Published on: 15.02.2019
After 3,5 years of owning and never using (let us talk about not being a finisher later) Raspberry Pi 2 B I finally decided to see for what it can be used in practice.
Yes, I know that now already Raspberry Pi 3 B+ exist and that it has better performance.
I did use the original Raspberry Pi in 2012 to make a simple version of Screenly, but that is a story for another time.
First, I went to the official webpage to see what is new and how to install operating systems (I will use abbreviations OS from here on).
There I have found out that the best way for beginners is to use NOOBS.
My experience with NOOBS is positive, there are few OS that can be installed with it.
Another software with similar capabilities is BerryBoot, it has some additional OS that NOOBS does not have, but also NOOBS have an OS that
BerryBoot, so best is to try both.
One tip, label of miniSD card must be called boot.
Just for information, all tests have been done on 22inch DELLmonitor.
Using Raspberry Pi 2 B as desktop PC
My test was basically how good youtube is working.
Surprisingly better than I expected, Raspberry Pi 2 B on Raspbian is able to play 360p videos with no problems, even 480p video worked, but the video had some lags but the audio was fine.
Form my opinion the biggest drawback for using any Raspberry as a desktop computer is lack of software (eg. no DropBox) because the software needs to be compiled for RISC processor.
Retropie is OS for playing retro games.
NES and SNES games were fine, but N64 (N64 was my first 3D console, so there is an emotional connection) was not so good (GoldenEye on 10 FPS, not playable).
Raspberry Pi 3 is working better according to Reddit.
Using motioneye as CCTV on Raspberry Pi 2 B is working better than expected.
You can add a local camera to motioneye or even remote IP camera.
Motion detection is supported with upload to FTP, DropBox, Google Drive, etc.
Just be aware that you can not expect the same quality as of specialized dedicated CCTV system, but it is perfect for a hobby project.
Public Facing Screens
You can use Raspberry Pi 2 B as a public facing screen, one useful OS for that purpose is Screenly.
It offered as a monthly subscription model, but if you use it just in a local network, it is free.
Tools and links
balenaEtcher cross-platform tool to flash OS images to SD cards
SD Memory Card Formatter formats SD/SDHC/SDXC Cards