Thursday 20 March 2014

Found a use for my Raspberry Pi

The Raspberry Pi is brilliant, awesome and in all ways cool. Like many geeks, nerds and other awesome dudes I grabbed one as soon as I could.
Like many geeks, nerds and other awesome dudes I soon discovered that I didn't need to actually use it for, well, anything. It's mostly sat uncherrished on the side for the last couple of years.
I tried. I really did.
I set up a desktop and didn't use it (because I had a decent PC and a better Mac).
I thought I'd (re)learn how to program on it (see above)
I set up RaspBMC... but didn't use it because I already had a more powerful box running pure XBMC hooked up to my TV. I've replaced that with Plex and a couple of Rokus as it happens.

I've finally found something to do with it!

I got fibre broadband recently. It's only fibre to the cabinet, but since I can see the cabinet from my house it's >70mb and OH BOY IS IT FAST! Getting it showed me something really clearly though: it used to take a second or so to load up a webpage and after fibre it started taking about .6 seconds to do the same. Which was better... but it got me thinking about why a 10 x faster connection only added a .5 x increase in page load speed.

It was because the first 400 - 500 ms of the page load was  taken up by DNS working out where to take me.

That's like a gazillion in dog years.

Pi is now a caching DNS server, so it speeds up every client on the network and forwards unknowns to first my ISP and second to google public DNS.

That's not the cool thing though which is why I'm not detailing is (google for BIND and webmin). The cool thing is that I'm powering it from the USB socket on my router, and that is what is making me smile.

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