Raspberry Pi 4 review

For Christmas I got a Raspberry Pi 4. I had to order a thermal cooling case as well as a USB-C power lead as well as a microHDMI to HDMI adapter (first one didn’t work, second one did luckily). I got the 4GB version so expect some great performance.

I installed NOOBS on the microSD card. NOOBS is 32-bit and installs 32-bit OSes (sadly) but Raspbian runs great on the Pi 4 despite it having a 64-bit CPU and 4GB RAM, and you’d expect to be performance limited due to 32-bit restrictions. But it runs fine. But when you have a 64-bit CPU and 4GB RAM you want a 64-bit OS that utilises this. So I choose Debian 64-bit, for which there are several forks out there, but I decided to manually build my own image with qemu-user-static, debootstrap, and loopback devices and images. It was a long process but worked. I was able to install 64-bit Debian Buster onto my Pi 4.

I chose a desktop environment to install: XFCE. I wanted to remain light on the Pi’s resources. However, XFCE just didn’t look attractive for me. I decided to flash a fresh image and choose KDE Plasma instead.

KDE Plasma ran incredibly laggy, to which I later found out I had to enable the graphics acceleration overlay by adding dtoverlay=vc4-fkms-v3d to config.txt. After that KDE Plasma ran smooth.

I installed some stuff (some games, coding utilities, and graphics programs) and they all ran smoothly. Even 3D games like GLtron ran wonderfully. Graphics programs were quick to load, and coding on the Pi 4 felt like an amazing and responsive experience.

Your experience may depend on your variant. The Pi 4 has a 1GB RAM variant costing £35, but even an extra £10 for the 2GB variant at £45 would be worth it as 1GB just doesn’t hold up anymore. The 4GB version is £55, which is worth the money to get the extra performance and multitasking benefits.

It’s recommended to use a case with the Pi 4, as when I tried it without it became very hot and slow. A case with a fan is recommended, I bought a GeeekPi transparent case which looks nice and cools the Pi 4 right down.

Can it replace your desktop PC? Yes, but also not fully. There are lots of games that are still too intensive even for the new BCM2711 SoC to handle. Not to mention it’s still ARM, meaning not all programs can run that require x86 or x64. ARM’s a good thing though, however, as it keeps the price down whilst keeping good performance. If the Raspberry Pi Foundation wanted x86 or x64, they’d have to put in something cheap like a Celeron or Atom which just isn’t as good as the ARM CPUs provided by Broadcom.

However, for some open source Linux games, which can still be incredibly fun, as well as word processing, web browsing, and media editing, the Pi 4 is up to the task of replacing that old Windows 7 desktop you are still clinging onto (and I’m warning you right now that W7 support ends on 14th January so you may want to look at upgrading).

The Raspberry Pi has came far from that £30 SBC that ran slowly back in 2012 made to inspire young people coding to a capable desktop replacement. It’s original purpose still stands however, and the Pi 4 is an amazing device to use for coding purposes.

Why I’m not upgrading my S9 to Android 10

Android 10 for Galaxy flagships is a trending topic right now, with the stable update having been released for Note10, S10, and now Note9, with the S9 stable update not too far away. However, I have not installed the beta, and will not be installing the stable either. Here’s why.

In November 2018, Samsung announced Linux on DeX, a feature for DeX users to be able to run Linux images and programs. It was initially exclusive to the Note9 and Tab S4. But in April 2019, support for the S10, S9, and Tab S5e on Android Pie was implemented. We were all expecting for Samsung to support the Note10 and Tab S5 (which actually turned out to be the Tab S6) with Linux on DeX when these devices were released. But they didn’t.

In November 2019, Samsung announced that the Linux on DeX beta program has come to an end and that the app would not run on any devices running Android 10. Linux on DeX will continue to work on compatible devices on Android 9.

I’ve been using Linux on DeX on my S9 since support was added for it. I enjoy using it as it opens my device up to more program options as I can now use Linux programs too. However, when I found out that Linux on DeX wouldn’t support Android 10, I knew I couldn’t lose this functionality.

Android 10 for Samsung devices isn’t as big an update as Android 9 was. Android 9 brought the new OneUI which changed the user interface a lot. Although Android 10 does have some cool new features, Android 9 is still perfectly adequate and still works with Linux on DeX.

How long I’ll hold out on upgrading is unknown for now. If Samsung announce that Linux on DeX will be released as stable for Android 10 later on I’ll consider upgrading, but for now I’m staying on Android 9. Linux on DeX is crucial functionality for me and I don’t want to lose it.

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas everyone, sorry I haven’t been active recently, I will be delivering you amazing Python and Raspberry Pi tutorials soon! I got a Raspberry Pi 4 (4GB RAM) for Christmas, but do not have a microHDMI to HDMI adapter or power lead for it so I can’t write about it at the moment. Soon, however, I will purchase those two things and set it up, hopefully on a 64-bit OS to make good use of the RAM, then I can write a review as well as a lot of tutorials to come.

Merry Christmas everybody!

-Chas 🎅

Restarting with my Raspberry Pi

I’m restarting my use of the Raspberry Pi.

I have not used my Raspberry Pi 3 for a while but found a good microSD card to use for it today and will be restarting my use of it.

Expect tutorials, Linux distro recommendations, and tips and advice to be posted on here about the Raspberry Pi. At some point, I may buy a Pi 4, but I’ll have to see how I get on with my Pi 3 first and how easily it is to get back to using the Pi after not using it for months (If I buy a Pi 4, it’ll be the 4GB RAM version).

I’m planning on building a script that will allow for easy creation of Debian ports for the Pi in armel architecture (All Pi models, but slow due to not targeting the hard float Pi architecture), armhf architecture (Pi 2 and later excluding Pi Zero, 32-bit mode), and arm64 architecture (Pi 3 and later excluding Pi Zero W, 64-bit mode). Hopefully the experimental OpenGL driver (Pi 2+ only) will improve performance on more resource heavy desktop environments (KDE and GNOME 3), but I reckon GNOME 3 won’t be usable on any Pi except the Pi 4 and even on the Pi 4, only the 4GB RAM variant.

As for Chromium ARM, I may give it another go considering RPF Chromium is lagging three versions behind of the current stable release, however the support is definitely better than it used to be. I remember when Chromium was at version 60 or something and RPF Chromium was still on 51. However using Ubuntu packages in Raspbian or Debian can cause lots of dependency errors. You used to be able to get away with it because most of Ubuntu Chromium’s dependencies were already fulfilled in Raspbian back then, but it isn’t as simple now. Chances are if I restart Chromium ARM I’ll be using the Debian variant instead as Debian is more compatible with Raspbian than Ubuntu is. However, nothing’s confirmed yet.

I hope you’re all excited for the upcoming Raspberry Pi posts.

Enjoy!

-Chas 😎

Update package cache every time the Raspberry Pi starts up

To install new software onto your Raspberry Pi, you should always update the cache first. This prevents errors and installs the latest version of the software available. It also lets you run the command ‘sudo apt-get dist-upgrade’ and get the latest OS version yet.

Continue reading “Update package cache every time the Raspberry Pi starts up”

Video Game Problems

Guys, I have decided to start making a basic half-3D half-2D game in Python. It was going well until I had to create the character’s graphics. He looks great, but I want to crop him so the image has nothing BUT him in it – no “cropped” background or anything, just him and nothing else. I don’t mind ads, really, I don’t. All I want is a solution so we have nothing but the character.

Here is how it looks at the moment:

Please comment with a solution!

Epic Chas Gamer 😎

 

 

 

Some great Linux games

These games are available for Linux, and maybe Windows (I haven’t tried any yet)

1. GLTron

A fun, addictive cartoony game, GLTron requires you to use the WSAD keys to move around. You create a wall based on the colour your motorbike is, and so do the other 3 “coded” players: these players are basically extremely smart code. You can see which “player” crushed you with their wall.

2. SuperTux

SuperTux is the adventures of Tux, the Linux Penguin. Nolok has stolen Penny, dunno what for (haven’t played this in a while). Tux must save Penny from the Evil Nolok. This game is also available for Android. The only con is that once you have completed the whole game, there is nothing else to do but hard addon levels.

3. Minecraft

I should of put Minecraft in first place because it really beats GLTron, but I thought that Minecraft was originally made for Windows and then it was released for Linux. Also, it isn’t open source. But it is REALLY FUN! Most of you know how to play Minecraft already, so I can’t go into explaining the game, sorry.

4. SuperTuxKart

SuperTux, bla ba! Once you have tried SuperTux, you can continue his adventures in SuperTuxKart. It is based on Mario Kart and doesn’t work on the Raspberry Pi, OpenGL 2.1 or without.

5. What is your favourite?

I don’t personally have a 5th Linux Game yet, so what can you say?

One lovely blog award – who are my favourite bloggers?

This challenge has spread across the internet like fire (I didn’t create this challenge) so I have decided to do one. Basically, I have to tell you 7 things about my character. And up to 15 bloggers I enjoy. I have over 40 followers, but as there are limits (a few don’t have blogs) and you can only do up to 15. I am sorry if I do not include you!

So, here are the 7 things about me!

1. I think about my web browser project, ECG SeaSurf , for a lot of my time. I love it because the world wide web is a big place, and making software that allows people to browse such a great thing makes me feel special.

2. I do not try to block the spotlight from other developers as I love seeing what others have produced too, and I love getting inspired.

3. I love playing video games because they are extremely fun, and it feels like I am in the game (no VR here!). They also take stress away.

4. I love writing stories, to entertain people. I am writing a story called Sir Wolf’s Castle, about Minecraft wolves and a villan called Sir Bum-Smacker.

5. I love looking at over blogs and leaving feedback and liking posts because I don’t want to look selfish.

6. I love ketchup. It is an awesome sauce.

7. There are lots of other things I love but don’t blog about: Star Wars and Legends of Chima, for example.

Now, here are my favourite bloggers: I DO NOT ACCEPT RESPONSIBILITY FOR LINK CONTENT CHANGING

1. Codeinfig:

An author of a coding language called Fig, a coding enthusiast, and much more. Check out his blog at codeinfig.wordpress.com!

2. Jacque:

If you want to go beyond my app-making service (I would recommend trying it first and requesting a removal if you don’t like it), then Jacque is the person for you. He can even get your app published to the Play Store (I didn’t ask for an app because I can make one myself).

Check out his blog at themarvelousmind.com

3.  ARJ

If you want a guide to coding and you want to be a pro, then ARJ’s blog “A bit of everything – copy” is the place for you. He has another blog, pythongr.wordpress.com, which is worth checking out too.

Find his main blog at abdurrahmaanjanhangeer.wordpress.com

4. Daniel He hetianding

A Minecraft enthusiast, this blogger creates maps and then publishes them.

Find his blog at worldofmanyworlds.wordpress.com.

5. LZH

A real tech enthusiast, admin of a website called TechCentral which contains everything tech.

Leave a comment or like at limzhenghong.wordpress.com

6. AntonioWestley

A master blogger, who loves posting about sites he recommends.

Check out his active site at alltheeabove.wordpress.com.

Check out his inactive site at antoniowestley.wordpress.com

7. antepher

A real ESP8266 and Arduino enthusiast, as well as Python Expert, antepher maintains a blog called techtutorialsx.

Like and comment on his blog at techtutorialsx.wordpress.com!

8. Paul Sinha

One of my first followers, Paul Sinha appears on the Chase and is really funny.

Check out his blog at sinhaha.com

9. Old and New Reviews

Reviewing and playing video games, I enjoy reading this blog.

Follow the blog at oldandnewreviews.com!

10. Is there any blog you recommend?

I can’t think of a tenth, but I want to reach 10, so if you recommend a blog, plz leave  a comment.

PS: The rules (I have forgotten the URL to the original creator’s blog) also mention that you should post about being chosen. So, thank you codeinfig for choosing me! SO, remember that!

Epic Chas Gamer 😀