[SATLUG] Alternatives to Raspberry Pi

Steev Klimaszewski threeway at gmail.com
Mon Aug 4 18:13:19 CDT 2014


Joe pretty much nailed it.  The RPi can be interesting if you go in with
REALISTIC expectations.  But a lot of people see it as a 35 dollar full
fledged computer that they can do everything with, and that just isn't the
case.  My biggest beef with it is the USB issues (lack of power) - and
while the B+ fixes *some* of those issues, I still have problems plugging
in 4 USB devices.  Not to mention that the storage is sdcard (or (on b+)
microsd) which is slow.  The bbb, for example, has eMMC, which can be much
faster, although on the bbb, you have only 1 USB port.


On Mon, Aug 4, 2014 at 1:25 PM, Joe <null.div.zero at gmail.com> wrote:

> I have a raspberry pi.  It runs a virtual sunrise on a 16x32 led matrix;
> every morning at 6:00 am mySun comes up.  There are many arguments in favor
> of an Arduino for this job.  I chose the Pi because I had one just sitting
> there.
>
>    So, why was it just sitting there ?  Because, if you have a laptop and
> an Arduino,  you don't need a Pi.  In fact, you would likely find the pi
> cumbersome.  It's a sprawling mess to setup (wires everywhere).  And, it
> gpio is not driven by a dedicated logic chip; so high speed operation on
> the gpio can become a problem.  ( think dimming a led by time
> splicing/pulsing).
>     But, it has some interesting points.  First and foremost is support.
> Schools, techies, and makers are all buying them.  They have a "store"
> (package repo)  where you can buy, sell, or submit for free apps.  Second,
> it's a full featured and well supported Linux distro with a dedicated gpio
> header.  You can whip up a script for a gpio action and schedule it cron!
> Yay!  Incidentally,  you can also use a Pi directly with an Xbee master
> radio, host a Database on it, and perform command and control functions.
> (Think Internet of things). A beagle bone could do all of this better.
> But, there is patchy support for the device.  And, I find their community
> less usefull.
>
> One, final point: the raspberry pi is not a $35 computer.  It's a
> foundation for makers wanting to get into embedded projects, using
> technology their already familiar with.  (Linux with a gpio header and
> built in ide).  So, consider what else you need.  I have easily sunk $300
> into my $35 computer.
>
> Joe Machos
> On Aug 4, 2014 11:02 AM, "Frank Huddleston" <fhuddles at gmail.com> wrote:
>
> > Greetings,
> >
> >   I have heard on at least one occasion, perhaps at a SATLUG meeting,
> > strong disapproval, to the point of vilification, of the Raspberry Pi. So
> > I'm wondering: what's so bad about the Pi, and what better alternatives
> are
> > available?  And why are they better?
> >   I'm speaking of low-power, cheap computers. Admittedly these are rather
> > subjective terms, but I'll just leave it at that for now, in hopes that
> > "you know what I mean".
> >
> > Thanks,
> >
> > Frank Huddleston
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