back to article It's Pi day: Care to stuff a brand new Raspberry one in your wallet?

It is Pi day (assuming you live in a country that insists on writing dates in the frankly barking mad MM/DD format) and after a quiet two years, the Raspberry Pi Foundation have pushed out a new version of the tiny computer. In news guaranteed to bring joy to hobbyists and nerds the world over, the $35 Model 3 B+ now features …

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Joke

Fantastic!

My drawer at home could do with another Raspberry Pi.

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Coffee/keyboard

Re: Fantastic!

Comment of the year right there.

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Re: Fantastic!

Doesn't mean they're wrong either... Was just thinking the same thing... Have 5 or 6 of them laying around.

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Happy

Re: Fantastic!

I've done quite well - I have four of them, and three are actually being used...

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Don't leave your Pi in a drawer

Install Boinc and donate some cycles.

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Re: Fantastic!

I have one set up as a pihole and another as a deluge/flexget client, any more useful setups? I have three more doing nothing...

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Thumb Up

Re: Fantastic!

I use one as a Plex client into my TV (it used to run Kodi, but it works better as a Plex client), one as a Squeezebox server, and one as a simple backup handler running a nightly rsync. OK, the third (which is the oldest RPi) is probably barely necessary, but it works every night without fail - why would I change it?

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Devil

Re: Fantastic!

I've built a couple of test-bench "bed of nails" devices for a customer using RPi model 2B's from a couple of years ago [with the older BCM CPU on them]. Also have a model 1B and another model 2B that I'm playing around with at the moment [writing necessary kernel drivers for FreeBSD].

I saw that after I bought my Pi 2's (and the ones for the customer devices) the CPU on the RPi 2B v1.2 was updated to a 64-bit device, though from what I have read it also runs the older 32-bit code, which is good, because I do _NOT_ want to be forced into a version of Raspbian that uses systemd... [and so I should be able to continue using FreeBSD and the older Raspbian on it]. Haven't tried Devuan's RPi code yet (Raspuan?).

I'll still have to try the 32-bit OS's on the RPi 3 though. anybody done that? As far as I can tell it should work.

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Holmes

Re: Fantastic!

Why not?

Doesn't everyone need a computer whose "...Gigabit Ethernet..." really runs at only 300 MHz?

Kudos to the Raspberry Pi organization for their being able to to foist this package of not-so-subtle prevarication and dissembling off on the majority of the 'Tech-Journalist' and RPi-fanbois world.

Heaps of scorn to The Register for its brain-dead acceptance, and lack of correction, of this load of crap from the RPi organization.

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I think Gigabit networking is only available over USB2

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Yep. Their blog claims 315Mb/s which is still thrice the speed of the previous model.

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That was the first thing I checked for, and again, why I haven't bought one.

I realise gigabit ethernet is power hungry when you're working at this scale, but proper GigE would make this far more appealing to me, in terms of picking a few up to play with containerization stuff, HA methodologies, etc (rather than messing with bulky old PCs).

I may still pick one up, but it's not a 'zero thought' purchase - again.

I'll probably get downvoted, it's still not quite a 'no brainer' purchase for me.

Steven R

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Anonymous Coward

Do you really need Gb to "play" with containers. I'd of thought the lack of grunt in the CPU would slow it down enough to worry abut throughput.

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Just things I'm thinking about off the top of my head. There are other uses for it, obviously (it'd make a fine broker for Proxmox/Ceph management I suppose).

I'd not turn one down at all (and I might actually have accidentally just blagged myself a free one from a colleague for sorting some stuff out for them last night) but I just keep wondering when they're going to have SATA and proper GigE.

You're not wrong, mind - GigE isn't essential, but when you don't have it, it's really noticable when you're shuffling images around etc. I think I just want to rationalise a RetroPi setup to myself that I could (reasonably) justify for works testing ;-)

Steven R

Edit: While I toddle off to do some work, can anyone remind me why there's no true ethernet/sata/etc - is it a lack of a built in PCIe bus, etc? Genuinely curious, so if you're all going to downvote me, you can at least educate me at the same time, eh? :-)

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No fast path in to the SoC. Getting PCIe, USB3 or similar would require a new SoC on a new process, which is more than a B to B+ upgrade.

We have pretty much reach the limit of this SoC on this process. Anything past this point is likely to have a new SoC.

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Do you really need Gb to "play" with containers. I'd of thought the lack of grunt in the CPU would slow it down enough to worry abut throughput.

That was my initial thought - if you're going to be shunting huge amounts of data around very quickly, you still need something at the end to be able to work with that data, so you become bound by the capacity of the device to process data.

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James, cool - so I guess we're waiting for the current smartphone gen of SOCs (which have that sort of connectivity on board, or at least the capability for it) to mature and get cheapy cheap and well understood before a RaspPI would come with that sort of gear?

(hypothetically, of course).

Steven "I asked for those downvotes" R

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s it a lack of a built in PCIe bus

Yes, you want something like a Banana Pi for a faster bus. Surprised to see a chip update at all considering how little Broadcom cares about the chips.

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Another good thing to note is that the new SoC can supposedly decode H265 streams in hardware. For someone like me that uses a Pi as a media centre, this is a welcome addition!

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@James Hughes

I'm sure that this is obvious to everyone else but isn't to me: just how hard is it to have a new SoC? I presume that you take a standard broadcom chip and 'just' have to do the layout to wire it up to the outputs with various output chips? Or do you actually go in at the silicon level on the SoC and tailor it before chip manufacture so that the raspberry pi has a unique cpu iteration that isn't used anywhere else?

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"but proper GigE would make this far more appealing to me"

Why? It's not like you'll get that much I/O to/from the micro-SD card or a USB attached disk.

IMO for GbE to make proper sense they would need to add a proper SATA port.

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Anonymous Coward

>IMO for GbE to make proper sense they would need to add a proper SATA port.

Or USB3. I replaced the Pi I used for a file server with an Odroid XU4. Yes, it's twice the price but more than twice as good in this respect. I get full Gigabit bandwidth from a USB HDD. SATA wouldn't have made a difference here.

I expect for most people the lack of bandwidth isn't a huge issue but it all depends on your application.

I use one Pi in anger; a Pi3 running OSMC and it's good enough for that task.

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If you are looking for something that is specifically in the Pi form factor, Asus Tinkerboard is much more advanced. The only downside of the Tinkerboard is that it's SoC is 32-bit, but that's hardly an issue on a board with less than 4GB of RAM.

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Not necessarily

Gb ethernet makes sense from a cable point of view because you don't need a crossover cable.

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Re: Not necessarily

The Pi Ethernet autosenses. You've *never* needed a crossover cable with a Pi.

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Some answers to questions above:

New SoC: I reckon about three years work. We need to ensure its robust, performant, certified with a solid SW base that works on day of release.

H265. Not purely in HW, that would require new HW blocks, but we are reusing some H264 blocks, plus NEON to get HEVC 1080p30 working for the majority of the use cases.

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OSDpi

Just things I'm thinking about off the top of my head. There are other uses for it, obviously (it'd make a fine broker for Proxmox/Ceph management I suppose).

Yes, I had thought rPi units would make an interesting Ceph cluster, using each as an OSD host for one or two drives. Major downfalls being only one ethernet (no separate management interface) and the HDD/OSD being attached over USB. Might not be fast, but would be darned cheap.

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Another good thing to note is that the new SoC can supposedly decode H265 streams in hardware. For someone like me that uses a Pi as a media centre, this is a welcome addition!

Yes, but I'm out of HDMI ports on my TV (only has 2), and the rPi3 didn't want to work with a HDMI-VGA adapter (so I could use the VGA-In on my TV) Can't see this one cooperating any better. So as a media center I still need a different board.

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You might want to check the state of drivers for USB to VGA adapters. As of about four years ago it seemed to be mixed, but I didn't do much research.

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"New SoC: I reckon about three years work. We need to ensure its robust, performant, certified with a solid SW base that works on day of release."

Ooh, from the horses mouth, it sounds like. And yeah, I reckoned it would entail more than just BGAing a new CPU in place and hanging some peripherals off it in the same form factor.

As a result of all this chatter, I've been looking at RasPis and their competitors quite a lot lately. And the more I look at it, the more a RasPi does seem to fit the bill well for the other stuff I'd like to use it for. It certainly seems to have a more mature ecosystem, although the Asus one looks pretty close when you trade the performance off against it...

IE, a simple setup for Docker testing (I'm fairly new to it) because that's A Thing you can do on them these days. HA broker for my little two box proxmox cluster (I don't want to sully my desktop machine with such things) and the like.

Hmm...

Steven "Turning to the dark side" R

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Fuck it I've bought one.

A gaming based set so that if I find it's not ideal for my needs, I can still play Stuntrace FX and Starwing on it.

Steven "hypocrite" R

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Pint

Dates

"assuming you live in a country that insists on writing dates in the frankly barking mad MM/DD format"

A pint for the author -->

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Facepalm

Re: Dates

Don't forget their insistence in using 12Hour clocks on transport along with AM/PM...

Yes, I fell for it once and arrived 12hours early for my flight from Boston to St Louis.

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Re: Dates

I can never see why people want to use MM/DD, well actually maybe I can depending on how you say dates. Do you say "March the 14th" or "14th of March"?

BTW, Growing up in South Africa in the 70's we were taught to write dates 'YYYY Month DD'.

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Coat

Re: Dates

MM/DD make much more sense than DD/MM (painful for a Brit to say). It has the most significant digits at the left. We don't do time as mm:hh do we?

Putting the year after the day is the barking mad bit, should be YY/MM/DD or YYYY/MM/DD if you're being pedantic.

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Re: Dates

YYYY Month DD at least has some logic to it, as each part is of decreasing significance.

I can only assume that MM/DD comes from accounting and paper file storage

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Re: Dates

YYYY-MM-DD is a fabulous, sensible format. It means that alphabetical sorting actually sorts chronologically too. If you don't file your emails like that, you're barking.

But MM-DD-YYYY is ludicrous and nonsensical. It doesn't matter "how you say it".

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Windows

Re: Dates

Yeah, let's infuriate the "Barking Mad" country dwellers by specifying the time as MM/SS/HH.

Makes as much sense - middle/smallest/largest rule.

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Re: Dates

> We don't do time as mm:hh do we?

Well my mum taught me to say things like "five and twenty to nine".

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WTF?

Re: Dates

For me it's "fourteenth of March" what sounds incredibly backwards, you don't write the year as "8102" so why the hell would you invert the date... Not to mention "2018-03-14" as a string or filename sorts naturally in the correct order without needing to get interpreted as a date, whereas none of the other notations do. And if I can see only a fraction of a date, "2018" is what I want to see, not "14". So how about going easy on slinging "barking mad" stuff around particularly as it points the completely wrong way around...

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TRT
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Re: Dates

I'm sure they only did that because of the civil war.

Anyway, as for barking mad... they do set a president.

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Re: Dates

So is 22nd of July "Pi Approximation Day" in DD/MM countries then?

Edit: turns out it is!

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Facepalm

Re: Dates

YYYY-MM-DD is Largest -> Smallest

DD/MM/YYYY is Smallest -> Largest

HH:mm:ss is Largest -> Smallest

These all follow conventions in the order.

MM/DD/YYYY is Middle -> Small -> Large

All conventions are gone; cats and dogs are living together and there is mass hysteria.

It wouldn't be so bad if the formats were mutually exclusive but some American dates work with some rest of the damn world dates and vice versa which causes no end of problems.

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Re: Dates

Don't forget their insistence in using 12Hour clocks on transport along with AM/PM...

Yes, I fell for it once and arrived 12hours early for my flight from Boston to St Louis.

They also write dumb computer systems that output values such as 12:00am and 12:00pm. There is no such time as 12:00am or 12:00pm and when (ab)used it's then a fun game of trying to guess if 12:00am or 12:00pm is midday or midnight.

"am" is before the meridian. "pm" is after the meridian". Midday is the meridian therefore 12:00 midday cannot be recorded as being either before (12:00am) or after (12:00pm) itself. Midnight is exactly the same amount of time before the meridian as it is after the meridian therefore it makes no more sense to try to write 12:00am or 12:00pm meaning midnight either.

For example, "Tuesday 12:00am": is this "Tuesday 00:00", "Tuesday 12:00 (midday)" or even "Wednesday 00:00" (effectively "Tuesday 24:00" even though 24:00 isn't valid). Midnight Tuesday doesn't make much more sense either as it's contextual if you consider this the very start of Tuesday or a sliver of time past the very end of Tuesday.

The same logic works for +0 and -0 which I still see on occasions... although Microsoft did eventually fix this in the windows calculator.

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Re: Dates

""am" is before the meridian. "pm" is after the meridian"."

It doesn't matter what the letters technically stand for, it's a simple naming convention that is well established and easily understood - 12AM is midnight, 12PM is midday. Also, 2400 is perfectly valid and often used in place of 0000. While there are plenty of arguments about ordering of dates and the like, I'm not aware of any alternative conventions for the above; people complaining about them being silly or hard to understand just need to make the tiny effort to learn something most of us had grasped before we left primary school.

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Re: Dates

12pm is midnight because it comes after 11pm.

I have written my human readable time translation subroutines to return Noon and Midnight instead of any faffing around with ams and pms.

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Re: Dates

You are all barking mad, the only date format that is acceptable is YYYYMMDD, no funny hyphens, no slashes, none of that stuff.

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Re: Dates

You can't collapse the 0s, though.

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Re: Dates

I assume that comes from the Germanic roots of English, where the tens are put after the units when counting from 13 to 99. Four and twenty blackbirds... etc.

Then there comes the continental vs British confusion on the meaning of half hour, e.g. half ten in England is half past 10. Halb zehn in German means half past nine!!!

I assume some Americanisms came from the German immigrants. Like waiting 'on' something that is not a table. To meet up; up where??? etc....

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Devil

Re: Dates

It wouldn't be so bad if the formats were mutually exclusive but some American dates work with some rest of the damn world dates and vice versa which causes no end of problems.

Excel oh how I hate thee. It's half aware that countries outside the US exist, but only aware enough to screw up dates even more. If it said, "no, everything's MM/DD/YYY" then at least you'd know where you stand, but the "let me guess the date format only I'm not telling you I'm doing that" thing is useless.

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