Now, after playing with this computer over Christmas I think, that this is a wonderful system and it reminds me back to the eighties (:-)))), where we had computer we believed we knew all about – like old 8bit systems and 16 bit systems.
This system is still a small, but has much more power than those machines 25 years ago.
Perhaps this is the feeling, this machine also produces on all these new users and I think it might become something like the C64 or the Atari or Amiga.
Ok, today I played with Linux on that system and after that again with RISC OS.
After reading lots of posting about this little part I noticed, that similar (ARM) systems seems to be available – offering more for more money. But they have more RAM, more cores and deliver also 1080i output.
Other postings mentioned large problems with USB implementation of the PI and then there seems to be the Ubuntu community, which seems to support only the ARM-V7 path and not the PI (ARM-V6) processor path.
But all these alternative systems have a small problem: no large community.
Nothing really new – perhaps this is the bad thing – but it looks nice, as most Linux systems looks smart with todays GUI. And you have everything you might expect from a Linux system – but on a low end system and this can be noticed, when working with it.
But you get strong support for this Linux and a large community behind it – therefore the system will get improoved over the next months.
On the other hand I’ve read, that people are asking for a more powerful system – perhaps other persons noticed the same thing that I did notice.
I tested Scratch on that system – and boy, that’s a very slow program on a slow system, but it looks nice.
I am more or less amazed: I’ve been using Smalltalk on my Atari ST with a 16 MHz CPU and 4 MB of RAM and now we have 700 MHz and 512 MByte of RAM and the situations has not changed that much for Smalltalk.
Now the other system. When started it only consumes around 10% of the system memory and leaves 410 MByte to the applications.
RISC OS is actually well suited for this system – it has enough power and the system feels much, much snappier that the Linux system.
But the GUI is strange and one can see the ages of that system. And getting software is not so easy.
I downloaded Squeak 3.8 and tried to start that old version – the initial GUI comes up, but actually no input (mouse or keyboard) is possible. Therefore the system is not suitable.
A new system – with perhaps hardware problems (at least for power users) – with the potential of getting a large community.