Jack of all trades 11/19/2013
This review is from: Raspberry Pi 83-14421 Computer - Model B (512M RAM)
Amazingly functional for the price, power consumption, and footprint.
What I love most is that it looks and acts almost exactly like any Ubuntu box on my network. All of the packages are there, and everything pretty much just works (the main exception being some of the harware packages, like lm_sensors). Unless you try to run a bunch of desktop/GUI apps on it (web browsers, etc.), you can get away with just thinking of it as just another Linux box.
This thing only burns 2-3 Watts, making it far more efficient than any NAS or even most WiFi routers. You can really afford to leave it on 24/7 without a second thought.
The only major difference between this and a mainstream PC is that it really is a bit slow. Worse than the CPU speed is actually the I/O performance. Both the SD card or USB seem to top out somewhere around 16-18 MB/sec, and the bottleneck is definitely not the flash memory, which I benchmarked on another system.
The RAM size also becomes a significant limitation, if you start trying to use it like a desktop or build large software packages on it. I configured swap, just in case, but I think I'd be pretty sad if it were swapping on any kind of regular basis.
I hope they put more RAM, USB3, and a mSATA connector on its successor.
I've had a Pi running Raspbian for about 3-4 months, and it's worked flawlessly. I use it for automated internet radio recording, and I'm about to setup automated HD broadcast recording. I'm also planning to use it to serve up my music collection for in-home streaming to my various devices. It would be great for home automation, too.
Note that I've never used its video outputs, so I can't comment on any aspects related to its graphics performance, etc. I log into it using ssh - even for the initial setup.
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