Raspberry Pi

An Expert Space for people who love the Raspberry Pi

moderated by Richard Manson-Hing/Raspberry Pi

What I would like my $25 Raspberry Pi to do

I have great hopes for my Raspberry Pis at home.

I am a software developer working out of my home, so the very first thing I set up on my Pi is a Subversion source control repository. I use it to store all the code I develop for myself.

The next obvious things would be the storage of private documents, photos, videos, bookmarks.

On reading this you may wonder why I would want to store this stuff on a device at home rather than in the cloud somewhere.

Well, first of all, the terms of service of cloud vendors are continually changing. The public cloud is designed to serve the majority of users while providing the cloud vendor with a reasonable profit.

What was once free may not be free in the future. What may be private now may be made public tomorrow by the cloud vendor. Free means you relinquish control over your content in exchange for free storage and access. Besides, nothing prevents me from storing copies of my content in the cloud and replicating it on my Pi at home.

Another reason is security. Nowadays, vendors of all sorts are being hacked by bad actors including bad actor state organizations. There is also a very real possibility that strong encryption containing zero backdoors will one day be outlawed. Encryption containing backdoors will almost by definition have weaknesses.

Yet another reason is access. If my cloud account or broadband connection is not in good standing I may be cut off from my content. With my Pi I can disconnect it from the network and take it anywhere.

The storage of content is not the only thing I want to do with my Pi. I envision making the Pi a central actor in my home automation dreams. I want remote electronic control over everything in my home. I cannot imagine ever wanting Google, Facebook or my internet provider to have logs of everything I do in my home!

I am a long way off from being able to do these things. There are many issues I must still find an easy to use solution for. For example, how to fire-proof the Pi. How to back up the data without making the data insecure.

The solution to these problems will not come easy. But that is what the Pi is really good at. I can take my time solving them in my spare time and I can make many mistakes along the way. The Raspberry Pi after all costs only US $25!