Why does the Raspberry Pi exist?

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Why does the Raspberry Pi exist?  Here's a quotation from  
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raspberry_Pi_Foundation : 'Its aim is to  
"promote the study of computer science and related topics, especially at  
school level, and to put the fun back into learning computing."'

Since all schools have computers for their pupils, why not use those to  
teach computing?  Put Python on them, and teach children to program.  
The Raspberry Pi seems to be redundant.
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Re: Why does the Raspberry Pi exist?
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I think it's because it's cheap.

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Re: Why does the Raspberry Pi exist?
Salvatore wrote:
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But not as cheap as the already existing (and therefore free) PCs.  
Though I grant the low cost is remarkable.

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Re: Why does the Raspberry Pi exist?
says...
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And the kids can pick up those computers and take them home?
Can they hook their own custom hardware to them and maybe blow them up?

Come on...


Re: Why does the Raspberry Pi exist?
On Tue, 18 Jun 2013 16:51:45 -0400, WangoTango wrote:

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Why not? Provided, of course, that they replace them[*]. Its a good dual  
learning experience: they learn how to connect stuff to a computer and if  
they break or loose it they will learn that carelessness has consequences.

[*] no reason why and their parents they shouldn't sign an agreement to  
replace the RPi if they loose or destroy it: yet another lesson provided,  
this time in honouring agreements.


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martin@   | Martin Gregorie
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Re: Why does the Raspberry Pi exist?
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ITYM "lose".

Re: Why does the Raspberry Pi exist?
Martin Gregorie wrote:

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I think there is in the UK: school education is free.  By "free" I mean  
"paid for by the tax payer."

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Re: Why does the Raspberry Pi exist?
On Wed, 19 Jun 2013 07:49:19 +0100, Peter Percival wrote:

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I know school education is free, but that doesn't cover everything: trips  
to theatres, etc. generally expect a contribution from the student. I  
don't see why the same sort of thing shouldn't apply to students taking  
stuff home. The schooling is still free: its just that losing or damaging  
school equipment wouldn't be.  

Don't want to contribute? Then you don't get to go on the trip/to take  
stuff home/whatever.


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martin@   | Martin Gregorie
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Re: Why does the Raspberry Pi exist?
Martin Gregorie wrote:
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That's ok if there's a choice.  If the child (oh, sorry, student) has to  
take it home to do their homework, or if it gets broken during  
compulsory lessons, then it's not.

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Re: Why does the Raspberry Pi exist?
says...
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I guess you didn't get, or respond, to the right post, or you didn't  
understand what was asked???

The original question was why not use the existing PCs instead of a  
Raspberry Pi.  Make more sense now?

Re: Why does the Raspberry Pi exist?
On Mon, 24 Jun 2013 15:42:00 -0400, WangoTango wrote:

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I was replying to the reasons for not being able to take the PC home  
(mummy would have to bring the Chelsea Tractor to carry it) and  
experimenting with robotics-type tricks never did work with a PC (ever  
tried interfacing anything to the ISA or the PCI bus)?

I suggest you read thread -1 again: you're rather late to this particular  
party.


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martin@   | Martin Gregorie
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Re: Why does the Raspberry Pi exist?
WangoTango wrote:
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Elsewhere I remark that PC must be replaced from time to time and they  
could use the old ones.

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Re: Why does the Raspberry Pi exist?
On Wed, 19 Jun 2013 07:47:42 +0100, Peter Percival wrote:

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That's assuming the school actuallly owns the PC's. As some one else
mentioned most schools buy in their infrastructure IT provision and
support from a third party, quite probably a specialist education
sector one. School networks and computers have to be locked down very
hard, their will be one bright spark who'll find a way in and then
tell their mates...

I wouldn't be surprised if the contract for IT services/support
included the kit for classrooms for that period but at the end of the
contract the school didn't own very much of it at all. They'd renew,
or get a new contract with another supplier and the kit replaced
under that contract.

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Re: Why does the Raspberry Pi exist?
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IME, schools don't want old computers. When I was working in the City, I  
tried to give away the machines freed up by "evergreening". No-one
was interested. Combine that with the fact that we couldn't give away
the MS licenses, so the machines came empty, and that the beancounters
got all excited about the tax implications and I gave up.


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Re: Why does the Raspberry Pi exist?
On 19 Jun 2013 10:03:04 GMT, Huge wrote:

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Aye, sort of BTDTGTTS with the local Primary School when they had a
dozen or so machines to get rid of. OK not very high spec machines
but good enough for word processing, browsing the web, email.  

Couldn't transfer the MS licence(s), any body who expressed an
interest wasn't interested in Linux and the retail cost of doze made
it a non-starter. Then there where the implied liability issues that
the 'elf 'n safety lot dreamt up...

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Dave.




Re: Why does the Raspberry Pi exist?
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Oh, yeah, forgot about the latter. We just sold them to a technology
disposal company in the end.


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Re: Why does the Raspberry Pi exist?
On Wed, 19 Jun 2013 11:52:55 +0100 (BST)

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Would they have noticed if you set up a Windows-alike environment?
Wine is pretty good these days.


Re: Why does the Raspberry Pi exist?
On Wed, 19 Jun 2013 14:01:29 +0100, Rob Morley wrote:

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Humpf! WINE is pretty much a joke thanks to its almost total lack of  
regression testing. The result is that programs that used to run under it  
suddenly stop working after upgrading to a later version. I used to rate  
it "useful", but over the last year that has dropped to "waste of disk  
space".

The Wine forums are full of tales about 'regressions': what they mean is  
that some clown made a change which was committed after very minimal  
testing and surprise! it broke stuff. If its to be useful, Wine needs a  
full suite of regression test tools that can fully exercise every system  
call it implements and for versions not to be released until they can  
pass a complete set of regression tests without any errors being  
signalled. Yes, I know this means that no patches should be accepted  
without the accompanying regression test modules, test data and expected  
results but so what? Thats how reliable software gets developed.


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martin@   | Martin Gregorie
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Re: Why does the Raspberry Pi exist?

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How good is the latest Wine at handling USB stuff? There's a lot of
Windows-only hardware (no Linux drivers) which would become useful if
it could be driven by Wine.

Off the top of my head it would appear that there ought to be a
standard way to handle USB access from just about any computer. (But
what do I know).

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Re: Why does the Raspberry Pi exist?
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I don't believe it does at all.  VirtualBox will pass through USB devices to
a Windows guest, though.  (And this is part of VBox is now freely available,
which it previously wasn't).

Not that this is relevant for the Pi - unless you fancy running an x86->ARM
emulator.  Slowly.

Theo

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