Raspberry Pi Zero

[2020/12]

What other computer system consumes no more than 1 watt of power and costs $~10?

Though not its intended purpose, RPI0 is way too slow as a desktop computer. RPI0 is fast enough to run GUI, but then most complex programs will run tortuously slow. Some programs ran faster on 25Mhz 80486. A few programs do run fast enough, similar programs don't. Lack of L1 cache is what mainly cripples RPI0 apparently.

ARM once had a reputation for being sleek and efficient. But ARM tossed some junk into RPI0's ARM:

/proc/cpuinfo:
processor   : 0
model name  : ARMv6-compatible processor rev 7 (v6l)
BogoMIPS    : 797.66
Features    : half thumb fastmult vfp edsp java tls 
                                           ^^^^ JUNK

operating-systems

[2021/04]

Raspberry Pi OS (RPIOS)

Be warned Linux kernel will suddenly HANG when memory becomes over-committed. (Virtual memory in Linux was never written right.)

NetBSD

NetBSD 10 has almost all RPI device-drivers.

FreeBSD

FreeBSD 13 has some device-drivers, but lacks wireless. FreeBSD has elevated RPI to 'Tier 1' status, goal is to develop complete RPI device-drivers.

Haiku (BeOS clone)

Haiku is worth watching, its developers have begun porting Haiku to RPI.


benchmarks

Speed of compiling GNU Emacs

[2021/05]

Not equal comparisons. Variously compiled Emacs versions 24..27 (Mac Mini G4 limited to Emacs-24). Emacs usually was compiled in temp RAM on systems having sufficient ample memory.

  ~40 sec          PC Intel Goldmont+ J5005 SoC, 2.8Ghz, 4 cores (make -j4)
  ~80 sec          PC Intel Core 2 Duo, 2.2Ghz, 2 cores (make -j2)
 ~105 sec  unfair  PC Intel Goldmont+ J5005 SoC, 2.8Ghz, 4 cores (make -j1)
 ~115 sec          PC AMD64X2 2.2Ghz, 2 cores (make -j2)
 ~194 sec          Raspberry Pi 3B+, 1.4Ghz ARMv8, 4 cores (make -j4, running in 32-bit ARMv7 mode, compiled on temp RAM)
 ~213 sec          Raspberry Pi 3B+, 1.4Ghz ARMv8, 4 cores (make -j4, running in 32-bit ARMv7 mode, compiled on SDCARD)
 ~390 sec          Mac Mini PowerPC G4 7450 1.33Ghz (make -j1, compiled on mechanical disk-drive)
 ~423 sec  unfair  Raspberry Pi 3B+, 1.4Ghz ARMv8, 4 cores (make -j1, running in 32-bit ARMv7 mode, compiled on temp RAM)
 ~470 sec  unfair  Mac Mini PowerPC G4 7450 1.33Ghz (make -j1, compiled on USB1 memory)
 2613 sec          Raspberry Pi Zero W, 1Ghz 32-bit ARMv6, 1 core (make -j1)

predictions

[2021/05]

RPI Foundation will become (or already is) a major manufacturer of computers. Buying a Raspberry Pi is the easiest way to get a UNIX system that has all necessary device drivers. Whenever RPI Foundation begins making RPI notebooks, predict RPIs will be sold in physical stores across America and elsewhere (like Commodores were).