards with an AMD E350 CPU on them retail in the $75-100 range, and require all the same bits the RaspberryPi and similar boards do (monitor, keyboard, mouse, power supply, case, network infrastructure) and provide much greater processing power capacity than these SBCs which some arcade mic have calculated will meet the needs of school age children.

          An E350-based system can be put together for under $200 (plus monitor) and it would have 8 gigs of RAM ($35), chassis/PS ($25), keyboar

          • Those E350s are kinda neat, but they're closer to $100 if you're buying them from a reliable manufacturer and they have no onboard ram or storage. They're also not as small as a Raspberry Pi.

            As for specs, for $120 I can buy a dual core Intel refurb off newegg and slap a $50 GT 240 video card in it. That's blow away the AMD system. What I really want is a tiny file & print server that's out of the way. I mentioned Quake III because it's a good benchmark. Contrary to popular belief Samba has pretty he
    • by Chirs (87576) on Saturday July 21, 2012 @01:37AM (#40721749)

      Yes, there are many little COTS SBCs that run linux. However, they don't give the mix of capabilities that the Raspberry Pi does for the price that it sells at.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by kenh (9056)

        The RaspberryPI board suits a small number of applications, none of which will be the K-12 education market.

        Precious few teachers would opt for the RaspberryPI in their classroom over an Apple Mac or a Windows PC - no matter the age:

        A) The system is incomplete (no display, keyboard, mouse, power supply), and completing it quickly triples or quadruples the price per system.

        B) The operating system and applications are lacking curricullum support, it is non-trivial for the average non-computer science teacher

        • by Xenna (37238) on Saturday July 21, 2012 @03:51PM (#40725539)

          Incomplete? OK, I'll give you the power supply, but my Raspi is never going to have a screen/keyboard or mouse. We you planning to replace your PC with it or something?

          The whole 'teaching' idea is quite absurd. You can program on a standard PC just as wel or even better.

          The main point of the Pi for me is that it's incredibly cheap. It has GPIO ports that no other PC's have (to my knowledge).

          Also, you can change its personality completely by just swapping the SD card. I can't remember the last device I could do that with so easily.

    • by unixisc (2429386)
      According to TFA, this will cost 40 British Pounds, which translates to US $62. Of course, compared to the Raspberry Pi's availability, price is probably not an issue - this too got sold out.
    • by JohnnyMindcrime (2487092) on Saturday July 21, 2012 @06:01AM (#40722551)

      As a fellow Linux user, I must say that you are missing the point entirely.

      The whole concept of the Raspberry Pi is not to be the smallest, fastest or most powerful, it is simply designed to be extremely cheap to buy but with enough processing power to make it a reasonably good programming platform, especially for kids and students.

      The Raspberry Pi Foundation is a UK charity, it has been set up to further IT skills in schools, and the reason it was introduced and sold the way it was a few months ago was specifically to get the units out to those people who are keen on doing interesting things with them, and to feed back what they've done into the Foundation to get the schoolkids even more interested in programming on one.

      Your comments about it being "nothing special" would be entirely valid were it being sold for profit and you were comparing specifications to similar items - but that is not the case.

      Incidentally, I have no personal connection with the Raspberry Pi Foundation, but I support any efforts done altruistically, especially in IT education where it might get kids learning proper skills that they can build careers on and make a living from.

      • by gbjbaanb (229885) on Saturday July 21, 2012 @08:35AM (#40723129)

        also don't forget - you hear about tiny pcb linux boards all the time *now*.

        Go back to before the RaspPi was announced and see how many stories about such things were coming out. RPF has done a lot just be existing, now I hope they'll come up with a C model with more processing power, but that's for another day.

        • now I hope they'll come up with a C model with more processing power, but that's for another day.

          I think they should leave it at least a couple of years before doing that. Otherwise they risk the early adopters getting screwed as software development moves to the newer shinier model before a good base has built up.

        • I'm old enough to remember "The Golden Age Of Computing" during the 1980s, and one of the the best things that happened then was programmers being forced to come up with neat techniques to squeeze that little bit more out of what were essentially very restricted and limited home computers.

          The fact that the world is going back to "apps" and the fact that PC gaming is moving back into the Indie world does mean a partial return to that Golden Age where it's no longer the case that the likes of Electronic Arts

      • by Predius (560344)

        Um, the Pi *IS* being sold for profit, it's just the profit is going to Farnell, etc who are doing their own mfg of the board. The R Pi foundation may not be collecting a profit, but the people selling sure are or they wouldn't have signed on.

    • by asdf7890 (1518587)
      Any chance of providing just a little bit more information than "I know something you don't know"? Perhaps a link to somewhere where a beginner in the area might start to educate himself? Or a link to a device that we might consider when also considering the rPi and other common options?
    • by jimicus (737525)

      Unless you're buying them by the thousand, though, they're typically a LOT dearer. So much so that it's usually cheaper to buy a cheapie mini ITX Atom-based board and live with the fact that it'll be three times the size.

    • It depends on your definition of "cheap". There have been many arm linux systems available before but all the ones i've seen were either far less capable than the Pi (hacked up home routers) or far more expensive (beagleboard and gumstix series) or both.

  • by shione (666388) on Friday July 20, 2012 @09:42PM (#40720833) Journal

    Good to see more manufacturers jumping on the pcb computer craze. So long as these can't run windows (which microsoft wouldnt do since it would eat into their profits), Linux marketshare will only grow. (I'm counting Android as Linux too).

    It looks very probable that these pcb computers will be the starting point towards building smart automated appliances in the home.

    • by k(wi)r(kipedia) (2648849) on Friday July 20, 2012 @10:00PM (#40720931)
      While we're on the subject here's an overview [raymii.org] of other tiny Linux PCs, including handhelds like the Pandora and the Ben Nanote. The list of course excludes what potentially could be the most widely deployd tiny Linux PCs, cellphones and 7-inch tablets running Android.
      • I thank you kindly for that link. Lots of toys to fondle and play with!
      • Interesting overview, thanks!

        Now if only someone could cram the electronics of one of these power-efficient devices into a Unicomp keyboard, add a battery, and hook it up to a DIN A 4 format e-ink screen! Despite it's size that would be my preferred "laptop".

    • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 21, 2012 @12:33AM (#40721477)

      Linux market share? There's no way these systems are competing with any modern Desktop / Laptop or even a Tablet.

      These systems like the Rasberry Pi are hobbyist toys at best. They're pretty much limited to learning programming and embedded projects. Trying to use them as a desktop system (I own a Raspberry Pi and I've tried it) is an exercise in frustration. I can type faster than AbiWord or LibreOffice can display the characters (I'm just an ok typist, nothing special). I hate to say this, but my old Commodore 64 running GEOS was more responsive as a word processor. Trying to use any web browser is painful. Either you're using one of the stripped down browsers (Midori / Netsurf) which are functional but they're a bit slow and don't support features like javascript which most sites require or you're using Chromium or Iceweasel and it grinds to a halt at the first sign of a script.

      Now if you're typing at a bash prompt or using vi over SSH then you're fine. Even using X under LXDE or fluxbox works fairly well as long as you don't do anything to heavy. You can certainly use a basic graphical text editor or something like IDLE and of course the basic operating system GUIs like file managers work. But that's really about the limit of what you're reasonably going to be doing on the desktop. They're just not up to fulling the role most people expect as a modern computer, even a low powered one. So I don't think it's fair to say you're increasing Linux market share in the sense it's normally used (Laptops / Desktops or even typical Android devices)

      • One serious use of these devices is as an emergency tool or temporary replacement. For example, I'll have to switch to a new motherboard in my PC at some time and intend to switch to one of these tiny machines for a few days until the new machine is ready. Of course, that's only possible as long as you're using GNU/Linux for your daily work, but who doesn't?

    • It looks very probable that these pcb computers will be the starting point towards building smart automated appliances in the home.

      Not without getting a hell of a lot cheaper - I.E. down in the $3-5 range. Most appliances are in the sub $100 range, so adding $40 pcb computers is going to be a non starter.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 20, 2012 @09:44PM (#40720837)

    Unlike the Pi, this board has an actual modern CPU (an ARMv7 Cortex-A8 at 1GHz), a more open SoC (Allwinner A10, which is a chinese ARM SoC and isn't bound by the aura of Broadcom NDAs, and also has a sane boot process unlike the Broadcom chip in the Pi that needs a GPU binblob to even boot), and its GPU (ARM Mali400), while closed (as all mobile GPUs are currently), is actively being reverse engineered and an open source driver is expected in the near future. It certainly is not perfect, but it seems a lot more palatable than the slow, outdated, and Broadcom-proprietary-to-hell-and-back Pi.

    Finally, an affordable ARM SBC that doesn't actually suck. This one I'll buy.

    • by ifiwereasculptor (1870574) on Friday July 20, 2012 @09:47PM (#40720849)

      It sucks a bit harder than the MK802 [engadget.com], I think. If they end up similarly priced, then the Pi is still a better deal.

    • LOL (Score:2, Insightful)

      by ArchieBunker (132337)

      Every mention of the Raspberry Pi has comments to this glorious Allwinner chip the chinese seem to be pedaling. Sounds like Kim Jong Ill himself cast the silicon with his very fingerprint! The goal of the Pi is low cost, not performance.

    • by KiloByte (825081)

      $25 and you can buy it, vs $62 vapourware.

      • by unixisc (2429386)
        I'm sure you meant the other way around? According to TFA, despite the $62 price tag, it sold out very quickly.
        • by KiloByte (825081)

          There's a big difference between a test run with no immediate plan to make more, and sustained production. In the former case, especially the price doesn't matter -- fixed costs dwarf any per-item ones so the price is only a wild guess.

          This said, the amount of memory on Pi cripples it, and it's good to see attempts to make devices without this flaw.

        • The RPi is now producing 4,000 a week and shipping as many as are coming off the production line. Availability can be a bit spotty, but I had someone drop four on my desk yesterday, so they're definitely around...

          The point of the RPi seems to be missed on many of the 'competitors' though. It's cheap, has a load of GPIO pins, and runs a general purpose OS. It's designed as a modern BBC Micro - something that schools can use to teach programming and can use to control things like robots, not as a low-end

          • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

            by Anonymous Coward

            FYI: 4000 a day. Sales still exceed demand right now. There's 250k+ shipped.

      • by chebucto (992517)

        According to TFA there was some supply but they're sold out.

    • by unixisc (2429386)

      Since it's already more expensive than the Raspberry Pi, why not throw in an ethernet port as well? Also, for the OS, they could have tried Minix 3.2, instead of Android, and had lower demand on CPU and memory. I think that a choice of OSs for these - say Android and Minix - would be ideal. Not just for licensing reasons, but also b'cos Minix is a far smaller footprint.

      On a different note, I think that this will be a platform that both Linux and Minix can be successful on, not PCs. Main reason - a non

    • by Alistair Hutton (889794) on Saturday July 21, 2012 @03:43AM (#40722179) Homepage
      The Gooseberry is basically the main board from the wave of 7 and 8 inch android tablets currently coming out of China without the touch screen or chassis. My Momo8 tablet is pretty much exactly the same spec as the Gooseberry but with twice the ram and storage. You can probably tell what tablet the Gooseberry comes from by looking at the shape of the board, has a fairly distinctive rounded corner.
      • by Taco Cowboy (5327)

        The Gooseberry is basically the main board from the wave of 7 and 8 inch android tablets currently coming out of China without the touch screen or chassis

        I haven't the time to check, but if anyone is interested they could check reference designs from ARM's site - maybe this board is one of the reference designs provided by ARM to the China White Box cellphone factories
         

    • by Hatta (162192)

      more open SoC (Allwinner A10, which is a chinese ARM SoC and isn't bound by the aura of Broadcom NDAs, and also has a sane boot process unlike the Broadcom chip in the Pi that needs a GPU binblob to even boot), and its GPU (ARM Mali400), while closed (as all mobile GPUs are currently), is actively being reverse engineered and an open source driver is expected in the near future

      Quoted for emphasis. This will be a fully free platform in the near future. This is the one you want to buy. Sorry Braben.

  • *Yawn* (Score:5, Insightful)

    by WildTangent (982186) on Friday July 20, 2012 @09:44PM (#40720839) Homepage
    This is nothing more than a tablet PCB some guys sourced from a manufacturer in Asia that they're selling as some sort of development kit when it lacks even the most basic of facilities for hardware development such as JTAG headers, or GPIO pins. Call me when somebody actually tries to compete with the Raspberry Pi instead of pulling this jump-on-the-bandwagon crap.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Most Raspberry Pis are bought by people who will never do any hardware development at all. They're bought as servers and media players. For that purpose, this alternative should be quite suitable, as it has more RAM and a much more capable CPU than the Raspberry PI.

      • ... They're bought as servers and media players. For that purpose, this alternative should be quite suitable ...

        Without a LAN port? Good luck.

        • by csumpi (2258986)
          This board apparently has wifi. That's a great plus. Wifi signal is much easier to find than an ethernet cable.

          I don't understand why you think wifi is not good enough for a home server/media player. I watch movies on my laptop over wifi, works awesome.
          • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

            by lightknight (213164)

            And so much slower / more unstable than a physical connection.

            And who thinks it's hard to find an Ethernet cable? You buy a box off them (20-25 ft.) off of NewEgg for $100, and grab one whenever you need one. It's like complaining that you have to open a refrigerator door to get at some food.

            • And so much slower / more unstable than a physical connection.

              That's not my experience. Wifi is surprisingly responsive these days, and while the theoretical speed maximum is never reached, there is plenty of bandwidth left. For a mini home LAN, it's excellent.

              • Compared to gigE, it takes a LONG time to back up dozens of gigs of data via wifi. Even at 5GHz with wide channels and line-of-sight.

                • Compared to gigE, it takes a LONG time to back up dozens of gigs of data via wifi. Even at 5GHz with wide channels and line-of-sight.

                  And just exactly where are you going to either get or put those dozens of gigs of data? Talk about unreasonable expectations.

                  • by Pieroxy (222434)

                    One of the applications for these boxes are backup servers. Not servers that store data, but servers that move data around to make a backup of PC A onto another PC B. In other words, servers that move bytes around. Wifi sucks balls at moving bytes compared to gigE. There is no question about it.

                    Wireless is great, but only if it's unreasonable to expect a cable. For phones or tablets. A laptop on the move. For the rest, I'll take my wired Cat6 cable over Wifi every day of the year.

              • by fatphil (181876)
                Unless you live in a house with 1m thick stone walls.
              • by kwark (512736)

                Speed is reasonable these days with 80211n, it comes close to 100Mbps. But the latency is still horrible compared to wired.

          • Wifi for servers and media players? For music and low definition video, maybe. I wouldn't wager it doing much better than 720p video if even that unless it were right next to the access point, and even then it would be sketchy.

  • Maybe... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Lord Kano (13027)

    they'll make enough of these fucking things that I can actually buy one!

    LK

    • by PReDiToR (687141)
      I ordered my second RasPi on the 23rd of June, it shipped on the 17th of July.

      Production is in full swing and there are very few people desperate to get hold of one now. Add to that the restriction of one per customer has been dropped. For £30 (delivered) you could have one (or more) in much less than a month.
  • by Skapare (16644) on Friday July 20, 2012 @10:18PM (#40721013) Homepage

    Any berry board running Slackware derivative ARMED Slack.

  • Does anyone have a link to page with useful information about this board? What is the physical size? What sort of I/O headers does it have? What is he power consumption (both active and idle)?

    • Re:size? I/O? Power? (Score:5, Informative)

      by Jeff DeMaagd (2015) on Friday July 20, 2012 @10:56PM (#40721143) Homepage Journal

      There is a FAQ on their site:

      http://gooseberry.atspace.co.uk/ [atspace.co.uk]

      They acknowledge they don't really fully know what they have, it's a circuit board they've found and are offering.

    • by petes_PoV (912422)
      None of those questions are relevant as the board is not available to buy. The company only made (or obtained) a small batch which have all been allocated.

      Looking at the photo of the board, it's obvious from its shape that it was designed to fit inside sort sort of gadget. So presumably these boards came from the gadget-maker - either as rejects, unsellable gadgets or as surplus/bankrupt stock. Whether there'll ever be any more would depend on the success of the original gadget these were used to make.

      • by asdf7890 (1518587)
        So presumably these boards came from the gadget-maker - either as rejects, unsellable gadgets or as surplus/bankrupt stock.

        Or if we are being a little more generous in our assessment, they could have just bought a small batch from the manufacturer direct as a perfectly normal sale. If so then they can do the same again, perhaps even making a bigger order so they can reduce the price per unit a little.

  • The price doesn't bother me so much as the dependency on non-free drivers/firmware for these devices. Even a $100 USD device wouldn't be that bad if it was freedom friendly. I would buy a few hundred if someone would design one without any proprietary dependencies. For a project that is geared toward education they do a lousy job at offering something that is truly hacker friendly. The alternative is for these projects to reverse engineer the "Intel" graphics chipset which all or many of them are using. Or

    • A liberated version? Why not start w/ the Alwinner, and then use chipsets from companies that don't have much, or any IP w/ them. Leave out the GPU - and use any ethernet and WiFi SoCs that are fully documented. Using this combination, one should get a fully Liberated platform.

      On the software end of things, why not use something like HURD? If you can get emacs running, nothing else should be needed - no X, no GNOME and no proprietary GPUs. Only that the footprint of the HURD is not well known as yet,

    • by Hatta (162192)

      This will be such a device. The Gooseberry is based on the Allwinner A10 platform. Allwinner has announced cooperation with XBMC in the release of their CedarX graphics library for the A10. That's the last piece needed for a fully free software stack on A10 based devices.

      That's why I'm not buying a Pi.

  • by Tastecicles (1153671) on Friday July 20, 2012 @11:10PM (#40721193)

    ...that's been running as a bare HTPC for several years. OK, support still sucks for these boards in every sense of the word, shoehorning the drivers in has been a nightmare (on Windows and Linux) but fortunately I picked right first time and have only ever had to do that once.

    It still runs Slackware 8.

    If not for the stupid amount of money I spent on it (even back then nearly £200 for board and brick was a bit steep, but I needed compact and quiet), then I'd be binning it and investing in a pair of RasPis.

    • by PReDiToR (687141)
      Like you I have been using VIA for my home server needs for a few years. The Artigo A1000 [via.com.tw] actually. Until the RasPi was announced and all of a sudden the little black box died.

      When I consider my RasPi stable enough to run as an rTorrent/web server I'll be using even less power and be even happier.
  • by symbolset (646467) * on Friday July 20, 2012 @11:23PM (#40721251) Journal

    Raspberry Pi presold sight unseen over 350,000 units while restricted to one-per-customer. They ramped up the factory to 4,000 units a day [raspberrypi.org] - a run rate of 1.5 million units a year. They're little bare project boards. We're not even sure what we can do with them yet. Now that the schools they were intended for can order them in the bulk appropriate to the use of entire school districts full of students they may ramp quite a bit. School districts order in the dozens of units for test/dev and for deployment up to tens or hundreds of thousands so in the launch enthusiasm for RPi they were pretty much shut out so far. It doesn't hurt at all that their HDMI video output is standard input for flat panel monitors and TV's these past few years, so displays for them are everywhere and likely to last far longer than the PCs they came with.

    If a bunch of hardware OEMs aren't snapping to attention over this they should be. The march of tiny low power ARM platforms seems to not want to stop. Now we have the Android TV dongle, five of these SBCs including the one in the fine article, a Kickstarter for OUYA [kickstarter.com] that raised $5.3 million so far in 11 days from 41,000 backers who have no guarantee the product will ever even be made, on the strength of the reputation of the participants and the description of a product that isn't anticipated even being made until 9 months out - if they succeed in making it at all. That so many would put so much of their own personal money on only the promise of a thing is evidence of immense underlying demand for something.

    Of course over in China and India they're making about a thousand different kinds of low-cost Android devices including a 7" tablet that costs $40 [bbc.com] and runs Android ICS. Then there's the Nexus 7 tablet which sold out in retail stores around the planet on launch day [gottabemobile.com] and the 16GB version is even sold out on the Google Play store until further notice [google.com] and the 8GB version probably soon will be - most of them were presold before they even hit the shelves. This one alone may move 10 million units the first year or more. Maybe much more. It's a product that may have buyers camped out at retailers awaiting fresh shipments like they were iThings.

    The iThings are going great by the way, moving about a 500,000 units a day between iPhones, iPads and iPod Touch - every one a neat little ARM PC. And they just opened up the China market, which is like a whole third of everybody.

    At last report little Android ARM PCs that also happen to have cellular phone capability are also doing well, activating 1,000,000 units a day - a run rate of 365,000,000 per year and still growing at a 2.5x pace year over year. And early next year come little ARM SOCs with 75% more processing power and 2x the graphics power for about the same price - and the SBCs that are made from them. Wow, the pace of progress here is stunning. It's like the early '90s again in PC land.

    The traditional PC is stagnant. If you have one that's not too old you probably can suffer through another couple years with it, or until it fails completely, and save the money you would have put to a new one on one of these amazing new things. It's not like your laptop isn't already overpowered for what you're using it for. People have a certain budget for neat new gear anyway, and with adequate laptops costing $300 it's not like there's not money left over in the US market even if it is time to update your PC. The traditional PC market isn't going to collapse right away but I think it has peaked, plateaued, and begun its long gradual decline. In time, all things end.

    All of these new things work wonderfully together, a

    • by chebucto (992517)

      I wouldn't say the PC is declining; it has just plateaued.

      It's been said many other places and times, but what seems to be happening is that more and more niches are being filled with their own computer form factors - mainframes, workstations, PCs, netbooks, mobiles, and now pure-hobbyist computers.

      (Also, though PC development has slowed, it's still progressing at a respectable rate: my 3 year old computer is outclassed by new ones, both in graphics card (mine has 1/2 to 1/4 the VRAM of comparable new lapto

      • by symbolset (646467) *

        When you buy an SSD - now about $75, it comes with a utility to migrate your boot drive to it. If you do that you will see at least a 30x improvement in drive I/O - which will make an old laptop PC seem like it's from 10 years in the future. It turns out that the slowness of spinning rust drives have held back latencies for far too long. Solid state is where it's at these days, and giving a 5 year old PC a solid state drive catapults it a decade into the future. It's far better than buying a new PC. It

      • and now pure-hobbyist computers

        The PC was also a pure-hobbist form factor when it was created. In time, we'll see what those boards can do.

    • by renoX (11677)

      "Adequate laptop cost 300$" replace adequate by "low end"!
      I just bought a middle end laptop (only core i5 but 17"): 650â + the price of the SSD, so 850â.

  • Twice the size, nearly 3 times the price, no GPIO headers, no expansion for the RasPI Cam and Display. Oh, and it runs Android (seriously, apples and oranges anyone??) Yep... I can really see it rivaling the Pi.

    This is the kind of headline I expect to read over at Gizmodo. For shame /., for shame.
    • nearly 3 times the price

      Maybe I'm bad at math but the farnell quote for me was +/- 45 euro. The gooseberry would be +/- 55 euro's. How is this 3 times the price ?

      Talking about Apple and oranges why do people always compare with the cheaper (not existing) model ? It's an intellectual dishonest comparison especially if (some) in the same sentence bitch of the lack of Ethernet port.

      no GPIO headers

      Yeah great for the 10 people who do hardware design with those things. And then when you want to interf
  • Allwinner A10 (Score:4, Informative)

    by Animats (122034) on Saturday July 21, 2012 @02:55AM (#40722015) Homepage

    The CPU is an Allwinner A10 [allwinnertech.com], designed and built in China and selling for about $7. It's an impressive piece of technology.

    That board, though, looks like the guts of a tablet or notebook [google.com], not a development board. There are a number of development boards available [wits-tech.com] at various price points. For $70 you can get an A10 in a box with connectors, [liliputing.com] suitable for entertainment applications.

    • by tftp (111690)

      That board, though, looks like the guts of a tablet or notebook, not a development board.

      It's actually written on the board that is the A721 Mainboard. A721 is a Chinese tablet, and Google is full of links and pictures. Alibaba offers it for USD $79.5~95.5 each, fully assembled and with the battery. Selling just the bare board for $62 is probably fair.

  • How does it compare to the AMD Geode (x86) based SBCs? I've slapped on Voyage Linux (debian) on one of those for a project I'm working on. The great thing for me is that I can simply copy binaries of my project over from my ubuntu dev box without any cross-compilation. Makes debugging much easier.

  • Fuck android (Score:4, Insightful)

    by thetoadwarrior (1268702) on Saturday July 21, 2012 @04:19AM (#40722269) Homepage
    Why use something weak like Android when you can have a real Linux distro?
    • by Lehk228 (705449)
      Because they just scrounged a bunch of tablet motherboards to sell, dumpster diving is not product development

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