On 2016-10-12 13:16, Alan McKinnon wrote:
On 12/10/2016 13:56, Daniel Campbell wrote:
My birthday's coming up in 10 days and my SO and others are wanting to
know what to get me for my birthday. I'm slowly growing tired of trying
to keep my desktop Gentoo machine lightweight and "clean", so it'd be
fun to hack on a little computer that I could possibly DIY a case or
other arrangement for. Maybe a file/web server, or a "freetoo" machine
where I can experiment with being rigidly FSF-APPROVED or other fun

I've looked around at the Raspberry Pi 3, the Pocket CHIP (I also have
PICO-8 and am hacking something for it), the Pi Zero, and have heard
about the Beaglebone and Arduino, though isn't the latter meant for more
interactive or robotic thing due to the large array of IO pins?

If I had the right tools or gadgets, creating my own UMPC would be
really fun.

At a minimum, I would prefer HDMI instead of composite or VGA, though it
could be headless and I just use SSH or an Adafruit LCD.

Any opinions or use cases and stories would be much appreciated. I would
prefer running Gentoo on it, but Debian, Mint, or Slackware would be

Those devices are dirt cheap, ask for one of each :-)

Seconded :)
here are my 2c on my two experiences

Raspberry Pi
great to play with Gentoo ARM, runs well until you do anything related to IO. Really well in fact, so that when you do do anything to save a file or emerge (yes you can but i really wouldn't recommend it) it takes you by surprise how bad it is. Also be aware of USB power draw and reboots if you can't supply power well enough for all devices! is more of a "computer" in the traditional sense.

I really like the Arduino from a programmatic automation point of view as the inputs and single threaded C program make sense to me, and in my own simple way of viewing things, things like nest.com are more easy to do via Arduino than Pi. is more of a microcontroller than a computer

Final thoughts
get them all, they are so cheap. the addons are what make them though -- wifi shields or movement sensors etc, otherwise they are just a piece of compute. you may find a Pi controller controlling arduino leads you to a new form of robotics and the limits are your imagination

but if you are looking for a linux box to play with i would suggest Intel Atom based Jetway mini-atx with the daughterboards that let you have multi-nic or multi-sata they are fast enough to keep up to date without needed distcc and feature rich enough that you can build your own SAN or build your own router etc

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