There’s a fair amount of FUD here. The light sensitivity was fixed with a new 
component run (and, incidentally, is not specific to the Pi, you can take out 
other exposed electronics/computers with a flash), and the reliability pretty 
much became a non-issue since the Pi 2.

People buy Pis because of the ecosystem, flexibility (you get a full blown 
Linux system for a few bucks that can drive an HD monitor, an external hard 
drive for media and Wi-Fi), the educational aspects (the official distribution 
ships with Scratch, Python and a free edition of Mathematica) and the relative 
bang for buck. 

I have several editions (originals, 2s, 3s and Zeros) and use the smallest 
instead of Arduino boards for situations where more CPU and expand ability are 
required—I’ve resurrected a dead synth by wiring in a Pi with a USB DAC and 
installing timidity, my 3D printer is managed and monitored (with a webcam) by 
another, my digital oscilloscope is a quad-core Pi 2 with an 800px LCD display, 
and I use Pi 3s as thin terminals (besides a few other uses).

A Pi 3 is good enough to code in, and I have a Pi 2 running Plan 9 without any 
glitches (although I’ve been meaning to investigate moving to the 3 for 

I also have a few Arduinos, but have been phasing them out in favor of ESP8266 
devices, which are usually smaller and just as easier to work with (I code for 
those in C, Python or Lua, depending on flavor).

Both kinds of devices have (save from initial teething issues) been quite 
reliable in my experience. ESP8266s, in particular, have become common in 
commercial consumer devices, but Pi compute modules are used by some media 
players and digital signage.


> On 4 Feb 2018, at 09:45, Ethan Grammatikidis <> wrote:
>> On Sat, Feb 3, 2018, at 11:46 PM, Bakul Shah wrote:
>> Not to mention The RasPis are poor at
>> reliability.  Even a xenon flash or near a RasPi could power a
>> RasPi2 down! And since they do no onboard power regulation,
>> people had lots of problems early on -- add one more USB
>> device and the thing can become unreliable.
> This is probably an impossible question, but I've got to ask: Why do people 
> even buy RasPis? Like, for anything? Even when the first RPi was new, a 
> second hand laptop could offer far more processing power and reliability for 
> the same price, sometimes excepting the disk of course. Add a base station 
> with the old printer port and there's some GPIO; not as much as a RPi, it's 
> true, but there are ways around that. One alternative for GPIO is the 
> actually cheap boards from Ti or whoever which exist to interface Ethernet, 
> WiFi, Bluetooth, or USB on one side (depending on the board) to GPIO and 
> serial on the other. I think they're programmed in Forth, but I wouldn't be 
> surprised if you can just download programs for them to do anything you'd 
> want with remote control.
> -- 
> The lyf so short, the craft so long to lerne. -- Chaucer

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