Thursday, July 11, 2019

Notes on the Raspberry Pi 4b

I recently got a Raspberry Pi 4/4GiB.  Below and in the comments are my notes from poking at it.

SSDs are now worth it. My ancient Apple laptop HDD got about 33MB/Sec for both buffered and direct access. My inexpensive (Inland) SSD got about 108MB/sec direct, and 198 MB/sec buffered.
On my big desktop Linux machine with the same $5(US) USB3-SATA interface, I got virtually the same numbers from the Ancient Apple HDD, a bit over 200MB/Sec buffered and  about 200MB/Sec unbuffered on the SSD.

The Pi's USB 3 interface isn't as fast as the one on my big Linux box. I know this. It's been publicly stated. It's still plenty fast. As I do not have a 7200 RPM notebook drive to test with, I'll just say that based on the specs, you //might// touch somewhere close to these numbers with a high performance HDD on a Pi, and if the budget is pinching, or you happen to have a 7200RPM notebook drive lying about, you won't do badly with it, but my experience has been that you will feel the difference with the SSD. Particularly with the Pi, where swapping is a way of life, I recommend the SSD.

Numbers generated using hdparm -t /dev/sda and hdparm -t --direct /dev/sda.


Saturday, January 5, 2019

Windows 10 from Virtual to Real

In preparation for moving my stepfather's windows 10 installation to an SSD, I was trying out clonezilla. Having booted my virtualbox windows 10 machine to the clonezilla iso, I duped the virtual system drive out to a spare SSD (ye gods. Spare SSDs). Figuring out how to test it was a puzzle, so I tried what seemed like a dumb idea. I took the duplicate of the virtual drive downstairs to the Intel NUC I use down there as a shop computer. It runs Linux normally, but with some bios kicking so it would boot from USB drives, it started reading the drive.

And guess what. It booted into Windows 10, with all of my apps in place, no problems.  I didn't know it would do that. I had to update some drivers, and I did //not// check to see if it was authorized, and I did //not// plug the SSD into the NUC's one and only SATA port (USB3 was fine) but taking the ship out of the bottle and putting it in the ocean actually worked.

Cloning a Linux machine wouldn't have surprised me. They don't have stupid DRM baked in. The fact that playing that fast and loose with a Windows 10 license did work was the surprise.

Learn something new every day.

Note Bene: My basement machine would be pretty much useless with Windows on it, so once I did a long-overdue BIOS update on the NUC, I shut down, unplugged the windows drive, and everything went back to normal. After some more BIOS kicking so it would boot from the built-in drive again. Bleah. I don't like UEFI bios much. Intel's version, even less so.

-JRS

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