A new little computer: the Raspberry Pi…
Sorry it’s been a while since I wrote anything here. The simple fact is that I haven’t done a lot that’s very interesting lately. But Carmen did buy me a Raspberry Pi for Christmas, and I’ve been playing with it a bit. As it happens, we had a power outage over on the 26th, and when my rapidly aging FreeBSD server (a 1Ghz Via C3 Nehamiah processor, released in 2003, if memory served) rebooted, one of its drives seems to have failed. I mostly use this machine for an ssh and IRC server, some local web and file serving, and the odd bit of Python and C programming. I have been considering replacing this 10 year old machine, but until I get around to putting something reasonable in it’s place, I thought I’d see if the Raspberry Pi could serve.
And the answer is yes, it can.
I installed the Raspbian distribution of Debian, and plugged it into my router. Enabled ssh, and voila! Works great. Well, it’s pretty slow. I have a class 4 4GB card serving as its only storage, which is not exactly brilliant, and the 700Mhz clock rate is pretty… well… slow, even by comparison to the 1Ghz machine it’s replacing. But it does work! It’s even got an X server, which isn’t exactly zippy, but which does work.
For fun, I thought I’d give it a bit more of a test. I installed simh, and then transferred my TOPS-10 disk images over. The Raspberry Pi actually makes a pretty nice little PDP-10 simulator. I’ll have to benchmark it later, but it seems to work just fine.
I’ll have more details later, but for $35, it’s a lot of computer. Barely more than an Arduino Uno, but with a lot more capability.