Difficult decisions and compromises behind the Raspberry Pi

"YOU DON'T GET OWT FOR NOWT:" So says Peter Lomas, co-founder and trustee of the Raspberry Pi Foundation, who shares some of the difficult decisions behind its hyped $35 credit card-sized computer." What we learned is that you have to sell out (a little) to sell (a lot)," Lomas says, as he described his team's compromises with manufacturing and design. Case in point: team members were unified in the product vision, but their diverse backgrounds (hard/software, ICT, electronics, academia, etc.) meant different opinions on how to get there. Worse, their compromises have left some customers unhappy. The decision to hold back schematics (ostensibly to protect against copycat manufacturers) has prompted Ruby/JavaScript programmer Peter Zotov to belittle the Raspberry Pi as "a black box tightly sealed with patents and protected by corporations" that is "unsuitable for education."

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