Friday, February 3, 2012

[Science Fiction Future] Raspberry Pi - $25 Computer - Coming Soon

"The Raspberry Pi is a credit-card sized computer that plugs into your TV and a keyboard. It’s a capable little PC which can be used for many of the things that your desktop PC does, like spreadsheets, word-processing and games. It also plays high-definition video. We want to see it being used by kids all over the world to learn programming."

It's supposed to be available sometime in February; I definitely want one of these!

Imagine how embarrassed the dudes who wrote Traveller and Shadowrun would feel if they hear about this?


  1. Aww, you can cut the Traveller dudes a little slack, the Shadrowrun dudes however...

  2. Dude that's totally a ton if by ton you mean 1 m^3 and you count the TV and the comfy chair. Which Traveller tried to claim it was doing.

  3. Imagine how embarrassed the dudes who wrote Traveller and Shadowrun would feel if they hear about this?

    Do them one better and use it to play Traveller!

  4. If you like homebrew electronics, check this out:

  5. Imagine how embarrassed the dudes who wrote Traveller and Shadowrun would feel if they hear about this?


    I routinely consider the dumping on Traveller's computers the biggest sign that someone has confused a single instance of a larger class as representative of the class. It is a confusion similar to thinking you understand the size of a tiger by playing with my petite house cat.

    I do mathematical modeling of the financial markets for a living. It takes a team of over 50 people to write and maintain these models and the computing power is of a commensurate size.

    Of our 11 clusters the baby has over 700 processors. Four processors to a single blade box means we still have over 175 blades. Our largest cluster is about eight times that size. You also need to include associated cooling equipment and storage. I'd say our smallest could be packing into no less than 5 racks. This would fill about 6.25 cubic meter.

    Keep in mind that's the smallest of 12 required to model interest rates and price securities. Meaning at a minimum we need about 76 cubic meters for our equipment and it's probably closer to twice that. Given in Traveller one ton is 14 cubic meters my day job uses a minimum 5 ton computer.

    I've see a couple of clusters physicists use for their calculations. They make us look like pikers and unlike our runs which occur in about 14 hours overnight their runs can take days.

    Now, I have no specific knowledge of what the computational complexity of hyperspace jump (the primary purpose of a ship's computer in Traveller) but I'm suspecting it is closer to what the physicist does than what I do while having a time binding closer to what I do.

    While I don't think the guys who wrote Traveller went through this kind of thinking to design the game I do think their gut instincts were more realistic than the guy who looks at his laptop/phone/tablet/Arduino and laughs at them.

    Your desktop, laptop, notebook, iPad, or Android phone is very powerful. It is more powerful than the entire computing complex that took man to the Moon. But please don't confuse that with the ability to do complex mathematical modeling in real-time in your back pocket.

    *steps off soapbox*

    Captcha: ladosa Sermon...I think they're analyzing post content :)

  6. Oops, that should be "smallest of 11" not smallest of 12.

  7. @ Herb: Acknowledged, I'm just a big fan of running a joke into the ground :)