The Raspberry Pi Guy interviews Eben and Gordon

On Monday, Matt Timmons-Brown, The Raspberry Pi Guy, took a day out from revising for his GCSEs to come and do some video interviews with Eben and Gordon. We really enjoy working with Matt; he asks difficult questions, and I think that many of you will find this interview particularly interesting, as Eben talks about plans for open-sourcing the Pi’s graphics stack, what’s going on with the display board, what’s up with Windows 10, and much more.

Thanks Matt – come back to Pi Towers when your exams are over! (Next time, we want more Gordon!)


AndyD avatar

Nice interview Matt. Very interesting.

The Raspberry Pi Guy avatar

Thanks for having me guys!

On a side note: please remove that awful picture of me that is associated with this blog post on the front page. Gah! It was years ago!

Y’all see me again at the birthday!


Liz Upton avatar

Bah – I thought it was nice! Send me another one you like, and I’ll replace it. (Note: I wouldn’t do this for just *anybody*…) ;)

Rachel Rayns avatar

I like the balloons

dobra-dobra avatar

There is some truth in what Sven said.

Once I have met an UK scientist on an international conference. He was a bit nervous because when he tried to speak with some non-native (UK) English speakers they often said him that they do not understand his English. One of my colleagues explained him, that it’s true that English is the language of science, but it’s the poor one. Probably the same is true for internet. But for sure I have the same with dr Upton.

Fester Bestertester avatar

Same for me – and I’m a Kiwi, a natively English-speaker (with years-ago schoolboy French). I’d make two suggestions:
1. Eben, take some time to get Toastmaster coaching.
2. Videographers, please use remote microphones (lapel or directional) and cameras that support this.
Eben speaks very rapidly, with long and sometimes convoluted phrases (trying, I suspect, to keep up with his thought processes). He begins a topic clearly, then reduces volume to conserve breath for the phrase(s). Suggestion 1 would go some way at least to address this, to much benefit.

Richard Wooding avatar

I’m a South African English first language speaker (also speak Afrikaans as a second language), have no trouble understanding Eben.

It’s funny every now and then he sounds South African.

Does anybody else pick this up?

Eben is also a first name used by Afrikaans speakers in South Africa

Keith Sloan avatar

I found the low back ground noise annoying and a bit of a distraction. Guessing it was done in an open office with other people around

dobra-dobra avatar

I’m not really sure why my comment landed here. Bug or a feature?

paddyg avatar

Very good video. Presumably all this revision is for Media Studies GCSE and Video Editing GCSE rather than outdated subjects like Maths and English.

It’s also very encouraging to hear from the horses mouth
a) the RPiF relaxed/positive attitude to competition in line with a general philosophy of open source and freedom of information for the good of mankind (as opposed to some of the parochial views expressed on the forum, even by moderators!)
b) the awareness of how fundamentally important it is to be the cheapest PC in the world.

Liz Upton avatar

Matt’s doing a splendidly academic clutch of subjects; we’ve just been discussing his A levels with him too. (Double maths, physics, computing, electronics.) I have a feeling he’s going to go very far!

The Raspberry Pi Guy avatar

Thanks for the vote of confidence Liz ;-)

More along the lines of Chemistry than Electronics now!

paddyg avatar

Chemistry, Electronics, it’s all physics under the surface. And after A levels, physics is just a subset of maths!

(I’m assuming you love maths)

Liz Upton avatar

I think you’re the first person to have paid attention to Gordon on matters academic in decades. He’ll be thrilled. ;)

Gordon avatar

Plus I’m a very bad role model when it comes to education…

Sven avatar

Well, it is a nice interview and I love you guys and what you are doing with Raspberry Pi!

But, I’ve been watching several interviews with Eben now and as a non-Brittish (born Swedish) I always have great difficulty making out what Eben is saying…

Eben, I love the work you are doing! But the way you are talking sadly makes me lose 50% of what yoy’re saying. Your voice falls back into a low mumble in the back of your throat which is very hard to decode for us non-British. I turn up the volume to try to hear all the wisdom you’re sharing and in the next minute you raise your voice to quadruple volume or more which nearly blows my speakers out…

Perhaps a little polishing of your presentation skills would perect your otherwise splendid work. I hope you don’t take offense of my saying so, just my 2P…

Thanks for all your hard work!

Liz Upton avatar

Microphone rather than vocal cords, I’m afraid; Matt’s been complaining that he needs a new one!

W. H. Heydt avatar

One is reminded of the sequence in _Singing on the Rain_ where they were trying early sound recording for a movie. Apparently, most of the little bits in the movie were taken from various anecdotes related by people who were around at the beginnings of sound for film.

Liz Upton avatar

That is my favourite movie EVER. I’ve seen it dozens (this is not hyperbolic: I mean DOZENS) of times. I can recite the whole script. (My mother used to leave me in front of it as a sort of televisual babysitter, and it’s burned in.) I have shoes just like the ones Debbie Reynolds wears in it in several different colours. If I am gloomy, I listen to the soundtrack. I LOVE that movie.

I want to be Jean Hagen when I grow up.

Jim Manley avatar

No Liz, we permanent kiddies should use the phrase _if_ we grow up. I, for one, have so far been highly successful in putting it off indefinitely. Well, except for the stint on the Navy nuclear weapons release authority team – _that_ will turn you quite adult and responsible … and quite gray, if not just bald … faster than you can say, “Raspberry Pi 2 Model B Not Plus” :D

IIRC, Debbie noted in an interview that she had to duplicate what Gene Kelly was doing … but backwards, and in heels!!! Not only that, but she had never been a professional dancer up to that point – props to that lady!

roger smith avatar

Growing old is inevitable – growing up is optional

Pedro A. avatar

I agree with you, sven.
It’s very hard to understand Eben. The first time I heard him they said it was the microphone, the 2nd time he was cold, but I guess it’s the way he talks. He doesn’t breath… Even I feel out of air while listening to Eben.

But keep up the good work, and improve your speech capabilities if possible.


ednl avatar

Agreed on all accounts: the praise on content foremost but definitely also the less than crystal clear voice. I’m glad someone else raised that point; last time I was tersely suggested to syringe my ears.

stag019 avatar

My god though. Turn on YouTube’s Subtitles/CC. The things it thinks Eben said are hilarious. It (almost) never gets “Raspberry Pi (2)” right. “Ross Trip I”, “Ross Reply”, “Russia Pie 2”, “Role 2.2”, “Roles Trip I”, etc.

Can’t you supply your own closed captioning for YouTube? :P

The Raspberry Pi Guy avatar

I think you can upload your own transcript but I have transcripted videos before and it takes *hours*!

Sven avatar

I didn’t even know there was subtitles so happily I turned them on. Just to discover that they were pretty much useless and even less correct than what I managed to hear by my ears. ;)

Jim Manley avatar

It can depend on the platform on which you’re viewing a YouBoob video, but in the Chrome browser on recent desktop/laptop OSes, if you click on the Settings (gear icon) button in the lower right portion of the player window, one of the choices is a pop-up menu for selecting playback speed. If you think Eben is hilarious with subtitles that don’t match what he’s saying atawl, you haven’t lived until you’ve watched him at half or quarter speed – drunk doesn’t even begin to describe what he looks and sounds like! A great drinking party-starter, that is! :D

AndrewS avatar

At half-speed, the Raspberry-Pi-Guy sounds just like Lloyd Grossman ;-)
“Who would work, in an office like thiisss…?”

Craig Parks avatar

I’m a Texan… In Texas, you can drive 50 miles and hear a completely different rendition of english than you hear at home! I have no problem understanding Eben. Imagine the confusion some would have if I interviewed him. That said, I’ve been speaking before an audience for years and still don’t sound like myself when doing so. I have so many things going through my mind and and can’t always articulate my thoughts into words the way I intend. Keep on keepin on Eben, you’re kicking butt!

Jeff Findley avatar

I find a good set of headphones help a lot with the the low level audio problems. Lots of good info in this interview. Very exciting stuff coming in the future. :-)

Paul Webster avatar

shame that Gordon was not interviewed at his desk so that we could see the new display that Eben said was sitting there in near final form – I couldn’t even see a reflection of it in the glass ;)

The Raspberry Pi Guy avatar

Gordon’s desk is… Er… Cluttered.

Nice way of putting it ;-)

W. H. Heydt avatar

Typical programmers desk, you say?

Gordon avatar

Seriously there is nothing typical about my desk… The clutter is completely personal…

It’s like playing a game of where’s wally looking for stuff on my desk


Jim Manley avatar

It’s far worse than him being a programmer – he’s one of us software injuneers! We do clutter into the virtual dimensions … in infinite loops! :D

Greg avatar

The Maplin style wind speed & direction sensors on the widow cill, are they the ones being used in the schools project?? I hope so as they’re the ones I have connected to an A+ but by software needs some work! If the schools HAT ever goes to retail I’d be near the front of the queue!!
Thanks ! Greg

Marek avatar

Hi.Good to hear that you don`t abandon model A.
Could you tell what kind of software support you are planning in the future?
I`m writting now on 256 model A , and it`s still nice for me, but improvements
in software are crucial. Don`t want to throw away model A because it`s now obsolete comparing to allmighty Rpi2. I love your job guys!
All best

James Hughes avatar

All software development is continuing, and the work is applicable to both P1 and P2.

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