This weekend I bought a new computer, my second Raspberry Pi – a cigarette packet sized, Linux powered PC that costs about £25. I pre-ordered my original 256MB Raspberry long before the release date so now that the 512MB, made in the UK version is available I wanted to upgrade. The extra RAM and better build quality may only be small improvements, and for a large desktop Windows machine wouldn’t make a difference. However, the Pi makes great use of limited resources so doubling up the RAM (at no extra cost) is significant.
I ordered my Pi through the ModMyPi online store, which is a great place for Raspberry related accessories. They also make first rate cases for the Pi, which still ships as a ‘naked’ board so needs a separate case to be purchased to keep the dust off. Compared to their first batch, the new ModMyPi cases have also had a tweek. To match the new model boards there are now anchor points and screws (provided) to allow you to firmly attach the Raspberry to the lower half of the case.
I’m running the latest version of Raspbian for desktop use, which has a little more spring in its step with the extra memory. Now the Raspberry has its own app store there should be plenty of new software being made available to try out. The Pi Store may not be iTunes but it will make it easier for small scale developers to show off their wares. I also tried out RaspBMC with the new board and navigating menus is much quicker now. I’m having less system crashes as well, but that might be down to the latest nightly build rather than the extra RAM. All in all, I’m very happy with the refined version of the Pi and would recommend it even more than ever to anyone who wants to dabble in the world of Linux.