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      • 31. Re: Pi vs BeagleBone-Black
        gdstew

        Morgaine Dinova wrote:

         

        Gary, evidently you didn't grasp what was being said.  My reply to coder27 was about all fanbois, not just Pi fanbois.  That includes BeagleBone fanbois and all other fanbois, because fanboism has no redeeming properties for technical discussion at all.

         

        The technical criticisms that you have presented are very good and useful.  Such observations need to go into the engineering comparisons which are sure to be made between the two boards, and I certainly welcome them.  Knowing and understanding the downsides of any device I use is very important to me.

         

        You seem not to have noticed that I pointed out that Pi Model B still has the lead for media playback.  I pointed this out despite the fact that I personally do not use that feature, because it is a technical feature of great importance to many people and it must be mentioned in any balanced engineering assessment.  I mentioned it because I an not a fanboi of any device nor manufacturer, and any valid engineering assessment must list both pros and consEverything has both pros and cons.  The mark of a fanboi is to praise the pros and deny the cons of his or her precious, and my remarks were directed against that ridiculous lack of objectivity.  I would hope that you would agree with that view..

         

        This is an engineering forum.  Let's try to stick to engineering assessment, and leave fanboism to others.

         

        Your repeated use of fanbois in Rapsberry Pi forums as well as the explicit use of Raspberry Pi fanbois on several occasions, and your use of it on more than one occasion when

        it was simply not appropriate (see next sentence) makes it clear what you mean. The entire content of the "fanboi" post was clearly lacking any of the objective engineering

        assessment you insist on from everybody else and in no way contributed useful engineering information or even interesting opinion to this forum which makes the last two

        sentences of yours quoted above seem rather strange (not my first choice of words).

         

        It is clear from my post that I already have a firm grasp on the concept of pros and cons, how you missed that I do not know.

         

        I didn't miss anything in your post(s), I just didn't find it germane to what I was responding to.

         

        As far as fanbois in these forums go there are a few, but I find you use the term more often than is warranted by their actual presence. In this case none have been present so

        far so why did you feel compelled to use it ? As far as it goes I accept them as a fact of life and rarely find the need to call them out. I just tend to ignore them. Doing anything

        else is a waste of time because they don't listen anyway and ignoring them does not "feed the beast".

         

        Now if you don't mind I will attempt to go back to useful engineering assessment mode.

        • 32. Re: Pi vs BeagleBone-Black
          gdstew

          Without knowing why each of them decided to turn RPF down knowing the history doesn't say much of anything useful. I'm not sure if any of the ones you mentioned

          already had ARM ports or not, I know Debian did. It could have been that they were already too busy or didn't think that there would be enough interest in the PI to

          make it worth their time and effort. But strangely enough, now there is a Fedora port, and an Arch port, and a BSD port. Did I miss any ?

           

          One last point. Being officially supported by Debian does not mean that if the distribution maintainers decide to call it quits Debian will step in and help. This leaves

          any distribution officially supported or not in the same boat as Raspian should they quit.

          • 33. Re: Pi vs BeagleBone-Black
            morgaine

            selsinork wrote:

             

            So while you're right, would you bet on the 'when' being anytime soon ?

             

            I have no idea, but I do think that it's likely that their next-gen Pi plans have just accelerated with the release of BeagleBone Black.  Now they finally have competition within their price niche, whereas before they didn't.

             

            This assumes of course that they are sensitive to competition, but I think that they are, judging by the way that they're downplaying the significance of BBB in typical fanboi style.  I don't want to guess at dates or even years, but they don't have forever to respond or they'll lose their market completely.  Time marches on, and clearly the competition has arrived.

            • 34. Re: Pi vs BeagleBone-Black
              morgaine

              Gary: Good, I'm glad to see that we both agree on the worthless contribution that fanbois make to technical discussion.  Let there be none here, for any board or device regardless of manufacturer.

               

              And that means being willing to point out the downsides and areas of improvement of everything we discuss, without fear of treading on irrelevant fanboi sensitivities.  Technology is technology, and discussing where it fails and suggesting how it can be improved is part of the engineering process.

              • 35. Re: Pi vs BeagleBone-Black

                Gary Stewart wrote:

                 

                Did I miss any ?

                http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raspberry_pi says yes, you missed quite a few, but probably a lot of them are much less mainstream. Curiously, Fedora is missing from that list.

                http://elinux.org/RPi_Distributions has an even more impressive list, a bunch of which I've never even heard of.

                 

                Package counts are interesting, I was way off with 10000 packages in Debian it seems as they quote 35000+.

                 

                The one mainstream choice I'd previously thought was conspicuously absent, OpenSUSE seems to be there as well.

                 

                However reading the post on the RPF forums linked to from the OpenSUSE entry suggests there may be other troubles ahead for Arm - not just the Pi - with the NWFPE removal from upstream kernels due to licensing.

                Should be interesting as it could have all sorts of effects if you can no longer distribute the old code while not having a way forward. Sounds like this will break all the softfloat distros, likely some of the hardfloat ones depending on the exact VFP, and upstream might only want to deal with newer CPU's - leaving the RPF to re-engineer a solution for the particular combination we have.

                 

                So, something learned for me there..

                • 36. Re: Pi vs BeagleBone-Black
                  gdstew

                  Is their 280 mA with or without USB (keyboard/mouse etc.) or Ethernet connections ? Is your 410 mA with or without USB or Ethernet connections ? I pull

                  a fairly consistent 700 mA on mine with a full complement of I/O attached but given what the Pi was designed for and the major constraints used for that

                  design (something people seem to lose track of or just plain ignore all the time) I don't have any problems with it using 3.5W. For one of the more mundane

                  uses I have in mind for one of mine, a DNS/DHCP server, 3.5W would be about 30x less than doing it with a normal old "junk" PC. For the project I would

                  probably use the BeagleBoard Black for (robot) the less power used the better.

                   

                  The previous argument about linear LDOs was simply that they were not the best solution (some even said they were a bad engineering solution which is silly)

                  for  powering the Pi. There is some merit to the argument of using a switcher as far as allowing a wider selection of input voltages and efficiency goes however

                  given the pricing and size contraints of what it was designed for (again) there really is not much choice. It would also have required either a multi-output

                  switcher or the same number of LDOs (one for 3.3V and one for 1.8V) already on the Pi.

                  • 37. Re: Pi vs BeagleBone-Black
                    gdstew

                    You missed the sarcasm (OK it might not have been obvious) and the point (the Pi has become important enough for several of the ones that passed up on the opportunity earlier to

                    port to it now).

                    • 38. Re: Pi vs BeagleBone-Black

                      Gary Stewart wrote:

                       

                      Is their 280 mA with or without USB (keyboard/mouse etc.) or Ethernet connections ? Is your 410 mA with or without USB or Ethernet connections ? I pull

                       

                      The SRM says their figures are with HDMI monitor, usb hub, 4G thumb drive, ethernet @100Mb, serial debug cable. I basically have Pi, ethernet, sdcard, max3232 and a few temperature sensors, no usb devices for 410mA. So a reasonably similar setup.

                       

                      I'm about 310mA with the switchers and a GPS receiver for an NTP clock. As single purpose devices I don't tend to have much running on them - ntp isn't exactly processor intensive.

                       

                      So I'm waiting impatiently for my BBB to arrive so I can swap out a Pi and compare it in the same environment.

                       

                      The previous argument about linear LDOs was simply that they were not the best solution (some even said they were a bad engineering solution which is silly)

                      for  powering the Pi. There is some merit to the argument of using a switcher as far as allowing a wider selection of input voltages and efficiency goes however

                      given the pricing and size contraints of what it was designed for (again) there really is not much choice. It would also have required either a multi-output

                      switcher or the same number of LDOs (one for 3.3V and one for 1.8V) already on the Pi.

                       

                      I really don't have a problem with the LDO's (and my switchers cost way too much to use on the Pi), I'm just interested in the different design compromises. Especially when the costs are so similar.

                      Yes time and technology marches on, but it does make you wonder that if the BBB can use a composite pmic (with some switchers and some LDO's) while being so close in cost, could the Pi have done so too ?  Or if it couldn't a year or more ago, could it do so today..

                      • 39. Re: Pi vs BeagleBone-Black

                        Gary Stewart wrote:

                         

                        You missed the sarcasm

                        Not so much. But we still fundamentally disagree on that point. I still don't think that an unofficial, one man port is anything like the same as a fully upstream supported port done by the distro themselves.

                        I do however value the interesting discussion and the differeing viewpoint, even when I suspect we'll never agree on that particular subject

                        • 40. Re: Pi vs BeagleBone-Black
                          gdstew

                          selsinork wrote:

                           

                          Gary Stewart wrote:

                           

                          Is their 280 mA with or without USB (keyboard/mouse etc.) or Ethernet connections ? Is your 410 mA with or without USB or Ethernet connections ? I pull

                           

                          The SRM says their figures are with HDMI monitor, usb hub, 4G thumb drive, ethernet @100Mb, serial debug cable. I basically have Pi, ethernet, sdcard, max3232 and a few temperature sensors, no usb devices for 410mA. So a reasonably similar setup.

                           

                          I'm about 310mA with the switchers and a GPS receiver for an NTP clock. As single purpose devices I don't tend to have much running on them - ntp isn't exactly processor intensive.

                           

                          So I'm waiting impatiently for my BBB to arrive so I can swap out a Pi and compare it in the same environment.

                           

                          The previous argument about linear LDOs was simply that they were not the best solution (some even said they were a bad engineering solution which is silly)

                          for  powering the Pi. There is some merit to the argument of using a switcher as far as allowing a wider selection of input voltages and efficiency goes however

                          given the pricing and size contraints of what it was designed for (again) there really is not much choice. It would also have required either a multi-output

                          switcher or the same number of LDOs (one for 3.3V and one for 1.8V) already on the Pi.

                           

                          I really don't have a problem with the LDO's (and my switchers cost way too much to use on the Pi), I'm just interested in the different design compromises. Especially when the costs are so similar.

                          Yes time and technology marches on, but it does make you wonder that if the BBB can use a composite pmic (with some switchers and some LDO's) while being so close in cost, could the Pi have done so too ?  Or if it couldn't a year or more ago, could it do so today..

                           

                          Yes the prices are close. However one of the major design considerations for the Pi was the $35 price point which they achieved. I'm sure there are more than one or two things

                          they would have preferred to do differently but that is how engineering works when rubber meets road. I know, I've been there a few times. Although there is a good degree of crossover

                          in what they both do I still feel that they are fundamentally aimed at different markets. The Pi market is much more narrowly focused. The BB Black is much more general purpose. That

                          probably accounts for most of the price difference. Personally I'm very excited about the BB Black.

                           

                          One of the nice things RPF did do recently was to double the memory for the same price. So there is room for improvements as technology advances. It will be interesting to see

                          what happens to both of them (and others to come ?) over the next couple of years.

                          • 41. Re: Pi vs BeagleBone-Black
                            gdstew

                            I'd like to add another pro for the BeagleBoard Black.

                             

                            With the exceptions of the integer real time processors PRU-ICSS (not sure at this point why that is), and the PowerVR GPU for

                            well known reasons, the AM3359 technical documentation from TI is excellent to the point of overwhelming. The Technical Reference

                            Manual is over 4000 pages. No I did not accidentally add any zeros !

                            • 42. Re: Pi vs BeagleBone-Black

                              Gary Stewart wrote:

                               

                              The Technical Reference Manual is over 4000 pages. No I did not accidentally add any zeros !

                              One of the other boards I have some interest in is the Sabre-Lite, Freescale have a ref manual for their iMX6 that's bigger, close to 6k pages if memory serves.

                              Similar omissions for the GPU and their secure boot module though.

                               

                              I couldn't agree more, copious documentation like these two have is the way forward and really should become the norm instead of the exception.

                              • 43. Re: Pi vs BeagleBone-Black
                                morgaine

                                Gary Stewart wrote:

                                 

                                With the exceptions of the integer real time processors PRU-ICSS (not sure at this point why that is), and the PowerVR GPU for well known reasons, the AM3359 technical documentation from TI is excellent to the point of overwhelming.

                                 

                                You're right about the proprietary GPU, that seems to be an endemic problem for open source in the industry.  It's not true for the PRU-ICSS though.

                                 

                                The PRU-ICSS is fully documented in the Technical Reference Manual SPRUH73C, with the entirety of chapter 4 (250 pages) devoted to it.  Also, there is a full package of PRU-related materials on Github, including more documentation and source code of the PRU's PASM assembler, a Linux loader, demos, etc.  I've even checked that the assembler compiles and it does.

                                 

                                The BeagleBone materials on Github are at https://github.com/beagleboard/am335x_pru_package

                                 

                                The PRU has been used successfully in quite a number of projects as a quick web search shows, and this long predates the BeagleBone Black since the original BeagleBone uses a slightly different version of the same AM3359 SoC.

                                 

                                Morgaine.

                                 

                                Addendum: Repeating the link to TI's wiki pages on PRU which I gave in my first post on this thread, in case it was missed when looking for docs.  There is a developers' link at the bottom of that first page.

                                • 44. Re: Pi vs BeagleBone-Black
                                  gdstew

                                  Morgaine,

                                   

                                  A search of the TI website for SPRUH73C turns up with zero results. SPRUH73H gives me the same technical reference manual I already have. That manual has a very brief

                                  two page description of the PRU-ICSS but little else, not even a block diagram. According to that technical reference manual this is an upgraded version of the original so it

                                  may be that the documentation hasn't been released yet. I have also searched the TI website for PRU-ICSS which turns up 5 hits, all of them from entries in forums. A couple

                                  of the entries clearly show that more hardware information is available but no hint as to which one or where.

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