Doge Registered User
#1

This little baby is a single board, ARM based PC that can run Linux and is planned to go on sale for 25$ next month!



The Broadcom BCM2835 chip, is what contains the ARM11 processor, as well as a full 1080p video processor, and a full hd h.264 decoder/encoder


It would make an excellent and cheap Media Centre provided it can handle it,
and XMBC are already trying to develop for it.

Some vids:







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Khannie Make your dreams happen
#2

Bit of a bump, but I was just searching in case anyone had started a thread on this. I can't wait to get my hands on one of these. First lot shipping next month! That quake 3 timedemo is super impressive.

Anyone else getting one? I think I'll get the "B" version - has a 10/100 port and 256M of ram.

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gouche Registered User
#3

Khannie said:
Bit of a bump, but I was just searching in case anyone had started a thread on this. I can't wait to get my hands on one of these. First lot shipping next month! That quake 3 timedemo is super impressive.

Anyone else getting one? I think I'll get the "B" version - has a 10/100 port and 256M of ram.


Would be quite interested in getting one to tinker with. Where you getting yours Khannie?

Spacedog Registered User
#4

I'm all over this. very good idea, some old skool cheap computers kids can plug into their TVs and play about with without having to worry about deleting Mom and Dads life work by accident. Can be no bad thing.

The design is open source hardware, but sadly the components they selected are too small to make it a viable maker project. still like the idea of playing a Q3 deathmatch with a few of these bad boys strung together.

Doge Registered User
#5

Spacedog said:
I'm all over this. very good idea, some old skool cheap computers kids can plug into their TVs and play about with without having to worry about deleting Mom and Dads life work by accident. Can be no bad thing.

The design is open source hardware, but sadly the components they selected are too small to make it a viable maker project. still like the idea of playing a Q3 deathmatch with a few of these bad boys strung together.



A PCB can always be made with pins for inputs and outputs that are connected directed to the pins on the processor.

Things would get real interesting then.

Khannie Make your dreams happen
#6

gouche said:
Would be quite interested in getting one to tinker with. Where you getting yours Khannie?


They have a mailing list where they'll announce the first 10,000 units (some time in December). I'm hoping my trigger finger is fast enough.

shizz Registered User
#7

Really hopw I get one of these. Which is going on sale? The smaller board in the picture or the bigger board? I remember hearing them refer to one as an alpha board. Is this the bigger one? I wouldn't mind one of them but I doubt they were on sale?

glasso Registered User
#8

Aside from the fact that it's a great idea for cash-constrained developing countries why would you get one if you have a pc or laptop already.....?

you'd obviously need to get a keyboard, mouse, extra-long hdmi cable too... how will they connect through one usb cable (oh add usb hub then!)

Doge Registered User
#9

glasso said:
Aside from the fact that it's a great idea for cash-constrained developing countries why would you get one if you have a pc or laptop already.....?

you'd obviously need to get a keyboard, mouse, extra-long hdmi cable too... how will they connect through one usb cable (oh add usb hub then!)


Its a great idea for any country imo.

1. Extremely Low Power consumption - run your torrent/download clients overnight without worrying about running up your electricity bills

2. Extremely Portable - You could throw it into your pocket, and head upto your friends house, and use it as a media centre on their TV.


Most people already have all the peripherals you mentioned,
and even if you do need to buy them, it won't set you back more than 40 quid.

Once this chip is out there's nothing to stop it being sold in a small form factor case, which has additional USB ports, that also comes with the keyboard,mouse and video cables.

Why should people in Developed countries throw big money at PC's most only use them to browse the Web and send a few e-mails?

This would fit their needs perfectly, and allow them to use their existing TV or Flat Screen.

The low price would also make it an ideal starter computer for kids,
something that you wouldn't mind breaking as it is cheap to replace.

You need to open up your eyes and see the possibilities!

I have paid close to $25 before for a Microchip PIC microcontroller, that only runs at 40mhz and has 96K of RAM,
which came with no board, just the chip itself.

So this new chip will open up the world vastly for Electronic DIY projects, and some very exciting hardware could be made with it.

Khannie Make your dreams happen
#10

I'm buying two. One for my youngfella. He'll get the "A" $25 version most likely, though I'm slightly concerned about 128MB of ram with modern browsers. I'll stick a usb wlan card in it and a mouse / keyboard and hook it up to the TV in his room via HDMI. He can then stream movies from the HTPC downstairs and facebook his friends without annoying me by stealing the laptop. I also wont be upset about power consumption if he leaves it on.

The other one (the "B" $35 one) I will bring into work. I will use it for personal stuff (most likely checking personal email and occasional browsing). I'll do that by X forwarding over the network so it wont actually be hooked up to anything other than a micro USB for power and LAN for network access (X forwarding is a linux thing for you windows heads. It allows you to run an app on one machine that is displayed on another). If there is ever any problem, there's no problem. The hardware and all data on it is mine. It's mostly for fun / slightly for paranoia.

edit: I do consider this a turning point for technology though. A useful (and in fact, fast) $25 computer is an amazing achievement. 100FPS at 1080p and 4xAA'd quake 3 for $25 is shockingly good.

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Khannie Make your dreams happen
#11

shizz said:
Really hopw I get one of these. Which is going on sale? The smaller board in the picture or the bigger board? I remember hearing them refer to one as an alpha board. Is this the bigger one? I wouldn't mind one of them but I doubt they were on sale?


They're releasing the A and B versions at the same time, with a preference for B versions (as they expect more demand for them). Not sure about board size. The boards that they're initially selling are all alpha boards (or possibly beta, but they're pre-production anyway). They'll be on sale in the next month or so.

shizz Registered User
#12

Khannie said:
They're releasing the A and B versions at the same time, with a preference for B versions (as they expect more demand for them). Not sure about board size. The boards that they're initially selling are all alpha boards (or possibly beta, but they're pre-production anyway). They'll be on sale in the next month or so.


ah yes I see. So the bigger board in that picture up there is the B board. I just subscribed to the mailing list. What do you reckon the chances are of getting one when it comes out?

Khannie Make your dreams happen
#13

Hard to say really. I expect that the first units will go quickly. Possibly in hours.

shizz Registered User
#14

Khannie said:
Hard to say really. I expect that the first units will go quickly. Possibly in hours.


Really hope I get one. How many units they planning do you know?

Also I was wondering, would it be able to handle a bluetooth dongle, and then use that for bluetooth keyboard and the like? or is it just a matter of the drivers available for the linux distro? Probably a silly question haha

Redisle Registered User
#15

Definitely going to buy one or two of these! Would be fantastic just to mess around with, could stick one to the back of the monitor as a spare PC running Debian and use http://synergy-foss.org/ or vnc to control it after switching monitor inputs. Could be nice to have a spare linux box like that running when forced to use Windows for games or other software.

Another nice possible use would be to have one with a small secondary monitor and use it to run comms for games etc. Run teamspeak or similar through wine if needed. Could be very handy for home automation setups, creating a nice weather station.. the list goes on!

One thing I would like to know is the maximum SD card supported. It was asked in the comments on the website but not yet answered, if the answer is full SDHC support then there is the possibility of a 32/64 Gb SD card making a very capable pocket media player.. just plug into any modern TV/projector and away you go. If the XBMC port is succesful just run that and use existing XBMC remotes to control the device over the network.. that would require ethernet / a wifi dongle but certainly a possibility. Seriously though if this thing gets XBMC it will be a massive success. The only possible issue there is that the video decoder seems to mention H264 only so not sure if it can do the other popular formats too.

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