Feeds
90%
Raspberry Pi ARM PC

Review: Raspberry Pi

Bare bones computing

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable

Soft options

Once you have it up and running, and plugged into your display of choice, it's time to start running through the demos on the Demo SD card. The card we were shipped came with Debian Squeeze with an LXDE topping, featuring desktop scripted links to basic apps (AbiWord), programming environments (python games, turtle and Scratch), media box tools (XBMC), graphics demos in Qt, and games (Quake III). Depending on what you're looking to do in a particular session you may need to restart the Rπ with a different memory split; the scripts handle it for you.

Raspberry Pi ARM PC

The obligatory weather widgets report the doom and gloom that is British summertime

And the demos are pretty good. Given the right box, appropriate external storage, and suitably encoded files, XBMC running on an Rπ would give an AppleTV a run for its money. The Qt graphics demos are fun in a visualiser sort of way, and Quake III... well if I hadn't had two under-tens hanging over my shoulder at the time I probably would have spent a good hour or two improving my frag stats.

At $25 (or £29) the Rπ is an absolutely astounding piece of kit; at delivering content and games. Graphics-wise, it supports h.264 and OpenGL ES 2.0, and is on a par with the original X-Box, with various claimants putting it more 300 per cent ahead of an iPhone 4 in terms of raw power.

Raspberry Pi ARM PC

Usable apps
Click for a larger image

In day-to-day use though, is it a PC replacement? Nope, probably not. The main killer is more the 256MB limit, than the clockspeed. It's fine for word-processing, and a little spreadsheet-ing, but as a thin client, it struggled to deal with the bulk of modern web-app sites – webmail, Dropbox, Stackoverflow and the like – and was prone to hanging when switching between browser windows. This may be down to the current lack of hardware graphics acceleration – which may be addressed in due course.

Lest we forget that price is not the only benefit that the Rπ brings: there's the open source software. Yes it's a double-edged benefit - some may see an unfamiliar interface and linux-bigotry, but for the target market, education, it's clearly a win on a number of counts.

Raspberry Pi ARM PC

Scratch
Click for a larger image

The software is free, there's an existing community, and more stuff will get ported to it over time – rumours about Oracle porting a JAVA VM persist, and there's already ARM versions of Flash out there. If Debian and LXDE aren't your cup of tea, other flavours of Linux are available, and if being tarred with the Linux brush is a step too far, other OSes may be in the pipeline. RISC OS, which has a strong following in education, has already been seen in the wild.

Application security programs and practises

Next page: Firm Foundation?

More from The Register

next story
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
For Lenovo US, 8-inch Windows tablets are DEAD – long live 8-inch Windows tablets
Reports it's killing off smaller slabs are greatly exaggerated
Microsoft unsheathes cheap Android-killer: Behold, the Lumia 530
Say it with us: I'm King of the Landfill-ill-ill-ill
Cheer up, Nokia fans. It can start making mobes again in 18 months
The real winner of the Nokia sale is *drumroll* ... Nokia
Seventh-gen SPARC silicon will accelerate Oracle databases
Uncle Larry's mutually-optimised stack to become clearer in August
EU dons gloves, pokes Google's deals with Android mobe makers
El Reg cops a squint at investigatory letters
Apple orders huge MOUNTAIN of 80 MILLION 'Air' iPhone 6s
Bigger, harder trouser bulges foretold for fanbois
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.