Author Topic: Raspberry Pi  (Read 1742 times)

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Offline Captain Video

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Raspberry Pi
« on: February 10, 2019, 02:48:33 PM »
Every once in a while I get jealous of another country.
I'm lucky to have a Microcenter near where I live which has a great  small electronics section but the idea of an Apple like Raspberry Pi store gets me very excited.

https://techcrunch.com/2019/02/07/the-raspberry-pi-store-is-much-cooler-than-an-apple-store/?utm_source=tcfbpage&sr_share=facebook&fbclid=IwAR2APXdO2qtKudE5WK4BC5cGqNYPN0Chj1mBbhoFxZw2ItlYPFlWjmD-quo

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The Raspberry  Pi Foundation just unveiled a brand new project — an actual store. If you live in Cambridge in the U.K., you can now buy a bunch of sweet Raspberry Pis with which to tinker and develop some cool stuff.

I would hope there is a place close by where you can get meat pies to get the full British Pi(e) experience during a visit.



« Last Edit: June 24, 2019, 06:23:01 PM by Captain Video »
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Offline Harry Black

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Re: U.K. Pi(e)s
« Reply #1 on: February 10, 2019, 04:40:39 PM »
Aww. I thought this was going to be about meat pies.

Offline daniel1948

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Re: U.K. Pi(e)s
« Reply #2 on: February 10, 2019, 05:01:37 PM »
I was hoping for Apple pies. But that’s okay. I have 3/4 of a half pie I bought yesterday. I’ll have another slice today.
Daniel
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Offline BAWRFRS

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Re: U.K. Pi(e)s
« Reply #3 on: April 24, 2019, 02:04:20 PM »
Every once in a while I get jealous of another country.
I'm lucky to have a Microcenter near where I live which has a great  small electronics section but the idea of an Apple like Raspberry Pi store gets me very excited.

https://techcrunch.com/2019/02/07/the-raspberry-pi-store-is-much-cooler-than-an-apple-store/?utm_source=tcfbpage&sr_share=facebook&fbclid=IwAR2APXdO2qtKudE5WK4BC5cGqNYPN0Chj1mBbhoFxZw2ItlYPFlWjmD-quo

Quote
The Raspberry  Pi Foundation just unveiled a brand new project — an actual store. If you live in Cambridge in the U.K., you can now buy a bunch of sweet Raspberry Pis with which to tinker and develop some cool stuff.

I would hope there is a place close by where you can get meat pies to get the full British Pi(e) experience during a visit.



Thanks for sharing. I'm a Pi enthusiast, but I don't fit the mold very well, as I don't really care about physical computing nor coding. I am keen to get better at Linux though and move away from Windows PCs (Apple too, if I can swing it). I'm hoping I'm on my last PC. My desktop tower is something like 8.5 yrs old. My backup is a 6 yr old Dell laptop that now runs Raspberry Pi Desktop.

MicroCenter ... nerd paradise. Nearest one to me is 100mi, but it's kind of dumpy IMO. An excellent one is near where my son attends college. There's online of course, too.

There's a video online with a time lapse of the building of the Cambridge store. Pretty neat. The video you linked is amusing to me in that although it has an Apple-store-like feel, there's still the tangle of wires to and from the pi and keyboard/mouse/monitor. That's where the elegance ends, but that doesn't bother some of us.
The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts.  - Bertrand Russell

Online Alex Simmons

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Re: U.K. Pi(e)s
« Reply #4 on: April 24, 2019, 04:41:19 PM »
It does sound like a hobby I might be interested in one day, but I have no idea where to start. And more importantly no real clue as to what I would create with it. I've read articles along the lines of "top 10 raspberry pi projects" but none of them appeal to me.

What do people here do with their Pis?

Offline BAWRFRS

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Re: U.K. Pi(e)s
« Reply #5 on: April 24, 2019, 10:18:17 PM »
It does sound like a hobby I might be interested in one day, but I have no idea where to start. And more importantly no real clue as to what I would create with it. I've read articles along the lines of "top 10 raspberry pi projects" but none of them appeal to me.

What do people here do with their Pis?

As implied in my post, I feel similarly to you w/r/t RPi projects. It's intended for CS education, and it is extremely well-suited to that role.

For me, the Pi is literally a backup computer and I have set it up so that I can do nearly everything my desktop can do, including wireless printing, web, email, LibreOffice suite (writer, calc, impress), PDFs, jpg editing, mp3 of music and podcasts, password manager, etc etc. A desktop replacement is my goal. There are two main obstacles at this point to fully replicating my current desktop functionality:

  • Scanning. My flatbed scanner is a 13-yr-old Epson workhorse, Perfection 3590. I use it almost daily, but I've not yet gotten it to work in Linux, and not sure that it can. It's possible a newer model will have a driver for Linux, but I'm not certain of that.
  • Extensive web browsing. The conventional wisdom is that the Pi is not optimally designed for lots of web browsing. The Pi's 1GB RAM and flash-based storage can be a weakness for browsing speed (random i/o, swap) and, for some cards, longevity. This can be largely overcome with external SSD or HDD, connected by USB. In fact, it can now boot from USB, but that's kind of clunky and perfecting such a setup is tricky to do well. That said, I have used it for web browsing just fine and it's not that slow using Chromium. It's wise to minimize the number of open browser tabs.


3 years ago Christopher Barnatt of Explaining Computers did a YT video of how he fared using a Raspberry Pi 2 as his only computer for a week. Caution: some of the specifics of what Raspbian and the Pi can and can't do is outdated (it's much more capable now, since the release of the 3B and 3B+, see: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raspberry_Pi#Specifications) but the general takeaway is that he got along just fine.

So anyway that's what I'm doing with it. I have taken it when traveling and hooked it up via HDMI to a hotel TV as a monitor and used it as a regular computer. I've set it up as a streaming media player. I've brought it to a meeting at which I gave a presentation, and ran the presentation slideshow from the pi (unbeknownst to the audience, until the end).

It's also my only computer that is not at risk of the Spectre and Meltdown vulnerabilities (which is becoming a whole class of vulnerabilities), since its chip does not use speculative execution. So that's something in its favor. It's a true general purpose computer that YOU control, rather than one that phones home with telemetry, updates on its own and sometimes breaks stuff or removes functionality, etc etc. It's your job to get under the hood and figure out how to make it do what you want it to do.

And frankly, IMO they're doing a lot of good in the educational world, and I'd probably buy one even if I had nothing to do with it. But I'd love for it to be my desktop replacement someday, and an older Pi will be my backup. Whether I can live within its limitations is an open question, but I would like for it to work out. It's the computer equivalent of a Tiny House.
The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts.  - Bertrand Russell

Offline PANTS!

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Re: U.K. Pi(e)s
« Reply #6 on: April 25, 2019, 12:43:26 PM »
What do you use as the browser for the Pi?
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Offline BAWRFRS

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Re: U.K. Pi(e)s
« Reply #7 on: April 25, 2019, 02:42:01 PM »
Chromium, the open-source version of Chrome.

In my experience, the Pi could not run Firefox as well as I'd like, but that would have been my preference.

Web browsing has become very resource hungry ... it's tough on the Pi. With Chromium, it's quite acceptable. Not quite as much with FF.

I do wonder if there were mobile versions of web pages that the Pi would access by default; I think FF would work better. However, it's my (very loose and uncertain) understanding that where there is a mobile version, web pages serve up based on your monitor/display size, not your processor, vram, or other characteristics.
The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts.  - Bertrand Russell

Offline BAWRFRS

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Re: U.K. Pi(e)s
« Reply #8 on: April 27, 2019, 07:54:58 AM »
Just finished going through and enjoying the tech.jpg thread. The most recent post is apropos to my comment about how the resources demanded by today's ad-bloated web have more than kept up with advances in processing power. Although it strikes me as hyperbole, the more general point is definitely on the mark.


The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts.  - Bertrand Russell

Offline Captain Video

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Re: Raspberry Pi
« Reply #9 on: June 24, 2019, 06:29:30 PM »
I changed the thread title to Raspberry pi

The Pi 4 is out this week and it looks sweet!

https://www.raspberrypi.org/products/raspberry-pi-4-model-b/specifications/

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Specifications
Broadcom BCM2711, Quad core Cortex-A72 (ARM v8) 64-bit SoC @ 1.5GHz
1GB, 2GB or 4GB LPDDR4-2400 SDRAM (depending on model)
2.4 GHz and 5.0 GHz IEEE 802.11ac wireless, Bluetooth 5.0, BLE
Gigabit Ethernet
2 USB 3.0 ports; 2 USB 2.0 ports.
Raspberry Pi standard 40 pin GPIO header (fully backwards compatible with previous boards)
2 × micro-HDMI ports (up to 4kp60 supported)
2-lane MIPI DSI display port
2-lane MIPI CSI camera port
4-pole stereo audio and composite video port
H.265 (4kp60 decode), H264 (1080p60 decode, 1080p30 encode)
OpenGL ES 3.0 graphics
Micro-SD card slot for loading operating system and data storage
5V DC via USB-C connector (minimum 3A*)
5V DC via GPIO header (minimum 3A*)
Power over Ethernet (PoE) enabled (requires separate PoE HAT)
Operating temperature: 0 – 50 degrees C ambient
* A good quality 2.5A power supply can be used if downstream USB peripherals consume less than 500mA in total.

Benchmarks and review

https://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/raspberry-pi-4-b,6193.html

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The most important new features are the faster processor and GPU, more and faster RAM, the addition of USB 3 ports, dual micro HDMI ports instead of a single HDMI connection and support for 4K output. The higher bus speed that enables USB 3 support also allows the  on-board Ethernet port to support true Gigabit connections (125 MBps) where the last-gen models had a theoretical maximum of just 41 MBps. The microSD card slot is also twice as fast, offering a theoretical maximum of 50 MBps versus 25 MBps on the 3B+.

Because the new SoC needs more power, the Raspberry Pi 4 B charges over USB Type-C instead of micro USB. It also requires a power adapter that can deliver at least 3 amps of power and 5 volts, though you may be able to get away with 2.5 amps if you don’t attach many peripherals to the USB ports. Putting aside the power needs, USB Type-C connectors are reversible, which makes them much easier for kids (and adults) to plug in.

Im very excited about this, duel monitors will save me a ton of money and time.  Im not thrilled with the power requirements and the new plugs but I will get over it.
“Don't explain computers to laymen. Simpler to explain sex to a virgin.”
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Offline PANTS!

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Re: Raspberry Pi
« Reply #10 on: June 24, 2019, 06:35:36 PM »
I think I will get one and set up Kinja on my way to going cable free.
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Online brilligtove

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Re: Raspberry Pi
« Reply #11 on: June 24, 2019, 10:23:58 PM »
I've been thrilled that these exist for ages, but so far never had a reason to get one. Those are some pretty impressive specs, though. Now I just need a reason...
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Offline BAWRFRS

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Re: Raspberry Pi
« Reply #12 on: June 25, 2019, 11:24:38 AM »
I've been thrilled that these exist for ages, but so far never had a reason to get one. Those are some pretty impressive specs, though. Now I just need a reason...

For me, it's:

- a tool for learning Linux
- a backup (tertiary) computer, with the possibility of future promotion
- a guest computer
- a more secure* computer

* through the 3B+ model, it is not vulnerable to the class of side-channel attacks known as Spectre / Meltdown, due to the chips' eschewing of speculative execution. It's unclear to me if this design constraint was kept in model 4 B.

I'm looking forward to hearing more about the design choices that led to the 4 B. For instance, the move to dual micro-HDMI inputs. I'm not crazy about all the cables going in and out of the box, and this just adds two more dongle adapters. However, I do get that some HDMI cables are so stiff that not only can they cause the Pi to not sit flat on a table, it actually causes stress on the board where the input port is. So if there was a little lead that was more flexible, the Pi might sit more level and without as much torquing stress.

It's my understanding that USB boot (which could be done, somewhat, with the 3B/3B+) is not yet functional on the 4B, but will be, in time, with updates. For now, it must boot by microSD card, which, for all its issues, is a less-cluttered solution. On the 3B/3B+, boot from HDD was not very reliable ... few of them spin up in time, even with a boot delay. Using a SATA external enclosure didn't help in my case either - I had hoped to spin it up and then start the Pi, but it didn't really spin up until the Pi was started too. Boot from USB flash drive works fine, but has similar shortcomings to the microSD card - namely, i/o speed and wear issues. It would be nice if the 4B could, eventually, boot straight from say an external HDD that is connected via USB 3.0. Some folks have figured out how to boot from microSD but put root on external SSD or HDD, but the threads I've followed suggest to me it's rather complicated and not reliable (in the sense that what works for one person works for another). It seems that there could also be an issue of updating / upgrading when you have a boot process customized like that. You might have to re-customize with every update, IDK. I try to keep to setups that are replicable (i.e., tweaks that work regardless of your HDD model or cable type or whatever) and easy to maintain (don't have to re-do work - like say CUPS installation or edits to config file - with each update).
The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts.  - Bertrand Russell

Online The Latinist

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Re: Raspberry Pi
« Reply #13 on: June 25, 2019, 02:45:55 PM »
I intend to get a 4 GB model and set it up with ChromiumOS (an open-source implementation of ChromeOS) and an old LCD for my kids to use at home.  My daughter starts in a 1:1 Chromebook classroom this fall, so it will give her a chance to practice her skills on something familiar without breaking the bank.
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Offline BAWRFRS

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Re: Raspberry Pi
« Reply #14 on: July 06, 2019, 10:22:28 AM »
I intend to get a 4 GB model and set it up with ChromiumOS (an open-source implementation of ChromeOS) and an old LCD for my kids to use at home.  My daughter starts in a 1:1 Chromebook classroom this fall, so it will give her a chance to practice her skills on something familiar without breaking the bank.

Just curious if you got one, The Latinist.

I am still waiting in the wings; no rush ... it's still just a backup computer for me. Other than the things I mentioned above, one issue that seems to be coming up with some regularity is the much higher heat it generates. The difference in thermal images are pretty dramatic, and early tests indicate that it's easy to end up with a lot of throttling of the CPU to keep temps below a certain level (80C ?). There has been a firmware update that helps to a minor extent (lowers it 3-5C, IIRC), but it seems that the kinks are still being worked out. Hard to believe the thing might need a heat sink or fan. Probably not for light use, but given that they advertise lower-end desktop performance, well, that may come with greater heat dissipation needs.

At some point it seems you're asking too much of the thing - if you need desktop performance, get a real desktop with all the powerful hardware (and better cooling). You can always throw RPD (Raspberry Pi Desktop OS) on it if you want to stay in that UI. Part of the appeal of the Pi to me is learning how much you actually can do with such a little inexpensive thing. But it still has limits and compromises. You have to be willing to accept those, or acknowledge that it's not the right computer for your needs.
The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts.  - Bertrand Russell

 

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