yandibanyukw
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Is it a good idea to change office computer with raspberry pi?

Thu May 10, 2018 3:36 pm

Sooo, I'm wondering. Much of the computer used in my office are just typing and browsing mail. Some are only used as a monitor to DVR Server. Is it a good idea to replace them with raspberry pi? Since I know that those computer will never be used for anything else other than typing and checking e-mail. Plus some of the DVR Client. I think this will reduce cost and power consumption. If it's not a good idea, why? and otherwise, is there any other advantage other than power reduction and cost? Thanks in advance (P.S : Sorry for my bad english, not a native speaker)

jamesh
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Re: Is it a good idea to change office computer with raspberry pi?

Thu May 10, 2018 3:38 pm

Removed poll, seems a little unnecessary.
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B.Goode
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Re: Is it a good idea to change office computer with raspberry pi?

Thu May 10, 2018 4:29 pm

I know that those computer will never be used for anything else other than typing and checking e-mail.

It isn't just about the hardware and power saving.

I would not want Raspberry Pi products to get a bad reputation because they were deployed inappropriately.

So please be careful to understand what your office worker colleagues really use their workstations for. What you describe as 'typing' might be the production, maintenance and use of a complex library of documents.

And 'checking e-mail' will very likely include interfacing to standard office procedures.

Both these sets of skills and processes may have come to rely on tools from the Microsoft Office range of products: Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc.

The Raspberry Pi does not run Windows, so it cannot run these tools. A linux-based operating system such as Raspbian can run 'work-alike' packages from the OpenOffice suite, but the functionally is not exactly the same. That may not be a concern to tech aware geeks like you and I, but the people whose productivity, skills, reputation and value in the market place might be adversely affected by this change may not be so accommodating.

That isn't a reason to say you shouldn't try. But please do so fully understanding what tools your colleagues need, and do it with their prior informed consent.

hippy
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Re: Is it a good idea to change office computer with raspberry pi?

Thu May 10, 2018 4:55 pm

Best option may be to buy a Pi and see if it does the job. It is low cost and you may find some other role for it if it is not suitable .

ejolson
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Re: Is it a good idea to change office computer with raspberry pi?

Thu May 10, 2018 5:45 pm

yandibanyukw wrote:
Thu May 10, 2018 3:36 pm
I think this will reduce cost and power consumption.
You might save even more money by turning off the air conditioning or replacing the existing toilets with outdoor models, but are these good ideas? For every penny saved there is an associated cost which might be much higher.

While it may seem that reading email should be a computationally trivial task, the minute you do anything in a web browser with a Raspberry Pi it becomes slow. Web browsing works fine using Linux on desktop PCs, however there is still trouble in an office environment because Linux doesn't run the Microsoft word processors and spreadsheets which are standard. Plus there is the productivity cost that comes with any change.

Usually companies have a chief technology officer, or CTO, who is qualified to evaluate options and make decisions regarding the use of technology within an office. It is generally a bad idea for someone without the necessary knowledge to make technology decisions based solely on cost which bypass the CTO.

If you don't have a CTO, the nature of your question indicates that you may need one. If you are the CTO, then the recommendation to experiment with one Raspberry Pi is good. Otherwise, if you are in a suitable management position, you may want to consider which of your staff currently functions as the defacto technology officer and promote them to CTO. At that point in time the question about Raspberry Pi could be revisited.

Heater
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Re: Is it a good idea to change office computer with raspberry pi?

Thu May 10, 2018 5:57 pm

Is it a good idea to change office computer with raspberry pi?
I think it's an excellent idea.

Smaller, low power, cheaper, does an awful lot really cheaply allround, very well supported. What is not to like?

However, that means replacing all your office workers for others that are in tune to the idea. And of course all the managers above them and perhaps above you.

If you want to know how well it goes to get offices off Windows and into Linux, check out the history of Munich City:
https://www.theregister.co.uk/2017/11/1 ... dows_2020/

They had been trying to go all Linux for many years. At the end of the day, people like the convenience of Windows and don't mind having their whole computing infrastructure dependent of a corporation in a foreign country.

As for the Pi, well, that is a Linux machine with 10 or more times less power than a PC. A very much harder sell to your office workers.
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ejolson
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Re: Is it a good idea to change office computer with raspberry pi?

Thu May 10, 2018 6:48 pm

Heater wrote:
Thu May 10, 2018 5:57 pm
At the end of the day, people like the convenience of Windows and don't mind having their whole computing infrastructure dependent of a corporation in a foreign country.
What happens when a judge in California discovers that Microsoft update can access files on any computer in the world and issues a local search warrant to obtain data on a computer in Munich? They also missed out on the WannaCry malware that shut down certain government-run operations in other countries for weeks.

The difficulty with the switch back is that cost was only measured in convenience and pennies, not by seriously taking security or freedom from foreign interests into account. While such a short-term approach works bad enough in corporate settings, it can have serious consequences for government.

Heater
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Re: Is it a good idea to change office computer with raspberry pi?

Thu May 10, 2018 7:15 pm

I agree. The whole world wide dependence on MS situation is appalling. Then there is the dependence of every bank, government and others on Oracle.

Sometimes I think it is hopeless to even try and discuss these things with people.
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Imperf3kt
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Re: Is it a good idea to change office computer with raspberry pi?

Thu May 10, 2018 9:42 pm

Do you print those documents? Are the printers Linux compatible? Do ARM drivers exist for them?

Web surfing on the Pi is a joke. Try to open more than one page (or even just one script heavy page) and the Pi crashes.
This means email does not work well on a Pi.

No, its a bad idea to replace your office computers.


I suggest starting by supplementing _one_ and see if it performs as you require. If it doesn't, you're out $35 (lus other expenses)
If it does, you can consider switching others
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yandibanyukw
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Re: Is it a good idea to change office computer with raspberry pi?

Thu May 10, 2018 11:30 pm

B.Goode wrote:
Thu May 10, 2018 4:29 pm
I know that those computer will never be used for anything else other than typing and checking e-mail.

It isn't just about the hardware and power saving.

I would not want Raspberry Pi products to get a bad reputation because they were deployed inappropriately.

So please be careful to understand what your office worker colleagues really use their workstations for. What you describe as 'typing' might be the production, maintenance and use of a complex library of documents.

And 'checking e-mail' will very likely include interfacing to standard office procedures.

Both these sets of skills and processes may have come to rely on tools from the Microsoft Office range of products: Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc.

The Raspberry Pi does not run Windows, so it cannot run these tools. A linux-based operating system such as Raspbian can run 'work-alike' packages from the OpenOffice suite, but the functionally is not exactly the same. That may not be a concern to tech aware geeks like you and I, but the people whose productivity, skills, reputation and value in the market place might be adversely affected by this change may not be so accommodating.

That isn't a reason to say you shouldn't try. But please do so fully understanding what tools your colleagues need, and do it with their prior informed consent.
Well, i'm pretty sure since MS Word can be replaced by Libre. And the functionalities that they used are just typing and formatting (not even mailing list are used or heck even page numbering are rarely used or understood around here). Yes, we have a printer server that's already working well. I've tested it. Just wondering if it's a good idea

Edit : another thing is that, the company are trying to switch to a more open-source and will have the next employee requirements to have a computer knowledge not just "MS Word-Excel-PowerPoint" suite

fruitoftheloom
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Re: Is it a good idea to change office computer with raspberry pi?

Thu May 10, 2018 11:43 pm

yandibanyukw wrote:
Thu May 10, 2018 11:30 pm
B.Goode wrote:
Thu May 10, 2018 4:29 pm
I know that those computer will never be used for anything else other than typing and checking e-mail.

It isn't just about the hardware and power saving.

I would not want Raspberry Pi products to get a bad reputation because they were deployed inappropriately.

So please be careful to understand what your office worker colleagues really use their workstations for. What you describe as 'typing' might be the production, maintenance and use of a complex library of documents.

And 'checking e-mail' will very likely include interfacing to standard office procedures.

Both these sets of skills and processes may have come to rely on tools from the Microsoft Office range of products: Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc.

The Raspberry Pi does not run Windows, so it cannot run these tools. A linux-based operating system such as Raspbian can run 'work-alike' packages from the OpenOffice suite, but the functionally is not exactly the same. That may not be a concern to tech aware geeks like you and I, but the people whose productivity, skills, reputation and value in the market place might be adversely affected by this change may not be so accommodating.

That isn't a reason to say you shouldn't try. But please do so fully understanding what tools your colleagues need, and do it with their prior informed consent.
Well, i'm pretty sure since MS Word can be replaced by Libre. And the functionalities that they used are just typing and formatting (not even mailing list are used or heck even page numbering are rarely used or understood around here). Yes, we have a printer server that's already working well. I've tested it. Just wondering if it's a good idea

Edit : another thing is that, the company are trying to switch to a more open-source and will have the next employee requirements to have a computer knowledge not just "MS Word-Excel-PowerPoint" suite

ChromeBrit / ChromeBox would likely be a better fit if standalone workstations.


Though if you set up PiServer on a x86 PC you could Network Boot RPi 3B/3B+....


Many options and dependent on how the Employees can cope with changes..

...no one size fits all !!
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gkaiseril
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Re: Is it a good idea to change office computer with raspberry pi?

Fri May 11, 2018 12:26 am

You might try just one to see if your office mates can learn the Raspbian system and the Pi integrates into your company's network and can work well with your customer systems. If you have a system administrator, you should discuss this with him/her. I was in an office where the sysadmin did a major update to the Outlook server in one office and caused issues with all the other offices that had not be updated.

Your staff may have problems learning the Unix/Linux addressing scheme and have issues with the look and feel of the Pi.
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Gavinmc42
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Re: Is it a good idea to change office computer with raspberry pi?

Fri May 11, 2018 12:27 am

Web surfing on the Pi is a joke.
It is better on Pi3B+ Gentoo Aarch64 with latest Firefox Quantum.
I did a test and got 30 tabs opens and still had spare memory.
Did not try Youtube as that it not why I use Pi's.
I would not want Raspberry Pi products to get a bad reputation because they were deployed inappropriately.
More likely they get bad rep from running memory hogging software ;)

If your company runs on solar power in the middle of now where Pi's would be suitable for most stuff.
High end graphics like publishing/photographic needs more memory.
Anyone tried Gimp on Pi's?

Typing and emails is well within their capabilities, just don't expect MS Word or Gmail to work
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