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Raspberry Pi's LXDE Interface Is Being Refined

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  • Raspberry Pi's LXDE Interface Is Being Refined

    Phoronix: Raspberry Pi's LXDE Interface Is Being Refined

    The Debian-based Raspbian Linux distribution that's widely used among Raspberry Pi owners is receiving a bit of a facelift for its LXDE user interface...

    http://www.phoronix.com/vr.php?view=MTg3NDU

  • #2
    Michael

    Michael, reread the article. You have the same paragraph listed twice

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    • #3
      Would be nice if instead of UI/UX fixes they would open source the GPU firmware and/or make the CPU 20 times faster like the other < $50 competition is (4 cores vs one core, 1.4 - 2 GHz vs 700, faster pipeline and caches in ARMv7 CPUs).

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      • #4
        Originally posted by caligula View Post
        Would be nice if instead of UI/UX fixes they would open source the GPU firmware and/or make the CPU 20 times faster like the other < $50 competition is (4 cores vs one core, 1.4 - 2 GHz vs 700, faster pipeline and caches in ARMv7 CPUs).
        Open Sourcing is being done to some extent (driver is being written). As for faster or anything else you will quite likely hear it's "irrelevant". Even while most raspberries is in the hands of makers/hackers their solid and ancient goal is to use Raspberry Pi for education - to teach kids a bit of computer science and coding - with quite unrealistic goal that you must use a Raspberry Pi as a PC to do it (at least that what is said/made 90% of the time; Raspberry as an aid to existing infrastructure solution seems to be rare among most fruity of "irrelevant" followers). Faster CPU, more RAM, better USB and separate Ethernet or even Android are "irrelevant" as you can do codding on existing Pi Providing same high level GPIO API for another hardware platform for easy migration is also "impossible" for fruity followers of "irrelevant" as they can't imagine how high level API may exist without those holy low level bindings for current hardware

        So if a school has two IT rooms then around 60 Raspberries will be needed. Multiply that by schools count in any country and that will show why using singe product of single vendor won't work. Kano project wants to do it for example I don't expect them to drop 750 000 Raspberries in Poland to cover elementary schools here, then teach teachers how to use quite slow and annoying Linux variant and provide rather expensive service to handle hardware defects that will occur easily. If they want to sell them as per their business plan then would just fail at public tenders and teachers protests which aren't tech nerds. Most schools is happy with their x86 PC or laptops that cost probably the same as nice orange Kano set with display, adapters and what not. Plus their run Windows/Linux/(some are OSX) and long existing apps...

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        • #5
          I'm looking forward to when they drop LXDE alltogether for Maynard.

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          • #6
            Well once I tested:

            http://www.kano.me/

            It was a bit weird for me as the LXDE menu used did not add menu entries when you use apt-get directly, mainly a different frontend is supposed to be used. Maybe this is ok for kids, I am a pro and can not really compare I still have have got lots of doubts if somebody should use a Pi for schools, you still require monitors with hdmi and sound. when you add the price for a Pi kit you can buy cheap Chromebooks as well - and those would be much faster to surf the web, which is mainly impossible to do on a Pi. You have got no YouTube access, only via a 3rd party app, no html 5 video works with chromium and it is slow as hell. I would never buy that to replace a desktop with it, thats just way too slow. It is a special purpose device, like optimal for xbmc/kodi after you buy some codecs or to use it for some cool devices where you don't need high speed.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Kano View Post
              I still have have got lots of doubts if somebody should use a Pi for schools, you still require monitors with hdmi and sound. when you add the price for a Pi kit you can buy cheap Chromebooks as well
              Most schools, in my African country, already have monitors. Sound in a class room is a bad idea, most of the kids use their own headphones when they really need to. From a web development point of view Chromebooks could be better, but if you want to do fun creative projects the Chromebooks sucks in comparison with the Pi.

              and those would be much faster to surf the web, which is mainly impossible to do on a Pi.
              Try using "epiphany-browser" or launch one of the more popular browsers under weston.

              You have got no YouTube access, only via a 3rd party app, no html 5 video works with chromium and it is slow as hell. I would never buy that to replace a desktop with it, thats just way too slow.
              The last time I updated raspbian it still showed GStreamer 0.10 (IIRC raspbian maintainer will not update the packages. they are keeping ALL package versions same as debain). You will want to use GStreamer 1.0+ for OpenMAX (if you want the GPU to render your youtube videos)

              It is a special purpose device, like optimal for xbmc/kodi after you buy some codecs.
              You don't need to buy codes, it's perfectly legal to use libav/FFmpeg.

              Maybe this is ok for kids, I am a pro and can not really compare
              Don't underestimate kids I love the Raspberry Pi it really empowers everyone Old/young, rich/poor! I can't wait for the open source KMS driver to boost some of the "older" desktop environments

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              • #8
                For people who didn't follow the RaspberryPi evolution in time it's quite easy to misunderstand its purpose. Its very first goal was to give kids a cheap/accessible PC to tinker with, because nowadays there are less and less people with advanced IT skills, compared to the generations of the 70's and 80's, which used to play with Sinclair, Spectrums and others. Nowadays the technology is accessible at a different level: you get a smart-device and everything is easy to understand from the outside but you can't tell and do much about the internals, which get smaller, more closed and less accessible for physical tinkering. You just flash some new software and you'd say you got some skills because you have the latest Android on your device.

                After RaspberryPi reached such a large user base it was only a matter of time until creativity showed the potential of this little device. People started using it in a lot of ways and its size, low power consumption and price made it excellent for small projects (video monitoring, temperature logging, aerial surveillance etc) to big ones, like the RasberryPi clusters.

                So it's not at all about replacing regular desktops or cheap portable PCs but giving the tinkerers something very affordable to unleash their creativity. Sure, you must have a keyboard, a mouse, a monitor, a wifi dongle and other stuff. But most of these you might already have or you can reuse if/whenever you break your RaspberryPi. If you break your Chromebook how likely will you replace its motherboard or simply buy a new one? Quite a waste considering the display, keyboard and maybe other components might still be usable. And how likely will you use a Chromebook to do "crazy" stuff like drones, robots, bird feeder monitoring, home automation or clusters?

                Although it's closer to being a toy, you can actually do a lot of serious stuff with it - even a highly efficient web server, NAS or even personal cloud. Then there's the large and very active RaspberryPi community to help with feedback, ideas and turn-key solutions, so this is a seriously cool "toy". And considering the hardware specs are the same for millions of users, it's very easy to develop and share projects without worrying about compatibility, like we would do when using random hardware.

                Treating a RaspberryPi as a regular PC will most likely get you disappointed with its limitations and performance compared to modern, powerful hardware. But if you look at it as a tool, the Pi is the limit.

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                • #9
                  @Jabberwocky

                  Certainly you can use a Pi for great projects but not as general use device. I mainly use OpenElec on it, for Mpeg2/vc1 you have to buy the codecs, but then even high bitrates are possible. Btw. don't forget that VGA only monitors need an adapter and that ps2 keyboards/mice do not work which may lie around! But as tool you can use ssh as well...

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Kano View Post
                    @Jabberwocky

                    Certainly you can use a Pi for great projects but not as general use device. I mainly use OpenElec on it, for Mpeg2/vc1 you have to buy the codecs, but then even high bitrates are possible. Btw. don't forget that VGA only monitors need an adapter and that ps2 keyboards/mice do not work which may lie around! But as tool you can use ssh as well...
                    You're right about mpeg2/vc1 I've completely forgotten those formats exist

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