Thursday, 2 August 2012

Raspberry Pi

I recently got my hands on a Raspberry Pi (Model B) and immediately started playing around with it...

First impressions - amazingly small device (exactly the size of a business card and slightly larger than an Arduino). The Pi has 256MB of RAM, 700MHz Broadcom BCM2835 ARM processor, and a GPU capable of 1Gpixel/s!

I was skeptical at first about getting my own but ordered my own shortly after playing around with this Raspberry Pi....

The composite port is also a very nice to have, overall the Raspberry Pi seems like a great option for embedded like scenarios (Kiosks come to mind), enthusiasts and would work a charm in school IT classes, perhaps helping to bring back some fun while learning how to program!

Software wise - Many Raspberry Pi (nice list here) ready images are available for download and can be copied over to the SD card using something like dd in Linux or Win32DiskImager in Windows, some even have a full on installer like the Fedora Remix.

I'm busy playing around with Android ICS on Pi with limited success. The memory available on the Pi (256MB) poses a problem as the memory requirements of Android ICS is 340MB (as per the documentation). Previous versions of Android have been reported to work but appear a bit sluggish... I'll continue the attempt and keep this blog updated!
My "Wish List" for the next model, even if at a slightly higher cost, or maybe they could have a high end line?
  • 256MB of memory is simply to little use the board effectively for all the projects I have in mind... if they could just increase it to double the size at least...
  • CPU is easily overpowered, especially with quad core ARM processors already available, a single 700MHz isn't enough
  • Wireless, ethernet port is a great to have but wireless without a dongle would be an awesome addition
  • Additional booting options, eg. booting from something like USB flash drives etc. without it being a mission!

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