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      CommentAuthorpcstru
    • CommentTimeJun 26th 2019
     
    Posted By: AsterixI've got a Pi set up with desktop Ubuntu sitting on the same shelf as my (headless) Pi mailserver. Both run from USB pen drives. The desktop Pi is used for debugging and is run perhaps once every other month. Incoming mail on the server is deleted after delivery, so it's not an archival store for anything.

    The bottom line is that a SATA-connected SSD outperforms and is more reliable than an SD card. So if you're using a Pi 4 because of it's amplified capabilities, you're going to be disappointed.

    Personally, I use them for various tasks generally booting from SD with SATA SSD's via USB where I need bulk storage or am logging a lot of data. I currently have 11 live Pi's doing various jobs 24/7, all headless. Improvements I'm looking forward to when my new Pi4 arrives are the true 1Gbs wired network and 4GB RAM. I'd be surprised if it ever gets a monitor plugged in, let alone two.


    BTW here is an interesting in depth discussion on Wear Levelling and the Pi. Here's a highlight :

    "If I use a USB flash drive as root and leave 1 gigabyte of space unallocated and the flash drive controller uses this unallocated space for dynamic wear leveling, and the cells can take 10000 write-erase cycles before being worn out, and I write 1 gigabyte of data a day (which you can check using 'iostat') - then in theory, it should take at least 10000 days before the flash fails - 27 years. However, it will most certainly take more that this amount of time because the writing of 1 gigabyte involves shifting of the block pool such that there's more than 1 gigabyte of free blocks circulating - not even taking the manufacturer overprovisioned blocks into account. People claim that write-erase cycles - in practice - are often much greater than what is listed on manufacturer specs. This was backed up by an academic paper written by Simona Boboila. It should be noted that the same academic paper was unable to fail a Memorex flash drive using static wear leveling using intentionally high write-erase methodology. The paper was written 6 years ago. In addition to this, I personally do not write 1 gigabyte of data a day. My usage is more like 300-600 megabytes - and this is without adjustments to the vm dirty ratio or other parameters that can minimize disk writes and maximize RAM usage."


    Also on Page 2, actual testing


    Simultaneously, I was testing on a second Raspeberry Pi a Sandisk 32GB High Endurance card (the white card). The test lasted for 6 months, and then it was enough and I stopped it, to be able to use the card again. Result is :

    70TB written
    222 000 000 files
    equivalent of 2187 writes of the full card
    equivalent of writing 10GB in 30 000 files, every day for 20 years.

    The conclusion is we have a real wear leveling on this card.
    I could continue the test to the maximum possible of 28000 cycles (Erase count 3000), we cannot expect more. But presently i thought that the test was even better than expected, and I prefer to continue running my Raspberry Pi normally on this card.


    "Suicide" just seems a bit overstated. I've yet to run into wear as an actual problem. Power failure on the other hand, I have run into that as an issue.
    • CommentAuthorAsterix
    • CommentTimeJun 26th 2019
     
    But the point of the original Pi 4 post was that the Pi 4 could do the work of a more expensive desktop PC. If SD was really all that good, most desktops would use them, no?

    I consider the claim of a Pi 4 to be equivalent to a desktop PC to be hyperbole at best.
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    Someday I'd like to meet Simona Boboila. I have some questions about the vm dirty ratio I'd like to ask her.
    • CommentAuthorAsterix
    • CommentTimeJun 26th 2019 edited
     
    It'll all be academic (sic) when technologies such as MRAM scale up and nobody cares about write-wear. I played around with early FRAM and was suitably impressed, but the density and cost didn't really make a lot of sense at the time.

    But I'm confident that eventually magnetics will win out over electrostatics for storage. I'm suitably impressed with the permanence of the rusty stuff. Electrostatic storage is just a detour.
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      CommentAuthorpcstru
    • CommentTimeJun 27th 2019 edited
     
    Posted By: AsterixBut the point of the original Pi 4 post was that the Pi 4 could do the work of a more expensive desktop PC. If SD was really all that good, most desktops would use them, no?

    I consider the claim of a Pi 4 to be equivalent to a desktop PC to be hyperbole at best.


    You seem to be stuck on it's use as a Desktop PC despite that Pi's are put to many more uses and their claim to utility is just to be a useful multi purpose computer in a small, cheap, energy efficient package,

    Are SD's "all that good" - well, all what good? Your claim is that using one is "suicide" - that IS hyperbole! I think if we put describing an SD card as "suicide" is hyperbole, then a Pi 4 as as desktop PC is quite a prosaic claim. An SD card is useful in a Pi due to cost and size. Choices in a $35 computer are going to be compromises. Would you make those compromises when building a more expensive machine - well, no, doh, of course not. That said, many tablets and phones do use SD cards as convenient expandable storage because of their conveniently small size.

    Here is what the article I linked to said, rather than the original post.

    "The speed and performance of the new Raspberry Pi 4 is a step up from earlier models. For the first time, we've built a complete desktop experience. Whether you're editing documents, browsing the web with a bunch of tabs open, juggling spreadsheets or drafting a presentation, you'll find the experience smooth and very recognisable — but on a smaller, more energy-efficient and much more cost-effective machine."

    So if you did choose to use one as a desktop PC, you could and you wouldn't find it as clunky as a it has been is all.
    • CommentAuthorAsterix
    • CommentTimeJun 27th 2019 edited
     
    Posted By: pcstru
    You seem to be stuck on it's use as a Desktop PC despite that Pi's are put to many more uses and their claim to utility is just to be a useful multi purpose computer in a small, cheap, energy efficient package,


    From the original article copy:

    Your new desktop computer


    Not mine--and probably not yours. That was my point. Too much hyperbole.
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      CommentAuthorpcstru
    • CommentTimeJun 27th 2019
     
    Posted By: Asterix
    Posted By: pcstru
    You seem to be stuck on it's use as a Desktop PC despite that Pi's are put to many more uses and their claim to utility is just to be a useful multi purpose computer in a small, cheap, energy efficient package,


    From the original article copy:

    Your new desktop computer


    Not mine--and probably not yours. That was my point. Too much hyperbole.

    It wouldn't be suicide to use it as a desktop computer, it has enough memory, is fast enough (with a reasonable class SD) and you can plug in all the normal peripherals including 2 monitors. I'm struggling to see what your point is other than a bit of wriggling away from the claim that using an SD is "suicide" which seems to translate to "OK for many years of normal use" in the real world in which 25 million Pi's have been sold.
    • CommentAuthorAsterix
    • CommentTimeJun 27th 2019 edited
     
    I'm not convinced of the suitability of using SD for storage on a desktop system. As I said, if it were a real option, all desktops would use one. You may have some anecdotal stuff to say that SD works as desktop storage, but I'd like to hear what the SD manufacturers would warrant. FWIW, I even have a P4 desktop system with a CF socket on the motherboard. No way would I use that as the only storage.

    The computer business has always been full of exaggerated claims. One memorable episode for me was a time when we were looking for another system to supplement our overloaded VAX 11/750. A sales guy from an outfit called Plexus insisted that his product would be fair competition for the VAX, at a fraction of the cost. I called the guy a liar to his face, as the Plexus box used a single 8 MHz MC68000 CPU to service up to 16 terminals. But I was overruled by the other board members and we bought the Plexus box. Its performance was so bad that it became the subject of jokes among the programmers. "I told you so" was unnecessary.

    Of course, equally silly was DEC's claim that a VAX 11/780 was the equal of a CDC Cyber 176. So in a way, it's comforting to see that the game is still current.
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      CommentAuthorpcstru
    • CommentTimeJun 27th 2019 edited
     
    I do think you are missing the point. The Pi is primarily aimed at educating people about computers; they are not out to replace anyone's workstation, PC Mac or whatever. For the use case SD is suitable, not suicide, including if you use it as a desktop to educate yourself about desktop computers.

    There is no particular 'hype' - you can't buy Pi's in usable quantities for the list price; as well as choosing a cheap storage solution suitable for the use case, they also chose to make very little profit in order to keep the price low. You can buy them in bulk for commercial applications, you don't get a discount, you pay more. Otherwise you tend to have to buy them in small quantities - the PiZeroW, one at a time.

    Sure, IT is full of exaggerated claims and wrapping old shit up in new language and outright snake oil. The reality of most IT is that it is a bit rubbish. The real miracle is that most of it works at all.

    To me the Pi shines out among the shit as a fabulous piece of kit, wildly popular outside of the target audience because it is a fantastically useful doing real world stuff for both a low outlay AND very low power demand. If you wanted warranty in a particular application, you would be providing it.

    Even so, despite how wonderful I think they are, I wouldn't ever recommend MY go within 100 meters of one.
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    I'm considering moving my whole astronomy suite to Pi, but I don't know if it will run the ASCOM scope and camera control stuff through its USB interface.

    (I just started considering this, so I have absolutely no RPi knowledge base yet, except for this thread.)
    • CommentAuthorAsterix
    • CommentTimeJun 27th 2019 edited
     
    Pi in my experience tends to run Linux quite well, as it seems to be the platform of choice. I've had no serious problems with it--and the odd thing is that some things that don't work on the x86 version of Linux/Debian/Ubuntu work just fine one the same distros for Pi (e.g. cheap Chinese BT dongles. I've told the x86 kernel people what they're doing wrong and what the Pi is doing right, but they've chosen to ignore me. )

    For basic control stuff, I use STM32F4 (ARM Cortex-4) "barefoot"--nice thing is lots of GPIO with 5V tolerance. You don't get GHz CPU speeds, but you might not need them.
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      CommentAuthorpcstru
    • CommentTimeJun 28th 2019
     
    Posted By: alsetalokinI'm considering moving my whole astronomy suite to Pi, but I don't know if it will run the ASCOM scope and camera control stuff through its USB interface.


    Some minimal searching suggest you can control scopes, for ASCOM there is a Linux library called INDI but that may leave some work to do. Gotcha for the PI and USB [peripherals is normally power - the Pi itself won't necessarily supply enough current so you often have to use a powered hub.
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      CommentAuthorpcstru
    • CommentTimeAug 27th 2019
     
    I quite like the Pi4. It is a bit more thermally challenged than it's brethren but it is still quite efficient. It's currently running PiHole - and sending 25% of my general browsing traffic into oblivion and seems to be doing a good job of caching. Just need the UPS/battery add on and that becomes the main host to the other network services (vpn, reverse proxy, cctv, emon (IOT) stuff) - all wrapped into 'portable' docker containers. What's not to like?
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      CommentAuthorpcstru
    • CommentTimeSep 5th 2019
     
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      CommentAuthoraber0der
    • CommentTimeSep 5th 2019
     
    Posted By: pcstruI quite like the Pi4. It is a bit more thermally challenged than it's brethren but it is still quite efficient. It's currently runningPiHole- and sending 25% of my general browsing traffic into oblivion and seems to be doing a good job of caching. Just need the UPS/battery add on and that becomes the main host to the other network services (vpn, reverse proxy, cctv, emon (IOT) stuff) - all wrapped into 'portable' docker containers. What's not to like?


    Thanks for posting this. Very interesting...