Author Topic: Low Cost Computer for Your Workshop  (Read 641 times)

Offline RichColvin

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Low Cost Computer for Your Workshop
« on: May 21, 2019, 04:04:51 am »
I am finding more and more that I need a computer in my workshop.  And, I'm finding that I really need it to jump onto the Internet to look up stuff.

Recently, there became available a very good, low cost option.  It uses :
  • a Raspberry Pi, with
  • Ubuntu MATE as the operating system.
Really fast performance, and cost me less than $100.

This can seem daunting to setup if you have never done it, so I've compiled the directions for you.  It is at :


Good luck.

Kind regards,
Rich
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Rich Colvin
www.SharpeningHandbook.info - a reference guide for sharpening
www.OTBoK.info - help those getting started in ornamental turning -- to make that journey easier.

You are born weak & frail, and you die weak & frail.  What you do between those is up to you.

Offline Twisted Trees

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Re: Low Cost Computer for Your Workshop
« Reply #1 on: May 21, 2019, 12:34:03 pm »
Not sure I would want a computer in the workshop, I have mine positioned in the house near the coffee machine and check it when getting coffee, so quite often.

However if I was to take computer out to the workshop, I think I would just go with an android tablet or ipad, slim and easy to mount on the wall, has a camera built in so you can take photo's of your work as well as use the internet, and not many places where dust will cause problems. Also one of the main reasons these end up in the second hand stores is battery problems, if it's in the workshop you will want the charger lead plugged in as it is one of the holes dust can get into, so no problem  :)


Offline jeffs55

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Re: Low Cost Computer for Your Workshop
« Reply #2 on: May 21, 2019, 02:30:42 pm »
I don't have a computer in my workshop. I would need to get a workshop first but if I did and used a tablet, I would put it in a large resealable plastic bag. Depending on the size of your tablet or laptop, you might have to go up in size to the clothes storage size. This would nearly 'bout eliminate the dust problem as well as moisture.
You can use less of more but you cannot make more of less.

Offline john.jcb

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Re: Low Cost Computer for Your Workshop
« Reply #3 on: May 21, 2019, 03:50:43 pm »
I use my iPad Pro when for accessing the Internet and running software for the Tormek in my workshop. It is in a case for protection and I leave it at the edge of my work area. Not a cheap solution but it has worked for me. I also like to have it in the kitchen for recipes and videos. My favorite use is to sit out on the deck on a warm day and watch a movie or two while smoking ribs and enjoying a beverage.

Offline van

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Re: Low Cost Computer for Your Workshop
« Reply #4 on: May 21, 2019, 04:43:51 pm »
Good morning,
in my cramped box / laboratory I tried everything, the computer takes too much sweep and is a source of concern among dust, sparks and so on. The mobile even if comfortable, with a good camera does not have a good visibility for the various applications to be consulted. The top is, in my humble opinion, use a tablet, excellent vision, easy to transport and store, good autonomy even without connection to the electricity network and can use almost all the programs installed on computers.
Good vision  :)
Kindly yours

Offline Dutchman

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Re: Low Cost Computer for Your Workshop
« Reply #5 on: May 22, 2019, 10:10:01 am »

Recently, there became available a very good, low cost option.  It uses :
  • a Raspberry Pi, with
  • Ubuntu MATE as the operating system.
Really fast performance, and cost me less than $100.
Thank you for this proposal.
Other suggestions apparently missed the price point.

Offline Twisted Trees

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Re: Low Cost Computer for Your Workshop
« Reply #6 on: May 22, 2019, 10:33:52 am »

Recently, there became available a very good, low cost option.  It uses :
  • a Raspberry Pi, with
  • Ubuntu MATE as the operating system.
Really fast performance, and cost me less than $100.
Thank you for this proposal.
Other suggestions apparently missed the price point.

Sorry, price point, second hand 10.1" unbranded Android tablet as listed today £4 or $4.99 and no need to buy / own monitor keyboard or mouse  ;)
« Last Edit: May 22, 2019, 10:41:24 am by Twisted Trees »

Offline Ken S

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Re: Low Cost Computer for Your Workshop
« Reply #7 on: May 23, 2019, 11:58:47 am »
Rich,

I have helped my grandson with several Raspberry Pi projects. I think the five dollar US Raspberry Pi is totally amazing. The real limits seem to be the user's imagination.

If I had your extensive computer background, I might need a computer in my shop. Presently, my main use of my computer for sharpening related things is to occasionally consult the Knife Grinders applet. Since I have standardized my settings for almost all the knives I sharpen, I rarely need to do this. The kenjig suffices for the majority of my 15° degree double, 133mm jig projection sharpening. When I need something more than the kenjig and Dutchman's tables, I am grateful for Vadim's applet. I expect to use this applet more as I become more adept with burr removal.

I would guess that half the trips I make to my basement workshop are to retrieve my forgotten coffee mug or ipad. Maybe I should look into better memory or an inexpensive basement computer. :)

Ken

Offline RichColvin

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Re: Low Cost Computer for Your Workshop
« Reply #8 on: May 23, 2019, 02:24:18 pm »
I used to use a tablet in my workshop, but I found two limiting factors :
  • when my hands are dirty / greasy, it didn’t work well, and
  • I was always afraid I’d drop it.

That is what got me exploring this approach.  So, if you find it may be useful, you should try it.  It is a very low-cost way to access Internet-based information.

Kind regards,
Rich
---------------------------
Rich Colvin
www.SharpeningHandbook.info - a reference guide for sharpening
www.OTBoK.info - help those getting started in ornamental turning -- to make that journey easier.

You are born weak & frail, and you die weak & frail.  What you do between those is up to you.

Offline Twisted Trees

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Re: Low Cost Computer for Your Workshop
« Reply #9 on: May 23, 2019, 05:19:50 pm »
I get where you are coming from Rich, and as a techy geek type I find playing with Raspberry Pi with a Linux install is quite fun.

But ant old TV or Monitor is a relatively high heat source, so is cooled by open vents which is not good in a wood work shop where dust is kind of the point  :D

Make a simple picture frame style bracket you can slide a tablet into fix it to the wall and connect to a 4.8v 2amp power supply via USB and you can't drop it... if your hands are greasy then spend $5 on a bluetooth keyboard charge the battery once a week or so and that problem is solved too.

Only problem left is you then can't have a 48" screen, but sub $100 10" tablets flood the second hand market or you can get this one which is brand new 11.6" for less than the Raspberry Pi alone https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/2F12-MTK6737-Phablet-Competitive-Tablet-Computer-Support-TF-Card-Android-6-0/302984541595?hash=item468b49359b:m:m-CEA4CChjvnaq1a7uelabg

In this use the browser and internet connection are the key functions required so one of the problems may be in getting your Internet connection to the workshop. For this I would recommend a powerline connection as a prime way forward.

However I think I will just keep my computer near to the coffee machine in the kitchen, that way if I need to watch a YouTube video on how to make x joint work, I can enjoy a coffee while watching it  :)