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Typing this from my new and shiny working Raspberry Pi. Well, to be fair, its a work one that I've set up for students, but I think I might get me one of these for home! Anyone else on here got one or thinking about getting one?

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The question I have is why? Don't get me wrong I like the idea of them, but realistically if you wanted to learn about how components work at a more detailed level than looking at a windows desktop why not just get an old pc. The Pi has pretty beefy specs when you compare it to an entry level PC of a decade ago and I'm sure you could pick up one of those with a crappy CRT monitor for less than the Pi sells for.

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The big reason is portability. So we're looking at using it as a mobile data logger, or for sensor control, and if you look at the size and efficiency, its excellent. We've got a student this year who is going to be using one, and its a good opportunity to learn about linux, and also do do things like hardware control. Plus if you brick it, its a 5 minute job to have a fresh install up and running, so its a handy wee experimental machine.

In terms of me personally, I'm going to look into it as a replacement for my bedroom machine. I'm currently using a crappy old laptop with Windows 2000, and it seems to me that this is much more efficient, much quieter, and a bit faster. Why have an old machine whirring away?

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The big reason is portability. So we're looking at using it as a mobile data logger, or for sensor control, and if you look at the size and efficiency, its excellent. We've got a student this year who is going to be using one, and its a good opportunity to learn about linux, and also do do things like hardware control. Plus if you brick it, its a 5 minute job to have a fresh install up and running, so its a handy wee experimental machine.

In terms of me personally, I'm going to look into it as a replacement for my bedroom machine. I'm currently using a crappy old laptop with Windows 2000, and it seems to me that this is much more efficient, much quieter, and a bit faster. Why have an old machine whirring away?

Fair points, and certainly the portability element is a winner.

I was looking more at the thing being an educational tool as it was originally touted. In terms of using it as a secondary device (like your bedroom laptop) I feel once you add on the price of a keyboard and/or monitor (or touch screen interface) you'll have paid more than a siimple Android tablet that will do all the same as the Pi and more. Not dismissing the idea, just saying.

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Fair points, and certainly the portability element is a winner.

I was looking more at the thing being an educational tool as it was originally touted. In terms of using it as a secondary device (like your bedroom laptop) I feel once you add on the price of a keyboard and/or monitor (or touch screen interface) you'll have paid more than a siimple Android tablet that will do all the same as the Pi and more. Not dismissing the idea, just saying.

Yeah, I havent bought one for pretty much the same reason. Its not that I dont think they are cool, or useful, just that I dont have any particular use for one. I can think of a million things you could use them for, but none apply to me at the moment.

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Fair points, and certainly the portability element is a winner.

I was looking more at the thing being an educational tool as it was originally touted. In terms of using it as a secondary device (like your bedroom laptop) I feel once you add on the price of a keyboard and/or monitor (or touch screen interface) you'll have paid more than a siimple Android tablet that will do all the same as the Pi and more. Not dismissing the idea, just saying.

There are many different ways of using it as an educational tool though. And in terms of being able to interface with hardware relatively easy, being programmable and flexible, its a winner. As I said, we're going to use it as a basic multi sensor data logger with control, but once we've got the first projects established, then there is no reason why we can't have students designing things like wearable computer, large scale networks, remote controls, robotics etc. etc. As an educational tool, its a bit more than programming on a tiny computer! The ease of hardware interface for me is probably the most exciting thing.

In terms of a secondary device, my mate has hooked his up to his tv, and is using it as a media streamer (iplayer etc.), controlled with his android phone. A media centre solution at very little cost (given that he already had a tv).

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It's a good thing to get people understanding that there is more to computers than just the screen. For me though, I think I would like them to understand what is happening down at the bottom level, the bits and bytes, needing to control things using the least amount of memory and/or disk-space, understanding how a data bus works and the differences between the bit-levels and what they mean within computing. The Pi doesn't really promote that, which I think is a little bit of a missed trick, but then maybe I'm just getting a little nostalgic about the old days when those things were necessary.

For all I like the Pi I do wish Braben would stop developing this sort of stuff and turn his hand to a proper MMO Elite remake. It's been fucking years in the waiting and there still isn't anyone who has taken over that mantel. It's not as if he hasn't had enough time to develop countless remakes of Rollercoaster Tycoon.. :(

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Bumping this.

Got my raspberry pi set up yesterday. I had a we play about with Raspbian (Debian Linux) but it was a bit shit and slow and I already have a good laptop and an iPad so I'm not going to get much general use out of it.

I put RaspBMC (XBMC) on it and it works like a charm. I can stream stuff from my iPad straight to the TV via AirPlay plus XBMC has some native apps too. Don't think I'll be doing much more with it though. Neat little thing.

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Bumping this.

Got my raspberry pi set up yesterday. I had a we play about with Raspbian (Debian Linux) but it was a bit shit and slow and I already have a good laptop and an iPad so I'm not going to get much general use out of it.

I put RaspBMC (XBMC) on it and it works like a charm. I can stream stuff from my iPad straight to the TV via AirPlay plus XBMC has some native apps too. Don't think I'll be doing much more with it though. Neat little thing.

Ive just ordered a Raspberry Pi, Im looking forward to messing about with it when I get home. :)

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It's a good thing to get people understanding that there is more to computers than just the screen. For me though, I think I would like them to understand what is happening down at the bottom level, the bits and bytes, needing to control things using the least amount of memory and/or disk-space, understanding how a data bus works and the differences between the bit-levels and what they mean within computing. The Pi doesn't really promote that, which I think is a little bit of a missed trick, but then maybe I'm just getting a little nostalgic about the old days when those things were necessary.

For all I like the Pi I do wish Braben would stop developing this sort of stuff and turn his hand to a proper MMO Elite remake. It's been fucking years in the waiting and there still isn't anyone who has taken over that mantel. It's not as if he hasn't had enough time to develop countless remakes of Rollercoaster Tycoon.. sad.gif

I'm not a computer geek by any means, I went down the chemistry path instead, but with the tricks of fate I find myself these days having part of my job leading a team developing software. I hanker for the glorious days of the ZX81 where every byte was precious, and speak fondly of the BBC Model B which had the luxury of colour graphics and a humongous 32K of memory. I have to admit, I quite enjoy the blank looks on kids faces today when I rant about coding conservatively and not wasting a byte, but they just don't get it at all. I've been intending to get a Pi for ages now in a probably vain attempt to recapture my youth, but I'd probably trade that for a decent remake of Elite (though I only had a pirate version of the the tape edition, the disk version had added features - ah, the golden age of the late 1980's :) )

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Bumping this thread, because the idea of having a media device installed to the back of the telly appeals.

vesa-pi-raspberry-pi-case-800x800.JPG

Apparently this goes well with XBMC, which I used to regularly use with a laptop connected to the telly. Anyone use this semi-regularly?

My WDTV device is sat in a box, unused, so I don't really need this, but it's always fun to have a new toy to play with.

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Bumping this thread, because the idea of having a media device installed to the back of the telly appeals.

vesa-pi-raspberry-pi-case-800x800.JPG

Apparently this goes well with XBMC, which I used to regularly use with a laptop connected to the telly. Anyone use this semi-regularly?

My WDTV device is sat in a box, unused, so I don't really need this, but it's always fun to have a new toy to play with.

I kind of looked into this when I was looking for a network media streamer. I have two reservations 1) you'd need seperate storage somewhere to host the files 2) Im not convinced the pi has enough grunt to deliver 1080p content

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I kind of looked into this when I was looking for a network media streamer. I have two reservations 1) you'd need seperate storage somewhere to host the files 2) Im not convinced the pi has enough grunt to deliver 1080p content

Reservation 1) would be eased with an external hard drive tucked behind the TV and stand. The second one would be a concern, but the newer comments here are promising.

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Reservation 1) would be eased with an external hard drive tucked behind the TV and stand. The second one would be a concern, but the newer comments here are promising.

An external USB drive means another box and another power supply. Its do-able, obviously, but not ideal.

Some of the comments on that thread are promising. Im not convinced though. Ive been running Plex as a media server, rather than XBMC (although it is an off-shoot of XBMC from way back). Maybe its just more demanding on the hardware

ETA - I probably should add that I was looking into setting up a stand-alone media server which would transcode and serve media to different devices. This is slightly different, in that the pi is the server and the player.

Edited by Mr X

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ETA - I probably should add that I was looking into setting up a stand-alone media server which would transcode and serve media to different devices. This is slightly different, in that the pi is the server and the player.

That's fair enough if that's what you're after. I'm not to bothered about streaming to other devices. I have a modest flat and most video media is watched in the living room in front of the big telly.

So I went and got one.

w97i46.jpg

With next to no coding knowledge I was a little apprehensive, so I bought a pre-loaded microSD card on eBay. It came with OpenElec, a version of XBMC that is essentially the operating system on the Pi.

All I had to do was build the case, with straightforward instructions, then plug it in for it to work. With self-adhesive velcro, it sits quite discretely on the back of the telly, above the panel for the video input sockets.

The picture below shows the wireless dongle for the keyboard attached. I bought a 50cm HDMI cable to keep things tidy at the back. I'm waiting for another dongle for the wifi to arrive in the post (didn't realise it is coming from Hong Kong, d'oh) so am using an ethernet connection in the meantime.

333y68x.jpg

Even the wireless keyboard - with trackpad - works out of the box. My only complaint is that the 'home' button doesn't work, but using the 'back' one is slick for navigation to the top menu.

n5oolu.jpg

Otherwise, it's just what you'd expect from a XBMC player. The default skin is functional but not beautiful. I spent most of last night experimenting with other skins but they made the experience a bit more laggy.

Performance of my own video is pretty good. I don't think I actually have any 1080p content on the external hard drive, but 720p ran without a hitch. It's hardware accelerated from the graphics chip so I'm certain 1080p is ok too, judging from feedback elsewhere.

The benefit of XBMC is the add-ons, for live streaming etc. I have a SkyHD+ box from when I used to have a sub with them, but because I don't have a valid Sky card anymore I can't get BT Sport over the satellite. So until now I have been from the laptop, but it was a rotten experience using the official proprietary BT Sport player. However, streaming it from another source such as this is so much easier, with a higher bit rate too seemingly.

A net spend of £20 after selling my WDTV live box on eBay (£70 bought including the accessories, £50 sold).

Overall, it's early days but I'm pretty pleased.

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That's fair enough if that's what you're after. I'm not to bothered about streaming to other devices. I have a modest flat and most video media is watched in the living room in front of the big telly.

So I went and got one.

With next to no coding knowledge I was a little apprehensive, so I bought a pre-loaded microSD card on eBay. It came with OpenElec, a version of XBMC that is essentially the operating system on the Pi.

All I had to do was build the case, with straightforward instructions, then plug it in for it to work. With self-adhesive velcro, it sits quite discretely on the back of the telly, above the panel for the video input sockets.

The picture below shows the wireless dongle for the keyboard attached. I bought a 50cm HDMI cable to keep things tidy at the back. I'm waiting for another dongle for the wifi to arrive in the post (didn't realise it is coming from Hong Kong, d'oh) so am using an ethernet connection in the meantime.

Even the wireless keyboard - with trackpad - works out of the box. My only complaint is that the 'home' button doesn't work, but using the 'back' one is slick for navigation to the top menu.

Otherwise, it's just what you'd expect from a XBMC player. The default skin is functional but not beautiful. I spent most of last night experimenting with other skins but they made the experience a bit more laggy.

Performance of my own video is pretty good. I don't think I actually have any 1080p content on the external hard drive, but 720p ran without a hitch. It's hardware accelerated from the graphics chip so I'm certain 1080p is ok too, judging from feedback elsewhere.

The benefit of XBMC is the add-ons, for live streaming etc. I have a SkyHD+ box from when I used to have a sub with them, but because I don't have a valid Sky card anymore I can't get BT Sport over the satellite. So until now I have been from the laptop, but it was a rotten experience using the official proprietary BT Sport player. However, streaming it from another source such as this is so much easier, with a higher bit rate too seemingly.

A net spend of £20 after selling my WDTV live box on eBay (£70 bought including the accessories, £50 sold).

Overall, it's early days but I'm pretty pleased.

Looks good :thumsup2

The main reason I want to stream to another device is that I recently replaced my WDTV live with a Roku3, which is absolutely fantastic. I use it for Netflix etc and it has a really good Plex app. I dont want to replace that, but I do need something to run as a Plex server. Its also why I went for Plex rather than XBMC. It has a lot less apps but then I dont really need them as the Roku versions are easily available.

Whats your own media on? Is it a USB drive plugged directly into the Pi?

Probably a bit late, but I would have stayed with a wired connection. Be interesting to see how wifi performs with the apps.

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Well, balls to all this! Just read up a bit more and it seems that while Plex is an off-shoot of XBMC they are quite different beasts now.

The upshot is, while the Pi will function quite happily as an XBMC server, there is no version of the Plex server for the ARM architecture it uses. Conversely, there is no XBMC player app for the Roku.

#fml

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Whats your own media on? Is it a USB drive plugged directly into the Pi?

Probably a bit late, but I would have stayed with a wired connection. Be interesting to see how wifi performs with the apps.

Yeah, an externally powered USB drive plugged into one of the Pi's four USB sockets. It's an old 256GB WD MyBook that I'm going to replace at some point and just use it as a backup for photographs. The extra power supply isn't a great concern: I've got the TV, Pi and USB drive all on the one multi-socket extension.

Ideally I would stay wired for the internet connection, but I use a powerline adapter behind the TV and I prioritise the ethernet for the Playstation 4. If the wifi isn't quick enough for me, I'll consider getting a powerline adapter with two or three ethernet ports. I currently only have a 5mb download speed until the local cabinet is upgraded, so I don't suppose there will be much of an issue until I can upgrade the broadband.

Edited by bunglebonce

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Yeah, an externally powered USB drive plugged into one of the Pi's four USB sockets. It's an old 256GB WD MyBook that I'm going to replace at some point and just use it as a backup for photographs. The extra power supply isn't a great concern: I've got the TV, Pi and USB drive all on the one multi-socket extension.

Ideally I would stay wired for the internet connection, but I use a powerline adapter behind the TV and I prioritise the ethernet for the Playstation 4. If the wifi isn't quick enough for me, I'll consider getting a powerline adapter with two or three ethernet ports. I currently only have a 5mb download speed until the local cabinet is upgraded, so I don't suppose there will be much of an issue until I can upgrade the broadband.

Why not just get an ethernet hub and run that off the Powerline adaptor? Its exactly what I have behind my tv - the Blu-ray player, Sky box, WiiU and Roku are all connected to the hub (as well as an old network storage drive that I dont use anymore and the 360 previously)

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