Discussion in 'Article Discussion' started by Gareth Halfacree, 18 Nov 2013.
Sales continue to grow apace.
Is it just me or does 2 million sound a bit low ? considering it's low price and the fact it was targeted at educational places that doesn't seem very many to me. Compare that to the PS4 which sold 1 million units over the weekend !
Anybody can turn on a PS4 (well, if it works) and play. Raspberry Pi's are by geeks, for geeks. I mean real geeks, who code and mess with electronics and stuff. It's a smaller market.
The Raspberry Pi is a single-board computer, sold - in its default form - as an unboxed unit with no case, power supply or software. It is aimed at hobbyists and the educational market and has a marketing budget of somewhere around zero. To buy it, you either need to order it online or venture into places like Maplin. The PS4 is a games console, sold - in its default form - as a fully-complete unit you can sit in your living room and play games, watch videos, play Blu-rays, listen to music, and so on and so forth. It is aimed at the incredibly mature console gaming market and has a marketing budget of - if I recall correctly - around $4 billion. To buy it, you either have to order it online or venture into places like any high-street games shop or supermarket.
Apples to oranges, basically. For an SBC development board, the Pi has been an absolute success: the Arduino, which costs less and is fully open, took several years to reach a million units and still, to my knowledge, hasn't hit two million.
Well done for them. Now they just need to release a more powerful one so I can run XBMC above a snails pace (still does the job).
And I friggin' love Arduino. There is so much cool stuff you can do with it --I'm surprised it hasn't been embraced more by the PC modding community.
The Arduino is a wonderful bit of kit. Needs a cheaper Ethernet shield, though - that's what's turning a lot of people away from the 'duino to the Pi, especially for IoT projects.
I feel like arduinos would have gained a lot more popularity than 2 million sales, but apparently they didn't.
I feel like the RPi got popular for all the wrong reasons, and while 2 million units may have been sold, it wouldn't surprise me if at least 15% of those units were either returned, given away, or sitting in a dusty shelf. I know someone who owned one for a full year and never used it, and someone else who owned one and didn't do much beyond turning it on for a few minutes. I ask these people why they bother and their answer is "because it's cheap!", while other people online say "because it runs XBMC", both of which are stupid answers because there are other products out there that are physically smaller, a few dollars more expensive, easier to set up, and can play HD movies better.
I have nothing against the Pi, I think it's a fantastic product, but nothing irks me more about the Pi than people who whine about how slow it is. That, or the fact that they have to use linux.
For me, Linux is a good thing - but I have to admit, I wouldn't mind a bit more grunt. Only because I'm too lazy to set up a proper cross-compilation environment, mind.
As for what it gets used for, I have - for obvious reasons - several Pis. Only two get any major use. One is used to turn an old amber-screen monitor into a eye-friendly secondary display for my desktop. The second, meanwhile, does a little bit more: it has two 2TB USB hard drives hanging off it in a Btrfs mirror holding my backups and media, shares said media over a DLNA network, acts as an intranet server, VPN target, SSH server, BitTorrent Sync node, attempts to crack unsolved Enigma codes and - as mentioned in another thread - mines Bitcoins via a USB ASIC. All in ~2W of power (okay, plus whatever the hard drives and ASIC use) and £30. Not too shabby.
Linux is absolutely a good thing - I use it on all of my computers at home as the main OS, and it's fantastic for ARM. What I'm saying is I hate it when people complain about the RPi because it runs best with linux, meaning, they'd rather use android or Windows.
The way you personally use your Pis is perfectly reasonable. While they're not taking advantage of Pi's selling points, I'd say you put very solid use to the Pi and I don't think you have any reason to get a different device for those purposes. I'm sure you get pretty terrible performance out of those HDDs, but I'm assuming you don't use them in situations that need the extra demand.
The latest builds of OpenELEC run well on the Raspberry Pi. There are more updates coming for the software to improve the menu speed but personally I find it runs fine.
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