Apple v. PC...Desktop v. Laptop

What skills to learn, what tools to get
Alphaville
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Re: Apple v. PC...Desktop v. Laptop

Post by Alphaville »

yes but isn’t it less resource intensive or something?

daylen
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Re: Apple v. PC...Desktop v. Laptop

Post by daylen »

Linux distros have a very wide range of resource intensities. Raspberry Pi OS has moderate-low resource usage but it is still built on the same kernel. The main distinction from more intensive variants being the desktop environment (LXDE) and window manager (Openbox).

Alphaville
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Re: Apple v. PC...Desktop v. Laptop

Post by Alphaville »

yes, but what does this mean for the end user? (i used to run freenas all on a full tower and my electric bill were atrocious. ditched the tower, went with a synology product, it ran better and also the bills calmed down. the motherboard died one day, i had to replace, now i just rent cloudspace from apple.)

i’m asking because @sky said he recommends the os as a desktop and that it can be left on all day. as a potential end user i’d like to hear a more comprehensive sales pitch i suppose. “another linux” makes me run for the hills :D

daylen
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Re: Apple v. PC...Desktop v. Laptop

Post by daylen »

Not much of a sales person. :)

Download it and try it with virtualization software while monitoring resource usage. I mean, if you end up with a huge electrical bill using Linux then it is probably your fault. :P

Sort of like employing a roboinvestor versus picking your own stocks. More choices; more control; more responsibility. At least, it use to be more like this but doesn't need to be these days.
Last edited by daylen on Mon Nov 02, 2020 1:10 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Alphaville
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Re: Apple v. PC...Desktop v. Laptop

Post by Alphaville »

daylen wrote:
Mon Nov 02, 2020 1:00 pm
More choices; more control; more responsibility.
but i already have too many choices and responsibilities and could risk getting overwhelmed. i guess i’ll pass. :(

daylen
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Re: Apple v. PC...Desktop v. Laptop

Post by daylen »

Well, if you just do what the product producer recommends and use Raspberry Pi OS, then the only decisions you need to make are 1. should you buy it and 2. what monitor and mouse you want

sky
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Re: Apple v. PC...Desktop v. Laptop

Post by sky »

It is linux, running on an ARM cpu instead of the more usual x86 cpu that a laptop or desktop would have.

I have heard that leaving it on all the time would cost about $13 per year, but that may be at idle, not heavy processing.

Alphaville
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Re: Apple v. PC...Desktop v. Laptop

Post by Alphaville »

sky wrote:
Mon Nov 02, 2020 5:00 pm
running on an ARM cpu
aaaaaaaaahhhh... thanks for this.

i could always use a cheap typing box, but how’s the security? i’m worried a bit about things like bank passwords/financial accounts/id theft/that sort of thing.

sky
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Re: Apple v. PC...Desktop v. Laptop

Post by sky »

The system runs from an sd card, which could be stolen. Unless it is set up with encryption, anyone can mount the sd card and look at the files. I don't think it is a good idea to put usernames/passwords in textfiles in a linux box.

Alphaville
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Re: Apple v. PC...Desktop v. Laptop

Post by Alphaville »

i see... thanks again @sky!

daylen
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Re: Apple v. PC...Desktop v. Laptop

Post by daylen »

The OS layer can be encrypted for physical security as @sky said, but the most prominent security threat is misuse of the browser application. Learning how to spot phishing and privilege escalation attacks will go a long way towards preventing id/password theft.

Alphaville
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Re: Apple v. PC...Desktop v. Laptop

Post by Alphaville »

thanks @daylen. so i’ll stick to my apple ecosystem for mission-critical stuff. but the pi desktop seems attractive as a learning tool without having to burn too much electricity. maybe i’ll get myself one for the holidays... 🤔

CDR
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Re: Apple v. PC...Desktop v. Laptop

Post by CDR »

I've been running Arch Linux for about 5 years now (? Maybe). I left Windows when I stopped playing video games. I've been with the same desktop since 2011, and two years ago I purchased a Windows laptop for a post-graduate program I went through. I didn't have a choice, unfortunately. I don't use it much these days.

Now, since I am studying IT, I've bought a used server and have been working with evaluation versions of Windows Server 2012 and Windows 10 Pro, but that wouldn't work if I was using them in the real world.

While the discussion is about personal computers, Pi's or other ARM-based computers can also be useful for frugal business owners. TVs that display menus in restaurants, tiny servers that could host a knowledge base, scripts etc. They will generally work out cheaper than a used desktop or laptop because of low power usage.

Failing that, a frugal business owner might buy a second-hand desktop and install Ubuntu or other easy to install and run Linux OS with Long-Term Support on it. There is an ice cream shop in my locale that runs Ubuntu for its menu screens. I know there are a lot of different Open Source POS systems that are Linux based as well. Probably not worth the trouble to switch to if an existing system is working.

Regarding Free and Open Source Software, I think most google searches will turn up the usual suspects for Office Suites, Replacement for Photoshop, etc. I found this list of FOSS for graphics (3D Modelling, Video Editing, Compositing, CAD, etc) that might be useful for a niche audience. https://docs.google.com/document/d/1yNX ... 0KJ7E/edit Putting the time into learning how to do compositing in Natron, or photo manipulation in GIMP opens up some great side hustles that cost only your time to learn (assuming you already have a computer).

Alphaville
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Re: Apple v. PC...Desktop v. Laptop

Post by Alphaville »

CDR wrote:
Mon Nov 02, 2020 11:41 pm
Pi's or other ARM-based computers can also be useful for frugal business owners. TVs that display menus in restaurants, tiny servers that could host a knowledge base, scripts etc. They will generally work out cheaper than a used desktop or laptop because of low power usage.
smart! signage devices are actually quite pricey. they basically play a video in an endless loop in museums, airports, stores, etc. maybe last i checked prices... $500 and up? main issue is codec compatibility, and then ofc they need to run rock solid 24/7. eta: just checked prices, cheaper these days with some systems running android etc, but still...

sky
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Re: Apple v. PC...Desktop v. Laptop

Post by sky »

When overclocked to 2.2 Ghz and running at full load using a stress test program, the pi 400 draws 1.3 amps at 5.03V or 6.5W. This does not include power supply losses.

At idle, it runs 0.5 amps at 5.11V, or 2.5W.

There are 8,760 hours per year. At idle, the pi400 would use 21,900 Watt-hours, or 21.9 kilowatt-hours.

At maximum processing capacity, the pi400 would use 56,940 Watt-hours, or 56.94 kilowatt-hours.

I pay about $0.10 per kilowatt-hour (very cheap energy), so the cost per year would be between $2.20 and $5.70 to run the pi for a year.

This does not include power supply losses or monitor power requirements. I have my pi set so that the monitor turns off after 15 minutes of idle time, and it turns on again to a login screen when I move the mouse.

Source:
https://www.jeffgeerling.com/blog/2020/ ... ked-22-ghz

kevib
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Re: Apple v. PC...Desktop v. Laptop

Post by kevib »

While the discussion is about personal computers, Pi's or other ARM-based computers can also be useful for frugal business owners. TVs that display menus in restaurants
Yes, my take on it: using a google account make your slideshow on endless loop and broadcast it, then at the office/waiting room set your pi to autoboot using chromium browser in kiosk mode to the URL of your google slideshow (search "raspberry pi" "kioskmode" for tutorials). Easy to modify slides on web = no need to acces raspberry pi after its initial setup. No running expenses.

Alphaville
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Re: Apple v. PC...Desktop v. Laptop

Post by Alphaville »

might work too as a financial tracker if you’re interested in live charts.

problem is in real time this usually requires secure logins to accounts which... i’ be wary of using in a linux box i cannot manage well. and via browsers which... who looks after them and patches them?

macg
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Re: Apple v. PC...Desktop v. Laptop

Post by macg »

I use my Raspberry Pi3 differently right now - I have it set up purely with Raspbian Lite (a command line Linux), and it runs as an sftp server, as well as a Plex (video/entertainment) server, connected to a usb drive. It runs 24/7, and has been for ~9 months - my electric bill went up by 2 cents a month or so. I use it to backup/restore files (personal cloud, really), connect via plex to watch shows/movies/play music, sometimes to share files externally through sftp...

Prior to this dedicated setup, I used it for various things, including a Kodi entertainment server, a Linux pc, and a vpn.

Linux can be secured easier and better than windows - and this is from someone who worked as a windows os guy for 20 years.

If you use a computer for the simple things - which I think most people do - I think a Pi, especially the Pi4, is perfect. Email, web browsing, forums, even using Libre Office - all is fine on a Pi. It's the stuff like gaming is where you would have to test it out and see if it would work for you.

I also recommend it to anyone who wants to play around with stuff - Linux, Arduino, various things. The Pi was created for exactly that - teaching/learning new stuff in a cheap way.

And to be clear, you don't need to buy a monitor if you don't want to - it's an HDMI connection, so you can connect to a tv that you already own.

Alphaville
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Re: Apple v. PC...Desktop v. Laptop

Post by Alphaville »

new arm-based macs to be announced today...

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