Monday, 16 April 2012

Pi Day

Raspberry Pi computers have been arriving all over the place today.

After a change of designation that then required them to have emissions testing, causing a moderate delay, the first batch of Pi's has now gone out and some customers have reported receiving theirs this morning.

At least one recipient has already tweeted from it, others have simply announced the arrival of theirs, one with a photo, and here's another pic, oh and this one has a video.

In the video, note the mention of Element 14 on the instructions, which is the name for what was, once upon a time, Acorn Computers, inventor of the ARM chip of which breed a recent version is at the heart of the Pi...

The device will be featured on BBC Look East this evening, also viewable nationwide on Sky channel 981 or Freesat channel 953.


  1. I noticed the Element14 as well, makes me pine for the 'good old days' of Acorn computers. (I was always a fan of them, ever since the days of the BBC micro. I had an Archimedes A310M as soon as that line came out, later getting an A5000 and then a Risc PC with the AKF85 monitor. I've got a RPC sat next to me now, alas it is boxed due to insufficient space to set it up. Really need to sort that out some time, that or get rid of it.)

    I've been looking at the RaspberryPi tutorials and, to my thinking, it is a shame they pre-loaded OS doesn't come set-up to encourage someone to get in to programming that easily. Is a Linux based device, with all its dependency management issues, really the easiest way to get people programming again?

  2. Your route was similar to mine, though I also had an A540 from May 1991 (which lasted 11 years until its power supply died).

    The normal/default way to run a Pi is indeed under Linux, which I suppose is more akin to the way things are run in the wide world. Fortunately, though, RISC OS can be (and has been) run on the Pi and that option is apparently being made available somehow, though I don't yet know the mechanism for this.

    Meanwhile, other ARM-powered mini-boards such as the BeagleBoard have been running RISC OS for a couple of years now (I know of several users of the bare board, and a number of others with 'Beagled' ARMini computers) so we're far from dead. With the work currently being done by ROOL, including on the threading TBAFS-2, there are real possibilities opening up for the future.

    My theory has long been that, one day, something as yet unforeseen will make an updated RISC OS and better and more accessible (to developers) platform for future needs than any other around.

    Just as with Larry Ellison and the n|c back in the late 'nineties, but this time more permanently on this platform, a new requirement (say, holographic 3-D displays) might well be feasible only on ARM and only under a RISC OS-related environment, such as what Professor Furber has been developing in recent years.

    It might never happen, but who knows...?


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