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HawaiianPi
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Re: Raspberry Pi is unusable as everyday computer

Thu Apr 04, 2019 1:06 pm

fruitoftheloom wrote:
Thu Apr 04, 2019 2:43 am
Yes have been holding off replying but look at my signature, you will note I use a ChromeBit as my "main" PC, though spend the majority of my day to day surfing time on my Smartphone......
If you have the time, could you run the Speedometer 2.0 web benchmark on your Chromebit, please? I'm curious how that performs.
https://browserbench.org/Speedometer2.0/

Here are my results from Speedometer 2.0:
  • Lenovo Legion Y520 Gaming Laptop (no special prep, multiple tabs open): 80.2
  • HP x2 Chromebook (no special prep, multiple tabs open): 61.5
  • Raspberry Pi 3B+ (rebooted a few minutes before test, only one tab): 9.25
So even under ideal conditions, the 3B+ was more than 6.5X slower than my Chromebook (with multiple tabs open, and 8X slower with 1 tab). It was more than 8.5X slower than the Win10 laptop with my normal browser workload (more than a dozen tabs open). On the older Speedometer 1.0 benchmark the gap was even wider, with the Pi scoring only 5.25, while my Chromebook and gaming laptop both topped 100 (104, 135).

Google's Octane Javascript benchmark returned a score of 2,425 for the Pi 3B+ and 24,399 for my m3 dual-core Chromebook (with the i7 quad-core gaming laptop just cracking 40K). So an order of magnitude slower than my Chromebook at Javascript. Granted, my Chromebook is a mid-tier model, but even an inexpensive Celeron or MediaTek based Chromebook should handily outperform a Pi.

The Pi is great for a lot of things (I've lost track of how many I've bought), but an "everyday computer" is not one of them. Those of you who do use a Pi as your daily driver must have far more patience than I do.
My mind is like a browser. 27 tabs are open, 9 aren't responding,
lots of pop-ups...and where is that annoying music coming from?

fruitoftheloom
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Re: Raspberry Pi is unusable as everyday computer

Thu Apr 04, 2019 1:39 pm

HawaiianPi wrote:
Thu Apr 04, 2019 1:06 pm
fruitoftheloom wrote:
Thu Apr 04, 2019 2:43 am
Yes have been holding off replying but look at my signature, you will note I use a ChromeBit as my "main" PC, though spend the majority of my day to day surfing time on my Smartphone......
If you have the time, could you run the Speedometer 2.0 web benchmark on your Chromebit, please? I'm curious how that performs.
https://browserbench.org/Speedometer2.0/

Here are my results from Speedometer 2.0:
  • Lenovo Legion Y520 Gaming Laptop (no special prep, multiple tabs open): 80.2
  • HP x2 Chromebook (no special prep, multiple tabs open): 61.5
  • Raspberry Pi 3B+ (rebooted a few minutes before test, only one tab): 9.25
So even under ideal conditions, the 3B+ was more than 6.5X slower than my Chromebook (with multiple tabs open, and 8X slower with 1 tab). It was more than 8.5X slower than the Win10 laptop with my normal browser workload (more than a dozen tabs open). On the older Speedometer 1.0 benchmark the gap was even wider, with the Pi scoring only 5.25, while my Chromebook and gaming laptop both topped 100 (104, 135).

Google's Octane Javascript benchmark returned a score of 2,425 for the Pi 3B+ and 24,399 for my m3 dual-core Chromebook (with the i7 quad-core gaming laptop just cracking 40K). So an order of magnitude slower than my Chromebook at Javascript. Granted, my Chromebook is a mid-tier model, but even an inexpensive Celeron or MediaTek based Chromebook should handily outperform a Pi.

The Pi is great for a lot of things (I've lost track of how many I've bought), but a primary PC is not one of them.

OK have 3 tabs open in Chrome Browser, this page, Octane or Speedtest and Youtube playing a video

Asus Chrombit
ChromeOS 73.0.3683.88 (Official Build) (32-bit)
Rockchip Quad-Core RK3288C Processor / T764 GPU
2GB Memory
16GB eMMC
Wireless 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
Bluetooth V4.0

Octane 2.0 Score = 6696 vs 1544 Raspberry Pi 2B v1.1 vs 21570 Core i3 PC

Speedometer 2.0 Score = 17.6 vs 4.33 Raspberry Pi 2B v1.1 vs 35.7 Core i3 PC



The AOpen Mini ChromeBox is similar specs, except 4GB memory, and supported to at least Feb 2022:

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Aopen-Chrome ... 3604326316

https://support.google.com/chrome/a/answer/6220366
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Ralphxyz
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Re: Raspberry Pi is unusable as everyday computer

Thu Apr 04, 2019 3:04 pm

Thanks for the replies/help.

Would USB SSD help?

Ralph

fruitoftheloom
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Re: Raspberry Pi is unusable as everyday computer

Thu Apr 04, 2019 3:31 pm

Ralphxyz wrote:
Thu Apr 04, 2019 3:04 pm
Thanks for the replies/help.

Would USB SSD help?

Ralph

Maybe, possibly, feasibly:

https://www.jamesachambers.com/2018/03/ ... enchmarks/
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tpylkko
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Re: Raspberry Pi is unusable as everyday computer

Thu Apr 04, 2019 6:44 pm

A faster storage medium will help with loading times. So applications may start quicker and so on. But it will not help a lot with using massive web pages...

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HawaiianPi
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Re: Raspberry Pi is unusable as everyday computer

Thu Apr 04, 2019 8:03 pm

Ralphxyz wrote:
Thu Apr 04, 2019 3:04 pm
Thanks for the replies/help.

Would USB SSD help?

Ralph
Boot times are much slower from USB, but after that the higher IOPS of the SSD will help with some things. OS responsiveness and application load times will improve, and if the application does a lot of storage I/O (content creation, coding) that will be faster as well.

Nothing can really make up for the lack of RAM. If you're swapping due to lack of memory, the SSD may shorten how long the system hangs, but swapping will always drag system performance down. Note that the Pi SoC only has a single USB 2.0 interface, which shares bandwidth between the 4 USB ports and Ethernet (so if you use Ethernet, heavy swapping to USB could affect network performance as well).

The other problem is finding an SSD that works as a boot drive. The Raspberry Pi boot-loader is not compatible with all USB mass storage devices, and finding the right combination of SSD and USB-SATA adapter can be tricky.

I have a couple of Raspberry Pi computers running from SATA SSD with USB-SATA adapters. One is in an open-sided acrylic case with a normal 2.5-inch SATA SSD mounted on top, connected to the Pi 3B with a USB3-SATA3 adapter cable. The other is a 3B+ in a Flirc Gen2 case that boots from a tiny mSATA form-factor SSD in an external USB 3.0 enclosure.

If your storage needs are modest, I would recommend an A1 rated micro SD card, because small SSDs have less performance, and the SD card will just work. If you need 128GB or more, then an SSD makes more sense. They can be comparable in price (even less expensive in larger sizes), and should improve performance (except boot time). Just be aware that finding an SSD that works may require some trial and error.

The SanDisk Ultra A1 micro SD cards are usually pretty affordable and have worked very well for me. I have several Ultra A1 32GB cards in Pi systems, along with a couple of 16GB cards used mostly for testing, and one system with an Ultra Plus 64GB (my Minecraft SMP server).
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Gavinmc42
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Re: Raspberry Pi is unusable as everyday computer

Fri Apr 05, 2019 2:24 am

Yep I am having some success with Sandisk 16GB A1's, now my 1st choice of card.

Perhaps a combo, uSD A1 boot/kernel with USB SSD for storage?
Would an A1 be needed for booting? A small SLC uSD 128MB should be ok?

The USB SSD only solution does take longer to boot but Windows users are used to that ;)
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HawaiianPi
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Re: Raspberry Pi is unusable as everyday computer

Fri Apr 05, 2019 3:55 am

Gavinmc42 wrote:
Fri Apr 05, 2019 2:24 am
The USB SSD only solution does take longer to boot but Windows users are used to that ;)
My Windows 10 gaming laptop boots faster than my Pi (<10 seconds, part of which is a logo display). It boots from a :shock: fast NVMe SSD!

As for the Pi... Simply having an empty FAT formatted micro SD card in the system will reduce USB boot time a little (the system looks for a boot SD card first, and a non-boot card times out faster than no card).

Beyond that there is an OTP bit that allows GPIO selection of the boot device. After setting that bit your Pi will not boot at all, unless you pull certain GPIO pins high or low to tell it to boot from USB or SD card. In theory it should be faster, since it skips the SD card check (but it still might not be faster than SD card boot, although I haven't tried it myself).
My mind is like a browser. 27 tabs are open, 9 aren't responding,
lots of pop-ups...and where is that annoying music coming from?

fruitoftheloom
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Re: Raspberry Pi is unusable as everyday computer

Fri Apr 05, 2019 7:20 am

Seems like the OP has been answered and a Raspberry Pi SBC is not suitable for his Spouse :?
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mattmiller
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Re: Raspberry Pi is unusable as everyday computer

Fri Apr 05, 2019 8:02 am

Are you suggesting that instead of rattling on ad-infinitum (as is normal) that people should move on?

#Radical

:)

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Gavinmc42
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Re: Raspberry Pi is unusable as everyday computer

Fri Apr 05, 2019 8:36 am

Move it to the Pi4 questions post?
"Will the Pi4 be good enough for the wife?"
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Heater
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Re: Raspberry Pi is unusable as everyday computer

Fri Apr 05, 2019 9:17 am

P4 will be fine. May need upgrade to Wife 2.

Only joking....
Memory in C++ is a leaky abstraction .

pfletch101
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Re: Raspberry Pi is unusable as everyday computer

Fri Apr 05, 2019 2:26 pm

HawaiianPi wrote:
Fri Apr 05, 2019 3:55 am
My Windows 10 gaming laptop boots faster than my Pi (<10 seconds, part of which is a logo display). It boots from a :shock: fast NVMe SSD!
Windows !0 does appear to boot much faster than older versions of Windows, especially when booting from an SSD, but some of this apparent speed is "smoke and mirrors". In contrast to Raspbian, which loads its GUI after almost everything else (in terms of processes started at boot time) has been loaded and started, Windows 10 loads its GUI before starting most of the Services which run under it. Your gaming machine probably doesn't have much running in the background, and your Pis probably do :) . While I can log in to my primary Windows 10 machine within 10-15 seconds of turning it on, it is a minute or two before I can do anything resource-intensive with its normal speed and efficiency.

LTolledo
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Re: Raspberry Pi is unusable as everyday computer

Fri Apr 05, 2019 9:02 pm

A definitive answer may/can be realized if some actual numbers can be provided using the test conditions below:

Win10pc (say i7 32GB RAM 240GB SSD, 2.4GHz WiFi) was initially shut down using shutdown /f /s so it can start as cold boot at power on.
cold boot Win10
access the Raspberry Pi Forum on a single tab Chrome browser
measure the time from pushing the power on button to typing Hello in a forum post a reply page. [note: no need to submit the reply]

compare with

RPi3B+ (32GB Class A1 microSD, 2.4GHz WiFi) cold boot to Raspbian Stretch Desktop
then access the Raspberry Pi Forum on a single tab Chromium browser
measure the time from turning on power to RPi3B+ to typing Hello in a forum post a reply page. [note: no need to submit the reply]

anyone is free to submit the results they get, a youtube video will probably be more convincing.
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Come to me with 'problems' and I'll help you find solutions"

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HawaiianPi
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Re: Raspberry Pi is unusable as everyday computer

Sat Apr 06, 2019 12:50 am

LTolledo wrote:
Fri Apr 05, 2019 9:02 pm
A definitive answer may/can be realized if some actual numbers can be provided using the test conditions below:
My laptop would still win.

Yes, Windows does display the Desktop before it completes booting, but Win10 is still very functional immediately after login (much more than XP, Vista or 7 were). With the optimizations for 4th gen or newer hardware, combined with a blazing fast SSD, you really don't notice the boot tasks finishing up. I can connect to the network immediately and have never really felt the system wasn't ready.

Note that my "gaming" laptop is not a high-end model either. Quite the opposite, it is a budget gaming laptop purchased from Costco for less than $800. However, I did swap the OEM 256GB NVMe SSD for the 512GB Samsung 960 Pro (because I already had one). The OEM NVMe SSD was also a Samsung, and it was pretty fast as well.

I've been using Linux as a primary OS since the Windows XP days, so I'm far from being a Windows fanboy, but Windows 10 is... well, I can't really say great, but it's not awful. Anyone who has a PC with 4th gen (Haswell) or newer hardware should give it a try.

As for optimizing a Pi 3B(+) for everyday computer use:
  • Start with a good "A1" rated micro SD card (SanDisk Ultra A1 and Ultra Plus A1 cards are affordable and work well for me).
  • Use Raspbian OS (it's the best supported and easiest to troubleshoot).
  • Use optimizations like Zram and tempfs to minimise swapping and reduce writes to the SD card.
  • Make sure you have a good power supply.
  • For a 3B some additional cooling is advised (I recommend the Flirc Gen2 case for for both the 3B and 3B+).
  • Be realistic about your expectations (it's not a fast computer, and only has 1GB of RAM).

If you're one of those people who never closes browser tabs and likes to be doing several things at once, a Pi might not be your best option for a budget PC (consider a Chromebook instead).
My mind is like a browser. 27 tabs are open, 9 aren't responding,
lots of pop-ups...and where is that annoying music coming from?

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Botspot
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Re: Raspberry Pi is unusable as everyday computer

Sat Apr 06, 2019 1:12 am

Whether or not a Raspberry Pi is sufficient for you depends on what you prioritize.
I prioritize simplicity, changeability, responsiveness, and reliability.
Some people prioritize "brute force" computers with more resources, but they are usually hands-off in comparison to Raspbian and have a very complex Operating System.

It's been two years for me since I switched to Raspberry Pi, and I have had no regrets.
I have improved on the operating system so much now, that I can run several RAM-intensive applications simultaneously.
Specifically all these at once:
  • Outlook (Microsoft's RAM-intensive email website)
  • Gmail
  • Google Drive (the website)
  • YouTube
Default Raspbian doesn't stand a chance to my tweaked version.

I have used the same Raspbian OS for those two years, and in that time I have tweaked it until it runs faster than my $300 Windows 10 laptop.

How did I get it to run faster than my Windows 10? Patience, time, and determination.

Each of these below options have given me the a significant performance increase.
  1. ZRAM. Many folks on the forums have complained about the small amount of memory (RAM) that comes on a Pi, and how quickly it can be eaten up when running a web browser. Well ZRAM takes the RAM's contents, compresses it, and then sticks it back into the RAM. Since it is not trickling the data through the USB ports (to a swap device), it runs extremely fast. The default settings on https://www.novaspirit.com/2016/12/24/i ... pberry-pi/ double the existing memory, but I tweaked the configuration file to triple it instead. With the added RAM capacity, performance does not rapidly drop off as it did before the tweak (and I have never managed to get the screen to freeze since), but ZRAM does use some CPU (thinking power) to compress the RAM, so this tweak has it's trade-offs.
  2. Overclock. To help people take my Raspberry Pi more seriously as a real desktop, I put it in an empty tower computer case. The case had some fans in it, and after adding a heatsink to the Pi, I was ready to play around with overclocking. Warning: Unless you have passive cooling (heatsinks) and active cooling (fans) on your Pi, you have no business overclocking. Eventually I settled on this overclocking configuration:

    Code: Select all

    initial_turbo=30
    arm_freq=1300
    gpu_freq=475
    core_freq=475
    over_voltage=3
    sdram_freq=500
    sdram_schmoo=0x02000020
    over_voltage_sdram=3
    dtoverlay=sdhost,overclock_50=100
    
    note: this overclocking configuration is intended for Raspberry Pi 3B, not 3B+.
  3. SD card. The choice of SD card is extremely important. Mainly it needs to be 1. reliable (to avoid corruption), and 2. fast random read/write speed (look for A1 or A2 rated cards). I used Sandisk Extreme Plus 64GB until I switched to a HDD (more below on that).
  4. USB boot. Anyone who has poked around these forums has quickly learned about the USB bottleneck and how all 4 ports and the Ethernet adapter are limited to the speed of one USB port. But not that many people know how much worse the built in MicroSD card reader is. Anyway, you can get better performance and reliability when booting from a USB drive. The best option is a Solid State Drive, though I am running it perfectly fine on a Hard Drive. Since my hard drive takes several seconds to speed up, I am booting from a SD card, but booting to the hard drive
One more thing: I discovered Outlook and Gmail run very nicely in the Epiphany web-browser. Not in their modern-looking fancy webpage, but in a simple non-javascript page and epiphany uses virtually no RAM at all.
My doctor told me my brain is as useful as a Raspberry Pi. Is that a compliment?

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Gavinmc42
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Re: Raspberry Pi is unusable as everyday computer

Sat Apr 06, 2019 4:52 am

[P4 will be fine. May need upgrade to Wife 2.

Only joking..../quote]
If I waste too much money on PI's or spend too much time on here, wife will be looking for second husband. ;)
I am relying of Pi4 being good enough the replaces wife's current power chewing PC.
If I save money on the power bill she will probably keep me :lol:

Zram, tempfs or whatever PiCore and Gentoo64 are using does seem better than Raspbian.
No idea how to do this on Raspbian, so I won't be doing a RISC-V gcc compiling again until Raspbian is running on SSD.
I'm dancing on Rainbows.
Raspberries are not Apples or Oranges

Ralphxyz
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Re: Raspberry Pi is unusable as everyday computer

Tue Apr 09, 2019 6:42 pm

BIG DIFFERENCE!!

1. Upgraded to a A2 SD card (64gb)
2. Switched to Raspbian Sketch With Desktop

My wife has just used it to read her morning email and so far she loves it!!

Much faster, everything is more responsive, mouse clicks actually take effect immediately.

We will see.

We also have a Solid State Drive coming, for $19.00 for a 120gb SSdrive why not!!

Ralph

code_exec
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Re: Raspberry Pi is unusable as everyday computer

Wed Apr 10, 2019 8:41 pm

Maybe when the Pi 4B is released with either 2GB or 3GB of RAM (sorry mods) it will be more usable.
Ubuntu 18.04 LTS desktop images for the Raspberry Pi 3.

https://github.com/CodeExecution/Ubuntu-ARM64-RPi

Ralphxyz
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Re: Raspberry Pi is unusable as everyday computer

Wed Apr 10, 2019 8:56 pm

I have not checked with the wife today but yesterday she love it!!

I just received the Solid State Drive and am setting it up.
Amazing how easy it was to setup, just add a line to config.txt.

Of course the PI 3 was programmed to accept USB boot devices.

I will try to get the wife to post her comments.

Ralph

LTolledo
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Re: Raspberry Pi is unusable as everyday computer

Wed Apr 10, 2019 9:33 pm

Ralphxyz wrote:
Tue Apr 09, 2019 6:42 pm

We also have a Solid State Drive coming, for $19.00 for a 120gb SSdrive why not!!
do be careful with the selection SATA to USB adaptor you plan to pair with your SSD, as not all work properly

The main recommendation is the Eluteng "black" SATA to USB adapter (not the one with blue color)
I too have tested and confirmed it works
Inateck UA1003 SATA to USB3.0 cable I've tested to work as well (and currently using in this RPi3B+ with 120GB Crucial SSD).

There are other adapters that were reported to work as well, but I can only recommend what I have tested and currently using...
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Come to me with 'problems' and I'll help you find solutions"

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HawaiianPi
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Re: Raspberry Pi is unusable as everyday computer

Wed Apr 10, 2019 11:22 pm

LTolledo wrote:
Wed Apr 10, 2019 9:33 pm
The main recommendation is the Eluteng "black" SATA to USB adapter (not the one with blue color)
I found a company called TNP that's selling a generic, non-branded version of the discontinued Eluteng adapter.

TNP USB 3.0 to SATA Adapter Cable (picture is link).
Image

Old Eluteng USB 3.0 to SATA Adapter Cable (now discontinued).
Image

I have purchased a TNP adapter, and while I haven't tested it as thoroughly as the Eluteng, as far as I can tell it's identical. Since Amazon has a bad habit of re-using ASIN numbers for new products, compare the pictures above. If the TNP adapter does not look like the Eluteng adapter, then it's not the same product.

There's another seller on Amazon that may have the same thing, based on pictures (I have not purchased one, so buyer beware).

As far as the cheap SSD goes, there are some really crappy performing cheap SSD models. I suspect they are made with the slower memory and controllers used in USB flash drives. They're not all crap, but it's definitely a buyer beware kind of product. The Silicon Power A55 SSD models are decent performers for the price, as are the Mushkin Source, but you can often find the Crucial MX500 on special for only slightly more, and new quad-bit SSD models are now hitting the market from name brands like SamSung, Crucial and Intel.
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Easypizy
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Re: Raspberry Pi is unusable as everyday computer

Thu Apr 11, 2019 6:16 am

Try to get a good thermal paste, heatsink, fan and a proper case for the Pi. Sometimes, thermal throttling may cause the Pi to slow down.

The 'issue' with the Pi, even a 3B+ as an everyday computer, is the ram so if you could limit the number of things running at the same time, it would run faster. There are two images of Raspbian stretch to download on the website. If you could, it might be better to dl the 'Raspbian Stretch with desktop' instead of the one with 'recommended software' and then manually download the stuff you need.

Also, since it's a 3B+, you can directly connect to LAN instead of wireless. That might help with internet stability a little more.

For videos and entertainment, a kodi set up would be smoother than watching it on a webpage instead and then tweak the settings (probably lower the video quality settings).

Also, for better web browsing, kill all ads with 'pihole'. It's a program that helps rid all ads which might help with webpage loading.

With the SSD boot via USB, please check on the steps and stuff. I read somewhere that you might not be able to change back to using SD card after that (please correct me, I've not followed up on that for a long time).

-------------------------Not so relevant stuff beyond this point, just nerdy Pi excitement--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

If she likes checking her emails in the morning, a magic mirror might be something awesome that she'd like to have (use a pi zero w to make it) it can show her updates, her emails, weather, news headlines and daily planner.

At the end of the day, if the Pi cannot work as the 'everyday computer', all's not lost. Get her an Odroid xu4/N2/H2. Those ones have more ram and CPU capabilities which runs pretty smooth on android or ubuntu but please note that the Pi has the best software and community support. They also draw more power than the Pi as a result of their power. After you get her that, you can use the Pi for so many projects like home automation (relays), smart mirror, smart TV, home assistants, retrogame station, NAS, dedicated pihole and home surveillance etc.

stuartiannaylor

Re: Raspberry Pi is unusable as everyday computer

Thu Apr 11, 2019 2:15 pm

Its not a everyday computer but nowadays there is no such thing, as devices take the mantel of media delivery and HID (Human Interface Device)

What is going to be strange is the the Pi4 is likely to jump considerably to entry level computing and match many of the maker boards currently employing the RK3399 which does power many Chromebooks and may well compete price wise by the time the Pi4 is released.
Never was, never will be a everyday computer but currently its capable of a plethora of everyday devices and now we have a convergence and question to what is everyday computing as the device matches entry level computing.

I am sort of worried about Raspberry because of the blinkered focus on the $35 'computer' as its likely to place the Pi4 in no-mans land.
The $15-20 Pi-Zero-2 is probably more interesting device question and it makes me wonder that the $35 Pi4 could be folly as Things have definitely changed.

Ralphxyz
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Re: Raspberry Pi is unusable as everyday computer

Thu Apr 11, 2019 3:40 pm

I am setting up the Solid State Drive!

Amazon Inland Professional 120gb https://www.amazon.com/Inland-Professio ... MH2JT?th=1

StarTech.com USB 3.0 to 2.5” SATA III Hard Drive Adapter Cable https://www.amazon.com/StarTech-com-SAT ... 455&sr=1-3

Download Stretch image and unzip.
Plug the SSD into Windows computer, probable Mac also but I used a Windows 10 computer.
In File Explorer This PC Computer /Manage/Disk Management Activate the SSD and format.
With Etcher load the .img file to SSD

Edit config.txt add "program_USB_boot_mode=1" without quotes to the end of file and save.

Eject the SSD from computer.
Remove SD from Raspberry plug the SSD into Raspberry and Boot.

TaDah!!

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