Solar Powered Super Computer
The hot new thing, thankfully, in tech are these little ARM cpu’s. They’re
found in cell phones now but have been around for years in routers and
microwaves and tvs and cars and basically anything that wants a little
computer in it.
Raspberry Pi from: osde8info's photostream
The cool thing about ARM is that they are RISC-based (so they’re
distant cousins of the PowerPC chips that Macs used to use and
the IBM Power servers use now) and most importantly – LOW
POWER. A 10watt ARM computer (ie, less than a lightbulb) can do
the same work as a 10 year old 500watt computer; in some ways,
even a 5year old computer.
The Raspberry Pi team initially sold a lot more units than they’d anticipated,
so there ended up being a waiting list just to order one. It took about two
months but I finally got mine in. Now, I don’t have the electrical tools to
test it, but online a few forums are reporting that the RPi’s (Raspberry Pi’s)
are clocking in at about 2watts on average. I’ll assume they’re being
optimistic and calling it a 10 watt computer.
Do you know how much a lightbulb uses? at least 60watts.
Meaning that if you turn on a desk lamp while you’re using your new Raspberry
Pi, your LAMP is using more power than your computer!
The Raspberry Pi I have is being powered by a small cell phone power-to-USB
adapter. Plug in a keyboard, a mouse, an ethernet cable, and an HDMI-to-DVI
cable for the monitor, and it looks and feels just like a normal computer.
My experience has been great so far. I installed Slackware on an 8gb SD card
and was literally up and running within about 15 minutes of receiving it in
the mail. The RPi’s performance is definitely in the “good enough” category.
By this I mean, you can tell you’re on a low-powered computer, but at the same
time it runs really really well and can run all the most modern software.
Anyway, the really really cool thing is this… MIT has constructed a
solar-powered 100-core ARM super computer. Solar. Powered.
Check that out here:
Building A 96-Core Ubuntu ARM Solar-Powered Cluster
Bottom line? This is smart technology. This isn’t a cell phone that’s going to
obsolete in 6 months, this isn’t a tablet that you’ll never use, or a computer
that solders in its RAM or glues its battery into the case so you are forced
to pitch it and purchase a new one. This is technology built for
sustainability and affordability. Get one!
Photo of: Raspberry Pi from: osde8info’s photostream – profile