I released my first Raspberry PI product offering my to local clients yesterday. I expect to have some buyers pretty quick because it’s going to solve a need for Digital Signage at bargain prices for my clients. People are doing all sorts of things with the Raspberry PI computer. If you haven’t heard of it then you should probably look into it. Not only is it fun for geeks as I mentioned above it can also be useful for you and your clients. As consultants we’ve got to keep our eyes on new technology and jump on it when it’s ready. The possibilities are endless.
The Raspberry PI is a very small computer. Here are the specs direct from Raspberrypi.org. Yes, it’s a UK non-profit that makes this little guy.
What’s the difference between Model A and Model B?
Model A has 256MB RAM, one USB port and no Ethernet (network connection). Model B has 512MB RAM, 2 USB port and an Ethernet port.
What are the dimensions of the Raspberry Pi?
The Raspberry Pi measures 85.60mm x 56mm x 21mm, with a little overlap for the SD card and connectors which project over the edges. It weighs 45g.
What SoC are you using?
The SoC is a Broadcom BCM2835. This contains an ARM1176JZFS, with floating point, running at 700Mhz, and a Videocore 4 GPU. The GPU is capable of BluRay quality playback, using H.264 at 40MBits/s. It has a fast 3D core accessed using the supplied OpenGL ES2.0 and OpenVG libraries.
Why did you select the ARM11?
Cost and performance.
How powerful is it?
The GPU provides Open GL ES 2.0, hardware-accelerated OpenVG, and 1080p30 H.264 high-profile decode.
The GPU is capable of 1Gpixel/s, 1.5Gtexel/s or 24 GFLOPs of general purpose compute and features a bunch of texture filtering and DMA infrastructure.
That is, graphics capabilities are roughly equivalent to Xbox 1 level of performance. Overall real world performance is something like a 300MHz Pentium 2, only with much, much swankier graphics.
That’s pretty impressive for such a tiny computer. But think about it. What shouldn’t it be? Take a look at your smart phone. It too is impressively powerful and small. However, the Raspberry PI board is only $35. Of course you have to add a couple of things to it you’ll come in closer to $100 when all is said and done.
You can do what ever your imagination and programming skills allow you to come up with. But may more creative people that I have already designed some pretty cool and practical solutions that you might find useful.
- A packet sniffing device hidden inside a power strip. http://lifehacker.com/5952327/turn-a-raspberry-pi-into-a-super+cheap-power-strip-packet-sniffer
- Make your own DropBox. http://lifehacker.com/5955727/roll-your-own-dropbox-clone-with-a-raspberry-pi This one uses OwnCloud to make your data available.
- Create a home automation system http://lifehacker.com/how-can-i-get-started-with-home-automation-510246491 or http://lifehacker.com/diy-your-own-home-audio-and-lighting-automation-with-a-908141000
- Finally, got your Raspberry PI to do something cool? Here’s how to tether it to your smartphone so it can get to the Internet on the go. http://lifehacker.com/tether-your-raspberry-pi-to-your-smartphone-872447654
The possibilities are endless.