Monday, 16 March 2015

Raspberry Pi 2 first sight

I've only barely had it up an running. Some quick comments.

I put the Raspbian Linux files on an already formatted micro SD card and booted the device. I used the same 5 V adapter that worked with my original Raspberry. I used a HDMI->DVI cable to get a picture out of a display.

It takes about 35 seconds to get to the password prompt, and under a minute I'm at the desktop, that's pretty good.
Trying desperately to make the desk look like an Atari ST.

The desk is smoother this time around, although apparently it has been changed anyway. The windows move around fine without clogging everything down. The browser is reasonably good and I can actually edit this blog post with no trouble. (Though I inserted the pictures later)

Casing? Why bother?
I have to say the Raspbian brings back the good ole days of tinkering and configuring your desktop appearance... There's something about those late 80's and early 90's flat-color graphical desktops that looks very trendy and appealing just now.

The obligatory spectrum emulator
This install came with ready-bundled software, most of which I'm not too excited about, such as the Scratch programming language and some Computer "Science" oriented stuff. That pesky Minecraft also makes an appearance. It's like the Doom of the current generation: it has to be converted onto whatever. It is pretty smooth though the drawing distance is obviously not enormous.

Well, I can hardly complain, it's a solid install that is designed to work well with the Raspberry Pi. In terms of robustness I'm somewhat more positive about this than some of my recent Chromebook/Ubuntu experiences. Time will tell...

This is what a desk looks like...
Edit: On the overall, I'd say the experience resembles an early 2000s laptop PC, even if a bit faster on some counts. The browser has occasionally crashed on me, but that's not unusual. I tried Midori too but it is quite slow. Hatari appears to give a passable Atari ST emulation speed.

For now

The four USB ports already introduced with the 1+ are very welcome, the change to microSD I'm not too fond about.

For something that cost €45 (and probably cheaper somewhere), it's pretty impressive. It remains to be seen whether I get to do anything special with it. For some people it's like an expanded Arduino, but despite the roughly similar form factor I don't see them as filling the same niche. Arduino helps even people like me to "get" electronics and build stuff, but with Pi these things work on another level. It's doubtful I ever do anything more than fool around with software and casemodding.

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