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DavidS
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The Great Raspberry Pi Computers.

Fri Jul 05, 2019 5:25 am

In 2011 I was considering saving up to afford a Beagle Board computer as an upgrade from my StrongARM RiscPC. While looking into this I stumbled across a youtube video showing RISC OS running on a prototype Raspberry Pi, and said that the Raspberry Pi is going to be a $25 computer. This got me very curious, what was this Raspberry Pi that is spoken of, so I searched the web, found http://raspberrypi.org and started reading. Within a a few weeks I decided to join these forums, and I purchased a Raspberry Pi within an hour of its release (apparently before the site crashed, from the news).

So I had upgraded to a ARMv6 (ARM1176JZF-S) CPU based RISC OS compatible computer with 512MB of DDR2 RAM, 100MB Ethernet, USB, and a lot of other significant features that made it a huge upgrade for me (never could afford an IYONIX PC). I watched RISC OS become more and more stable on this computer, and run better and better.

I have a number of BCM2835 based Raspberry Pi computers now, and still keep adding to my collection of first generation Raspberry Pi systems.

Then came the Raspberry Pi 2B, with a 1GHz quad core ARMv7 ARM Cortex-A7 CPU, 1GB DDR2 RAM, and RISC OS was running on it previous to its release. So it was time for another Hardware upgrade, and it worked very well.

It did not take long before the Raspberry Pi 3B came out, this was a lesson for me. I got a 3B within a couple days of its release. RISC OS was already running on this one as well. The trouble came do to the ARMv8 CPU having finally left the SWP instruction behind. You see there is a lot of closed source software that uses the SWP instruction, and many of these titles are no longer maintained (company out of business, or author no longer using RISC OS), so a lot of software broke. Thankfully there came forth a patch program for these programs to run on the ARMv8, so most 32-bit R15 programs could now be run in the ARMv8 (and with Aemulator or similar most 26-bit R15 programs could be run as well).

Having learned to make sure you do not miss something important in upgrading, I have played fairly cautious in upgrading now that the Raspberry Pi 4B is out. I am still waiting for RISC OS to get running on this new board (first time they did not have it ready in time for the board launch on the RPi series), and I am also waiting until we get the full peripheral documentation for the RPi 4B. Though the more I learn about the 4B, the more I want one. I also have to wait until I have the $45 plus Power Supply plus S&H.

I am hoping to be using the Raspberry Pi for a long time to come. The big question is how long that long time is to be (I would expect likely about 20 years after RPF and RPT cease to exist, which hopefully is a long ways in the future, so for another 60 years or more).
RPi = The best ARM based RISC OS computer around
More than 95% of posts made from RISC OS on RPi 1B/1B+ computers. Most of the rest from RISC OS on RPi 2B/3B/3B+ computers

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DavidS
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Re: The Great Raspberry Pi Computers.

Fri Jul 05, 2019 6:04 am

Running Raspbian on a Raspberry Pi 1B+ while posting this, strongly considering sticking with this board for a while for daily use.

I may be a bit of an oddball, though I still prefer the Raspberry Pi 1B+ out of all the Raspberry Pi boards I have had. Yes the extra speed of the 2B and 3B are nice sometimes (mostly in Linux), though the 1B+ is realistically more powerful than is needed.

The Raspberry Pi 1 series (with the BCM2835 series SoC) is quite powerful, and at 1GHz runs cooler than the BCM837 based RPi models do at 500MHz. Better compatibility with older software. It draws a lot less power. The ARM1176JZF-S @ 500MHz is capable of playing most reasonable formats of video at 60FPS at up to 768P, without using the VideoCore GPU at all. It is also fast enough for many Real Time Ray Tracing uses at decent resolutions, using only the CPU.

Now the BCM2836 is neat in having a quad core ARMv7 ARM-Cortex-A7 CPU, and it is definitely a good bit of practice to play around with SMP on bare metal.

The BCM2837 is another SMP toy. Though it is quite fast, which is nice when running Linux (as I am now). I have played also with the 64-bit ISA, and the only things I see come to disadvantages in more than 99% of applications over running in a classic ARM 32-bit mode on the same CPU.

I thank the RPiF for the great single board computer that we have today. I further thank RPiT, Broadcom, and all the people of these forums for the ongoing development of this platform.

I hope that there continues to be a big market for the 1B+ well after the 2022 minimum cut off date we were given. I would like to still be adding new 1B+ boards to my collection in 2030.

Out of curriosity:
do we have a number for the total BCM2835 based Raspberry Pi boards sold (excluding the compute modules)?
RPi = The best ARM based RISC OS computer around
More than 95% of posts made from RISC OS on RPi 1B/1B+ computers. Most of the rest from RISC OS on RPi 2B/3B/3B+ computers

jahboater
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Re: The Great Raspberry Pi Computers.

Fri Jul 05, 2019 7:04 am

Great Pi models IMHO ...

The first Pi 1 created the market

The first B+ was a very clever upgrade

The first Pi2 had advanced CPU's, ahead of the market

The Pi4 fixes all the limitations of previous models USB3, 4GB memory, true GiGe ethernet, and at the same time has powerful out-of-order CPU cores, faster SD card access, faster graphics, 3200Mhz DDR4 memory, stable 28nm node size.
An "all round" upgrade. Definitely the the best Pi model ever!

hippy
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Re: The Great Raspberry Pi Computers.

Fri Jul 05, 2019 11:18 am

DavidS wrote:
Fri Jul 05, 2019 6:04 am
Running Raspbian on a Raspberry Pi 1B+ while posting this, strongly considering sticking with this board for a while for daily use.

I may be a bit of an oddball, though I still prefer the Raspberry Pi 1B+ out of all the Raspberry Pi boards I have had.
I waited for the B+ to arrive with its four USB ports and ethernet port before climbing aboard the Pi adventure. I now find that B's and Zeroe W's are often ideal for the kinds of Application Engines I create so have gravitated towards those for deployment while using more recent Pi's for development use.

The advantages of B's and Zero W's are they are cheap on the second hand market, have modest power requirements, and their performances is enough for what I need. The disadvantage is that one has to seek B's out, and there is limited supply, and they and Zeroes won't be fast enough for all application uses.

I tend to use a Pi 3B for development because that has enough of what I need. I will probably move to a 4B at some point as it does have advantages for me, particularly for dual monitor use.

It is great to see how the Pi range has added more over its lifetime, and there is probably more to come. From its humble beginnings it has grown to become a quite comprehensive computing platform with most people's needs and desires catered for -

Done

Faster speed
5GHz Wi-Fi
True 1GB ethernet
Bluetooth BLE 5
Up to 4GB memory
Reduced USB bus contention issues
USB 3.0 host
USB-C power input
OTG and Gadget Mode for B models
Boot from USB
Boot over PXE
Device boot via USB for Zeroes and A's
PoE capability
4K HDMI
Dual HDMI
Composite Video
Analogue audio
Camera interface
Display interface
Comprehensive GPIO
Multiple UART channels
Multiple SPI channels
Lower power shutdown
Bootloader in Eeprom

Assorted outstanding desires

Pi 4A
Pi CM4
eMMC
PCIe
eSATA
mSSD
RTC
4Kp60 HDMI on both ports
8K HDMI
Full-size HDMI sockets
Additional power-in header
UPS capability
Low power / standby modes
Make more resilient to power supply shorting
Wake-On-LAN
Make even faster
Have more cores
64-bit Raspbian
8GB version
Reduce heat
Reduce power consumption
Additional Camera inputs
HDMI input
Add analogue input capability
Make GPIO more resilient and 5V tolerant
Additional GPIO pins
Have any peripheral signal to any pin multiplexing

I am not demanding any of those additional desires, making any claim as to merit, just noting desires which have been expressed.

Not all of those will be possible, feasible, practical, have a business case for them, will fit within current Pi constraints, or fit with RPF/RPT plans or roadmap at the current time.

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Re: The Great Raspberry Pi Computers.

Fri Jul 05, 2019 4:42 pm

DavidS wrote:
Fri Jul 05, 2019 5:25 am
So I had upgraded to a ARMv6 (ARM1176JZF-S) CPU based RISC OS compatible computer with 512MB of DDR2 RAM...
Not at initial launch, you didn't. The early boards were 256MB. It wasn't until after the Rev. 2.0 that the Model B got 512MB.

alphanumeric
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Re: The Great Raspberry Pi Computers.

Fri Jul 05, 2019 4:46 pm

A 2B was I think the first Pi I bought. Then a 3B, 3B+ etc. The 2B's have all been passed on to other enthusiasts.
I have a couple of the original A+'s with Sense Hats on them. The hat size makes mounting the sense hat easy. Plus the Zero didn't exist when I bought them. I've moved on to 3A+'s now for similar headless setups. I have a bunch of Zero W's on the go too. Great value if you don't need a a lot of processing power.
I have a 4B with 4 gig on the way. I won't get my hands on it until next week some time though. :(
Last edited by alphanumeric on Fri Jul 05, 2019 9:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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DavidS
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Re: The Great Raspberry Pi Computers.

Fri Jul 05, 2019 4:47 pm

W. H. Heydt wrote:
Fri Jul 05, 2019 4:42 pm
DavidS wrote:
Fri Jul 05, 2019 5:25 am
So I had upgraded to a ARMv6 (ARM1176JZF-S) CPU based RISC OS compatible computer with 512MB of DDR2 RAM...
Not at initial launch, you didn't. The early boards were 256MB. It wasn't until after the Rev. 2.0 that the Model B got 512MB.
You are correct. My human Memory fails me sometimes, and I have not used my original RPi in a few years.
RPi = The best ARM based RISC OS computer around
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Re: The Great Raspberry Pi Computers.

Fri Jul 05, 2019 5:10 pm

hippy wrote:
Fri Jul 05, 2019 11:18 am
Assorted outstanding desires

Pi 4A
Pi CM4
Both have been mentioned as *possible* products.
eMMC
Extraordinarily unlikely on anything other than CM boards.
PCIe
Heh. Go read the CM forum. The BCM2711 has *one* PCIe lane and it's dedicated to feeding USB 3. What I think you're asking for is one or more directly exposed PCIe lanes.
eSATA
mSSD
Do this over USB 3, or hope for faster PCIe to USB to get USB 3.1.
RTC
A ton of add-on units are available. With multiple I2C busses available, one may no longer be constrained to a single mount location.
4Kp60 HDMI on both ports
8K HDMI
Those would take a faster VC6 or follow on VideoCore. And remember faster == more heat. This can be mitigated by using a smaller process node, but I think it's going to be quite a while before Broadcom goes that route.
Full-size HDMI sockets
Where are you going to put them?
Additional power-in header
Very minor use case, what with PoE header or powering through GPIO. Space is also an issue.
UPS capability
Already exist. Go out and buy one.
Wake-On-LAN
If anything, this would be a PoE HAT function.
Make even faster
Kind of goes with the territory. Just be patient.
Have more cores
It is unclear that this would be of more that minimal use. So far, 4 cores is pretty much the sweet spot for price/performance.
64-bit Raspbian
Some time before 2038, but there is no rush. In the mean time it would be wasteful of resources to maintain two versions of Raspbian, and while B+ (which you appear to like a lot) and Pi0/Pi0W exist, 32-bit Raspbian is required.
8GB version
If I've read a couple of comments properly, this could--theoretically--be done now. But it would be expensive, it's possible that RAM modules the fit the available space may not be on the market, and it assumes that all the address lines from the MMU are exposed. In theory (again, based on a comment from an engineer), the BCM2711 can address 32GB of RAM, but where are you going to put it? For that matter, how many people could even make use of it?
Reduce heat
Reduce power consumption
Both related. If it's critical, reduce the clock speed. The only alternative would be a die shrink, and as I noted above, that isn't going to happen any time soon. Plus...these are the antithesis of your "asks" of being faster and with more cores. Make up your mind about what you actually want.
Additional Camera inputs
Get a CM/CM3/CM3+. They all have two.
HDMI input
Probably expensive to add, for few use cases.
Add analogue input capability
Expensive to add and unless multiplexed onto exist pins, no space.
Additional GPIO pins
Get a CM/CM3/CM3+. They all expose all the GPIO (and other iterfaces) available on the SoC.
Not all of those will be possible, feasible, practical, have a business case for them, will fit within current Pi constraints, or fit with RPF/RPT plans or roadmap at the current time.
yeah... Pretty much none of them are feasible, let alone practical. About the only thing that one could expect from that list is the next Pi will be faster.

gordon77
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Re: The Great Raspberry Pi Computers.

Fri Jul 05, 2019 5:30 pm

For me the most useful Pi's are /were original Pi2 for processing power vs consumption / heat dissipation, PiA for low current and Pi3B/3B+/4B for processing power.

The Zeros are amazing value just don't fit in with my projects yet.
Last edited by gordon77 on Fri Jul 05, 2019 6:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.

hippy
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Re: The Great Raspberry Pi Computers.

Fri Jul 05, 2019 6:31 pm

W. H. Heydt wrote:
Fri Jul 05, 2019 5:10 pm
PCIe
Heh. Go read the CM forum. The BCM2711 has *one* PCIe lane and it's dedicated to feeding USB 3. What I think you're asking for is one or more directly exposed PCIe lanes.
I'm not asking for anything, just noting what others have said would be desirable to have in their view. And I acknowledged it might not happen, and some things might require a new or upgraded SoC or a change in thinking and plans, which equally might or might not happen.

But an awful lot of "won't happen", or wasn't expected to happen, was claimed to be impossible, impractical or infeasible, over the years are with us now.

Some laughed the very notion of a $10 SBC out the door when that was suggested. The CHIP beat that at $9, and the Zero bettered that at $5. A lot of what we have with a Pi 4B at $35 would have been laughed out the door a few years ago.

How many times have we heard a SoC redesign costs so many millions with the implication it isn't going to happen ? How many Soc redesigns have we seen ? Four I think.

How many times has a suggested idea been labelled as not fitting the RPF's educational remit or goals, or unnecessary, or a niche case, only for that to then materialise ?

But that doesn't mean anything in particular will arrive. However I'm sure there's a list with all that and probably more at Pi towers, physically or virtually, with yes, maybe, one day, we'll see, no, and, never happening, against the items.

Who knows what the future holds. The PI is a great computer. It's probably going to be even better in the future. And presumably it will have things it doesn't have now, like every other iteration of Pi model.

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Re: The Great Raspberry Pi Computers.

Fri Jul 05, 2019 7:07 pm

@hippy:
Well put. We even have features that some of us would rather not have (WiFi on board, Bluetooth, etc). So it is so that we have many of the things that had been viewed as unreasonable in the past.
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alphanumeric
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Re: The Great Raspberry Pi Computers.

Fri Jul 05, 2019 7:30 pm

Personally I happy they broke the $35 barrier, and kept it. I really don't mind paying more for more features. And if your happy with 1 gig of RAM you get one for the old price of $35. Best of both worlds. I was so close to buying an ASUS Tinker Board. I just couldn't pull the trigger though, in the back of my mind I was thinking it may be a mistake. And now I'm glad I waited it out for the new Pi 4B. :D

I use the WIFI and Bluetooth so I'm just as happy its onboard. Especially with my headless Pi Zero's and 3A"s. Having to plug in a dongle would be a bit of a pian. If you don't use I can see where its just excess baggage though. Different strokes for different folks.

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Re: The Great Raspberry Pi Computers.

Fri Jul 05, 2019 8:56 pm

alphanumeric wrote:
Fri Jul 05, 2019 4:46 pm
A 2B was I think the first Pi I bought. Then a 2B+, 3B, 3B+ etc. The 2B's and 2B+'s have all been passed on to other enthusiasts.
No such animal as Pi2B+. There is a B+ and there are the Pi2Bv1.1 and Pi2Bv1.2, the later being an underclocked Pi3B without WiFi.

gordon77
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Re: The Great Raspberry Pi Computers.

Fri Jul 05, 2019 9:03 pm

W. H. Heydt wrote:
Fri Jul 05, 2019 8:56 pm

No such animal as Pi2B+. There is a B+ and there are the Pi2Bv1.1 and Pi2Bv1.2, the later being an underclocked Pi3B without WiFi.
I thought that until l read this...



https://www.parts-people.com/blog/2015/ ... es-faster/

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Re: The Great Raspberry Pi Computers.

Fri Jul 05, 2019 9:04 pm

gordon77 wrote:
Fri Jul 05, 2019 9:03 pm
I thought that until l read this...



https://www.parts-people.com/blog/2015/ ... es-faster/
That article is 100% incorrect.
Note: Having anything humorous in your signature is completely banned on this forum. Wear a tin-foil hat and you'll get a ban.

Any DMs sent on Twitter will be answered next month.

This is a doctor free zone.

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Re: The Great Raspberry Pi Computers.

Fri Jul 05, 2019 9:05 pm

hippy wrote:
Fri Jul 05, 2019 6:31 pm
How many times have we heard a SoC redesign costs so many millions with the implication it isn't going to happen ? How many Soc redesigns have we seen ? Four I think.
One, actually. The BCM2836 was a revision of the BCM2835 sufficient to give it a new designation. Likewise the BCM2837. The change from BCM2837A0 to BCM2837B0 wasn't even significant enough to get a new part number. The only "from the ground up" redesign that the Pi has seen so far is the BCM2711 used on the Pi4B. That's why the Pi2 followed the Pi1 so quickly and the Pi3 followed rapidly from the Pi2. Neither one used a really new chip design.

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Re: The Great Raspberry Pi Computers.

Fri Jul 05, 2019 9:06 pm

W. H. Heydt wrote:
Fri Jul 05, 2019 8:56 pm
alphanumeric wrote:
Fri Jul 05, 2019 4:46 pm
A 2B was I think the first Pi I bought. Then a 2B+, 3B, 3B+ etc. The 2B's and 2B+'s have all been passed on to other enthusiasts.
No such animal as Pi2B+. There is a B+ and there are the Pi2Bv1.1 and Pi2Bv1.2, the later being an underclocked Pi3B without WiFi.
I stand corrected and edited my other post.

gordon77
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Re: The Great Raspberry Pi Computers.

Fri Jul 05, 2019 9:12 pm

DougieLawson wrote:
Fri Jul 05, 2019 9:04 pm
gordon77 wrote:
Fri Jul 05, 2019 9:03 pm
I thought that until l read this...



https://www.parts-people.com/blog/2015/ ... es-faster/
That article is 100% incorrect.
Fake news :roll:

alphanumeric
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Re: The Great Raspberry Pi Computers.

Fri Jul 05, 2019 9:15 pm

Sorry guys, I was going by memory which isn't what it used to be these days. :oops: Was quit a while back too.

W. H. Heydt
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Re: The Great Raspberry Pi Computers.

Fri Jul 05, 2019 9:26 pm

gordon77 wrote:
Fri Jul 05, 2019 9:03 pm
W. H. Heydt wrote:
Fri Jul 05, 2019 8:56 pm

No such animal as Pi2B+. There is a B+ and there are the Pi2Bv1.1 and Pi2Bv1.2, the later being an underclocked Pi3B without WiFi.
I thought that until l read this...



https://www.parts-people.com/blog/2015/ ... es-faster/
He needs to remove his head from where the sun don't shine.

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DavidS
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Re: The Great Raspberry Pi Computers.

Sat Jul 06, 2019 3:21 am

I would never ask for any features added to a Raspberry Pi, as they are already great.

Things that would be nice to see as it has been mentioned in this thread are:
  • Remove WiFi from those models that have it.
  • Remove Bluetooth from those models that have it.
  • Export more GPIO's (even if to an empty header).
  • Seperate the plug for the composite video signal from the audio (so we can use headphones directly like the original RPi).
  • Bring back models that have the full size SD Card slot.
  • Increase the number and potential of the BCM2835 based RPi's.
  • Bring a standard EHCI USB controller to the new models of BCM2835 based RPi's.
  • Provide a low cost RTC HAT.
Though this is NOT a request or want list. It is just the things I could logically see as benifiting the future of the RPi market, if correctly marketed.
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Re: The Great Raspberry Pi Computers.

Sat Jul 06, 2019 4:13 am

RPF make a point of keeping Raspbian compatible with the single core Pi's the Zero and B+.
But I don't use Raspbian on those and have not for years now.
Only one box with an old model 256MB A is using it.
Interestingly it is a dual monitor Pi but done with an expensive HDMI switch box.

Now I have a Pi4 that can be used to make the code for those older, smaller and still perfectly usable Pi's.
That nearly closes the loop for me, develop on a Pi for all Pi's.
There is some PC apps I use that need Pi versions.

FreeCAD is coming along, just some OpenGL stuff to sort?.
PCB design software is the last on my list of must have software.
The dual screen Pi4 makes that CAD stuff bearable to use now.

Still need to find something to do with my A+ and 3A+ versions.
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rpdom
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Re: The Great Raspberry Pi Computers.

Sat Jul 06, 2019 7:01 am

Gavinmc42 wrote:
Sat Jul 06, 2019 4:13 am
PCB design software is the last on my list of must have software.
I'm using Kicad to design PCBs. It seems to work mostly OK. I've had a few glitches. Currently I'm running Kicad 5.1.2 on Raspbian Buster (upgraded from Stretch, as a Buster image wasn't available when I installed it) on a Pi 3B+.

I've also tried Eagle on a Linux PC, which I found to be better than Kicad for routing tracks and things, but I don't believe there is an ARM version and I can't get it running on my current Linux laptop either. So I'll stick with Kicad. The PCBs I've designed and had produced so far seem good.
[edit]
I run my Pis headless, so access to Kicad is via ssh and X forwarding to my laptop. I have two screens on the laptop, built-in 1080p and external 1080p. It makes the PCB design process easier.

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DavidS
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Re: The Great Raspberry Pi Computers.

Sat Jul 06, 2019 12:14 pm

Gavinmc42 wrote: RPF make a point of keeping Raspbian compatible with the single core Pi's the Zero and B+.
But I don't use Raspbian on those and have not for years now.
Only one box with an old model 256MB A is using it.
Interestingly it is a dual monitor Pi but done with an expensive HDMI switch box.
I do not generally use Raspbian or Linux either. Though I do use every model of RPi as a full blown desktop computer, including for development.
Now I have a Pi4 that can be used to make the code for those older, smaller and still perfectly usable Pi's.
That nearly closes the loop for me, develop on a Pi for all Pi's.
There is some PC apps I use that need Pi versions.
What software could there be that you would need? As what you list below is availible (ok different CAD's though just as capable).
FreeCAD is coming along, just some OpenGL stuff to sort?.
PCB design software is the last on my list of must have software.
The dual screen Pi4 makes that CAD stuff bearable to use now.
Too many options for CAD. Though have you tried RiscPCB for PCB design and layout software? It will even produce the Gerbers for you. And it runs on the RPi even in the newest RISC OS releases so far.
Still need to find something to do with my A+ and 3A+ versions.
I do not have any A models at all. Have thought about getting one, though never did.
RPi = The best ARM based RISC OS computer around
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alphanumeric
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Re: The Great Raspberry Pi Computers.

Sat Jul 06, 2019 3:07 pm

I like the 3A+'s for headless setups where you want the computing power of 3B+ but don't need all those ports just taking up space. I'm using mine with Motion Eye as surveillance cameras. The Video stream is not too bad on a 3A+. I tried using a Zero W but it just wasn't up to the task.
One nice thing about all the different models is you can usually find one that fits your task and your budget. Using a 3A+ over a 3B+ was a nice cost savings for me. I have 4 cameras setup.

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