back to article What the world needs now is Pi, sweet $5 Raspberry Pi Zero

Our American cousins may be getting stuck in to pumpkin pie today, but Raspberry Pi hopes they'll also appreciate its $5 (£4) Pi Zero computer, which the Blighty outfit launched today. In a video showing off the teeny-tiny 'puter, Raspberry Pi boss Eben Upton spoke about how the high cost of machines, such as the Commodore …

  1. Oh Homer
    Paris Hilton

    Overpriced

    Actually it's nearer to three quid.

    Or if you're using Mercan conversion logic, five quid.

    1. werdsmith Silver badge

      Re: Overpriced

      I think there were some available on online stores for £4 odd (remember VAT) but sold out quickly.

      There are some still there for £11 ish, these include a cables and connectors bundle.

      Got mine from WHSmith for £5.99, stuck to the front of a magazine.

      The article seems to be missing the fact that the new Pi Zero is free with The MagPi magazine issue 40, out today.

      1. James Hughes 1

        Re: Overpriced

        That does seem a rather obvious omission.

        Add that to the two USB mistake (It's actually one USB port one USB power input), makes me think that not only is the article late to market, but not particularly well researched. I guess launching the PI2 story earlier this year before embargo was lifted means El Reg are no longer on the Pi mailing list.

        1. James Micallef Silver badge

          Re: Overpriced

          Re "late to market"

          I suspect it's been released today to coincide with Thanksgiving and thus be able to make terrible puns about pi(e)

    2. Mark Wilson

      Re: Overpriced

      £4 includes VAT the $5 won't include sales tax which would be added at the checkout for US customers so the price in this case isn't so different. Anyway just ordered mine from Pihut for £4.

      1. joeldillon

        Re: Overpriced

        Other than the fact that US sales tax ranges from 0 to a bit under 10%, of course :/

    3. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

      Re: Overpriced

      Plus you have to add the cost of SD card, PSU, keyboard, mouse, USB hub, cables and cable adapters and most likely a WiFi module before you have anything really useful. So that's probably nearer £40 than £4, but still an impressive achievement for what it is. At least those doubters who said there never would be a sub-$10 full-blown Linux PC any time soon have been proven wrong.

      Given that cost savings seem to have come from trimming off things which the Pi B+ has, if needing to add them back to get where one wants to be, it may make sense to just buy a B+.

      It could be an Arduino killer if it wasn't for the half a minute boot-up time and the risk of corrupting the SD card if the power supply is pulled without a proper shutdown.

      1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

        Re: Overpriced

        Once you add the cost of WiFi or Ethernet it is not any different from B or B+ as cost. That is also likely to necessitate a USB hub as these will eat a significant chunk of the already measly Pi USB power budget.

        Let's face it - a compute with _NO_ network connectivity is rather useless in this day and age.

        1. Hans Neeson-Bumpsadese Silver badge

          Re: Overpriced

          "Let's face it - a compute with _NO_ network connectivity is rather useless in this day and age."

          No necessarily. Rather useless if you want to use it like a regular computer, but a little box of tricks like this is very well suited to a lot of niche standalone uses.

        2. DasWezel
          Pint

          Re: Overpriced

          This weekend, I shall be building a turntable controller for a model railway. Stepper motors and switches, and a need for a non-tech to pull the SD card and fiddle with the settings to suit his layout. (So Arduino is out for a super-fast development lash-up) - I'd say this is absolutely not useless. In fact I'd say it's just cut costs by £25 over a standard PiB2, and will do the job /perfectly/.

          I believe you may have inadvertently confused your opinion for fact. It happens, have a beer.

          1. Diogenes
            Pint

            Re: Overpriced

            @daswezel,

            Have an upvote, i was thinking of doing the same, and another ro connect to the DCC controller to set up an auto sequence for running at exhibitions

          2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
            Thumb Up

            Re: Overpriced

            "turntable controller for a model railway."

            Yes! This is exactly the type of project I was thinking of too. Kids building robots or whatever can have great fun, but at 30 quid each a standard Pi might be a bit expensive to permanently leave in place when they move onto the next project. The Pi Zero sounds like it's a drop in replacement once the dev work is done on a standard Pi for standalone robots or other controller applications.

        3. werdsmith Silver badge

          Re: Overpriced

          @Voland's right hand said:

          Once you add the cost of WiFi or Ethernet it is not any different from B or B+ as cost.

          Why? An ESP8266 board is £2, the rest of the stuff needed to get it going is parts bin. And once its up it can be run headless.

        4. Acme Fixer

          Re: Overpriced

          If so, then why is the Arduino so popular? Once the program er, the sketch is done, like the Arduino, it doesn't have to be connected to anything other than the device it controls, which might just be relays or optoisolators. Bingo! You have your multi colored Xmas tree LED light controller, or model railroad crossing, etc...

          1. Richard Scratcher
            Terminator

            Terrible pain...

            "Bingo! You have your multi colored Xmas tree LED light controller."

            Here I am, brain the size of a planet, and you want me to control your multi-coloured xmas tree lights. Call that job satisfaction? 'Cos I don't.

        5. Richard Plinston

          Re: Overpriced

          > a compute with _NO_ network connectivity is rather useless in this day and age.

          And yet many people find Arduinos to be useful.

          This is a 'maker' device. Build it into a robot, wear it on your coat, run your plant watering system, ... Development can be done on-board (with TV and keyboard) or by connecting using SSH. Or develop on Pi 2 and deploy to Zero.

          Think of it competing with the BBC thing or Arduino rather than a PC - it is only $5.

          As an IoT device it can use 1-wire or I2c. You could add Bluetooth or WiFi.

          1. Chemist

            Re: Overpriced

            "a compute with _NO_ network connectivity is rather useless in this day and age."

            Certainly I have several PIC 18Fs connected by RS232/USB converters to my file server and laptops and they are very useful - and accessible over networks by running a daemon to control/interrogate them.

            1. Known Hero

              Re: Overpriced

              Risking a few downvotes here but !!!

              Everyone stating that he doesnt need network connectivity and can just plug in a monitor.

              Yes that works

              Or just remote in.

              Huh !!!! there is a link missing in that chain that he is complaining about.....

              personally I would love this form factor with Ethernet, or preferably built in wireless, even for your quad copter fish tank light controller, having network connectivity would make a big difference !!! that being said, I agree no it is not always needed, although I believe it would get more use if it had network connectivity baked in.

              1. werdsmith Silver badge

                Re: Overpriced

                Or just remote in.

                Huh !!!! there is a link missing in that chain that he is complaining about.....

                There are hacks to go via USB cable to the IO pins.

                IF you don't want to splash out the £2 for the WiFi board.

              2. Richard Plinston

                Re: Overpriced

                > Or just remote in.

                > Huh !!!! there is a link missing in that chain that he is complaining about.....

                You can SSH in using the USB connection, or use a USB 'Terminal Cable' to GPIO pins.

                http://elinux.org/How_to_use_an_Android_tablet_as_a_Raspberry_Pi_console_terminal_and_internet_router

                https://learn.adafruit.com/adafruits-raspberry-pi-lesson-5-using-a-console-cable

        6. Pookietoo

          Re: _NO_ network connectivity

          This is a tiny board suited to embedded applications where networking is not necessarily a priority, and anyway it's trivial to add if you want it.

          1. Eddy Ito
            Pint

            Re: _NO_ network connectivity

            Precisely, it's a trivial add-on but an unneeded cost if you're only going to remove it anyway. One of the things I don't like about many boards is that they usually stack a pair of USB A ports with an Ethernet port so while the board may be small it needs a case that's inches high or the bother of desoldering the skyscrapers. It's one of the things I like about the Pi A+ boards. With the smaller form factor I will find the Pi Zero much more useful. Cheers to the Raspberry Pi folks, thank you.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Overpriced

        Which tech inclines person hasn't built up a collection of keyboards, mice, usb hubs and sd cards. The PSU is just a phone charger. Even if you haven't almost all of these things are available at PoundEmpire for ... £1, apart from the sd card perhaps. That includes the cables and WiFi adapters as well.

        The main omission is the GPIO but that could well have been on purpose for a size consideration as they are pennies to add (and very little to add yourself).

        1. Smooth Newt Silver badge

          Re: Overpriced

          Great that it is $4, but pity that it just makes the price of a working system about $200 instead of $240 - you are going to need an HDMI monitor and a broadband connection as well as all the other stuff. As for the idea that you can use the TV - well perhaps if you have a new enough one to have HDMI and no-one else in the family wants to watch it. The cheapest way to get a working system is probably a second hand laptop. This idea that a Pi is a cheap computer for poor kids is just spin.

          Most sales will be as toys to us techies who have a collection of old keyboards, mice, displays etc left over from our recently replaced high performance gaming machines.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Overpriced

            "HDMI compatible monitor"

            Or as we call it, the TV.

            And them there's remote desktop to the PI....

          2. Raithmir

            Re: Overpriced

            You're all missing the point that you need a house, to provide the power socket, to plug the power supply into, thus raising the cost significantly.

            That said, at least it's much cheaper for those of us in the North.

            1. Allonymous Coward
              Pint

              Re: Overpriced

              @Raithmir dammit, you owe me a new keyboard.

              That will be something like £40, apparently.

            2. Dave K Silver badge

              Re: Overpriced

              >> You're all missing the point that you need a house, to provide the power socket, to plug the power supply into, thus raising the cost significantly. <<

              And in order to program for it, you have to be alive, so there's all the running costs for your body (food, drink, clothing) to take into account. Add all that up and it gets even more pricey...

            3. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Overpriced

              >You're all missing the point that you need a house

              Bugger, I live in a cave.

              1. Pseudonymous Diehard

                Re: Overpriced

                Tony Stark built the first Iron Man suit...in a cave...with a box of scraps!!!

                He didnt have a Pi Zero. All he had was a cache of expensive high tech missile equipment.

                If he had $5 for a Pi Zero though perhaps the suit would have been way better.

          3. FatGerman

            Re: Overpriced

            >> As for the idea that you can use the TV - well perhaps if you have a new enough one to have HDMI and no-one else in the family wants to watch it.

            This is how I learned to code. On a BBC Model B connected to a TV. But then my family had better things to do than mong in front of the box. You know, things like breathing, having a life, watching paint dry. If you're going to have a TV in your house, make the bloody thing useful. Create, don't mindlessly consume.

            1. Smooth Newt Silver badge

              Re: Overpriced

              The problem for poor kids is that their parents are often poorly educated, so their family probably won't want to be doing much else than watch the box in the corner. If you aren't very literate, you aren't going to spend the evening reading Proust.

        2. Triggerfish

          Re: Overpriced

          "Which tech inclines person hasn't built up a collection of keyboards, mice, usb hubs and sd cards."

          This. I have just literally given someone sticks of matched DDR, and a couple of core 2 duo chips because I have so much junk just sitting in a box being useless.

        3. Stevie Silver badge

          Re: The PSU is just a phone charger

          Not if you actually want to use it for anything it isn't. Indeed, the premier reason for dodgy performance on all Pi models to date has been given as "insufficient power supplied" and the advice offered is "you can't just use a phone charger and expect it to work".

          I get my Pi power supplies from Sparkfun because they offer one that is guaranteed not to suffer from overvoltage if the unit is plugged in without the load attached and which can deliver the oomph required.

          I doubt this is an Arduino killer, unless the power consumption of it is significantly lower than the original 256 meg Pi model B.

          It is neat, though. I might buy one just because.

          1. Synonymous Howard

            Re: The PSU is just a phone charger

            "I doubt this is an Arduino killer, unless the power consumption of it is significantly lower than the original 256 meg Pi model B."

            Actually it is said to be lower that the original Model A and Model A+ at around 0.8 watt / 160mA.

      3. Dave 126 Silver badge

        Re: Overpriced

        >Plus you have to add the cost of SD card, PSU, keyboard, mouse, USB hub, cables and cable adapters and most likely a WiFi module before you have anything really useful. So that's probably nearer £40 than £4

        Informal Reg pole: How many of you here have these doodads already kicking around, taking up space in desk drawers and shoeboxes?

        For those who don't, Pi are offering a pack containing a mini-HDMI to HDMI adaptor, micro-B USB to USB A female cable (OTG) and a 2x20 0.1" male GPIO header for a total of £4.

        1. Annihilator Silver badge
          Windows

          Re: Overpriced

          "Informal Reg pole: How many of you here have these doodads already kicking around, taking up space in desk drawers and shoeboxes?"

          Loads, but can never find the right one when I need it. Mini-USB cable? Not today, all I can find are 5 micro-USB cables... Tomorrow I'll inevitably have the opposite problem.

          But I'm sure that one day I'll find a use for that 3-port IEEE1394 PCI card!

          1. Sir Alien

            Re: Overpriced

            What people fail to realize is yes you can add all the usual parts to it (wifi, keyboard, etc) but what if you simply want a really tiny A+ hooked to a quad-copter? You know, a tiny Pi for the makers.

            This is a good start since you don't have all the extra components of the B+ but rather a bare-bones A+ that you can add components to to make your own version for what you are making.

            As for Wifi, it has options. USB hub to Wifi or use an SDIO wifi module on the GPIO.

            - S.A

          2. Pookietoo
            Boffin

            Re: Not today

            I bought a few short mini- and micro-USB cables a while back, mini are black and micro are white so easy to find and not tangled in the pile of stuff that accumulates at the side of my desk.

        2. Lamont Cranston

          Re: Overpriced

          What I really want is a version that will connect with USB mini-B and a SCART cable - then I could justify that cable mountain I've been tending.

        3. Efros

          Re: Overpriced

          The three I have are used in a class I run.

          The Pi Zero is being sold at a bit more than the $ equivalent of 4 quid over here, the cheapest I've seen it is for $13 with a few leads. Well when I say sold everywhere is sold out.

        4. roytrubshaw
          Coat

          Re: Overpriced

          "Informal Reg pole"

          Is that, like, an over-familiar, Polish guy called Reg?

      4. 27escape

        Re: Overpriced

        But then, if you buy one of the other pi's (or beagle bone etc) then you have to buy them then too.

        You buy them when you buy your new desktop computer or monitor too, though often the price is hidden in the overall price of what you buy.

      5. Captain Queeg

        Re: Overpriced

        > It could be an Arduino killer if it wasn't for the half a minute

        > boot-up time and the risk of corrupting the SD card if the power

        > supply is pulled without a proper shutdown.

        I assumed SD corruption was in homage to ZX16K Ram Pack wobble!

      6. gerdesj Silver badge
        Linux

        Re: Overpriced

        "It could be an Arduino killer if it wasn't for the half a minute boot-up time and the risk of corrupting the SD card if the power supply is pulled without a proper shutdown."

        You can avoid the SD card corruption by putting volatile data into RAM discs and remounting the SD card read only.

        Send logs to a remote syslog daemon (try "Kiwi" if you are a Windows type) and mount /tmp /var/lib and the like into RAM discs. There are probably lots of rather more detailed howtos out there ...

      7. Charles Manning

        Re: Overpriced

        "It could be an Arduino killer if it wasn't for the half a minute boot-up time and the risk of corrupting the SD card if the power supply is pulled without a proper shutdown."

        Well that's largely due to the standard Pi software images which are whole desktops.

        A minimal system built with buildroot etc could boot in under 3 seconds and can be configured to avoid all the SD card corruption issues (eg. by using a read-only squashfs rootfs).

      8. Andus McCoatover
        Windows

        Re: Overpriced - NOT an Arduino killer.

        I buy Arduino mini-pro's in bags of 5 from China. £2 each.

        I use them if I ever get a sudden uncontrollable urge to blink an LED, or create a metronome.

        But, as a workhorse (needed a quick pulse generator to simulate varying high speed wind the other day), they're brilliant. Quicker to get that going than solder a 555 etc. onto a scrap of veroboard.

        I have the datasheet for the '328p chip. If I was (re)starting programming, it's reasonably clear, and reasonably teachable to assembly level.

        Not so the Broadcom chip in the new Pi-Zero. Low-level stuff is protected by IPR, GPU info is definitely hidden. Reading the available information* gave me a fit of the vapours.

        So, you learn Python, Scratch, C.

        New world.

        * http://infocenter.arm.com/help/topic/com.arm.doc.ddi0301h/DDI0301H_arm1176jzfs_r0p7_trm.pdf

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: graphics documentation

          "Reading the available information* gave me a fit of the vapours."

          Whenever I've looked at ARM's own documentation it's taken me back to an era I had feared had gone forever, when processors and the stuff around them were properly documented. Yes there's lots of it. Sometimes that's the point. Sometimes simplicity is good too.

          "GPU info is definitely hidden"

          Wondering if you saw this announcement last year (20140228), and/or what you feel is still missing? (Graphics isn't my thing)

          https://www.raspberrypi.org/blog/a-birthday-present-from-broadcom/

          "[...] Earlier today, Broadcom announced the release of full documentation for the VideoCore IV graphics core, and a complete source release of the graphics stack under a 3-clause BSD license. [...]"

          Or this follow-up a few weeks later:

          https://www.raspberrypi.org/blog/quake-iii-bounty-we-have-a-winner/

          "[...] At the end of February, Broadcom announced the release of full documentation for the VideoCore IV graphics core, and a complete source release of the graphics stack for the BCM21553 cellphone chip. To celebrate, we offered a $10k prize to the first person to port this codebase to the BCM2835 application processor that sits at the heart of the Raspberry Pi, and to get Quake 3 (which already runs on the Pi) running on the newly open ARM driver, rather on the closed-source VPU driver. Our hope was that the ported driver would be a helpful reference for anyone working on a Mesa/Gallium3D driver for VideoCore IV [...]"

          1. Andus McCoatover
            Windows

            Re: graphics documentation

            I stand corrected, Sir!

            Yes, I remember seeing that article now.

            My point was that I wouldn't use the Broadcom chip to teach a beginner to learn about microprocessor architecture.

            I had it easy, I suppose. My first experience of microcontrollers was when a (reasonably elderly) engineer* gave me the Intel 4004 manual. I DRANK it!!!

            Now, 40 years on, I use Atmel Xmega a-series, that manual is - well - hard. (Also several errors...Took me a week to get the A/D converter to give me a believable reading).

            But, again, I wouldn't give it to a novice.

            * He also gave me his HP35 RPN calculator. Still have it, in its leather 'wallet'. When I get the courage, I'll try to power it up. 40 years old???

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: graphics documentation

              "I stand corrected, Sir!"

              Please be seated.

              "I wouldn't use the Broadcom chip to teach a beginner to learn about microprocessor architecture."

              What sane person would? But as SoCs go, there's a lot of documentation about what you can do with the stuff in the Pi. Less about what's inside the Broadcom SoC, though probably still more than you'll see from the cheap and cheerful Rokchips and Allwinnners and such beloved of the "build one batch and move on to the next design" outfits out East.

      9. thalass

        Re: Overpriced

        You are correct, but the Pi is not really supposed to be an arduino killer. It's a computer, not a microcontroller. But a $5 computer than can coordinate a fleet (flock? herd?) of ~$10 microcontrollers is a damn good deal!

  2. Tom 7 Silver badge

    Where did the Micro:Bit from the BBC get to?

    Like this tho!

    1. Anonymous Custard Silver badge

      Re: Where did the Micro:Bit from the BBC get to?

      It's due to be giving to Year 7 students (including my eldest daughter hopefully) early next year.

      Not that I'm already pondering how we can make use of it or anything, or for that matter wondering if the Pi Zero is what the whole Micro:Bit project should actually have been...

      1. Antonymous Coward
        Thumb Up

        Re: Where did the Micro:Bit from the BBC get to?

        ..wondering if the Pi Zero is what the whole Micro:Bit project should actually have been...

        THIS^

        Consider this post an additional 100 upvotes!!!!!!!!!one

      2. werdsmith Silver badge

        Re: Where did the Micro:Bit from the BBC get to?

        MicroBit screwed up, problems with the power supply design. I'm not sure if they had to scrap a load, or scrap a load of unpopulated PCBs, but its design is being reworked.

        1. James Hughes 1

          Re: Where did the Micro:Bit from the BBC get to?

          Raspberry Pi were in talks with the BBC, but AIUI the BBC are not allowed (their charter) to simply purchase other people products and sell them on, which scuppered a Pi deal. I am probabl;y wrong in the details but in something along those lines.

          1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

            Re: Where did the Micro:Bit from the BBC get to?

            "Raspberry Pi were in talks with the BBC, but AIUI the BBC are not allowed (their charter) to simply purchase other people products and sell them on, which scuppered a Pi deal. I am probabl;y wrong in the details but in something along those lines."

            I may be mistaken, but isn't this what the BBC Computer was from Acorn? Companies submitted their products/designs and the BBC picked one.

  3. Hey Nonny Nonny Mouse

    Bye Bye BBC

    Well that's just scuppered the BBC's MicroBit project...

    1. Tom 7 Silver badge

      Re: Bye Bye BBC

      the Micro:Bit has bluetooth and accelerometers - it may make a good addon to this.

  4. Anonymous Custard Silver badge

    Pi vs Pie

    Says a lot about progress that you can now get a Raspberry Pi for about the same cost as a slice of Apple Pie in many restaurants....

    I bet the LOHAN boys are going to be drooling over it, although I'm a little surprised that it has HDMI rather than using the space for additional USB or similar stuff more useful to the kind of hobby crowd who'd be using the smaller versions like this (running headless, especially given you can get composite video from the 3.5mm jack if you need to see what you're doing directly).

    Also the lack of Ethernet would put a dent in using it as a media player, given the limitations of wifi speed for streaming and even local sourced HD material.

    But still sounds like a great new toy to play with and hobby-up. And I can't help thinking it's more what the BBC Micro:Bit should have been.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "you can get composite video from the 3.5mm jack"

      What 3.5mm jack?

      1. Anonymous Custard Silver badge

        Re: "you can get composite video from the 3.5mm jack"

        "What 3.5mm jack?"

        Ah yes, good point :) I'd read somewhere else that it had one, and took the part on the right hand side as it, but a closer look validates you're right...

        It's also going to be interesting that the USB port (the one that isn't the power supply) also seems to be a micro-USB. No issue for the headless hobbyists, but for people who want to hang hubs off it's going to be another cable/adaptor needed to go between USB and micro-USB (presumably an OTG cable or similar).

        1. Synonymous Howard

          Re: "you can get composite video from the 3.5mm jack"

          There are two unpopulated pins, next to the GPIO and Raspberry leaf, labelled TV and these are the composite video and ground output.

          I will get probably get some of these Pi0s to put in my maker shed as I'm sure they will compliment Arduino Micro, STM and ESP8266 boards for some embedded solutions I'm working on.

          Just waiting for my free one when this months MagPi turns up!

        2. This post has been deleted by its author

      2. Horridbloke

        Re: "you can get composite video from the 3.5mm jack"

        The one you buy yourself and solder onto the board (I think).

    2. James Hughes 1

      Re: Pi vs Pie

      Been lots of people complaining about the lack of ethernet. It almost as if they don't realise that to make something for $5 (or you can give away in a magazine), something has to give.

      To which the answer is buy a Model B. Has twice the RAM, ethernet, 4 USB ports, GPIO, CSI and DSI connectors. And costs more.

      Note the A+ doesn't have ethernet either.

    3. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: Pi vs Pie

      A lot of headless hobbyist* applications are well served by Arduino boards of one flavour or another, whereas this is aimed at cheap coding - hence the HDMI.

      I'm no expert, but trying to imagine the headless applications fpr the extra grunt the Pi provides over most Arduino boards.... object recognition for robots, maybe?

      https://www.cl.cam.ac.uk/projects/raspberrypi/tutorials/robot/face_detection/

      *headless hobbyist? His past-times included lion taming.

      1. John Hawkins

        Re: Pi vs Pie

        "*headless hobbyist? His past-times included lion taming."

        His name is Roland and he has a Thompson gun...

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Pi vs Pie

      USB ethernet dongle?

      Presumably many of these will spend their lives with a USB hub hanging out of the solo USB port...

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Best of all it don't run windows

    cheap IOT and sadly no MS compatability, ho ho ho merry Xmas Bill

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: Best of all it don't run windows

      I don't think MS takes up much of Bill's time these days. He's spending his days looking at how to put his money to work improving the lives of people for whom even a $5 might be a bit of stretch.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Best of all it don't run windows

        Altruist Bill is helping the poor?

        Really? what percentage of his total wealth is he giving up to them? and how much is a tax right off?>

        Over the last 35 years Bill made a lot of money in some very naughty ways that made a lot of other good and honest people poor. If he truely wanted to balance the books then he would be making a real effort, at the current payback it is going to take forever.

        Do not confuse politics and "charity" work with altruism, having an audience whilst putting a sticking plaster on a wound stretching from head to toe is not the same as not wounding them in the first place. Especially if you are getting other people to buy the plaster for you

        1. Dave 126 Silver badge

          Re: Best of all it don't run windows

          >Altruist Bill is helping the poor?

          That's a moot point AC, since the Mr Gates was only raised in this thread with regard to him being upset at Windows losing sales / market share.

          But since you asked, the Gate's intention is give 95% of their wealth to good causes, and they have already donated £28 billion. Further more, the spending of this money can be planned for maximum impact, because unlike charities that ask for donation every year, there is already cash in the bank that be quickly mobilised in the event of a natural disaster.

          >putting a sticking plaster on a wound stretching from head to toe is not the same as not wounding them in the first place.

          Wow. So by your reasoning, helping millions of people be free of disease and malnutrition is a 'sticking plaster', and the damage to a few thousand engineers in rival software houses (plus frustration to millions of PC users) is a 'wound from head to toe'. Look, go in peace, read up, and reconsider your perspective.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Best of all it don't run windows

            A poltical answer if ever I saw one, again what percentage of Bill Gates total wealth is he giving away to help the poor.

            The institute may give some money to people who are supposed to pass that wealth on to the poor but how much of that results in any reduction of Bill's wealth, further how much actually reaches these "poor" rather than say being used to buy US products or to help friends.

            "millions free from.....", before Bill was giving these people money how did they survive? Lots of countries that previously gave real percentages of their wealth to aid the poor are now unable to give as much if any. "Charity as a business" is rarely as clear cut as finding some poor people and giving them some money, more often if you actually look there is net benefit to the giver even if you ignore the "Bill is okay now, he is giving back some of what he took".

            I don't blame Bill for everything bad in the world just the impact he had on everyone and until he actually gives a real percentage of his wealth he will never be an a altruist just a self publist

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Headmaster

            Re: Best of all it don't run windows

            Dave, When you've finished singing the praises of Antitrust Bill's vanishing tiny refund from the GAZZZZEEEEEELIONS his vampire squid extorted from the planet, you should retroactively re-evaluate your apostrophe abuse protocols.

            1. Dave 126 Silver badge

              Re: Best of all it don't run windows

              You're correct, mea culpa, that should of course have been Gates' (possessive plural of Gates, i.e Bill and Melinda) not Gate's. I also made a couple of other typos, too. Ah well.

              I was finished, but then I was asked a question, and gave an answer.

              Anyway, my original point was merely that Bill Gates isn't going to lose sleep over the lack of Windows on the Pi Zero, as OP had suggested he might. I stand by that. Mine was clearly a comment about how he spends his time (objective), rather than his motives (subjective).

              In any case, what is altruism? If one considers the wellbeing of one's children and grandchildren as being 'selfish' (survival of one's genes and all that), then acting to reduce disease and increase education globally is also selfish. It's just not stupid selfish.

              1. Dave 126 Silver badge

                Re: Best of all it don't run windows

                >"Charity as a business" is rarely as clear cut as finding some poor people and giving them some money,

                You're right, I'm glad we agree. The Gates Foundation doesn't just dump money on existing charities - it has a very large lump of cash to begin with, so it can act more strategically. Take research into disease; often scientists don't know whether they will have funding one year to the next, so will be looking around for new jobs. If a research project has guaranteed funding for X years, as the Gates Foundation can provide, there is less turn-over of researchers.

                I'm not saying it is perfect, or that it doesn't deserve to be criticised where appropriate, but it seems in general to be a good thing.

                And yeah, MS products have caused me a silly amount of frustration over the years, through bugs and stupid decisions (and yeah, if I was a competitor to MS like Compu-Global-Hyper-Mega-Net* who was shafted, I'd feel naffed off) but I'm in good health and mostly happy.

                *http://simpsons.wikia.com/wiki/Compu-Global-Hyper-Mega-Net

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Headmaster

              Re: Best of all it don't run windows

              "Dave, When you've finished singing the praises of Antitrust Bill's vanishing tiny refund from the GAZZZZEEEEEELIONS his vampire squid extorted from the planet, you should retroactively re-evaluate your apostrophe abuse protocols."

              Try adding a comma after the word refund. It makes it so much easier to read, without the need for oxygen afterwards.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Headmaster

                Re: Best of all it don't run windows

                Fair enough Dave. If it's any consolation, I'd meant vanishingly - but at least mine was invisible :p

                Can also understand why Lost all faith... has lost all faith...

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: Best of all it don't run windows

                  The point of the orginal post was that the anathema of MS having anything at all to do with the RPi had not been carried over to the zero, not that I thought it would make Bill is loosing any sleep.

                  As to Bill Gates and specifically the Gates institute offsetting the negative impact of Bill/MS upon the world not just in IT terms but across the daily lives of everyone in the West, then I would say it is far too little and far too late.

                  As to altruism this is indeed intentionally working against the individuals base instincts like selfishness, envy, hated etc my point being that I have not seen anything to convince me that either Bill or his institute are working for anyone but their own benefit, yes some needy may accidentally benefit as money moves around but when Bill dies he wont be having a paupers funderal and I am sure his family wont be starving either.

                  1. Kristian Walsh

                    Re: Best of all it don't run windows

                    "I have not seen anything to convince me that either Bill or his institute are working for anyone but their own benefit,"

                    I hope you just don't understand how a Trust functions, because the alternative is that the idea that a man you have never met is evil has become such an integral part of your personal belief system that no evidence will change your mind about it.

                    I'm sure the scheme benefits him greatly on a personal-wellbeing level, but not on a financial one. If I had more money than I could possibly spend, I'd feel good about using it this way too. Maybe you'd prefer the Jobs method of dealing with lucky windfalls, which could be summed up as "You lost. I won. Fuck you".

                    When I was younger, I thought Jobs was the cool one, and Gates the nasty one. The more I learned about both men, the more I realised I had those judgements the wrong way round.

                    1. Anonymous Coward
                      Anonymous Coward

                      Re: Best of all it don't run windows

                      Gates/Jobs what is the difference both moneyman who's only trick is co-opting the law to compete/destroy competition , now Wosniak there is a man you can respect.

                      1. LaeMing
                        Facepalm

                        Re: Best of all it don't run windows

                        uh guys!

                        The RPi platform is a WindowsIOT target. Has been for months.

                        1. Anonymous Coward
                          Anonymous Coward

                          Re: Best of all it don't run windows

                          "The RPi platform is a WindowsIOT target. Has been for months."

                          The top end RPis, yes. Does that include this one? And does anybody outside the MS ecosystem care anyway, given that WindowsIoT is not closely related to the Windows that we currently see around us?

                        2. Richard Plinston

                          Re: Best of all it don't run windows

                          > The RPi platform is a WindowsIOT target. Has been for months.

                          Only the RPi2 with 1Gb RAM an quad core ARM7 900MHz.

                          Not the RPi A or B and not the Zero, which are dual core ARM6 and only 256Mb or 512Mb.

                          Windows 10 IoT is not like Windows 10 at all, in fact it requires a full Windows 10 PC to develop on.

                  2. Anonymous Coward
                    Anonymous Coward

                    Re: Best of all it don't run windows

                    > I have not seen anything to convince me that either Bill or his institute are working for anyone but their own benefit,

                    Bill Gates owns a lot of shares in the pharmaceutical industry. His supplying of medicines is not only a tax writeoff, but is also tied to getting the governments to not buy knockoff medicines. This improves his wealth by keeping the share prices high.

          3. I. Aproveofitspendingonspecificprojects

            Re: Best of all it don't run windows

            When Windows proposed to give away Windows in a settlement the charitable organisation was prevented. Since then Microsoft's charitable one-time owner has spotted a niche in the market that will eventually provide a monopoly that Westinghouse is going to sue his children over.

            He appears intent on foisting the next generation of Nuclear Furnaces on a country that would, under the right circumstances, vote for a chimpanzee or a Donald Trump.

            One day we will be telling our grandchildren about Vista while reflecting on Windows' Radiant Future.

  6. Nigel 11

    No network?

    I thought (wired) Ethernet was a part of the SOC, in which case it's there (?), but if so is it accessible to someone who knows how to wield a soldering iron? I can understand that the RJ45 socket and pulse transformer are significantly expensive at this level (plus bulky).

    1. g e

      Re: No network?

      There must be a USB-based RJ45 adaptor somewhere?

      1. Nigel 11

        Re: No network?

        There must be a USB-based RJ45 adaptor somewhere?

        Yes but it'll cost more than the Pi!

        I was imagining fifteen of the beasties wired up to a 16-port switch chip as the cheapest parallel computing learning platform one could imagine. You probably wouldn't need any of the RJ45 sockets, pulse transformers etc if everything was close enough.

    2. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

      Re: No network?

      The SoC only has a single USB connection. The Ethernet came courtesy of an added USB Hub/Ethernet combo chip, not included with this or the model A variants.

  7. The Eee 701 Paddock

    Let me at it...

    As an owner of one of the first-gen RasPis (China-built...), I've already got most of the cables and kit to get a Zero up and running, so I'm off to my local WHSmiths shortly, in the hope that every RasPi fan in town hasn't heard the news and emptied the place of copies of The MagPi...

    Granted, my OldPi has been gathering dust under the telly for months (never quite sure what to do with the thing), but at this price, I think the Zero's worth taking a punt on.

    (If anyone's interested: those great folk at Pimoroni have launched a Zero-scaled version of their PiBow case. Next on the shopping list...)

    1. g e

      Re: Let me at it...

      Good luck with that, haven't been able to find a MagPi round here, including a WH Smiths.

      BTW My Pi2 runs Kodi (Via OpenELEC Pi distro) and is powered from the AV amp's USB port so when I turn the amp on the media centre boots too :o)

      1. Dabooka Silver badge

        Re: Let me at it...

        "TW My Pi2 runs Kodi (Via OpenELEC Pi distro) and is powered from the AV amp's USB port so when I turn the amp on the media centre boots too :o)"

        Snap. Two independent HDMI zones, and I'm streaming to lounge or living room. Really bloody useful it must be said

    2. Tachikoma
      Unhappy

      Re: Let me at it...

      Me and the Mrs went hunting for the magazine around quite a few of the big Tesco stores, nothing but empty racks with "MagPi" labels...

  8. Anonymous Bullard

    A 1Ghz + 512MB computer now costs less than its power adapter.

    I just hope to find a use for it by the time its delivered.

  9. Tom 7 Silver badge

    It now costs more to plug your computer in than it does to own it.

    FFS!

    1. Nigel 11

      Re: It now costs more to plug your computer in than it does to own it.

      But you've got the PSU already. It's what you charge your mobile phone with. So it's free, unless you absolutely have to run your computer and charge your phone at the same time.

      Unless ... Admit it. It's an iPhone, isn't it?

      1. Tom 7 Silver badge

        Re: It now costs more to plug your computer in than it does to own it.

        The only apple product I own is 6.5%.

        My mobile didnt come with a uHDMI connector for plugging this into the telly - the uHDMI - HDMI leads seem to cost more than this does.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Happy

      Re: It now costs more to plug your computer in than it does to own it.

      Or in my case, simply power it off the USB port on the back of the telly it's plugged into.

  10. Bob Vistakin
  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Plus you have to add the cost of SD card, PSU, keyboard, mouse, USB hub, cables and cable adapters and most likely a WiFi module before you have anything really useful. So that's probably nearer £40 than £4, "

    Nonsense. Using Amazon UK prices

    HDMI cable £2

    USB splitter £1

    micro USB power supply for Pi £2

    mouse £1

    keyboard £3

    SD card £2

    wifi dongle £2.50

    = £14 extra, or £18 total new. Peanuts.

    1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      Missed the hub. You cannot have mouse, keyboard and wifi dongle on one USB Port. That is 14 more if you power the hub separately and nearly 20 if you want a hub which is capable of powering the Pi too without an external power supply.

      1. Steve Todd Silver badge

        @Vorlamd

        Not sure where you're doing your shopping, but Amazon lists a 4 port unpowered hub for £2 and a powered version for £6.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: @Vorlamd

          I was wondering where he plucked £14 from too. Picked up my last unpowered 4 port hub on ebay for 99p

          (That 99p included p&p from Shenzhen. No idea how they do it)

          1. Anonymous Custard Silver badge

            Re: @Vorlamd

            I got me from the pound shop. You can maybe guess the price...

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: @Vorlamd

              haha you woz done

    2. James Micallef Silver badge

      Many people, and especially most techie people, will have some spares lying around, at the very least mouse, keyboard, power supply (aka mobile phone charger), SD card, that's at least £8 off the bill

  12. hi_robb

    DOH

    4 quid?

    What idiot didn't think to price it at £3.14

    /gets coat

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: DOH

      if it's $5, then it's £3.30, so it woudl only need a small change ... but there's not a lot else they could have left off the board ... ?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Pint

      Re: DOH

      If it was £3.80 I'd buy one... but £4? No way. Do they think I'm made of money?

    3. DropBear

      Re: DOH

      Of course, once you actually try to buy one in Europe the "$5" is actually 17€ at Element14 - but since they explicitly refuse to deal with you as a non-business buyer (the pop-over warning comes up as soon as you click the zero) it's actually-actually 24€ at the first reseller you get redirected to who finally deigns to deal with you. You know what? F#$%%$^ this s$%#$%^....

      1. Salts

        Re: DOH

        @DropBear

        I hear your pain, works both ways though whenever I try to get stuff from mainland Europe it is expensive for postage etc.

        1. Danny 2 Silver badge

          Re: DOH

          It's too cheap. I'm running out of excuses for my inactivity. I'm going to have to buy some for the bairns so I can decry them for not using them.

      2. BobRocket

        Re: DOH - @DropBear

        I've had that with Element14/Farnell.

        Add something else (a £300 dev board) to your order first, add a Zero, get to checkout and remove the dev board, the order for the Zero should go straight through.

        Watch the postage though, I've bundled with other stuff in the past to make the postage free (again you have to fanny around but persistence pays off, it;s like they don't want my money)

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Seeing something like this for a relatively low price always makes me think there's a huge cartel around things like razor blades. They cost more than this yet are just some plastic to hold in a couple/few sharpened bits of metal. Surely that's cheaper to product than something that is based on micron level technology. It's a fix I tell thee!

    1. Tom 7 Silver badge

      @cartels

      The thing about the free market is when you have enough money you can do that!

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Actual, real razor blades, no... but there's no plastic in a real razor blade. The crap I think you're referring to (27 little supersonic slivers of ultra precision nano steel in a blob of plastic, which is carefully designed to clog before it reaches your chin) are indeed the work of Mr Beelzebub Lucifer Cartel Satan Esq. The mountings are moved about a bit with every redesign of the handle's grip pattern to keep the "design patents" fresh thereby and use US cartel protectionism "copyright" "law" to exclude compatible generics. It's exactly the same racket as the inkjet printer scam.

      /rant

      PS Thanks for the reminder. Christmas is coming... time to remind the wee wains not to waste their hard cadged shekels on any of that crappy humbug.

    3. gotes

      Gillette must have spent billions on R&D to come up with the idea of adding yet another blade to the cartridge.

      1. Frumious Bandersnatch Silver badge

        Actually, I think The Onion might have the inside track on that decision.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          @FB

          That's what Dave said^

    4. david bates

      Thats why the sensible money is on safety razors - blades cost pennies, last longer than cartridges and you can get the blade that suits you best...

      1. Dave 126 Silver badge

        The easy rule-of-thumb guide to whether a product is over priced is how much advertising they do. Gillette, and thus Gillette's customers, spend a shitload on TV advertising.

        Of course, it is spread out over the number of customers....so say you see roughly the same number of glossy adverts for Ford Focus cars and for Alpha Romeos, yet on the road you see ten times as many Fords, you can estimate that a much larger chunk of the Alpha's price tag has been spent on marketing.

        I use King of Shaves Azure blades (sadly discontinued and replaced by a much pricier version)- they work better than Gillette, yet are a 1/4 of the price, since they aren't advertised on television. I came to them because I had previously been impressed by King of Shaves shaving gel.

        I wouldn't be surprised if Lidl or whoever offered some inexpensive yet just-as-good-as-Gillette razors - I'll have to try some out.

        The onion knows it: http://www.theonion.com/blogpost/fuck-everything-were-doing-five-blades-11056

        Would someone tell me how this happened? We were the fucking vanguard of shaving in this country. The Gillette Mach3 was the razor to own. Then the other guy came out with a three-blade razor. Were we scared? Hell, no. Because we hit back with a little thing called the Mach3Turbo. That's three blades and an aloe strip. For moisture. But you know what happened next? Shut up, I'm telling you what happened—the bastards went to four blades. Now we're standing around with our cocks in our hands, selling three blades and a strip. Moisture or no, suddenly we're the chumps. Well, fuck it. We're going to five blades.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Still using my Gillette G2 two blader , which I think I got in 1970. No blades in this country, but ebay have them from Brazil...

        2. I. Aproveofitspendingonspecificprojects

          Linux 97

          I always wondered what happened to Windows 96.

          I believe that market saturation is the reason Cadbury puts foecal matter in chocolate. When you get to where nobody is buying you poison for children and it builds up in layer called shelves turning white and peppery you just add a little shit and drop the sell-by-date.

          Problem solved.

          Don't believe me?

          Write to their Manchester factory and ask them:

          https://www.cadburyworld.co.uk/

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: cadbury crap

            Oh dear.

            The Cadbury factory where the drains were maintained such that chocolate ended up contaminated with salmonella was in Marlbrook, Hereford. Not Manchester [1].

            CadburyWorld is in Bournville village in Birmingham (B30 1JR). Not Manchester. As will be found on the "directions" page on the link you kindly provided.

            2/10. Stay behind after class.

            [1] http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/6900467.stm

            http://www.theguardian.com/uk/2006/jul/05/foodanddrink

            "several tankers of crumb from Herefordshire tested positive for Salmonella Montevideo in a three-week period this year. However, Cadbury's just-in-time system of production meant tankers were dispatched and their contents mixed at other factories before test results were seen. Andrew Tector, Herefordshire's head of environmental health, said: "We are looking at why their testing [procedures] were such that results come too late. A tanker leaves every hour. Tests for faecal coliforms and salmonella come back after 27-29 hours. [It] renders the test meaningless."

      2. gotes

        Re: Safety razor

        Much better shave, too. Though a lot easier to cut yourself with.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Meh

      It's not a fix.

      As with ALL goods sold, it's what people are willing to pay.

      A house it not worth £5,000,000, just for few bricks in an overcrowded, polluted place like London, but if people are willing to pay it, the that's how much it's costs.

      If you don't like paying £10 for a razor blade, then don't. If everyone doesn't pay it, they have two choices, don't sell it, or reduce the price.

      I'm afraid this is true for absolutely everything in life, but sometimes it's a life and death choice, so we are often "forced" to pay the going rate.

    6. Pompous Git Silver badge

      razor blades... cost more than this yet are just some plastic to hold in a couple/few sharpened bits of metal.

      So grow a beard and put the savings toward something useful.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Grow a beard? Please, I'm not a moslem.

  14. wolfetone Silver badge

    Would have liked 1GB RAM, but for £4 who the hell cares!

    Want this. Badly!!!!!

    1. The Eee 701 Paddock

      "Would have liked 1GB RAM, but for £4 who the hell cares!"

      I just realised: the Zero has double the RAM (512KB) that's in my first-gen RasPi (256MB), so with that and a faster CPU, the former should leave the latter eating dust (literally, in our lounge).

      I always found the low RAM a problem on OldPi, when running X11 - I assembled a low-fat Arch Linux ARM on there, yet even running a "lean" window manager (Fluxbox), the machine seemed to struggle to keep up. By the looks of things, the Zero should laugh at a similar setup; hopefully I won't have to wait long to find out...

      1. wolfetone Silver badge

        Yeah it does, which makes this even more of an incredible feat really! However, if they stuck a 1GB RAM chip on there how much would it have put on the cost of the device? I feel it wouldn't have been that much of a significance.

        I'm hopefully going to track down one of these magazines on lunch and play with it. When you say struggles, how so? Just slow to load the relevant window?

        1. Salts

          @Wolfetone

          I believe it's the older RPi chip which can only support 512mb memory, part of keeping the cost down. Anyway if we look at what can be done with an older RPi which had this limitation plus slower clock speed this should see some cool projects.

          Good luck with getting the magpi, I am hearing they are like rocking horse shit, Tesco may be the best bet.

          1. david bates

            I got the LAST ONE at my local Sainsburys...

            1. Tom 7 Silver badge

              Re got the LAST ONE at my local Sainsburys...

              you'll be lucky to make it to the car alive!

          2. wolfetone Silver badge

            @Salts That does make sense actually, I didn't think they'd have used the older RPi chip in the Zero so I thought they just skimped on the RAM because of cost. I don't know why I thought that.

            The one good thing though when looking for an application for this is the electricity cost of running a Pi. On a worst case scenario where it draws 5W of power and you pay £0.20 per hour, it'll cost about £9 per year to run. Although it will probably only ever draw 3.5W of power, so the price would still be cheaper. So this to me means I can set on up as a development server and a media server (obviously using two Pi's) and have it on all the time.

            Also, I got a MagPi magazine from my local big Tesco. They had at least 10 copies in there, I think the best bet is to head to the big superstores outside of the city

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Teardown awaited with interest

    Hello iFixit or whoever, please can we have a teardown (cost breakdown) for this.

    I just don't see how it can be done for the price, but I'm very happy it has been done :)

    1. Bob H

      Re: Teardown awaited with interest

      My estimates:

      RAM $1.75

      PCB $1.00

      uUSB $0.40 x 2

      uSD $0.60

      uHDMI $1.50

      Excluding discrete components and the Broadcom IC I count it as $5.65. Now I appreciate that they might pay less for connectors and PCBs, mine are estimates based on only many thousands of volume, not millions. Still, there is no margin as far as I can see and I can't see how Broadcom make any money. Perhaps the Zero is subsidised?

      1. James Hughes 1

        Re: Teardown awaited with interest

        The ones on the MagPi are clearly subsidised - they are 'free', but the for sale ones do not make a loss as far as I know. Not a huge amount of money to be made of course, but its a charity for education, not a money making escapade, and this is a great way of getting them into the hands of students.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Teardown awaited with interest

        It's not a latching uSD so it's likely nearer $0.15 (though it does appear to have CD contacts - not used here though). And it's a mini HDMI, not a uHDMI which ISTR has fewer conductors so again possibly a bit cheaper.

        Annoyingly analogue audio appears to have been dropped. On the reverse side are a subset of the RPi2's test pads, which appear to be identically numbered. However, PP25 and PP26 (AUDIO_L and R) are conspicuously absent. This means I must wait for a mini HDMI cable to arrive, about the only AV cable I don't happen to have kicking about. Why Eben? WHY?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Teardown awaited with interest

          "analogue audio appears to have been dropped."

          Based on stories I've heard from people doing mixed analogue/digital circuitry, it's quite hard to get the design right, and even harder to get the implementation right, if you want it to sound decent. So given that the audio must be in the digital domain somewhere, take it offboard as digital before going analogue.

          May not be what you want to hear, but can you do beeps etc with GPIO? If you need a little bit more without going HDMI or whatever, use something offboard, eg USB DAC?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Teardown awaited with interest

            Good points, but I fear penny pinching is the culprit for two reasons: analogue out on any of the other RPis was hardly HiFi (esp the original Bs), but just about adequate for playing bleeps and mp3s through. Secondly, it relies on a handful of external components for decoupling, etc. Probably not even a penny's worth, but I wish they had at least put the pads down to give you the option of populating should you so wish.

            I2S is available on the gpio header, so that is another option. USB is the simplest though. It's just yet another peripheral that is required to make this computer complete though.

            Not saying that I am anything but super excited about it.

  16. kmac499

    Got Mine

    Special trip to Tesco's this am and I've got mine courtesy of MagPi.. Now for the terrible decision should I leave it in the package as a future classic, or rip it open and start playing.

    Huge Kudos to the RPi team..

  17. Valerion

    When I were a lad

    I used to look forward to when Zzap 64 had a free game demo on a cassette on the magazine.

    As a young teenager I looked forward to the floppy disk on Computer Shopper, and as an older teenager, the CD-ROM on the cover of PCW.

    Today you can get a magazine with an entire computer included.

    <shakes head incredulously>

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: When I were a lad

      >I looked forward to the floppy disk on Computer Shopper

      -Oh we used to dream of a floppy disk! We had to to type in our games from the back of a magazine!

      -Back of a magazine? Luxury! We had to punch our games into cards, and load them into the steam computer ten hours before we wanted to play, and then it would only run for two minutes before it crashed and burnt our house down.

      -Aye, but if you try telling young people that today, they won't believe you.

      1. Mutton Jeff

        Re: When I were a lad

        Pah! Luxury, when I were lad, we 'ad stone tablets and 'ad ta chisel them by 'and and they only t'pooter ran at 1 megalith.

        1. wolfetone Silver badge

          Re: When I were a lad

          What I wouldn't give for ta chisel and t'stone tablets when I were a lad. In my day we 'ad to make do with cave paintings. And dont even think we could read t'english, we only knew stickmen!

  18. GlenP Silver badge

    I want...

    I think a trip to WHS is in order this evening just to see if there are any comics left with this on.

    I've got at least one possible use where a single USB port plus the RPIO will be sufficient, and no network required (it's a very simple model railway in the early planning stages, the one I'm currently building uses a Pi 2).

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I wish they would make one with onboard wifi

    It would make this the device perfect to easily setup some home automation, monitoring etc

    If i need to plug in a wifi dongle then it ruins the small form factor and takes up the usb port. In fact I don't even want the graphics driver. I would just like a small, all-in-one device that runs linux and I can connect into over wifi. Oh and if it runs on 240v (inbuilt transformer) even better. That way I can start peppering the house with all sorts of clever tricks and the only thing I need is a power line

    In fact why don't they make something like that? Am I the only person who thinks a low cost device which can be powered straight off 240v - that maybe includes a couple of relays on the GPIO pins that will carry 5A, runs linux and connects via wifi.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I wish they would make one with onboard wifi

      I really, really, really wish they'd make a Pi with a miniPCI or miniPCIe socket. So it wouldn't have too much impact on the price *and* you could stick whatever you liked in it... a nice little MIMO WiFi card for example to make something that'd piss all over *crap* like this... *and* for a tiny fraction of the price.

    2. CaveatVenditor
      Stop

      Re: I wish they would make one with onboard wifi

      "Am I the only person who thinks a low cost device which can be powered straight off 240v - that maybe includes a couple of relays on the GPIO pins that will carry 5A, runs linux and connects via wifi."

      Lots of lads and lasses on here are coming over all unnecessary.

      Give it a few days and we'll be back to normal. The PiZero will be in the drawer under the telly and we'll hope our spouse doesn't ask about it again.

  20. Anonymous Custard Silver badge

    Interchangable micro-USB ports?

    Can someone who already has one confirm is one of the micro-USB ports dedicated to power only, or are they interchangeable?

    I know the "larger" Pi's (seems funny to write that, given the size of a 2B) can be powered via the GPIO pins with a bit of care and adaption, so I'm just wondering if something similar could be done here to double the available USB ports for peripherals (with the addition of a couple of adaptor cables if needed to bring them up to full size).

    I know you can just add a hub, but just wondering about possibilities...

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: Interchangable micro-USB ports?

      I don't know, but the nice big picture (link below) shows the PCB marked 'PWR IN' next to one microUSB port, and 'USB' next to the other. My guess is that PWR IN is only for power, but I'm not certain.

      - http://www.wired.co.uk/news/archive/2015-11/26/raspberry-pi-zero-launch

      1. Anonymous Custard Silver badge

        Re: Interchangable micro-USB ports?

        I just got a reply from a guy a RPi Foundation. Only one of the two has data lines, the other doesn't and is dedicated power only (but of course the former one can have a normal hub plugged into it via a USB OTG cable).

        And the HDMI is actually a mini-HDMI, so again adaptor or suitable cable required. But there's an adaptor kit available from the PiStore which covers both, and is £4 and equally as out of stock as the Pi Zero itself.

  21. Alistair
    Windows

    /has sads

    All you right pondians mentioning my favourite Christmas shopping store. Sadly over this side the book industrie put on hipster pants about 25 years ago and so bookstores are now 'boutique' shopping experiences. No more WHS.

    There are one or two independents left in my neck of the woods, sadly they've been forced into the 'recycled' book business to survive. I doubt I'll find a MagPi in Chaaaaaahptahs.

    <typo is intentional, hipster hype caaahfeeey sluts>

  22. Haku
    Unhappy

    "You can buy The MagPi in all good newsagents, as well as these high street stores:

    WHSmith

    Tesco

    Sainsbury’s"

    My town doesn't have good newsagents, spent lunchtime searching everywhere including those stores. It appears most people care more about what celeb has got fat or pregnant or what new app you can add to your phone than learning about computing.

    WHSmith said they don't stock it :( But weirdly they did have a big thick Amiga collectors magazine...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Coffee/keyboard

      "WHSmith said they don't stock it :( But weirdly they did have a big thick Amiga collectors magazine..."

  23. Tom 7 Silver badge

    Whatever next?

    I'm hoping the -1 will have 8*64 bit cores and 4G ram and run on fart gas.

    Two years ago that would have sounded really silly...

    1. Sir Alien

      Re: Whatever next?

      Seriously? That is like so last month. Who uses 64 bit processors now. Have we not all moved to 128 bit already. It should have at least 32x128bit cores with 64 Terabytes of RAM.

      - S.A

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Whatever next?

        I'll buy one of those... but only if it runs for at least 20yrs on a button cell and costs less than £3

        When are they due?

        Oh, and I need 12 terabit ethernet ports on it too. Natch.

  24. HippyChippy

    Reg' Pole?

    @dave126

    "Informal Reg pole: How many of you here have these doodads already kicking around, taking up space in desk drawers and shoeboxes"?

    Sorry couldn't let this one pass - it's POLL damit.

    An unfortunate man-servant living in a desk drawer - similar to a truckle-bed perhaps?

    A short May Pole for country dancing sessions by stressed El Reg' staffers?

    A pole produced on Friday afternoons when tired & emotional Reg' hacks don their fish-nets and high heels and practice (note spelling :) their duck-face?

  25. Eddy Ito
    Unhappy

    Well it looks like I'll be waiting quite some time until these are reasonably priced as adafruit is helpfully bundling these with everything I already have to make it work.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Free with MagPi issue 40 (reprint on the way) or with £13 subscription?

      The twittersphere seems to think that there will be a reprint of MagPi issue 40 complete with PiZero on the front. And/or that a three month subscription (£13) gets you issue 40 with PiZero **and cable kit**.

      If you're in the USA, your consignment of MagPi 40 with PiZero is on the way by sea, so will be with you in a week or two. Form an orderly queue (er, line).

      The MagPi subscription website has some more info.

      https://www.raspberrypi.org/magpi/subscribe/

      If James or colleagues are still reading: might be nice to explain (on the website) why the 3month subscription options on the web page (for UK and Europe) are currently grayed out. The alternative 01202 number might be a bit busy on Monday.

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