Lockdown fiddling

From: ANT_THOMAS13 Apr 2020 12:22
To: william (WILLIAMA) 10 of 76
I was going to mention power consumption as Drew did, but was thinking it would have the result you've shown. Equipment cost being higher than power saving. I'd say your laptop figure is a bit high on power too, but I may have done my maths wrong.

And if we're thinking environmental about these things it is surely better to reuse than buy more equipment.

Also, depending on how you'd be running the SBCs, if they're off an SD card, the laptop will likely perform better being off a HDD or SSD.

I keep considering going down a low power route of some sort to rebuild my storage/server setup, but my current server has lots of stuff running on it that I just can't remember how to config it all again. I used to enjoy the prospect of a fresh build and configing all that, now I just hate the idea of it. But, I would like to simplify it all. It just feels like such a time consuming job to effectively just get to where I am now.

I do have a HP Chromebox which would be a good option, though the CPU is maybe a bit weak (Intel Celeron 2955U), otherwise it is 4GB RAM, 16GB SSD (easily upgradeable, but should just be enough for OS), Gigabit ethernet and 4xUSB3.0 ports. Was previously being used as a media center for around 5 years running LibreElec, but now I've got an more modern Android TV box (S905X3 based) running CoreElec (Amlogic branch of LibreElec) that supports 4K stuff after I bought a 4K telly a few months ago.

But can I be arsed? Probably not at the moment.
From: ANT_THOMAS13 Apr 2020 13:44
To: ALL11 of 76
I'm now down an Unraid, Freenas, MergerFS + Snapraid rabbit hole. I should be working.
From: Lucy (X3N0PH0N)13 Apr 2020 13:46
To: william (WILLIAMA) 12 of 76
Hmm. Given that the Pi and the Toshiba would be about even in terms of cost after the second year and the Pi has 2 x USB 3 a gigabit port I just realised, eliminating the problem of things potentially fighting with each other, I think I'd go for the Pi.

But that's not what you asked so I'll shut up.
EDITED: 13 Apr 2020 13:49 by X3N0PH0N
From: william (WILLIAMA)13 Apr 2020 13:46
To: ANT_THOMAS 13 of 76
I think the laptop figure is a bit high as well. It comes down to the fact that it's based on all the TDPs I could find for individual parts - which are misleading. 

As for actually doing something with the bits and pieces I've got - not sure I can be bothered although I would like a way of backing up Mrs WmA's laptop better than at present. She's got all kinds of work and research stuff plus she makes clothes and knits so there are loads of patterns etc. At the moment I've got it set up with Windows File History writing to a backup drive on the PC that houses my Plex server. That works well, especially since she doesn't like leaving the laptop on overnight and it all happens without her even noticing. The problem is that her backup folder is now over 200GB even with regular purging (which is a pain on such a large folder) and quite minimal settings on how often changes are copied. I also suspect that at some point File History might disappear from Windows 10. Apparently there's no more development or fixes on it and OneDrive is the current MS recommendation.

I know people don't like File History. It's true that it feels like a feature MS never finished and it can be a real PITA when it suddenly can't find the backup drive for instance; but when it's set up right I think it's great. When my wife got her last laptop, it was so easy to just get everything back as she wanted. It's an app crying out for just a bit more work, which I suppose will never happen now.

From: CHYRON (DSMITHHFX)13 Apr 2020 14:02
To: ANT_THOMAS 14 of 76
Jim has only rated my worth @ 7/10.
From: william (WILLIAMA)13 Apr 2020 14:17
Why rely on Jim? Just download the Windows 10 iso from MS and use the Windows 7 key to activate it. If the key will activate Windows 7 then it will activate 10.
From: william (WILLIAMA)13 Apr 2020 17:10
To: Lucy (X3N0PH0N) 16 of 76
I like the Pi 4 as well. And the mathematics does make sense. 

There's a 4 x SATA pi hat for the Pi 4 that uses the USB 3.0 bus, but I'm not sure of the wisdom of putting a circuit board immediately above the SoC, even with a fan fitted. If I went with the Pi 4 I'd still need to plug the drives into a powered hub, but the gigabit ethernet would definitely reduce contention.
From: william (WILLIAMA)13 Apr 2020 18:38
To: Lucy (X3N0PH0N) 17 of 76
And after a bit of searching for better prices, it looks a lot more reasonable at £90 up front. 

There - you've talked me into it. I believe 'silver-tongued' is the epithet.
From: CHYRON (DSMITHHFX)13 Apr 2020 21:47
To: william (WILLIAMA) 18 of 76
I'm improbably forumming from my spanking new Jimbowin on a ca. 2008 K9mm-v muvverboard with working ATI gigabyte video driver for the saphire hd4650 agp (AMD don't even do this shit no more) in 1920x1080 res., working Asus DG audio card (which does have official drivers). Steam discovering games I installed under xp now... Harrumph.  LOL
From: Lucy (X3N0PH0N)14 Apr 2020 06:05
To: william (WILLIAMA) 19 of 76
I eagerly await my commission.

The SATA hat is something that's probably worth getting later if you feel the need rather than starting off with. I can't see the USB 3 being a limiting factor with the kinda use you describe (especially if the drives are spinning?). All a total guess of course.

From: Lucy (X3N0PH0N)14 Apr 2020 06:05
To: william (WILLIAMA) 20 of 76
Of course, this doesn't solve the problem of "I've got an old laptop and I really want to do something useful with it."
From: Lucy (X3N0PH0N)14 Apr 2020 07:35
To: ANT_THOMAS 21 of 76
but my current server has lots of stuff running on it that I just can't remember how to config it all again

My (Pi2 based) lofi NAS thing (I say lofi cos I just mount the drives via NFS, it doesn't do anything fancy) suffered a power cut during an update once and spits out errors *constantly*. I did one software update after that that just failed horrendously and took hours to fix (largely just by deleting and/or manually replacing anything it complained about).

It's completely broken. But it also works. All the stuff I use it for still somehow works. So I'm terrified to touch it.

At some point I'm going to have to replace it but, like you say, I can't remember how I set up most of what it does. Not looking forward to it.

From: william (WILLIAMA)14 Apr 2020 07:36
To: Lucy (X3N0PH0N) 22 of 76
I know somebody who wants a laptop but can't afford one so as the Toshiba is running nicely now I can see a home for it which will be a more satisfying use than sticking it back with all my ISA cards, IDE cables, motherboard stand-offs and ancient memory modules in the attic.
From: Lucy (X3N0PH0N)14 Apr 2020 07:39
To: william (WILLIAMA) 23 of 76
Ahh, that's perfect then :)
From: koswix14 Apr 2020 08:13
To: william (WILLIAMA) 24 of 76
Does the Pi4 still use the same bus for ethernet and USB?

My glorious £30 ebay server died a few months ago and I need to replace it with something (file server, plex server, nothing much else). Pi4 may be the answer if it works well.
From: Lucy (X3N0PH0N)14 Apr 2020 08:49
To: koswix 25 of 76
No, they're on separate buses with the Pi4.

From: ANT_THOMAS14 Apr 2020 11:37
To: Lucy (X3N0PH0N) 26 of 76
I had to update my server a few months back as it was running 14.04 LTS which was end of life. Did a do-release-upgrade to push it to 16.04 LTS, fair to say that's a few hours/days of my life I won't be getting back fixing everything it broke.

Including my mysql db, which it somehow corrupted when upgrading, or there was a HDD issue which caused it to fall over. I managed a partial (nearly full) recovery which I was glad of. This thing mainly holds my home automation temperature data, nothing actually valuable, but would have been very annoying to lose it all.

Got it all back up and running, reinstalled phpmyadmin, mistakenly left it open to the outside world and a couple of weeks later someone "hacked" it and dropped the DB leaving a message in the DB to send them some bitcoins :'D

Restored that original partial backup, locked it down, now it runs a nightly backup. Amusing lesson. I've actually left the message in the DB to remind me each time I use phpmyadmin.
From: Lucy (X3N0PH0N)14 Apr 2020 11:52
To: ANT_THOMAS 27 of 76
Heh, wow that's harsh.

From: william (WILLIAMA)14 Apr 2020 13:29
To: ANT_THOMAS 28 of 76
Hah! That reminds me of upgrading my OwnCloud server with a casual disregard for the upgrade notes, chief of which was the advice that it was essential to upgrade PHP first. That was a balls up and the fun began when I was picking through the wreckage and discovered that to upgrade PHP I needed to upgrade my Raspbian and that anyway, there wasn't a compatible version of PHP in the OwnCloud repository. Oh how I laughed at the prospect of rebuilding all those fiddly bits that I'd forgotten how to do. Delighted to find that the Raspbian upgrade was smooth as silk and I managed to find a version of PHP that went on with a bit of wiggling. Even more delighted that the Owncloud upgrade simply "resumed" where it left off as though nothing had gone wrong.

Didn't get hacked although it's amazing how many port scans turn up in the logs.
From: william (WILLIAMA)14 Apr 2020 13:49
To: koswix 29 of 76
My son runs Plex from a Pi 4 now. Works fine, even transcoding on the fly so he can watch stuff on his phone over t'internet. You probably know that the Pi 4 runs very hot, so it's definitely worth getting a decent active cooler . He's got one of these and the Pi seldom goes over 50C even flat out.

This bloke is doing the Pi 4 for £10 less than most places right now and if you're interested in auctions, there's a couple on ebay right now.
EDITED: 14 Apr 2020 13:50 by WILLIAMA