You know, I’m finding that I like the Raspberry Pi Model 2 more as time wears on.
The only really “unpleasant” thing is that it is a bit too slow for making postings. Frankly, I think a lot of that is the fault of WordPress. The “spell checker” for example, is very ‘chatty’ to the internet. I think it sends up all the words every so often as it gets slower as the posting gets longer… there’s ‘check box’ on a ‘right click’ that lets you turn it off and on, so I think others have noticed this too. Then there’s the problem that IceApe can only use one core, so can’t walk and chew gum at the same time…
The Epiphany Browser is a more efficient one made for the R.Pi; but in using it on the M2, it tends to crash. Open it, then, before it has had time to finish loading the main page and while it is ‘working’, move the window around your screen. Usually crashes… I think it, too, does not expect a multi-core environment but instead of ignoring the others, gets confused by them.
I’d likely use Chromium (that does know how to use multiple cores) but the ‘first use’ was prone to screen display mess – skewing; which seems to have been fixed in the last update; but I’ve not gone back to try settling in to it again.
All these symptoms of a ‘young port’ of Linux to this new multi-core board.
Right now I’m running my WAN port nailed to the wall with a data download. No speed limits. The R.PiM2 is just cooking on it. At the same time, I’ve got a 40 GB or so file transfer from one USB disk to another. It’s just cooking along too. Finally, I’m doing this posting as I wait for those things to complete. All while I have about 2.5 TB of disk mounted on the poor thing on three spindles of ‘real disk’ along with a 32 GB USB stick and the 64 GB SD card.
I’m running about 50% total CPU usage. It would likely be more if IceApe could use more than one core. But even as it is, “top” shows me the “tar” tape archiver happily moving data, the wget downloading (both mostly I/O bound), the Xwindows app working the display load, IceApe using its one core… and with cycles left over if only the software knew about multi-core or I had more I/O capacity either in my internet connection or in my USB disks.
So given about 6 more months of folks ‘tuning’ Raspbian for multi-core, it ought to be even more ‘comfortable’. As it stands now, it is quite “usable” as a general purpose Linux workstation, and almost comfortable for WordPress postings. (Why WordPress posting is such a pill is for others to work out. I have observed that in addition to the ‘chatty’ spell checker, it does a periodic ‘save’ of the entire posting in progress, and on large postings that can cause a noticeable ‘pause’ on any browser / system I’ve used. Likely their ‘developer’ just sits on the corporate LAN and doesn’t notice…) I’m seeing roughly the same “lag issues” that I’d seen without all that other stuff going on (a little bit more lag on network transfers as wget is saturating the pipe). So I think it is mostly WordPress sucking up a lot of resource inside IceApe that can only use one core. Other cores and other I/O free for other process to run full tilt.
At any rate, the little guy has been a decent browser station and very competent file copy station / FTP downloader during the last 3 days as the Intel 64 Bit Box was tied up playing with it’s disk.
I’d not expected to give the R.PiM2 so many things to do at once, but it seems quite happy to do them. It would benefit from a slightly larger single core performance (so an A15…) as long as IceApe is bound to one core only, and it would benefit from more code being multi-core aware. Also, that FORTRAN multi-core sample code I ran implies something in the multicore code is very stupid and needs improvement. But for “multiple single core apps” it does just fine.
BTW, I also have it running a DNS server and its own local Web server as well. They are not taking much in the way of cycles at the moment, but they are launched and running. So ‘no worries’ about it having several apps in the air at once.
With that, I’m going back to the “I/O Wars” as I dig my way out of the hole I made with too many GB of temperature data going into too many temporary buckets all too small and try to get it all corralled into one much bigger bucket…