Raspberry Pi – First Impressions

I got my Raspberry Pi a couple weeks ago, only a few short months after placing my order, and I’ve gotten a little bit of time to play with it. So far the experience has been pretty good. The speed is pretty much as I expected. I was able to get Quake 3 up and running on it. I spend countless hours playing that game in university, and it sure did bring back some memories.

I think the thing I like most about my experience so far is that I can get different SD cards set up, one for a media centre, one with a working desktop distribution, one to play around with and break, and more for whichever purpose I feel like. It’s nice having a computer you can just tinker with, where you can back up the whole system in a matter of minutes, and load on a whole new OS quickly if something goes wrong. I haven’t had a computer I can just tinker with in quite a while. It’s also nice that the Raspberry Pi doesn’t take up any space, and that I can just hook it up to my existing peripherals.

I have had a couple problems with it. My wireless keyboard that I use with my desktop doesn’t seem to work so well. Sometimes keys stick and repeat endlessly, and sometimes keystrokes don’t register. I’ll have to go and get a USB keyboard soon, but so far most of my experimenting has been connecting through SSH and VNC remotely, so I haven’t needed the keyboard for too many tasks.

I’ll be updating this blog with a few of the things I’ve figured out, just to pass on the knowledge. Most of the stuff has been pretty straight forward, but I’m pretty familiar with Debian, so most of it was the same as what I’m used to. I have to say, I’m really impressed with the way the distributions have been put together. Kudos to the people who are working on these. I expected things to be much more difficult to set up.

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