Feeds

back to article Review: Beagleboard Beaglebone Black

It's nice to see that the broader community of Arduino, Raspberry Pi and Beagleboard Beaglebone users is a friendly and seemingly mature one. Each of these board computers has its own adherents, but few of them seem to feel the need to engage in the kind of hair-pulling and name-calling that defined the Windows versus Mac spat …

COMMENTS

This topic is closed for new posts.

Page:

Thumb Up

92 GPIO Pins?

Shut up and take my money.

This is my single biggest complaint about the Pi. If I can get this thing running EMC2 I'll be in motion control heaven.

4
0
Silver badge

Cost.

The pricing of the BB is quite interesting. As far as I can tell, they must be selling very close to cost price given the high component count. I do wonder how sustainable the current pricing is for a non-charity organisation. But, that said, nice bit of kit. Video is a bit of a let down compared to the Raspi, but other features make up for that for those who need them.

1
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: Cost.

au contraire - The Raspberry Pi is most likely a re-branded Japanese product. This means profit for the Japanese and peanuts for the makers of the Raspberry Pi.

The Beagleboard is probably more powerful in all aspects including video. Furthermore the documentation for the Beagleboard is in plain easy to understand English whereas the documentation for the Raspberry Pi most likely is a translation from Japanese. With all translations some things get lost and then understanding the device becomes a nightmare.

0
121
WTF?

Re: Cost.

> The Raspberry Pi is most likely a re-branded Japanese product

Is it cobblers. It was designed in the UK by guys working for Broadcom. The problem with the Pi's documentation isn't to do with translation, it's to do with getting Broadcom (and the various IP vendors) to release it.

As for video performance, I'm almost certain the videocore blows the SGX out of the water /generally/ in terms of processing power. It certainly does in terms of H.264 (and certain other codec) decoding, as the SGX has no specific video decode hardware.

It's often better to keep your mouth shut and have people think you an idiot, than to open it, and prove it.

25
0

Re: Cost @ km123

Au contraire yourself, mate. I've never read a bigger pile of crap or any other comment that's as poor as yours. I couldn't downvote you hard enough

FWIW, the Pi was designed in Britain and is now also manufactured in Britain.

26
0
Silver badge

Re: Cost. @km123

Quite amazing. The Pi has been out for over a year, with a multitude of posts all over the web about it, who designed it and where it's made, and yet you still didn't know its a UK product! Do you live in a cave?

That said, although the chip was designed in the UK, its actually manufactured in the Far East. Like almost all other chips. Although in one aspect your are right, it makes peanuts for the makers. But that is by intention, to keep the price down.

15
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: Cost.

I agree with you completely - It's often better to keep your mouth shut and have people think you an idiot, than to open it, and prove it.

If you think children will learn anything from tinkering with a Raspberry Pi you want to visit a mental health institute. They would be better off learning using a Windows PC and the vast variety of software it brings. This route would be more beneficial and economical since schools already have donated PCs.

As for learning basic electronics a Microchip PIC and a breadboard would be ideally suited. The microcontroler and breadboard can be bought for under 10 pounds from maplins. A variety of circuits can be constructed to understand the basics.

Do you really think children are capable of understanding SPI and USB protocols. If the Raspberry Pi is so great why don’t you try and convince the developer community instead of children.

If the Government wants future children to be experts in Copy & Paste they should follow your advice, if not then they have the option of Microchip PICs and Windows PCs.

0
74

Re: Cost.

@km123

I can only hope you are trolling...... although the 'au contraire', better describes you >> tool or fool.

Japanese ?? WTF .... have a down vote

8
1
Anonymous Coward

Go home, you're drunk. Re: Cost.

Look, you already comprehensively documented your ignorance with your first post. I know you'd love to disown your opener and change the topic, but you're just digging yourself in deeper.

7
0

Re: Cost.

You're definitely trolling - you're so mis-informed and you've put so little effort into finding out what you're talking about. There are loads of kids all over the World who are learning with the Raspberry Pi. Whether this is because the Pi is being used for programming or tinkering, or just because it's a cheap way of getting a computer into the classroom, kids are benefiting. They've sold over a million of them, the community is huge and the possibilities are extraordinary. It'll be interesting to see if the Beaglebone Black can slot into this community and add to the possibilities or just become a competitor.

5
0
Silver badge

Re: Cost. @km123

I know I shouldn't get drawn in, but hey ho.

I suggest that you do a bit of Googling Mr km123. That will find you a huge number of projects that children are already learning from on the Raspberry Pi. Some of it is truly brilliant stuff. You'll also find many developers writing stuff for the device; baremetal, Linux, RISCOS etc. People are using it as a pure SW platform and they are interfacing HW to it. Loads of stuff.

You need to get out of what ever mental health centre (you started it)/cave you are currently in and actually look around you. This stuff is happening now! With 1.5M Raspberry out there, there is a HELL of a lot of education going on.

Nothing wrong with Microchip PIC, or Windows PC's but with that last line you have really promoted your ignorance of what it's all about (which ever device you choose - BBB or Raspi or whatever)

14
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: Cost.

PIC? oh come on, the AMTEL is much nicer. Good open source toolset and you don't have to use Arduino if you don't want to. PICs were good in the 1990s.

5
1

Re: Cost. @km123

Eadon, is that you? ;-)

3
5
Facepalm

Re: Cost.

@km123..... Can you please send me your Paypal address. I want to send you £50 so you can buy me a bag of whatever it is you have been smoking. It will save me an airfare to Amsterdam cause it must be better than anything they have over there.....

2
0
Silver badge

Re: Cost. @km123 @TheRealRoland

Cannot be Eadon - the BBB and Raspi run Linux, not Windows.

2
0
FAIL

Re: Cost.

Eadon?

Is that you?

0
2
Day
WTF?

Re: Cost.

> au contraire - The Raspberry Pi is most likely a re-branded Japanese product.

Why on earth would you comment when you know literally nothing about the topic? What persuaded you to do that?

3
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: Cost.

I have got better things to do than continue this stupid flame war. Not only are the idiots living on Mars they also failed to read the post I replied to. Maybe they need to GOOGLE the average skill level of Graduates leaving their most prestigious universities such as MIT. For most of them programming PIC in C and simple circuits would be a challenge. The Atmel is little more powerful but also a little bit more difficult. The PIC 16 is the hobbyists entry level choice with approx 35 assembly instructions. The PIC 18 being more powerful.

Instead of positing ill informed information, GOGGLING who makes Atmel chips would be time better spent.

0
18
Devil

Re: Cost.

Enlighten us km123. Who does make Atmel chips? My goggles are broken after trying to read your post from Mars.

4
0
Silver badge

Re: Cost.

I think km123 is butthurt because the article suggested that the open hardware community didn't have the same level of immaturity found in other communities and has taken it upon himself to correct the author on this point.

1
0

Re: Cost.

Check your facts before openign your gob! The Pi was designed in the UK and is made in the Sony factory in Wales and I doubt there is very much profit in it at all for Sony.

As for performance, you are possibly right, although I am not sure about the video.

I am using my old Model B version 1 Pi as an XBMC device and it has not problems with playing full screen HD 1080p. Not too sure if the video output on the BB can handle that.

But from what I can see the BB is missing as few things that i want, such as running RISC-OS.

As for your blather about the documentation, since it was desgined in the UKL I doubt very much that "the documentation for the Raspberry Pi most likely is a translation from Japanese." so will will not suffer "With all translations some things get lost and then understanding the device becomes a nightmare" unless you mean therer are things that are lost when trasnlating from English to English.

1
0

Re: Cost.

KM123

I agree with you completely - It's often better to keep your mouth shut and have people think you an idiot, than to open it, and prove it.

And yet you continue to not only make yourself look like an idiot, you manage to broadcats it very loudly indeed.

KM123

If you think children will learn anything from tinkering with a Raspberry Pi you want to visit a mental health institute.

Clearly you have a severe case of rectocranial inversion or you would know that there are a large number of project being make by kids for the Pi. Try google. You might find something that way.

KM123

They would be better off learning using a Windows PC and the vast variety of software it brings. This route would be more beneficial and economical since schools already have donated PCs.

Ah, yes, the PC. You mean that platform that is slowly sinking into the mire of dead computer platrforms alongside such luminaires as Kaypro, Dragon and Amstrad, to name but a few. Please note that there are more operating systems out there besides Windows and this will help schoolkids learn that the computer world is not a single OS world.

KM123

As for learning basic electronics a Microchip PIC and a breadboard would be ideally suited. The microcontroler and breadboard can be bought for under 10 pounds from maplins. A variety of circuits can be constructed to understand the basics.

And then once they have gone past those very simple items? What then?

KM123

Do you really think children are capable of understanding SPI and USB protocols. If the Raspberry Pi is so great why don’t you try and convince the developer community instead of children.

Not at first, But they can learn, and the Pi is a great, affordable platform for them to learn on. and the advantage of the Pi and it's prioce is that it one does get broken, it does not cost half the schools IT bidget to get a replacement and it also0 means the school doesn't have tyo go cap in hand, begging for a replacement computer.

2
0
Devil

Re: Cost.

Actually Mr. Framelhammer, a child could quite happily understand SPI. :)

Master wiggles both clock and data (Master Out Slave In) in sync,

Slave wiggles data (Master In Slave Out) in sync with master's clock.

That's it. Simple.

USB on the other hand is one of those design-by-committee standards that only a <a href="http://www.fourwalledcubicle.com/LUFA.php">genius</a> understands completely, but the rest of us, including children, can quite happily take a well-written library like LUFA to make any USB device we like.

I certainly wouldn't like to have km123 as a teacher - he'd be one of those horrendous old IT teachers who has the class learning how to make a form in Microsoft Excess 97 (despite it being 2013), when we'd all rather be writing games in python.

It's teachers like that who are the reason why Britain has fallen so far behind in computer science in recent years.

1
0
Trollface

Re: Cost.

Well said. I saw this and thought of you:

http://www.maplin.co.uk/flexible-jumper-wires-2013

Now you can go and pull your wire to your hearts content.

1
0

Re: Cost.

OMG! It's the ANTI-EADON

2
0
Silver badge

Re: Cost.

Appropriate tech. All things have their place.

I once made a nixie-tube-display steampunk-styled electronic dice. A PIC was the perfect chip for that: No supporting components, dirt cheap, and the application only needed eleven IO pins*. Processing needs were minimal. Didn't even need more than eight-bit arithmetic. Anything more than a PIC would just have been overkill.

I used two PICs in my high-voltage experiment rig. One in the control panel reads the control settings and outputs four-byte packets on the UART (head/control/check/end) twice a second. At the other end of a fiber-optic link (for safety - four-kilovolt rig, with inductance spikes of at least 20kv), a second PIC reads these packets, checks the check character and outputs the appropriate levels to the relay drivers. Again, a PIC is all it needs - and in this case, a PIC is ideal because they are also electronically resilient, quite happy to keep working when the connected devices puts noise like a small EMP device. We've crashed cameras with the pulse from that thing - would you trust a pi or beagleboard when the nearby discharge power cable carries megamp-level surges? Better still, a PIC has a watchdog timer function.

*Two four-bit BCD digits, two for the d6/12/20/100 selection, one for the 'roll' button.

0
0

And you missed...

Documentation - The Sitara chip has copious and usable documentation. The Broadcom unit on the Pi doesn't. The SGX530 has a technical reference manual. Broadcom's videocore doesn't, at least not outside of Broadcom.

Power - The beaglebone is far more flexible in terms of powering. PSU "issues" are one of the major issues with the Pi.

USB - The Ti chip does not, as far as I'm aware, use the same undocumented, buggy, USB host IP the Broadcom one does. Even with the recent fixes, simply using a USB keyboard and mouse on the Pi will eat around 10% of your CPU. ADD USB networking or anything more meaty, and you don't have many cycles left.

So you get slightly lower HDMI resolution, but everything else is made of win.

7
3
Silver badge

Re: And you missed...

I think your USB figures are a little off. Most USB issues are now fixed, and there are plenty of cycles left when using keyboard and ethernet (which goes over the USB). Quick test shows that whilst rsyncing a big file to the Raspi, whilst running top via a ssh session and typing away on the keyboard, CPU demand was between 50% and 75%. Not too bad.

Documentation. The CPU on the Pi is an Armv6 - plenty of docs for that. All the GPIO and peripherals attached to the ARM are documented (not great documentation, but it's there). The GPU is closed source, but the API's to use it via OpenMAX, OpenGLES, OpenVG and EGL are fully documented.

I think that the power issues are greatly exaggerated - if your power supply cannot supply the required power, either because you have the wrong ampage supply, or your supply is cheap and nasty and doesn't do what it says on the tin, or your USB cable is terrible, then is that a problem with the Raspi, or your power supply/cable?

Will be interesting to see how the future pans out.

5
1

Re: And you missed...

Ah, you may be right re: USB, I believe Gordon's done great work there. I've not tried the latest firmware or kernels, I tend to spend my time in the bare metal world.

However, the documentation is *definitely* lamentable if you're not relying on Linux to deal with all that "hardware" stuff. Unless you happen to have datasheets available for the USB controller, SDIO controller, full explanation of how the GPU interacts with the CPU, etc, in which case a good deal of people would be very happy to hear from you.

Yeah, yeah, the (linux) code is the documentation, you say, but that doesn't cut it when you're coding to the metal. Especially when the code in question (a shining example being the USB host code drop from Synopsys) is shot full of bugs and implemented in what appears to be the least efficient way possible.

3
1

Re: And you missed...

WRT the power issue, I criticised the decision to go micro-USB with power on the Pi when it was announced, and I stand by that criticism. It was an understandable decision, but a bad one, even ignoring the poor quality of most micro-usb "power supplies" out there.

5
2

Re: And you missed... @Tufty Squirrel

got to say, I've not had any power issues on the Pi.

2
1

Re: And you missed...

Worked on a fairly involved project using a Raspberry Pi this last year, and the lack of documentation was a continual sticking point. There was enough info and code around to get by in the end, but that's really no substitute for a proper datasheet and manuals like TI have (and Broadcom presumably have locked away somewhere). I imagine they had their reasons, but trying to make an open platform on top of an MCU with double secret documentation isn't the best start.

1
0
Bronze badge
Mushroom

Re: And you missed... @James Hughes 1

Don't you get tired of constantly apologising for the Raspberry Pi? Are you at least getting paid by the foundation for your services?

1
4
Silver badge

Re: And you missed...

even ignoring the poor quality of most micro-usb "power supplies" out there.

I just used a supply with an A socket on it[*], and my own choice of USB lead with an A plug on one end and a micro USB plug on the other. That makes the quality as good as if it had used a mini USB or a standard USB B, or a couple of wires.

[*] When it wasn't just plugged into a port on my main PC.

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: And you missed... @James Hughes 1

Paid by Broadcom, innit

0
0

Damn, I may now have to buy both to tinker with.

6
0
Bronze badge

OO, rounded corners!

14
1

Means it'll fit in an Altoids tin

2
0
Anonymous Coward

Typo report

Author : you have "Headless coding using the Cloud8 web IDE" under a pic where a Cloud 9 logo can be seen.

:)

Thanks for an interesting read anyway.

0
0
Silver badge

The Pi's best feature

was its price. It established a market for small computers as components for home users and really can be thought of as the "Mark 1" for anything more capable than an Arduino-level device.

As happens with Mk1's something better soon comes along. Not always cheaper unless cost has been a factor, but with a more usable design, more capable hardware and occasionally even better documentation. That we now have a whole slew of computer components is largely down to the Pi - and a jolly good thing it was, too. However whether you choose it, this offering as a Mk2, or any of the others - it's worth remembering that without these innovatory products we'd still be paying $200 a shout at 1-off prices for tiddly little computers to run our home projects.

5
1

Not sure why BBB went with JS and the Pi with Python. It makes sense with lower-powered chips to get as close to the metal as possible.

0
0

Ease of use; close to the metal usually means close to impenetrable.

At least with Python a lot of the libraries are written in C and are heavily optimised.

2
0
JLV
Bronze badge

close to the metal

Depends if you are targeting experimentation or performance/mem footprint and whether you are coming from an embedded background.

If you're comfortable _without_ a compiler then it's nice to cycle very quickly through coding & testing.

But, yes, js and py on this type of computer are unexpected bonuses to me. Though nothing in the article tells us you can't fall back to K&R ;-)

0
0
Bronze badge

Well,

can I get this now, or do I have to wait 'X' number of months? (where 'X' is down to any number of producer/re-seller excuses as to why I can't have the thing I paid for).

0
0

Re: Well,

Yes you can get it right now in the UK (>1000 in stock) for a princely sum of £37.18 inc vat and delivery from...

http://uk.farnell.com/jsp/search/productdetail.jsp?SKU=2291620

I got mine last month and its rather lovely and you just plug it in and it boots straight up in to Linux with a graphical display .. it has that instant satisfaction that the Pi does not necessarily have (and I have 4 Pi's 8-)

1
0

Re: Well,

Quick check on Maplins website shows a "Pi starter kit" in stock at the 10 nearest shops to where I live... presume that means they're easy to get hold of. Hmm.....

0
0
Bronze badge

Re: @Synonymous Howard - instant satisfaction......

Cheers for the link, was next day delivery, and is awesome!!!!. (well not awesome as such, but actually really nicely thought out for the price). Trouble is I want another one to play with as this is going to be a low powered mail server.

0
0
Thumb Down

Education? Education? Education?

It's a bit odd to say that the Pi's origins lie in education. In fact its origins lie in a bunch of well-meaning techies without a clue about education, which is why it has been a complete flop there, one or two stunts aside. Anyone seen the cased education version we were promised for last autumn, by the way?

All the interesting Pi stuff - and there is a lot - is happening in the maker community, not in schools.

4
2
Anonymous Coward

Re: Education? Education? Education?

Educations isn't the same as schools. Those 'well meaning techies without a clue about education' are from the University of Cambridge’s Computer Laboratory. So not the real world maybe but not clueless. It was aimed at undergraduates as I understand and has dramatically exceeded their expectations.

Personally Eben's story about victimizing undergraduates by forcing them to learn functional programming languages still makes me chuckle with nostalgia.

3
0
Silver badge

Re: Education? Education? Education?

@Ian Johnston.

Can you provide evidence for the complete flop you are claiming? As far as I know, the educational side is still ramping up, but even so far has made notable progress. Like anything in education, these things take time and with the Google donation coming on line there is going to be a lot of education going on.

As for the clueless part, the Foundation employs a ex-teacher (left his post to join the Foundation) who, from my chats with him, is good at what he does and is by no means clueless.

3
1

Page:

This topic is closed for new posts.