Monday, March 2, 2015

Brief (HA!) Aside - why Pi over laptop

So as I was writing that last article I realized I kind of gravitated to the Pi even though my laptop, an existing device, could already do everything I needed.  I thought it over and here's why I may buy a Raspberry Pi 2 B to use as a set top media box and file server:

  1. Low power usage.  The power savings of using my laptop over a desktop are huge.  Using a Pi over my laptop would probably be a similar order of power savings.
  2. My laptop has a fan, it runs a lot, it makes noise.  Not a big deal, but something to consider.
  3. The Pi has better support. My laptop is an Alienware M11x, a great computer for gaming on at the time because there ware a ton of other enthusiasts with an identical device trying to wring out as many frames per second as possible, I could crib their settings and save myself the hours of testing.  Unfortunately the Linux support isn't to great.  A lot of people run Linux on it, but I don't see anyone having HDMI audio working on my model, the resolution is kind of borked, I have to disable the laptop's screen to get full screen video to play right on my tv.  The Raspberry Pi has an army of people doing al sorts of cool things, it's very well supported, there are a ton of custom images for it.  
  4. Smaller package.  The Pi takes up less space.  It should fit nicely under my TV, actually between the screen itself and the stand.  Of course then I plug a big bulky HDD into it, but that's another issue entirely.

Given the price it seems win-win.  I'm going to do some research on its file serving reliability before I make any decisions though.

Til then,


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