Pine A64 platform, starting at 15$

CougTek

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Seen here

If this thing can run Linux 64-bit, that would great. The 59$ model with wifi plus another 10$ to bump the RAM to 2GB seems like a very interesting deal. It doesn't do 4K @ 60Hz, but still, it beats everything else in this price/power range.
 

Mercutio

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Of course, it's the same problem as the Pi. I had to struggle to come up with an application where I wanted to use one instead of just running my work through a fully functional computer that I already have.
 

Tea

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Nailed it, Merc. I'd love to do something with a Pi, just such a totally cool machine ... but what? I can't think of anything I particularly want to do that I can't do much more easily on one or several of my assorted motley full-size existing systems. Well, nothing that seems worth the trouble.

Well, I can think of several things ... when they release a Pi that can mix concrete, paint the bathroom, make apple crumble, and/or take out the garbage bin without tripping over the cat, let me know!
 

Mercutio

Fatwah on Western Digital
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I set up RetroPi, an emulator front-end, and IMMEDIATELY hit the wall of the thing not having the horsepower to play games I wanted to play on it.
I've done RasPlex and OpenElec on them, but it turns out the Pi has a hard time with high video bit rates and won't decode some sound formats.
They don't have enough CPU or RAM to be acceptable for general desktop use. They're practically crippled for web access. They make pretty good web SERVERS, but so do the 12 and 16 thread Xeon systems I have sitting around.

So my big Pi application? I have an NFC sensor on one and I can physically switch my phone's bluetooth inputs with it.
 

Handruin

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I've had the same discussion with other people in that I think the Pi is neat and the cost is more than reasonable...I just have no idea what I'd bother to use it for.

If I'm going to bother with a project needing compute power in small physical form factor I'm going to go a step lower and use an Arduino or an Intel Edison. I realize they're a different level of development and complexity built for a much different purpose but I don't see the Pi bridging the gap between the two all that easily. Maybe one day down the road when the mobile phone processor technology trickles down we might see similar-priced Pi platforms with much more compute performance that can be used for more purposes. Think of a Snapdragon 808 in a Raspberry Pi some day down the road.
 

LunarMist

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I've had the same discussion with other people in that I think the Pi is neat and the cost is more than reasonable...I just have no idea what I'd bother to use it for.
I assumed they were used for student projects and some custom low power applications, not particularly for the low cost.
 

Handruin

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I assumed they were used for student projects and some custom low power applications, not particularly for the low cost.
That's the thing though with the Pi. Outside of using it as a teaching tool I'm not finding projects to use them for where low power and the associated low performance meet my needs. If I really need low power and smaller form factor, I'll go with the Edison.
 

ddrueding

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I th7ink th7e trick is to look at places th7at h7aven't h7ad computers before, rath7er th7an places th7at already do. H&ow about controlling Ch7ristmas ligh7ts? Putting one in every ligh7t switch7 for fancy automation stuff? Tying into th7e garage door opener? Flood detection? Smart appliance control?
 

Handruin

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I th7ink th7e trick is to look at places th7at h7aven't h7ad computers before, rath7er th7an places th7at already do. H&ow about controlling Ch7ristmas ligh7ts? Putting one in every ligh7t switch7 for fancy automation stuff? Tying into th7e garage door opener? Flood detection? Smart appliance control?
What's going on with the "7"s? :)

I see where you're going with this but many of those applications you've described feel like tasks that can be done with Edison and/or Arduino. I find the physical computing aspect of either of those devices connect in better than a Pi. For example, when interfacing with christmas lights (or any of your other examples), how would you connect that up to a Pi? Does it have anything other than USB to interface with IO in the outside world? I admi I haven't used a Pi and can't tell if it has digital and analog IO capability that can be programmed against.
 

ddrueding

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Admittedly, th7ose are use cases for low-power, low-price computing in general and may not be ideal for th7e Pi. And th7e 7s are th7e result of my daugh7ter pouring diet coke into my brand-new (3 h7our) old dasKeyboard 4 Professional. Th7e "h" key also triggers th7e "7" key. Wh7en sh7e first did it many of th7e keys were throwing goofy results, but simply bash7ing on th7e th7ing h7as resolved th7e rest of t7hem. H&oping it clears soon.
 

Mercutio

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Given that these things are stuck using an SD card for storage anyway, I'm thinking that lack of a gigabit port isn't a particular bottleneck.

I have to teach Rpis as a class in May, but I'm not supposed to be teaching any sort of programming. I have no idea what I'm going to actually teach. It doesn't take THAT long to explain how to use Rufus to write an image to a camera card.
 

Mercutio

Fatwah on Western Digital
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The guys I teach these days are all about Fire Sticks for access to Kodi + Fusion Repo Pirate Streaming sites. That's trivial for a Pi but the Pi is also slower and more expensive (and doesn't have a remote) in comparison. I know you can do stuff like implement a 3D printer with one but you can do the same thing with Arduino and then you're back to needing heavy techie knowledge to do something cool with it. If I did something like an Arcade Emulator, I'd have to answer questions about where ROMs come from. They're easy to find but I can't exactly pass them out as part of the class.
 

CougTek

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On my wish list for 2017 : a single board computer with a quad-core Cortex A73 CPU and at least one USB 3.0 port.

Currently, the fastest single board computer seems to be the ODROID C2, but it lacks USB 3.0 ports.

I want to try one of those cheap and tiny computers as a kind of thin client. With USB 3.0 port(s) and an RDP client on Linux, it would be perfect for the office. I could place one in the conference room with an IR remote control and hook the 4K TV to it. It would be awesome. Or try to have the administration employees work on those and always work in VDI.
 
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