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Raspberry Pi

Posted: Thu May 24, 2012 4:30 pm UTC
by roband
So, it just this second arrived and I thought I'd delve into this previously undiscovered corner of the forum to ask what people would suggest I do with it?

Currently, I'm looking at running XBMC on it so it can be used as a media server. I also want to get some sort of download client running on it - be utilising torrents or newsgroups, or both.

Any other ideas?

(There is a N&A topic about this, but as I am discussing the Pi itself, rather than the news of it, I thought it belonged here better)

Re: Raspberry Pi

Posted: Thu May 24, 2012 5:42 pm UTC
by LikwidCirkel
I don't really like the RP for media-related stuff. The mass storage I/Os are limited for that, as you'll always need an external NAS or USB drive of sorts - or use really big SD cards.

If that's acceptable, then sure, it would make a decent very low-powered, always on server great for uTorrent or a simple file server or XBMC.

What I would honestly do with a RP is use it to learn about bare-guts bottom-up Linux and then get creative with the general purpose I/O. I'd first learn to compile custom kernels and remove all unnecessary features and drivers. Kernels like this compile within just a few minutes. I'd then create the most minimal filesystem possible containing only essentials like busybox /dev and /etc entries and a few libraries.

I'd try to get telnet through busybox working before even touching video.

After this all works, and I have a system that boots to a shell within a few seconds, I'd look at various hardware controller applications. You could build a sick expandable full-colour LED Matrix controller, various DMX/MIDI things among other possibilities.

More importantly (to me, at least), you'd learn more about the low-level operation of Linux and computers that you ever possibly could from using the stock big-bloated-slow distros officially supported by RP.

It's supposed to be a learning tool more than a useful appliance as far as I understand anyway.

Ultimately, it really depends on where your software and hardware interests lie. As a disclaimer, I am a professional embedded Linux software developer (I can't legally call myself an engineer yet), and the first thing I think of when seeing Big Linux on small, dedicated-purpose hardware is "why is this 99% of shit that I don't need here slowing down boot time and taking up space?"

Use the big distro if you just want it to behave somewhat like a desktop computer.

Re: Raspberry Pi

Posted: Thu May 24, 2012 6:19 pm UTC
by roband
Wow, that's a lot :D

I'm certainly not looking to get a desktop experience from it. Learning stuff about Linux is something I've been putting off for a long time, so I hope I get some of that - even if it's just real basics like installing software.

Re: Raspberry Pi

Posted: Fri May 25, 2012 11:37 am UTC
by Zamfir
Ultimately, it really depends on where your software and hardware interests lie. As a disclaimer, I am a professional embedded Linux software developer (I can't legally call myself an engineer yet), and the first thing I think of when seeing Big Linux on small, dedicated-purpose hardware is "why is this 99% of shit that I don't need here slowing down boot time and taking up space?"

Use the big distro if you just want it to behave somewhat like a desktop computer.

Just to offer a different perspective: I find the possibility to have a full desktop mode the most attractive part (and this remembers me that I forgot to acknowledge my preorder...)

My plans don't need that power at all, I suspect they could be done with no more than a basic microcontroller. But I have very little experience with the tools to work with microcontrollers. The same for tiny OS systems. The arduino lowered some of that barrier, but I still find myself extremely limited by both the system and my own ignorance (which would take ages to change).

So it sounds very attractive to me if I could just work with tools and workflows I am used with. Setup network access or attached devices through a GUI, run a python editor, spread out the work over many files and manage them visually, test htmls just by pointing the browser at the right directory, and eventually simply turn of the monitor when I am happy. And use a wider and more familiar internet base to search for help.

This will likely waste 99,99% of the computing power, but that's OK for my purposes.

Re: Raspberry Pi

Posted: Mon May 28, 2012 3:57 pm UTC
by RAKtheUndead
roband wrote:Currently, I'm looking at running XBMC on it so it can be used as a media server. I also want to get some sort of download client running on it - be utilising torrents or newsgroups, or both.


Boring! I'm personally going to use my RPi to learn ARM assembly language without the baggage associated with smartphone development platforms, to learn embedded C once the Gertboard or other GPIO extenders are released, and to generally learn how to do stuff with power-limited hardware platforms. I have plenty of other computers to use for media consumption or the like.

Re: Raspberry Pi

Posted: Fri Jun 01, 2012 6:56 pm UTC
by tuxerman
roband wrote:Currently, I'm looking at running XBMC on it so it can be used as a media server. I also want to get some sort of download client running on it - be utilising torrents or newsgroups, or both.


I am currently stuck with an internet connection that gives me unlimited data-transfer from 0200 - 0800 hrs, which happens to coincide with most of my slumber time. Currently I have my box download stuff while I am asleep, but that means running the system in full power for this.
With its scale of power consumption, the Pi would make a terrific thing to do this sort of work. One could put a tiny enough kernel in it, and have to save stuff to a flash drive via USB.

Anyone done running some small custom kernel on it?

Re: Raspberry Pi

Posted: Fri Jun 01, 2012 8:34 pm UTC
by roband
Stuck?! Hahaha, an odd choice of words.

Re: Raspberry Pi

Posted: Fri Jun 01, 2012 9:23 pm UTC
by sourm├Člk
I'm just going to use it to learn OpenGL ES. I may make a very simple game engine on it. One that isn't multithreaded or tessellated or anything.

Re: Raspberry Pi

Posted: Mon Jun 04, 2012 2:33 am UTC
by WarDaft
roband wrote:Stuck?! Hahaha, an odd choice of words.


It could be unlimited during that time, and 60 gigs for the rest of the month. Don't laugh, I have such a connection at home, sans the unlimited at night part. It's about 2 MB/s, so we can cap out monthly usage in less than 10 hours.

Re: Raspberry Pi

Posted: Mon Jun 04, 2012 10:08 am UTC
by tuxerman
Well it's worse. Mine just gives me 2gigs a month during non-unlimited hours.

Re: Raspberry Pi

Posted: Thu Jun 07, 2012 11:53 am UTC
by amorya
Image

Mine currently has RISCOS on it.It boots (pretty damn quickly), but doesn't have file system access yet.

Re: Raspberry Pi

Posted: Thu Jun 07, 2012 5:38 pm UTC
by freakish777
What should you do with it?

Wait til they let unlimited ordering happen.


Then.


This:

Image

Re: Raspberry Pi

Posted: Thu Dec 27, 2012 11:06 pm UTC
by Jumble
Ok, guess who got an RPi for Christmas? Very cool. I mucked around with Linux a lot when I was working on my phd, winding up with old pc's running as a Beowulf cluster. However, I wish I'd just had a bunch of these little widgets.

I've got it up and running as a headless unit with WLAN. Now, I'm tempted to use one as a gateway into the bbs domia remote power switches I have scattered around the house. Anyone got any experience with these?

Re: Raspberry Pi

Posted: Mon Aug 14, 2017 10:56 pm UTC
by Peaceful Whale
Question, I'm making a portable gaming station using a pi zero and retropi, all I have left on my shopping list is a screen. Any ideas?

I'd prefer a 3-7" screen, under $25, and *mininal* setup. Hdmi is a plus. I'm turning to XKCD becuase I'm sure someone has experience in this.

This is the only related thread I could find, I'm sorry for necroing it.