Wednesday, August 04, 2021

Raspberry Pi Adventures, Day One

 OK, so not really Day One. The machine arrived on Sunday and I immediately put it together, installed Raspbian, etc.

Yesterday, I had done a substantial amount of my daily work before the new desk and second "monitor" (actually a 19" LED TV) arrived, so last night was "getting used to it while finishing up" time.

So today is the first full work day using it, and so far I'm pretty pleased. In addition to being about where I usually am in the daily work flow, I've installed Discord (it's the "meeting" facility for the Libertarian Party of Florida's platform committee) and spent some time browsing extensions that might make things a little faster.

Yes, the Raspberry Pi 4 is slower than the Lenovo ThinkCentre, and I expected it to be.

The ThinkCentre has  an AMD quad-core CPU with advertised speeds of up to 3.7GHz, and 16Gb of RAM.

The Pi has an ARM quad-core CPU running at 1.5GHz and 8GB of RAM. It's also running a 32-bit OS because even though the CPU is 64-bit, there's apparently not a public 64-bit build of Raspbian yet.

The slower speed is noticeable, but I can't tell that it really affects my work. I always have a bunch of tabs open, and while they obviously render more slowly, it's not like I'm sitting there waiting on them -- I'm constantly moving between opening a bunch of links and then slowly summarizing/linking them for Rational Review News Digest, so slow loading in background isn't a problem.

Right now I have 15 tabs open, plus the Discord app, and am listening to a podcast while working. No problems, and the CPU temperature is a nice cool 56 degrees Celsius.

My son suggests that I can make things faster by using native apps rather than Chrome apps for e.g. text editing. I may try that.

So far, so good -- but the ThinkCentre is already sitting on the handy-dandy side shelving this new desk came with, and once the monitor risers and UPS arrive, I'll probably get it all set up so that I can switch to it at will. The nice thing about the TVs as monitors is that each has two HDMI ports, so I can just run the cabling and switch monitor source, and keep a mouse and monitor plugged in but out of the way, rather than having to plug/unplug a bunch of crap. I'm mainly waiting to do that so that I can handle cable management in one swell foop.

No comments: