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flat assembler > Non-x86 architectures > Raspberry Pi

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revolution
When all else fails, read the source


Joined: 24 Aug 2004
Posts: 11996
Location: Minos Korva
Raspberry Pi

http://www.physorg.com/news/2012-03-distributors-reel-mad-wednesday-pi.html wrote:
The Raspberry Pi computer sold out in hours on Wednesday, after sites distributing the product witnessed unprecedented traffic.

That is a good result. Did anyone on this forum buy one?
Post 01 Mar 2012, 11:45
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Coty



Joined: 17 May 2010
Posts: 491
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Sadly I did not, I'm waiting to start my new job before I spend my money on any non-necessities (even quite smoking... mostly).

I can't wait to crack them open though, I'd like to port my OS to them, (both A and B units). They are such neat little boards! Would be awesome to put them in an Atari 800xl / 600xl case!

So, What do you guys want, unit A or B? Probably B right? ($10 more for Ethernet and an extra USB port so that you could use a keyboard AND a mouse? Very Happy)

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Post 01 Mar 2012, 15:17
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malpolud



Joined: 18 Jul 2011
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Cool price, but AFAIR ARM11?

I was considering buying the Beagle Board, but I think for now playing with an emulator is fine for me.
Post 01 Mar 2012, 17:10
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Dex4u



Joined: 08 Feb 2005
Posts: 1595
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I went right though all the stages to buy one, but did not buy it.
I think this is a very bad project Shocked .

Its like, am i the only one that can see 'the emperor has no clothes'.
The aim of the project are good, but the method is so wrong.
What the PI gives you, is no different than any bootable linux cd gives you.

But that not has bad as being closed hardware and using a chip made by broadcom.
This will not teach kids nothing, the Arduino is a 1000 time better.

They had one chance to get it right and they blow it, its just like the one laptop per child.
I know someone who works for broadcom and know alot about this project, he told me in as many words, YOU WILL NOT BE ABLE TO PUT ANY OTHER OS ON IT

They do not seem to understand how to make kids want to code, there idea is that kids these days will not want to code on something that does not give very high res, 3d sh*t.
That's rubbish, yes some kids are like that, but they will never code anyway.
What you need is to restrict the hardware and then say to kids push it to its limit.
That why the 512b compo worked, because we did not say code anything, anysize.
We said see what you can code in 512bytes.

I am not saying you go back to 20 years, but something like "darkbasic" with inline assembly, that bootable would have been fine, along with open hardware.


At the end of the day it a cheap linux board.
Post 01 Mar 2012, 20:53
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malpolud



Joined: 18 Jul 2011
Posts: 344
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Dex4u wrote:

I know someone who works for broadcom and know alot about this project, he told me in as many words, YOU WILL NOT BE ABLE TO PUT ANY OTHER OS ON IT



Are you sure? How did they achieve it?
Post 02 Mar 2012, 09:49
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Coty



Joined: 17 May 2010
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^ Yeah, everything I've read about it states otherwise. It seems to me it boots from SD card slot only(?), and the Fedora OS that is supposed to run on it is on an SD...

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Post 02 Mar 2012, 14:25
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Dex4u



Joined: 08 Feb 2005
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Here are some problems:
First binary blob to get to the GPU, you will need to get any useful info from linux and reverse engineer it .
Debugging, normal you would have simple com port (does not have any), they may be just hidden ?.
Input, you will need to code usb drivers.

Its just not very good for OS Dev, just wait 3-4 months and you will see similar boards that will be as cheap and more open, then buy one.

If you think your os dev life will be good, with a Broadcom GPU, go ahead.

NOTE: When i said other OS's, i meant OS's make by the little people, not m$ etc.

Here a example of how hard it would be for a none Broadcom employee.

Quote:

Raspberry Pi port on the cards

Veteran developer Adrian Lees has expressed an interest in porting RISC OS to the low-cost Raspberry Pi computer. Previously the possibility of a port was put into doubt by the question of whether anyone would have access to the required hardware documentation, but since Adrian works at Broadcom alongside Raspberry Pi Foundation members it sounds like lack of documentation will be the least of his issues.



http://www.iconbar.com/articles/Newsround/index1271.html
Post 02 Mar 2012, 23:38
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shoorick



Joined: 25 Feb 2005
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let's wait until PI become $3.14 Cool
Post 03 Mar 2012, 05:48
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malpolud



Joined: 18 Jul 2011
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Well how should device developers use Broadcoms chips if the manufacturer keeps the documentation secret???
Post 03 Mar 2012, 11:08
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Dex4u



Joined: 08 Feb 2005
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malpolud wrote:
Well how should device developers use Broadcoms chips if the manufacturer keeps the documentation secret???


They have something called a "binary blob" that sits in between the os and the GPU.
You maybe able to interface with that, but i would not be surprised they have some form of obstacle, as anti reverse engineering.
Post 03 Mar 2012, 20:38
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malpolud



Joined: 18 Jul 2011
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First of all: you don't need the GPU to communicate with OS. So if problems related with GPU documentation are true,for me this isn't a disadvantage.

Secondly: Normally "binary blob" refers to some closed source drivers - If the vendor provides such closed source drivers for the GPU communication than nothing is wrong and actually this doesn't affect any attempts to run software on this dev board.

I don't want to start a new topic, but since we are talking about dev boards I have a question: Some of you use dev boards at work, have you used Embest DevKit 8000? Would you suggest buying the original BB or just save a few cents and go for DK8000?
Post 04 Mar 2012, 08:25
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tom tobias



Joined: 09 Sep 2003
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malpolud wrote:
I don't want to start a new topic, but since we are talking about dev boards I have a question:



Maybe, a related question...maybe also off topic?

Are there any other products out there, using ARM, which include conventional, properly documented components, so that one can make, or adapt, any operating system?

Smile
Post 05 Mar 2012, 14:30
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malpolud



Joined: 18 Jul 2011
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There are many. Basically you want to choose a dev board supplied with a processor with MMU - mostly Cortex-A. I was planning on buying the BeagleBoard but I found it's copy - DevKit8000 and just bought used one.

For some testing purposes check out Qemu - a processor emulator - it can emulate complete dev kits like the BB. Right now I'm struggling to get it all work together.
Post 05 Mar 2012, 16:28
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Alphonso



Joined: 16 Jan 2007
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Maybe we will see a MachOS installed and the system called "Apple Pi".

Hate to think of the following 'registered trademark' claims and slogans such as "as American as Apple Pi". Laughing
Post 05 Mar 2012, 17:20
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Dex4u



Joined: 08 Feb 2005
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tom tobias wrote:

malpolud wrote:
I don't want to start a new topic, but since we are talking about dev boards I have a question:



Maybe, a related question...maybe also off topic?

Are there any other products out there, using ARM, which include conventional, properly documented components, so that one can make, or adapt, any operating system?

Smile



Yes there are many, i myself have semi ported DexOS to this device
http://www.friendlyarm.net/products/mini2440

Theres a cool OS that make dev very simple
http://code.google.com/p/startos/
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DTvWTj6NwBg

With that board you even get NoOS examples with the board.

I am only trying to help, as i have been there and done it, its hard enough with out having no info.


Last edited by Dex4u on 08 Mar 2012, 18:46; edited 1 time in total
Post 05 Mar 2012, 20:35
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malpolud



Joined: 18 Jul 2011
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I just received my package with DK8000. It appears to be barely used, still got the preinstalled Linux, I wish I could stretch a day to 40 hours - I could start having fun with it today.
Post 06 Mar 2012, 16:54
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tom tobias



Joined: 09 Sep 2003
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Thank you both, very interesting, and useful!!!
Post 08 Mar 2012, 12:21
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pabloreda



Joined: 24 Jan 2007
Posts: 64
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more about Raspberry PI in comp.lang.forth

https://groups.google.com/group/comp.lang.forth/browse_thread/thread/a2c6de180e843480

same discusion about huge proprietory blob
Post 09 Mar 2012, 12:01
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revolution
When all else fails, read the source


Joined: 24 Aug 2004
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Unfortunately this is a common thing with GPUs. The manufacturers seem to have got together and agreed to keep all the details secret from the public. Then the public have to rely upon the manufacturers to provide the binary code to make use the GPU. This affects all systems that use GPUs, and is not just related to the ARM embedded GPUs.

So generally only if you use Linux or Windows then you can use the GPU since many of the binary blobs are designed for those environments. But if you want to have your own OS then you are mostly shut out from using the GPU unless you are prepared to set up a operating environment similar to Linux or Windows. Either that or you have mega-thousands of hours available to spend reversing the binary blob to figure out what is happening.

The current situation with secretive GPU information is not good but the public seem happy to accept it. Or maybe the public just don't care as long as the latest game will run without crashing?
Post 09 Mar 2012, 20:53
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Dex4u



Joined: 08 Feb 2005
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revolution wrote:
Unfortunately this is a common thing with GPUs. The manufacturers seem to have got together and agreed to keep all the details secret from the public. Then the public have to rely upon the manufacturers to provide the binary code to make use the GPU. This affects all systems that use GPUs, and is not just related to the ARM embedded GPUs.

So generally only if you use Linux or Windows then you can use the GPU since many of the binary blobs are designed for those environments. But if you want to have your own OS then you are mostly shut out from using the GPU unless you are prepared to set up a operating environment similar to Linux or Windows. Either that or you have mega-thousands of hours available to spend reversing the binary blob to figure out what is happening.

The current situation with secretive GPU information is not good but the public seem happy to accept it. Or maybe the public just don't care as long as the latest game will run without crashing?


I agree with you revolution on all your points, but it seem even worst that normal in this case, as GPU seem implemented in the boot process and even things like USB and Ethernet use GPU for timing.
Post 09 Mar 2012, 22:05
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