Recent Blog Posts

Raspberry Pi microSD card performance comparison - 2015

Variety of microSD cards tested with the Raspberry Pi model 2 B

This post's benchmarks were performed on a Raspberry Pi 2; for all the latest benchmarks, on Raspberry Pi 3 or later revisions, check out the official Pi Dramble microSD card Benchmarks page.

In my experience, one of the highest-impact upgrades you can perform to increase Raspberry Pi performance is to buy the fastest possible microSD card—especially for applications where you need to do a lot of random reads and writes.

There is an order-of-magnitude difference between most cheap cards and the slightly-more-expensive ones (even if both are rated as being in the same class)—especially in small-block random I/O performance. As an example, if you use a normal, cheap microSD card for your database server, normal database operations can literally be 100x slower than if you used a standard microSD card.

Raspberry Pi Zero - Conserve power and reduce draw to 80mA

[Update 2015-12-01: I bought a PowerJive USB power meter and re-tested everything, and came up with ~80 mA instead of the ~30 mA reported by the Charger Doctor that I was using prior. This seems to be more in line with the results others were measuring with much more expensive/accurate meters in the Raspberry Pi forums: Raspberry Pi Zero power consumption. I've updated the numbers in the post below to reflect this change. Seems the Pi Zero is only incrementally better than the A+—still excellent news, but not nearly as amazing as I originally thought :(]

Yesterday my post comparing the Raspberry Pi Zero's power consumption to other Pis hit the Hacker News front page, and commenters there offered a few suggestions that could be used to reduce the power draw even further, including disabling HDMI, changing the overclock settings, and futzing with the lone ACT LED.

Raspberry Pi Zero - Power Consumption Comparison

tl;dr: The Raspberry Pi Zero uses about the same amount of power as the A+, and at least 50% less power than any other Pi (B+, 2 B, 3 B).

On November 26, the Raspberry Pi foundation announced the Raspberry Pi Zero, a $5 USD computer that shares the same architecture as the original Raspberry Pi and A+/B+ models, with a slightly faster processor clock (1 Ghz), 512 MB of RAM, and sans many of the essential ports and connectors required for using the Pi as an out-of-the-box computer.

Raspberry Pi Zero - new with adapter cable
The Raspberry Pi Zero - quite a small Linux computer!

Upgrade an Apache Solr Search index from 1.4 to 3.6 (and later versions)

Recently I had to upgrade someone's Apache Solr installation from 1.4 to 5.x (the current latest version), and for the most part, a Solr upgrade is straightforward, especially if you're doing it for a Drupal site that uses the Search API or Solr Search modules, as the solr configuration files are already upgraded for you (you just need to switch them out when you do the upgrade, making any necessary customizations).

However, I ran into the following error when I tried loading the core running Apache Solr 4.x or 5.x:

org.apache.solr.common.SolrException:org.apache.solr.common.SolrException: org.apache.lucene.index.IndexFormatTooOldException: Format version is not supported (resource: MMapIndexInput(path="/var/solr/cores/[corename]/data/spellchecker2/_1m.cfx") [slice=_1m.fdx]): 1 (needs to be between 2 and 3). This version of Lucene only supports indexes created with release 3.0 and later.

To fix this, you need to upgrade your index using Solr 3.5.0 or later, then you can upgrade to 4.x, then 5.x (using each version of Solr to upgrade from the previous major version):

Celebrate Drupal 8 in St. Louis, MO on Nov 19 - Food, Drinks, and a Raspberry Pi!

Drupal 8 Logo

On November 19, the St. Louis Drupal Users Group is having a party to celebrate the release of Drupal 8, which has been 4 years in the making! The party will be hosted at Spry Digital in downtown St. Louis, and will have beer provided by Manifest, food and drinks provided by Spry, and a Raspberry Pi 2 model B giveaway sponsored by Midwestern Mac!

Drupal 8.0.0 has been built by over 3,000 contributors in all corners of the globe, and will help kick off the next generation of personalized, content-driven websites. During the meetup, we'll build a brand new Drupal 8 site on the Raspberry Pi using Jeff Geerling's Drupal Pi project, and we'll highlight some of the awesome new features of Drupal 8.

Raspberry Pi and Acquia dancing man

After we build one of the first Drupal 8 sites, we'll give away the Raspberry Pi to a lucky winner to take home and tinker with! Special thanks to the Austin Drupal Users Group, who came up with the Pi giveaway idea!

We'll also eat, drink and be merry, celebrating the start of a new era of site building with the best version of Drupal yet!

If you'd like to join us, please RSVP on the STLDUG Meetup page: STLDUG Drupal 8.0.0 Release Party.

Drupal Pi project featured on Acquia Dev Center Blog

Acquia Raspberry Pi model 2 B

I recently wrote a post detailing how to set up Drupal 8 on a Raspberry Pi using the Drupal Pi project (the same setup which is currently powering www.pidramble.com!) on the Acquia Developer Center blog: Drupal and the Raspberry Pi.

Hopefully people will find more and more useful ways to use Drupal 8 on the Raspberry Pi for automation, for interactivity, and most of all for fun and experimentation!

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