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Comment Re:the market kindof already did that (Score 1) 401

Samsung PHONES are already using micro-USB for years... Only their tablets may still be using some proprietary connector (mine is several years old so I can't say about current tablets)

You may add the HP Prime calculator, the Raspberry Pi, The BeagleBoxBlack and other which also use micro-USB

Comment Re: Govt mandated? (Score 2) 401

They sold a billion units... with 2 or 3 different connectors...

in comparison to several billion product sold by all other PLUS pther devices which also decided to standardize on micro-USB (like HP Prime calculator, some bank card reader for e-banking, raspberry pi and other (Bannana pi, Beagle Bone, ...) and so on...

Apple is the outsider, not a standard...

Comment Re:Conversion Error (Score 1) 243

Programming is not about luck...

And a $3 arduino is as easy to program than a $25 one... that is much easier than for example PIC or AVR with "raw" C compiler.

Want to interface a small 2x16 LCD ? some servos ? some stepper ? some temperature captor ? there are libraries that make it a piece of cake... Much easier than programming PIC/AVR in ASM or C (without arduino libraries)... 8-9 years old kids can do it !!!

And if you use mBlock, even a 6 years old kid can program an Arduino (I use mBlock which is Scratch based to teach programming to my 6yrs old son)

so, yes, Arduino is much easier to program.

Comment Re:Conversion Error (Score 1) 243

And do you REALLY need a whole full fledged OS for a device that will be limited to ONE task and will do most of it's I/O through direct GPIO control ?

OS is about
- memory management
- task management
- device (peripherals) management

So, except if you plan to use this to generate a video signal, this is clearly a big overhead...

Some will say "I plan to use it as a media center"... except that for a media center, it's better to have some USB input (usbdisks) and network... back to regular Raspberries...

Remain the retro-gaming emulation... using HDMI as Composite don't have the Audio pins... hence more expensive screens (as the low-cost one are Composite only...). The extra cost for a full-fledged Raspberry becoming small...

Don't misinterpret what I say : I find that the Raspberry Pi 1/2 are great devices (and own several of these)... I'm just saying that this specific one is not a good one... looks like it was rushed out without enough planning...

- costs minimized... most connectors removed... but kept the micro-USB connector for the power in instead of having 2 pins (or solder pads) which would have led to same footprint but lower cost and allowing more options
- Composite VGA signal present... but not the sound signals (which would only have been two more solderpads)
- Several GPIO went unused when removing the network support... but they were not made available (as an header extension)

This was created for use-cases that are often better solved with other (cheaper) devices...

Comment Re:Not meant to be a good device but to undercut C (Score 1) 243

It looks like you don't know PICs and AVRs... 18F2550/18F4550 for example include USB hardware support... As do Mega 32U4 and other on AVR side.

SD support is nothing more than SPI and is supported by all these microcontroller

Remains the video output... but this strongly restrict the usecases where you'd need such a device... And most low-cost monitors (less than 20$, 4.5" go as low as 12$ on Aliexpress and other) DON'T support HDMI anyway..

Pi1 and Pi2 don't need USB Hub, have regular USB connectors (not micro-USB) and have onboard network so these extra costs don't apply...

Many people tend to forget that there are many devices beside Raspberries and Arduinos...

Comment Re:Conversion Error (Score 4, Informative) 243

Arduino has some advantages :

- cheaper (nano/pro clones are at less than 3$)
- lower power consumption
- both digital AND ANALOG pins
- exists in both 3v3 AND 5V (which is hobbyist friendlier)
- easier to begin computing (good libraries support, no need for that awful langage (IMHO) that is Python, we even have ardublock or mblock to make native visual (scratch-like) programming)

For connected projects, ESP8266 may be the way to go... lots of flash space, decent number of I/O and still cost lower than RaspZero.

Comment Not meant to be a good device but to undercut CHIP (Score 3, Insightful) 243

As is, this Raspberry is quite useless... You need to add
- a SD card
- some header
- an USB Hub
- Some adapters (micro-USB to USB host, HDMI)
- Some network dongle (Wifi or RJ45)
- You can use the video composite output... but you don't have any sound output so video composite is rather useless and you need to use more expensive HDMI monitors

When you add all these hidden costs, you get a price similar to Raspberry 1 or 2... in a much less practical form.

They stripped the card of everything possible to reach that 5$ price tag... which make me think that they wanted to undercut the C.H.I.P. which is going out in a couple of month and will be 9$...

Useless product... Microcontrollers (AVR/PIC/...) or conventionnal Raspberry/BBB/... are much more useful.

Comment Similar was done on the ZX Spectrum (Score 2) 55

Back in the 80ies, the ZX Spectrum had a Z80 clocked at 3.25 MHz (about half TI's clock) and a direct control to the speaker (OUT(0xFE),x allowed to change border color, speaker output and tape output).

There were many games that were using that simple 1-bit control to play multi-channel music, some even simulating ADSR enveloppe (Release was missing).

You may find many old Spectrum games using these tricks like Gyroscope, Fox fights back, Dizzy série, ...

Basically, same processor, lower clock frequency, same kind of output... nothing impressive... but still a nice hack...

Comment Re:Dashboards (Score 1) 423

Nav system needs to know vehicle speed to interpolate when GPS signal is lost

Entertainment needs two of RPM, speed, gear shift to evaluate the road noise (both from wheels on road and from the engine)

Nav can make a nice addition if coupled with gas-tank level (to show reachable gas stations)... Except that accurate gas-tank level can only be measured when the vehicule is stopped... So fuel consumption (which can always be measured accurately) will allow proper extrapolation.

Gear shift can be used for rear-cam/rear-radar used as park-helpers

Comment Re:Why do they need ANY info? (Score 1) 423

Information not only about "in motion" but about speed is a huge improvement for Navigation

People are used to "tomtom" and other removable Navigation systems... but serious one used to require the vehicle speed for years. When you enter some tunnel, it allows the system to continue to track the movements of the car while the GPS signal is lost.

Using a compass and the car speed let the navigation system follow your track without GPS signal... directly on the map. Well, it's not utterly precise but it is usually precise enough to keep track for a few kilometers.

Being able to know the RPM of the engine and the speed of the car also allow to evaluate the environmental sound level and adjust the audio system's volume accordingly, lowering it when you stop at a traffic light or when you slow down and putting it back in "normal" volume when you're driving.

So, there are plenty of useful uses for that data...

I guess that, as VM group (VM, Audi, Porsche and other) already uses Android on other cars, they wanted an excuse to use Apple's system on porsche as usually, people who drive such cars like to show their wealth, including through an iPhone. It's not about data or system quality, it's only about flattering the ego of their customers.

Comment Re:old clunky junk (Score 1) 170

Arduino fill a niche that nothing else can fill...

My last design used some PIC16F and other... it took me several hours to get the program running on the prototype (breadboard and such)...

But last year's Halloween, I had a "last minute idea"... an Arduino, one servo, one movement detector module, some bamboo sticks, some nylon wire and a plastic spider... It took me about 1/4h to wrap it up (and 10 more minutes to install it in my entrance "black chapel")... that's the Arduino real strength... You can hack some stuff very easily and fast... If I wanted to do it with some PIC, I'd have had to begin with breadboard, pickit, doc and calculator to get my timer use correct, ... it wouldn't have been ready for the first child who came to ring at my door.

Comment Re:old clunky junk (Score 1) 170

I'd add that /* ... */ comments are cleaner and more powerfull than their // counterpart :

It allows things like :
void foo(int bar /* the bar parameter*/ , char *barbar /* the output buffer */) {...}

End of comment is explicit (unlike the // where the end is implicit) which makes more sense with C that uses explicit end markers anywhere ";", "}"; "]", ")"... and "*/"...

As for the variables declaration in the beginning of the function, it's also cleaner... Having a cleaner code requires more work but, in the end, helps for code maintenance.

so, the // comment and the variable déclaration anywhere in the block are not real improvements.

A real improvement was when we switched from
void foo (bar,barbar)
int bar;
char *barbar;
{ ... }

to
void foo(int bar, char*barbar) {...}

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