Raspberry Pi links Wed, Feb 29. 2012
The Raspberry Pi hardware went on sale last night, and as with every other event related to the Pi, pandemonium ensued!
The educational, tech, and mainstream media is starting to take note. Here are some links to local coverage of the Pi and our work on the software for it:
- Radio Canada International - Masala Canada
- CBC News - Lang and O'Leary Exchange (segment starts at 47:05)
Update 2012-03-10 - additional links:
To clarify Seneca's involvement, because it may not be clear from the press coverage:
- The Raspberry Pi Foundation created the Raspberry Pi hardware, and has licensed its production to a pair of UK-based production and distribution companies, Farnell (which has wordwide subsidiaries including Newark here in Canada) and RS Components (Allied Electronics in Canada).
- The Centre for Development of Open Technology (CDOT) within Seneca College works with the Fedora ARM group within the Fedora Project to produce a build of Fedora for ARM devices. One of our roles is the creation and operation of the build system, a cluster of more than 60 ARM-based computers used to build the ARM software.
- My research group at CDOT and my Software Build and Release (SBR600) classes at Seneca worked together to produce the Raspberry Pi Fedora Remix, which takes the Fedora ARM software and adds a small number of additional software packages needed for use on the Pi. We tested the remix on an alpha (pre-production) board provided by the Foundation.
Information about the Remix may be found on the Seneca CDOT wiki.
Raspberry Pi Fedora Remix 14 - Release Event this Wednesday! Mon, Feb 20. 2012
The computer education, hardware hacking/maker, and open source worlds are all eagerly anticipating the release of the $35 Raspberry Pi computer before the end of the month. In preparation for the hardware release, tthe Raspberry Pi Fedora Remix 14 distribution is being released this Wednesday, February 22.
Full details of the event are on the CDOT wiki. Everyone's invited, and I hope to see you there!
Update: Fixed link above.
Seriously, CBC? Sat, Jan 28. 2012
Going to the CBC this morning, I found this:
I have three problems with this:
- The CBC is our public broadcaster, funded in large part by tax money. It should support wide access.
- I'm not running IE, I'm running Firefox. The ad is lying to me. If they're able to detect I'm not running the latest version of IE, they should also detect that I'm not running IE at all. My browser is not old, either -- I'm running the latest release of Firefox, which contains several features not yet supported by IE.
- IE does not run on my platform (Linux). The ad is a waste of time for me and a waste of money for the advertiser. The pages to which the ad links are all specific to Windows, with no consideration for those running Mac OS/X, Linux, or any other platform.
The ad text seems to imply endorsement. Does the CBC actually endorse the position that the only acceptable end-user computing platform is Windows on an x86 computer? Is increasing the monopoly of a foreign corporation a suitable goal for a taxpayer-funded public broadcaster? I trust not.
Fedora ARM on the Raspberry Pi at Seneca CDOT Wed, Oct 19. 2011
What happens when you combine a $25/$35 computer, a major Linux distro's secondary arch effort, and a college that's deep into open source?
Here's a tiny video peek...
There's a lot of optimization still to be done (including X11) but look forward to a Raspberry Pi Fedora image (spin/remix), Fedora 15 for ARM, and the Raspberry Pi device itself all being available next month.
(In or near Toronto? There are three talks related to Fedora ARM and/or the Raspberry Pi at FSOSS next week).
Gnome 3: Not Ready for Prime Time in Fedora 15 Sat, Apr 23. 2011
I've been intrigued by the Gnome 3 desktop and the design decisions that the Gnome project has decided to test. Hearing some members of the Gnome community explain the design decisions in person was very interesting, and helpful when transitioning to the Gnome shell. And I'm proud that the Fedora Project is continuing to lead by incorporating new technologies and designs First.
But I've been using Gnome 3 in the Fedora 15 alpha and beta releases for a while now, and I'm convinced that Gnome 3 is not ready for prime time yet, at least as implemented in Fedora 15 (and this is completely separate from the issue of whether the Gnome 3 design changes are good or bad, and whether the Gnome community is ignoring the needs and wants of the users and downstreams -- both subjects of much debate). As one example, multi-monitor setups are not working as expected, at least for me. In fact, it's a stretch to say that they're working at all:
- On my laptop/netbook, logging in with an external monitor connected results in Gnome 3 running in degraded mode, with Gnome 2-style menus. Logging in without an external monitor connected, and connecting it after login, results in a usable configuration - at least all of the real estate is accessible.
- I run with the external display above my laptop. Maximizing a window on the external display results in it filling the rightmost 1/3 of the screen. Unmaximized windows may be moved, but only to positions where the right edge of the window is within the right-most 1/3 of the screen. You can fill the screen by placing the window all the way to the right and dragging a corner to the left side, though. There are many other behaviours which are just weird.
- The Activities button is on the laptop screen, but the touch-to-activate-Activities corner is on the external monitor.
- Rearranging the position of the monitors using the Displays setting tool results in badly torn, messed up images. They resolve to something that looks almost usable a fraction of a second before the Does this look right? dialog gives up and reverts me to the original configuration, with my desktop backgrounds missing.
This is 2011, and multi-monitor configurations are not a novelty any more. In fact, they're the norm where I work, and I use external monitors with my laptops and netbooks all the time
Perhaps some of these issues are video driver problems, and Gnome 3 isn't to blame. But the problems with Gnome 3 are not limited to just multi-display configurations; for example: GDM's list of users does not scroll properly when the list is long (I went to file a bug on that one, but was disheartened searching through the 253 other open Fedora GDM bugs to see if it was already reported). If something goes wrong during the login process, a message appears telling you that something went wrong, but offering no way to find out what went wrong -- not even through a "Details..." button -- and the only action available to the user is to click a button marked "Ok" (I can't login? It's definitely not OK). The icons at the top of the screen respond to left- and right-click in the same way -- except for the iBus icon -- where's the consistency in that?
Let's see some Leadership on Broadband Access Sun, Apr 3. 2011
The inclusion of broadband-for-all-Canadians in the Liberal platform is an important step in the right direction. And while reliable rural broadband access is an obvious priority (as David Humphrey notes), the Liberal strategy does not go far enough: even current broadband access in our cities falls well short of what is needed to be globally competitive.
Canada's low average population density makes any broadband rollout a challenge. But there is an opportunity here: it's time for a leader to step up and set a realistic and challenging next-generation broadband goal, in the style of Kennedy's "We choose to go to the moon" speech. Setting a goal of 1 Gbps to every household in the country within three years would show real leadership. It would be a huge challenge, but we have the technology (wired and wireless), and it's where we need to go to stay in the game.