Raspberry Pi

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Raspberry Pi

Postposted on Sun Mar 10, 2013 8:25 pm

So -- I'm looking for a new hobby toy...thinking about a Raspberry Pi -- what have you guys done with them??

What should I do with one? lol
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Re: Raspberry Pi

Postposted on Sun Mar 10, 2013 8:38 pm

BluePanda wrote:So -- I'm looking for a new hobby toy...thinking about a Raspberry Pi -- what have you guys done with them??

What should I do with one? lol
I'm not fond of the rPi. It's a 700Mhz single-core ARM11; too slow for anything useful really. It has a fast dedicated graphics ASIC but that's fixed-function and not very interesting either. (◕︿◕✿)

I like the $89 HardKernel ODROID-U2. It's a lot more expensive in relative terms, but in absolute terms it's still cheap and it's MUCH more capable, with a 1.7Ghz quad-core Cortex A9 (Samsung Exynos 4412.) Has a well-supported ARM Mali GPU too. (`・ω・´)
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Re: Raspberry Pi

Postposted on Sun Mar 10, 2013 8:44 pm

I was really wanting to get a Dragon12-Plus board -- but those things are hella expensive -- I mean not horrid in cost but a little pricey to "play" so to say.
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Re: Raspberry Pi

Postposted on Sun Mar 10, 2013 8:48 pm

BluePanda wrote:I was really wanting to get a Dragon12-Plus board -- but those things are hella expensive -- I mean not horrid in cost but a little pricey to "play" so to say.
I googled that, and I still have no idea what it is... (゚ー゚;
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Re: Raspberry Pi

Postposted on Sun Mar 10, 2013 8:49 pm

You can always use it for an HTPC!
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Re: Raspberry Pi

Postposted on Sun Mar 10, 2013 8:51 pm

CampinCarl wrote:You can always use it for an HTPC!


Too simple. Besides we already have a nice HTPC -- overbuilt too :P
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Re: Raspberry Pi

Postposted on Mon Mar 11, 2013 11:42 am

Mount it on a quadcopter, and see if you can get it to be autonomous.
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Re: Raspberry Pi

Postposted on Mon Mar 11, 2013 12:46 pm

I keep putting off getting one of these, but I want to grab a Pi and a gertboard and make an autonomous rover. Should be a very inexpensive way to get into robotics.
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Re: Raspberry Pi

Postposted on Mon Mar 11, 2013 1:37 pm

I've got 2 RPi's. My main usage is running XBMC. I have not time to play with more.

There are plenty of options, modmypi.com and Adafruit have lots of option kits for it. the big thing to remember is the Pi needs a good stable power source.
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Re: Raspberry Pi

Postposted on Mon Mar 11, 2013 5:59 pm

If you want robotics I might suggest you check out .NET Gadgeteer, it's expensive but it lets you do robotics and embedded/systems programming in .NET. Very fun stuff, not as many options as Arduino but it's .NET so you only need to worry about syntax/architectural bugs.

I don't have anything against Raspberry Pi but IMO it's been way overhyped and unless you need a cheap Linux SoM there's a better way to do whatever it is you want to do.
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Re: Raspberry Pi

Postposted on Tue Mar 12, 2013 11:14 am

NovusBogus wrote:If you want robotics I might suggest you check out .NET Gadgeteer, it's expensive but it lets you do robotics and embedded/systems programming in .NET. Very fun stuff, not as many options as Arduino but it's .NET so you only need to worry about syntax/architectural bugs.


Very interesting! C# is my language of choice, so I'd much rather program in it than Python.
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Re: Raspberry Pi

Postposted on Tue Mar 12, 2013 6:34 pm

I've not played much with my Raspberry Pi (Model B, it was the Last run with only 256MB Ram.) I hadn't even got mine before they announced the 512MB upgrade would go in the next batch (i.e. another week or so I think, Lucky me...) I can say the following however based on my experiences.

-The Pi can do .NET, albeit not as nicely as the other platforms by default (i.e. no IDE yet that I'm aware of.) It will have the advantage of being more featured than many similar priced boards, especially as far as power is concerned. The Netduino (Which is nice for what it does,) is the closest priced item I'm aware of. Aside from built-in Analog pins and likely lower power consumption, it doesn't offer much in the way of advantages from a hardware standpoint. .NET Garbage collection is essentially nondeterministic, which may cause issues if your projects require extreme precision. This applies to many other languages, including Python, But you are at least able to work around it easier on the Pi by using another language. http://www.mono-project.com/Mono:ARM

-Loading apps feels SLOW off an SD card. Using a Micro Center 32GB SDHC Class 10 card, I found starting most applications (Even the most lightweight GUI browsers present) would take a few seconds to load. Some of this is probably psychological as it's not 'instant' like most of my machines are, and I can't hear a hard drive or see any sort of hourglass.

-Once loaded things seem to go well enough; Large webpages however seem to take a while to render.

-No RTC. You'll have to build your own. The unit does damned well at getting the time once it has internet however.

-The composite video does actually work halfway decently as far as video quality (Again, for what it is.) The problem is the default Window manager craps itself on the resolution, too many of the important dialogs run off the screen. I'm guessing I should try another but I haven't gotten around to it.

I suppose when you get down to it, the question is what you're looking for; .Net Gadgeteer devices will definitely have lower power consumption and easier access to Arduino Periphs. The Pi has more RAM and speed and would work better for more 'complex' tasks (Image processing comes to mind, especially given the graphics core.) The .Net devices have a nicer IDE, the Pi can give near immediate feedback (The GPIO pins are just regular files in /dev/.)
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Re: Raspberry Pi

Postposted on Tue Mar 12, 2013 7:59 pm

Using the Raspberry Pi requires a lot of patience as it really does have quite a lot of shortcomings, of which the more serious are:

  • Very particular power requirements which will lead to crashing, spontaneous rebooting and/or general flakiness with anything less than a rock solid supply.
  • Although it's officially overclockable it's unwise to do this as severe SD card corruption can easily result. I speak from personal experience. SD card corruption has also occurred for some users even with non-overclocked setups.
  • Utterly broken non-EHCI USB controller and/or drivers. Steer clear of wireless mice and keyboards but mass storage devices seem to work okay as long as they're properly powered. Anything that performs isochronous transfers such as webcams and sound interfaces will be quite unreliable. It's actually a miracle those types of devices work at all with the Pi, seriously, Oh, and they broke hot-plugging on the newer revision boards. Doing that can result in crashing or spontaneous rebooting. Also, due to resistive losses the earlier revision boards can't supply any more than approx. 140 mA of current without dipping below the USB standard 5 volts ±5%. Needless to say this has caused problems.

Still interested in buying a Pi? I advise you to wait for the Ouya instead.
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Re: Raspberry Pi

Postposted on Tue Mar 12, 2013 8:28 pm

Jeez -- so all I've heard so far is don't buy it. lol. :o

I don't want to use it as HTPC as the many many many people have suggested here and elsewhere. I've got a HTPC that plays real games -- I don't need this for that. lol

But I haven't heard anything really worth buying it for either. Yes you can do this and that but POOP...I don't want one anymore. :(
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Re: Raspberry Pi

Postposted on Wed Mar 13, 2013 9:23 am

I wasn't going to suggest this, but you could get a couple and mess around with server type stuff.

I'd be interested in getting one then using it as a small infrastructure server. DHCP, BIND DNS, LDAP, NTP, maybe Kerberos, SSH jump server, webserver for static webpages. If you get a couple of them, you could try some you could try clustering or setting up high availability services. Then there are distributed file systems like AFS (Andrew File System), Tahoe-LAFS, maybe GlusterFS, and others.

TO11MTM wrote:Loading apps feels SLOW off an SD card. Using a Micro Center 32GB SDHC Class 10 card, I found starting most applications (Even the most lightweight GUI browsers present) would take a few seconds to load. Some of this is probably psychological as it's not 'instant' like most of my machines are, and I can't hear a hard drive or see any sort of hourglass.


There was an article I read that talked about how class 6 SD cards were better for this type of scenario since they are more balanced. It said the faster cards are tuned for streaming speed, which works great in cameras, at the expense of more random IO.
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Re: Raspberry Pi

Postposted on Wed Mar 13, 2013 10:04 am

They are worth playing with.
If you check out their official site you can see from Liz's blog cool things people are doing.

Just the thing to note is that the unit is not complete at the $35 mark. you need to buy power and peripherals (for me it was $15 2A power brick and $12 USB wifi for each, then I got HTPC specific items like a remote control and I have a mini wireless keyboard I swap in)

I'd like to look into things like the Gertboard and the new Camera board but I have very little time to play these days.
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Re: Raspberry Pi

Postposted on Wed Mar 13, 2013 8:39 pm

I recommend getting one. Mine is one of the relatively early models that only includes 256 MB of RAM, but the newer model Bs are good enough to run some interesting software. I set mine up with tmp75 temperature sensor that I hacked together on a breadboard and I recorded temperatures for display on a web server all on the Raspberry Pi.... it worked great for several months until my not-so-great soldering job decided to get wonky (I can't raise the sensor anymore).

I'm still deciding what I want to do with it next, but as a longtime Linux user it's nice to have something that is cheap, fun, and easy to setup with just a flash of an SD card.
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