I have had a chance to do some power draw monitoring of my Raspberry Pi and to compare with other low power ARM devices devices such as the SheevaPlug. The Raspberry Pi is really hard to beat – pulling roughly 2.0w when idle (with nothing plugged in to the USB or A/V outputs) to 3.2-3.3w at load (with HDMI output and USB keyboard and mouse) when using a standard Amazon Kindle charger as the power source. Something I’ve not had a moment to try is decoding HD video as I’d imagine that would load both the CPU and GPU but I can’t see the load being much higher given the combined CPU and GPU part (I’ll update this post when I confirm this).
Contrast these figures against 4.0w idle to 4.9-5.2w load for the SheevaPlug (also without any USB attachments). Admittedly the SheevaPlug has a slightly faster (1.2Ghz vs 700Mhz) ARM processor than the Raspberry Pi, but it also lacks the RCA/HDMI video output circuitry and has a wonky integrated PSU.
Probably the biggest difference between power consumption of the two devices will be related to power supply efficiency. As I already mentioned, the SheevaPlugs are renowned for being let down by cheap and inadequate integrated power supplies. In fact, I’m on my second Plug for that very reason. Since there is no (easy) way to test both devices with the same power supply, any comparison should probably be taken with a grain of salt.
I love this business card idea – simple but creative. That and it features a text editor I couldn’t do without :-)
Exciting news! According to a blog post made a couple of days ago, the Raspberry Pi team expects the first boards to be available for purchase before the end of Feb! But a little background, the Raspberry Pi project is the brainchild of Eben Upton, formerly a lecture at Cambridge who set out with a simple goal – to try to reignite British educational system passion for by recapturing the programming frontier spirit of the BBC Micros of old. Seven years later and the boards are ready, compact and bristling with ports and potential.
Despite the original focus, the project has been blessed by a huge amount of interest and I for one am excited to get my hands on a board (or possibly several) to see what I can make them do. The boards have already been shown to run XBMC, Quake3 and have the approximate graphical capabilities of the original XBOX – I can’t wait to see what will happen in the coming weeks.
I think I am going to give Mediaportal another go, now that 1.1 final has been finally (after so much time and so many release candidates) released. I had been using Mediaportal as my media center software of choice since about 2007 (back in the 0.2.x days) but recently I had been lured away with some of the shinier features of Windows 7 Media Center.
Although overall I have enjoyed the user experience and polish of 7MC, the frustrations and limitations (lack of good plug-ins, local content, themes etc..) continue to mount. There are a lot of things 7MC is simply great at (series record, intelligently recording at another time to deal with timing clashes, Windows integration, four-foot configuration and so on..) but I think I am ready for a bit more freedom again from my media center.
A few days ago AVG, which is a nice lightweight and free anti virus program, started giving me strange error messages when I tried to update my AV definitions. It was complaining that the “CTF control files” had been corrupted somehow, but offered neither explanation nor remedy. After realising it wasn’t going to go away by itself :P, I did some digging and found the “ctf” files it was complaining about. To save you time looking, the files can be found in :
C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\Avg8\update\download
Luckily this problem is very easy to fix, just delete the ctf files in that directory (but don’t touch the bin files as I believe these are the incremental AV definitions) and run a manual update.
I hope that helps anyone in a similar position. :)
I am sure EA will be squirming as they are given the dubious honour of having the most pirate game ever. According to torrentfreak, Spore has been pirated 17 million times since it’s release in September, that is a staggering amount of lost revenue. Spore is currently selling on Amazon for £29.99, that equates to nearly £51,000,0000 of lost revenue for the company. Now I am no huge fan of EA, but that amount has to hurt especially in the current financial climate.
One has to wonder however, what percentage of that 17 million were gamers who simply rebelled against Spore’s draconian DRM which I ranted about previously? Moreover, how many people just skipped buying Spore altogether? There will always be piracy, but by making it harder for ordinary users (and not affecting pirates at all) EA and other companies are merely shooting themselves in the foot. I don’t blame them for trying to protect their interests, however I think they have things sadly backwards.
I neither pirated nor bought the game out of protest and, a few months on, I don’t feel a need or desire to reverse my decision. Which is a shame and a lost opportunity for EA and a waste as I think I probably have enjoyed it.