Archive for November, 2014

Migration to a new lowpower server (Thinkpad T420)

Monday, November 24th, 2014

I recently bought myself a spar’o’meter, (kill’a’watt like device) which is able to measure the power usage of electrical equipment. To my horror I found that my “lowpower” AMD fusion based server consumed around 50 watt! Clearely something had to be done.

Luckily I had the right piece of equipment at hand. A lenovo thinkpad T420 with a broken/shattered LCD. Any decent laptop is built to minimize power consumption, so using an T420 alone would save on the electrical bill, but I went a bit further. More precisely:

  • Took off the (broken) TFT and disconnected it from the mainboar
  • Took out the bluetooth module
  • Took out the wireless module
  • Disabled all unneeded peripherals, serial ports, usb ports,
  • Bouht myself a 1TB WD red 2.5″, which consumes around 1 watt.
  • Removed the DVD drive.
  • Enabled maximum power settings in the bios.

I then put in 2 x 4GB of memory and together with the core i5 cpu, this would be a nice server with a built-in “ups”. On the software part, I migrated away from one big server years ago. I run esxi on my servers now. There was a small issue here, as ESXi 5.5 does not have support for the Intel Gigabit 82579 LM chip out of the ISO file.

This is not a biggie. You patch the iso with the correct driver for the E1000E chip using the esxi-customizer script and then you boot the customized .iso file.

I ended up with a esxi host that consumes 12 watt. A factor 4 better than my old AMD fusion based setup. And it feel snappier as well. The trade-off: I had to go from 2 x 2TB disks to 1 x 1TB. But that alone saved 10-15 watt.

About fixing Bluesound playlists after CIFS migration

Sunday, November 2nd, 2014

I recently wiped TomatoUSB and installed OpenWRT Barrier Breaker on my Linksys E3000 based router. In that process I also migrated our FLAC collection from my x86 based server edison  to the OpenWRT router. Life was good….. until my wife complained that the her Bluesound playlists had stopped working.

Luckily I have root access to my Bluesound and can fix stuff like this. Heres the issue and the fix.

After the switch to OpenWRT the world look like this as seen from the Bluesound:

root@Stue /tmp/var/data$ df
Filesystem           1K-blocks      Used Available Use% Mounted on
/dev/root               903080    342168    515040  40% /
tmpfs                   127488        48    127440   0% /tmp
tmpfs                   127488        36    127452   0% /dev
/dev/mmcblk0p3         2778768     86668   2550944   3% /tmp/var/data
shm                     127488         0    127488   0% /dev/shm
// 153703308  74379356  79323952  48% /tmp/var/mnt/OPENWRT-flac

But a peek inside the playlist.db on the Bluesound shows the following

‘StoredPlaylist::files’ => ‘/var/mnt/EDISON-flac/Arvo Part – Alina/01-Spiegel im Spiegel (Version fur Violine und Klavier).flac
/var/mnt/EDISON-flac/Arvo Part – Alina/02-Fur Alina (fur Klavier).flac
/var/mnt/EDISON-flac/Arvo Part – Alina/03-Spiegel im Spiegel (Version fur Violoncello und Klavier).flac
/var/mnt/EDISON-flac/Arvo Part – Alina/04-Fur Alina (fur Klavier).flac
/var/mnt/EDISON-flac/Arvo Part – Alina/05-Spiegel im Spiegel (Version fur Violine und Klavier).flac
/var/mnt/EDISON-flac/Arvo Part – Alina/03-Spiegel im Spiegel (Version fur Violoncello und Klavier).flac’

Notice how the name of the CIFS server is part of the playlist entry. After figuring out the format of the playlist.db, it was trivially easy to write a little perl program to convert them. I did have to take care of some latin1 to utf8 as well, but that was also easy. For anyone who cares:

#!/usr/bin/perl -w
# – version 1.0 gamma. Project hours: 1
# —————————————————————————-
# “THE WISHLIST LICENSE” (Revision 42):
# <> wrote this file.  As long as you retain this notice you
# can do whatever you want with this stuff.
# If you feel it saved your world a gift from
# is highly appriciated
# —————————————————————————-
# Copyright 2014.11.01 by Thomas S. Iversen (

use strict;
use Storable qw(nstore retrieve);

die “$0 <path_to_playlist> <regexp_match> <regexp_replace>” if(!($#ARGV+1 == 3));
my $filename = $ARGV[0];
my $regexp_match = $ARGV[1];
my $regexp_replace = $ARGV[2];
my $storable;

die “$filename does not exist\n” if(! -f $filename);
$storable = retrieve($filename);
foreach my $playlist (@$storable) {
my $name=$playlist->{‘StoredPlaylist::name’};
print “Converting playlist ‘$name’\n”;

# capital danish

# lower danish

# lower swedish

# capital swedish

my $filename_new=$filename . “.new”;
print “Saving playlist as $filename_new\n”;
nstore($storable, $filename_new);

Which I then ran as

root@Stue /tmp/var/data$ ./ stored_playlists.db EDISON OPENWRT
Converting playlist ‘Svensk jul’
Converting playlist ‘Hvid januar’
Converting playlist ‘Lektier’
Converting playlist ‘Moderne salmer’
Converting playlist ‘Total afslapning’
Converting playlist ‘P�ske’
Saving playlist as

And then the last part

mv playlist as playlist as stored_playlists.db

And restart the Bluesound app on the phone (it caches). Happy wife 🙂

BluOS 1.12.1

Saturday, November 1st, 2014

Yet another version with support for more streaming services. And yet again I found myself looked out of my player. I am getting faster and faster at regaining root on the player :-).

Cool that new features keep being developed!