Let’s get the good stuff out of the way above the fold. Raspberry Pi 2 is now on sale for $35 (the same price as the existing Model B+), featuring:
A 900MHz quad-core ARM Cortex-A7 CPU (~6x performance)
1GB LPDDR2 SDRAM (2x memory)
Complete compatibility with Raspberry Pi 1
Because it has an ARMv7 processor, it can run the full range of ARM GNU/Linux distributions, including Snappy Ubuntu Core, as well as Microsoft Windows 10.
Probably not, unless you live close to a very active airport – I run dump1090-mobility and PiAware on an early 256mb model B (overclocked to 900 MHz), and it runs just fine. I’ve stripped down the system image and thrown out all the desktop stuff, Apache2 and a lot more, and cut video memory back to 16mb to provide as much of that 256mb to applications.
(Historical note – I spent a number of years at Digital Equipment Corporation. We developed the first few versions of the VAX/VMS operating system on an 11/780 with a mighty TWO megabytes of memory! And that machine supported most of the software development team doing timesharing and supporting multiple batch streams! Disk storage was a few hundred megabytes.)
As an aside, you’re going to beat my stats for today, maybe… I upgraded storage on my server and it wasn’t as smooth as I wanted it to be, then I had to (unrelated reasons I am sure) blow out the VM and reload it. Maybe I should make a backup this time? haha!