Like many up and down the country, I’ve been waiting for my Raspberry Pi since I ordered early March – and now it has arrived!
Spent Saturday getting it working. Main challenges were finding a suitable USB power supply (there are at least six different types of USB plug – so much for standardisation!), preparing a Debian “Squeeze” distro onto a 2GB SD memory card (a 4GB class 4 Sandisk card didn’t work, but an older generic class 2 2GB card did), and finally, getting a working keyboard (for some reason an old but perfectly functional Mac USB keyboard exhibited ‘stuck key syndrome’).
Powered on.. usual Linux bootup text scrolled up.. typed ‘startx’, and off we go – a full 1920 * 1080 LXDE desktop, running on a 700MHz ARM PC with ‘only’ 256MB Ram. And power consumption is around 5 to 7 watts I gather – absolute peanuts.
Great to see the pure days of ARM return; it’s an excellent instruction set, and yields nippy computers. Now we need to cut the bloatware of modern computers, and return to something much leaner.
Something else about the Pi really strikes you – it feels different. Watching a credit-card sized circuit board with two tiny chips and a bunch of connectors drive a full OS is a little uncanny.
Finally, my son loves the Raspberry Pi – he is very excited about using the GPIO pins to interface (via a buffer/IO board of some kind) with lego motors; a vindication of the educational goals of the Raspberry Pi foundation.
I think this piece of kit is going to be a game-changer. Now embedded hardware is powerful and accessible, with wide support. Will be really interesting to see where this goes!