Tuesday, 29 May 2012

And out the other side!

So - after having my in-laws stay with us for close on 3 weeks, I finally get to play with my Pi again!  Thanks for all your comments over the last few weeks - I have been reading them, but haven't had much free time.

For those of you not too focused on the Raspberry Pi site, there have been a few interesting developments.  First off - how would you like to see the Raspberry Pi voted in as Innovation of the year?  Vote now!

And here's another one - Google are quite interested in the work the Foundation is doing - so much so that they're investing in a bunch of boards, training a bunch of new teachers & sending them into schools - read more here!

So - what next for my Pi?  I think I'll be tackling getting it properly hooked up to my network - either by getting a cheapie wireless USB dongle working, or finding a way to get it working through a 2nd wireless router.  I'm thinking of using a spare Netgear router as an access point, routing onto my Linksys router upstairs.  I've been digging around and found sites detailing how I can update the firmware to work in client mode.  Not 100% working, but once I crack it I'll post it.

Monday, 7 May 2012

Browsing issues & other browsers

Now that I've had a chance to play around with my Raspberry Pi I've started looking at more mundane things like browsing.  I've been using the browser the Pi ships with - Midori.  While it sees OK, I've noticed several stability and performance issues.

The main issues I've found are as follows:
  1. When loading each page the CPU spikes to 100% for 3-4 seconds.
  2. When loading this blog the CPU spikes for a few seconds then then Midori crashes completely
  3. Gmail can only be used under the HTML mode
  4. While browsing the Raspberry Pi site & forum it seems OK, although when trying to reply to a post the CPU hits 100% and sticks there and keypresses are delayed by about 10 seconds.  If I move out of the reply window the CPU drops and responses are OK, if I click in the window again CPU spikes

Some helpful advice from the forums led me to Chromium.  This is an open-source version of Google's Chrome browser (As I understand it, Chromium is the open source code created by Google that produces their Chrome browser - other developers have taken than same code and created the Chromium browser).

I've installed it and it looks pretty good.  Issue 2, 3 & 4 above are resolved, and although the CPU does still spike a lot moving between pages, it doesn't seem to affect general performance too much.  Overall, I'd say definitely give it a go.  This should provide you with everything you need to get it up and running.