I’m somewhat surprised at how many people are getting upset about the RaspberryPi. They are grumbling about how it is a weak, underpowered device with the only plus point being the exceptionally low price. People, this device was devised and built for a specific task – getting children coding and learning about computers in general!! The price point is crucial, one could give it to a 4yr old (or 40yr old) and not worry too much if it accidentally gets juice poured on it or covered in chocolate spread.
Sure you can do the same sort of thing and then some more with a more powerful Pandaboard or any other ARMv7 powered device; but as a device to introduce little ones to the art of programming and all things computer related I think it is perfect. It is designed for the task of educating and as such doesn’t need or even want all the frills that a more powerful board can provide.
Not everything is about the highest specification. As long as there is enough oomph to get those inquisitive minds hacking, then there is no issue. Yes it would have been preferable if it was powered by an ARMv7, but the ARMv6 is more than capable for the task it is being used for. So what if one can’t run KDE4 or GNOME-shell? Those little fingers need to learn to use an editor for code, so a simple IDE or dare I say it – VI or EMACS – don’t need all the flashy whizz bang the big DEs provide.
What would be even better is if we could get openSUSE on the darling little thing. The thing is we have placed our stake in the ground and are focusing on ARMv7. This does not mean we won’t or don’t want to support ARMv6, we just need to focus otherwise we will never get anywhere. So if you would like to see a Raspberry flavoured Geeko then you are more than welcome to help out. The ARM team will help where we can and provide advice etc, but our time and effort is limited so don’t expect us to dive in and do the work for you ;-)