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Which Pi to get?

Posted: Fri May 31, 2013 5:27 am
by dixie_normous
Hey everyone. I am a beginner to operating systems and the RPi. Which model should I buy as a beginner? Will I need to update stuff via the internet? I don't have any plans to use internet for any application so the lower power model A is more attractive to me right now. But, I don't want to buy a wifi dongle either. I don't want to use the internet on the RPi unless I have to. Is this possible? Thanks.

Re: Which Pi to get?

Posted: Fri May 31, 2013 7:26 am
by ghans
The official updates are distributed via internet only. All
software is distributed via the internet.

The first can be solved by reflashing your card on a
net-connected PC . You will lose all data and settings. Sadly
don't know of any fool-proof "offline" upgrade path which
avoids this. You can at least backup your data , though , because
you know if you changed it and that they're still correct after a
software upgrade.

The second problem is a major PITA (dependencies) , and i don't
know any way around it , either.

ghans

Re: Which Pi to get?

Posted: Fri May 31, 2013 7:29 am
by danrox48
Hi,

If you have no plans to use the the internet in the long run and the extra 256MB RAM isn't an issue, go ahead and get Model A.

Updates and installations etc are a lot easier when connected to the internet, but you can connect it either by
a) connecting the ethernet cable to your router

or, if you're placing it somewhere permanent away from the router or otherwise unable to connect it that way

b) connect it to the ethernet port of your wifi connected laptop (assuming you have one, sorry) and set up a network bridge, which will share the laptop's internect connection to the Pi

Dan

edit, just realised Model A doesn't have the ethernect port (i.e. the reason for the post), ignore me.

Re: Which Pi to get?

Posted: Fri May 31, 2013 4:02 pm
by W. H. Heydt
If you want to go with a Model A you could also get a powered USB hub and a USB-to-Ethernet (RJ-45) adapter to use on an "as needed" basis.for software updates.

Practices vary. Some people update frequently, others not so much. I generally do an "update and full backup" every month or two as I don't need cutting edge versions of Pi software. My "full backup" is copying the entire SD contents to a PC, so I can reflash a card if I need to.

Re: Which Pi to get?

Posted: Fri May 31, 2013 4:05 pm
by RaTTuS
personally I'd get a Model A and a Model B
use the model B to update and sort stuff out then move the SD card over to the Model A and use that in place...

it all depends on what you want to do but having network is a god send ....

Re: Which Pi to get?

Posted: Fri May 31, 2013 6:04 pm
by JxPond
As far as power goes the difference between the Model A and B is like a watt. Unless you're running off of small batteries it's really not anything to be worried about. A night light uses more electricity. The Dual USB of the Model B, the Ethernet Port and the extra memory make the extra $10 dollars well worth the price.

I would start with the Model B and if your projects go external get a Model A.

Re: Which Pi to get?

Posted: Fri May 31, 2013 7:08 pm
by W. H. Heydt
JxPond wrote:As far as power goes the difference between the Model A and B is like a watt. Unless you're running off of small batteries it's really not anything to be worried about. A night light uses more electricity. The Dual USB of the Model B, the Ethernet Port and the extra memory make the extra $10 dollars well worth the price.

I would start with the Model B and if your projects go external get a Model A.
I agree with the conclusion (and the previous poster who said, "get one of each." However....

/nitpick mode on

*Old* night lights with incandescent bulbs (7.5w), yes. *Modern* night lights with a LED (1.25w), not so much.

/nitpick mode off

Re: Which Pi to get?

Posted: Fri May 31, 2013 10:27 pm
by plugwash
The problem is modern linux distros are very much built on the assumption of internet access. It's *possible* to work without it but it's going to be a PITA, especially if you also only have one USB port.

Another option worth considering is to get a model A and then get something like http://cpc.farnell.com/unbranded/psg901 ... dp/CS16979 . During development you can hook it up to get an internet connection and more USB ports and then for deployment you can remove it and get the low power consumption.

Re: Which Pi to get?

Posted: Sat Jun 01, 2013 9:28 am
by toxibunny
For beginners? Get a B.

Re: Which Pi to get?

Posted: Sat Jun 01, 2013 10:13 am
by sprinkmeier
toxibunny wrote:For beginners? Get a B.
+1
Unless you know exactly what you're going to do with it chances are you'll come up with some idea and curse the lack of extra USB and NIC.

cost wise
(A + (powered) USB hub + NIC) >> B
so 'retro-fitting' an A into a B is gonna cost more.

Re: Which Pi to get?

Posted: Sat Jun 01, 2013 1:23 pm
by toxibunny
My thoughts exactly.

Re: Which Pi to get?

Posted: Sat Jun 01, 2013 3:25 pm
by JxPond
W. H. Heydt wrote:
JxPond wrote:As far as power goes the difference between the Model A and B is like a watt. Unless you're running off of small batteries it's really not anything to be worried about. A night light uses more electricity. The Dual USB of the Model B, the Ethernet Port and the extra memory make the extra $10 dollars well worth the price.

I would start with the Model B and if your projects go external get a Model A.
I agree with the conclusion (and the previous poster who said, "get one of each." However....

/nitpick mode on

*Old* night lights with incandescent bulbs (7.5w), yes. *Modern* night lights with a LED (1.25w), not so much.

/nitpick mode off[/quote

Blue Canary in the outlet by the light switch is powered by a 4w incandescent as is Good Night Moon. I've yet to meet a child that believes that LED will protect you from anything other than space aliens. :)

Re: Which Pi to get?

Posted: Sat Jun 01, 2013 5:34 pm
by W. H. Heydt
JxPond wrote: Blue Canary in the outlet by the light switch is powered by a 4w incandescent as is Good Night Moon. I've yet to meet a child that believes that LED will protect you from anything other than space aliens. :)
Ah! But you--or at least, I--can get screw-in replacement "bulbs" for nightlights that are actually LEDs. so you can have whatever sort of exterior you want and still use an LED for the light.

(Probably should also have noted the existence of electroluminescent panel nightlights. Haven't checked the power requirements on one, though.)