back to article NEW Raspberry Pi B+, NOW with - count them - FOUR USB ports

A new Raspberry Pi model has emerged, rectifying one of the most common gripes directed at its predecessors: it now comes complete with four USB 2.0 ports. The Raspberry Pi B+ was announced this morning, but had already gone on sale a few hours earlier in Australia. The machine was also the subject of a frenzied weekend of …

  1. Andy Roid McUser

    power

    Most noteworthy change here ( for me ) is the removal of that pesky resistor that limited power in to 5v 1A. Now supporting 2A which makes the requirement for the external usb hub evaporate. Would have liked a little more RAM but.. the changes to power without having to pop out the soldering iron are welcomed.

    1. JeffyPoooh Silver badge
      Pint

      I wonder if the new Pi-B powers up via the USB ports?

      Using a powered hub, and the hub (lacking a diode) provided +5v on the USB cable back to the Pi. The Pi wasn't particular about where the +5v showed up, so it would refuse to turn OFF when its power supply was turned off; happily continuing to run with the power unintentionally provided by the powered hub. Eventually I opened up the powered hub and cut a trace. That sorted it.

      Do you think that they'll eventually release a Pi 'R' version? If they did, then I'd buy two. ...

      1. Havin_it
        Joke

        Re: I wonder if the new Pi-B powers up via the USB ports?

        The fact that you posted an hour before me and hadn't yet received an upvote for that joke fills me with despair for the wits of our fellow commentariat.

        Pi "R" may sadly be a while coming though. So far we're only at "B" and we've had two models and a revision of the second, so I fully expect the "R" to come with integral hoverboard.

        By comparison, the Pi "D" is just around the corner, and you'll only need one of those :)

      2. Gordon Henderson

        Re: I wonder if the new Pi-B powers up via the USB ports?

        The B+ can't be powered up via its USB ports. µUSB or GPIO only now. There is USB power limiting too - software settable - 600mA and 1.2A.

  2. lupine

    hmm

    got two of the B models. one for openelec and one for munin.

    if this, new, model had a dual-core CPU and 1GB of RAM i'd be sold on it but the extra USB ports and micro SD don't warrant a purchase...for me anyway.

    1. Danny 14 Silver badge

      Re: hmm

      yeah, its a shame. I also run an openelec and would have loved just a tiny bit more oompf.

      1. James Hughes 1

        Re: hmm

        More RAM and/more speed would have required a new SoC. And that would break a lot of backward compatibility (and wouldn't be a B+ but a C model).

        This is an evolution so as not to require too much in the way of change. It basically fixes up most of the problems people had with the original device - lack of USB, connector placement and power supply.

        1. Danny 14 Silver badge

          Re: hmm

          don't get me wrong, i'm not complaining, just saying. 4x USB is a great improvement in itself.

          something else has changed on the board though as I thought the hub only had 4 USB. I thought the SD card took a USB slot up along with the 2x USB already there and the Ethernet had the last one.

          1. Jim 59

            Re: hmm

            Cool. However the card change limits your ability to swap SD cards with other Pis.

            1. DropBear Silver badge

              Re: hmm

              That's quite arguable, considering so far I got a normal-SD adapter with every single micro-SD card I bought.

            2. ProperDave

              Re: hmm

              The switch to MicroSD means you would have to switch all your Pi's both new and old to use MicroSD's and then use adapters for the older models I guess.

              It would be a pain, but then - do you regularly swap the cards around? I've a couple of the B's but almost never have need to swap the cards round.

              But then, that all depends on your use-case :o

              1. Noel Bourke

                Re: hmm

                I don't think I've ever seen anyone using a full size SD with a raspberry pi. Almost everyone uses a microSD in an adapter. Often people want the flexibility to re-use the card from an old phone/tablet or microSD is more easily available.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Composite Output

    Their blog says they've moved it into the 3.5mm Jack, so non-standard wiring required, but it's still available.

    1. mythicalduck

      Re: Composite Output

      Ooh, my old Archos had composite in a 3.5mm, wonder if I still have the cable...

    2. Phil W

      Re: Composite Output

      Is there a standard that encompasses this though? Or at the very least an informal but commonly agreed way of wiring it?

      It's something that's been done for quite a few years, I believe the Nokia N95 (and I'm sure other models) did this with a 4 pole 3.5mm jack to 3 RCA output and that same cable worked on some other devices including a digital camera and a tablet I had.

      1. Stuart Halliday

        Re: Composite Output

        Maplin sells two types of 3.5mm leads with 3x RCA. A Sony or Panasonic lead. So at least 2 standards. :)

        1. Danny 14 Silver badge

          Re: Composite Output

          old Samsung omnias did too. I used an old camcorder lead that had a 4 pole socket - that worked well enough.

        2. Steve Evans

          Re: Composite Output

          At least 2?!! Ha, you're having a laugh!

          There are actually more combinations of pin out from a 4 pole stereo video jack than the mathematics of permutations allow!

          Seriously!

          You can have a box of 4 pole break out cables, but never the one you actually need!

      2. ZillaOfManilla

        Re: Composite Output

        I think my SEGA Game Gear TV had 3.5mm to 1 RCA Out. I also think I still have that cable.

    3. Dan 55 Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: Composite Output

      I didn't even know the Pi Model B had composite out. I was waiting till I replaced my CRT with a HD telly before buying...

      1. ZSn

        Re: Composite Output

        I had the same problem, I waited until I noticed that it did have composite out. It works a treat (the audio's not great, but hey). The only problem was that the cable I bought was a bit cheap and I had to do a bit of re-wiring to get it to work - which might explain the poor audio :-)

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Composite Output

      I knew all those years of not throwing away strange looking cables and keeping a drawer full of them had to pay off some day. Just some day. I suppose if I'm not the only one that is reluctant to throw away perfectly working things without knowing exactly if/when I'm going to need them.

      1. greifpad

        Re: Composite Output

        ah ha, its very satisfying when one of those old cables (that I have been told to get rid of on more than one occasion) can have a new lease of life. like for example a SCART (worst AV connector ever...) cable that found a new home by connecting a very old TV to a DVB-T box.

  4. Daniel Palmer

    So it's the same crap old ARM core with some extra ports on the on-board usb hub?

    I guess more usb ports that barely work is key to saving the children.

    1. Richard 81

      Bearing in mind it has to be powered from a micro USB and mustn't cost more than £50, what core would you suggest?

      1. John Bailey

        "Bearing in mind it has to be powered from a micro USB and mustn't cost more than £50, what core would you suggest?"

        Does it matter?

        What ever was selected would be not enough, or too much. The objective is not to criticise the specification, but to whine about it not being the right one.

        1. James Hughes 1

          @ JOhn Bailey

          Well said sir!

        2. Danny 14 Silver badge

          to be fair, £26 is nowhere near £50 though. The hummingboard might suit your needs, there is a 1gb/2 core or 2gb/4 core version allegedly shipping soon. Banana Pi is a dual core/1gb board that can be bought for under £50 too so there are options for you if you need a small Linux computer with some more oompf.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            there are options for you if you need a small Linux computer with some more oompf.

            What I'm looking for is something with 2 ethernet ports so I can run a small firewall such as IPcop..

            1. Danny 14 Silver badge

              usb Ethernet adapter? Now the PI has 4 USB ports then you can have a few usb devices.

              1. Daniel Palmer

                >usb Ethernet adapter?

                Considering how bad the "on board" usb ethernet already is do you think it would be wise to add yet another usb ethernet interface to the mix?

            2. Daniel Palmer

              >What I'm looking for is something with 2 ethernet ports so I can run a small firewall

              >such as IPcop..

              The shame with the beaglebone black is that it has another ethernet port but the pins for it aren't on the cape headers.. I want to do a cape with a micrel 4 port managed switch but alas it was not meant to be. All of this stuff is 100mbit anyhow. If you want something with gigabit interfaces and gigabit phys attached you need to look for something based on the Marvell Armada or similar that's made for NAS work.

          2. Danny 14 Silver badge

            forgot to add. If you need a lot more power then look at an itx board. With an external PSU they are still quite small. My PI replaced an already small AMD e350 that I had shoehorned into an old hollowed out DVD player case (wife friendly looking) but it still needed a 120mm fan (quiet) to keep some sort of airflow so did make "some" noise. The PI is silent (and naked, it is just shoved behind the tv cabinet! only an IR "eye" pokes out of the side of the cabinet)

            Next job is to fashion an IR power on function on the PI GPIO as the old e350 had a CIR socket that let me do that from "suspend". Cant say I have ever had an issue with the USB, granted im only using it as a media centre so I probably wouldn't notice the odd frame oddity.

      2. Daniel Palmer

        @Richard 81

        >mustn't cost more than £50, what core would you suggest?

        BBB is less than 50 quid.

        This guy is 30 euro:

        https://www.olimex.com/Products/OLinuXino/A10/A10-OLinuXino-LIME/open-source-hardware

        This is 40 euro:

        https://www.olimex.com/Products/OLinuXino/A10/A10-OLinuXino-LIME-4GB/open-source-hardware

        This one has 4 1.7ghz cores and is $65 (their shipping does suck though):

        http://hardkernel.com/main/products/prdt_info.php?g_code=G138745696275

        1. James Hughes 1

          @Daniel Palmer

          Your information on the USB is out of date. The huge majority of issues with it have been fixed. There are some corner cases where you might still have problems, but they are rare.

          If you are going to continue to slag off the Raspberry Pi, please make sure your facts are correct first.

          1. Daniel Palmer

            Re: @Daniel Palmer

            >Your information on the USB is out of date.

            I think you're under the assumption I don't actually have any raspberry pi on hand to check this;

            daniel@mirmachina:~$ ssh pi@shitpi

            Enter passphrase for key '/home/daniel/.ssh/id_rsa':

            Linux raspberrypi 3.10.25+ #622 PREEMPT Fri Jan 3 18:41:00 GMT 2014 armv6l

            I have some green pi, I have some Chinese red pi .. I have no pi that doesn't reboot when USB devices are inserted or the usb doesn't lock up after a few days in action with certain devices like FTDI USB to serial chips. I have some clients with hundreds of pis deployed and they all have the same issues or even worse kill SD cards. I wonder if it's a PSU issue.. oh wait, this pi is running on it's own Cosel (that's a good brand btw) 10A industrial power supply.

            >The huge majority of issues with it have been fixed.

            Software fixes aren't going to fix issues that seem to be down to inrush current when inserting USB devices.

            >If you are going to continue to slag off the Raspberry Pi,

            >please make sure your facts are correct first.

            boohoo

            1. James Hughes 1

              Re: @Daniel Palmer

              I'm under no assumptions about you at all.

              This new version of the Raspi fixes the problem with hot plugging of USB.

              FTDI chips should now work fine. That's the software fix I was talking about. If you are still seeing any problems and are using the very latest firmware and kernel (it appears your version is woefully out of date), please let the engineers know via the forum or via the firmware/kernel github reporting system.

              SD cards wear out. Nothing the Foundation can do about that. There are techniques you can use to reduce the amount of accesses to the SD card which helps a lot.

              Boo Hoo yourself.

              1. Daniel Palmer

                Re: @Daniel Palmer

                >This new version of the Raspi fixes the problem with hot plugging of USB.

                So it took 3M units to spin a new revision that fixes a major issue. Awesome.

                >FTDI chips should now work fine.

                Nope. They still get into a locked up state with the latest kernel.

                >That's the software fix I was talking about.

                Do you have a link to the commit that "fixes" it?

                >latest firmware and kernel (it appears your version is woefully out of date)

                This board is running the 3.10 kernel. One of the others I have is running the 3.12 kernel. Same issues.

                >SD cards wear out.

                Not in the way we were seeing. Stop making assumptions.

                >There are techniques you can use to reduce the amount of accesses

                >to the SD card which helps a lot.

                Have you worked with ubifs etc?

            2. AlbertH

              Re: @Daniel Palmer

              Daniel seems to be particularly unlucky with his hardware. Perhaps he should replace his nylon carpets and start wearing leather soled shoes and clothes without "man-made" fibres.

              I've used dozens of Rpi machines of various types for any number of functions. They have all been entirely reliable and many are in continuous use. My only real hardware-related gripe is that it would be nice to have some more RAM to play with. However, at the price, these little machines are amazing!

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          @Daniel Palmer

          This one has 4 1.7ghz cores and is $65 (their shipping does suck though):

          http://hardkernel.com/main/products/prdt_info.php?g_code=G138745696275

          They have a European reseller: Pollin. Site is in German but I managed to order from them with the help of Google translate. I ordered one bunch of Odroid stuff from them and had a good experience, so I ended up ordering more stuff from them later. You can probably also email them if you're not sure on translations of things. All emails I got from them were in English, so it was nearly as easy as ordering from the likes of Dabs or Farnell.

          Oh, and IMO the Odroid boards are great, by the way. Great bang per buck, though I'll probably also get at least one of these new Pi boards :)

          1. Daniel Palmer

            Re: @Daniel Palmer

            @Anonymous Coward

            I'm in Japan so you would think they would ship them by registered post to here but they won't unless something has changed recently. $40 DHL shipping isn't really worth it on a single board. If they would stock at Digikey or something that would be great as usually it's free shipping on orders >$70 and that's still lower than the minimum for import duty.

          2. Christian Berger Silver badge

            Re: @Anonymous Coward

            Actually most German online electronics stores have Raspberry Pies. Pollin is mostly known for surplus and used stuff.

    2. Sampler

      and it is the B+. not the pi 2 - not mentioned in the article but a point they made on the website.

      Also apparently the guy who got his early is full of shite too and stole the images from someone else who'd kindly taken them down as to not ruin the surprise. Personally I wouldn't link to his site to drive viewer stats but that's me.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @sampler

        Yes, the photo's were nicked from someone who indeed was kind enough to take the pictures down.

        The guy who then posted them was a real jerk about it (and still is) - one of 'those'people who wanted their 5 seconds in the limelight, and didn't care how many people he pissed off to do it. So expect said jerk to be whining around the internet trying to attract attention.

        1. Sonny Jim

          Re: @sampler

          > The guy who then posted them was a real jerk about it

          If you are talking about rikkid, actually he came across as rather helpful when I was chatting to him in IRC. The mods have been spreading loads of FUD about him, you seem to have bought into it without knowing the full story.

          If anything, the Pi mods have been total idiots by deleting threads without comment and banning people when other sites *already had the Pi on sale*. Stable, bolted. I'll get me coat

  5. eJ2095

    Cost

    And there i was thinking the PI was to be a ultra cheap device for people to play with..

    Now adding bits and bobs to it bumps up the price.... sort of defeats the projects original goal...

    BUT i see where you guys are coming from and i would have thought the higher end ARMs would have come down in price sine the PIs launch.... But then you get a staggered board with multiple revisions....

    1. spaceyjase

      Re: Cost

      Except it is the same price. Noted here, at the source: http://www.raspberrypi.org/introducing-raspberry-pi-model-b-plus/

      1. James Hughes 1

        Re: Cost

        Indeed - the prices are exactly the same, so you are actually getting more for your money. No need for a hub for example, so overall cost is actually lower.

        1. Danny 14 Silver badge

          Re: Cost

          Just an alternative for people. Need more USB and don't care about a standard composite out? get the B+ Don't use >2 USB and have only full size SD cards? Get the model B. Both are the same price.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Cost

      And there i was thinking the PI was to be a ultra cheap device for people to play with.

      At 26 smackers it is ultra cheap. In the "hobbyist" space, compare it to something like an Arduino and you get so much more with the new Pi for very little difference in price. Compare it to the typical development boards for embedded ARM stuff, and it's no wonder that the Pi is proving popular in industrial applications.

      1. Danny 14 Silver badge

        Re: Cost

        Or to put it another way. £26 for a pi, get an 4gb uSD card (2gb might be enough, cant remember) from back of the sofa or ebay for £2, a cheap psu that can supply 5v for £2 on ebay, download openelec and you have a fully functional media centre that can have internet radio, youtube, iplayer, streaming.... all for £30

        Seriously I spend more than that at our local takeaway per month.

        It is small enough that you can glue it to the inside of your TV if you so require. Have your TV power it from a usb/relay/voodoo séance and it is wife friendly. Openelec works with cheapy windows remotes+usb IR so what more do you want?

        1. Gene Mosher

          Glue?

          Use Dual Lock strips, not glue.

    3. Daniel Palmer

      Re: Cost

      @eJ2095

      You realise criticising the Pi is strictly outlawed here right? I doubt anyone will be polite enough to actually address what you wrote instead of accusing you of being a child hater.

      >Now adding bits and bobs to it bumps up the price....

      You never know.. They might have got a better deal on the parts for this board and that reduces their BoM cost. You'd be surprised how different the price of components is when you're talking about ordering batches of 10000+

      >i would have thought the higher end ARMs would have come down in price sine the PIs launch

      Higher end ARMs are cheap as chips. You can get TV sticks with gigs of RAM, gigs of NAND and multiple recent ARM cores for almost nothing now. The problem is those chips aren't usually very open. But things are getting better. There are companies in the east and west producing boards around those chips now. Olimex have some boards that aren't much more expensive than the Pi.. there is the beaglebone black etc etc.

      1. James Hughes 1

        Re: Cost

        Since you seem so well versed in SoC availability and what the market wants, why not design and build your own competitor?

        Or are you one of those people happy to complain because product A doesn't do exactly what you want but not so happy to actually get off their arse and do something about it?

        There are already competitors out there trying to compete on price with the Raspi. None of them are doing very well. The BBB sales are terrible, the Banana Pi infringes more trademarks that you can shake a stick at, the Cubie is great but expensive. The rest come under similar categories.

        Consider - if there are all these great chips and devices out there, why isn't there a faster better Raspberry Pi competitor out there? It's been TWO YEARS. You would have thought there would be one by now. And yet there isn't one at the same price point, with anywhere near the same level of sales or support.

        Maybe, just maybe, it's a little more difficult than you seem to think? Maybe, just maybe, the Raspberry Pi has hit the sweet spot of price vs performance and no-one else can reach it? Even with all those cheap as chips high performance ARM chips out there.

        1. Daniel Palmer

          Re: Cost

          >Since you seem so well versed in SoC availability and what the market wants,

          There are already boards out there. I'm putting together a new mc68000 machine that runs Linux if you're feeling wild though.

          >The BBB sales are terrible,

          The BBB sells out as soon as batches run off of the production line.

          >Raspberry Pi competitor out there?

          The BB and BBB are "better". If you want to stump down a bit more cash then the Wandboard is amazing for $100. The hardkernel boards are insane (suffer from the crappy USB ethernet issue that goes hand in hand with SoCs designed for phones though). Olimex has some nice boards.. there are some tiny boards based on Atmel chips with older ARM designs that are coming out at around 20 euro that will fit well with people that want to embedded them into a project and forget about them. I don't think there's a lack of boards out there just a lack of "opening your fucking eyes" and some weird basis towards the Pi.

          >It's been TWO YEARS. You would have thought there would be one by now.

          See expletive above.

          >And yet there isn't one at the same price point

          The prices aren't that much different and usually the performance and features is many times more than the price difference.

          >the Raspberry Pi has hit the sweet spot of price vs performance

          Or people are cheap and won't pay $10 or $20 for a board that is better supported (can run stock Debian/armhf etc) and performs better. I suspect many of the Pis out there are being used for cheap media servers, XBMC etc applications and people that actually want to do some hacking are the ones that are clearing out the BBB stocks.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Cost

            The Pi has a few advantages, it's highly visible, 'easy' to hack on for newbies, well supported with a huge community. Give me a fiver for every person you ask in the street who knows about Pi and I'll give you a tenner for every person who knows about Beaglebone Black. I know who will be going home with a lighter wallet.

            In short, it's like Arduino, not necessarily the best solution, not the best performance but it's easy, has huge momentum and is more than adequate for the vast majority of people.

            It makes not one damn of difference what people use it for, cheap media server, home automation, control of a steelworks, the point is that people are using it and many of them are learning new skills, it's brought Linux, coding and hardware hacking almost mainstream, be grateful for that.

            Now 'open your fucking eyes' and realise what the Pi was intended to do and what it has achieved. It's opened the door for so many people to discover things like BBB. Those who 'get it', will. Those who don't, they still bought a Linux machine and supported the development of this sort of product for everyone else who does get it.

  6. Valeyard

    Extra usb ports?

    Are these still fighting with each other as well as the Ethernet port?

    doing regular uploading whilst writing to a fs on a usb drive corrupt that drive so many times

    So is 2 extra ports a good thing? I assume they've ironed that out, in which case i might replace my 2 trusty security devices and eliminate the need for a powered usb hub for each too

    1. James Hughes 1

      Re: Extra usb ports?

      Most of the USB issues are fixed with some rather splendid software effort from a couple of guys at the Foundation - it's rather good work.

      However, you are still limited to a total bandwidth as previously. But the extra ports mean you can add keyboard, mouse, USB HW, wireless adapter without a hub, so that's the real benefit.

      1. Valeyard

        Re: Extra usb ports?

        that's awesome. Though I run it headless and just SSH in so I don't need TOO much, just power for a webcam and wireless adapter coming through the pi adequately which someone mentioned above, good work

  7. codejunky Silver badge

    Ungrateful trolls

    I cant believe that there is a new PI with new features at the same original price while the original is still on offer as long as people want to buy it, and yet reading the negative comments on here from the illiterate and ungrateful claiming the price will go up and 'how will this benefit the children'.

    Sometimes I get reminded how low people can go.

    As for the PI foundation- good work. I hope you feel appreciated and dont have to tolerate too many trolling idiots.

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          1. James Hughes 1

            Re: Ungrateful trolls

            I get nothing back for my shilling, at all (and I can prove it). And warning you that you are straying on to libellous grounds is not shilling, but simply a warning. You are implying the Foundation are lying about something. That can get YOU in to trouble. Not me.

            There will be no fee for that legal advice. I work as a volunteer at this stuff.

            As for numerous people calling them out, I think you will find that NOTHING the Foundation has said with regard to those drivers is untruthful. Nothing at all.

            So, please STFU with your FUD, and that will mean us shills don't have to keep putting right all your incorrect statements and out of date information.

            1. Daniel Palmer

              Re: Ungrateful trolls

              >those drivers is untruthful.

              Except that they weren't drivers.

              1. James Hughes 1

                Re: Ungrateful trolls

                Expect they were. They were the interface from the ARM to the GPU hardware. Just not the sort of drivers people are used to.

                1. Daniel Palmer

                  Re: Ungrateful trolls

                  >They were the interface from the ARM to the GPU hardware.

                  *Sigh* you are reiterating the same drivel that Liz and chums did.

                  Aside from the issues with the hardware, being stuck with a fudge debian port etc I think the thing that rubs me up the wrong way the most with piboys is this religious parroting of the official dogma.

                  I.e. I was looking into what it takes to make the pi run on 3.3v for doing telemetry on a quad copter. According to high ups (read: people with badges) on the pi forums it was impossible.. even when someone had already done it and had documented it. *facepalm*

                  1. James Hughes 1

                    Re: Ungrateful trolls

                    Mr Palmer (shades of NCIS?)

                    Your continual anti-Pi stance is tedious in the extreme. If you don't like them, don't buy them, but this incessant campaign against what is an educational charity is getting rather loathsome. I really don't know what they have done to you to cause this level of unpleasantness - did one of the Upton's tread on you in a previous incarnation? So as you have stated so many times, there are alternatives if you are willing to pay more and accept lower levels of support. So I suggest you do exactly that, and let the Raspberry Pi foundation do what they can to help with education and continue to sell millions of devices to an generally more than happy populace. The Raspberry is still the cheapest and best supported device out there, not the most powerful as you might expect given the low price, but certainly adequate for its many millions of users. Just accept it for what it is. You'll find the world a much more pleasant place.

                    1. Daniel Palmer

                      Re: Ungrateful trolls

                      >Your continual anti-Pi stance is tedious in the extrem

                      To be honest I was being tongue in cheek with my first comment about the broken USB.

                      The problem is you piboys get all defensive of your little platform and start trying to make excuses or claim there are no problems.

                      Now you're trying to make out I have some little grudge against the Pi that is as emotionally based as your love affair with a PCB. "Don't say nasty things or my mates will stick the lawyers on you boohoo".

                      It really is pathetic.

                      1. Androgynous Cupboard Silver badge

                        Re: Ungrateful trolls

                        Considering James works either with or for the foundation you shouldn't really be too surprised by his position.

                        I'm a fairly neutral party but claiming the BBB is "better" is ridiculous. Yes, it has a better SoC and better GPIO, but the kernel is being maintained by one guy (Robert, a genuine hero) who isn't an employee of Beagleboard. For months (until I got fed up with it and abandoned the platform and my lovingly crafted custom cape) I could have USB hotplug or GPIO, not both. Maybe that's changed but I'll take a 700Mhz Arm 6 chip running a stable, well documented, well supported Debian "fudge" any day over an admittedly wonderful piece of hardware with an unreliable software environment, particularly when you're running a multitasking OS like Linux.

                        You seem to consistently undervalue the stability, documentation and support provided by the RPi and overvalue the horsepower of their competitors, which makes me wonder if you've actually developed anything of any complexity on either platform.

                    2. davidp231

                      Re: Ungrateful trolls

                      "Yes, of course Dr Mallard."

  8. Cookiesworld

    Physical Size Change

    I can't believe they decided to change the board size. Beagle board specifically adopted the same dimensions as the pi so people wouldn't have to throw away all there cases.

    1. James Hughes 1

      Re: Physical Size Change

      There are already cases available for the new device, costing from bugger all to all of £10.

      Not sure that maintaining backwards case compatibility is a good enough reason to cripple the new design.

  9. Wyrdness

    Rounded corners

    The new B+ board has ROUNDED CORNERS. And you know what that means, folks!

    1. Androgynous Cupboard Silver badge

      Re: Rounded corners

      Another outing for the same jokes about Apple we've been hearing for the last bazillion years?

  10. This post has been deleted by its author

  11. Allan George Dyer Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Double Fix

    Four mounting holes! Excellent!

    40 pin GPIO - I've got a new use for all those old IDE cables!

    1. DropBear Silver badge

      Re: Double Fix

      Indeed. Fire... the wheel... and now a Pi with mounting holes and connectors that actually line up. Mankind is evolving by leaps and bounds, clearly. Nothing can stop us now...

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hmm PoE and built in wifi would have been nice but hopefully we'll get them in a model C one day.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      PoE on a budget?

      I agere entirely that proper PoE would be very nice, not sure how practical it is at this price/space point.

      Last time I checked, a budget PoE setup (passive adaptor at each end) was very very roughly £5 quantity one. My attention was drawn to this concept when a £30 TP-Link gadget came with one included.

      It might suit some people. There's usually at least one unhappy person, whatever's on offer.

  13. ZSn

    I've had a rapsberry pi B for a year used as a media centre. However as a computer it's underpowered (yes I know, but I like fiddling). Since everyone is complaining about the power, has anyone tried the Odroid U3 it's only $65.00 (a bit more but not exorbitantly so) and on paper looks a *lot* better?

    1. James Hughes 1

      Whilst there is nothing at all wrong with the Odroid, on which planet is $65 only a bit more than $35? That's nearly a 100% price hike! Ok for people with spare cash, not so good for people without.

      People do need to remember that there is a huge range of SBC's out there, from low to high performance, with equivalent low to high prices. If you want cheap and cheerful, the Pi is great, if you want fast and expensive, there are boards out there for you (Odroid). There really is a spectrum, and you can buy what you need.

      Aside from that spectrum of price and performance, look at support, both from the supplier and the community. In my opinion, the Raspberry beats a lot of the more expensive devices hands down. Also, third part add-ons are plentiful for the Raspi (and some other devices).

      So, don't just look at the price per MFLOP.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Pi vs Odroid

      I have both, and yes, the U3 is a really excellent board. Much better value if you need the extra CPU (quad core,, 1.7GHz) and RAM (2G). The various Odroids are about an order of magnitude better than the Pi on this score. They've also got a really good and active support forum and it's quite an open platform (apart, mainly, from the MALI graphics drivers). They also support running Android on it, if that's your cup of tea.

      The downsides, as I see them:

      * very limited warranty (two weeks; though if you buy from Pollin.de, the European reseller, I guess that you might get the full EU-mandated warranty period)

      * cost of shipping from Korea (though again, ordering from Pollin.de can cancel this; RMA also expensive if ordered from Korea, since you have to pay return postage if the board turns out not to be faulty)

      * slightly less open than Pi (though it may be a wash due to proprietary Broadcom stuff existing too)

      * awkward/inferior OpenGL/ES implementation (Pi's graphics hardware is frankly amazing at the price and will out-perform machines that cost multiples of the price; odroid's xbmc is getting better, though)

      * quite a bit more expensive if you opt for emmc memory instead of SD (but you don't need to)

      * U3 dropped the headphone output that was on U2 (though original Pi's sound output is only ~11 bits, so again, probably a draw)

      * few GPIO (though there are add-on boards to compensate for this)

      I think it's a case of horses for courses. Both boards are cheap enough that many people will be able to buy both and see what works best for what task. I find Pis to be great for media applications (music, video display and transcoding), as a NAS (with external USB disk), APT cache proxy and other always-on web-based applications that aren't too demanding on the CPU. Also for messing around with GPIO, either directly or with a Gertduino. You might be surprised how many things a Pi is good enough for, despite its lack of raw power.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Pi vs Odroid

        Addendum (same AC as above here again):

        I have a few more negative points about the Odroids since I thought about it again, and there are annoying points about the platform:

        * There seems to be an attitude that odroid is more of a hacking platform than something you can consider 100% stable. Some upshots of this are that sometimes updates will break things, there can sometimes be conflicts between the supplied mali drivers and the debian/ubuntu packages requiring some fixing on your part and/or waiting for the maintainers to figure out/fix problems.

        * Often quite hard to find answers to problems in the forums, and people can be a little bit unfriendly/unhelpful if you post without trying to find the answer yourself. At least the quality of comments seems to be better than random pi forum posters, though.

        * you basically will want to get a USB-to-serial debugging cable to access the serial console to fix boot-related issues. So it's not very suitable for a beginner.

        * you need an emmc adapter (supplied for free) to read/write on a PC, but these have never worked for me. The alternative involves messing with u-boot to boot off SD, then writing image from there. Again, not beginner-friendly.

        * they have fairly frequent product refreshes and new products. Sometimes that means that older platforms can have bugs or regressions that don't get fixed for a while.

        So overall, Pi's definitely win in terms of ease of use and level of expertise required to use/fix them. Odroid seems to require much more technical ability and work on your part.

  14. Glen Turner 666

    Detail for four USB ports controller?

    The Model B uses a LAN9516 for ethernet and USB. That chip has a fast ethernet controller, two downstream USB ports, all presented as being on a USB hub connected to a upstream USB port (which the Model B connects to the single USB port on the BCM2835 SoC).

    So what controller are they now using to get the four USB ports? Or is there a distinct hub chip now?

    1. James Hughes 1

      Re: Detail for four USB ports controller?

      It's pretty much the same chip, but with a 4 port hub. Cannot remember the part number but it's almost the same! The chips are actually pin compatible which is unusual.

  15. Steve Evans

    "Industrial customers? That wasn't in the original Pi plan!"

    They never ignored the fact people would find industrial uses for the Pi, and it helped the intended recipients (students) by keeping production volumes high so the economies of scale kicked in.

    That's how the Pi got it's 256Meg to 512Meg upgrade the other year.

  16. Daz555

    Can we have a backwards compatible Pi v2 please - with upgraded everything?

  17. JaitcH
    Meh

    Finally, Four, Yes Four, Count Them ...

    mounting holes.

    Hope the PCB is laid out without any off-set holes.

  18. techmind

    Next major revision should be the PiMaster...

    ...following the naming convention of the BBC Micro.

    Someone's been planning this for a long time...

    1. Will Godfrey Silver badge

      Re: Next major revision should be the PiMaster...

      No, This should have been the Pi Master. From memory, the BBC B+ was actually inferior to the standard Model B in some ways.

      1. davidp231

        Re: Next major revision should be the PiMaster...

        Don't forget the Master Compact, Turbo, 512, ET and the Domesday machine.

  19. davidp231

    B+

    Next will be the B+128 then the Master, which will have more goodies and be a little quicker.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: B+

      Coming from a poor family who couldn't afford BBC Micro offerings, I'm waiting for Amstrad to take over the foundation, and release the Pi +2 with built in cassette player.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'm waiting for the Pi E

  21. Herby Silver badge

    Of course, the microUSB connector...

    To be used for anything OTHER than power. How about a nice device USB port so we can make peripheral devices to other machines?

    As for power, I have a nice 2 amp wall-wart to supply power. Had to wire it up special for the micro USB, but it works quite well!

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