Author Topic: Raspberry Pi Thread  (Read 2335 times)

canadagoose

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Raspberry Pi Thread
« on: December 23, 2020, 06:50:19 PM »
After Christmas, I'm planning to get a Raspberry Pi 4 Model B with 8GB RAM. I[1] already have[2] a Pi 2 Model B, which I've already mucked about with, but it's not the fastest. My main plan for the new Pi is to have an SD card with BeePi on it, so I can muck about with a "modern" Atari ST-type OS. But, my ThinkPad T440p seems to be gradually falling to bits, and the Bluetooth is absolute bollocks, so I was thinking about having another (higher-performance) SD card with Ubuntu Mate on it, so I can use the Pi 4 as a desktop replacement. Has anyone tried it? I was thinking of getting a case with a fan and heatsink in it, so I can overclock it a bit.
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Famous Mortimer

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Re: Raspberry Pi Thread
« Reply #1 on: December 23, 2020, 07:35:35 PM »
Have you thought about the Pi400 kit? It looks rather nice, and for $100 you get the whole lot.

earl_sleek

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Re: Raspberry Pi Thread
« Reply #2 on: December 23, 2020, 07:55:19 PM »
My Pi 3B+ works ok (not great, but ok) as a desktop machine, so I reckon a Pi 4 easily could.

canadagoose

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Re: Raspberry Pi Thread
« Reply #3 on: December 23, 2020, 08:11:52 PM »
Have you thought about the Pi400 kit? It looks rather nice, and for $100 you get the whole lot.
It does look cool, and I like the thought of a computer-keyboard combination like the old days, but I'm scared I spill something on it and ruin it. I'm a bit clumsy...

Quote from: earl_sleek
My Pi 3B+ works ok (not great, but ok) as a desktop machine, so I reckon a Pi 4 easily could.
That's good to hear, ta. I know "my" Pi 2B is a bit on the slow side with Ubuntu, but it's getting on a bit now, so it's not surprising.

Consignia

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Re: Raspberry Pi Thread
« Reply #4 on: December 23, 2020, 08:44:27 PM »
The 4 is a bit of a beast, especially with 8GB and cooling. I've got one powering an arcade machine, and it's surprsingly good. I can't say how good it'd be a desktop replacment, but for the price it's not like you are losing too much.

canadagoose

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Re: Raspberry Pi Thread
« Reply #5 on: December 23, 2020, 09:52:15 PM »
The 4 is a bit of a beast, especially with 8GB and cooling. I've got one powering an arcade machine, and it's surprsingly good. I can't say how good it'd be a desktop replacment, but for the price it's not like you are losing too much.
That sounds promising. What sort of arcade setup is it? I had a RetrOrangePi installation going on my Orange Pi (in fact, I still do, if I can find the PSU...) and it worked surprisingly well.

Consignia

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Re: Raspberry Pi Thread
« Reply #6 on: December 23, 2020, 10:51:16 PM »
It's a kit as I mention in this thread here: https://www.cookdandbombd.co.uk/forums/index.php/topic,80679.msg4390419.html#msg4390419 . In terms of software, it's a vanilla Retropi distro with some Picade drivers installed on top. I haven't really had chance to put it through it's paces yet (only really emulating proper arcade machines), but it apparently can handle Dreamcast pretty well.

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Re: Raspberry Pi Thread
« Reply #7 on: December 24, 2020, 09:44:17 AM »
I got a 8GB Pi 4 a couple of months ago and I love it. You could easily use it as a desktop.

canadagoose

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Re: Raspberry Pi Thread
« Reply #8 on: December 24, 2020, 05:11:57 PM »
I got a 8GB Pi 4 a couple of months ago and I love it. You could easily use it as a desktop.
Nice! Also, Consignia, that's a fancy little setup. I reckon my case will be much simpler, mainly for cost purposes.

Re: Raspberry Pi Thread
« Reply #9 on: December 24, 2020, 06:04:40 PM »
Been slowly getting into LED shit a stupid amount. Not sure I can be arsed going down the Arduino route when Pi Zero are so cheap (unless there's more upsides beyond price considerations) but I might get a Pi 4 with 8GB so I've a fallback for anything more complex (e.g. I gather Pi Zero are shit at processing stuff in relation to live audio).

Current webcam is a Pi Zero with a camera shoved on. Quite tempted to get one of those 7 color e-ink screens and make some kind of thing in a picture frame with it and the camera

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Re: Raspberry Pi Thread
« Reply #10 on: December 24, 2020, 06:18:11 PM »
One thing to be aware of is running windows-based applications via WINE won't work on an arm-based computer, just in case you planned to do so.

Pi 4 has hardware x265 decoding doesn't it? I've got a 3 with kodi on it and hd videos stutter a bit, although other codecs like x264 were fine as they were being done in hardware. I ssh'd into it when one was playing and it was getting a load average of about 9, so I'm surprised the videos weren't completely unwatchable.

Sebastian Cobb

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Re: Raspberry Pi Thread
« Reply #11 on: December 24, 2020, 06:24:51 PM »
Current webcam is a Pi Zero with a camera shoved on. Quite tempted to get one of those 7 color e-ink screens and make some kind of thing in a picture frame with it and the camera

I wanted to make a cheapo polaroid with one of these and a thermal printer, there was even a project on github that could 'recognise' what you'd taken a picture of and make a general sketch of that object, like the imp in the camera in Discworld.

The project failed because I bought a thermal printer from Aliexpress rather than the expensive one off Adafruit and I've never been able to get it to print bitmaps. As it'll still do plaintext, I've thought about using it to spit out the worldwide fm schedules, as when I'm working I have a habit of checking them several times a day.

canadagoose

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Re: Raspberry Pi Thread
« Reply #12 on: December 27, 2020, 12:43:02 AM »
One thing to be aware of is running windows-based applications via WINE won't work on an arm-based computer, just in case you planned to do so.

Pi 4 has hardware x265 decoding doesn't it? I've got a 3 with kodi on it and hd videos stutter a bit, although other codecs like x264 were fine as they were being done in hardware. I ssh'd into it when one was playing and it was getting a load average of about 9, so I'm surprised the videos weren't completely unwatchable.
It's OK, I planned to remote into the PC in the living room[1] to run Windows apps anyway. If TeamViewer doesn't want to play ball I can easily stick a VNC server on it or something.

What's a Pi Zero good for, by the way? (peanutbutter's LCD projects?) It seems so cheap, but I don't know what sort of projects would be good to do with it. Not that I'm getting one as well as my Pi 4. Was just curious, really.
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Consignia

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Re: Raspberry Pi Thread
« Reply #13 on: December 27, 2020, 01:06:47 AM »
Pi Zeros are great for IoT type things. Say if you want to put a bunch of sensors around your house, and automate responses to it. For example, my house has a problem with humidty, so I'm thinking of getting a few zeros with humidity sensors attached so I can measure and find what mitigations work and where. You could also put things like light sensors on them and get them to switch your lights on when the ambiant light out side is too dark.

Re: Raspberry Pi Thread
« Reply #14 on: December 27, 2020, 06:46:13 PM »
I wanted to make a cheapo polaroid with one of these and a thermal printer, there was even a project on github that could 'recognise' what you'd taken a picture of and make a general sketch of that object, like the imp in the camera in Discworld.

The project failed because I bought a thermal printer from Aliexpress rather than the expensive one off Adafruit and I've never been able to get it to print bitmaps. As it'll still do plaintext, I've thought about using it to spit out the worldwide fm schedules, as when I'm working I have a habit of checking them several times a day.
Was probably looking at that same printer at some point!
I wound up just getting one of those bluetooth paperang ones on ebay instead for my phone. It's a pretty great novelty thing which I guess was all I wanted...

What's a Pi Zero good for, by the way? (peanutbutter's LCD projects?) It seems so cheap, but I don't know what sort of projects would be good to do with it. Not that I'm getting one as well as my Pi 4. Was just curious, really.
Think a Pi Zero is a great low cost entry point to the whole scene, then once you've moved onto the Pi and gotten used to stuff it becomes a great way to make permanent single purpose projects?

Surely should be due a Pi Zero 2 at this stage, it's a bit of a shame it's not able to run a few tabs on Chromium comfortably for people getting started.

Re: Raspberry Pi Thread
« Reply #15 on: January 04, 2021, 03:33:26 PM »
I'm using a Pi Zero W as a Pi-Hole.

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Re: Raspberry Pi Thread
« Reply #16 on: January 04, 2021, 04:02:28 PM »

canadagoose

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Re: Raspberry Pi Thread
« Reply #17 on: January 04, 2021, 10:35:06 PM »

:D

Huxleys, I'd thought about that before but never really got round to going any further with it. How's the performance?

Anyway, my Pi 4 is now here, and I'm using it to type this post, after much faffing around. At first, I put Ubuntu Mate (aarch64 version) on it, as I'd been planning, because I liked the look of it. Overclocked the Pi to 2GHz, and it ran nicely. However, there was significant tearing on YouTube, even after mucking about with mate-tweak and the config. Not to mention that Spotify and Netflix were broken, which was a load of use. I tried some fixes I found online, involving downloading a 3GB Chrome OS image and using Widevine through that (!), but that didn't work. I ended up switching back to Raspberry Pi OS (previously Raspbian) in the end, and trying another fix after overclocking etc (this one) and it seems to be OK. Spotify works great, and Netflix is still a little bit screen-teary, but I think it's trying to run it at 1080p and it's having a bit of a hard time. YouTube is fine now too, which is a relief.

All in all, bit of a bloody faff getting it up and running, but doable. Ish. Looking forward to having fun with BeePi later.

Re: Raspberry Pi Thread
« Reply #18 on: January 05, 2021, 12:58:32 AM »
I've got my Pi 3 set up with Pi-Hole. Does the job very nicely, though you'll probably want to do some searching to find things to whitelist/blacklist to taste.

Performance is fine, and the Pi is also running a Plex server (along with a few other small automated jobs via cron).

I have found that it'll occasionally drop the network connection and only a hard reboot will bring it back up (worth mentioning that I'm running the Pi headlessly, so only access it over the network via SSH; having access to it directly might allow me to just restart whatever service has died). As it's wired via ethernet, I expect this is something to do with a service dying, though looking through logs and adding my own logging hasn't turned up exactly what the cause is. And it doesn't seem to necessarily coincide with any particular usage pattern. Anyway, using the inbuilt hardware watchdog has made that less of an issue.

Re: Raspberry Pi Thread
« Reply #19 on: January 05, 2021, 02:37:46 AM »
Multiple Pi zeros for home automation is fucking ridiculous overkill.  Just slap a couple of sensors on esp8266/esp32 boards and have 1 pi running Home assistant.

For reference, a esp8266 is about $2.

Sebastian Cobb

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Re: Raspberry Pi Thread
« Reply #20 on: January 05, 2021, 10:08:32 AM »
:D

Huxleys, I'd thought about that before but never really got round to going any further with it. How's the performance?

Anyway, my Pi 4 is now here, and I'm using it to type this post, after much faffing around. At first, I put Ubuntu Mate (aarch64 version) on it, as I'd been planning, because I liked the look of it. Overclocked the Pi to 2GHz, and it ran nicely. However, there was significant tearing on YouTube, even after mucking about with mate-tweak and the config. Not to mention that Spotify and Netflix were broken, which was a load of use. I tried some fixes I found online, involving downloading a 3GB Chrome OS image and using Widevine through that (!), but that didn't work. I ended up switching back to Raspberry Pi OS (previously Raspbian) in the end, and trying another fix after overclocking etc (this one) and it seems to be OK. Spotify works great, and Netflix is still a little bit screen-teary, but I think it's trying to run it at 1080p and it's having a bit of a hard time. YouTube is fine now too, which is a relief.

All in all, bit of a bloody faff getting it up and running, but doable. Ish. Looking forward to having fun with BeePi later.

It used to be the case (and a quick Google doesn't seem to suggest it has changed) that without silverlight Netflix was capped to 720p.

Sebastian Cobb

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Re: Raspberry Pi Thread
« Reply #21 on: January 05, 2021, 10:14:40 AM »
Multiple Pi zeros for home automation is fucking ridiculous overkill.  Just slap a couple of sensors on esp8266/esp32 boards and have 1 pi running Home assistant.

For reference, a esp8266 is about $2.

This is the road I'm going down, I have some ESP01's, relay boards and psu/buck modules to tap the power for some lights.

Although I'll be using a docker container to host it, as I've got a microserver with a few vm's and one is a docker host. I'm running plex in this way also. I figured out macvlan networking on docker so each container appears directly on the lan with its own ip.

canadagoose

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Re: Raspberry Pi Thread
« Reply #22 on: January 07, 2021, 08:48:27 PM »
It used to be the case (and a quick Google doesn't seem to suggest it has changed) that without silverlight Netflix was capped to 720p.
Silverlight! You could well be right, but I'd have thought they'd have moved over to some kind of HTML5 solution by this point.

Found something interesting though - I've found a very useful tool, which you'll want to give a go if you want to install things like Minecraft Java (a bit unstable - turn the settings way down!), Minecraft Bedrock (not tried yet, should be interesting), WhatsApp desktop, a simple Widevine-on-Chromium solution, and interestingly, Box86, which it suggests can run x86 Linux apps. Not entirely sure how to use it, though. You can find it here: https://github.com/Botspot/pi-apps and there's a nice little tutorial linked (I'll link it too).

MojoJojo

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Re: Raspberry Pi Thread
« Reply #23 on: January 08, 2021, 04:52:00 PM »
It used to be the case (and a quick Google doesn't seem to suggest it has changed) that without silverlight Netflix was capped to 720p.

Bloomin' heck, I'd forgotten all about silverlight. It's been deprecated for ages and support will be terminated next year, but yeah, it looks like to go above 720p in Netflix you either need to use silverlight or MS edge. Netflix deprecated it in 2013 and their are articles from them saying they had 8 years to find  replacement, I wonder I if they expected that they would need all 8 of those years.

I guess the real story is that over those 8 years netflix in the browser has become less and less important.

canadagoose

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Re: Raspberry Pi Thread
« Reply #24 on: January 09, 2021, 10:54:36 PM »
Oh, by the way, if anyone has issues with the entire system crashing after a few seconds when playing YouTube, particularly with h264ify, update the firmware (sudo apt update then sudo apt full-upgrade) first. Also make sure the flags in chrome:flags are set right (the first two settings should be enabled).

If you want to run Minecraft Java without it crashing after 2 minutes due to some memory allocation issue, put the res down to 480p (within Minecraft). It seems to last a while like that.

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