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My computer runs on SUNLIGHT!
#1
I am new to Linux so I thought I would write about my experience after a month. I Built a new computer that runs on a short sip of power just a few watts. It's a tiny Asrock J5040itx motherboard that has a Pentium Silver 5040 CPU and integrated Intel graphics and built in audio. The audio was very important to me and this motherboard has an optical SPDIF audio output that makes my 500 watt 5.1 channel system sound wonderful. The board is designed to run M$ (argh) windoze but I had no problems running Ubuntu or Linux Mint 20.0 and 20.1. It is stable and easy to use and I have to say I love this tiny computer. The whole system runs off of my solar energy system and is powered completely off grid. The voltage ranges from just over 11 volts to 15 volts as the batteries charge during the day and the system is ROCK SOLID. I even call the computer SolarSystem. It uses a special DC to DC power supply that handles a wide voltage input. The system has a 1 TB SSD boot drive and a 2 TB spinning disk for storage. The 17 inch portable monitor runs off of the USB 3.2 port and HDMI for signal. The last computer before this one was a huge water cooled i7 CPU with dual Nvidia graphics (also water cooled) and the whole thing weighed almost 70 pounds. I like this new tiny computer much better than the huge M$ system. I've been running windoze since Win95 and I never liked windows. I love Linux! I couldn't be happier. It all goes to prove that you don't need to have grid power and make lots of heat with M$ software to have truly great computer. If anyone would like some help setting up their own super low power computer I'd be happy to help. The Asrock j5040itx motherboard runs Linux (ubuntu and Mint) just fine and all of the hardware works perfectly. Probably needless to say I borked the Mint 20.0 setup (playing with particians) so I installed a clean Mint 20.1.
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#2
That sounds like a fun project.  It's funny to read the contrast between your new low wattage system build and your 500 watt audio set up.

Did you max the RAM for that board / chip?  What is the make / model of the portable monitor?

I've been exercising self control not to buy a couple of raspberry Pis to play around with low wattage builds, set up a retro gaming box, etc...  I originally didn't want to make more e-waste, when I can just rescue yet another abandoned laptop, but the low wattage and increased RAM offerings is making it harder to keep talking myself out of playing with a new Pi.

Plus, the Raspberry Pi 400 is just so appealing to the kid in me — I'm sure a lot of you remember the Commodore 64.  If they ever offer an 8GB version of the 400, I won't be able to keep putting off buying one.

https://www.raspberrypi.org/products/raspberry-pi-400/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hn8oFBl4mTA

Enjoy your new system!
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#3
I totally agree with the Pi idea. I considered the Pi but I have special requirements because I wanted something to drive my audio system. I think running Linux on a Raspberry Pi is a great idea. You could use a tiny cell phone battery and run the thing all day. The new all in one Pi built into a keyboard must sell like hotcakes. If you actually do build a Pi system I'd love to hear about your experience with it.

By the way the sound system is only usable on sunny days and I don't play music through it every day anyway. The View Sonic monitor has audio via the HDMI signal and has two tiny built in speakers. That is what I use 80 percent of the time for audio. I actually live off grid so my old M$ system with the i7 cpu is not really usable. It requires an inverter to supply 120 volt AC and inverters are notoriously inefficient so they start to drop the battery voltage as soon as I turn them on. I was basically unable to use the big computer as long as I live off grid, but I'm determined to not have an electric bill. Maintaining a water cooled system is a pain in the neck too. I had it overclocked to 5+ GHz and it was very stable. It's a very nice computer but I have to admit I don't miss it at all. I am so glad I didn't install windoze on this new computer. Once I got to actually use Linux I realized how superior it is to other commercial OS's. I'm and old 8 bit assembly language programmer so the terminal doesn't bother me at all. It's on;y been a month but so far I have no complaints about Linux. I'd pay for it if I had to, but I'm glad I don't have to.

I did max out the ram. I have 8 gig of ram (4*2 dual channel ) which the spec for the CPU says is the most supported. 8 gig seems to be plenty for my machine. I've never noticed any "bottlenecking" due to running out of available ram.

It's funny that you mentioned rescuing old laptops. I have several that are very rescue-able but they all draw too much power. I have a very nice laptop that even has an i7 CPU and 1080p display but the thing draws over 10 amps from the 12 volt battery and of course requires 120 volt AC from an inverter to run. It has win7 but I'm sure I could easily install Linux on it. It's very nice to have a computer that runs on the native 12 volts of my solar power system. Solar definitely imposes constraints. All of my lights run on 12 volts and my Ham Radio transceiver also runs directly off of the solar system. The best part is when the storm or some other event kills the power in my neighborhood every house is dark except mine and I have loud music going while everyone else is trying to see by candle light. Grin!

Good luck with your Raspberry Pi.
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#4
(02-12-2021, 09:13 PM)k8idx Wrote: ...The best part is when the storm or some other event kills the power in my neighborhood every house is dark except mine and I have loud music going while everyone else is trying to see by candle light. Grin!...

I'm glad you're not my neighbor. You should be glad, too, because loud music will have the local gendarmes knocking at your door where I live.
Jeannie

One has to be proactive, not reactive, to ensure the safety of one's data so backup your data! And RAID is NOT a backup!
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#5
(02-13-2021, 01:26 AM)That\s terrible! I feel sorry for you. Life without music is like spring without flowers. Actually my house was built in 1935 and the wood is the hardest wood I've ever seen. You can't drive a nail into it. Anyway I can have my 500 watt system cranked up and you can barely hear it outside. If it bothered my neighbors I would still play music. I guess if I had it turned up very loud at 3 in the morning I might attract some attention. BUT... I'm a music lover. No one has ever complained, but I live in a free country Alabama


.Lady Fitzgerald Wrote:
(02-12-2021, 09:13 PM)k8idx Wrote: ...The best part is when the storm or some other event kills the power in my neighborhood every house is dark except mine and I have loud music going while everyone else is trying to see by candle light. Grin!...

I'm glad you're not my neighbor. You should be glad, too, because loud music will have the local gendarmes knocking at your door where I live.
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#6
(02-13-2021, 04:47 AM)k8idx Wrote: [...] If it bothered my neighbors I would still play music. I guess if I had it turned up very loud at 3 in the morning I might attract some attention. BUT... I'm a music lover. No one has ever complained, but I live in a free country Alabama

This is off-topic, but not disturbing people with overly loud music is common courtesy. I am a music lover myself and I do like to turn it up. But seriously, how do you think society would work if everyone only cared about themselves like that? Not at all. Respect your neighbours if you want to be respected yourself. You are not independent of the people around you, no matter how much you do your own thing. And isolating yourself from others will not bring you happiness in the long run.
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#7
(02-13-2021, 04:47 AM)k8idx Wrote:
(02-13-2021, 01:26 AM)That\s terrible! I feel sorry for you. Life without music is like spring without flowers. Actually my house was built in 1935 and the wood is the hardest wood I Wrote:
(02-12-2021, 09:13 PM)k8idx Wrote: ...The best part is when the storm or some other event kills the power in my neighborhood every house is dark except mine and I have loud music going while everyone else is trying to see by candle light. Grin!...

I'm glad you're not my neighbor. You should be glad, too, because loud music will have the local gendarmes knocking at your door where I live.

You should have lead with that you live in a soundproof house; that would have been a completely different story. But then you just had to say you would still play the music loud, even if it bothered the neighbors, and add the "If it bothered my neighbors I would still play music. I guess if I had it turned up very loud at 3 in the morning I might attract some attention. BUT... I'm a music lover. No one has ever complained, but I live in a free country Alabama" crack.

Leon P's response pretty much sums it up but you need to also keep in mind that your rights end at the point they infringe on the rights of others. Many jurisdictions have enacted anti-noise ordinances (among others) because of people who selfishly have no regard for the rights of others and only care for themselves.

I don't know why you feel sorry for me. I'm a music lover. I have music playing in my home most of the day and into the night. My neighbors will never know it, despite living in a home that has thin walls, because I have the decency to keep the volume turned down to a comfortable level because I respect the rights of others (not to mention I don't want to damage my ears with loud music). You are the one to be pitied (although not by me) because, someday, your selfishness is going to come back and bite you where you sit.
Jeannie

One has to be proactive, not reactive, to ensure the safety of one's data so backup your data! And RAID is NOT a backup!
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#8
(02-13-2021, 03:32 PM)This was a post about A NEW COMPUTER RUNNING LINUX, but you have turned it into something totally different. Do you have even the slightest idea of how crazy you are? I\m done with this. If you want to make this into a rant about how virtuous you are leave me out of it. Frankly, I don't believe a word of it. Bye....Lady Fitzgerald Wrote:
(02-13-2021, 04:47 AM)k8idx Wrote:
(02-13-2021, 01:26 AM)That\s terrible! I feel sorry for you. Life without music is like spring without flowers. Actually my house was built in 1935 and the wood is the hardest wood I Wrote:
(02-12-2021, 09:13 PM)k8idx Wrote: ...The best part is when the storm or some other event kills the power in my neighborhood every house is dark except mine and I have loud music going while everyone else is trying to see by candle light. Grin!...

I'm glad you're not my neighbor. You should be glad, too, because loud music will have the local gendarmes knocking at your door where I live.

You should have lead with that you live in a soundproof house; that would have been a completely different story. But then you just had to say you would still play the music loud, even if it bothered the neighbors, and add the "If it bothered my neighbors I would still play music. I guess if I had it turned up very loud at 3 in the morning I might attract some attention. BUT... I'm a music lover. No one has ever complained, but I live in a free country Alabama" crack.

Leon P's response pretty much sums it up but you need to also keep in mind that your rights end at the point they infringe on the rights of others. Many jurisdictions have enacted anti-noise ordinances (among others) because of people who selfishly have no regard for the rights of others and only care for themselves.

I don't know why you feel sorry for me. I'm a music lover. I have music playing in my home most of the day and into the night. My neighbors will never know it, despite living in a home that has thin walls, because I have the decency to keep the volume turned down to a comfortable level because I respect the rights of others (not to mention I don't want to damage my ears with loud music). You are the one to be pitied (although not by me) because, someday, your selfishness is going to come back and bite you where you sit.
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#9
Wow! Resorting to calling me crazy and a liar instead presenting logical arguments to support your beliefs? How mature of you.
Jeannie

One has to be proactive, not reactive, to ensure the safety of one's data so backup your data! And RAID is NOT a backup!
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#10
Well, that devolved quickly.

Couldn't we all strive for more politeness and tolerance on this board, and the world at large?

Of course we won't agree on everything, but can't we express ourselves respectfully?

That goes both ways.  I'm not perfect.  I've fallen short of the golden rule plenty of times in life and will, no doubt, fail to meet my own best expectations of myself plenty of times in the future.  But on my worst days, I hope I'll not only remember to treat people in person with politeness, tolerance, and kindness, but to remember that behind every username (bots aside) is a fellow human being with feelings.

And because this is the internet, I'll explicitly state that, no, I'm not saying that every belief, behavior, or opinion is equally valid, or that everyone who behaves badly commands undue respect.  I'm just saying, isn't there a basic level of decorum on here, and in the world at large, to which we could strive?  And in these tough times, don't we deserve to treat one another better now more than ever?

Best wishes,
Eurus
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