RT Cunningham


My Next Desktop Computer Could Very Well Be a Raspberry Pi

my next desktop computerIf things go the way I want, my next desktop computer will be a Raspberry Pi. I’ll still use one of my laptop computers daily regardless of what happens. I don’t need a desktop computer, but I want a desktop computer. A desktop computer that won’t cost me more than what I paid for either of my laptops. A Raspberry Pi fits that bill quite nicely.

Why Do I Want a Desktop Computer?

It’s not for anything special. I’m not a gamer and I’m not a programmer (not a real one, anyway). I don’t work with computer graphics or videos of any kind. So what’s the big deal? I only have one good reason for wanting a desktop computer.

Before I became comfortable with laptops, I only used desktop computers. I still have the remnants of at least two of them in a storage room in my house in the Philippines. Since the latest version of the Raspberry Pi supports two monitors, I can use both of the spare monitors at the same time if that’s what I decide to do. Since they’re older monitors, I’ll need a couple of HDMI to VGA adapters.

I don’t want to buy a full-fledged name-brand desktop computer. I’m more interested in something more modular, like the Raspberry Pi.

Raspberry Pi Specifications and Third-Party Kits

This is straight from the Raspberry Pi 4 Model B specifications page:

* A good quality 2.5A power supply can be used if downstream USB peripherals consume less than 500mA in total.

For me, it doesn’t make sense to use anything less than four gigabytes of RAM. As I mentioned in my previous article about the Raspberry Pi, I want eight gigabytes. Unfortunately, I don’t think we’ll see a board supporting eight anytime this year (and probably not next year). I also want USB4 ports, and again…

The CanaKit Raspberry Pi 4 Complete Starter Kit at $119.95 (plus tax) seems like a good deal.

COVID-19 Interference

I don’t know when I’ll be able to leave Hawaii and return to the Philippines. The restrictions on international travel because of the coronavirus means I may leave the country later than anticipated. October 2020 is the goal, but it could be as late as January 2021. If so, I may have to go somewhere else. I don’t want to spend the hot and dry months (mid-March to Mid-June) in the Philippines.

I’m holding off on buying the Raspberry Pi stuff until the last possible minute. That’s if I even buy it at all. Again, I don’t need it. I want it for tinkering more than anything else.

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By RT Cunningham
April 30, 2020