PetesPi
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Re: Pi4 as Desktop computer

Sun Aug 11, 2019 8:56 pm

I feel extremely lucky getting my hands on the Pi4 (4 gig) unit, which have been flying off the shelf at the local Micro Center store.

But it has proven well worth the effort of commandeering one!

Yes, the Pi 4 rocks!

Thought I would share some impressions of the Pi4 4Gig-model, after about 10 days of heavy use as a dual-screen primary desktop.

Broadly speaking, the new Pi 4's Raspbian Buster desktop 'feels' as plucky and responsive as a $US 1,000 Mac Mini from a few years ago (even though I am running her off an SD-card). Can't wait for USB-booting to be offcially enabled so I can see speed gains from a USB-3 startup. I still use PI 2s and PI 3B+s but the latest model offers big boosts I attribute to the big ram upgrade.

For text crunching, using programs like libreoffice, focuswriter, pyroom, artha and ZimNotes, the Pi 4 performance leap lets me keep open multiple windows with absolutely no slowdown in performance or responsiveness. PDF documents open quicker and scroll much much easier even with large files like the MagPi magazine. On the Pi 2/&3B+, PDF viewing (even in zathura, mupdf and lightweight readers always felt a bit sluggish with larger files of picture heavy content).

And yes, dual screens make a huge difference for daily usage as I can dedicate one for work and one for reading (my second monitor is a page-height vertical, which is excellent for full-page viewing of articles, word processing files as well as IDEs for code).

I did notice the second vertically-oriented monitor seems slightly sluggish, though I have yet to investigate why this is the case.

On the topic of dual monitors, let me discuss VLC for a moment. Playing video across two screens may not be particulary useful, but the PI 4 is able to show video at 1080 across two monitors effortlessly. Streaming audio was fine on the Pi2/&B+ models but the PI4 does an excellent job with video streams. I have found VLC video better than viewing from inside a browser.

As far as browsers — links2, surf and firefox all work like a charm on the Pi4. I prefer links2 as a go-to browser because it is highly customizable ( I prefer a black sreen with blue text), can be used largely without a mouse and is stunningly fast. Images are rendered as fast as text. It is a simple light browser, but you can output content like video, music and pdfs by simply associating mime-file types to specific programs — like omxplayer or vlc player for video.

Firefox works well, when i need java and scripts - things i would rather avoid, when possible. Speeds don't seem appreciably different whether i am using ethernet or 2.4 wifi, though I expected ethernet to outpace given the Pi 4 specs. Firefox is moderately fast and usage is acceptable.

....Suckless software's Surf may be the real hidden gem for browsing, If one finds links2 is too 'texty' or 'javaless,' then Surf is an excellent choice for a richer nested-menu candyland full web experience. On the Pi4 4gig, surf rides the waves convincingly....Surf seems to have the fastest video — better than firefox or chrome - by far. Launching and loading the app is also faster.

Plop "surf https://www.duckduckgo.com" into a main menu entry or a desktop launcher (or terminal) and you are off to the races. (Just be sure to delete your surf cache occassionally as it grows to absurd sizes).

Wktmltopdf and cutycapt are two utilities that basically quickly rip web pages into pdf form, which are excellent tools for saving a page for reference later...they both work faster on the Pi 4 and I find myself using custom shortcuts in the main menu to dump entire pages intp pdf for later reading. (You can cron-job em' and e-mail the results to yourself, if you wanna roll that way.) Another terminal tool that is worthwhile on the Pi is "surf raw," for zippy duckduckgo searches!

As a quick aside, the RPI daily main news pages seems to load a bit slower than most because of large picture sizes (though i have yet to verify that is the cause). Still worth the wait, though. Good stuff.

The thinner micro-hdmi cables have proven a non-issue and work great so far. I have seen a few temperature alerts (3 in 10 days of heavy usage) and though the pi runs hot in the official case. For reasons i have yet to fathom, I have found placing the case sideways (hdmi upward) keeps it cooler given the peculiar thermodynamics (or airflow) of my desk. Flirc case coming soon, I hope! (I must say i miss the hat-friendly removable top of the old 2/3B+ official case.)

On a final note, since we are now all discussing the "Pi as a Desktop" as distinct from the great learning and physical-computing platform it has always been and remains, I think the sore spot for Raspbian-Buster is the default desktop appearance. LXDE is fine for me because I know how to tweak the colors, icons and tool bars to my liking. But a Mate-like tweak tool that is accessible to new users (some who have never really used a linux machine or computer at all) might be really really really be worthwhile in winning over new Pi recruits. Yes, there are still people bereft of any command-line prowess that come from iOS-land and the first thing they want to do is customize colors and icons...so it might be worth considering what these emojinauts like.

Please understand, I am sharing my overall impressions and not a technical analysis of the Pi 4 here. And I hope those impressions inspire you to go out and get three — if you can find them. Sales are brisk here and getting one relatively quickly makes me feel like a lottery winner.

The Pi 4 is a remarkable machine at an amazing price. The folks at the foundation continue to impress me with their innovations from the Pi 2 (my first) to the Zero, through the Pi 4.

Really guys, well done. Only wish you could expand your PiShop franchises to physical locations over here in the US — perhaps a few mini branches in college bookstores at major schools like MIT. (Alternatively, you might want to consider a Pi Membership program where you donate $25 and are entitled to get next edition Pi at the regular $35/55 cost. I would gladly pay something to support the foundation and not have to spend a hours looking across the web for US retailers who are in supply. Just an ad hoc idea...)

Anyway, thanks for letting me share my early impressions of the PI 4 and keep up the great work!

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clicky
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Re: Pi4 as Desktop computer

Sun Aug 11, 2019 9:58 pm

Rust: topic is "Pi4 as Desktop computer" - rust can be really treated as command line tool/compiler (unless someone had particular IDE in mind). Create new topic and complain that Rust doesn't support WASM on ARM processors :P Also, please, really, please, do not start discussion "Raspberry Pi - Raspbian is crap" from perspective that some packages/apps are not natively compiled for arm (some you can compile yourself and some might not be able to be compiled due to many reasons(*)) - it would be very similar to 15+ years old - 'Linux sux becase I cannot have MS Word on it'... If you don't understand Linux (and its many distributions and differences between them and architectures) then it is just not for you... :(

USB boot: why are people so hang about it not being available yet? Grab an old, small, semi-broken or otherwise SD card, set /boot partition on it and off you go. That second or two it would take more to boot doesn't really cause any problems for anyone! (BTW currently card in my Pi4 is not working properly but for /boot partition which boots system and mounts root on SSD)

Pi4 as Desktop is finally viable. UI is responsive, 4GB is appropriate for lightweight programming, USB3 allows quite fast SSD to be attached to it makes it easy for everyday use and Raspbian (and Debian!) has provided many pre-compiled libs and apps for ARM (armhf - which works on Pi4). I can understand some shortcomings of distro/architecture, but this topic is mostly to show that you *CAN* use Pi4 as desktop computer. At least I am using it and from first few pages I can say others, too. With ability to compile rust to WASM or not ;)

(*) tavrasm - obscure Atmel 8bit processors' assembler is not provided by Raspbian. ;) So, do I need to conclude that Pi4 is falsely advertised as a desktop computer... Or, what is more fair to say - I just downloaded the source, fixed it for modern gcc and compiled it without making any fuss. But, again, that has nothing to do with Pi4 as Desktop computer.

pica200
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Re: Pi4 as Desktop computer

Mon Aug 12, 2019 12:47 am

If you have to compile common software like Firefox yourself i don't quite think that's the desktop experience (unless you are a Gentoo user). You have to do that every update. There is Chromium as said but i would rather not support their monopoly.

ShiftPlusOne
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Re: Pi4 as Desktop computer

Mon Aug 12, 2019 1:32 am

hippie403 wrote:
Fri Aug 09, 2019 1:11 pm
Any chance of working something out with Google for Widevine DRM in Raspbian Chromium?
It's near impossible to get redistribution rights for widevine.

I haven't looked into it recently, but last time I checked, most projects that tried may get an initial response, but then it goes nowhere. They had to resort to alternatives like downloading widevine from Google's servers.

For ARM, it's a little more complicated because it involves downloading an image of ChromeOS (a relatively large download) and extracting it from there. If you look it up, you should find some scripts that do it for you.

For some sites you will also need to set your user agent string to pretend you're running chromeos or another supported browser/platform.

jamesh
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Re: Pi4 as Desktop computer

Mon Aug 12, 2019 8:39 am

pica200 wrote:
Mon Aug 12, 2019 12:47 am
If you have to compile common software like Firefox yourself i don't quite think that's the desktop experience (unless you are a Gentoo user). You have to do that every update. There is Chromium as said but i would rather not support their monopoly.
And that is entirely your choice. We provide Chromium (not, this is Chrome with all the tracking taken out) with our own mods to make it more performant. We do not do that with Firefox.
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jamesh
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Re: Pi4 as Desktop computer

Mon Aug 12, 2019 8:43 am

Cleared thread of rust. Please, keep on topic.
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pica200
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Re: Pi4 as Desktop computer

Mon Aug 12, 2019 1:00 pm

jamesh wrote:
Mon Aug 12, 2019 8:39 am
And that is entirely your choice. We provide Chromium (not, this is Chrome with all the tracking taken out) with our own mods to make it more performant. We do not do that with Firefox.
So what i'm getting from this is the RPiF/T doesn't care? That's rather disappointing. This may sound like #firstworldproblems but i should not have to compile common software for something that calls itself "desktop computer" (and i'm aware that ARM based can't be compared to x86 based but this is just a software package). I'm not asking for these patches be made for FF i'm just asking for an officially supported package for non-ESR FF. In another thread it was mentioned there were issues compiling it with older gcc which have been solved apparently so i'm not sure why it's missing or why it never made it into the repos.

So i have to go unofficial with a different distro it seems to get all the complaints resolved and pray it has proper hardware support which is unfortunate :(

Aydan
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Re: Pi4 as Desktop computer

Mon Aug 12, 2019 1:10 pm

@pica200:
RPF/T care very much, that's why they give you an optimized Browser called Chromium.
If you don't like that, that's your personal preference.
I don't like Chromium either, but I won't cry about not having Firefox porper either, I'm happy with ESR.

Raspian tracks Debian, and Debian does not provide FF proper! They "only" provide FF-ESR.
I have no idea what gave you the impression that Raspbian should provide FF proper!
Raspbian provides (with exceptions) what Debian provides plus some Raspberry specific patches and additions.
RPF/T decided to optimize Chromium. Live with it.
And what ever do you need FF proper for? FF ESR has the same security patches.
If you need FF proper, then either compile it yourself or use another platform.

Regards
Aydan
Last edited by Aydan on Mon Aug 12, 2019 1:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.

fruitoftheloom
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Re: Pi4 as Desktop computer

Mon Aug 12, 2019 1:13 pm

pica200 wrote:
Mon Aug 12, 2019 1:00 pm
jamesh wrote:
Mon Aug 12, 2019 8:39 am
And that is entirely your choice. We provide Chromium (not, this is Chrome with all the tracking taken out) with our own mods to make it more performant. We do not do that with Firefox.
So what i'm getting from this is the RPiF/T doesn't care? That's rather disappointing. This may sound like #firstworldproblems but i should not have to compile common software for something that calls itself "desktop computer" (and i'm aware that ARM based can't be compared to x86 based but this is just a software package). I'm not asking for these patches be made for FF i'm just asking for an officially supported package for non-ESR FF. In another thread it was mentioned there were issues compiling it with older gcc which have been solved apparently so i'm not sure why it's missing or why it never made it into the repos.

So i have to go unofficial with a different distro it seems to get all the complaints resolved and pray it has proper hardware support which is unfortunate :(

chromium-browser is perfectly OK, the RPT / RPF have to use software engineering resources wisely and considering the previous Epiphany Browser was also based of WebKit Engine it makes sense.

Debian which Raspbian is based do not offer Firefox non ESR....


I personally have decided at this moment in time that a RPi 4B is not a "cost effective" replacement for my Asus ChromeBit.....
Retired disgracefully.....
This at present is my daily "computer" https://www.asus.com/us/Chrome-Devices/Chromebit-CS10/

jamesh
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Re: Pi4 as Desktop computer

Mon Aug 12, 2019 1:19 pm

pica200 wrote:
Mon Aug 12, 2019 1:00 pm
jamesh wrote:
Mon Aug 12, 2019 8:39 am
And that is entirely your choice. We provide Chromium (not, this is Chrome with all the tracking taken out) with our own mods to make it more performant. We do not do that with Firefox.
So what i'm getting from this is the RPiF/T doesn't care? That's rather disappointing. This may sound like #firstworldproblems but i should not have to compile common software for something that calls itself "desktop computer" (and i'm aware that ARM based can't be compared to x86 based but this is just a software package). I'm not asking for these patches be made for FF i'm just asking for an officially supported package for non-ESR FF. In another thread it was mentioned there were issues compiling it with older gcc which have been solved apparently so i'm not sure why it's missing or why it never made it into the repos.

So i have to go unofficial with a different distro it seems to get all the complaints resolved and pray it has proper hardware support which is unfortunate :(
We do care. Just not about Firefox.

We spent a load of cash making Chromium work fast. Should we spend a load more cash on making Firefox work as well? To provide the same feature set under a different name? what about all the other packages that Debian does not supply, should we also be responsible for building those as well, just because one person somewhere wants it?

Chromium is our official browser. Your demands are harsh, and do not reflect the real world.
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Musketeer
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Re: Pi4 as Desktop computer

Mon Aug 12, 2019 2:42 pm

You don't really HAVE to use it. Nobody is holding you by knife... Use Firefox mostly and Kroum just for YouTube etc.
Linux is like woman - both wants 180 % of your time...
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pica200
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Re: Pi4 as Desktop computer

Mon Aug 12, 2019 3:26 pm

Aydan wrote:
Mon Aug 12, 2019 1:10 pm
RPF/T care very much, that's why they give you an optimized Browser called Chromium.
If you don't like that, that's your personal preference.
I don't like Chromium either, but I won't cry about not having Firefox porper either, I'm happy with ESR.
I'm not trusting Chromium at all even if claims not to have google's crap baked in and besides that i don't want to support this monopoly which decides whatever they want for example to move an API behind a paywall (for buisinesses only) which was the only way for ad blockers to work and making a new API which effectively makes proper ad blocking impossible due to nonsensical filter rule limits.

I don't know how you can be happy with that. It struggles quite a bit due to missing hardware acceleration and force enabling that makes every tab crash. But still better than supporting Googles egotrip.
Aydan wrote:
Mon Aug 12, 2019 1:10 pm
Raspian tracks Debian, and Debian does not provide FF proper! They "only" provide FF-ESR.
I have no idea what gave you the impression that Raspbian should provide FF proper!
Raspbian provides (with exceptions) what Debian provides plus some Raspberry specific patches and additions.
RPF/T decided to optimize Chromium. Live with it.
And what ever do you need FF proper for? FF ESR has the same security patches.
If you need FF proper, then either compile it yourself or use another platform.
To be honest i don't care who adds it. If Debian is at fault then they should add it and there is no reason anymore for them not to provide it.
ESR is way behind in features and the gap is only going to get bigger as the regular version moves on. Plus Mozilla is planning to rewrite more parts in Rust which is a big security upgrade compared to the competition which will land on ESR with big delays. That's enough reason not to use it imho.
And that's what i will have to do since apparently everyone else is fine with a half broken product.

fruitoftheloom wrote:
Mon Aug 12, 2019 1:13 pm
I personally have decided at this moment in time that a RPi 4B is not a "cost effective" replacement for my Asus ChromeBit.....
Yeah, software support is just underground level right now. It works but not quite as good/stable as for previous Pi's. The Pi 4 is pretty rushed and they should have invested the time they had left from the original schedule to polish the software side.

jamesh wrote:
Mon Aug 12, 2019 1:19 pm
We do care. Just not about Firefox.

We spent a load of cash making Chromium work fast. Should we spend a load more cash on making Firefox work as well? To provide the same feature set under a different name? what about all the other packages that Debian does not supply, should we also be responsible for building those as well, just because one person somewhere wants it?

Chromium is our official browser. Your demands are harsh, and do not reflect the real world.
You making it hard to believe that.

You are putting words in my mouth. I said earlier i'm not asking for the RPiF/T to make any patches and besides that i find it questionable to pay the big bucks for this since i'm sure you would have found people willing to help if you ask nicely. Heck, make some sort of contest out of it which would cost less in prices than hiring devs.

I'm sorry to say it but my demands are as harsh as the claims are bold. The hardware is as advertised but the software side is lacking at the moment.


I guess i'm on my own. I'm gonna leave for a while since it looks like the majority of this community is not on my side and the Pi 4 is not quite ready for prime time.

jcyr
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Re: Pi4 as Desktop computer

Mon Aug 12, 2019 3:56 pm

Aydan wrote:
Mon Aug 12, 2019 1:10 pm
@pica200:
RPF/T care very much, that's why they give you an optimized Browser called Chromium.
If you don't like that, that's your personal preference.
Correct. I prefer to use a real 'desktop' computer for most daily activities. I have a special aversion to all things Google, including Chromium.
It's um...uh...well it's kinda like...and it's got a bit of...

jamesh
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Re: Pi4 as Desktop computer

Mon Aug 12, 2019 4:03 pm

pica200 wrote:
Mon Aug 12, 2019 3:26 pm
I guess i'm on my own. I'm gonna leave for a while since it looks like the majority of this community is not on my side and the Pi 4 is not quite ready for prime time.
Yes it is. Just because one package you use is not present, doesn't mean it that millions of others are not happy. And I do mean millions.

As for the community getting it going - if someone were to take the time and effort to get an accelerated Firefox up and running, they are more than welcome, its all open source, and with the MESA driver now working reliably it should all be standard API's. It won't be easy, and this sort of software is very complex, which is presumably why no-one has done it yet. (Note, Chromium is accelerated, you seems to say it wasn't in the post above - that is where the money was spent).
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RetroBoyAdvance
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Re: Pi4 as Desktop computer

Mon Aug 12, 2019 4:09 pm

jamesh wrote:
Mon Aug 12, 2019 1:19 pm
[...]

We do care. Just not about Firefox.

We spent a load of cash making Chromium work fast. Should we spend a load more cash on making Firefox work as well? To provide the same feature set under a different name? what about all the other packages that Debian does not supply, should we also be responsible for building those as well, just because one person somewhere wants it?

Chromium is our official browser. Your demands are harsh, and do not reflect the real world.
Thanks for that. :D

Does that effort also affect Vivaldi? (based on Chromium)

fruitoftheloom
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Re: Pi4 as Desktop computer

Mon Aug 12, 2019 4:10 pm

jcyr wrote:
Mon Aug 12, 2019 3:56 pm
Aydan wrote:
Mon Aug 12, 2019 1:10 pm
@pica200:
RPF/T care very much, that's why they give you an optimized Browser called Chromium.
If you don't like that, that's your personal preference.
Correct. I prefer to use a real 'desktop' computer for most daily activities. I have a special aversion to all things Google, including Chromium.

Why doth the complainers say chromium-browser is Google ?

Chromium Browser is an open-sorce project and is what RPT / RPF use as a basis for their browser:

https://www.chromium.org/


Google's browser is called Chrome:

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Google_Chrome
Last edited by fruitoftheloom on Mon Aug 12, 2019 4:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Retired disgracefully.....
This at present is my daily "computer" https://www.asus.com/us/Chrome-Devices/Chromebit-CS10/

fruitoftheloom
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Re: Pi4 as Desktop computer

Mon Aug 12, 2019 4:18 pm

RetroBoyAdvance wrote:
Mon Aug 12, 2019 4:09 pm
jamesh wrote:
Mon Aug 12, 2019 1:19 pm
[...]

We do care. Just not about Firefox.

We spent a load of cash making Chromium work fast. Should we spend a load more cash on making Firefox work as well? To provide the same feature set under a different name? what about all the other packages that Debian does not supply, should we also be responsible for building those as well, just because one person somewhere wants it?

Chromium is our official browser. Your demands are harsh, and do not reflect the real world.
Thanks for that. :D

Does that effort also affect Vivaldi? (based on Chromium)

Vivaldi has no relation to RPT / RPF they have their own development team:

https://vivaldi.com/team/
Retired disgracefully.....
This at present is my daily "computer" https://www.asus.com/us/Chrome-Devices/Chromebit-CS10/

jcyr
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Re: Pi4 as Desktop computer

Mon Aug 12, 2019 4:54 pm

fruitoftheloom wrote:
Mon Aug 12, 2019 4:10 pm
jcyr wrote:
Mon Aug 12, 2019 3:56 pm
Aydan wrote:
Mon Aug 12, 2019 1:10 pm
@pica200:
RPF/T care very much, that's why they give you an optimized Browser called Chromium.
If you don't like that, that's your personal preference.
Correct. I prefer to use a real 'desktop' computer for most daily activities. I have a special aversion to all things Google, including Chromium.
Why doth the complainers say chromium-browser is Google ?
The great majority of Chromium core devs are Google employees, effectively in control of the project. Enough to keep me away.
It's um...uh...well it's kinda like...and it's got a bit of...

fruitoftheloom
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Re: Pi4 as Desktop computer

Mon Aug 12, 2019 5:56 pm

jcyr wrote:
Mon Aug 12, 2019 4:54 pm
fruitoftheloom wrote:
Mon Aug 12, 2019 4:10 pm
jcyr wrote:
Mon Aug 12, 2019 3:56 pm


Correct. I prefer to use a real 'desktop' computer for most daily activities. I have a special aversion to all things Google, including Chromium.
Why doth the complainers say chromium-browser is Google ?
The great majority of Chromium core devs are Google employees, effectively in control of the project. Enough to keep me away.

So for all the software you use you find out if the developers work for Alphabet...

....surprised you even have a computer or any device connecting to the WWW !
Retired disgracefully.....
This at present is my daily "computer" https://www.asus.com/us/Chrome-Devices/Chromebit-CS10/

RetroBoyAdvance
Posts: 8
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Re: Pi4 as Desktop computer

Mon Aug 12, 2019 6:23 pm

fruitoftheloom wrote:
Mon Aug 12, 2019 4:18 pm
RetroBoyAdvance wrote:
Mon Aug 12, 2019 4:09 pm
jamesh wrote:
Mon Aug 12, 2019 1:19 pm
[...]

We do care. Just not about Firefox.

We spent a load of cash making Chromium work fast. Should we spend a load more cash on making Firefox work as well? To provide the same feature set under a different name? what about all the other packages that Debian does not supply, should we also be responsible for building those as well, just because one person somewhere wants it?

Chromium is our official browser. Your demands are harsh, and do not reflect the real world.
Thanks for that. :D

Does that effort also affect Vivaldi? (based on Chromium)

Vivaldi has no relation to RPT / RPF they have their own development team:

https://vivaldi.com/team/

That wasn't the question was it. :mrgreen:

jamesh
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Re: Pi4 as Desktop computer

Mon Aug 12, 2019 6:45 pm

fruitoftheloom wrote:
Mon Aug 12, 2019 5:56 pm
jcyr wrote:
Mon Aug 12, 2019 4:54 pm
fruitoftheloom wrote:
Mon Aug 12, 2019 4:10 pm


Why doth the complainers say chromium-browser is Google ?
The great majority of Chromium core devs are Google employees, effectively in control of the project. Enough to keep me away.

So for all the software you use you find out if the developers work for Alphabet...

....surprised you even have a computer or any device connecting to the WWW !
Worth doing a search over the Linux kernel codebase for contributers Google email addresses...

Chromium is open source, so should be entirely free of bad stuff.
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jcyr
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Re: Pi4 as Desktop computer

Mon Aug 12, 2019 8:36 pm

jamesh wrote:
Mon Aug 12, 2019 6:45 pm
Worth doing a search over the Linux kernel codebase for contributers Google email addresses...
Certainly not the majority, nor the core devs... Unlike Chromium.
jamesh wrote:
Mon Aug 12, 2019 6:45 pm
Chromium is open source, so should be entirely free of bad stuff.
The bad stuff is Google and wherever they extend their tentacles.
It's um...uh...well it's kinda like...and it's got a bit of...

Brad Q
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Re: Pi4 as Desktop computer

Tue Aug 13, 2019 2:35 am

schorsch76

Not sure if you care or not at this point but: I ran into a similar issue with Firefox on a number (not all) of websites(including amazon). I wound up getting the useragent addon for FF set it for 32bit (linux i686), shut down FF, restart it and all was back to normal. I THINK that it sometimes sees the Pi4 as a smartphone. In my case at least, it was pretty hit or miss. Without useragent amazon showed up fine one day and goofy the next. The other symptom that this was happening was the limited number of tools on google search.

ejolson
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Re: Pi4 as Desktop computer

Tue Aug 13, 2019 4:02 am

jcyr wrote:
Mon Aug 12, 2019 8:36 pm
jamesh wrote:
Mon Aug 12, 2019 6:45 pm
Chromium is open source, so should be entirely free of bad stuff.
The bad stuff is Google and wherever they extend their tentacles.
Writing about tentacles might be off topic even more so than Rust.

Back on topic, it's notable that most of the discussion in this thread has focused on critical applications people need on their desktops. While the softwares are different for different people, it appears to me a common theme is that the new hardware would be capable if only the needed software were available. That's actually pretty good, because writing software is something anyone who has a Pi can do, whereas designing a new Pi is not.

Even if writing software is possible, there are a number of closed-source proprietary softwares, that for reasons either intrinsic or artificial, are very difficult to recreate. One such example is Mathematica. For some students, scientists and engineers, having a computer algebra system available on the desktop is a requirement more important than Microsoft Office or a specific brand of web browser.

Interestingly, a license to run Wolfram Mathematica is provided free of charge to every Pi owner. Moreover, the program works quite well on the 4B because of the additional processor speed and memory. Although it's possible to buy a hobbyist license to use Mathematica on an Intel-compatible PC for less than US $1000, could the Pi 4B actually be a better desktop for people who need a computer algebra system?

jamesh
Raspberry Pi Engineer & Forum Moderator
Raspberry Pi Engineer & Forum Moderator
Posts: 24139
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Re: Pi4 as Desktop computer

Tue Aug 13, 2019 6:34 am

jcyr wrote:
Mon Aug 12, 2019 8:36 pm
jamesh wrote:
Mon Aug 12, 2019 6:45 pm
Worth doing a search over the Linux kernel codebase for contributers Google email addresses...
Certainly not the majority, nor the core devs... Unlike Chromium.
jamesh wrote:
Mon Aug 12, 2019 6:45 pm
Chromium is open source, so should be entirely free of bad stuff.
The bad stuff is Google and wherever they extend their tentacles.
What has the percentage got to do with it? Only takes one....you should not be using Linux if you are so paranoid about Google's work.
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