Author Topic: £15 computer  (Read 3822 times)

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Offline arnoldemu

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£15 computer
« on: 14:45, 06 May 11 »
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Offline MaV

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Re: £15 computer
« Reply #1 on: 15:07, 06 May 11 »
http://www.techeye.net/hardware/15-usb-pc-creator-david-braben-in-talks-with-government

Cool, and if i ever get one I'd compile Arnold for it ;)

I hope there's a chance to buy one somewhere come the day they'll introduce them to schools. :)
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Offline arnoldemu

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Re: £15 computer
« Reply #2 on: 15:58, 06 May 11 »
http://www.raspberrypi.org/

official homepage shows how it is connected ;)
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Offline redbox

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Re: £15 computer
« Reply #3 on: 16:25, 06 May 11 »
I need one of these.

Offline Gryzor

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Re: £15 computer
« Reply #4 on: 20:05, 06 May 11 »
What's so special about this one? Sure, it's ueber-cute and I'd certainly want one (it's got HDMI... would make a hell of a media player probably!!), but there are lots of tiny computers out there and I know at least one engineer who can make something similar. Of course 15 quid (plus storage price, don't forget) is really great, but I think it's mostly PR...

Btw, the screen shows a web browser. Where's the network?

Offline Sykobee (Briggsy)

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Re: £15 computer
« Reply #5 on: 21:53, 06 May 11 »
Will it come with Locomotive BASIC and Sprites Alive! :-)


Looks like a nice box though, perfect for the task he wants for it if it comes with a decent educational environment that can teach the techy stuff.

Offline AMSDOS

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Re: £15 computer
« Reply #6 on: 01:50, 07 May 11 »
I'm still stumped (after reading all that) as to where it's power source is coming from. Presuming it's USB is the source of power so the thing runs on 1.5v (I'm guessing), does that mean you buy a Battery pack (AAA) with a USB plug, cause it wouldn't make much sense plugging that Computer into another Computer!  ???
 
Since it's a real computer with real hardware and given we're at an age now where we can produce all sorts of amazing gadgets and tiny computers, could this mean vintage computers like the Amstrad benefit?
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Offline Gryzor

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Re: £15 computer
« Reply #7 on: 09:27, 07 May 11 »
I wonder - is the ARM11 processor really capable of running a fully graphical desktop system??

Offline redbox

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Re: £15 computer
« Reply #8 on: 10:03, 07 May 11 »
I wonder - is the ARM11 processor really capable of running a fully graphical desktop system??

I expect it's capable of running a light-weight Linux GUI.

But I don't think that's the point of this - you're supposed to program your own  ;)

Offline MaV

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Re: £15 computer
« Reply #9 on: 12:09, 07 May 11 »
I wonder - is the ARM11 processor really capable of running a fully graphical desktop system??

It depends on the coprocessors the manufacturer puts on the ARM die. Braben's lists OpenGL ES 2.0 and H.264 decoding, so I expect it do perform well with 2d desktops as well. OTOH, a 700MHz CPU in itself should be capable of handling desktop graphics.

And networking can be added via wireless USB.

Look at the beagleboard 1 which has similar specs:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hKgzVYDYg_E&feature=player_detailpage#t=16s

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BdnDpH3543Q

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FuVwh_VrIxk

128mb is a bit low, so a current full blown linux distribution will not work so good.

I don't think that anything like David Braben's work will be sold for 25$ at the moment.

@CP/M User: USB provides 5v and 150mA (500mA for the complete hub).
« Last Edit: 12:11, 07 May 11 by MaV »
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Offline AMSDOS

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Re: £15 computer
« Reply #10 on: 12:18, 07 May 11 »
Thanks don't know all that much about those Hubs, though I'd imagine the local Electronics stores would.  :)
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Offline Ynot.zer0

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Re: £15 computer
« Reply #11 on: 12:26, 07 May 11 »
I played around with one of these a few years back: http://www.gumstix.com/store/catalog/index.php
(although they were far from being £15 - they did offer a lot for the size and the ability to add on modules)

Offline almasys

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Re: £15 computer
« Reply #12 on: 13:11, 07 May 11 »
I wonder - is the ARM11 processor really capable of running a fully graphical desktop system??
I wonder is RISC OS capable to get ported to this?

Offline robcfg

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Re: £15 computer
« Reply #13 on: 13:14, 07 May 11 »
I wonder - is the ARM11 processor really capable of running a fully graphical desktop system??


ARM processors up from ARM2 (the first commercial version) were running RiscOS with it's fully graphical desktop system.


Here you can see RiscOS 3 in action: http://toastytech.com/guis/riscos.html
and RiscOS 4 http://toastytech.com/guis/riscos4.html


And then trere's RiscOS Open (aka RiscOS 5) and RiscOS Six. I have my A7000+ with RiscOS 4.39 and my StrongARM RiscPC with RiscOS 6.20.


The A7000+ have an ARM7500FE processor running at 48Mhz and it runs the graphical desktop while surfing the net, chatting and playing music quite nicely  8)

Offline MaV

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Re: £15 computer
« Reply #14 on: 13:39, 09 May 11 »
Thanks don't know all that much about those Hubs, though I'd imagine the local Electronics stores would.  :)

Think of a hub as a node in a binary tree. The leaf nodes are the actual connectors. The hub has to guarantee that the leaf nodes receive 150 mA each up to a maximum of 500mA (depending on USB version I think).

If you're out of USB connectors on your PC you need to buy an additional hub. They usually have a power connector which you need to use to deliver the current needed to drive the usb gadgets; external hard drives for instance need a lot of current.

I don't think there's more to it (I may even be wrong). Hope that helps.
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Offline AMSDOS

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Re: £15 computer
« Reply #15 on: 05:48, 10 May 11 »
Think of a hub as a node in a binary tree. The leaf nodes are the actual connectors. The hub has to guarantee that the leaf nodes receive 150 mA each up to a maximum of 500mA (depending on USB version I think).

If you're out of USB connectors on your PC you need to buy an additional hub. They usually have a power connector which you need to use to deliver the current needed to drive the usb gadgets; external hard drives for instance need a lot of current.

I don't think there's more to it (I may even be wrong). Hope that helps.

Yep I know the ones you mean, thanks!  :)
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Offline Gryzor

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Re: £15 computer
« Reply #16 on: 06:10, 10 May 11 »
And networking can be added via wireless USB.


Then you have to add that price as well. Suddenly it's not £15 but more like £30. He really should have included a networking solution.

Offline MaV

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Re: £15 computer
« Reply #17 on: 06:41, 10 May 11 »
Then you have to add that price as well. Suddenly it's not £15 but more like £30. He really should have included a networking solution.

You're right. But that's still cheaper than any comparable solution so far.
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Offline Gryzor

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Re: £15 computer
« Reply #18 on: 16:40, 10 May 11 »
Yes, I don't disagree, but after all, and if he's trying to push it to schools etc you have to consider: £15 for the machine, another £15 for the wifi adapter, a few quid for mouse and keyboard and then, of course... the monitor. Suddenly the comparison is not so fantastic in real terms. Otherwise - last week I built a PC for my sister for €120.

Offline MaV

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Re: £15 computer
« Reply #19 on: 17:02, 10 May 11 »
Yes, I don't disagree, but after all, and if he's trying to push it to schools etc you have to consider: £15 for the machine, another £15 for the wifi adapter, a few quid for mouse and keyboard and then, of course... the monitor. Suddenly the comparison is not so fantastic in real terms. Otherwise - last week I built a PC for my sister for €120.

After my last post, I was thinking exactly the same.

In addition, I also don't think the ARM11 will qualify as an good educational computer.

The CPU alone is much too complex (8-stage pipeline, ARM instruction set, thumb instruction set, enhanced DSP instructions, Jazelle ... gimme a break), let alone the additional components on the chip (Opengl ES? Read a book about it, do the examples then you're just about ready to do what you wanted a month ago).

How will you ever be able to teach pupils how assembly works?


Also Linux is a few levels of abstraction above the bare metal.

If I were a kid, I'd be a little bit overwhelmed by this.


There's no denying, nothing beats the "simplicity" of 8- and 16-bit computers. And even these have had a lot more to discover than we thought.
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Offline AMSDOS

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Re: £15 computer
« Reply #20 on: 02:25, 11 May 11 »
After my last post, I was thinking exactly the same.

In addition, I also don't think the ARM11 will qualify as an good educational computer.

The CPU alone is much too complex (8-stage pipeline, ARM instruction set, thumb instruction set, enhanced DSP instructions, Jazelle ... gimme a break), let alone the additional components on the chip (Opengl ES? Read a book about it, do the examples then you're just about ready to do what you wanted a month ago).

How will you ever be able to teach pupils how assembly works?


Also Linux is a few levels of abstraction above the bare metal.

If I were a kid, I'd be a little bit overwhelmed by this.


There's no denying, nothing beats the "simplicity" of 8- and 16-bit computers. And even these have had a lot more to discover than we thought.

Unfortunately for the hardware this simple 21st Century Computer has, it appears the world has moved away from Assembly and would rather use something higher with Compiling capabilities. I noticed this computer will support Python though, and since I know someone in their teens whose used Python they made it sound like the modern day BASIC. From what I understand Python is an Interpreted language, at least some forms of it are, there maybe some Compilers out there though.
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Offline Gryzor

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Re: £15 computer
« Reply #21 on: 08:40, 11 May 11 »
Python is nice. I've done some simple stuff, it seems it's easy to progress with it and you can do some complicated things as well. But I have doubts as to how fast it is...