lauantai 7. helmikuuta 2015

Four credit card sized computers - which of them should you choose?

Quick answer: grab one or all of them! Don't expect miracles to happen. However some learning might occur. Read on to figure out which one you should choose.

Internet of Things is on everyone's lips nowadays. The easiest way to join and give IoT a try is to buy one of those credit sized computers and start to learn how to build apps or circuits of your own.

Raspberry Pi

It's European, well, from Wales UK, as far as I know. Many people know Raspi since it was one of the "early birds". Raspberry Pi 2 is newly unveiled. You can use it either as a hobby platform or as a desktop computer, thanks to quad-core 900 MHz processor and 1 GB RAM. You can even run proprietary software (aka Windows 10) on Raspi 2 if you are not familiar with Linux. Raspi 2 is cheap, costing only 34 $ before taxes in the USA. Good choise.

I received my Raspi 2 this week

Beaglebone Black

We have already seen many generations of Beagle computers from Texas Instruments. The latest Baeaglebone Black (= BBB) has 4 GB eMMC memory which you can flash. Operating system (usually Linux; Debian, Ubuntu etc) can be driven from either eMMC (faster) or microSD card. There is 512 MB RAM available for OS and apps on BBB. Raspi 2 has better video specs than BBB. I think BBB is more aimed at IoT projects.

BBB has 4 GB eMMC memory

Odroid C1

C1 is not familiar to me (= don't own one). It competes with Raspi 2 and could even become more popular since C1 has more powerful processor (cuad-core 1,5 GHz). C1 is also very cheap; 35 $ before taxes. No wonder Raspi 2 has a deal with Microsoft. C1 is told to run different Linuxes but not Windows 10.

Intel Galileo

Intel has co-operation going on with Arduino. These two companies have created together Arduino Intel Galileo. Of course Galileo has Intel processor inside. There is not much I can tell about this board since I found it on the Internet only a while ago. All in all Galileo goes to show Intel is there and has IoT in mind as well.

Last but not least Arduino Uno

Arduino Uno (Italian?) is an open source micro controller. It's not a computer which is able to run an operating system but rather runs binaries which are compiled from code elsewhere beforehand (see picture below). When we look back there were times micro controllers were proprietary and expensive. Open sourced Arduino Uno has been around very long time and has many friends. You can find books telling how to get started and continue further. Arduino Uno is very cheap. Get one!

Cheap tablet, OTG-cable and Arduino Uno

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