Raspberry Pi - what do you/can you use it for?

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Raspberry Pi - what do you/can you use it for?

Postposted on Wed Jan 16, 2013 11:00 am

A lot of people here have probably heard of it but here is some background.
The Raspberry Pi is a cool little computer (http://www.raspberrypi.org) it is cheap and bare bones but fairly powerful (not by todays Intel and .
The background is that the idea was founded in the UK as a tool to get more schools into teaching useful tech to kids... the setup costs of most were prohibitive for the schools.
The machine is basically a cell phone processor (Broadcom SoC) clocked at 700MHz (overclockable) with 256MB or 512MB of RAM. The fun part here is it has 2 USB ports and HDMI out (as well as composite video). The unit boots from an SD card.
You can order them world wide for about $40 US delivered, takes about another $30 of accessories to make it workable (input devices, case, wireless)

I personally have 2 and use one for running a Raspberry Pi specific flavour of XBMC ( [url]raspbmc.com[/url] ).
I find it works great (a tad slower than most would like but it plays my HD media without issue). My girlfriend is loving it and I have it set up nice and user friendly for her (turn on TV, the enviro power bar turns on the Raspberry Pi and XBMC starts up) she is now watching things on it nightly.

My question to put out is what other cool things are people doing with them or think we can try doing?
XBMC (or OpenELEC) tend to be the obvious choices but I have 2 of them as I said so I have 1 to play with (without interrupting my girlfriend that is :D ) and want to try something different to play with.
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Re: Raspberry Pi - what do you/can you use it for?

Postposted on Wed Jan 16, 2013 9:23 pm

Well, one project I wish I could do (but can't because I am renting and don't own) is replace your thermostat with a R. Pi. It's a bit overkill for that task, obviously, but it would give an insane amount of flexibility.
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Re: Raspberry Pi - what do you/can you use it for?

Postposted on Wed Jan 16, 2013 9:59 pm

CARPUTER!!!!
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Re: Raspberry Pi - what do you/can you use it for?

Postposted on Thu Jan 17, 2013 3:15 am

I own a Raspberry Pi but mine's not working currently due to it having massively corrupted its SD card once again, a known problem caused by overclocking with no solution BTW. I don't recommend you buy one, especially now with both the GameStick and the Ouya on the horizon. The Raspberry Pi's problems aren't just limited to the SD card, see a story I submitted to Slashdot here: http://hardware.slashdot.org/story/12/0 ... spberry-pi
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Re: Raspberry Pi - what do you/can you use it for?

Postposted on Thu Jan 17, 2013 5:36 am

Ummm...wouldn't the solution be to not overclock it?
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Re: Raspberry Pi - what do you/can you use it for?

Postposted on Thu Jan 17, 2013 6:13 am

MadManOriginal wrote:Ummm...wouldn't the solution be to not overclock it?


Probably, but the overclocking was well within the officially endorsed overclocking limits, at least the original limits. I think they've changed them because of this problem. I did have it running for weeks at the settings it corrupted at with no problem though so I thought I was safe. BTW, it was 840 MHz CPU, 275 MHz core, 600 MHz SDRAM.
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Re: Raspberry Pi - what do you/can you use it for?

Postposted on Thu Jan 17, 2013 9:54 am

rephlex wrote:
MadManOriginal wrote:Ummm...wouldn't the solution be to not overclock it?


Probably, but the overclocking was well within the officially endorsed overclocking limits, at least the original limits. I think they've changed them because of this problem. I did have it running for weeks at the settings it corrupted at with no problem though so I thought I was safe. BTW, it was 840 MHz CPU, 275 MHz core, 600 MHz SDRAM.


I'm running at one of the approved overclocking profiles and have no issue. are you sure that you had a good stable power coming in? I went through a number of power supplies before I found one that was good enough (a samsung brick meant to power an ipad or a blackberry brick meant to charge a playbook)

the one thing is with the overclocking is that these chips I believe were underclocked for the RPi. I did find at the fastest profile in RaspBMC I had some issues with video playback, so I dialed it back.
I find most SD card issues seem to stem from the SD card and not the RPi.
Oh and the Slashdot story, that old reports of buggy drivers (last August) well they were updated several times since then and I've had no issues.

Funny enough ZD published an article today http://www.zdnet.com/we-thought-wed-sell-1000-the-inside-story-of-the-raspberry-pi-7000009718/?s_cid=e539 on the RPi.
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Re: Raspberry Pi - what do you/can you use it for?

Postposted on Thu Jan 17, 2013 10:59 am

Arvald wrote:
rephlex wrote:
MadManOriginal wrote:Ummm...wouldn't the solution be to not overclock it?


Probably, but the overclocking was well within the officially endorsed overclocking limits, at least the original limits. I think they've changed them because of this problem. I did have it running for weeks at the settings it corrupted at with no problem though so I thought I was safe. BTW, it was 840 MHz CPU, 275 MHz core, 600 MHz SDRAM.


I'm running at one of the approved overclocking profiles and have no issue. are you sure that you had a good stable power coming in?


Yes, absolutely. It should be mentioned for the benefit of others that the Raspberry Pi is notoriously fickle about its power source and this has resulted in a "blame the power supply" mentality which has obscured the true source of many of its problems.

I find most SD card issues seem to stem from the SD card and not the RPi.


The corruption issue affects every SD card. It's apparently been tracked down to a bug in the SoC silicon that only corrupts data when the core is overclocked and then only randomly. Overclocking the CPU and SDRAM is considered safe.

Oh and the Slashdot story, that old reports of buggy drivers (last August) well they were updated several times since then and I've had no issues.


The problems mentioned in that story have been ameliorated since it was posted, not solved. Many people are still having issues. For example, isochronous transfers remain utterly broken so consider yourself lucky if you manage to get a webcam or audio interface working at all. Data loss as a result of dropped packets is the norm with isochronous transfers on the Pi due to the nature of its nonstandard USB controller in conjunction with its buggy and incomplete drivers. I feel it would be more widely reported but such data loss can go unnoticed, especially with audio interfaces.
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