A friend of mine asked me about the new Raspberry Pi 2 and what I thought of it. This isn’t intended to be an in-depth explanation of the differences between the old and the new models. But, in summary, I would like to buy one of the new ones for myself. It is 6X faster than the current model B+, runs all the same software and is in the same form factor. There is no reason to buy a B+ at this point unless they drop the price considerably to get rid of old stock.
My Current Stable of Raspberry Pi
I personally own a Raspberry Pi Model B (original) and a Model A+. I also bought a Model B+ and an A+ for the office.
My Model B (which I bought in the summer of 2013) is used at the house as a web, SSH and VPN server. I also use it to do Python programming. I am not much of a programmer, but when I have taken classes, I did all my homework on the Raspberry Pi through SSH. The web server that I am running with it (which is publicly accessible, but I am not wanting to promote it) is really just to do some basic PHP scripting that my son and I were testing. The VPN server is not used as much as it should be. But, basically this machine has found a permanent home and isn’t easily available for playing around with.
My Model A+ was purchased in December of 2014 and is used for play. Eventually it will be the brains behind a laser engraver that I have been working on. I have all the electronic brains built and working. What I don’t have done is the X/Y motor system. I have all the parts, I just haven’t built it yet. The A+ will power that when I finally get it done. Until then, I have enjoyed having it as an extra toy.
At the office the A+ is in service as a power monitor. It is connected to a UPS and collects info on the line voltage and when the power flickers or stays out for any length of time. I expect that it will just hang out there for a few years before it needs to be used for anything else.
The B+ was supposed to live its life as a video camera for recording and live streaming events at our training center. But, it hasn’t been working out the way I planned. So right now it is used for playing around with the Raspberry Pi camera module on whatever projects I can make up that still looks like I am doing important work.
To Buy Next
I think the Raspberry Pi B+ for the office will end up not being used in any valuable way there, so I will probably buy it off them and find a use for it at home.
I would like a Raspberry Pi 2 B. I just need to find a justifiable use for it. An RPi 2 could take the role of one of my minor servers. Then, if it does well, I may put a few other things on it. Nothing super important to start with. We have an internal instant messaging server that could easily run on a current model. Other small, relatively unimportant, services like this would be great to have running on a piece of hardware that takes almost no electricity compared to a full Linux server.
Where to Buy
MCM Electronics is the source to buy from. They are the official distributor in the US and the only place I know where you get the actual price of $35 that is always advertised. Currently they have the B+ on sale for $30.
Here is a comparison between the new and the old Model B+ (RPi2 B vs RPi B+). At about 1:20 the speed test starts.