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First Photos and Video of Raspberry Pi Model A 125

Posted by timothy
from the 25-bucks-(cheap!) dept.
coop0030 writes "The first photos and videos of the Model A production samples are now available. The Raspberry Pi Model A is the newest low-cost computer from the Raspberry Pi Foundation. Compared to the popular Model B, the Model A forgoes the Ethernet Controller, has 256MB of RAM, and has a single USB port. A benefit of the missing Ethernet controller is that power consumption is reduced. This allowed them to reach their goals of a low-cost $25 computer. The release date is for sometime early in 2013."
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First Photos and Video of Raspberry Pi Model A

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  • Why? (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    I'd rather see a $45 Pi with more Ram etc.

    • Re:Why? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by SomePgmr (2021234) on Saturday December 15, 2012 @03:15AM (#42299471) Homepage
      I would too. But the goal was always for a $25 computer that's a useful, low cost learning tool. You can't fault them for actually making that happen.
      • by tuppe666 (904118) on Saturday December 15, 2012 @04:29AM (#42299755)

        ...except it wasn't.

        The goal was to stop the erosion in what is perceived to be "computer skills" and interest in computer science as computing in UK schools had become about "Office" and Consumer computing had become "electronics". In fact the cheap part is in response to computers being expensive and arcane. [from http://www.raspberrypi.org/about%5D [raspberrypi.org]

        I personally am convinced that the costs involved in raising the costs slightly to increase "memory" not anything else is incredibly wise. I have used GNU/Linux on little memory and its not fun...and Android seems to have similar requirements.

        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          by SomePgmr (2021234)

          I'm not sure that disagrees with what I was saying. But no matter, I agree that a slightly nicer model would be nice. I'm just not upset that they released the one they said they would before working on a fancier one.

          I know a lot of people have been making noise about wanting a Model C since the beginning. I imagine they'll get around to it, and then people will gripe that it's either too expensive or not as good as their gaming rig. ;)

          • by maxwell demon (590494) on Saturday December 15, 2012 @05:41AM (#42300001) Journal

            Actually I'd like a model with Ethernet port and enough RAM but without graphics (that should save a lot of power, too).

            • Actually I'd like a model with Ethernet port ...

              According to the referenced Wikipedia article, the new model A (one USB, no Ethernet) has the System-on-a-Chip (SoC)'s USB port go directly to the connector, while in the older model B (two USBs, one Ethernet) it went to a 1:3 hub and the hub drove two USB connectors and an onboard, dongle-style, USB-to-Ethernet chip and connector.

              So plug in an external hub and an Ethernet dongle and you get the same functionality as the previous board. (You can also use a hi

              • by Erbo (384)
                You can change, in the boot configuration, the amount of RAM allocated to the CPU and GPU. The minimum configuration for the GPU is 32 Mb, leaving 224 Mb for the CPU, assuming a 256Mb board (either Model A or early Model B).
                • It's a shame to waste 1/8 of your total memory on graphics storage for a headless application. Even if you want to keep graphics support available for debugging purposes, a 640x480x16 resolution is more than enough for that and needs only 150 kB.

        • by Gothmolly (148874)

          I have used GNU/Linux on a machine with 4MB of memory, and it worked just fine.

        • by e70838 (976799)
          I have learned linux in 92 on a 486dx33 with 16 Mo RAM and 120 Mo hard disk. It was really fun. At that time drawing a rectangular text window did not require and expensive 3D graphical card.
      • by Anonymous Coward
        If you ordered your Pi online, you already have a computer. Just download Python and you can learn plenty there. Why do we need to buy another piece of hardware? I really don't get it.
    • by fufufang (2603203)

      I'd rather see a $45 Pi with more Ram etc.

      You can buy a more expensive development board, if you want more ram.

    • Re:Why? (Score:4, Informative)

      by White Flame (1074973) on Saturday December 15, 2012 @05:14AM (#42299913)

      There are a few others in the RPi space now. This board might be more up your alley: Cubieboard [cubieboard.org]

      • by expatriot (903070)

        That page said the product was ready to ship in the last news update in September, but the order page still says preorder. Might be interesting if a US or European distributor picks it up. The only advantage of this over similarly priced Chinese "A10" tablets is the I/O pins.

      • by hairyfeet (841228)
        Except its not shipping so kinda pointless to link to NOW, isn't it? Since we have seen so many of these things end up vaporware until they are actually filling orders i really wish people would stop linking to these things, a thousand and one things can make a deal fall through, trouble getting a chip, bad boards from the supplier driving the cost up to high, trouble getting support chips, so until we actually see people getting the units instead of some "pre-order" page its really as much vaporware as a P
        • It is shipping the first batch. Users have apparently shown unboxing videos and the like. The preorders are for the next batch.

    • To you (and me) an extra $20 is peanuts. We might think differently if we were from the 3rd world.
    • by dmesg0 (1342071)

      I don't understand the point of getting Raspberry Pi with its ancient CPU. For ~50$ (including shipping from China) you can get mk808, which has:

      1GB RAM/8GB flash
      Dual core 1.2GHz Cortex A9 CPU (RK3066)
      MicroSD/USB/HDMI/Built-in Wi-Fi

    • AIUI the problem is that while the SoC theoreticallly supports 1 gigabyte of ram noone actually makes an 8 gigabit* chip that is compatible with the memory interface on the SoC they are using.

      I suspect that at some point there will be a second gen Pi with a different SoC, a newer memory technology and more memory but I wouldn't expect it any time soon.

      *Don't ask me why system memory is typically measured in gigabytes while memory chips are measured in gigabits but that seems to be the way things are.

    • $15 Pi (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Doc Ruby (173196) on Saturday December 15, 2012 @08:11PM (#42304437) Homepage Journal

      More interesting is a $15 Pi with lower HW specs [wikipedia.org] : no audio; no serial (only 1 USB, like Model A); no HDMI (only VGA) or even no video. But also integrated wireless mesh, preferably a snapin daughtercard for either Bluetooth, Zigbee, or even WiFi.

      The purpose of these devices is to bootstrap British youth Computer Science education. That education better focus on networked distributed computing, preferably wireless for mobile or just ubiquity. Only one of the machines on the network needs better specs, for human interface. The rest should interface to the many things we have to make smart.

      I personally would buy thousands of those low spec devices each year. I'm sure there's a market for hundreds of millions, probably many billion of them. Though most of that market will probably be served by stickon, postage-stamp sized devices powered by ambient (heat, light, flexing) energy and cost under $1, we have to get there steadily. I don't know why Chinese exporters aren't selling Model A and Model B for under $20 already (they're $80+), and a $10- Model C stripped down from there.

  • ARMv6 (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    It's 2012, 2013 in about 400 hours. ARMv6 and just one USB2.0 port, which isn't even working right. You have got to be kidding.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    STFU already about Raspberry Pi, at least until the A model is actually available; everybody knows and nobody cares!

  • 256 is not enough (Score:5, Interesting)

    by slacka (713188) on Saturday December 15, 2012 @03:27AM (#42299531)

    They should have waited until they could get the cost down with 512MB of RAM. Having used both the 256 and 512 Model B, I found that no amount of tweaking could make the 256 model run a web browser acceptably on a Linux desktop. Modern Linux desktops and browsers have gotten too bloated. LXDE is painfully slow, while KDE and gnome desktops are just downright unable. The 512 model has no such issue.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 15, 2012 @03:38AM (#42299565)

      Low-cost computer, not general-purpose desktop-replacement.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Low-cost computer, not general-purpose desktop-replacement.

        First statement on the FAQ [raspberrypi.org]:

        It’s a capable little PC which can be used for many of the things that your desktop PC does, like spreadsheets, word-processing and games. It also plays high-definition video.

        • It still does not say desktop replacement. It says it can be used for some of the things you would do with a desktop, that is a big difference from saying it can replace your desktop.

          My 256meg Pi runs XBMC great, it surprised the heck out of me. But that was not what I bought it for and is not what I use it for so it was just an added bonus.

          I will be buying one of the new 512 Model B boards to be a media player for sure.

          I might get a model A board to use for an embedded application as I do not really need a

        • by lahvak (69490)

          Exactly. It says nothing about "modern" bloated desktop environments. I have an old desktop computer that I use as a print server, and it crawls with lxde or xfce, but it is perfectly usable with something like fvwm or fluxbox, and runs gnumeric and abiword perfectly fine, as well as most games that are available in linux. I don't know if it plays HD video, I never tried it. It has 512 MB, but memory is almost never a problem, usually about half of that is free anyway.

    • by nzac (1822298)

      Its not the desktop environment its just that browsers even with a few tabs open would like about 300Mb to function properly.
      Chose a lighter weight browser or get aggressive with cutting back your browsers memory usage.
      Both Debian and Arch's minimum requirements are 64Mb and you should be able to get it using less.

    • Re:256 is not enough (Score:5, Informative)

      by houghi (78078) on Saturday December 15, 2012 @04:54AM (#42299859)

      What about http://www.damnsmalllinux.org/ [damnsmalllinux.org] ?

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Instead of using Linux which is unfit for the RPi, you'd be better off running RISC OS, which has a full web browser that I assume runs super-fast.

      • Quick access to BASIC too, which makes it ideal to get programming on.

      • For sufficiently small definitions of "full web browser"

        Netsurf runs pretty fast under linux too, the trouble is website compatibility is pretty poor.

    • by Joce640k (829181)

      They should have waited until they could get the cost down with 512MB of RAM. Having used both the 256 and 512 Model B, I found that no amount of tweaking could make the 256 model run a web browser acceptably on a Linux desktop.

      Huh? My 256MB Pi runs a web browser perfectly...

    • by Anonymous Coward

      They should have waited until they could get the cost down with 512MB of RAM. Having used both the 256 and 512 Model B, I found that no amount of tweaking could make the 256 model run a web browser acceptably on a Linux desktop. Modern Linux desktops and browsers have gotten too bloated. LXDE is painfully slow, while KDE and gnome desktops are just downright unable. The 512 model has no such issue.

      I don't think the PI is really meant as a desktop replacement, but if you want to browse the web in 256 MB:

      No gnome, no KDE. A bare-bones window manager. It is not as if gnome/kde is needed for browsing the web anyway, I use neither and that is on a powerful pc.

      Also, use lightweight browser. lynx perhaps, or dillo if you have to have graphics. No plugins!

      • Dillo is excellent, I really like it. I wish there was more attention drawn to it, it could use some extra developers.
    • by couchslug (175151)

      You don't need a desktop environment to use Linux for specialty applications because those can avoid using a DE entirely.

      Want a "desktop"? Buy the ITX combo of your choice and be happy.

    • by mspohr (589790)

      I don't know what you're trying to do but both Midori and Chrome run just fine on 256mb.

    • by Gothmolly (148874)

      +eleventy, Retarded

      This post made my day, I can walk around with a smile now, thanks!

  • Judging from their forums, there's a significant number of people who think removing the Ethernet controller/USB hub chip is going to solve or at least substantially reduce the Raspberry Pi's problems with USB. It won't. Unfortunately, but predictably it doesn't look like the Foundation have done anything to correct this misconception. Isochronous transfers which audio interfaces, webcams etc. rely upon won't be affected much, if at all by this change, i.e. they will still be utterly broken. If you get
  • Mk802iii much more powerful and cheaper than the raspberry pi

    • by csumpi (2258986)
      How about promoting hardware that actually works, has a case, multiple times the memory and in the end costs less than the RPi? The RPi will just sit in the junk pile unused after the initial buzz wears off and reality sets it.
  • by dohzer (867770) on Saturday December 15, 2012 @04:23AM (#42299735) Homepage

    Can we please get some photos of the Raspberry Pi in its natural environment; sitting unused, covered in dust on some hipster-geek's shelf?

  • Beowulfcluster joke? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by houghi (78078) on Saturday December 15, 2012 @05:08AM (#42299897)

    Not so much a joke as a reality as is shown right here [youtube.com]

  • by Anonymous Coward

    To those demanding 512MB, you're a treadmill consumer, not a real programmer.

    raspberry pi is supposed to be like the C64/spectrum 8 bit era computers.
    the reason these 8bit machines lasted 15+ years, is because programmers eventually learned to break the rules and extend the functionality of the systems far beyond the hardware designers ever conceived. I disagreed with the foundation extending the B model to 512MB as it sets it apart on an upgrade treadmill course, rather than a, develop badass low level cod

    • by BronsCon (927697)
      Of course, it's the latter group, and people like them, who developed the titles the former group bought into. Without the former, the latter wouldn't have jobs.

      I've learned, at this point in my life, that the fact that not everyone shares my point of view is a good thing; if everyone saw things my way, they'd all write their own code, instead of paying me to do so.
    • The people here asking for 512MB are the the rich kids whose parents bought them ...

      Nah.

      They're the people who want to plug in an off-the-shelf distro and get the project done in a couple weeks.

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