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There's just no rationalizing away the fact that they have been grossly underpowered regardless of context.
I have to disagree there. They are plenty powerful for learning basic coding on. They're plenty powerful for a basic web server for a local network. They're plenty powerful for controlling various bits of hardware via the GPIO port. They're plenty powerful for plenty of things.
Just do your gaming in the spare room. Put a small quiet/silent PC in the living room for media centre stuff if you cannot live without a living room PC.
Also, I'd have to advise against replacing the TV with a projector. They're hellishly expensive if you get one with decent resolution, require a pitch black room to look any good, effectively prevent rearranging the living room, etc.
why do kids need a pi to learn programming, its a shitty platform all around and offers nothing special in regards to programming
Because it's a cheap computer that they can own themselves and be free to experiment with, rather than the expensive family PC that their parents will stop them from doing anything adventurous with. That the hardware itself offers nothing special is irrelevant. That it's a "shitty platform" is irrelevant. You don't need blazing fast network throughput, massive storage or heaps of CPU power for learning basic programming. You just need a functional system with the necessary basic tools for programming, and this provides it for very little cost.
It really depends what the particular aim of the education is. If it's teaching hardware design to university students, sure, you've got a point. But it's not. The educational aims of the RaspPi Foundation are teaching primary school kids how to code and do simple stuff with a GPIO port. You don't need an entirely open platform to do that.
I'm in favour of things being completely open as much as the next man, but the reality is that there are instances where it's not the greatest concern. It doesn't matter to the ten-year-old writing Hello World in Python that the graphics driver is a binary blob or that the full specs of the SoC are not public. When he's got the knowledge and understanding to be able to delve into things like that (likely some years later), there's nothing stopping him from moving on to platforms that are completely open.
Interesting idea, and it is in general terms good that different options are appearing on the market. With that said, I see no compelling differences between this and the Raspberry Pi for my uses. Replaceable CPU/memory? Meh, $35-odd to entirely replace the whole computer is below my give-a-damn threshold. More CPU grunt is kind of nice, but to begin with anything I'm doing with something in this class of computer is not something that needs a great deal of that. More RAM? More or less the same thing as with CPU grunt. I've still got the earlier model of RasPi with only 256MB in active service as my ssh/torrent/whatever box, and it works just fine with such little memory.
Plus, the Raspberry Pi is a popular platform with its particular hardware features well supported by a variety of software. I imagine this thing's SoC has a different hardware mpeg4 decoder than the RasPi (if it even has one), for example, meaning you couldn't just take a RasPi build of XBMC and use it with this.
Still, if you do need something that's the size and approximate cost of a Raspberry Pi but with a little more power, or the same size and a bit more costly with a bit more power and more RAM, good for you, you now have another option.
Also, my career is irrelevant. I can build a house. But my career is in technology. So I would have to turn a hobby into a job.
I'm glad there are people who understand this; that one's career or profession is not the only knowledge and worth they have. I, for example, work retail in a not especially post apocalyptically useful field, and IT. Selling stuff is arguably going to be useful post-apocalypse, but I am also capable of building things.
Steve Jobs made a personal decision which he believed was the best, most correct solution to the problem he faced. I'm somewhat saddened that (in retrospect) he made a very bad decision, but it was his decision to make.
But was it necessarily a bad decision? From the simplistic view of living vs not living, maybe so. But maybe not... not everyone believes that "continue living at all costs" is good. I'm not super familiar with cancer treatments, but what I do know is that they're often supremely unpleasant to endure, often have a rather unpleasant aftermath, and aren't actually guaranteed to keep you alive. I can certainly understand people deciding "no, I'll just let the cancer run its course." I imagine that Steve Jobs, looking back on his life and accomplishments, might well have thought "maybe that's enough that I need not cling desperately to life as long as possible."
Of course, I never really followed the details of his cancer and death, so that is basically pure speculation. But the point is that "I don't want this treatment for myself" is perfectly fine. "No-one should have this treatment because it betrays illness culture" is not.
They truly do not see being deaf as a handicap, some of them even consider the ability to hear an unnecessary burden, as bizarre as that seems.
That doesn't seem bizarre at all to me, it just seems like human nature. "I get by quite fine without being able to hear. In fact, I'm better off not being able to hear!" Substitute the ability to hear with basically anything else that some people have and others don't, you get the same sort of thing. Bald people who tell you that it's a sign they've got more testosterone and are therefore better in bed, for example. "I'm better than people with a full head of hair." It's natural to (want to) see what makes you different from everyone else as something that makes you better than everyone else.
Personally, I try to avoid doing shit like that. There are certain conditions* I have which are a disadvantage to me, that some people say means I have advantages in other ways. If an actual cure were developed for them, I'd be celebrating. And beating the shit out of anyone who tried to prevent others from taking it because "it's killing [condition] culture!" A culture born of a reduced quality of life is a culture we can stand to lose.
*I don't like advertising the specifics, and they're not really relevant.