Raspberry Pi 4 announced

kpedersen

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I prefer a small laptop like a Pinebook.
Agreed, unfortunately those guys don't quite have their sht together to provide a stable supply. It is all "build to order / pre-order" vapourware.

Normally I would consider gutting an old broken thinkpad and putting the Pi in there but there is too much proprietary weirdness going on with i.e the video connectors.

I am basically waiting for a stable laptop shell to put a Raspberry Pi in and then I think I can pretty much abandon commercial laptops (even for work) and never ever look back. It will happen in possibly about 5 years time? Can't wait.
 

ucomp

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I did not say ..... I didn't say...... What I did say is ..., I did ....I had no crashes.
Regardless of what you didn't say that I said that you did say but you didn't say ...
öööh, what did I want to say?.. the weather is very hot in Europe today, I have to begin again 😂 ...

thanks for the information that you had no crashes , so I'm currently thinking of the sense of a HCL(hardware compatibility-list ) , specially for peripherals on arm and storage devices.... although I currently guess that these devices are not reliable for a stable storage cluster and ZFS... I`ll try it again and if crashes again I will come with crash-logs(if possible).. or something similar

...
I am basically waiting for a stable laptop shell... in possibly about 5 years time...
Apple will do the business while your PI is crying for help in the thinkpad 😂

by the way I've got a Rock64 , booting OpenBSD&NetBSD, FreeBSD unfortunately is only capable to boot via PXE.... but that's another thing...
 

kpedersen

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Apple will do the business while your PI is crying for help in the thinkpad 😂
Microsoft beat Apple to it in terms of a locked down consumer toy using an ARM chip. A broken Pi in a broken Thinkpad is infinitely more usable than either of these products and will last much longer in all fairness ;)
 

ucomp

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...A broken Pi in a broken Thinkpad is infinitely more usable than either of these products and will last much longer in all fairness ;)
Since Sir Ive left Apple they will consider to work with you as the new hardware-designer . 😂
... RT failed, afaik e.g. Asus NovaGo failed, but wait for the Arm-Unix-Macbook,
it won't fail..
while you will give a talk on your ThinkPi on a BSDCan, FreeBSD 14 src will be typed on a Macbook ;-)
 

ucomp

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... locked down consumer...
just to add :
what they really locked down is not the consumer, ... there are millions of happy Mac-Consumers since decades...

What they really locked down is the professionals on HiPerformanceComputing( now addressed by new MacPro) and especially on the server side. Good for FreeBSD, if Apple would make a better Server-OS than FreeBSD, some of us were not here.

The RPI4 won't address the gap between Server power and power-consumption.
Its a toy and although I found it really cool to type into the FreeBSD/NetBSS/OpenBSD- SBC-shells on my iPad via VNC , this is really just for fun and doesn't address the need for power-saving servers...

So Mr. Pedersen, we are waiting for you as the new FreeBSD-chief hardware-designer ;-) please give us new ideas for a power-saving Arm-server
or you will be fired 😂 ;-)


--- edit:--
perhaps the RPI4 performs a little better on FreeBSD than what I've seen on other SBCs, we will see... I have not much hope to be honest because what do we want from 50-60$ ?@ Apple you won't get a keyboard for this price
--
 

kpedersen

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Apple would make a better Server-OS than FreeBSD, some of us were not here.
Apple can never make a better Server-OS. Those times have passed; it will be playing catch up millions of man-hours. The days of proprietary operating systems (in the enterprise at least) is disappearing extremely quickly.

Once Windows becomes a weird Linux distro and macOS simply disappears like most old-fashioned UNIXes; I don't think we will ever see a proprietary operating system taking over again.
The future still isn't ideal though, I think where users will be stung and imprisoned is on the hardware side instead. Possibly worse because it is a harder problem to solve. Jail Breaking is a never ending cycle :(.

So Mr. Pedersen, we are waiting for you as the new FreeBSD-chief hardware-designer ;-) please give us new ideas for a power-saving Arm-server
or you will be fired 😂 ;-)
Yep, I had just 2 requirements originally:
  • As open as an off-the-shelf x86 server
  • More than 2 suppliers
But then I realized, #2 can not exist if it isn't fairly open hardware; so honestly we can reduce the requirements to just:
  • More than 2 suppliers
Until then, it is a toy and the industry as a whole will not touch it. This can even be seen in history when IBM refused to buy Intel as the only supplier, so Intel licensed to AMD ultimately producing some good amount of competition in the long run and ensuring that if Intel (or AMD) ever locked down users too much, it would certainly go bankrupt.

And then finally as chief FreeBSD hardware designer; once the above happens, then we will invest time and man power into supporting it in a technical capacity... but not a moment sooner IMO. Sure developers can hack on these toys for fun; but users should not expect any kinds of professional guarantee.

Hacking on the Raspberry Pi is fun but how many revisions did the BBC Micro have before it disappeared off the face of the planet and left only x86 in its wake? I rekon we will have another 5 years of the Pi before it disappears (Pi 6 being the last one?). Is that *really* worth a developer spending many hours of their life on unless they are having fun or learning?
 

CraigHB

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Hacking on the Raspberry Pi is fun but how many revisions did the BBC Micro have before it disappeared off the face of the planet and left only x86 in its wake? I rekon we will have another 5 years of the Pi before it disappears (Pi 6 being the last one?).
Isn't that just a subset of ARM (Broadcom) support we're talking about? Certainly the ARM platform and Broadcom are not going to disappear any time soon.
 

ucomp

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Is that *really* worth a developer spending many hours of their life on unless they are having fun or learning?
exactly the question I asked myself in an earlier post...
..... it's not going to be done any time soon.
and according to the last Wiki-update the arm-devs ask themselves since 1 year...
in src there are sometimes changes for arm but this Tier2-thing is something like hanging in the air... when I asked "should I work on Sparc" for a project on the mailing lists there was a quick answer from the Sparc-chief inspector , when it came to aarch64 we had a minute's silence :)
 

kpedersen

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Isn't that just a subset of ARM (Broadcom) support we're talking about? Certainly the ARM platform and Broadcom are not going to disappear any time soon.
True but when it comes to computing they haven't quite appeared yet in the first place. For example how many ARM laptops or desktops do you have?
 

Phishfry

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The Google beast did ship some Chromebooks with Arm.
Take them out of the equation and we are talking crickets.

I see it more in embedded settings like STB and Digital Signage.

Don't forget the Microsooft Surface!!! Also Kindles and all the little tablets out there...
 

Phishfry

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I get the feeling that developer interest in Arm has waned.
Some of the current maintainers have day job around Arm so those branches are supported well.
The rest seems like its a never ending game of catch-up.
Here we have RPi4 presented and we still did not get all the RPi3 working.
I do know that Gonzo and 3 or 4 others brought the initial RPi3 board support.
They were hoping others would finish it up but that never happened.
So there really are a very small number of people working on these platforms.
Will this crew be around for RPi4? Gonzo had very little personal interest in RPi3.
He just contributed to help out the embedded cause and he is the ultimate FreeBSD tweaker.
To him porting comes easy it seems...
 

mark_j

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Hi Nico,
what would be the best alternative to RPI 3 or 4 ?
Best alternative? That's too vague. Base Pi4 is still a price point that no other sbc can match, especially when considering OS support.
It comes down to what you want to pay, what level of support for your sbc is provided by your chosen OS, what sbc provides the solution to your requirements like low power, maker board etc.
Personally I have used cubox i4pro for years. It's not in the same price range as PIs but equally it's more powerful and has the interfaces i want.
 

malavon

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Here we have RPi4 presented and we still did not get all the RPi3 working.
I do know that Gonzo and 3 or 4 others brought the initial RPi3 board support.
They were hoping others would finish it up but that never happened.
Well, the thing is that Broadcom doesn't want to help with that. There are a few alternatives that are definitely decently documented without NDA's.
The TI offering - that one I know - and the NXP offerings - only from hear-say - are documented very well and it's a lot easier to support these.
Since the TI processors are used on the BeagleBone/Board lines, we'll be sure to have these for the time to come. Others will indeed be a lot harder to port.
It's actually a pity that the Raspberry Pi has become so much more popular than the open designs. Then again, over-the-shelf industrial processors will never be as cheap as a low-cost mobile SoC in the same range.

Anyway, somewhere in the far future I'm sure FreeBSD will be running on the AM572x (BeagleBoard x15) and later offerings. If it hasn't been taken care of by the time I need it, I'll do it myself without a doubt.
I am however not interested in the Pi family either, so that's still a dead-end.
 

Phishfry

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Yes and thanks to TI we have all the source in FreeBSD. BBB is an excellent platform.
With its wealth of IO it is still the best choice on FreeSBD. embedded eMMC is nice too.
I never tried the BBB Green. The BBB Black did all I needed.
The addition of Wifi seemed to be a turning point on these boards. They went from PRUSS and PRU like features to bubble gum.
Grove connectors? Whats wrong with pins? Do I need HDMI on an embedded board? Do I need video at all?
I never understood how a crypto miner could use these boards either... People just invent uses it seems.
 

ucomp

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well, things become a bit clearer now..even on the cloud-side I had not the best experience ... because I paid $2,50 a day for an AWS-ARM64-VM whereas I pay $2,50 a month for an X86-cloud-VM. not very attractive to develop ports on such an Arm-backend..
 

Phishfry

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I wonder if the 30x price is because of the high price of the Arm Server gear. Xeon versus Arm can't be that far apart in cost.
Maybe it is demand based pricing? Wonder who is using the Gigabyte rack units..

If you have to ask how much they cost then you can't afford them. No pricing on the Gigabyte offerings.
 

ucomp

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I compared an AWS 4GB RAM Arm64VM incl. 10GB S3 FreeBSD-VM-image usage 1 day with my cheapest 4GB RAM Hetzner x86-FreeBSD-VM , far and wide no cheap offer for ARM VMs, seems s AWS is even the only one which offers ARM-VMs except a company which has not the best feedback from users ... O.K., good night and thanks for yours clear statements to Arm-status of FreeBSD here ...
 

CraigHB

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The TI offering - that one I know - and the NXP offerings - only from hear-say - are documented very well and it's a lot easier to support these.
I don't know what Broadcom did to get such a hold on the ARM market, but anyone can make an ARM processor by paying the license. TI and NXP make really nice stuff, I've used a range of their chip products. I've not used any of their ARM processors, but I'm sure they're up to snuff with the rest of their line.

It would be nice if an SBC maker could get an RPi like hold on the market using a TI or NXP ARM processor. In that case FreeBSD support could actually become pretty solid provided there's developer interest. TI documentation is exceptionally good, best I've seen for any chip maker.

There's at least one inexpensive Intel based SBC I know of that can sort of fill the stop gap. The Hardkernel Odroid-H2 could be a good option (https://www.hardkernel.com/shop/odroid-h2) . It's still more expensive than an RPi, but also a lot cheaper than a desktop build.
 

jem

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I was lucky enough to order one of these on Friday when they very briefly came back into stock at one of the UK resellers. It arrived next morning.

For now I am only running Raspbian Buster on it, as I believe there have been enough changes to the platform to mean that existing RPi-compatible OS builds won't work.

First impressions are that it feels much snappier than the 3B+. I believe the SDcard interface is faster and I/O heavy stuff like installing loads of packages is much quicker than it used to be.

The gigabit and wireless interfaces are PCIe attached, not USB as they were in previous versions.

It seems like a very good improvement, but until more OS choices are available, it may be a bit limited in usefulness.
 

Spartrekus

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I am kinda sure that I will break the mini hdmi of rpi4, because I travel a lot and it is easily broken ...
 

ucomp

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I am kinda sure that I will break the mini hdmi of rpi4, because I travel a lot and it is easily broken ...
😂 ...
and don`t let the beer leak out in your backpack, also the USB-ports are from very poor hardware-design in this regard .
 

Phishfry

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I am kinda sure that I will break the mini hdmi of rpi4, because I travel a lot and it is easily broken ...
I had a MinnowboardMax rigged up mobile and broke the microHDMI off that with a Liliput monitor connected.
Well, now it's tty console-only on that board.
$150 oops.
It gave me a reason to buy the Minnowboard Turbot (newer model).
The TinCan lure is nice as it adds some mPCIe for Wifi and mSATA compared to Arm boards.
Plus we have GPIO driver in base for Minnowboard.
You can find them new on ebay for $70 but they were pre-production boards like the MBMax(No RTC/CMOS battery holder or pins).
If the Silverjaw lure was still available I would buy a MBMax for $70. I know how to solder now!
 

Spartrekus

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I had a MinnowboardMax rigged up mobile and broke the microHDMI off that with a Liliput monitor connected.
Well, now it's tty console-only on that board.
$150 oops.
It gave me a reason to buy the Minnowboard Turbot (newer model).
The TinCan lure is nice as it adds some mPCIe for Wifi and mSATA compared to Arm boards.
Plus we have GPIO driver in base for Minnowboard.
You can find them new on ebay for $70 but they were pre-production boards like the MBMax(No RTC/CMOS battery holder or pins).
If the Silverjaw lure was still available I would buy a MBMax for $70. I know how to solder now!
Can at some point we return to regular HDMI rather than microHDMI? It means more machine to be built, because like phones, many might be defect after little use.
modern hardware ... I still have my old HP calc .... still working.
 

Phishfry

Son of Beastie

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Can at some point we return to regular HDMI rather than microHDMI?
I wish they had VGA. Too many EDID headaches with HDMI. Have you ever seen VGA not connect because of EDID.
Instead of the CSI camera and DSI interface, VGA please.
The comment about CuBox is right on. I have HummingBoard Ix4 and they seem way better. MiniPCIe slot onboard.
Solid Run is really trying hard in this arena with lots of offerings.
They must be challenging Gateworks and some of the others established in the commercial space. Maybe half the price.
 

Spartrekus

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I wish they had VGA. Too many EDID headaches with HDMI. Have you ever seen VGA not connect because of EDID.
Instead of the CSI camera and DSI interface, VGA please.
The comment about CuBox is right on. I have HummingBoard Ix4 and they seem way better. MiniPCIe slot onboard.
Solid Run is really trying hard in this arena with lots of offerings.
They must be challenging Gateworks and some of the others established in the commercial space. Maybe half the price.
this is the fun that close source software driven by large companies like microsoft will influence opensource hardware and available technologies.

Raspberry is destined to opensource linux, but if they use old technologies, might oblige raspberry to implement newer techs.
HDMI will disappear like PS2, like COM1, like LPT, like old cables, ...
If we used those old technologies, we would still use MSDOS or that old vim. We would never had emails all the time with us on the iphone or android samsung. ...
 
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