Raspberry Pi 2 Update and Toshiba laptop boot bug.

I have ordered a Raspberry Pi Camera (the original model, there is a new model that came out a little over a month ago, but the jury is still out on that one) to enable me to use my Pi 2 as a webcam/deercam. I will post more on that after it arrives and I set it up. I have since upgraded the storage to a 32GB Samsung EVO Class 10 card. There are faster cards, but I don’t see the point with a Pi 2.

 

I found that if I enter the BIOS on my mom’s Toshiba laptop that I mentioned before, it causes the boot error to reappear. I fixed and verified this for myself. I don’t know if a BIOS update would fix it, but seeing as my mother will never even attempt to get into the BIOS, I will leave it be. I stand by my decision to buy a Dell next time.

BootMedia_Error

2TB Samsung 850 EVO drives coming out July 19th, and other stuff

At least on Amazon they are. I’m not trying to purchase one at this time but, if they are $799 right now, 3 years from now they’ll be under $500 most likely.

http://www.amazon.com/Samsung-2-5-Inch-Internal-MZ-75E2T0B-AM/dp/B010QD6W9I/

I like the 1TB 840 EVO in my main computer, and will soon be testing out the 850 EVO M.2 in a new Linux NUC build (I’ll be posting about that next week).

My workouts are going great. I’m beginning to see the return of my old physique and, just as importantly, my old workout attitude. I will be weighing myself on Sunday, though weight is less of a concern for me than muscle development.

 

Life updates

My Dad’s computer that I built back in May 2010 was finally starting to die. Even with a brand new install of Windows and a new power supply, it was glitching up constantly. This was confirmed under Linux as well. Rather than fighting with the computer, I simply gave my Dad my i7-2600K backup computer that was already setup as a dual-boot Windows 7/Linux Mint machine. He’s quite happy and, being that the computer was rarely used, he has a new machine to make use of that is significantly faster than his previous AMD Machine.

I finally got a new washing machine after over a year of doing laundry by hand and using a spinner to get as much water out as possible before hang drying it. I am still hang drying my clothes, as I’ve always tried to avoid dryers as much as possible, though they have their uses.

My weight seems to be relatively stable, fluctuating a bit from week to week, though still in the 140 – 150 lbs range. I am planning on getting back into exercising on July 4th, though I will start very light and go from there.

We have a heat wave coming up, with temps expected to be 101°F+ for two or more days starting Sunday. My 5,000 BTU AC unit might not be super powerful, but it’s better than nothing, especially since I sit about 10 feet from it.

The price for a gallon of Whole Lifeline (Montana based) Organic Milk is now $6.99, with a 1/2 gallon of Organic Valley Half & Half hitting $6.59. A gallon of whole Lifeline Organic Milk was $5.69 back in early February. Food price increases are really getting crazy and this is only the beginning. I am trying to stock up on various foods while I can, as I don’t see this slowing down.

Pi 2 – Benchmarks

I ran a few benchmarks via hardinfo the other week and took pictures (with the flash off). I now have my Pi2 on a 3-way HDMI switcher (bought years ago for monitor) along with one of my backup computers, so it’s easier to mess with the Pi2 from time to time. I’d rather not have to physically switch HDMI plugs as my TV, nice as it is, only has two HDMI inputs.

First we have some info about the Pi2 as reported by the program.

Sysinfo 1

Info about the Pi2

Sysinfo 2

Info about the Pi2

Onto the actual tests.

Raytrace test

The Pi2 running the Raytrace test.

N-Queens test

The Pi2 running the N-Queens test.

Fibonacci test

The Pi2 running the Fibonacci test.

FFT test

The Pi2 running the FFT test.

Cryptohash test

The Pi2 running the Cryptohash test.

Blowfish test

The Pi2 running the Blowfish test.

Raspberry Pi 2 camera flash bug

I noticed while taking snapshots of my Raspberry Pi 2, that the flash seemed to make it lose power. I didn’t notice immediately, because I was absorbed in photographing the machine. As it turns out, it wasn’t my imagination, since I ran a search on DuckDuckGo and found quite a few links mentioning the bug. At least I know the cause, as I thought I had gotten a defective unit.

Raspberry Pi 2 – Continued

Since I last wrote, I’ve had a little bit of time to try out the Raspberry Pi 2. I’m still working on the software side of things, including finding out how much it is capable of. Below are a few pictures I took as I unboxed the Pi 2, as well as a size comparison with its power adapter and a 16GB flash drive.

 

Unboxing the Pi 2

Unboxing the Pi 2

Unboxing the Pi 2

Unboxing the Pi 2

Unboxing the Pi 2

Unboxing the Pi 2

Unboxing the Pi 2

Unboxing the Pi 2

The Pi 2 is only slightly bigger than the power adapter plug.

The Pi 2 is only slightly bigger than the power adapter plug.

I hooked up the Pi 2 to my 55″ Samsung TV, and booted up the first time. I was greeted by the NOOBS screen and decided to install Raspbian as well as create a data partition. I would repeat this a few days later, when I formatted the microSD card and put a new version of NOOBS onto the card. Both times the installation was the same. It took roughly 10 minutes or so to install everything, though it could have been longer, as I wasn’t timing anything. I elected to overclock the Pi 2 from 900MHz to 1GHz, as well as disable overscan (it was only showing up on a portion of my TV screen), as well as assign 256MB of ram to the GPU.

The NOOBS screen.

The NOOBS screen.

Installing Raspbian.

Installing Raspbian.

Installing Raspbian.

Installing Raspbian.

After installing Raspbian OS, I began to install various applications to test how usable a Pi 2 would be as an office computer.

I installed Synaptic, then began installing various applications. LibreOffice, The Gimp, Ice Weasel, and Ice Dove were all installed and ran without any problems. I’ve yet to do any serious “work” with any of the applications at this time, though the system did feel reasonably responsive provided I stuck to one app at a time. While 1GB of ram that the Pi 2 sports is a significant upgrade, apps like Ice Weasel will grab a huge amount of that with more than a few tabs open.

I plan on doing a bunch of app/game testing over the next few weeks, though I will say so far, that in a pinch, the Pi 2 could be used to do some basic office tasks without too much trouble, in addition to being a capable programming platform.

To be continued.

Raspberry Pi 2 Model B (1GB)

I’ve ordered a Raspberry Pi 2 Model B that includes a case, power supply, heat sink, 8GB microSD card/Adapter, Wifi USB dongle, HDMI cable, and instructions. I have a tentative delivery date of Early March, but knowing Amazon, it should arrive quicker than that.

I was fascinated by the original Raspberry Pi when it debuted back in 2012, however I soon realized that while it made for an excellent learning tool and super low end pc for certain tasks, it was far from being powerful enough to run as a basic media center pc, or portable low end workstation. For those reasons, I elected to skip it, though I did enjoy reading about other people’s experiences with this machine and what they got it to do.

Once I saw the new specs for the Pi 2 Model B, I knew I needed to get one, as the upgrades to the CPU/RAM in particular are going to result in significant performance gains, which manifest in expanded potential roles for the Pi 2 that the original Pi could never handle.

This won’t have the power of the Intel-based fanless computer I’m working on (as soon as I can get a hold of the chip, I will start a series of posts on that), but for a portable system that I can team up with my external SSD (I will write a post on it as soon as I have used it a bit more) to take with me to friend’s homes that will allow me to play back media files, as well as handle typical thin client pc tasks, I think it’s a intriguing and dirt cheap option.