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Open Source United Kingdom Hardware

Milestone: The Millionth UK-Made Raspberry Pi 129

judgecorp writes "The millionth Raspberry Pi microcomputer has been made in the Foundation's Welsh factory. Total sales so far are 1.75 million, including the initial stock made in China." (Do you have one? If so, what are you using it for?)
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Milestone: The Millionth UK-Made Raspberry Pi

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  • I have two... (Score:4, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 08, 2013 @09:54AM (#45069415)

    The first one is used as a media player with the openelec distribution (it's the best one, with a very active community), and the second one is used as a secondary computer, with the raspbian distribution and an amazon kindle used as a display :-)

    • and the second one is used as a secondary computer, with the raspbian distribution and an amazon kindle used as a display :-)

      Pardon my ignorance.. But how do you use a Kindle as a display for a PI?

  • I have two and, (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward

    I have done nothing useful with them. They are collecting dust

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      The problem is you, not the raspberry!! :-)

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Yeah, I could understand owning one Pi that gathers dust. But two? You'd have to be thinking: "you know, there's a 3 inch by 2 inch rectangle on my desk that I'd like to keep dust off of. Maybe I'll buy a Raspberry Pi and just leave it there."

    • by Anonymous Coward

      I have two, also. Although they run Linux, they are slow... really slow. A LAMP system is a joke, not to mention that I get file corruption problems after a careful power-down/halt and reboot. I have one of them running in a telephone monitor application, and that works, somewhat. Linux on the cheap it's not.

    • How about donating them to a school?

    • You're running your vacuum cleaner with them? Cool.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 08, 2013 @09:58AM (#45069449)

    Unfortunately, they made these little computers a bit *too* cheaply. In my experience, their poor power regulation makes them just flaky enough to be totally unsuitable for use as anything other than as a nerd toy.

    Which is really too bad - I wanted them to pull it off, and they do make a neat nerd toy, but in any kind of actual production use where random failures are a Bad Thing, and failure to boot is damn near guaranteed to happen occasionally, they are unsuitable.

    On the other hand, I hear that the beaglebones have solved this problem, though I've never laid hands on one myself.

    And on the gripping hand, Arduino has been, for me, open source and cheap done properly. Love that kit.

    • by Anrego ( 830717 ) *

      I think that was kinda the intent though.

      The stated goal early on was to be an ultra-cheap computer for students to mess around with, not to be a low cost SBC for production use. That said, it does make an awesome nerd toy, and probably will find real use in production in cases where random failures can be tolerated (driving the display monitors that seem to be all the rage everywhere seems a really good example).

      • by Anonymous Coward

        And also, Eben and the Pi foundation stated in the past that they would be super excited if other companies took thier lead and created competing products. This is exactly what happened. you can have a Pi A ~$30, Pi B ~$40, BeagleBone ~$45 (adafruit prices). The landscape is about to get larger with the Arduino TRE. I'm SURE the Pi foundation doesn't care if you buy a Pi or something else, as long as you're exploring, making cool things, and sharing your knowledge with the community.

        I recently picked up bot

    • by ledow ( 319597 ) on Tuesday October 08, 2013 @10:19AM (#45069691) Homepage

      Same here.

      My RPi from the very first batch has been gathering dust ever since I ran into a whole bunch of power and USB issues (the USB and SD port - or is it the Ethernet and SD, I forget? - both compete for bus resources and slagging any one of them can *silently* drop packets on the other). They tried to fix it but their debugging was non-existent for so long I stopped providing helpful data. About a year later, they put out a firmware fix that basically bodges things because the hardware design can't be changed.

      Couple with initial compatibility problems resulting in sending my SD card to Broadcom themselves at the request of some RPi folks and then NEVER hearing anything back, not a dicky-bird, and still having the problems on even the latest firmwares, and the whole thing ended up in the attic. You honestly can't use a device that has problems that intermittent / unpredictable under heavy load, especially when all the interesting stuff will keep it under heavy load for the majority of its runtime.

      Some day I'll knock it up to be a doorbell or some other non-critical electronic project but it's really just-another-IC to me at the moment, so it's gathering dust. Keeping it purely for future nostalgia value ("I remember I spent fucking months trying to get this to work!") and the fact that selling it isn't worth it because they cost so little.

      Depending on your definition, they delivered the device they promised. Trouble is, it's next-to-useless for anything non-trivial in the homebrew-gadget department and don't even get me started on their selling this to schools (I work in schools - I showed everyone, from teachers to decision-makers to techies, right at the peak of the popularity of the launch when it was featuring on the BBC. We unanimously agreed that it was a nice gadget that, if you have the knowledge to use it with the educational resources provided - which is next to none - then you don't need it and can do much more interesting things on an ordinary PC).

      • by ledow ( 319597 )

        Oh, forgot to say.

        The biggest use of it I ever had was - I needed to display a PC on two large external monitors connected over HDMI via 50m CAT6 runs on an extender. The extender for one of the displays broke.

        Fortunately, I only needed to clone the image onto all the displays, so I put the RPi on the Cat6 behind the display, plugged it's HDMI out into the display, wired the cable to be Ethernet, had the RPi boot to a VNC viewer, and ran a VNC server on the machine that had the display.

        It was small enough,

      • did they finally fix the 'elephant bug' (as its called)?

        that was the #1 showstopper for me continuing to use the rpi.

        the ethernet was not reliable since it went thru usb and usb was the problem!

        without 100% rock solid usb, the board is not trustable.

        the power supply issue is not hard to work around but the usb bug was a major issue and an embarassment.

        • by ssam ( 2723487 )

          I've had no trouble with network. I'm using NFS and ssh to move files andstream audio. (but i assume those protocols are robust against the odd dropped packet)

      • While I have found a good use for my Raspberry Pi (outgoing VPN Gateway), I have found there are some severe limitations. I would like the ability to have an actual SATA or IDE storage device. I'm not entirely sure, but I'm pretty sure it's the lack of DMA that causes all the problems. I could consistently crash my Pi running torrents and writing to the SD Card. Writing to the USB slot got rid of the crashes, but the disk I/O was still the limiting factor in how fast I could actually get the downloads, and
      • by Anonymous Coward

        Well my daughter's school is using it with MIT Scratch which has Pi-specific plugins to allow you to control the GPIOs directly. Then the whole board goes onto a robotics platform and drives around while you access Scratch on the desktop over VNC to control it all.

        I'm not sure how you go about doing that on an ordinary PC.

        I guess imagination is the key here ...

      • Its meant for trivial things, thats kind of the point. If you want hardened gear you have to pony up for it.
    • their poor power regulation makes them just flaky enough to be totally unsuitable for use as anything other than as a nerd toy.

      Last I looked, the Pi depends on the power regulation of the power supply being used. I've had no problems with my Pi's but I also have 2 Amp capable 5V supplies and I use short USB cables to power the thing. I've not had any stability problems.

      • I had problems initially with the adapter that came with my Nokia phone -- it was labeled as 1.5 amp. Got a bunch of errors on boot if a keyboard, mouse, and ethernet were all plugged in. Then I switched to the adapter that came with my Samsung galaxy nexus -- rock solid.

        What I'd like to know, for anyone else having problems, does switching to a "known good" power source help? And what other good power sources are there that are readily available (such as maybe one of the Apple usb chargers)?

    • I am sure you are using a knock off USB power adapter to run your Pi. The Raspberry Pi's I am running have not crashed over long periods of time. Some generic USB power adapters put out huge amounts of noise and are not regulated well.

    • I wanted to thank you for the Mote in Gods Eye Reference. Fun.
  • Congrats on the milestone!

    Our business uses them as Linux Terminal Server Project thin clients. We were able to cut our new hardware costs to 1/5th of what they were before.
  • Good work guys. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anrego ( 830717 ) * on Tuesday October 08, 2013 @10:02AM (#45069489)

    People thought it would never get it off the ground. Then people thought it would never ship. Then that it would be plagued by problems and die. Then that it would never hold interest long enough to get to the point where you could get one without waiting 6 months.

    There are still lots of haters, talking about how there are better “alternatives” out there (alternatives usually being 3 or 4 times the cost, impossible to get, or apples to oranges).

    That said, I can order a perfectly functional unit, for the promised price, and have it here (in Canada) in about 4 days. I’ve got 5 of them now. I’d call that a huge success.

    You brought something awesome into the world, and I thank you :)

    • "There are still lots of haters, talking about how there are better “alternatives” out there (alternatives usually being 3 or 4 times the cost, impossible to get, or apples to oranges)."

      The MK808B, just to name one example out of many, isn't 3 or 4 times the cost, nor is it impossible to purchase. At $45 including shipping It's less than twice the cost. But why are people who widen their horizons, or require more computational/graphical power "haters"? That sounds pretty damned narrow-minded.
      • Re:Good work guys. (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Anrego ( 830717 ) * on Tuesday October 08, 2013 @10:25AM (#45069767)

        Nothing wrong with people using other products that better suit ones needs, the hate part comes from people measuring the pi against alternatives that are either more expensive (at that scale, $10 is huge), doesn't do the same thing (no video output, runs android, etc..), or impossible to get hold of.

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward


        No Ethernet (but 11n which might be more useful for some), runs Android (although apparently one can put Ubuntu on it), and most importantly: no GPIO. I'd say it falls in the "apples to oranges" category.

      • Does the Mk808B have GPIO?
    • I can go buy one RETAIL, 10 minutes away.
  • I have one! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by nurhussein ( 864532 ) on Tuesday October 08, 2013 @10:14AM (#45069637) Homepage
    I'm using it to learn about ARM, and write baremetal code for it. Maybe it'll morph into a little OS. It's lots of fun. Anyone else doing this?
  • by lapm ( 750202 )
    I use mine for php/python development platform, very nice, very easy to move with me if needed. Just little sad broadcom is not exactly opensource and those chips are locked down pretty tight even on datasheet side.
  • So many uses (Score:5, Informative)

    by nickovs ( 115935 ) on Tuesday October 08, 2013 @10:28AM (#45069803)

    I have four RPi boards. One monitors my UPSs, cleanly suspending my server when the power goes out and sending wake-on-LAN massages to it when the power comes back up so that the UPS only needs to drive my switch and AP, one has a camera board and does motion detection to spot people coming into my office, one is currently operating as a Bluetooth LE beacon for testing the new iOS iBeacon stuff and one is just for tinkering. Most of these have a few other services running on them too (two have I2C thermometers on them).

    I see a lot of negative comments about the Pi being underpowered. Perhaps if what you want to do is run FPS games or you are trying to run Big Data analytics then this is true but it's plenty powerful enough for a whole host of service tasks. It's not that many years ago that the Pi's level of power would have been considered a high-end desktop configuration. The purpose of the device is to give kids a low-cost entry into programming and it does just that. On top, at $25 for a Model A its fine to put in 'dangerous' places where something bad might happen to it (like outdoors, driving the sensors and servos for my Halloween decorations). No, I don't have my MongoDB server on a Raspberry Pi, but for many many projects they are just about perfect.

  • Router (Score:3, Interesting)

    by duppyconqueror ( 1161341 ) on Tuesday October 08, 2013 @10:30AM (#45069829)
    I'm using it as a home router. It connects to my cable modem and two wireless access points. One access point is a guest network for all the randos who come visit and want to get on wifi, and the other one is for my family's use. I have dhcp handing out IPs, and iptables rules preventing communication between the networks and haxors from the cable modem side. So far, it has worked great, and if an access point ever dies (which seems to be an increasingly common occurrence), I just have to swap in a new one with minimal reconfiguration.
  • Currently using it with XBMC to watch BBC iPlayer - it's bridging the gap in the living room while I decide which 'proper' media box to buy (a Roku maybe). Once that's done I'll either re-purpose it into a print server to get the printer off the desk it's currently on or just have a play with Python with my 13 year old son. Once you've got one hanging around it'll fill any number of niches.
  • This may sound a bit old school.. All my linux servers are headless and use a NULL-Modem (RS232) to access their console. My Raspberry PI (with raspbian) uses a 4 port USB-Serial adapter to connect to all my servers. I connect to the RasPi over the internet using SSH (No Passwords - Certs!) and then use conserver ( to manage the machines.
  • Two "A"s and a "B" (Score:3, Informative)

    by smurd ( 48976 ) * on Tuesday October 08, 2013 @10:34AM (#45069873)
    I use the A modles to run composite video loops in a bar, and the B as a ethernet->WiFi router (and video too).
  • I have 2 (Score:3, Interesting)

    by OldGoatDJ ( 1497245 ) on Tuesday October 08, 2013 @10:34AM (#45069875)
    I use one of mine in my Linux class to show another flavor of Linux and to demonstrate networking. I have used the other one, with a webcam and speakers, to facilitate a scary halloween display.
  • Using it to display photo's on a public display panel. Also looking at using one as a wireless router

  • First as media center (Raspbmc), second as home automation (openhab).
  • I've got three
    Using one in the garage for a remote camera with motion sensing on it (wireless dongle for network)
    Hooked to the TV in the spare bedroom so any guests can check their mail and do some surfing
    Was using one for messing around with for electronics but my media centre died and I'm using the PI for that, bit underpowered for the job but it works ok.

    Probably going to order a couple more for other things I want to do.
  • I am using my Pi to provide video for a costume I'm making. It's for a character who has a television for a head, and being the electronics nerd that I am, I decided to make my costume version with a functioning TV. I got a cheap old LCD TV from eBay, and put some content on a loop on the Pi, and got some batteries to power it all. Very simple, and the connection is straightforward since the Pi has an RCA composite video out.

    Of course, it's going to be a crappy costume unless I can figure out a way to m
  • irssi, bitlbee, fetchmail, mutt

    also, it's my (inbound) ssh gateway
    what could possibly go wrong, right? :)
  • My pi is wired up as a Gameshow controller. I bought two 4 inch buttons from Adafruit, they're wired up as a 2 player controller, with sound and light.

    Survey Says?
    Player 1 your answer?

    it was a huge hit for a large crowd

  • by Bram Stolk ( 24781 ) on Tuesday October 08, 2013 @11:11AM (#45070395) Homepage

    I used mine to port my game to the platform.
    The GPU is really fast and can do 1920x1080@30fps for moderately complex scenes. []

  • I use the Pi as the processor/display generator for a RasPlex system. While IMHO it isn't really fast enough for all 1080 video, it's plenty good enough for 720. That makes it a cheap alternative for things like our bedrood system. Although the RasPlex software is still in development, it works well enough for the purpose at hand, and better than some supposedly mature software. It's downloadable at [] The Pi is a nice little building block when you need a small, relatively inexpensive bui
  • I use mine to create raspian packages for some software I make, so others can use it more easily. Boring, but much easier than cross compiling! []

  • by EricTheRed ( 5613 ) on Tuesday October 08, 2013 @11:58AM (#45071101) Homepage

    First one has been running for well over a year now connected to the Weather Station, uploading to various locations including twitter. The Register even picked up on this one as part of a 20 things to do with a pi.

    The second is an NTP server using GPS as the time source.

    The third is a pure experimental/dev PI.

    I've got one more model B & two A's just waiting for a project.

    Been meaning to setup a PI Cam on one to complement the weather station so that I get a sky camera (cloud cover by day, long exposure at night for meteor's etc.

  • I live in the U.S., and most people believe that cable/satellite TV is as much of a necessity as power and water. I cut my cable a year and a half ago, and haven't looked back. I have a Linux distribution that finds TV shows and stores them on a network share (semi-autonomous), then the family can use raspbmc to watch what they want using an Android as a remote. I was concerned that my family wouldn't be able to use it, but then my son turned it on and watched Pokémon by himself. It's been chugging
  • Dr P Linux :D OpenGL on Arch ; Bluetooth Apple keyboard support ; various connectivity ; visualisation generator ; cloud platform
  • by verifine ( 685231 ) on Tuesday October 08, 2013 @12:41PM (#45071659)

    We had a web power strip at work (8 outlets, control via web interface) go stupid. Rather than toss it, I brought it home and used 8 GPIO pins on the Pi to control the relays. It has a new web interface with direct control, control by time of day and control by offset from sunrise/sunset. My fireplace mantle lights turn on at 40 and 39 minutes before sunset. One turns off at 11 PM and the other turns off 30 minutes after sunrise. Currently at 275 days runtime. Sweet!

    The boss bought one at work for a special project. Our janitors always block open the door to a room containing network switches and patch panels. Boss has tried for 12 years to get them to keep it closed. One Pi plus a pair of USB powered (analog input) speakers and mpg123, plus one GPIO pin connected to a magnetic reed switch on the door. Leave the door open for more than 60 seconds and one of two dozen prerecorded voices ask politely but loudly that you shut the door. Another message gets played every 15 seconds until the door is shut. Had some fun working on an algorithm that isn't quite random, so it prevents replay of a message until at least 1/3rd of the other messages have been played. Problem solved, the door is always shut now. 90 days uptime on that Pi.

    Love em!

  • I have a Pi and have been pleased with how it has performed. They're not super powerful and they're not made for mission-critical applications, but they're a great toy to tinker with and a great way to learn and experiment. That was their goal, and in that, they have succeeded. Congrats on the success!

  • I bought mine as a toy, and that's what I use it as, for the most part. I've got other hardware that's better-suited to use as a media center. I've gotten my $35 of enjoyment out of playing around with it, though.
  • The RPi makes an excellent home automation controller, mine's running Domoticz ( and controls some lighting and reads wireless temperature sensors around the house. It's small and cheap and fast enough for this but I wouldn't run anything more advanced like a full LAMP stack or as a full time user desktop.
  • I have two, the first one displays system monitoring data. The diagrams are produced by Graphite on a real server, RPi displays them in a browser. That was not easy at first, because both Chromium and Midori are plagued with memory leaks which does not work well with Javascipt running in 24*7. My son wrote a script which reloads the tabs every hour, since that it works without issues. It only stops when there is a power outage.

    I use the other one as a certificate authority, it is not connected to the inte

  • Mine is idling at the moment; I couldn't get an acceptable audio setup. I wanted it to pair up with one of my synths (Novation X-Station) which has an audio interface, so I could use it for playing long samples, backing tracks etc. Wouldn't have minded if it had just turned out to be too slow or unstable, but I think the problem is a mixture of not enough USB power and general poor linux audio. Ah well, back to my netbook for that application, and it was cheap enough that I don't mind having it kicking arou

  • So far I have bought 8 of these things. 2 are my personal development units which are often reconfigured. The rest: Wifi router shop radio/media player Snort Intrusion Prevention system Khan Academy server blog server, basic LAMP setup dedicated fileserver/target for an in-house network security class Other projects in work include a completely solar powered portable unit using a Gechic 1301 USB powered monitor.. the whole setup pulls about 10w. A couple of weeks ago mine were used at #Paiwand, the social
  • I found it works well with Raspbian rather than the RaspBMC it shipped to me with. Next I would like to get an I/O board and make my webcam steerable.
  • The first one is being used for this: []
    The second one for this: []

    The third is for experimentation.

In less than a century, computers will be making substantial progress on ... the overriding problem of war and peace. -- James Slagle