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    Question Android Mini PC vs Raspberry Pi


    I'm going to get a program built soon which will need a low-cost, USB-based PC with embedded OS. I'm trying to figure out which would be best for this project. Any input is appreciated.

    The program will output images you flip through using a standard bluetooth remote on any standard monitor. The image sizes will be calculated using the distance from the monitor, so instead of images, it may be a simple font size change. The farther you are away, the larger the images will be so you can see them.

    Anyway, can someone give me some input on which platform would be easier to find a coder for? Raspberry Pi vs Andoid? Both seem like they'd fit the bill for this project.

    would need:

    2 USB slots, one for power, other for remote
    HDMI output

    platform must be super stable - these will run 8 hours per day for up to 6 days a week. no glitches or malfunctions can occur.

    Thanks
    Last edited by Piston2; March 11th, 2013 at 04:15 PM.
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  3. Sarcky
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    How are you going to figure out the distance from the TV? That seems like the hardest part.

    I think android programmers are easier to find.
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    Originally Posted by ManiacDan
    How are you going to figure out the distance from the TV? That seems like the hardest part.

    I think android programmers are easier to find.
    when the program first starts, you just input one time the distance from the user to the monitor using a measuring tape. It'll be in feet - not the normal distance you think of when sitting at a desk. it usually does not change for each room.

    Also, the platform needs to be stable - these will run 8 hours/day for up to 6 days a week and can't suffer a malfunction.
    Last edited by Piston2; March 11th, 2013 at 04:15 PM.
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  7. Sarcky
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    Stability is a function of the programmer, not usually the operating system. Just don't run these on vista.

    This sounds like it could be a function on almost anything, not just the two devices you mentioned. I've worked at companies with mac minis under every TV, my current company has HDMI and VGA hookups for our laptops, and there are google TVs everywhere as well.
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    Originally Posted by ManiacDan
    Stability is a function of the programmer, not usually the operating system. Just don't run these on vista.

    This sounds like it could be a function on almost anything, not just the two devices you mentioned. I've worked at companies with mac minis under every TV, my current company has HDMI and VGA hookups for our laptops, and there are google TVs everywhere as well.
    true but I do not want to pay for all of the extra power of a mac mini. I want something cheap and reliable.
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    Raspberry Pi can run a fairly standard version of Linux I think, so there's actually a lot of different languages you could potentially use for that. I imagine finding a programmer wouldn't be that difficult.

    true but I do not want to pay for all of the extra power of a mac mini. I want something cheap and reliable.
    What's your actual budget range per-device? I'm guessing the Raspberry Pi is going to be quite a bit cheaper than any Android device you could buy given your hardware requirements (HDMI, Bluetooth, 2x USB).

    you flip through using a standard bluetooth remote
    The range on a Bluetooth device can be as short as 1m, but it sounds like that would be insufficient for your needs. This is just something to keep in mind when you're hardware shopping; it is possible to buy Bluetooth devices with a greater range.

    no glitches or malfunctions can occur.
    can't suffer a malfunction
    You can't build a system with that requirement; first because it's extremely expensive, and second because it's still impossible. The Mars Curiosity rover, which just launched last year, is an example of a system that "can't fail". Its CPU is clocked at a whopping 200Mhz and cost upwards of $200,000 USD. However, even at a cost of $1000/Mhz, the probability of malfunction is still so high that the rover includes a second identical CPU purely as a backup. (Obviously your system doesn't need to be radiation hardened, but even on earth failure due to radiation is not impossible, and there are modes of failure besides radiation too)

    Regardless of which system you choose, it can fail, and you should plan for and be prepared for that possibility. The more important it is that the system not fail, the more important it is that you plan for it to fail.
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    Originally Posted by E-Oreo
    What's your actual budget range per-device? I'm guessing the Raspberry Pi is going to be quite a bit cheaper than any Android device you could buy given your hardware requirements (HDMI, Bluetooth, 2x USB).
    as cheap as possible. we're makign this open source most likely so we want a basic DIY price. I don't want to pay for HW that will not be used.

    The range on a Bluetooth device can be as short as 1m, but it sounds like that would be insufficient for your needs. This is just something to keep in mind when you're hardware shopping; it is possible to buy Bluetooth devices with a greater range.
    I actually made a mistake. the remote we'd use is RF from newegg.

    You can't build a system with that requirement
    yes, I know, but I just mean I want it to be very simple and not a lot of extras that would provide fail points. by that I mean use a platform that isn't buggy, HW that doesn't overheat, etc.

    simple and cheap but functional.
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    I know this thread is old, but I stil have a little input.
    Now I am not a programmer or anything, but have a lot of experience with Android, and by far there is way more support for Android.

    1. You can conceivably use the RF remote to determine distance as opposed to the measuring tape, you could use echo delay (time it takes to ping receiver and receive response) and figure distance as follows:

    Distance traveled = speed of light/time taken.

    Then you could use that distance to determine size/ ratio of said image.

    2. Over the last year, I have seen a slew of "Stick PCs" and many of them are running Android OS. Most of them have similar specs as a desktop PC and all are < $200. Most of them also included the 2 USB ports and an HDMI out. This may be a platform you might want to research. You have not specified a pricepoint to which you need to stay under, but you may be able to acheive your product for under $500 after getting all the peripherals you need. Your time would be the most costly part of the development.
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    if i was you i will simply go with rasberry pi

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