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A Least Half a Million Raspberry Pis Sold 212

hypnosec writes "The Raspberry Pi Foundation has announced that it could have sold over a million units of its credit-card-sized computer, the Raspberry Pi. Announcing the achievement, the foundation wrote that one of its distributors, Element14, has sold over half a million units of the Raspberry Pi, and even though the foundation doesn't have up-to-date figures from its other distributor, RS Components, it is expecting to have sold its millionth unit of the computer."
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A Least Half a Million Raspberry Pis Sold

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  • by heckler95 ( 1140369 ) on Wednesday January 09, 2013 @12:20PM (#42533067)
    Adafruit [] has a great series of lessons on how to get it setup and examples of some interesting uses. They also have a ton of useful accessories, cases, etc.

    I've done a few Arduino-like experiments using their Pi Cobbler breakout board. I got mine to output status information (date/time, IP Address, network stats) and/or a twitter feed on a cheap 16x2 LCD display. With a cheap wifi dongle and one of those USB emergency cellphone chargers for power, it's completely independent of wires, so I'm thinking about adding some motors and maybe a few IR sensors to create a basic rover. Once you get the distro setup to auto-login and install TightVNC server and enable SSH, you just need to give it a network connection to control it remotely from a PC. I only hooked mine up to an HDMI TV once on first boot to get those things running. Now I just turn it on and wait for the IP to appear on the LCD display and SSH or VNC into it.

    I agree that initially it was tough to come up with useful things to do with it, but the Adafruit tutorials went a long way toward inspiring me and walking me through the more mundane details of taking care of the basics (SSH, VNC, WiFi, etc.) so that you can focus on actually doing something cool with it. You can also search around for BeagleBone or Arduino + Ethernet Shield projects for ideas since the Pi can do most of what those can at a fraction of the price. Good luck!
  • Re:What do they do? (Score:4, Informative)

    by spire3661 ( 1038968 ) on Wednesday January 09, 2013 @12:27PM (#42533179) Journal
    I deployed one as a webserver at my in-laws. My father-in-law is a psychologist with a small but lucrative client base. He currently has a website running on a host from netsol @ $140/year. I looked at his metrics and he gets a hit a day if hes lucky. I dropped his website on the raspberry pi and am serving it from his house under a different URL. If the site holds up after a year, ill move the domain over to his house server and save $140/year. While not a killer app, it exposes a real world use case. I think that you wont find a 'killer app', but rather a huge range of special use cases.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 09, 2013 @12:36PM (#42533301)

    The Raspberry Pi doesn't need a killer app. It's a general purpose computer, so you can do pretty much anything you want with it, up to a point.

    The main problem with the Raspberry Pi is that it has an extremely limited USB controller within its Broadcom BCM2835 device hardware. It's so limited that many applications requiring USB simply fail to work at all. When it fails, the entire USB chain and the networking system collapses.

    Unfortunately this problem is not something that can be fixed any time soon, if ever. The BCM2835 was never designed to be used this way, so by selecting this particular Broadcom chip the Raspberry Pi was effectively designed with a built-in hardware fault.

    Does this mean it's useless? Absolutely not! If your application can stay clear of the USB issues, you have a very nice little ARM board for next to no money. Test it first and you'll be fine. If your USB and networking collapses, well, you only lost $35, and you can still use it for something less demanding of USB.

  • Re:What do they do? (Score:5, Informative)

    by DeliriumNocturnum ( 2812063 ) on Wednesday January 09, 2013 @12:57PM (#42533589)
    I'm using my 512 Pi for XBMC (via Raspbmc) and it has come a long way. Booting from SD but running the OS from a USB drive really improves the speed and navigation of menus, so that there is little to no lag now. I really enjoy using XBMC now (CEC passthrough and I don't even need a separate remote). For $35 and effectively using a device that was never designed to do what I'm using it for, I have zero complaints.
  • by Andy Prough ( 2730467 ) on Wednesday January 09, 2013 @01:25PM (#42533869)
    No, you can mount a lot of USB storage devices to an RPi ( []), not so with an AppleTV ( []).
  • Re:What do they do? (Score:5, Informative)

    by MachineShedFred ( 621896 ) on Wednesday January 09, 2013 @02:12PM (#42534395) Journal

    Don't use USB. Use the integrated I2C bus, and this thing []. It's cheaper, doesn't suck power through the already limited USB on the RPi, and gives you 10 location updates per second in exactly the form you're looking for.

Each honest calling, each walk of life, has its own elite, its own aristocracy based on excellence of performance. -- James Bryant Conant