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December 24th, 2015

Poll: You’re All About the Raspberry Pi

We didn’t let it get us down after our server hiccuped and lost our active poll results last week. We just turned around and put up another poll. Unfortunately, our rebooting-the-reboot poll (we were only three polls into a reboot of polling on FOSS Force after an absence of a year or more) wasn’t as popular with our visitors as the two we lost, but hey, that’s life.

[yop_poll id=”42″]

For this poll we focused on the Raspberry Pi. We’ve been pleasantly surprised by the number of you who read The Raspberry Pi Report, Isaak Carter’s bi-weekly coverage of the Pi machines here on FOSS Force, so we thought we’d see just how far into the Raspberry Pi phenomena you dwell. We wondered how many of you already own a Pi, how many are thinking of getting one to tinker with, and how many of you just plain aren’t interested. We were also wondering how many of you might be influenced by the super low $5 price of the recently released Pi Zero.

We asked the question: “Does the $5 price of the Raspberry Pi Zero make you more likely to kick the tires of a Raspberry Pi?” The answers: “Maybe. I don’t know,” “No. I’m not interested” and “I’m already a Raspberry Pi user.” We figured that pretty much covered it, so we didn’t include an “other” answer, which means there were no write-in votes.

Again, the voting was low. The poll, up for a week, was originally scheduled to come down Wednesday, but was extended by a day in the hope it would collect more votes. Seventy-eight of you voted in all, compared with over five hundred in the now lost email poll, a number we consider to be at the very low end of normal. Overwhelmingly, you showed support for the Raspberry Pi — by a little over 91 percent if we count the sole fence sitter as a supporter.

Over half of you indicated that you already own one of the devices, a figure that was undoubtedly skewed by being predominately featured in Carter’s most recent Raspberry Pi Report. Forty of you, or 51.3 percent, said you already own a Raspberry Pi. Thirty-one, or 39.7 percent, said you’d be interested in trying one, and because of the way the answer was worded, that the answer was influenced by the low price of the Zero. There was the one “I don’t know” vote, and only six who shook their heads and said, “No. I’m not interested.”

Our unscientific reboot-the-reboot poll, small sampling and all, indicates there is amazing interest in these very capable DIY devices. Even if we give a lot of weight to the fact that many visitors voted their indifference toward the Pi by not taking voting — remember, even a poll with a “high voter turnout” only constitutes a small percentage of total visitors — the number of users who either own one or more of the devices or might be considering getting one would score at over 50 percent. Of course, your experience might vary.

This has to be a great thing for the body politic. Almost all new users of the device, including many who work in tech, will need to hit the Web and the bulletin boards to learn or relearn some basic computer science. In the age of technology, knowledge of technology by many is important. But again, just saying…

Merry Christmas, happy holidays or both from all of us at FOSS Force. Even if you don’t celebrate, have a great day.

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Christine Hall has been a journalist since 1971. In 2001, she began writing a weekly consumer computer column and started covering Linux and FOSS in 2002 after making the switch to GNU/Linux. Follow her on Twitter: @BrideOfLinux

6 comments to Poll: You’re All About the Raspberry Pi

  • Mike

    Raspberry Pis and other single board computers are amazing in their versatility. I think they’ve rekindled a spirit of tinkering I’ve not seen in computing since the 80’s.

    I currently have Pi’s as:

    – A media center front-end. I watch all my video through it.
    – A 3D-printer controller.
    – A home audio solution controlled from my phone/tablet.

    Most of these took little effort to set up.

    If you ask me, these are the real danger to Microsoft and the other giants. If people get used to having things work exactly the way they want, they may begin to question all the crap the big corporates keep throwing in their way like unavoidable advertising, mandatory activation, spying, information siphoning, and DRM. Something to consider.

  • Mike

    …One more thing for the list of corporate crap that is extemely annoying:

    The super cool little gadget that is promptly forgotten by the manufacturer with no firmware/software updates…ever.

    I see a future internet-of-things divided into two camps:

    – The open one, running things like the Pi with continuing updates and total user control.

    – The corporate one with stagnating software, vulnerabilities galore, and privacy intrusions by manufacturers on a whole new scale.

    Of course the second one will get lots of takers as people are drawn to shiny gadgets with promises of magic-like qualities, with the hidden cost of everyone’s privacy.

  • sl

    “Of course the second one will get lots of takers as people are drawn to shiny gadgets with promises of magic-like qualities, with the hidden cost of everyone’s privacy.”

    Most of the world couldn’t give a fig for the RPi, as it is not, in their view, a finished product. Doesn’t have an exterior look designed by a pimple-faced industrial designer and those spikey things? What are you supposed to do with them? Maybe if I walk across the nylon carpet in my leather soled shoes and then handle the underside, it will work like my sani-pad.

    Not knocking the RPi…I own 2 and have real world tasks for them, one finished and working at home automation and the other progressing as a scientific instrument. Greatest thing since crunchy peanut-butter.

  • Mike

    @sl

    Of course the Pi isn’t a “finished product” in the sense that it is a flexible core for pretty much anything you want to do with it. But you can certainly build a finished product upon it that is every bit as shiny as the proprietary garbage out there.

    My point was that there will be internet-of-things products based on openness and others based around the miasma of proprietary crap that is currently being pushed everywhere you look.

    Of course the crap will always find an audience, but I think a growing audience is gravitating towards open products. Right now it is primarily just makers and students, but I see that changing if momentum continues to build.

  • gus3

    The Raspberry Pi’s target audience isn’t the Charles Babbage’s of the world, who know what things do. No, its target audience is the Ada Lovelace’s of the world, who imagine what things *can* do.

  • CFWhitman

    I never saw the poll, and I have three Raspberry Pi units (one Model B, and two Model 2 B boards). I’ve used them more as hardware for Kodi than anything else at this point (It’s very convenient to have all of your DVDs and Blu-Rays ripped to files on a server and to be able to browse through them without rifling through physical disc cases, not to mention music, YouTube access, etc.). However, I have plans for some other experiments with them.