After the first Raspberry Pi was released in 2012 the enthusiasts got to work. Using the original 700 Mhz Single Core Arm Processor and 256 Mb of Ram many were skeptical of what could be accomplished at the start.
Game boy emulators and cluster computers were just some of the early ambitious projects that caught on.
So what is a Raspberry Pi 2?
Were we to look closely at the limitations of the first tiny $22 single board machine and ask ourselves how to remedy them our first instinct would be correct, “It needed more Ram and more processor power.”
Staying true to the nature of their original plan, that’s exactly what a Raspberry Pi 2 is. And aside from a Quad Core Arm processor and 1Gb of Ram little has changed. However this isn’t a small jump in capability, it’s an enormous leap.
Now for $35 dollars and the parts to add the functionality you want you can reasonably build a Sony Playstation Emulator, as a side project. Or you can go bigger… Much much bigger!
To put this in perspective for little more than the cost of 4 of these machines and a few side components you could build a cluster node system, a cloud computer, a graphics computer with some respectable power, and honestly for a fraction of what some smartphones cost.
$140 dollar cloud system doesn’t sound like much until you break down the specs, for while it is true that in networking multiple computers together they don’t share 100% of their resources… Your $140 dollar cloud would be boasting 4 Gb Ram and an amazing 16 processors.
In fact that would be almost a waste of power when you think about it. To get them working in tandem will require some set up but there are many many resources popping up all over the internet that teach you exactly how to do this.
A single Raspberry Pi 2 will be able to run embedded Windows 10 and will get it for free. (How cool is that?) Though the traditional Pi user will tell you that to get the best out of yours you should probably start off using the their embedded Linux systems, especially if you plan to network them together.
In fact you can use numerous operating systems on these devices, from Linux to Windows to Mac and undoubtably some of the BSD systems. (I’ll bet Chrome will port something over soon if they haven’t yet, and Android 4.0 or better is a logical one to anticipate trying!)
Little known fact? Mozilla has an OS that works on it as well!
It’s a nice little buffet of things to try out, and unlike the original Raspberry Pi this one won’t likely end up relegated to weekend projects and small startups.
Now that you (yes you personally) could logically run a serious server system you can bet between bitcoin mining and new clouds as enterprises something big is happening.
*Pie cravings may never go away if you got this far.