In 2009 I got a Dell Inspiron 400
Zino to use as an audio playback
node. It has done its job reliably, but in 2016-01-xx the CMOS battery
expired, I replaced it (randomizing the CMOS configuration storage), and it got
into a mode where it cannot suspend to RAM; it goes down but wakes right back
up, with no messages suggesting a reason. Repeated CMOS resets bring it back
for a short time but then it fails again. Sleeping is required for its role,
so it's being put on indefinite medical leave. Now I need a replacement.
As it happens, I have a role for a low power machine that never sleeps, to do video recording. We have put a lot of effort into reliable recording, but the DVB drivers in kernel 4.1.13 (OpenSuSE 42.1), specifically pvrusb2, cannot be shut down, including for S3 or S4 sleep, and including an attempt to remove them for undisturbed sleep, which used to work in kernel 3.6.x. My plan is to move the current recording host, a Zotac Zbox AD03BR (12 watts) to the audio playback role, and to buy a new machine at around 5 watts, for the non-sleeping video recorder. The machine finally chosen, the Intel NUC5i5RYH, turns out to have enough CPU power to handle video playback as well.
I would also like to get the new machine in here and gain experience with a new product line, with an eye on using modern lower power machines when other old ones break.
Fast forward to 2018: that day has arrived. We have a virtual machine
called Baobei with Microsoft Windows-10 to run tax preparation and accounting
software that is not available for Linux. But problems with the VM framework
led us to decide to host it on a
real machine. The home theater machine
got a new body, and the NUC5i5RYH became Baobei.