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.

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 😎

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 😀

 

 

 

How to VNC onto your Pi for remote access

Want to connect to your Pi from a PC or even tablet or phone?

If you want to access Raspberry Pi from another PC or even phone or tablet, the best way to do it is with VNC. VNC stands for Virtual Network Computing: you can use VNC to access your PC from your phone, etc. 

You need to be running PIXEL for this. 

If you are on a clean installation of PIXEL, then go to Menu/Preferences/Raspberry Pi Configuration. Go to Interfaces and enable VNC. Then click OK.

If you have manually updated to PIXEL, then type sudo apt-get update then sudo apt-get dist-upgrade at the terminal. Then type sudo apt-get install realvnc-vnc-server. Then enable VNC like you would on a clean installation of Raspbian. I recommend rebooting your Pi  before trying to connect.

Then, go to realvnc.com/download/viewer and download the VNC Viewer for the device you are using to connect to your Pi from. Run VNC Viewer and type in your Pi’s IP address. Then, click connect and type in your Pi’s login details. Then bang! You should see your Pi’s desktop.
Enjoy!

Epic Chas Gamer 😎

0 upgraded, 0 newly installed, 0 to remove and 0 not upgraded.

There has probably been a time when you have ran sudo apt-get update then sudo apt-get dist-upgrade. The output may of been like this:

pi@raspberrypi:~ $ sudo apt-get update
Get:1 http://archive.raspbian.org jessie InRelease [14.9 kB]
Get:2 http://mirrordirector.raspbian.org jessie InRelease [14.9 kB]
Get:3 http://archive.raspberrypi.org jessie InRelease [13.2 kB]
Get:4 http://archive.raspbian.org jessie/main Sources [7,745 kB]
Get:5 http://mirrordirector.raspbian.org jessie/main armhf Packages [8,982 kB]
Get:6 http://archive.raspberrypi.org jessie/main Sources [48.6 kB]
Get:7 http://archive.raspberrypi.org jessie/ui Sources [15.2 kB]
Get:8 http://archive.raspberrypi.org jessie/main armhf Packages [116 kB]
Get:9 http://archive.raspberrypi.org jessie/ui armhf Packages [53.6 kB]
Ign http://archive.raspberrypi.org jessie/main Translation-en_GB
Ign http://archive.raspberrypi.org jessie/main Translation-en
Ign http://archive.raspberrypi.org jessie/ui Translation-en_GB
Ign http://archive.raspberrypi.org jessie/ui Translation-en
Get:10 http://archive.raspbian.org jessie/contrib Sources [64.5 kB]
Get:11 http://archive.raspbian.org jessie/non-free Sources [113 kB]
Get:12 http://archive.raspbian.org jessie/rpi Sources [1,132 B]
Get:13 http://mirrordirector.raspbian.org jessie/contrib armhf Packages [37.5 kB]
Get:14 http://mirrordirector.raspbian.org jessie/non-free armhf Packages [70.3 kB]
Get:15 http://mirrordirector.raspbian.org jessie/rpi armhf Packages [1,356 B]
Ign http://mirrordirector.raspbian.org jessie/contrib Translation-en_GB
Ign http://mirrordirector.raspbian.org jessie/contrib Translation-en
Ign http://mirrordirector.raspbian.org jessie/main Translation-en_GB
Ign http://mirrordirector.raspbian.org jessie/main Translation-en
Ign http://mirrordirector.raspbian.org jessie/non-free Translation-en_GB
Ign http://mirrordirector.raspbian.org jessie/non-free Translation-en
Ign http://mirrordirector.raspbian.org jessie/rpi Translation-en_GB
Ign http://mirrordirector.raspbian.org jessie/rpi Translation-en
Fetched 17.3 MB in 50s (340 kB/s)
Reading package lists… Done
pi@raspberrypi:~ $ sudo apt-get dist-upgrade
Reading package lists… Done
Building dependency tree
Reading state information… Done
Calculating upgrade… Done
0 upgraded, 0 newly installed, 0 to remove and 0 not upgraded.
pi@raspberrypi:~ $

If you see the 0 upgraded, 0 newly installed, 0 to remove and 0 not upgraded message it just means no updates are available just yet. Try sudo apt-get update then sudo apt-get dist-upgrade in a few days. There may be an update available.

Have an awesome day!

Chas 😀

All “Install Chromium on Raspberry Pi” posts are now obsolete!

Hi guys!

In the past, I have made a lot of “How to install Chromium on Raspberry Pi” posts. Now these posts are considered obsolete because a Chromium for ARMv7 and ARMv8 installer is found at https://coolchasgamer.wordpress.com/chromium-arm.

chromium53

Chromium 53 on a Raspberry Pi 3

Enjoy!

Epic Chas Gamer 😀

What is a Raspberry Pi?

A Raspberry Pi is a £30 computer the size of a credit card designed with kids and programming in mind. It is capable of doing everything a desktop computer is capable of, from surfing the net to playing Minecraft. On this blog I sometimes write about it. You can learn more about the Raspberry Pi at raspberrypi.org.

Hope you now know!

Epic Chas Gamer 😎

Minecraft on Raspberry Pi Model B 256MB RAM Performance test

This was tested on a fresh Raspbian Wheezy from NOOBS 1.2.1.

Minecraft Pi ran successfully and was very fast. I had to install it manually because I was using an old release of Raspbian 7 wheezy that doesn’t have Minecraft pre-installed.

RECOMMENDATIONS FOR BEST PERFORMANCE:

CLOSE DOWN ALL BROWSERS BEFORE OPENING MINECRAFT

ALL CPU AND GPU INTENSIVE APPLICATIONS SHOULD BE SHUT DOWN BEFORE LAUNCHING MINECRAFT (ie. Chromium)