Blog

All blog posts by James A. Chambers — focused on technology, hardware, SBC / Microboards, programming, scripting, gaming, and others!

Raspberry Pi Storage Benchmarks 2019 + Benchmarking Script

Pi Benchmark 2019 Contenders

Storage options continue to advance at a very fast pace. We’ve seen a lot of changes in the past couple of years with viable storage options for your Pi. Solid state drives are now so cheap that it can be cheaper to outfit your Pi with a SSD than buy a MicroSD card! MicroSD cards also continue to evolve with the new “Application Class” A1 and A2 certifications.

This year I wanted to do something more than just benchmark my ever-growing pile of MicroSD cards and solid state drives. Although I have a wide variety of storage to test I don’t have everything! So this time I created a benchmark that gives you a easy to compare score and anonymously submits the storage specifications and the results to this site.

Running the benchmark is a one-liner:
curl https://raw.githubusercontent.com/TheRemote/PiBenchmarks/master/Storage.sh | sudo bash

Kali Linux P4wnP1 ALOA Guide – Setup / Usage / Examples

P4wnP1 Kali Linux

P4wnP1 A.L.O.A. is a tool for the Raspberry Pi Zero W that allows you to plug a Pi into a host computer and send remote commands and share networking with a host computer all without any user interaction. A.L.O.A. stands for “A Little Offensive Appliance”.

There’s practically no defense to this type of attack other than physically securing your USB ports. Let’s jump right in!

Raspberry Pi 4 Ubuntu Server 18.04.3 Installation Guide

Ubuntu Server logo

Ubuntu Server has been my favorite Linux distribution for years. On everything but the Raspberry Pi I run Ubuntu Server but felt stuck with Raspbian on the Pi. Until now!

The Raspberry Pi 4 is now supported. Previously Ubuntu Server for Pi (like many other distros) had broken or completely missing drivers for core components such as WiFi / Bluetooth. In the 18.04.2 update the firmware for the WiFi and other components is now included out of the box making it a fully functional distribution!

Raspberry Pi Minecraft Server Script w/ Startup Service 1.14.4

Minecraft Update Aquatic

Based on the comments and feedback from my older guides I have added many requested features and fixes. It has changed so much since 1.12’s World of Color that my old guide is now obsolete and it’s time for the 1.13 Aquatic era update!

This script and guide are written to help you get a great performing Raspberry Pi Minecraft server up and running in only a few minutes.

Raspberry Pi 3B+ MicroSD / SSD Speed Benchmarks

The contenders for the RPI storage benchmarks

After publishing my Raspberry Pi Minecraft Server tutorial I got some feedback on Reddit to try using a USB SSD for storage.  I expected some marginal improvement but nothing spectacular due to the USB 2.0 bus data rates.  In fact the results were so spectacular that I’m changing my storage recommendations entirely.  Let the games begin!

Raspberry Pi Minecraft Server 1.13.2 / 1.14.4 Installation Script / Optimization Guide

Raspberry Pi Minecraft Server Timings

Many things have changed since I wrote my last Raspberry Pi Minecraft Server guide.  OpenJDK is now the better supported Java for Raspberry Pi and Oracle is discontinuing support for Java 8 in January 2019.  Java 9 is out and Java 10 is soon to follow.  The Raspberry Pi 3B+ has also arrived!  After testing the server on the new 3B+ using Java 9 I was blown away by the performance and decided to write an updated guide and a script that will have you up and running in minutes.

To give you a taste of how smooth the timings are in Java 9 OpenJDK headless using the Paper Spigot Minecraft Server here is a nearly 2 hour session I played with my girlfriend.  This was played in survival mode on a brand new server so no blocks had been pregenerated and no settings were modified from the defaults.  Nothing is overclocked except the SD card.  There was even a village right by the spawn so many entities were in use.  Here’s the timings output report:

Raspberry Pi Minecraft Server Timings

Turn Old mSATA SSDs To Fast USB 3.0 Flash Drives

Since the M.2 NVME form factor has won the high performance solid state drive war many of you may be stuck with older micro SATA (mSATA) drives.  These still have a very awesome use that will only cost you $10 to take advantage and have a blistering USB stick instead of throw them away!

These are full blown SSDs and their performance blows a regular USB flash drive out of the water.  They support the trim command and show up as “fixed disks” instead or removable storage.  This means they support cache write optimizations that normal USB removable drives don’t.  This allows you to do all sorts of awesome things on them.  Some examples:  Windows to Go, Fast Portable Linux, Virtual Machine storage, etc.  You can also just use it as a really fast drive to transfer files back and forth with your friends while looking like a total techie badass.
Looking down the barrel of the mSATA drive
View of the top of the drive

ServiceNow Automation Using Chrome Extension

I am releasing my Google Chrome extension with tools to automate many ServiceNow ticket tasks.  It is a easily extendable extension in which you can autopopulate and autoroute tickets, automatically refresh your queues, play a sound when a new chat comes in, present hints and tips to agents, and many other features.

Every ServiceNow implementation is different so don’t expect to be able to drop this extension right in. To use it will require modifications specific to your implementation of ServiceNow.  If you understand basic Javascript you should be able to make use of this.  No APIs are used other than what is available in ServiceNow itself.

This tool was developed using the Chrome Developer Tools (Ctrl+Shift+I) to get fields and ids you will need to make the tool work. I do not recommend even attempting to use this unless you are a fairly experienced web developer.

All code is available at my GitHub link at the very top of this web site or click here