Raspberry Pi, Beaglebone Black, Intel Edison – Benchmarked.

Recently I took delivery of an Intel Edison with a Mini-Breakout Board. I was awestruck by the size of the thing, but it was not until I started using it properly for a couple of projects that I noticed that it seemed a little bit ‘snappier’ than boards I’d used in the past (Raspberry Pi, Beaglebone Black). So I decided to do a little benchmarking.


The three boards I benchmarked are

The benchmark was done using ‘sysbench’ which I compiled from source on the Edison, and on the other two boards I used apt-get to install the currently available version for the distributions on the board.

It’s worth mentioning that the benchmarks were run single threaded on the Pi and BBB, and 2 threads were used on the Intel Edison. If a single thread was used in the Edison, the timings roughly doubled for each test. Increasing the threads to 2 on the Pi and BBB made very little difference, maybe slowing them down slightly due to the increased context switches.

The benchmark I was most eager to see was the CPU benchmark, which shows that the Intel Edison is well ahead of the Raspberry Pi, and significantly ahead of the BBB. 500 seconds on the Pi versus 72 for the Edison. So it’s no slouch, even for it’s size….



Next test was memory, which showed a more significant difference between the Pi and the Edison, but the BBB managed to close the margin.


However, I suspect there was an incorrect setup in the BBB for the random write test, as it was lagging WAAAY behind the Pi and the Edison. The Edison was still about 5 times faster than the Pi.


And finally, the random read from storage. Back to the typical charts, Pi, BBB, Edison in that order. The Edison still trounces the Pi and the BBB.


So, if you take the results of the Edison being 5 times the speed of a Raspberry Pi in most tests, and it being $75 versus about $35 for a Pi, the Edison is excellent value for money.

All the other pros and cons for each platform are beyond the scope of this blog article, but when you look at the benchmarks here, the Edison is way ahead. Even taking the price into account ($75 for Edison module with a mini-breakout board) it still offers more bang for buck than the other platforms.  But the Pi still offers excellent value for what you get, so it all depends on what you’re happy with! I plan on using all of them in future projects! :)

Posted in Computer Stuff

Raspberry Pi Model B+

photo 3One day after launch, I got delivery of a Raspberry Pi model B+. Here’s a few pictures of it, plus a couple of side-by-side pics with the old Model B.

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PiPhone – A Raspberry Pi based Smartphone

IMG_0872cHere’s my latest DIY project, a smartphone based on a Raspberry Pi. It’s called – wait for it – the PiPhone. It makes use an Adafruit touchscreen interface and a Sim900 GSM/GPRS module to make phone calls. It’s more of a proof of concept to see what could be done with a relatively small form factor with off-the-shelf (cheap) components. I don’t expect everyone to be rushing out to build this one, but I had great fun in doing it, as it builds quite nicely on my previous projects, especially the Lapse Pi, a touchscreen time-lapse controller, and uses most of the same hardware.

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Posted in Computer Stuff, Tutorial

Adafruit Led Ampli-Tie

Just a short post this time. When I saw this project on the Adafruit Learing System (learn.adafruit.com), I thought it was so cool that I had to build one myself. It’s a sound-activated LED tie!

There’s a great tutorial here: http://learn.adafruit.com/led-ampli-tie,  so jump on over if you want to see how it’s made.

Just for kicks, I did a quick 28 second video of it in action. I can’t wait for the next hackerspace / coderDojo /  work night out :)



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Lapse-Pi Touch – A Touchscreen Timelapse Controller

SZ0A4263So here’s my latest Raspberry Pi project. It uses the PiTFT Mini Kit, which is a 320×240 2.8″ TFT display and Touchscreen from Adafruit Industries that fits neatly onto my Raspberry Pi, to control a user interface to drive the back-end time-lapse script I showed you in a previous blog article.



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Posted in Computer Stuff, Photography, Tutorial

Loop Head Peninsula Time Lapse


This is a brief article about some behind-the-scenes stuff while I was making my latest time-lapse video, “Loop Head Peninsula”.  There’s pictures of the time lapse rig in action, as well as a few words on the techniques I used, what I learned, etc.





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Lighting Foregrounds in Night-Time Time-Lapses

Here’s a quick hack to make your night-time time-lapse sequences a bit more interesting. As a general rule of thumb, it’s always good to have a decent foreground in your landscape images. I believe that this also stands true for time-lapse photography, as well as night time time lapse photography. The problem is that it’s dark. Very dark. So, how about we artificially light the foreground during the shoot? But we’d have to have it lit for 2 or 3 hours?

Normally for shooting star fields, to get an interesting foreground we’d “light paint” the foreground with a torch, and through trial an error, we’d get an exposure that looked right. This doesn’t work for time-lapse, as it would be impossible to get consistent exposures for each frame. So, use a stable light source that will last the several hours that you need for the full time-lapse. Continue reading »

Posted in Photography Tagged |

Montenegro Salon Acceptances


I haven’t entered a Photographic salon in a long time, so when Ciaran Whyte suggest that the the closing date was fast approaching for Montenegro (6 sections for €25), I decided to get up off my bum and throw a few images in. I hastily prepared and uploaded my images, avoiding the nude section (because I dont have any nude images). In order to get the next distinction level, I need dozens of new works, so I entered only new works, never before entered in salons. I was delighted to pick up 5 acceptances.

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Posted in Photography

Website Downtime

Sincerest Apologies for the downtime over the last week. My hosting provider was doing migration of a bunch of websites from one server to another, and in this process they were upgrading MYSQL, Apache, plus a whole host of other stuff it seems. Now while they did a staggered migration of the websites, it all went wrong once a significant number of websites were on the new host. Access times went through the roof, sometimes taking over 2 minutes to load a single page. Continue reading »

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Pi-Rex – Bark Activated Door Opening System with Raspberry Pi

(DISCLAIMER: Not meant as a security solution or a lesson in good dog behavior. It’s an experimental proof of concept to play with the application of embedded computing to solve particular use cases)
Sleep deprivation has been driving me mad recently. And it’s all down to a new member of the family (kind of), our new dog. She barks at night when she’s left out. She barks early in the morning when she’s left in. So once I recognized the patterns of her barking, I realized that all I needed was something that would let her out when she needed to go for a pee, usually around 6:30 in the morning. I could do this with a timer switch and a door strike, but where’s the fun in that.

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