I’ve been following the problems of the Internet of (Broken) Things, starting with the problems we have with routers (ie, Dave Täht’s bufferbloat project) and the hilarious sight of insecure security cameras being used for botnets.
However, Colin McGregor just wandered past with the solution in his pocket.
All too many devices are managed by tiny embedded processors, with no operating system and mostly programmed in assembler. We’ve known these are a problem since the days of the Z80, but we didn’t have anything better.
That’s arguably still true of the CPU in a light-bulb. It isn’t in the general case.
Colin had a raspberry pi board that was smaller than the embedded Z80 boards of my youth, running raspbian. At about the same price as the Z80s. All the work on security, quality and upgradability that has been done on Debian applies to the pi. All the heavy lifting that rocket scientists like Dave Täht did for performance and reliability on routers applies to the pi. No more reinventing the world to cram it into a 64kb address space.
With the possible exception of lightbulbs, the “things” in the Internet of Things need no longer be broken and unfixable the day they’re released.