I bought a nice mini computer, a Raspberry Pi. Have a look on it:
It’s planned to use the computer as a multimedia-box, NAS and surf-machine. It works together with our small TV. Next time I have to buy a Bluetooth keyboard that I can work with the toy while I’m sitting on my long chair. Next time more.
At first: there are two versions of the raspberry pi on the market. One, made in the UK(Wales) and one with a warning label: made in China. What do you think what raspberry I bought? Yes, the computer made of rice. The quality of the UK board is much better also the speed of the computer. If you tinker with the idea to buy such a little toy, please ask the seller where the electronic come from. There are only one or two Euros difference.
I reduced the ambit of the computer to only two parts. I’ll use it as an NAS and a radio stream box and forget the use as surf-machine. The most modern browser are so complex and featured that a simple machine like the raspberry isn’t fast enough. The next handicap is the point that the NIC and the USB port are working on the same pipe. The max speed on this pipe is 480 Mbit. And everything is hanging on the USB connector. There is the NIC, HDD, keyboard, mouse and so on. Don’t misprize the fact of the traffic on the USB bus. The raspberry is a minicomputer with no ambitions to be a full desktop computer.
The next challenges will be this points:
- configure the MPD(Music Player Deamon)
- configure the MPC(Music Player Command)
- configure ncmpcpp(NCurses Music Player Command Plus Plus)
- Samba 4.0
This is my work until the end of the year. However, I think there will be a spanner in the works. Christmas!
I found an interesting article about the possible resolutions of the raspi.
http://www.raspberrypi.org/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=5851 (please use cut and paste)
I wasted a lot of time to configure the best resolution for our small TV in the kitchen. The highest resolution for that 15″-monitor is 1360×768 dpi. But the is no chance to get this resolution. The magic command is described in the link and is called „tvservice -m CEA“. After using this, I was in the position to configure the config.txt correctly.
The next light bulb moment was the new installation of the operating system and the following configuration of MPD and MPC. With the first installation I got problems with the Pulseaudio installation. Now, I’m using ALSA. It is easier to configure. I heard about, that Pulseaudio works better with the raspi hardware. In my case, I’ve no problems with the sound quality. My first choice for the sound activities was Exaile. After installing the external HDD and import the songs into the database the software was so slowly. After starting the programme, you had the time to brew up a cup of coffee. And now, after the change to MPD/MPC/NCMPCPP, „bing“, the programme is on screen. Have a nice time and a happy new year.
After using this little computer for more than three months is to say: it’s not the first choice to use it as a desktop computer. You cannot use it as a surf station or a workstation as well. 700 MHz or in my case, the over clocked version with 900 MHz isn’t in the mood to do this hard work. Compare the little computer with an older smart phone like the iPhone 3s. It’s fast enough for little programmes named app or services like a printer server or something else. You can use Open or Libre Office for writing some text, letters or, descriptions. But don’t use large photos. However, if you want to use this machine as a server, you can do this. Samba works fine, as well as ftp or MPD for music. And the best of all is, that you can run the machine 24/7. It’s only cost around 10,- € a year in energy.