[nSLUG] Backups: dealing with large, growing photo collections (was: Selling Used Computers)

George N. White III gnwiii at gmail.com
Wed Mar 31 19:46:04 ADT 2010

On 3/31/10, D G Teed <donald.teed at gmail.com> wrote:
> On Wed, Mar 31, 2010 at 4:02 PM, Jack Warkentin <jwark at eastlink.ca> wrote:
>> How much power does this system consume? Since it uses an atom processor
>> I assume it is very low, but even then, with it on all the time (as I
>> assume it must be from the uses you described) it's power consumption
>> could mount up.
>> Power consumption in non-home computer systems has been a big concern
>> for some time, but not, as far as I know, for the home user. I know I
>> used to leave my computer on for anywhere from 8 to 16 hours per day,
>> but no longer. We all need to reduce our ecological footprints. Maybe we
>> as individuals can afford the cost of electricity to keep our machines
>> on 24/7, *but the earth cannot*.

For years I ran a home "P4 server" 7/24 because I had a number of
local mirrors of
sources to programs so I could download updates, run test builds of
large packages, backups, etc. in the early AM.   With increases in the
number of mirror sites and better
networking I plan to move to "on demand" updates on a core i7 box that can
do builds in a fraction of the time it took on the P4 (which is
missing instructions
used by recent versions of sagemath and others).   My rule of thumb is
don't turn
off the computer when it has work to do!

> There was a thread here when I mentioned my findings back in 2008:
> http://nslug.ns.ca/pipermail/nslug/2008-September/011793.html
> Since then I've also measured a typical low end Dell tower
> with Intel dual core and a single drive and it was hovering
> around 90 watts.

That is consistent with my measurements, but many power bricks used
for USB hubs, external drives, monitors, wireless, etc are power hogs and
consume significant power even when the device is off  -- quick test is to
see if they are warm when in use.

> The first gen Atom boards tended to have failing heatsink fan,
> so I replaced it preemptively.  Also observed a failed built in
> NIC (millions of lost packets) and added a NIC on the only PCI
> slot available - this happened in year two.

I think there will soon be industrial quality Atom based boards
(look for 3-year warranties).   Newegg lists 26 Atom boards!

> I have not heard more about the ultra low power AMD solution
> Tom's Hardware Guide reviewed back in 2008.
> The other take on this list is that some Linux users in NS have cold
> rooms and run their systems there with the benefit of it
> providing them with some heat.

George N. White III <aa056 at chebucto.ns.ca>
Head of St. Margarets Bay, Nova Scotia

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