“Happy Planet Index” anyone? Yes!


Statistician Nic Marks asks why we measure a nation’s success by its productivity — instead of by the happiness and well-being of its people. He introduces the Happy Planet Index, which tracks national well-being against resource use (because a happy life doesn’t have to cost the earth). Which countries rank highest in the HPI? You might be surprised.

Which is the greenest; disks or flash?

In his latest blog post, Anything But a Flash in the Pan, Jonathan Schwartz. touches a good point… We have RAM memory for “on the fly” memory and hard drivers to have persistent storage. Yet flash memory could (let me stand corrected; WILL) be used as a middle way option. Put apart the commercial notes (links towards Sun & ZFS), and you’ll probably find it an interesting read like me.

There are only two kinds of storage devices – those that have failed, and those that are about to fail. That’s the view most data centers have about the traditionally mechanical devices pejoratively referred to as “spinning rust.” All disk drives fail, cheap drives fail faster.

How much energy does my HTPC consume?

After check the power usage of my HTPC setup I can conclude that:

  • HTPC : Uses between 71 & 76 watt (3 watt when turned off)
    (100+ watt on bootup when the Cool’n’Quiet isn’t active yet)
  • TV : This on uses ~117 watt when turned on (0 watt when turned off)
  • TUNER : This one uses 5 to 7 watt when turned on, and 3 watt when turned off.

To put it in a nice table for easy comparision:

The HTPC uses about 50% of a normal pc, but it uses 10 times as much as my previous tuner. A CRT (+ speaker) would need the same amount of energy as my current TV, but an LCD would be cheaper (in energy usage).

Thanks to Stijn Bosse for lending me his power (wattage) meter.
Other readings were assumed by the following data.

Green Linux thru CPU Frequency Scaling

Green EnergyBeing “Green” is being helpful towards the environment, but also to your electricity bills… The most commonly used techniques to reduce the power usage of a computer device are :

  • Turning off your monitor/screen/tv when not used.
  • Turning off the hard disks when they aren’t used
  • CPU Frequency Scaling

For the last bit, you’ll have to check if you motherboard/cpu supports this… Most will probably support this, apart from the “really” old. The motherboard (& CPU) of my HTPC (MythTV) is capable of using AMD’s Cool’n’Quiet. I followed the following guide on the Ubuntu Forum, and used the “powersave” algorithm. It reduced my CPU frequency to 1000, where I must admit that I don’t notice anything on my combined MythTV frontend/backend. Next up is measuring the actual power usage, but I need to obtain a measuring device for that… 😉

For an interesting readup on the same topic; check MythTV NZ, ThinkWiki’s How to reduce power consumption, …

Installing Asterisk on a Linksys WRTG

A while back I wrote a small piece about installing OpenWRT on a Linksys WRTG. This part will be focussed on installing Asterisk on your WRTG.


Base Install
First we’ll be installing “OpenWRT” as our base “OS”. We’ll take the latest WhiteRussian for this. The flashing is done, when the progress indicator seems to hang.


root@OpenWrt:/# cd /tmp/
root@OpenWrt:~# wget http://downloads.openwrt.org/whiterussian/0.9/default/openwrt-brcm-2.4-squashfs.trx
Connecting to downloads.openwrt.org[]:80
openwrt-brcm-2.4-squ 100% |***************************************************************************| 1512 KB 00:00 ETA
root@OpenWrt:~# mtd -r write /tmp/openwrt-brcm-2.4-squashfs.trx linux
Unlocking linux …
Writing from /tmp/openwrt-brcm-2.4-squashfs.trx to linux … [w]

Now we’ll connect to our newly installed device, in orde to:

  • Setup a password
  • Update/Upgrade the packages
  • Install Asterisk

Continue reading “Installing Asterisk on a Linksys WRTG”

My system is greener than yours!


Greenpeace has released it’s 6th edition of “Greener electronics Ranking”.

This Guide ranks leading mobile phone, game console, TV and PC manufacturers on their global policies and practice on eliminating harmful chemicals and on taking responsibility for their products once they are discarded by consumers. Companies are ranked on information that is publicly available and clarifications and communications with the companies.

Check it out here.

The rankings

  • 7.7 Sony Ericsson
  • 7.7 Samsung
  • 7.3 Sony
  • 7.3 Dell
  • 7.3 Lenovo
  • 7.0 Toshiba
  • 7.0 LG
  • 7.0 Fujitsu-Siemens
  • 6.7 Nokia
  • 6.7 HP
  • 6.0 Apple
  • 5.7 Acer
  • 5.0 Panasonic
  • 5.0 Motorola
  • 4.7 Sharp
  • 2.7 Microsoft
  • 2.0 Philips
  • 0.0 Nintendo