So you’re hip. You’ve got your very own Raspberry Pi, right? And you’ve probably spent at least twice what you paid for your Raspberry Pi just to get it running. Because as cheap as it is, keyboards, mice, etc. all add up.
Well, you’re already behind the fad, because those of you on the B-List just got gamed by the As. You’ve overpaid for your Pi. You’ve got too much hardware.
That’s right. When Raspberry Pi was first launched, it was launched as the much more usable B model, with that lovely ethernet port, 512MB of RAM, and two USB ports.
Which we all know, you don’t really need, right?
Well, the trimmer, slimmer, more fit (it’s the same size actually) Raspberry Pi A model has finally been released. It has only 256MB of RAM, no ethernet, and just one measly USB port. But it’s cheaper. And without all of that superfluous (allegedly) hardware, Model A consumes around just one-third of the power of Model B.
Which makes your Raspberry Pi A-game oriented at low-power uses such as, powered by the sun perhaps. Or maybe a hydrogen fuel cell? Or … who knows? The Pi’s the limit. Chances are though that your first USB peripheral is going to be … a network adapter. Probably some compound Wi-Fi / Bluetooth gizmo so that you can hook up a wireless keyboard and mouse as well as access data from World + Dog. (And then yank it out once whatever you’re developing is done?)
But the point is, we finally have the much-promised Raspberry Pi Lite.
Microsoft Surface – Finally Going Pro
For those of you who fancied the concept of a laptop that converts into a tablet … by means of ripping the keyboard off … but were too afraid of Windows RT on ARM to touch the Microsoft Surface, well you’re about to finally get your hands on the fatter glutton x86 flavor with the rotund resource-hungry full version of Windows 8. Yes, that’s right, in just a couple of days Microsoft is going to unleash the Microsoft Surface Pro onto the world.
Seriously folks … I don’t get it. Congrats, it’s finally a Microsoft Surface that you can actually (almost) use? Well, I guess there is that. But why anyone ever thought that Windows RT was in any way useful to begin with is beyond me. Congrats, it’s Windows … only without the ability to run your programs. Because even if everyone were to suddenly recompile all of their applications to run on ARM, which they won’t, Windows RT still doesn’t have that lovely part of the Windows kernel that lets applications run. It’s just Windows Phone … on a tablet. So they called it Windows RT instead of Windows Phone because if they told you that their tablet ran Windows Phone you’d probably expect that it could actually be a phone? I guess? I don’t know. The whole concept of Windows RT is just plain dumb. It’s Windows CE. It’s Windows Phone. It’s Windows RT. It’s not Windows.
Well, that horsehockey is finally done and gone as the Microsoft Surface Pro is everything it should have been with a full x86 CPU running a full version of Windows 8 that runs real applications and not just “apps”. Huzzah! All your software needs are met on the Pro version of the tablet.
(As if Microsoft couldn’t just put an Intel Atom – or AMD Fusion – into a Surface tablet to have run a full Windows 8 on, just with lower hardware specs than the Pro.)
But at the end of the day, the Microsoft Surface Pro is still just a convertible laptop where the keyboard is removable instead of swiveling into a concealed position under the monitor. And it’s still running Windows 8, not Windows 7. So you still probably don’t actually want the thing for actual everyday use, let alone to do real work on.
But at least soon it’ll be an option. Finally, a Surface tablet that you can almost use.
And if Microsoft hasn’t sold you on the benefits of Windows 8, well, you wouldn’t be the only one. When was the last time that you saw a Windows commercial? No, not a Surface tablet commercial, I mean an actual, “This is Windows 8. It’s better than Windows 7 because…” commercial. Advert in a magazine? Ad on the internet? Any advertisement? Anywhere?
For that matter, why is Windows 8 better than Windows 7? Oh, right, because it’s harder to use, especially if you use a mouse and keyboard like the incredible vast majority of the world does. Good. Got it. Sorted. Well gee, I’m sold! How about you?