This is what I did for some NAS servers that I wanted to be compact, support QuickSync transcoding for Plex, and support a SAS PCI card that breaks out to (8) 10Tb HDDs in a ZFS configuration. Not that the Pi is bad or anything but I see people trying to use them as routers and NAS and the performance isn’t fantastic, maybe on par with an intel chip from 10 years ago. You’d be much better grabbing some old PC hardware on eBay and throwing parts together.
Kodi is my favourite media centre software, been a fan since XBMC rolled into the scene.
Many projects dealing with IoT or sensors can be made using ESP32s or the various Audrinos.
If you want a mini computer, there are some built on the Atom or similar. The price can be similar when looking at ones with an eMMC, case, etc vs a Pi with similar attributes.
There are a couple other options out there, but I dont even remember the names.
My experience with vendors who do this well are Asus tinkerboard, NVIDIA Jetson (well... I'm being kind there) and from what I've heard the pine products. Basically go to armbian and look for the boards with the most mature support.
I've been working with dozens of these things for the last 4 years and the amount of issues due to poor kernel support saddens me. So much wasted time, they can be amongst the most expensive computers you can buy.
I would like something with less blob dependency. Pi still have opaque elements in the SoC. Booting from attached media is a bit of "do this magic to one-time state in your board"
I would like more high speed disk. I got a JMicron controller for my Pi4 NAS, but I'm behind one USB bus. I think there are methods here which have less USB in the path to disk, and more controller choices.
Having a good Android port is becoming as important as the more classic UNIX experience via Linux/BSD
I have a tiny ODROID-U2 (that I love) running as my home automation controller for many years now, and I have kept it so by patching a lot myself.
Intel NUC - a great step up if you’re using your Pi for Home Automation (eg Home Assistant) and want something more robust/powerful. Likewise if you’re running PiHole or Docker. I have a NUC running VMware ESXI with Home Assistant, PiHole and a couple of other Docker containers and VMs. Most of these started on RPis but I decided I wanted something a bit more beefy. I also backup the VMs to my Synology using the Synology’s superb ESXi compatible backup software which is so good I tend to want to put everything in ESXi now and I’ll often create tiny Linux VMs for applications which I would previously have used a Pi for.
Arduino (or similar) - not strictly an alternative but a good step down in price and complexity for things that don’t need a full blown computer (simple robotics or home automation components/sensors).
Apple Pie - great if you don’t like raspberries. Fully wireless and nice with custard or ice cream.
I don’t run anything on the bare metal NUC directly. They’re all VMs (or Docker containers running in a VM) running in ESXi, with appropriate resources allocated (in the case of PiHole, as you say, those resources are pretty minimal).
I didn’t mean to imply running PiHole on an entire NUC.
I love building tiny APIs for random tech projects
If so, you could look at some carrier boards for the Raspberry Pi 4 Compute Module, which might grant you more flexibility while still being in the Pi ecosystem.
For example, I'm waiting after the Wiretrustee SATA board (https://www.crowdsupply.com/wiretrustee/wiretrustee-sata) to make a compact Pi-based NAS.
I have a product where I need to display fullscreen Websites on a TV.
I started building a simple Android TV app to take advantage of the fact that non technical users can configure them more easily (wifi etc) and things are less likely to break (updates etc) but of course I don't like being dependent on their app store.
Anyone know any other hardware that is fairly cheap (since we literally just display a website) but also comes with ease of use for non technical folks?
Why not an old, cheap PC or laptop?
Getting updates on sideloaded apps is also a lot of work.
Maybe I just read too many horror stories about people getting their apps pulled or updates delayed
- Flash SD card with Raspberry OS Lite using the Raspberry imager
- Create /ssh (empty file)
- Create /wpa_supplicant.conf with wifi details
- Put the SD card in the Pi and connect the power
- ssh firstname.lastname@example.org (password raspberry)
It takes < 10 min from unboxing a pi to being SSH’d into it.
This is kinda crazy?
Edit: I can read and scroll the tables but they are covered by the above popup...