The $35 Raspberry Pi “Model B” is board of choice to ship out to consumers first. It contains two USB ports, 256 MB of RAM, an Ethernet port and a 700 MHz Broadcom BCM2835 SoC. The Videocore 4 GPU within the SoC is roughly the equivalent to the original Xboxs level of performance, providing Open GL ES 2.0, hardware-accelerated OpenVG, and 1080p30 H.264 high-profile decode.
Raspberry Pi boards are on the way and the components list is still pretty impressive for $35 USD. Not bad, given they had a manufacturing delay. The re-worked boards should ship out as a second batch once they have been tested fully. It also appears all the other necessary infrastructure is slowly falling into place to help create a rich environment for curious and casually interested purchasers of the Raspberry Pi. For instance let’s look at the Fedora remixes for Raspberry Pi.
A remix in the Open source software community refers to a distribution of an OS that can run without compiling on a particular chip architecture whether it be the Raspberry Pi Broadcom chip or an Intel x86 variety. In addition to the OS a number of other pre-configured applications will be included so that you can start using the computer right away instead of having to download lots of apps. The best part of this is not only the time savings but the lowering of the threshold to less technical users. Also of note is the particular Fedora OS distributions chosen LXDE and XFCE both noted for being less resource intensive and smaller in physical size. The documentation on the Fedora website indicates these two distros are geared for older less capable, less powerful computers that you would still like to use around the house. And for a Raspberry Pi user, getting a tuned OS specifically compiled for your CPU and ready to go is a big boon.
What’s even more encouraging is the potential for a Raspberry Pi community to begin optimizing and developing a new range of apps specifically geared towards this new computer architecture. I know the Fedora Yum project is a great software package manager using the RPM format for adding and removing software components as things change. And having a Yum app geared specifically for Raspberry Pi users might give a more App store like experience for the more casual users interested in dabbling. Right now there’s a group at Seneca College in Toronto, CA doing work on an app store-like application that would facilitate the process off discovering, downloading and
trying out different software pre-compiled for the Raspberry Pi computer.
- Raspberry Pi Linux distro released, but the $35 computer faces new delays (arstechnica.com)
- Raspberry Pi delayed by Chinese manufacturing ‘hiccup’ (telegraph.co.uk)