bit-tech.net

Raspberry Pi review

Comments 51 to 70 of 70

Reply
GuilleAcoustic 18th April 2012, 08:03 Quote
I really see the pi as a replacement for lightweight client in university. It's cheaper and more powerfull.

It's also a nice solution for compiter initiation at school.
Dave Lister 18th April 2012, 08:57 Quote
I'm wondering if I can hook up one to my cars dashboard dvd player and then plug a gps unit in to it and load on a load of music vids. I'm guessing it will be near impossible to get the touchscreen to control it though :(
BLC 18th April 2012, 09:51 Quote
Fantastic review, even though I needed no review to conclude that I will be buying one (or rather several) of these!

It is worth pointing out that while an awful lot has been done with the software, it will take a little time for the RasPi-specific optimisations to mature. Given the interest in this board though, I don't think you'll have to wait too long - especially with the upcoming educational release. It's also worth mentioning that an Arch distribution has just been posted on the Raspberry Pi website.

I suspect that much of the interest in the RasPi around these parts will be in running it as a headless server of some kind - be it NAS, DLNA, http, etc. In these cases you don't need a GUI, and you'll likely get much better performance.
Quote:
Originally Posted by lp rob1
Shame about the lack of Gigabit Ethernet. Would make the perfect file server if it had. Hopefully the Pi Foundation (read: Pie Base) will notice our comments and reflect with the Raspberry Pi 2.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blackshark
If you look at all the major NAS developers, gigabit (with actual proper gigabit 100MB/s speed) requires a huge amount more than most ARM processors can provide. However the RPi will provide enough bang to get you 10MB/s maybe top out the USB connection.

Thanks BT for the review.

Gigabit ethernet came up an awful lot in the "want to have" debates around the Pi. The reason that they chose not to include it was that the controllers would have added to the cost massively. The USB controller they currently use has ethernet support built in, which is why we've even got ethernet in the first place.
Quote:
Originally Posted by GuilleAcoustic
This paired with an arduino = Robotic cheesecake :D
Quote:
Originally Posted by GuilleAcoustic
I agree with the state machine being loaded on the Arduino (or any other AVR), but the PI could be used for heavier calculation while leaving the sensor / motor /etc to the duino :). I think we'll see nice things using the GPIO pins, just have to make the duino and the pi communicate.

The foundation is way ahead of you - take a look at the Gertboard... :)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gareth Halfacree
It has a microUSB port. Just plug any old tablet or phone charger in and you're away - or use a powered USB hub. The whole thing runs on 5V 700mA, or 5V 500mA for the Model A (the Ethernet circuitry and integrated USB hub account for the extra 200mA.)

Well, I say 'any old charger,' but I found that it didn't like the charger for my HP TouchPad - which is odd, 'cos it's a 5V 2A model. Swapped it out for a 5V 1A I had lying around and all was well. Still haven't figured that one out...

Officially, the power requirements are 700mA. However from what I've read on the official forums, few of the alpha/beta boards are actually using more than 500mA under normal usage. Probably a smart idea to have an adapter that can supply at least 700mA, especially if you're loading the USB bus, but it'll be interesting to see what the power usage in a real-world scenario actually is - especially if it's running headless with no KB/mouse connected.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Lister
I'm wondering if I can hook up one to my cars dashboard dvd player and then plug a gps unit in to it and load on a load of music vids. I'm guessing it will be near impossible to get the touchscreen to control it though :(

It's perfectly possible - touch screen control in Linux has been possible for a while. My O2 joggler can run a standard Linux distro and has built-in touchscreen control. It basically emulates a big mouse. Though if there are no kernel modules or drivers already available for the touchscreen you want to use, you'll likely have to port/compile them yourself for the ARM architecture.

Actually if you want a ready-to-go touchscreen media machine that's available now, the O2 Joggler (the ba***rd love-child of a tablet & photo frame) is well worth a look. You can only get them second-hand, but they go for around £50-£60 on eBay and feature:

Full x86 Atom chip
512MB RAM
720p (and possibly 1080p) decoding
1GB built in storage (but can boot from USB with no hacks)
Built-in 7" capacitive (but not multi-touch) screen
Heavily customised/optimised stock OS
Several Linux distros, all of which include an optimised version of XBMC
WinXP build (though WinXP is not a pleasant experience when running from a Flash drive)
Android distros, including Ice Cream Sandwich (although it's x86 Android, so some more advanced stuff - like Flash - will not run)


Not to slight the Raspberry Pi in any way, but if you were to rip a Joggler from it's casing - and provide an alterative heatsink for the chip, which shouldn't be a challenge for a bit-tech reader ;) - you could probably be up and running far quicker than using a Pi.
Dave Lister 18th April 2012, 11:53 Quote
The Joggler looks like a bargain but I already have my trusty HP touchpad. My in car dvd is one of the motorised dash mounted ones but due to it's high cost I don't think it was ever that popular, so finding modules or drivers would probably be near impossible. It's sad really because it is a lovely crisp screen but its limited to dvd's or an analogue video signal (RCA or 3.5mm jack). Back when I had a nokia n95 I used to be able to hook that into it so I had my phone screen displayed on it, but phone companies don't seem to do that anymore :(

Anyway I'll keep an eye on the development of the PI and keep my fingers crossed that one day I can put one in my car.
Gareth Halfacree 18th April 2012, 12:15 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by BLC
Officially, the power requirements are 700mA. However from what I've read on the official forums, few of the alpha/beta boards are actually using more than 500mA under normal usage. Probably a smart idea to have an adapter that can supply at least 700mA, especially if you're loading the USB bus, but it'll be interesting to see what the power usage in a real-world scenario actually is - especially if it's running headless with no KB/mouse connected.
It's hard to measure, tho': the power draw is so low that you end up measuring the USB power adapter more than the device the adapter's powering... There's also no on-board ACPI to get measurements from (or, if there is, I haven't figured out how to talk to it.)

Hooking it up to my Maplin-branded pile-of-crap Kill-a-watt equivalent gives me a reading of 3W, but the fact that the figure doesn't change under load suggests that I'm hitting the lower levels of its capabilities. By contrast, the SheevaPlug mentioned in the article hits about 5W under load on the same device.
Landy_Ed 18th April 2012, 12:42 Quote
Any notion of sound quality & audio latency?
BLC 18th April 2012, 12:51 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Lister
The Joggler looks like a bargain but I already have my trusty HP touchpad. My in car dvd is one of the motorised dash mounted ones but due to it's high cost I don't think it was ever that popular, so finding modules or drivers would probably be near impossible. It's sad really because it is a lovely crisp screen but its limited to dvd's or an analogue video signal (RCA or 3.5mm jack). Back when I had a nokia n95 I used to be able to hook that into it so I had my phone screen displayed on it, but phone companies don't seem to do that anymore :(

Anyway I'll keep an eye on the development of the PI and keep my fingers crossed that one day I can put one in my car.

Ah, I misunderstood; I guess you're talking about using the in-car system as a screen for the Pi, rather than mounting a custom-fitted screen & computer assembly into the dash... The Pi does have an analogue video connection, but control would indeed be an issue without a touchscreen, or some form of joystick/remote.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gareth Halfacree
It's hard to measure, tho': the power draw is so low that you end up measuring the USB power adapter more than the device the adapter's powering... There's also no on-board ACPI to get measurements from (or, if there is, I haven't figured out how to talk to it.)

Hooking it up to my Maplin-branded pile-of-crap Kill-a-watt equivalent gives me a reading of 3W, but the fact that the figure doesn't change under load suggests that I'm hitting the lower levels of its capabilities. By contrast, the SheevaPlug mentioned in the article hits about 5W under load on the same device.

You could indeed be hitting the floor of the measurement of the watt-o-meter. At the full stated 700mA load, it should read around 3.5W; if it's only drawing 3W, that suggests a current consumption of 600mA - but, as you say, the true value could be even lower - I have seen reports of as little as 1W idle (200mA drain).
steveo_mcg 18th April 2012, 12:57 Quote
You'll need to put a proper multi-meter in line with the DC end of the power supply. Hack open a usb cable and connect the mA reading in series with the the +5v line.
Gareth Halfacree 18th April 2012, 13:05 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Landy_Ed
Any notion of sound quality & audio latency?

Given that trying to play sound at the moment results in a kernel oops, I'd say "low." Updated ALSA drivers are due soon, and others have had more luck with other distros.
wintermute33 18th April 2012, 15:39 Quote
Got one on order, but they sent a confusing email about not coming until August. Can't wait to mess with it.

Does anyone know if Scratch will run on this? I'm just wondering if the Ubuntu version would run on the Debian remix. If the main idea is to get kids into programming, this would be the perfect introduction.
BLC 19th April 2012, 09:00 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by wintermute33
Does anyone know if Scratch will run on this? I'm just wondering if the Ubuntu version would run on the Debian remix. If the main idea is to get kids into programming, this would be the perfect introduction.

Scratch has been talked about an awful lot for the Pi. I don't know if anyone has actually got it running on the real hardware yet (they may have done so on a Virtual Machine), but it's probably in the pipeline.
Eldorado 19th April 2012, 20:52 Quote
Definitely gonna get one when available.
I hope my son jumps all over it like I did with my Speccy back in the day, but I kinda doubt it :(
Either way, I'll find a few uses for it.
Gradius 19th April 2012, 21:15 Quote
For 1GHz you need cooling!
davidm 20th April 2012, 12:49 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eldorado
Definitely gonna get one when available.
I hope my son jumps all over it like I did with my Speccy back in the day, but I kinda doubt it :(
Either way, I'll find a few uses for it.

You could always run "FUSE" on it and get the best of both worlds ;)
bleeper 27th April 2012, 10:24 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gradius
For 1GHz you need cooling!

Ah, that'll explain the fan on my mobile phone :)
bleeper 27th April 2012, 10:26 Quote
Obviously the difference between now and back in the 80s was back then it was likely your Spectrum was the only computer/games machine you owned whereas the Pi has to compete with everything else.

I am not sure if it will produce a nation of programmers as intended but I would really love to get my hands on one.
BLC 27th April 2012, 10:36 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by bleeper
Obviously the difference between now and back in the 80s was back then it was likely your Spectrum was the only computer/games machine you owned whereas the Pi has to compete with everything else.

I am not sure if it will produce a nation of programmers as intended but I would really love to get my hands on one.

I am encouraged, but skeptical, about the educational aims of the foundation. Indeed the whole reason for the existence of the foundation in the first place is to improve computer science education, but education isn't going to be the panacea that people like Rory Cellan-Pr**k-Jones from the BBC keeps blathering about. It is a very cheap piece of hardware which schools <edit> and children </edit> could easily afford, but this isn't going to turn every school child in 5 years time into a programmer.

It will be interesting to see what's in store for the upcoming educational launch. However, as a nerd/hacker, I cannot frikkin' wait to get my hands on one. Or several. I really wish RS would tell me when I can expect to be able to order one!

PS, by the way Rory, HTML is emphatically not programming - the clue is in the acronym: HyperText Markup Language. It's an easy start, but it's not programming.
bleeper 27th April 2012, 10:56 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by BLC
I am encouraged, but skeptical, about the educational aims of the foundation. Indeed the whole reason for the existence of the foundation in the first place is to improve computer science education, but education isn't going to be the panacea that people like Rory Cellan-Pr**k-Jones from the BBC keeps blathering about. It is a very cheap piece of hardware which schools <edit> and children </edit> could easily afford, but this isn't going to turn every school child in 5 years time into a programmer.

It will be interesting to see what's in store for the upcoming educational launch. However, as a nerd/hacker, I cannot frikkin' wait to get my hands on one. Or several. I really wish RS would tell me when I can expect to be able to order one!

PS, by the way Rory, HTML is emphatically not programming - the clue is in the acronym: HyperText Markup Language. It's an easy start, but it's not programming.

Yes RCJ does come across as the kind of guy who, when jotting down an email address, will ask "is that upper or lower case?"
BLC 27th April 2012, 11:25 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by bleeper
Yes RCJ does come across as the kind of guy who, when jotting down an email address, will ask "is that upper or lower case?"

He is the epitome of the BBC dumbing down their content. Claiming that he wrote an app when all he really did was write some HTML was really the straw that broke the camels back for me; it's no wonder that real programmers were, as he put it, "sniffy" about it.
Gareth Halfacree 30th April 2012, 11:07 Quote
Quick update: I've been playing around with Quake III Arena on the Pi, and performance is surprisingly good: lows of about 27fps, highs of around 45fps. That's with default textures, bilinear filtering, all special effects on, but admittedly at 640x480.

Still, not bad for a £29 piece of hardware - you'd spend more than that on a graphics card to run Q3A.
Log in

You are not logged in, please login with your forum account below. If you don't already have an account please register to start contributing.



Discuss in the forums