Rob's Ramblings

Friday, 22 June 2012


OK.. I'm going to try and get something done for Retrochallenge 2012 :-)

 I'm currently a year into a redesign of, so will try and finish that.

 I'll also try mend a couple of machines and get the viewdata BBS connected back up to the Internet.
 (This is running on BBC Micros and Magic Modems from the 1980s - you can still telephone it ...)

 I might have to finish rebuilding the hobby room so I'll have space to do this...

Follow this specifically using the retrochallenge tag on this blog.

With luck, I'll at least get something part way done in the time.... :-)

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Sunday, 17 June 2012

Raspberry Pi - a comparatative unboxing.

Back in the mists of time, I woke up early in order to view the important announcement on the Raspberry Pi website, widely known to be their starting to take orders.  It seems I was not the only one to do this.  Their website held up, but the websites of their two chosen distributors collapsed almost immediately.

I did manage to get to an "express your interest" page on RS Components website, which I filled in.  It took until much later in the day to get on the Farnell site, where I managed to actually order two units.

Some days later, Farnell reduced the order quantity to one, and admitted they didn't have stock.

Eventually, on 4th May, RS mailed me, and I ordered a board from there.  It arrived on 9th May!

Farnell sent mine on 12th June..  Take off ten days due to a hiccup with the card I used, but still...some difference, especially as they had a confirmed order from the start!

Anyway, here's a side-by-side unboxing! There are some differences.

RS on the left, Farnell on the Right,

The obvious one is the thickness of the envelope - the farnell one was shoved through the letterbox!

This is why - they are using different size boxes! Farnell's is about the size of a pack of playing cards..

Nice security seals!
Ah, now we see why.  Lots of nice protective foam from RS.  Absolutely nothing from Farnell..

But they look pretty much the same inside.
Very subtle differences, though.  Extra print on the left hand side on RS's board.
A closer look.  You'll notice this has moved to the bottom (top right as shown) on Farnell's board.

and underneath...
You might just be able to see, the RS unit's CE marking is on a sticker, Farnell's is printed.

Now to play .... I quite like the idea of a Vax Cluster using them, but I might end up using at least one for XBMC/OpenELEC.   The other should, I hope, get some use teaching Tiddler some programming!

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