Open Ballot: Your questions for Eben Upton/Raspberry Pi


As usual, we’re rushed off our feet and we don’t think we’ll have enough time to arrange a live podcast this week. We’ll try our best to make it happen next time.

We’re hoping to meet up with Eben Upton and the Raspberry Pi team next week. So, for this episode’s Open Ballot question, we’d like to ask you what you’d like us to ask them. Do you want to know if they’re thinking of upgrading the hardware, for example, or when Eben’s darkest hour might have been whilst designing the Pi, or his thoughts on IT education in the UK? Let us know your questions and we’ll do our best to get some answers. We’ll also discuss our own thoughts in the podcast. Oh, and thanks for your continued patience with our terrible captcha!

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Your comments

Fully Open Source RaspberryPI?

Are there any plans to construct a fully open sourced (Hardware) for the PI, so that the actual internal circuitry can bee seen?

Are there any redesigns/upgrades planned?

Will the pcb stay this way or are there any plans
to upgrade the cpu ?

I'd also like to know if

I'd also like to know if there are any plans for a fully open source Pi. In addition to that, I'd like to hear Eben's thoughts on launching such a succesful product, what factors contributed to and continue to attribute to the rise of the Raspberry Pi.

Oops, poor English above

What I meant to say was "...attribute to the rise of the Raspberry Pi, and so on."

When will it run Crysis?

When will it run Crysis?

future pi models

Yes would like to second FrankLindeman.

Would be very interested about future models.

The original Pi only had 256MB of RAM... now there is a 512MB model... will a 1GB version become available? If so when (roughly)?

Is there a hardware roadmap?

Can we expect continued incremental improvements in specs periodically?

PS. I'm not spamming but my discovery of the week is that if you go to "what do they know dot com" it is really easy to make a freedom of information request and put those who run our public institutions on the spot and ask them how much of our money they spend upon proprietary software and whether they have considered using free software alternatives. Because it is the Freedom of Information Act they have to respond as long as you ask politely. You can also ask them why they are spending twelve hundred pounds on Dell Towers when for the price of 1 Dell Tower they could have bought over 300 raspberry pis. Be a cross between Chuck D and rms - fight the power!

Education Programs


Whenever I first heard about the pi I grew excited for two reasons. One, it's an awesome platform for those of us fairly new to Linux that want a computer we can't brick (I know there are virtual machines, but the pi has a physical factor). More importantly, it gives me hope for the next generation of engineers and scientists. Already, I've seen some great articles on the web regarding the projects that youngsters are building. I certainly wished I had been introduced to such an invaluable product when I was a child.

I'd like to know if the raspberry pi foundation is making any progress in convincing the ICT curriculum to adopt the pi as a standard program. As an American, I can only say that I'm jealous this project isn't getting more attention in my own country. The media in our country glorifies both sports and art. I have no issue with either, but I think it is vital that we push the STEM fields with more fervor than ever.


I'd like to know if there's any chance we'll see a fully upgradable pi? One where you can up the RAM without a soldering iron. Or replace the processor when a better one comes out if we want.

That way the pi can be used and modified where the basic Pi is nearly enough but not quite.

Gastronomy Domine

Last comment got swallowed because I included a link, I think.

I have a question for Eben: your wife Liz ran the best food blog on the internet before all this Raspberry Pi jazz started up (being careful not to trigger the sensors here, but it was gastronomydomine[dot]com). Now - I love the Raspberry Pi project (I have one myself), but that food blog was (and remains) a work of genius. Liz's recipe for pork crackling is DEFINITIVE, and I've lost count of the number of times I've cooked her various pork belly recipes).

So, my question is - did you reflect on the devastating loss to the food world that the Raspberry Pi was to have?

Many thanks - and keep up the good work!

Laptop implementation

With all the various parts lurking around out there for industrious tinkering types, what would it take to make a small yet lightweight laptop using the Raspberry Pi Model B as the motherboard? Could this provide an expansion to the foundation's lines of business and provide additional income to further support educational efforts?


I would Like Eben's opinion on the Parallella, the Kickstarted project that amounts to a 16 core raspberry pi for $99(~78€ or ฿1.17).


Mr. Upton, what is your favourite dinosaur and why? (mine is the triceratops because it is the best).

Want to start with education

Ok, I'm from Australia, and we've had a review called the "Gonski report" which supposedly was to determine in which direction future education we should take (forgive my bad grammar, I'm of the ME generation, but I think grammar took more of a back seat in my education years, which, oddly enough continue through to this very day!)
Anyway, the Gillard parliament seems to have taken education down a more "American route" with the determination to insist upon a "universal" (read National) curriculum and a set of testing regimes that although well intended will in fact actually lead to "teaching to the test" because basically every school will depend upon test results in order to meet certain criteria which then are funding related, so that in fact no child leaving school will have any idea about "The Real World" nor expect anything but test after test in their post school life.

The other major education revolution relates to the idea that if every child has a computer, they can engage with society in meaningful ways, but teaching every child how to run a spreadsheet, or create a presentation will do nothing other than multiply the number of meaningless presentations which are the bane of every working adults' life anyway.

I agree with the principles of engaging and educating assisted by the use of software, and that some will be better at it than others, but I despair if the future education of children revolves around teaching them to use "Office" software" as some sort of "Well, we taght them that, now it's up to them..."
The very idea that you might start teaching with "silicon assistance" and actually teaching them how to program (or that in fact programming itself is a form of educational path that is open to them) is somehow being lost in the wider social expectation that children somehow be "computer literate" when our own adults already have no idea how to
manipulate bits nor can they even do associative mathematics, nor understand the difference between either/or and nand.
There alwasy will be tool builders, but I feel that every child deserves to understand that they are not limited to what software giants like Microsoft or Apple (etc. etc.) have restricted them to.

The concept of being given a piece of technology that they can actually break by trying, is cheap and perhaps they might build the next level of infrastructure that we will need is something that gives me hope.
Forgive me for rattling on. I guess the question I'd like to ask your guys is:
Do you think that a program of the sort that allows students acces to a device such as the Raspberry Pi can be effective in Australia?

I guess the caveat is that here our programs for education are lacking decent teachers that are also well familiar with teaching an abstract concept like programming (particularly at the chip level - I didn't do any micro-processor stuff until I was studying applied physics at university level, and I was famous for burning chips so it was often remarked at my lessons that we were at a BBQ"
I let out more "magic smoke" than any student that year.

But I actually can understand that machines have language, I can, if pressed read C code, I programmed in FORTRAN mainly - which I reckon is underrated, but now I'm into python and yes I am STILL learning.

The point I guess is that there seems to be some sense that once you've left school, that's it. There's no more left to learn. and that is Wrong. with a capitol Wrong.

Any advice you have on this point is welcomed, and perhaps you could also put it in writing to our education "masters".

Sincerely grateful you took time to read my posting. Thanks.

There is no such thing as a problem
without a gift for you in its hands

Ok, lets get metaphysical

And apologies to David Gilmour
I also need to point out that I really began my computing
language with BASIC on a "game" machine, it had a casette input/output storage mechanism, and loaded OS with cartridges.
My experience with various technology reaches back as far as watching my Dad "programming" the analog computing device at UNSW with actual wires (think of an old software synth and you have an idea) it was called "hybrid" because it engaged analog programming with digital logic, but still used valves and was as big as the room!)
On the benches were early programmable HP math calculators.
I know what a teletype interface is. By the time I began studies at NSWIT, I was learning how to work in the "Amdahl" multiuser unix system, and terminals were always GREEN text on black background, unless you had access to the graphics devices which were ORANGE text on black background.
Hence I became interested in linux, and recognising that there is in fact an entire world of "different" stuff available.
Every day I use this computer I ought to give thanks to those who put together the ideas and concepts and put in the work to developing the very system stuff with which I work on a daily basis
But there is also a philosophical "thank you" that I actually give (you could almost say "pray" thanks for:)
which is the philosophy that permits someone to look at something that works, look at how it has been put together, and with basically the only requirement that you allow whatever improvements you make be made public as well, encourages a level of software development that continually outpaces commercial software (unless they actually buy it, make it closed source and force the study of it into the realm of questionable-ness)

I just want to say that I am grateful, I wish I could contribute more, but notwithstanding I am actually really really grateful that this stuff exists.

I'm between MINT and changing to something else, maybe Fedora, but the truth is I don't have the computer to run it so I'm glad that there is something that still exists that enables my old hardware to actually remain useflu well beyond it's expected life.

And this is in fact another aspect about the idea. Getting the most use from technology that in fact is difficult if not impossible to environmentally recycle cheaply (it would have to be cheap othersise noone would do it)
But just imagine actually how much out there in tips and beneath the New York harbour still has TV tubes, capacitors and transistors now inaccessible and slowly polluting in a way that noone can possibly expect will have any effect on our environment, only that is more likely to be bad rather than good.

Anyway, there has to be hope.

There is no such thing as a problem
without a gift for you in its hands


Does Eben foresee newer, more powerful pis coming out perhaps every 12-18 months or so? Given the success of the pi so far, it isn't just a one off is it? As performance of ARM cpus at low price points continues to improve over time, will pis be released periodically featuring the newer, better cpus? Will we at some point in the future see dual core pis?

model a v model b

please ask senor upton how sales figures for the 2 models compare to eachother. Have more folks purchased the less powerful but ridiculously cheap model a or have more people paid the extra to get model b?

Has perhaps model a been more popular in poorer countries whereas model b has been more popular in richer countries?

Which countries has the pi sold particularly well in so far?

How much money have you made

How much money have you made off the Raspberry Pi IE etc???

Wall chart

I have been reading Linux format on and off since I got the wall chart in 2006. I am disliking M$ everyday that goes by and now I can have a low power Linux box on 24-7 to play with. It would be nice to have a wall chart for the Raspberry Pi as well for quick reference.

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