20 Nov 2014

feedPlanet Maemo

Replacing your desktop laptop with a ITX workstation

If you use your laptop as a desktop replacement, you will at some point get an external display and a mouse/ keyboard for more convenient usage.
At this point the laptop becomes only a small case of non-upgradable components.

Now you could as well replace your laptop by a real case of comparable size. This will make your PC not only easily upgradable, but allow higher-end components while being more silent at the same time.

Lets start by a quick size comparison between the Fractal Design Node 304 mini ITX case and a standard 15.4″ wide-screen laptop:

the footprint is about the same as a 15.4" laptop.. ..and the height is even a little less

As you see the case has about the same footprint and is even less high compared to the open laptop.

Of course there are many choices of mini ITX cases - and some of them are even small than the Node 304. However I think the Node has a good balance between size and room for standard components; you will not need a ITX sized graphics card or a low profile CPU cooler. See this review for details of the case layout.

Now lets discuss what we can actually fit inside this small cube to see whether my claims about performance and volume can hold.

As it was one of the main reasons to select the case lets start with the

CPU Cooler

For CPU coolers the credo is: the bigger the better. If the heat is spread over a large area it means we need to move less air to carry it away. This again means the CPU fan does not need to spin that fast and our machine is quieter. (or can go faster at the same volume level)

The Node 304 fits CPU coolers up to 165mm height. This allows to use a tower cooler with a 140mm fan. When aligned with the 140mm rear fan of the case this will give us a nice air-flow to cool the CPU.

To use up the available space I mounted the Alpenföhn Brocken 2 which is exactly 165mm high. The included fan which spins up to 1100rpm which is in the same order as the 1000rpm rear fan of the case. Generally it is regarded as one of the best and quietest coolers in the 35€ class.

Mainboard

The main question when selecting the mainboard is where the CPU socket is located; a bad placement might block the PCIE slot and ideally the cooler should be aligned with the rear fan.

Furthermore the mainboard should include as much I/O as possible as we only have one PCIE expansion slot which will be occupied by the graphics card.

Lets take an exemplary look on the current H97 ITX board lineup. As you might have guessed, I will go with Intel, but the basic discussion also applies to AMD boards. Note that I did not bother including Asus as their board does not come with Wifi.

Brocken 2 blocks the PCIE slot. So the MSI board is out. the ASRock would basically work.. ..but Gigabyte got the perfect layout.

Green marks the extent of the LGA1150 mount holes used as reference. Red marks the extent of the Brocken 2 Cooler and pink marks the extent of the corresponding fan.

Basically both Gigabyte and ASRock would work. However the more central socket placement of Gigabyte aligns the cooler with the rear case fan which improves airflow.

there cooler is nicely aligned with the rear fan

When comparing the boards with their previous H87 iteration, it is worth noting that only Gigabyte took the chance to improve their board layout. With with their H87 board they had the socket at the same bad spot as MSI.

Graphics Card

As we are building a workstation here we use a discrete gaphics card. There are several 17cm sized graphics boards available - however the small size allows using only one fan and thus the ITX sized graphics boards are considerably louder than their larger brothers. For the GTX760 the difference under load is up to 10db. Basically the same argument as with the CPU coolers applies: the bigger the better.
The Node 304 can hold graphics cards up to 300mm length. So basically we can use any graphics card we want.

Looking at the current Nvidia GTX900 series, MSI got the best cooler design with its Twin Frozr v5. The two 100mm fans are completely off when idle and still very quiet under load.

Power Supply Unit

You can use the be quiet! PSU calculator to find out the concrete PSU requirements. I ended up with 263W for the configuration described in this post. As the PSU have maximum efficiency at about 50% load, one should go with a 500-550W PSU here.

However the Node 304 imposes a restriction on the PSU length when using a discrete GPU: it may not be longer the 160mm. This means that if the PSU has cable management it must be shorter than 160mm so the cable management plugs do not interfere.

the CS550M is only 140mm deep.. ..but it still gets quite crowded

Unfortunately (for be quiet) be quiet does not offer PSUs shorter than 160mm so we go with the Corsair CS550 instead which is impressively short at 140mm while still being quiet and having a 80Plus Gold certificate.

Assembly Notes

align the clips like this when mounting the cooler you should install the RAM before mounting the fan remove the crossbar for easy mounting

Other components

The discussion above should give you enough hints to build your own Node 304 based workstation. But in case you are interested in my complete build or need some more hints here are the other used components

CPU

I go with Intel here because I need CPU power for compiling. If you just want to build a gaming machine/ SteamBox a AMD CPU is probably going to be enough.

My requirements are a quad-core with hyperthreading which basically boils down to a core i7. However there is also the Xeon E3-1231v3 which is basically a i7 without the integrated graphics. This saves 4W TDP and some money as we use a dedicated GPU anyway.

Chipset

Chipsets really do not matter much any more. The performance critical part of the chipset, the northbridge, is now on the CPU. The remaining differences between H97 and Z97 are overclocking and SLI. However SLI is moot on ITX boards anyway and overclocking is usually added by the manufacturer via their custom BIOS.

The main reason for picking H97 over H87 is that the hardware vendors had another try to improve over their previous H87 boards.

Then there is also the B85 chipset, which additionally lacks software RAID support, but otherwise would be sufficient. However none of the B85 ITX boards comes with Wifi which cancels out their price advantage. For more details on the differences between B85, H87 and Z87 see here.

0 Add to favourites0 Bury

20 Nov 2014 10:22am GMT

05 Nov 2014

feedPlanet Maemo

Let's build a browser engine! Part 7: Painting 101

Firefox for Mobile
Let's build a browser engine! Part 7: Painting 101 - http://limpet.net/mbrubec...

1 Add to favourites0 Bury

05 Nov 2014 5:55pm GMT

26 Oct 2014

feedPlanet Maemo

2014-10-21 Meeting Minutes

Meeting held 2014-10-21 on FreeNode, channel #maemo-meeting (logs)

Attending: (xes), Gido Griese (Win7Mac),
Jussi Ohenoja (juiceme), Peter Leinchen (peterleinchen)

Partial: Sicelo Mhlongo (sicelo)

Absent: Philippe Coval (RzR)

Summary of topics (ordered by discussion):


Topic (Mailing list moderation):

Topic (Dead/old/obsolete content on entry page http://maemo.org):

Topics (Ongoing tasks: referendum, Code of Conduct, karma, e.V. sub pages, letter to Jolla):


Action Items:
  • -- old items:
    • Check if karma calculation/evaluation is fixed. - Karma calculation should work, only wiki entries (according to Doc) not considered. To be cross-checked ...
    • NielDK to prepare a draft for letter to Jolla. - Obsolete
    • Sixwheeledbeast to clarify the CSS issue on wiki.maemo.org with techstaff. - Done
    • juiceme to create a wording draft for the referendum (to be counterchecked by council members). - See
    • Everybody to make up their own minds about referendum and give feedback.
    • Peterleinchen to announce resignation of DocScrutinizer*/joerg_rw from council. Done
  • -- new items:
    • Next weeks tasks: referendum, karma check, voting for Code of Conduct, sub pages on m.o for e.V., abandoned link/announcement ticker

1 Add to favourites0 Bury

26 Oct 2014 9:19pm GMT

Agreement between Nokia Corporation and Hildon Foundation announced

Nokia Corporation ("Nokia") and Hildon Foundation ("Hildon") have announced an agreement regarding assigning Nokia's Maemo trademarks, domain names and trademark applications to Hildon. The agreement includes the Maemo community website, www.maemo.org.

Nokia has been the owner of the features of the Maemo brand that have been used in connection with mobile devices and software distributed by Nokia, as well as supporting the maintenance of the Maemo Website for the Maemo community. Nokia has transferred the Maemo brand features to Hildon, who will continue to support the Maemo community.

Hildon shall assume the full responsibility and liability for the maintenance and support of all the activity that is and will be on-going on the Maemo Website. For clarity, Hildon is not responsible for customer support for Nokia mobile devices using Maemo, such as N900 and/or N9. Following the acquisition of substantially all of Nokia's Devices & Services business by Microsoft in April 2014, Microsoft is now responsible for the support of Nokia branded mobile devices. Local contact details can be found at www.nokia.com/global/wayfinder.

1 Add to favourites0 Bury

26 Oct 2014 1:34pm GMT

22 Oct 2014

feedPlanet Maemo

A little randomness for Hacker News

Firefox for Mobile
A little randomness for Hacker News - http://limpet.net/mbrubec...

1 Add to favourites0 Bury

22 Oct 2014 10:00pm GMT

18 Oct 2014

feedPlanet Maemo

2014-10-14 Meeting Minutes

Meeting held 2014-10-14 on FreeNode, channel #maemo-meeting (logs)

Attending: Gido Griese (Win7Mac), Paul Healey (sixwheeledbeast),
Jussi Ohenoja (juiceme), Philippe Coval (RzR), Peter Leinchen (peterleinchen)

Partial: (xes), Ruediger Schiller (chem|st)

Absent: Niel Nielsen (nieldk), Joerg Reisenweber (DocScrutinizer05)

Summary of topics (ordered by discussion):


Topic (Swear filter on TMO (smartwatch)):

Topic (DocScrutinizer/joerg_rw stepped down from Council!):

Topic (Current Council members):

Topics (Referendum, Karma, Code of Conduct):


Action Items:
  • -- old items:
    • Check if karma calculation/evaluation is fixed. - Karma calculation should work, only wiki entries (according to Doc) not considered. To be cross-checked ...
    • NielDK to prepare a draft for letter to Jolla. - Obsolete
    • Sixwheeledbeast to clarify the CSS issue on wiki.maemo.org with techstaff. - Done
    • juiceme to create a wording draft for the referendum (to be counterchecked by council members). - See
    • Everybody to make up their own minds about referendum and give feedback.
  • -- new items:
    • Peterleinchen to announce resignation of DocScrutinizer*/joerg_rw from council.
    • Next weeks tasks: referendum, karma check, voting for Code of Conduct, sub pages on m.o for e.V.

1 Add to favourites0 Bury

18 Oct 2014 6:35pm GMT

11 Oct 2014

feedPlanet Maemo

2014-10-07 Meeting Minutes

Meeting held 2014-10-07 on FreeNode, channel #maemo-meeting (logs)

Attending: Jussi Ohenoja (juiceme), Philippe Coval (RzR)

Partial: Gido Griese (Win7Mac), Ruediger Schiller (chem|st), (Sicelo900v6)

Absent: Peter Leinchen (peterleinchen), Joerg Reisenweber (DocScrutinizer05), Niel Nielsen (nieldk)

Summary of topics (ordered by discussion):


(Topic Discussion about resigned councilors and their behaviour):


Action Items:
  • -- old items:
    • Check if karma calculation/evaluation is fixed. - Karma calculation should work, only wiki entries (according to Doc) not considered. To be cross-checked ...
    • NielDK to prepare a draft for letter to Jolla. - Obsolete
    • Sixwheeledbeast to clarify the CSS issue on wiki.maemo.org with techstaff. - Done
    • juiceme to create a wording draft for the referendum (to be counterchecked by council members). - See
    • Everybody to make up their own minds about referendum and give feedback.
    • Juiceme to send mail to DocScrutinizer/joerg_rw asking on behalf of council for a statement about his councilor status. - Done
    • Peterleinchen to check CSS bug and inform techstaff. - Solved.
  • -- new items:
    • N/A

1 Add to favourites0 Bury

11 Oct 2014 11:28am GMT

08 Oct 2014

feedPlanet Maemo

2014-09-30 Meeting Minutes

Meeting held 2014-09-30 on FreeNode, channel #maemo-meeting (logs)

Attending: Jussi Ohenoja (juiceme), Philippe Coval (rZr), Niel Nielsen (nieldk), Peter Leinchen (peterleinchen)

Partial: Gido Griese (Win7Mac), Paul Healey (sixwheeledbeast)

Absent: Joerg Reisenweber (DocScrutinizer05)

Summary of topics (ordered by discussion):


Topic (DocScrutinizer/joerg_rw stepped down from Council?):

Topic (Transition to Maemo e.V., referendum):

Topic (Open points, karma):


Action Items:
  • -- old items:
  • Check if karma calculation/evaluation is fixed. - Karma calculation should work, only wiki entries (according to Doc) not considered. To be cross-checked ...
  • NielDK to prepare a draft for letter to Jolla. - Obsolete
  • Sixwheeledbeast to clarify the CSS issue on wiki.maemo.org with techstaff. - Done
  • juiceme to create a wording draft for the referendum (to be counterchecked by council members). - See
  • Everybody to make up their own minds about referendum and give feedback.
  • -- new items:
  • Juiceme to send mail to DocScrutinizer/joerg_rw asking on behalf of council for a statement about his councilor status.
  • Peterleinchen to check CSS bug and inform techstaff.

1 Add to favourites0 Bury

08 Oct 2014 10:29pm GMT

30 Sep 2014

feedPlanet Maemo

nrl:maxCardinality one-to-many ontology changes

I added support for changing the nrl:maxCardinality property of an rdfs:Property from one to many. Earlier Martyn Russel reverted such an ontology change as this was a blocker for the Debian packaging by Michael Biebl.

We only support going from one to many. That's because going from many to one would obviously imply data-loss (a string-list could work with CSV, but an int-list can't be stored as CSV in a single-value int type - instead of trying to support nonsense I decided to just not do it at all).

More supported ontology changes can be found here.

Not sure if people care but this stuff was made while listening to Infected Mushroom.

1 Add to favourites0 Bury

30 Sep 2014 12:12am GMT

27 Sep 2014

feedPlanet Maemo

2014-09-23 Meeting Minutes

Meeting held 2014-09-23 on FreeNode, channel #maemo-meeting (logs)

Attending: Gido Griese (Win7Mac), Jussi Ohenoja (juiceme)

Absent: Joerg Reisenweber (DocScrutinizer05), Niel Nielsen (nieldk), Peter Leinchen (peterleinchen)

Summary of topics (ordered by discussion):


Topic (Transition to Maemo e.V., referendum and membership registration):


Action Items:
  • -- old items:
  • Check if karma calculation/evaluation is fixed.
  • NielDK to prepare a draft for letter to Jolla.
  • Sixwheeledbeast to clarify the CSS issue on wiki.maemo.org with techstaff.
  • juiceme to create a wording draft for the referendum (to be counterchecked by council members).
  • Everybody to make up their own minds about referendum and give feedback.
  • -- new items:
  • N/A

3 Add to favourites0 Bury

27 Sep 2014 11:30am GMT

24 Sep 2014

feedPlanet Maemo

2014-09-16 Meeting Minutes

Meeting held 2014-09-16 on FreeNode, channel #maemo-meeting (logs)

Attending: Gido Griese (Win7Mac), Jussi Ohenoja (juiceme), Peter Leinchen (peterleinchen)

Partial: (xes), Paul Healey (sixwheeledbeast), Philippe Coval (rZr)

Absent: Niel Nielsen (nieldk), Joerg Reisenweber (DocScrutinizer05)


Summary of topics (ordered by discussion):



Topic (Meeting minutes posted):


Topic (Spam attack on wiki.m.o):


Topic (Transition to Maemo e.V., referendum and membership registration):



Action Items:
  • -- old items:
  • Check if karma calculation/evaluation is fixed.
  • NielDK to prepare a draft for letter to Jolla.
  • Sixwheeledbeast to clarify the CSS issue on wiki.maemo.org with techstaff.
  • juiceme to create a wording draft for the referendum (to be counterchecked by council members).
  • -- new items:
  • Everybody to make up their own minds about referendum and give feedback.

2 Add to favourites0 Bury

24 Sep 2014 10:05pm GMT

18 Sep 2014

feedPlanet Maemo

Let's build a browser engine! Part 6: Block layout

Firefox for Mobile
Let's build a browser engine! Part 6: Block layout - http://limpet.net/mbrubec...

1 Add to favourites0 Bury

18 Sep 2014 4:30am GMT

15 Sep 2014

feedPlanet Maemo

2014-09-09 Meeting Minutes

Meeting held 2014-09-09 on FreeNode, channel #maemo-meeting (logs)

Attending: Gido Griese (Win7Mac), Paul Healey (sixwheeledbeast), Jussi Ohenoja (juiceme), Niel Nielsen (nieldk), Peter Leinchen (peterleinchen)

Absent: Joerg Reisenweber (DocScrutinizer05)

Summary of topics (ordered by discussion):


Topic (Certificate issue on wiki.m.o):

Topic (Security check on m.o):

Topic (Transition to Maemo e.V., referendum and membership registration):


Action Items:
  • Sixwheeledbeast to clarify the CSS issue on wiki.maemo.org with techstaff.
  • juiceme to create a wording draft for the referendum (to be counterchecked by council members).

2 Add to favourites0 Bury

15 Sep 2014 6:35pm GMT

2014-09-02 Meeting Minutes

Meeting held 2014-09-02 on FreeNode, channel #maemo-meeting (logs)

Attending: Craig Woodward (Woody14619), Gido Griese (Win7Mac), Ruediger Schiller (chem|st), Paul Healey (sixwheeledbeast), Jussi Ohenoja (juiceme), Philippe Coval (rZr), Niel Nielsen (nieldk), Peter Leinchen (peterleinchen)

Absent: Joerg Reisenweber (DocScrutinizer05)

Summary of topics (ordered by discussion):


Topic (NielDK's resignation):

Topic (Discussion on Maemo e.V. and Council rules):

Topic (Code of Conduct):


Action Items:
  • N/A

2 Add to favourites0 Bury

15 Sep 2014 6:34pm GMT

2014-08-26 Meeting Minutes

Meeting held 2014-08-26 on FreeNode, channel #maemo-meeting (logs)

Attending: Joerg Reisenweber (DocScrutinizer05), Jussi Ohenoja (juiceme), Philippe Coval (RzR), Peter Leinchen (peterleinchen)

Partial: (lbt), (xes), Gido Griese (Win7Mac)

Absent: Niel Nielsen (nieldk)

Summary of topics (ordered by discussion):


Topic (handling of MoMs):

Topic (community input):

Topic (x-fade contact about IRC):


Action Items:
  • N/A

2 Add to favourites0 Bury

15 Sep 2014 6:33pm GMT

2014-08-19 Meeting Minutes

Meeting held 2014-08-19 at 20:00 UTC on FreeNode, channel #maemo-meeting (logs)

Attending: Paul Haley (sixwheeledbeast) Joerg Reisenweber (DocScrutinizer05), Niel Nielsen (nieldk), Philippe Coval (RzR)

Partial: (xes)

Absent: Jussi Ohenoja (juiceme), Peter Leinchen (peterleinchen)

Summary of topics (ordered by discussion):


Topic (new MC e.V. structure, roles of HiFo/MC e.V. and Council):

Topic (karma calculation):

Topic (coop/friend with Jolla):


Action Items:
  • Check if karma calculation/evaluation is fixed.
  • NielDK to prepare a draft for letter to Jolla.

1 Add to favourites0 Bury

15 Sep 2014 6:32pm GMT