What do you really think of the Raspberry Pi? No, really!

[update 25/11/2012: The survey is now finished. Thanks to everyone who contributed.]

By popular demand: a follow up survey with free-comment fields

Following your feedback from the original survey, the MBA team from Cambridge Judge Business School would like to pick your brains once more. The team were hugely impressed by the response and told us, “We greatly appreciate all of the feedback we have received from the community in terms of survey responses and comments on the webpage.”

The short follow up survey is a response to your requests for a chance to air your ideas and thoughts about the Raspberry Pi. It has a big free-text box at the end – so fill your boots! We’ll also post some preliminary data from the original survey here soon.

35 comments

Simon avatar

Still not convince these people know what they are talking about – I think all (most?) of the hardware improvements are already available – and I don’t want some of them, so the RPi should stay as it is – cheap and simple!

They really should find someone who knows how to write correct xhtml

Rumbust avatar

Raspberry Pi in 2020? I think the world will have moved on by then, by an order of magnitude and the fundamental idea will remain but the hardware will manifest in an unrecognisably different way.

George avatar

+1

excollier avatar

It should remain, essentially, the same, to keep down cost.
As in the above post, it needs no extra hardware, any additions will push up costs, and detract from the learning experience that it is, and should remain.
In it’s present, flawed form, it forces people to devise solutions, and then share them with others.
As a non-Pi owner/user I still find it addictively interesting following it’s progress, and limitations, and some of the ingenious things people do with it, and solutions found.
I would say a lot has been learned since it’s release, and that was it’s intended purpose, so leave well alone, the next generation of computer scientists are being launched by the Raspberry Pi. Congratulations to the Foundation on that achievement.
Personally, I still can’t quite find a reason to own one,( I would love one to tinker with, but there are only so many hours in a day) but am totally intrigued by it. Long may it succeed.

Andy avatar

I’ve dusted off an old Python / PyGame book which I bought a few years ago and never got past the first couple of chapters. I have just completed the first example game, and started to tweak and tinker. I know that I could have achieved this without the Raspberry Pi, but the motivation was an affordable home-brew games console, with my own home-brew games.
The system works :-)

Martin avatar

Could we see the results of the first survey?

Guy Eastwood avatar

It makes me think a little of what was said about the Laser, albeit in a less far-reaching sense…

It’s a solution looking for a problem.

Keep it cheap, that’s the key. No need to add unnecessary bells n whistles, others can do that. My Pi is an XBMC media player and does the job well.

Pete avatar

Last question is phrased a little funny … answers may range from Have a holiday to rule the world ….. or did I read it wrong?

roger avatar

What do i think??? No words to express my awe and excitement. No changes needed. Cheap and “simple”.(genius lies in simplicity). In a zombie apocalipse cant think of a perfect tool to manage perimeter security, battery charging, water usage, crop managent, storage management, you name it. Excuse the lame comic reference but im sure some may appreciate the enormous posibilities in such a compact and low energy demanding piece of hardware.

georgeu avatar

Raspberry Pi – General Comments
1. Current spec
•Current Pi spec is excellent – don’t waste time and money messing about with it – keep ‘as is’ for at least another 18-months to 2-years.
•Additional features on the Pi, if required, can easily be achieved with the current spec through add-ons.
•Give the current spec time to settle – let’s now provide some time to see where things are now heading.
2. Cost
•Cost is paramount – should not be exceeded.
•There has in fact been an increase in price, if you take into account that Farnell, for instance, now charges about £6 for delivery.
3. The RS farce
•This needs to addressed – their customer service on Pi orders is absolutely abominable.
4. Future (in about 2-years’ time)
•Perhaps an Arm7 processor.
•Perhaps 1GB mem.
5. Misc.
•The RP foundation may want to consider bringing out their own 4-port USB hub for the Pi – assembled or in kit form (if possible without occupying one of the existing USB ports).

Tim Rowledge avatar

“4. Future (in about 2-years’ time)
•Perhaps an Arm7 processor.”

I think you mean an ARMv7 processor – it’s already an ARM11 in there.
Why, yes, I am a pedant. Thank you for asking :-)
Your basic point is however valid – moving to the newest practical cpu is always a good thing for performance.

XTL avatar

ARM numberings can be rather cryptic at start. It’s good to figure it out to avoid further confusion.

Karthik Sheka avatar

Like the idea of two fixed price points and upgrading revisions at the same price point. Maybe a third price point, $45, with a few more features?

I would certainly pay extra if the USB and Ethernet had separate chips, which would increase throughput in a server configuration.

yetihehe avatar

What do we REALLY think? In Poland we have a joke, “Who is the best man in the world and why Lenin?”. The same mentality is here. “We want to know what you really think… Q: Why do you think RPi is the best”. How do you want to learn from your mistakes if you think you just don’t make mistakes and everyone who says so is wrong? Isn’t it a little too arogant?

clive avatar

It’s a good joke :) But you seem to be conflating a team of MBA students with the Raspberry Pi Foundation. This is not the Foundation’s research; they are not the Foundation’s questions. If you look at what’s gone on in the past year, it’s pretty clear that the Foundation is prepared — nay happy! — to listen to the community (and others) and to change accordingly (within given constraints of course). And long may this be the case!

yetihehe avatar

You’re right. It’s probably just that RPi is so cool product, that any glitch in PR seems bad in comparison. I think for example that was the reason with recent snafu with “opensource drivers”. Open source means that you can improve something if it doesn’t work.
In this way what RPF released was not really open source but they touted it as biggest step in openness seen in recent history. Meanwhile most of responses from RPF stating that this is not really open was like “there are some source files, what do you want more?”. It’s like yelling “Free candy!!!” and then when some kid* wants them, you give him only wrappers. When kid then complains, you tell him to go away. Would you do that to a kid? I think not ;).

* or programmer. We programmers are often like kids ;)

P.S. I still like my RPi and think RPF does good job. Fixing usb drivers was a REALLY good job, but apparently wasn’t marketed enough ;).

clive avatar

We’re glad you still like it :) And thanks for the feedback – it’s appreciated and useful.

HaloMemeGuy avatar

I think Raspberry Pi is a pretty cool guy. Eh wear a HAL t-shirt and doesn’t afraid of anything.

Timothy Giles avatar

Well I read the question about accessories as just that, what else should RPiF be looking to make available, rather than force everyone who wants a RPi to have to buy a kit with other accessories.

But then I also assumed having read the first one that it was written in America by people who have little understanding of the English language (sorry chaps!)

Yes, both surveys are written in a one sided manner, ie. by marketing people. Neither is written to find true feelings and quite frankly if that were the case, asking on the RPiF site for feedback would skew the results.

Nice idea though.

Billy Ebullient avatar

“Neither is written to find true feelings and quite frankly if that were the case, asking on the RPiF site for feedback would skew the results.”

They originally put it on netmums.com, but in three months all they got was a recipe for gluten-free carrot cake and a tip for using cold cabbage leaves to relieve sore nipples.

Know avatar

It would be nice if we get something with a more powerful processor.The ARM11 processor is just too weak.

I think Raspberry Pi should focus on 3 models.

The current model with goal of being as cheap as possible aka Model A, bring it down to 25$ or maybe less. So same hardware as now but goal is to keep bringing price down as often as possible.

Then Model B should strive to get better performance while keeping price aiming at 35-50$ and give us some decent processor.

Have a Model C which will strive for top end specs. Right now most top end dev boards cost 250$, I am sure you can bring down the price much more then that.

Homer hazel avatar

Come on, the Raspberry Pi is well nigh onto perfect. Leave it like it is. Well, except for the power supply. I don’t happen to use a cell phone with that USB connector. I have many power supplies with round connectors. But I have now bought several power supplies for the Pi. There is also the benefit that if I buy the proper USB hub, I also get a power supply. Leave it to others like adafruit to make add on boards. I am getting one of the Eve alpha boards. If you want a faster Pi like beast, research the Cubie board. It has a gig of ram and has one SATA Port . It is neat and only $49.00 or pounds , cannot remember.

Oddjob avatar

The raspberry pi has carved out a small market for creative developers and students. I always have one running at home on my network for various projects that come along.

Thanks

Sebastian avatar

– flash onboard (sd is so terribly slow and has no real wear-levelling, I like to use ubifs)
– if thats not possible: microsd instead (sdcard is so big, sticks out and is not locked)
– connectors on all 4 sides : not so good. better: usb and audio on the front, power, hdmi, ethernet on the back

puffy avatar

I’d like at least 1 mSATA port. :)

v1ncen7 avatar

gigbit ethernet, and bump the cpu just to the next arm gen. sata port would not hurt either :)

Simon avatar

I like the cheap ans simple RPi; if I ever get there I plan to have a few RPis, each controlling their own job (web server, music server, automation controller), just like UNIX had the principle of several small and efficient tools that can be linked together to do jobs instead of a great big swiss army knife. I can also have a set of SD cards, each holding the software necessary to do specific jobs. Not 1 desktop / laptop, but the ability to choose any 5 out of 20 computer configurations!

If I could change anything, it would not be the cost, and only minor hardware specs, but I would change the board layout. It would be nice to be able to put it into a case that had room for other bits (e.g. a USB hub) but having connectors on every side of the current board limits how it fits into a case

Jaseman avatar

2 R’pi’s, an iPad and an EEE PC, but the truth be told – you can’t drag me away from my Dell Optiplex GX280. It’s a P4 with 3Gb of RAM, running 32-bit Win7. So, why then do I keep coming back to the old Dell desktop? Because it just does everything I want to do perfectly. None of the others do. Even better is the fact that I got it free – It was a cast off machine from work. If I had no computer at all and only a limited budget, I would be buying an Optiplex 745 Core 2 Duo from Ebay. By the time you have bought the PSU and other cables for the Pi, you’re in the same kind of price range.

Tony Yarusso avatar

I think the current design does a pretty good job of meeting the original educational goals, but there are a few things that would make it better for the hobbyist and other markets that weren’t initially anticipated. I’d say keep the existing A and B models with their existing low cost, and add a “C” model with some extra stuff for more like a $50 or $45 price point. Specifically, on that higher priced model I’d like to see gigabit ethernet with PXE support, WiFi, VGA output, and a 1GB of RAM.

Fai avatar

I love my pi. I have a server running on it. I also have XBMC working, but xbmc is unacceptable at this performance level. I think it is very good linux computing unit. it is small, no moving part, no battery, readily power adapter everywhere. If I can change it, I would add more ram and more cpu cores, but I would still keep it small, and no moving part, so I can put it anywhere. I would also create a sister board, so people can connect to an extra board for added connectors. I love the price, it is practically not a matter, but I think many people can afford a higher price. It is a good educational product, but many of us are using it for testing server, and it is frustrating to watch it untar a 50Mb tar.gz2 file. So, more ram, more cpu cores, and a sister board for connectors.

APuckNut avatar

So I love the raspberry pi and can’t wait to get mine in the mail soon. I do have be suggestion though for it before I even receive it. So it supports SD cards, fine. But they are quite big. How about instead of (or in addition too) sd cards you make a model that supports micro sd cards?

hudo avatar

My thoughts? Really??

Raspberry PI sucks!!! I’ve never laid hands on a worst piece of hardware!!
;)

h.udo

Robert Hawkes avatar

I’m quickly getting to hate it. No manual so you have to go cap in hand to someone to find how to do anything. Answers to problems come from peoplewho are experts and do not realise that there answers make a huge number of assumptions about the knowledge base of the person asking so you end up feeling a berk for asking what turns out to be an easy question

JamesH avatar

I’m afraid you describe the situation of almost all computer problems and their answers. Most people assume too much knowledge, or too little. It’s difficult to hit the right level.

There is a User Guide available from Amazon which may help you.

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