In the bedroom, there’s a media centre box attached to a projector. The projector in question is attached to the bed, pointed upwards at the ceiling, but that’s another story for another day…
Originally, I wanted the projector to be automatically switched on and off with the media centre. The projector has a RS232 serial port for control, so it was just a case of connecting this to the media centre with an appropriate cable and writing a few scripts to send commands on startup and shutdown.
However, I’ve just replaced the ancient AMD E350 based Mini-ITX box with a shiny new OSMC Vero 4k, an ARM-based box that you don’t really shut down.
Although I could still do this on the Vero, I decided to implement it as a standalone device. Take an ESP8266 NodeMCU board (a nice breakout board for an ESP-12 module) and combine it with a TTL to RS232 adaptor. Then, write firmware for it that connects to a MQTT server, and we’ll be able to control the projector from the web interface of HomeAssistant or any of the Amazon Echo devices.
So it seems that 10GBaseT is closer than I thought in my previous post. Asus has recently released a US$200 10GBaseT card which also supports 5 and 2.5Gbit. Following this, they’ve released another card, the cheaper XG-C100C with a MSRP of US$99 - although in the AU market, it seems to be selling for only about $30 less than the first one.
I’ve got a fileserver with two ZFS pools on it. Many terabytes of storage and much more reliable than individual disks. Single drives aren’t fast or reliable and I can’t fit all my Steam games on my RAID0 SSD pair. But the fileserver can read and write at close to 500MB/second. However, it’s on the other end of a gigabit ethernet connection, so it tops out at 120MB/sec - barely faster than a normal HDD. So what can we do? Isn’t 10GbE still crazy expensive?
I ended up with a drive letter on my desktop mapped to a SMB share on the fileserver and (most) Windows apps treat it no differently to a local drive. With a Steam library on it, I’m not going to be short on space for a while. But every time I go to load something, it’s bottlenecked by the gigabit connection.
(why ‘panzer’? The default name of a zfs pool is ‘tank’ and there already was one on the server)