Entry into low-power computing


As some of you may have known, gerontologist
I am a bit of a FreeBSD enthusiast and have been using it regularly since around the time of the Linux fragmentation/teardrop vulnerability. I have always kept a FreeBSD system running at home so that I could perform various network tasks and automate things. In an effort to conserve power and reduce noise, I have been using my trusty Sony z505sx (pictured above). Recently, I switched to a Jetway MINI-ITX board and have been quite happy. The board runs a 1.2GHz Via C7 Eden processor, is fanless and consumes only a few watts of power while operating. It is loaded with 1GB of ram and a 750GB SATA (also low power) drive to provide ample storage. Since the system has RCA/S-Video out, I added a 5″ LCD screen on the top. So far, the machine performs well running as media/web/ftp/ssh server and is barely audible with no fan attached.

I am manufacturing a custom case for this machine and will post a full writeup once I have a cover that I like, for now, you will have to enjoy the single image below. As far as the z505sx is concerned, I decided to put it on eBay in a preemptive spring cleaning effort and to avoid clutter.


3 thoughts on “Entry into low-power computing

  1. doojsdad

    I always find myself wanting to build a mini-ITX box, but then I stop short when I ask myself what I would use it for. Just one of those things I guess.

    I did a double take when I looked at your photo of it. My brain saw the monitor as a 17″ and I was like wow that’s a large router in the background!

  2. nico Post author

    I have gotten used to having a small server running at home in order to provide online-access to some data and stream videos/audio to my Playstation. This solution worked really well since the system is silent and really low power. I guess you can use it to browse the web and check email as well.

  3. Pingback: μblog: engineering from the trenches » On-demand computation

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