The Raspberry Pi is designed to be a tiny, low cost computer for use in education. But that doesn’t mean you can’t use it to play video games. The team working to bring the $25 computer to market posted a video this weekend showing a prototype running Quake III.
This is still a work in progress — the frame rate is lower than it should be, but the little computer can output the game to a 1080p display. The developers are trying to work out a fix for the low framerate issue.
Not only does the video demonstrate that you can play games on the Raspberry Pi — it also gave the team a chance to test power consumption and heat generation while the Broadcom BCM2835 processor was running at top speed. The result? The chip stayed well under 100 degrees.
Broadcom is making progress with making open-source drivers for their WiFi cards and it looks like they have a solid commitment to open source; look at the brcm80211 project for details.
Right now, the current Linux not-really-open Broadcom wifi driver is quite solid on my dual-boot netbook; it’s quite a bit more solid than the Windows driver, in fact.
The operating system is Debian by the way. Debian on ARM11 is awesome, a combination which runs my business. Also, it looks like the media accelerator doing all of the gleeful dancing in this video is the same that appears in the Roku 2. It’s Broadcom, which means “driver issues” to people like me, and some behind the Raspberry Pi work for Broadcom. In other words, they’re able to make progress in ways that people like me on the other side of the wall couldn’t make in terms of making things work well, and you’ll probably never (or reluctantly) hear them just come out and say the truth: “There will never be open source drivers available for this product.” It’s been danced around several times already. I think this is one of the primary reasons this is aimed aimed at the “educational” market instead of hobbyists. Heaven for bid we have hardware drivers for our devices that are as open as the operating systems that we run on them.
Yeah, on the responses they’ve given in their site’s comments sections it seems they don’t see it as a issue or at least emphasize it’s what they could use for the price.
Maybe they want to teach the meaning of frustration 😛
Though it’s still likely to sell well at those prices and as long as they provide support it should find many applications.
Though for hobbyist, they are considering future models that would have room for user soldering projects to modify the boards…
I’ve just been through the comments on their site and it seems pretty obvious to me that they’re going out of their way to avoid saying that the drivers will be binary-only. That’s going to be a deal-killer for a lot of small developers right there. Their focus on the educational market is another. My prediction is that it will be about as successful as other similar “educational” projects like the OLPC XO laptop; i.e. not at all.
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