Jump to content
House Price Crash Forum

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

libspero

Raspberry Pi - Follow Up

Recommended Posts

I remember a couple of years ago there was a lot of interest here in Raspberry Pi single board PCs..  I think quite a few members bought them.

I am interested to know, years later,  does anyone still use them and if so what for?   I imagine there might be a few used as entertainment centres..  how has that worked out?

Any unusual or interesting uses that you've found?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
48 minutes ago, libspero said:

I remember a couple of years ago there was a lot of interest here in Raspberry Pi single board PCs..  I think quite a few members bought them.

I am interested to know, years later,  does anyone still use them and if so what for?   I imagine there might be a few used as entertainment centres..  how has that worked out?

Any unusual or interesting uses that you've found?

I think they're the biggest selling computer ever. I got one to run retropie and use as a retro console (I think it was a model B, still using it).  If you look online the community is huge.

One thing they have taught me - with Linux, if what you're trying to do doesn't work as intended first time you're in for a world of pain. The 'help' forums are useless as the replies almost universally omit key steps and always seem to be from people who take pleasure in the fact that they know the whole gamut of esoteric and confusing Linux commands and you don't!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
32 minutes ago, frozen_out said:

I think they're the biggest selling computer ever. I got one to run retropie and use as a retro console.  If you look online the community is huge.

 

I think that was the main reason for my interest..  they seem to still be quite popular despite the more complicated Linux OSs etc so I wondered what had kept people with them and what the drop out rate is.

I notice there are lots of clones now,  including one that runs full blow Windows 10 (LattePanda). 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I guess another question is has anyone learned any useful programming from them (from zero programming experience)?

What sort of programs have you written?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There was one on sale a few days ago, someone posted the deal on hotukdeals and it soared in 'heat' so that gives an indication of how popular they are. On Monday a gas engineer came to the house and he was telling me that his son is still using the pi that I told him to buy a few years back.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 minutes ago, The Masked Tulip said:

On Monday a gas engineer came to the house and he was telling me that his son is still using the pi that I told him to buy a few years back.

I did wonder whether the main/only market was people buying them for their kids as an educational toy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm still using them for development and prototyping, even if the Rasbmc box is now a £20 Kodi box from ebay...

I've been using Orange Pi boards as well -- I can get them really cheap from China, and (some) have on-board flash so less mucking about with sd-cards.

I'm currently experimenting with Chip -- a useful format for embedded stuff, much more powerful than an Arduino but not so much extra fluff compared with Pi. and they support bulk programming at purchase.  I don't trust their supply chain yet, though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, libspero said:

I did wonder whether the main/only market was people buying them for their kids as an educational toy.

That was the intended main market, but they're really big in the 'big boys/girls kit' space, and also in the maker community (not so many people, but everyone concerned will have dozens of Pis -- I treat them almost as disposable computers)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have three, a couple are set up as wifi cameras. I haven't found the need to write any software for them as there is so much already available and I don't have any uniquely specialised needs.Might get a new Pi zero w when they are available.

 

vlcsnap-2017-02-26-10h52m29s749.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There a re loads of sites online from schools displaying how they still use them. In many schools they seem to be part of the curriculum so I believe they are a much needed skill for kids to have these days.

You can make them into a decent home security system re wireless security cameras.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
45 minutes ago, libspero said:

 

 they seem to still be quite popular despite the more complicated Linux OSs 

 

Linux is simplicity itself.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I use one to send magic packets inside my network so I can wake computers up when away and access them. Most routers will delete stuff from the ARP cache and drive you mad wondering why the magic packet thing doesn't work, they basically forget what MAC address is where.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I use one as my hi-fi system. With a cheap i2s DAC board and d-class amp board stacked on top, flac files on a thumb drive (or streamed from nas if you prefer) and you have sound quality to rival much more expensive systems, into the thousands according to some. With something like Moode installed on the SD card there's no need to know any Linux, you just access all your music and internet radio stations via whichever phone, tablet or computer you have to hand. I love it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
40 minutes ago, davidg said:

 

Linux is simplicity itself.

I'm of the opinion that Windows is so complex that people find it difficult to adjust to Linux.  People are forever looking for the complex solution (from their mental model of how MS computers work) and getting all mixed up, while there is a nice and simple Linux model all along.  For example, getting software -- in the classical Windows world you have to search for software, either at a shop or all over the place, whereas with Linux you just call it up with a keystroke/mouse.  

I'd accept that you can't (easily) get MS Office and most games to work, which is all most people know -- but note, that isn't 'less complex', just different.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
22 minutes ago, dgul said:

I'm of the opinion that Windows is so complex that people find it difficult to adjust to Linux.  People are forever looking for the complex solution (from their mental model of how MS computers work) and getting all mixed up, while there is a nice and simple Linux model all along.  For example, getting software -- in the classical Windows world you have to search for software, either at a shop or all over the place, whereas with Linux you just call it up with a keystroke/mouse.  

I'd accept that you can't (easily) get MS Office and most games to work, which is all most people know -- but note, that isn't 'less complex', just different.

 

The issue is that the commands take time to learn and look like gobbledegook. The file structure is also alien. 

In fact, thinking about it - there is absolutely no way Linux is less complicated than windows if something isn't working first time out of the box.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Have a Brennan B2 that is driven by a raspberry pi, if it goes wrong at any time can cheaply replace the board, good piece of kit, shows that a commercial product can be based primarily round a dev board. Also have a small  project ongoing with raspberry PI running as MQTT broker.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
30 minutes ago, frozen_out said:

The issue is that the commands take time to learn and look like gobbledegook. The file structure is also alien. 

In fact, thinking about it - there is absolutely no way Linux is less complicated than windows if something isn't working first time out of the box.

 

Well, most people shouldn't be using the command line -- the problem comes when people say things like 'I want to do xyz, like on Windows' and the response is 'no, just do it the Linux way', but the person is insistent, so the helpful Linux expert tells them how to do it, which involves command line hacking.

And the file structure is beautiful.  Again, the problem comes from people saying things like 'ah, but I've put in my USD stick and I'm looking for the D: drive -- what! There's no D: drive!'.  What is this, 1974?  (Just to make it explicit -- if people were used to the mount-point way of working they'd consider the drive-letter assignment way of working to be bonkers).  And if you want to delve further in, Windows just shoves files all over the place.  God only knows where a particular file might end up.  Linux (and Unixes in general) are very precise about where files are likely to be.

I'd argue that pretty much all of the problems Linux gets is due to people expecting their normal software and hardware to work, whereas if the software/hardware isn't supported by Linux then you shouldn't try.  This is exactly the same as Windows and Macs, except that for Windows the software/hardware will almost certainly be supported because they've got the monopoly, and with Macs the user-base just buys Apple because they're Apple.

I'm not sure about 'working first time out of the box' -- in my experience Linux is just much more likely to work first time out of the box.  There are so many examples -- take setting up a new machine -- you just install the OS and that's it (unless there is unsupported hardware, in which case you're best off just getting supported hardware rather than mucking about).  With Windows you've got to install the OS, then it'll probably work, but you'll have to search for the odd driver disk, perhaps try to get drivers from the manufacturer -- oh, but if it is old then maybe they'll not supply it (perhaps they've gone bankrupt), so then you're off onto the internet to get drivers from some potentially dodgy place.  And Linux has just installed without any fuss.  Or perhaps upgrade a computer to new hardware -- Linux, disk out of old box into new box.  Job done.  Windows would start moaning as soon as it realised something had changed.

The problem always is that people see the easy things that MS does (pretty much only all hardware and software suppliers falling over themselves to support the OS, but that is where the expectation lies), and not the absolutely dreadful things that MS does (because there is no expectation for that sort of thing to work).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Great line: 'if your hardware isn't supported, get new hardware rather than mucking about'. Exactly my point. With Windows I go online and get a driver.

I've dabbled with Linux at various points, I ran a dual boot system for a while and spend a little time configuring retropie to optimise the performance. I agree that the file structure is elegant, and most of the time it's fantastic - I ran a 12 year old PC on Ubuntu without an issue it would barely boot into windows.

But when it doesn't work... As I said, world of pain.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, libspero said:

I guess another question is has anyone learned any useful programming from them (from zero programming experience)?

What sort of programs have you written?

In the late 80s, I spent about 200 hours learning program C on a Prime 995:

'The 9955 ran at 4.0 MIPS, had 8-16MB of memory and 2.7GB of disc storage and a 9 track tape unit. Five Prime 9955 computers (uk.ac.salford.sysa to .syse, connected to JANET) were installed at the University of Salford (along with other systems such as the 2250, 2550, and 750); a Prime 9955 was installed at UMIST and a Prime 9655 at Nottingham University. '

This was time-shared between about ~80 different users, each using a teletype console - monochrome screen. It costs the Uni about £1m plus a few large rooms plus an army of dorks.

The Pi3 has 1Gb of memory, runs at ~6,000 MIPs and mine has a 32Gb smart storage disk in it. All in it cost me ~£50.

I use them for loads of stuff - meia player, monitors, server farms, test farms.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
20 minutes ago, frozen_out said:

Great line: 'if your hardware isn't supported, get new hardware rather than mucking about'. Exactly my point. With Windows I go online and get a driver.

I've dabbled with Linux at various points, I ran a dual boot system for a while and spend a little time configuring retropie to optimise the performance. I agree that the file structure is elegant, and most of the time it's fantastic - I ran a 12 year old PC on Ubuntu without an issue it would barely boot into windows.

But when it doesn't work... As I said, world of pain.

 

Yes, I tend to agree, despite mostly using various Linux/UNIX distributions over the years. Getting Linux to accept and run various pieces of hardware involved many hours of faff which would often come up empty. It is a very impressive system though, no doubt about it. If your computing habits encompass little more than browsing etc I'd avoid it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
19 minutes ago, The Knimbies who say No said:

Yes, I tend to agree, despite mostly using various Linux/UNIX distributions over the years. Getting Linux to accept and run various pieces of hardware involved many hours of faff which would often come up empty. It is a very impressive system though, no doubt about it. If your computing habits encompass little more than browsing etc I'd avoid it.

But your assumption is that it is going to work.  Of course it'll work with a Windows machine -- they've got the monopoly and everyone has to support them. 

All you have to do with Linux is bother to check.  I've just bought a new printer.  10 seconds on the 'supported' part of the info page shows it supports Linux.  Great.  Works straight out of the box, no drivers to download, anything.  It just works.  

What you don't do is buy the hardware first and then get cross when it doesn't work.  Again, it is a mindset thing.  People just assume that anything they buy will just work, because manufacturers have to make it work with Windows -- it isn't the case, you have to check that the thing is okay with Linux.

Just to point out that this type of world isn't unique to Linux -- it is the same with Macs, the RT variants of Windows, specialist non-intel server hardware, well, any non-intel-architecture hardware, working with older hardware that might not be supported by the MS signed driver model.   You just have to check first.  

[Just to labour the overlaboured point, this is the way nearly everything works in the real world.  If you have a car you might want to check that anything you buy for it will be supported by that system.  It is only with the Microsoft monopoly that people get lazy and assume that 'it is a computer shaped box -- therefore all computer stuff will work with it'.  It is a user mindset problem, not an intrinsic problem with Linux.]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • The Prime Minister stated that there were three Brexit options available to the UK:   73 members have voted

    1. 1. Which of the Prime Minister's options would you choose?


      • Leave with the negotiated deal
      • Remain
      • Leave with no deal

    Please sign in or register to vote in this poll. View topic


×

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.