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  • schmidtbag
    replied
    Originally posted by starshipeleven View Post
    Which says the same
    "An embedded device is an object that contains a special-purpose computing system. "

    And why do you think they use special-purpose computing devices and not a full-ATX case with a random x86 processor that on average is vastly better? Cost maybe?
    The point I was trying to make was physical size. Whether you've got a POS machine, a handheld, a quirky gadget, or a control panel for heavy machinery, size matters. Devices as small as the ones we discussed could be put just about anywhere and though weak, are good enough to get the job done.

    I have been making home automation projects and other stuff where I deploy these things around, meanwhile you are just arguing over definitions or ifs and buts.
    No, I'm saying the Pi Zero has a lot of great uses. You, meanwhile, are questioning the purpose of 20 GPIO pins.

    No, these devices offer these interfaces on marked pins on the board, there is no need to hack up shit or try to reverse-engineer the system or whatever and risk instability or hardware damage.
    Those mini-routers appeal to tinkerers just as much as those who use DD-WRT. The only difference is those mini-routers are better for people who have less patience and just want something that gets the job done.

    And? Consumer devboards do their best to look cooler and better than competition, so they try to offer more and more stuff that in real life isn't really needed in most cases.

    You know about phones with octacore processors, x86 mobos with large amounts of PCIe/Sata/whatever that are not going to be used by 90% of the userbase (seriously, when is someone going to fill 10 Sata ports like in the modern mobos?)
    Again, you're looking at this subjectively. There are people out there who will saturate these features. There's a good reason why some of these parts sell well.

    But on the note of 10 SATA ports, the caveat to that is capabilities of the controller. I have a mobo with 10 SATA ports, but 4 of them are SATA II and are used for things like eSATA and can be configured in IDE mode, which Windows seems to prefer when reading some DVDs. It tends to be more difficult to change the behavior of a single SATA controller.

    It's not personal anecdotes, it's experience in the field.
    The fact that you don't find anything better than dismissing my experience as "anectodes" because lulz means you have 0 experience in the field to counteract mine.
    And I also said personal experiences don't count. Again, would you ever find a purpose for an Arduino Due? Because I have used one and managed to use up 50 of its pins. So yeah, I do have actual experience and unlike you, I know these products exist because there's a demand for them. Your little home hobby projects aren't that big of a deal compared to people who make full-blown robots.

    Yeah, and I'm saying that the people that REALLY need so many pins are a tiny minority of the ones making embedded projects. Because I have experience and I know others too.
    Tiny minority, sure. But if you actually looked into how these chipsets work, you'd realize it doesn't really cost anything to add these pins. The processor already comes equipped supporting all this stuff. It costs pennies to add headers. Why throw away a potential use for such a low cost?

    The entire point of embedded projects is dropping many sensors/switches/stuff all around where they are needed. So yeah, saving 5$ per device isn't that bad when you need to buy 10 or more.
    Exactly, so something like a Pi Zero is great when it costs so little. Shipping costs become less ridiculous when you buy in bulk.

    No for dimensions, ok for bluetooth, shields are kinda large on average and they are not usually the best choice for a serious embedded project.
    Shields are for rapid prototyping, then you just solder stuff on a smaller board or whatever. Also to save quite a bit of $$.
    And there you go again, ranting about YOUR preferences. What you're describing is why the Raspberry Pi series exists in the first place. How many times does it need to be explained that the Pi Zero fits a different niche than you, and that's ok? It's purpose is for development. It isn't designed for permanent solutions (not to say that it can't be).

    Around the same (I'm including the daughterboard)
    But it's not the same, because that's not including all the features you mentioned.

    Yeah, Raspi zero is a devboard for experimentation and learning just like raspi, while actual IoT stuff and minirouters are more suited for actual headless embedded use.
    I still don't agree that they're more suited. For some people, like yourself, sure. But you can't generalize it that much.

    I'm just saying that for the average headless embedded usage it's usually far better to get a different class of devices that don't have a GPU but give you something else more suited for the target use.
    The GPU doesn't matter. Just like the GPIO pins, most of these boards already support the hardware whether there are headers for them or not. Take a look at Beaglebone - that has a GPU but it doesn't have a display connector. It's not meant for graphics, but by your definition, other devices are automatically better for headless usage just because they don't have a GPU. Or, take a look at the Odroid-U2. It's based on the exact same platform as the X2 but it has 4 fewer USB ports and no GPIO pins. Does that make the U2 a worse platform as a result, just because it has unused resources?
    Last edited by schmidtbag; 03 March 2017, 11:35 AM.

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  • starshipeleven
    replied
    Originally posted by schmidtbag View Post
    That's your definition; just one. There's also ones like this:
    http://whatis.techtarget.com/definition/embedded-device
    Which says the same
    "An embedded device is an object that contains a special-purpose computing system. "

    And why do you think they use special-purpose computing devices and not a full-ATX case with a random x86 processor that on average is vastly better? Cost maybe?

    ​​​​​​​Your personal anecdotes, experiences, and preferences do not indicate what makes a product good or how a product should be used.
    I have been making home automation projects and other stuff where I deploy these things around, meanwhile you are just arguing over definitions or ifs and buts.

    You can say the exact same thing with many other routers.
    No, these devices offer these interfaces on marked pins on the board, there is no need to hack up shit or try to reverse-engineer the system or whatever and risk instability or hardware damage.

    There's a lot of things you can do with certain hardware, but that's besides the point. Those devices are called routers and not "hackable IoT/embedded devices" for a reason.
    And? Consumer devboards do their best to look cooler and better than competition, so they try to offer more and more stuff that in real life isn't really needed in most cases.

    You know about phones with octacore processors, x86 mobos with large amounts of PCIe/Sata/whatever that are not going to be used by 90% of the userbase (seriously, when is someone going to fill 10 Sata ports like in the modern mobos?)

    Same happens here.

    Isn't that enough? Remember, personal anecdotes mean nothing.
    It's not personal anecdotes, it's experience in the field.
    The fact that you don't find anything better than dismissing my experience as "anectodes" because lulz means you have 0 experience in the field to counteract mine.

    We're not talking about your needs, but the targeted demographic of the hardware. If you think the Pi Zero has too many GPIO pins, you must find an Arduino Duo overwhelming (and yet even that isn't enough for some people).
    Yeah, and I'm saying that the people that REALLY need so many pins are a tiny minority of the ones making embedded projects. Because I have experience and I know others too.

    We're not talking about hundred-dollar hardware here, so small differences matter.
    The entire point of embedded projects is dropping many sensors/switches/stuff all around where they are needed. So yeah, saving 5$ per device isn't that bad when you need to buy 10 or more.

    But the Zero's dimensions could also be of interest, as well as Bluetooth, shields designed for other Pis (as far as I'm aware, those are pin-compatible), and as you like to point out, HDMI. That's a lot of differences for a cheaper device.
    No for dimensions, ok for bluetooth, shields are kinda large on average and they are not usually the best choice for a serious embedded project.
    Shields are for rapid prototyping, then you just solder stuff on a smaller board or whatever. Also to save quite a bit of $$.

    At what price? The VoCore can't do all of those things for a similar price. So no, it's still not better, just different.
    Around the same (I'm including the daughterboard) https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/v...er-with-wifi#/

    I never said it can't.
    If you compare it to a Mustang to tow trailers, yes you say it cannot.

    I'm aware it's good for such things. But that doesn't change the fact that it targets different people than a Pi Zero.
    Yeah, Raspi zero is a devboard for experimentation and learning just like raspi, while actual IoT stuff and minirouters are more suited for actual headless embedded use.

    I don't understand how you can't just accept the Pi Zero is just different. It's not better or worse than those mini-routers, VoCore, or CHIP. They each have their own pros and cons that would appeal to specific people.
    I'm just saying that for the average headless embedded usage it's usually far better to get a different class of devices that don't have a GPU but give you something else more suited for the target use.

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  • schmidtbag
    replied
    Originally posted by willmore View Post
    Let me make a similar arguement. Name one board that the Rpi Zero W is better than.
    That argument is irrelevant. The sole purpose of my argument was to point out that nothing is better or worse than a Pi Zero; it is it's own niche that it fits very nicely (except for the terrible shipping costs). Obviously "better" is relative, because a Pi Zero (W or otherwise) will not fit just anybody's needs. There are definitely products better than a Pi Zero depending on what you want to do, including the products starshipeleven pointed out. Those are also all great products.

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  • willmore
    replied
    Originally posted by schmidtbag View Post
    That's ridiculous - by that argument, there are also *far* better choices than a Pi Zero for displays. For example, any of the Android-based TV sticks. That being said, name just 1 product that is better than a Pi Zero for headless systems. Remember, better has to mean you can't sacrifice things like price, GPIO, processing power, size, etc. Taking wifi, bluetooth, availability, and community support into account too and these are what gives the Zero an edge over the competition. So, a Beaglebone or an Arduino Gallileo are not better than a Pi Zero, because they're both much larger and a lot more expensive.
    Let me make a similar arguement. Name one board that the Rpi Zero W is better than.

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  • schmidtbag
    replied
    Originally posted by starshipeleven View Post
    No, I'm saying the same thing. Embedded is about cutting features you don't need to save money.
    That's your definition; just one. There's also ones like this:
    http://whatis.techtarget.com/definition/embedded-device
    You said headless embedded. These things offer 2-4 GPIO and i2c interface (depending on model), which is on average what you really need in an embedded project for a few buttons and leds and some sensors or something, I have yet to find use for 10+ GPIO like on a raspi.
    ​​​​​​​Your personal anecdotes, experiences, and preferences do not indicate what makes a product good or how a product should be used.
    Yeah, the fact that they expose some GPIO and i2c interfaces on the board and also advertise it in the product specs is completely unintentional. These are clearly networking-only devices, and I'm wrong when I use them for embedded projects and connect sensors and buttons to these interfaces.
    You can say the exact same thing with many other routers. There's a lot of things you can do with certain hardware, but that's besides the point. Those devices are called routers and not "hackable IoT/embedded devices" for a reason.
    Like? Apart from offering a ton of GPIOs that I'm unsure on how to use and a camera interface that can be dealt with by USB too, what does it really offer more?
    Isn't that enough? Remember, personal anecdotes mean nothing. We're not talking about your needs, but the targeted demographic of the hardware. If you think the Pi Zero has too many GPIO pins, you must find an Arduino Duo overwhelming (and yet even that isn't enough for some people).
    We're not talking about hundred-dollar hardware here, so small differences matter. But the Zero's dimensions could also be of interest, as well as Bluetooth, shields designed for other Pis (as far as I'm aware, those are pin-compatible), and as you like to point out, HDMI. That's a lot of differences for a cheaper device.
    Sorry, but we were talking of headless usage, so the main selling point of Raspi (the GPU) is not used. VoCore 2 has up to 2 true 100M ethernet ports, and can also have a pcie x1 port, plus SD and USB and some other stuff like GPIO and i2c and whatever.
    For headless usage it is plain better than raspi zero.
    At what price? The VoCore can't do all of those things for a similar price. So no, it's still not better, just different.
    Please note, the SoC on those routers is perfectly fine for IoT usage, and the same that is used on Carambola 2, which is a IoT devboard big as a stamp http://www.8devices.com/products/carambola-2
    I never said it can't. I'm aware it's good for such things. But that doesn't change the fact that it targets different people than a Pi Zero.

    I don't understand how you can't just accept the Pi Zero is just different. It's not better or worse than those mini-routers, VoCore, or CHIP. They each have their own pros and cons that would appeal to specific people.
    Last edited by schmidtbag; 02 March 2017, 05:58 PM.

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  • starshipeleven
    replied
    Originally posted by schmidtbag View Post
    And yet you're effectively making the same argument for yourself as shown here:
    No, I'm saying the same thing. Embedded is about cutting features you don't need to save money.

    That router isn't comparable to a Pi Zero.
    You said headless embedded. These things offer 2-4 GPIO and i2c interface (depending on model), which is on average what you really need in an embedded project for a few buttons and leds and some sensors or something, I have yet to find use for 10+ GPIO like on a raspi.

    It isn't intended to serve the same purposes.
    Yeah, the fact that they expose some GPIO and i2c interfaces on the board and also advertise it in the product specs is completely unintentional. These are clearly networking-only devices, and I'm wrong when I use them for embedded projects and connect sensors and buttons to these interfaces.

    GPU aside, the Zero can do things that those mini-routers can't and vise versa.
    Like? Apart from offering a ton of GPIOs that I'm unsure on how to use and a camera interface that can be dealt with by USB too, what does it really offer more?

    The VoCore is far more comparable to the Pi Zero, and something I would consider a direct competitor. I would not consider it a better product, just simply a different one. I would consider them both equally as good.
    Sorry, but we were talking of headless usage, so the main selling point of Raspi (the GPU) is not used. VoCore 2 has up to 2 true 100M ethernet ports, and can also have a pcie x1 port, plus SD and USB and some other stuff like GPIO and i2c and whatever.
    For headless usage it is plain better than raspi zero.

    That's kind of like buying a Mustang and using it's power to tow trailers - you can do it. It's not much more expensive than a truck with equal power, and assuming you don't rip the body apart the car should handle it just fine, but it's not a good reason to buy that car.
    Please note, the SoC on those routers is perfectly fine for IoT usage, and the same that is used on Carambola 2, which is a IoT devboard big as a stamp http://www.8devices.com/products/carambola-2

    And that's what the Zero is meant to be - it's kind of a general purpose mini PC that appeals to those who are seeking to do tiny embedded devices. There isn't a reason to buy a Zero over larger alternatives if you're not going to take advantage of its size.
    Meh, it's not like the minirouters are so much larger anyway (a few cm larger).

    If you're using it as a desktop PC or HTPC, you're not taking advantage of its size any better than you could a regular Pi.
    Nor if you connect it to true screens where its display controller is actually useful, as those can hide even a full raspi 3.
    Last edited by starshipeleven; 02 March 2017, 03:57 PM.

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  • schmidtbag
    replied
    Originally posted by starshipeleven View Post
    Yup, a commandeered (or even just running Android) Rockchip-based mediacenter has always been better than that.

    It is not ridicolous, it's just because you are making a comparison between a purpose-built device and a devboard whose job is having the most possible connectivity. The purpose-built device will always be better in its intended purpose.
    And yet you're effectively making the same argument for yourself as shown here:
    I already did a few posts above. In most projects you don't need 10 GPIO, AND wifi AND bluetooth AND a camera port AND a GPU AND a HDMI AND whatever-the fuck else, so depending on the project you can sacrifice some of that and get some (far) more useful ports for your use case instead. Because all the stuff in there that is pointless for your specific use case is wasted.
    That router isn't comparable to a Pi Zero. It isn't intended to serve the same purposes. Based on what you were saying before, you're concluding the primary reason to use a Pi Zero over those GLi products is the HDMI, and that just simply isn't the case. GPU aside, the Zero can do things that those mini-routers can't and vise versa.
    The VoCore is far more comparable to the Pi Zero, and something I would consider a direct competitor. I would not consider it a better product, just simply a different one. I would consider them both equally as good.
    For a basic envelope of 30-40$ (actual price of a Zero if you factor in a case, a PSU and shipping) I already said some devices that would fit the bill for most headless embedded projects (especially GL-inet minirouters).
    That's assuming you're trying to make a Zero into a mini router, which to me is a stupid idea. I don't know why someone would buy a Zero specifically to turn it into a router. If they did it as a side project because they didn't know what else to do with it, that's a different story. That's kind of like buying a Mustang and using it's power to tow trailers - you can do it. It's not much more expensive than a truck with equal power, and assuming you don't rip the body apart the car should handle it just fine, but it's not a good reason to buy that car.
    If you are just experimenting, then yes having the most flexible system is best as it's going to be reconfigured and reused for the next tinkering and test and whatever.
    And that's what the Zero is meant to be - it's kind of a general purpose mini PC that appeals to those who are seeking to do tiny embedded devices. There isn't a reason to buy a Zero over larger alternatives if you're not going to take advantage of its size. If you're using it as a desktop PC or HTPC, you're not taking advantage of its size any better than you could a regular Pi.
    Last edited by schmidtbag; 02 March 2017, 03:16 PM.

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  • starshipeleven
    replied
    Originally posted by schmidtbag View Post
    That's ridiculous - by that argument, there are also *far* better choices than a Pi Zero for displays. For example, any of the Android-based TV sticks.
    Yup, a commandeered (or even just running Android) Rockchip-based mediacenter has always been better than that.

    It is not ridicolous, it's just because you are making a comparison between a purpose-built device and a devboard whose job is having the most possible connectivity. The purpose-built device will always be better in its intended purpose.

    That being said, name just 1 product that is better than a Pi Zero for headless systems.
    I already did a few posts above. In most projects you don't need 10 GPIO, AND wifi AND bluetooth AND a camera port AND a GPU AND a HDMI AND whatever-the fuck else, so depending on the project you can sacrifice some of that and get some (far) more useful ports for your use case instead. Because all the stuff in there that is pointless for your specific use case is wasted.

    For a basic envelope of 30-40$ (actual price of a Zero if you factor in a case, a PSU and shipping) I already said some devices that would fit the bill for most headless embedded projects (especially GL-inet minirouters).

    If you are just experimenting, then yes having the most flexible system is best as it's going to be reconfigured and reused for the next tinkering and test and whatever.

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  • schmidtbag
    replied
    Originally posted by starshipeleven View Post
    I think I said already that Pi Zero is worth it only if you need its GPU, while for a headless system there are *far* better choices that may even just not have any GPU at all.
    That's ridiculous - by that argument, there are also *far* better choices than a Pi Zero for displays. For example, any of the Android-based TV sticks. That being said, name just 1 product that is better than a Pi Zero for headless systems. Remember, better has to mean you can't sacrifice things like price, GPIO, processing power, size, etc. Taking wifi, bluetooth, availability, and community support into account too and these are what gives the Zero an edge over the competition. So, a Beaglebone or an Arduino Gallileo are not better than a Pi Zero, because they're both much larger and a lot more expensive.

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  • willmore
    replied
    Originally posted by macemoneta View Post

    It's fine for running a desktop like LXDE or Xfce or LXQt. Most people use these SBC headless as small servers. If you want a Kodi box you'd be better off with a RPi3.
    You'd be better off with a board with a better set of video decoders--like an ODROID C1 or C2. The Pi's can't do H.265 decode.

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