Fast, quiet server consuming 32W

In a previous post I wrote about a new server I was building; well, it’s finished and in use for a couple of weeks now; only some minor issues like some scheduled tasks that need some fine tuning, that’s all. It’s working great and it’s very quiet – so quiet, that I suddenly feel the need of playing music in the background, just to avoid the ‘complete silence‘ I’m experiencing now 🙂

After moving all the VM’s to this new i3 server, power usage went up from 28W to an average of 37W; power usage became more jumpy but with the power monitor I use, I can also monitor the average power usage, so the 37W mentioned must be quite accurate.

After the PicoPSU arrived and was installed, the power usage dropped to 32W; that’s 5W less (and almost 14% reduction!) compared to the 80+ BRONZE PSU I already used in this server before the PicoPSU.  I must say that it still looks a bit odd to me, seeing a jack plug coming out of the rear of the case…

Hello Android

Something new to explore! 🙂

Yesterday I got my new Android cell phone, after waiting for it for 6 weeks.  It’s bigger, faster, loaded with apps and gadgets, widgets and stuff. Why Android? Cause the last 2 years I’ve been walking around with a Windows mobile and I was very disappointed about it; it never did what I wanted it to do: irresponsive to buttons, very very slow, this phone had all the features I hated so much that I already decided that my next phone would be something completely different; no more Windows for me. Actually it was a disgrace for the mobile phone industry – it should never have been sold!

Symbian seems to be a dead end, so that’s a no-go as well. Android or Apple were left, and Android won. Both will certainly have their own pro’s and con’s, but for me the most important thing (and which made me decide for Android) was the more ‘open’ character of the Android platform; I want to be able to run my own software on my phone and not be forced to use some App Store or jailbreak it to use it the way I want it. With this Android phone, I can use a tool provided by the hardware manufacturer to install an App, or put the App on my webserver and download it from there. Sounds more customer friendly to me – well, for a customer like me, it certainly does.

Picking Android as OS for my new phone means I’ll have to learn Java…although I’ve never done anything with Java before, I hope I’ll be able to learn the basics in a not-too-long timespan, so I can start writing my own Apps.

My ultimate goal is to create my own GPS logger, so that all the other family members at home will know where I am. Yeah, my daughter and son will also get an Android phone some day, if I succeed 🙂

And I would also like to have a nice interface to my Home Automation system of course, but I’m still not sure whether that one will be web based or not – since I’ve also got a iPod Touch, and I would like to keep the number of user interfaces to a minimum.

For now, I will try to find and read some good documentation about developing in Java, about the Android API, etc…; I think that will get me through the next week!


A perfect fit for the Mantis

A few weeks ago I received a package from Robin, someone I met on Domoticaforum Europe a few years ago, and who’s well known for his design skills. For example, in 2009 he helped me by designing the tickets for a very important soccer game for ‘our’ soccer club:

This would have taken me weeks to create, if I would ever succeed.. Robin finished it within the hour; at least, that’s how I experienced it 😉

And if you ever need a button for a touchscreen, iPad or whatever, Robin is the one to ask for help 🙂

Robin also attended the Arduino workshop and was very interested in the Mantis workshop I attended last year. Now this package he sent to me, contained a few sheets of wood and perspex. I knew a package would arrive, a few hints were already given by email and I knew that Robin was working on his own Mantis, so I had some idea what it was – a dust cover for the Mantis!








Wonderful, just what I needed. Lack of time and all kinds of other problems prevented me from working on/with the Mantis this year, but this beautiful gift will surely contribute to picking up the Mantis project again. Thanks Robin! I owe you one 🙂