Otoh, we've reached the point where you can reasonably run an entire Linux server just to watch a button! Awesome.
I'm old-school embedded. So yeah, get off my lawn you kids that need an RPi, 700Mhz of clock, and a multitasking O/S to read a GPIO pin and send 10 bytes to a server.
But man, you can pretty much run Linux on a single chip now, so why mess with anything else? You can tangle with some other the other embedded O/Ses out there for months, or spin up something in Linux in an afternoon.
 almost. I've run Linux from an RZ/A1 but with a little bit of external QSPI NOR. I'm guessing the next generation of A9/A15 SoCs will stack more DRAM and NAND flash on top to make this a no-brainer.
Here's a link: http://octavosystems.com/2016/05/09/osd3358-new-era-integrat...
The schematics for all of their reference boards (aka Beaglebone Black/Green) are freely available, the chip has solid documentation, TI has a good Github+Linux repository, and you can make a really nice system out of it.
The Octavio part is nice, I'm also really interested in what NXP (cough cough Freescale) is doing with turning the iMX into a module. These are both pretty rare birds though. When I can get trays from DigiKey, we'll be cooking.
Dual-A9 is overkill for making an IoT device node, but hey if you're going to run Azure/Python/Node.js to send your 10-byte report, what the hell.
I don't think I will ever forgive TI for abandoning the Galaxy Nexus when they decided to abruptly exit the Android business. Since they chose not to update the drivers, Google couldn't update the GNex later Android versions despite being a Nexus phone. Google Glass had a TI chipset and Google managed to deploy a new Android version to it (I guess via some driver-compat work-around) but I hear the setup wasn't stable. I now avoid TI wherever possible.
I've since switched to the NXP/Freescale iMX family and it's pretty similar in a lot of ways.
I hadn't heard of them before, I just noticed the link you posted said octavosystems.com in the url, not octavio.
Probably a personal character fault. You're right that it is overkill. And I'll probably be tossing some more money towards SparkFun soon too - but the just from being a pure-software guy to buying/assembling the raw parts just shut me down :-(
Welcome to engineering. Pick one and finish the project. Then look back.
Yes, running an RPi Zero to watch a button press is overkill. So what? It optimizes delivery time over efficiency. You can optimize for cost or power later if you feel like it.
Anyhow, nice job.
At some point you'll want to use the Pi Zero for something else, and at that point you'll be able to use some other IoT package.
While the ESP8266 would save some power, the Pi reportedly uses around 0.7W with a USB Wifi adapter, or around 6KWh/year -- so would cost less than a dollar a year to operate. So he wouldn't save huge amounts of power.
Meanwhile, I just bought ten of these for $46.5:
Let's not kid ourselves. The Pi0 is not $5. It just pretends to be $5 for marketing.
Also check out this one. A wemos made in the shape of a Uno so you can use shields and everything for only $6.
I also designed a tiny breakout board that's pretty much the size of the ESP8266 12E plus some pins (https://github.com/skorokithakis/tiny-ESP8266-breakout), but it's just that, a breakout. I definitely prefer the WeMos for most things, nowadays.
Been meaning to have a go at rolling one of these myself using the mighty microchip MCP2221 instead.
I'm glad it's a CH340 - I've had no problems with those, unlike Prolific or (fake) FTDI devices.
No free shipping, but their ESP8266 modules don't come with free shipping either.
Non-starter. Doesn't even matter if its free if I can only get one. If its "the" pi zero on my bench it means it gets used much differently than if its "a" pi zero.
The point is, the Raspberry Pi Zero is $5 and stores sell them for that amount. There is more than one vendor out there. There's also a large demand and shortage of them.
So I was pointing out that you can find one for that price, even if not at quantity.
I can buy a nearly endless supply of $5 Zeros at my local Microcenter, so it's not all marketing. They are manufactured in-house and for various reasons haven't kept up with demand.
This sounds odd, I regularly see them going for $10+ on eBay. Why don't people just go to a Microcenter and get a few?
Not everyone is near a Microcenter, but there's an entire subreddit dedicated to people buying and shipping them out for people. Supposedly they don't make much if any money off it, mostly just covers gas+shipping+$5.
I don't mind paying for shipping, as the shipping isn't the computer.
I agree that they should be ramping up production to meet the demand there is. I also find given the educational angle that 1 per order is a quite fair way to go about distribuing them given the lack of supply.
The point on the delivered cost being the key is that many of the boards that would also be suitable for simple tasks like this are either free/very cheap shipping, or at the worst case you can amortize the $5-10 shipping charge across 10 units instead of 1.
What are you looking to do with them out of interest?
I just make weird things out of them. My latest one is an RC car that I was hoping could get some mapping software onto, and turn fully autonomous, although an ESP8266 talking to a laptop is acceptable (and what I'm currently doing).
And a $4 USB micro adapter.
And presumably a flash chip for the FS.
Add that to the fact that I've never been able to get a Zero into my hands for less than about $15 after shipping and all that when I can find one at all. (Sparkfun's shipping is only $5 for the ESP)
Its worth learning how to use the ESP8266. Once you've mastered it, you can get them for about $2 each with free shipping on ebay and aliexpress.
The ESP8266 works great as a standalone device and you can even flash it with the Arduino firmware, though I prefer NodeMCU.
For Lua, nodeMCU's got your back.
esp8266 flash utility: https://github.com/nodemcu/nodemcu-flasher
Tips: The cpu is responsible for everything, so if you crash it or get it into a loop the serial output will stop. Be careful with what you put in the init.lua, since it will run on startup. If you do get stuck in a boot loop simply hold down the button while pressing reset, and it will get into a recovery mode. Then use the nodemcu-flasher to reflash the chip.
If LiFi can work, surely IR should be good enough for simple signaling? Maybe there could be also a repeater in every room connected to mains for power and WiFi to signal each other?
It maybe interesting to have IR signals somehow encrypted.