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Raspberry PI

EricTheCat

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#1
Anyone here ever play around with a Raspberry PI?

I just ordered a few. They are Raspberry PI 3 Model B+. Anyone who knows me well would be surprised I haven't gotten one of these sooner. Basically it is a fully functional computer that with case is only a bit bigger than a deck of cards.

I may try to get a pic one of these days, but at this link you can get an idea what I'm talking about: https://www.raspberrypi.org/products/

Specs:
1.4 Ghz 64-bit quad core processor
Built in wifi
HDMI video output
4 USB ports
Audio jack
Even a camera port on the board
SD card slot (SD card serves as the Hard drive).
Additional IO pins that you can use to interface with electronics

I've installed the popular linux variant, Raspbian on two SD cards to play around with them. So far, I'm quite amused. I managed to successfully compile my C programs to draw fractals, simulate gravity, etc. Hilariously I did have to slightly modify the code of my line drawing fractal program because one of the standard C libraries defines y1 and y2 as global variables preventing one's own programs from using those variable names locally.

I also got a camera module that I've been playing around with (at $25 I couldn't help myself).

I even ran Stellarium (popular star charting program), it worked but was a bit much for it's processing capability so it ran pretty slow and pegged the CPU.

I likely will port my web server to one of these. It is way overdue for a hardware refresh. No joke, my current web server is an AT (pre-ATX), 150Mhz Pentium II. 3.5" floppy drive and all. I don't even recall where I got the parts to build it. :)
 

oldgaranddad

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#2
I've seen these used as rudimentary web servers, LDAP servers and I installed one as a SFTP server for a friend's business with a USB disk drive as the storage off of as powered USB hub.
 

EricTheCat

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I've seen these used as rudimentary web servers, LDAP servers and I installed one as a SFTP server for a friend's business with a USB disk drive as the storage off of as powered USB hub.
They seem like a nice inexpensive solution for things like that.

I came across that while researching these. It's another good use. I know a guy who uses them to design custom firewalls/routers but I haven't seen him for a while to know how his project is going.

They would work well as data loggers too. I like making charts so I may get a few sensor modules and play around.

I wish I could get in a time machine and go back to myself in the 90's, hand myself a micro SD card and exclaim we can fit 32 GB on one of these.
 

Uncle

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Goldhedge

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EricTheCat

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#9
I have been having some fun with the camera module. I set up a pi with the camera module sitting in a window taking automated exposures. I wrote a script to sequence the images, installed a web server on it and added a simple java script to display a time-lapse of the image sequences. It's actually kind of a useful little device. Just set it up and check it in a bit and there is an animation of what's going on with the weather or whatever.
 

Goldhedge

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ToBeSelfEvident

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#11
I believe with the camera module and an operating system called MotionEye., you can use the Pi as a motion-sensing video recorder / security cam.

I have 2 of the Raspberry Pi 3B+; they are fine little machines.

I recently added a more powerful single board computer, the $64 Odroid HC1 to use as a headless linux system. It has 2G DDR3 RAM, GigaBit ethernet, an 8-core CPU and a full-speed SATA port. The case is a chunk of extruded aluminum which acts as a massive heatsink. Add a 2.5" SSD and you have a fast, secure local sever - small, silent, draws only a few watts and always ready for action.



The Odroid HC1 is acting as primary DNS for the network (pi-hole) and blocking 72% of outgoing traffic. It loafs along using less than 10% of CPU and RAM. I also use it as a backup server for the other computers in the house.

The thing that has been most enjoyable, both with the Pi and the Odroid, is working from the terminal, learning the various command line tools and seeing how much real work I can get done. Some of the programs work so well, I'm using them on my desktop computer. My standard music player is now a command-line program (cmus), and I use the elinks browser every day to get around pay-walled websites.

Odroid has a new model N2 coming out with 4G of DDR4 RAM and a 6-core 64bit CPU. It also uses an extruded aluminum heatsink as a case, which IMO is a superior solution for heat dissipation. This may be powerful enough to use as a daily desktop PC and will only cost $79. It does use ARM processors though, so is not compliant with most Windows systems. I intend to try using one as my daily PC running desktop linux. It would be great if we could replace all the PCs with these silent, efficient mini-PCs.