Learning about ZFS and efficiency on my new Arm64 NAS
29 February 2024 | 4:53 pm

Learning about ZFS and efficiency on my new Arm64 NAS

HL15 with Ampere Altra and ASRock Rack motherboard - NAS fully built

I've been building out a new Arm-based NAS using ASRock Rack's new 'Deep Micro ATX' motherboard for Ampere Altra and Altra Max CPUs.

I posted about the hardware earlier, in Building an efficient server-grade Arm NAS. Go check that out if you want details on the specific hardware in this setup.

But at the end of the build, I installed Rocky Linux, and found the power consumption to be a bit higher than expected—over 150W at idle!

As it turns out, the NAS must've been doing something when I took that initial measurement, because after monitoring it for a few more days, the normal idle power usage was around 123W instead.

Jeff Geerling February 29, 2024

Water cooling is overkill for Pi 5
21 February 2024 | 4:16 pm

Water cooling is overkill for Pi 5

tl;dr: 52Pi and Seeed Studio's water cooling solution for the Raspberry Pi 5 can be fun, and works better than any other solution—but at a steep price, and with a number of annoying quirks.

Ice Pump water cooling block installed on Raspberry Pi 5

A few months ago, 52Pi reached out and asked if they could send a new water cooling kit they were working on for the Raspberry Pi 5. At the time, the hope was we could figure out a way to get very high overclock with adequate cooling.

Unfortunately—for reasons I'll explore more soon—the Pi 5 can't overclock beyond 3.0 GHz (it's not physically possible). Some of why is explained in my blog post Overclocking and Underclocking the Raspberry Pi 5.

But water cooling is still fun, and the product is in production now, so I figured I'd still give it a fair shot, and see if I thought it might be worth buying for certain niche use cases.

Jeff Geerling February 21, 2024

My TODO list is a .txt file on the desktop
20 February 2024 | 3:42 am

My TODO list is a .txt file on the desktop

About six months ago, I finally reached a breaking point: my email-based TODO system stopped working.

It was beyond its breaking point for a few years, actually... ever since I my average daily email volume increase from maybe 5-10 'important' emails to deal with to 50+.

My email-based TODO system used to go like this:

  1. Email myself things I deemed important enough to do the next day
  2. Next morning, when I checked my email, knock off the top item in that list, and try to work down the list a bit
  3. Anything else, forward that email again for the next day

Once an item got maybe 5-10 Fwd:s in the Subject line, I would decide whether to nix the TODO item entirely, or move it off into a Trello board—in either case, likely to be forgotten forever.

I didn't say the system was good.

But it did work, before my inbox became full of actually important stuff relating to running my business.

Jeff Geerling February 19, 2024

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