Low Electric Computer Discussion

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SoupBowl
Posts: 11
Joined: Thu Jul 26, 2018 5:30 am

Low Electric Computer Discussion

Post by SoupBowl » Sat Aug 18, 2018 12:36 pm

Hi there,
I wrote low electric to avoid confusion with “Low power” computers with minimal memory etc and couldn’t call this “physical device advice” because the very specific things I need for this but it might make for an interesting discussion.
a bit of background you can ignore this part if you want!
In a few months time I am planning to put together a new PC when I have free time.
There are Pros and cons of getting parts from Here, there and everywhere or getting a readymade item but I want to try having React OS and a version of Windows running on the same device,
Instead of Dual booting with both systems accessing each others files I think the best way to switch would be to swap hard disks before turning it on as I have seen React OS has corrupt a virtual hard disk when I tested it.
I noticed some brands like Zotac had some impressively low power consumption in some cases using a 5 volt PowerSuply though this could mean the hardware is so profoundly different it wouldn’t run the systems I have in mind.
I want a computer that could comfortably be run off batteries but not necessarily a laptop as I want to be able to replace a broken/defective component if I need to without destroying the case whilst opening it or needing very specialized equipment.
Many modern devices are designed by people who have a vendetta against anybody who wants to fix them, which is a problem if you want to get many years of use out of it,
I digress to get to my point.

I would like put together or buy a physical device running React OS and also pick a what will work with Windows XP (I hear XP drivers are better for React OS) and I have some old software which runs better on XP than anything newer, and you can still easily find USB peripherals etc for XP.
I plan to have Monitor, mouse, keyboard etc are separate as you would find on a desktop computer

I need to choose either a small computer or the components to build one but it needs to meet certain criteria so I can use it for extended periods without access to an electrical outlet, solar and other methods will be the most feasible way to keep the batteries full but that's a separate issue.

1. Has to use DC power to avoid wasting power converting the energy stored in batteries.
Would prefer 12 volt and the lowest amperage use but as long as I can get it going on a basic setup of Leisure batteries and a DC/DC

2. Run XP and at least have a chance of running React os

3. not trigger short circuit protection (common for high amperage 12 volt car appliances)
Common in Pumps, immersion heaters, hairdryers and fans intended for cars Try using a few with a 12 volt adapter or a circuit for regulating the current they can trigger a safety feature which switches it off

4. Could work well with an external UPS(for batteries)
This bleeds into number 3 mainly because I want some protection against the pc drawing too much from the battery and having a second smaller battery to buy me some time before the pc shuts off.

5. be durable, able to open the case and not have an award design that makes me unable to run the cables for hard drives and disk drives mounted outside the device

6. able to order extra power cables and know polarity (if obscure or proprietary connectors are used)
Sorry I made this so long I am just interested to see some other peoples ideas on this and get an informed opinion before I decide on what I purchase


P.S. unrelated to this I am eventually planning to test a bunch of browsers on React OS and publish my results to create a comparison chart, Compatibility with the latest features of newer websites is what I have in mind so the more recent the better!
any browser recommendations would be great

dizt3mp3r
Posts: 1447
Joined: Mon Jun 14, 2010 5:54 pm

Re: Low Electric Computer Discussion

Post by dizt3mp3r » Sat Aug 18, 2018 6:09 pm

For a ReactOS possible machine it will have to be XP compatible and that means using older hardware. For example lower power mini form factor ITX motherboards but it will still need to have a PSU. Battery operation will not be a usable option. See this thread for guidance: http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/answers/i ... build.html

It might be much better to base it on modern powerful small form-factor multi-CPU low power hardware that is fully supported with an o/s such as Android/Linux Kubuntu as a host and then run ReactOS in a virtual environment. Then it will look like ReactOS, use only one CPU (as that is all it can currently handle) and there will be an underlying host that could be much more useful than ReactOS is currently to do other things, the host could also run XP as a virtual o/s and keep it safely sandboxed. It might be able to run both simultaneously... This seems to me to be a much more practical approach.

SoupBowl
Posts: 11
Joined: Thu Jul 26, 2018 5:30 am

Re: Low Electric Computer Discussion

Post by SoupBowl » Sun Aug 19, 2018 11:08 am

dizt3mp3r wrote:
Sat Aug 18, 2018 6:09 pm
For a ReactOS possible machine it will have to be XP compatible and that means using older hardware. For example lower power mini form factor ITX motherboards but it will still need to have a PSU. Battery operation will not be a usable option. See this thread for guidance: http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/answers/i ... build.html
AM1H-ITX was mentioned a reviewer said the
"DC power section gets *really* warm wile operating"
This can be an issue with the socket itself if you have ever tried a usb hand warmer or something like that you will see how hot the connector gets,
Same thing with a cars power socket though that's no accidents considering it was meant to be part of a cigarette lighter.
Though This model has a built in 12 volt power-supply there is another option for those that don't there is a bare bones PSU
a quick search on eBay for "ATX Car PSU" will show a few examples these would be more suited to a car type battery or a bunch of 18650 laptop batteries(these would be better for its UPS)
dizt3mp3r wrote:
Sat Aug 18, 2018 6:09 pm
the host could also run XP as a virtual o/s and keep it safely sandboxed. It might be able to run both simultaneously... This seems to me to be a much more practical approach.
dizt3mp3r wrote:
Sat Aug 18, 2018 6:09 pm
Then it will look like ReactOS, use only one CPU (as that is all it can currently handle)

Some Bios options can be tweaked to hide these from the OS, in fact ive heard of some bios tweaks being used to get XP running on some (Then) very new motherboard from 2015 cant remember heard from a guy i knew he didn't give much detail on this.
interestingly he mentioned the diagnostics/boot disk it came with couldn't be used because of $ecureBoot and the option to disable was greyed out unless you found a hidden menu which actually lets you do this.
dizt3mp3r wrote:
Sat Aug 18, 2018 6:09 pm
It might be much better to base it on modern powerful small form-factor multi-CPU low power hardware that is fully supported with an o/s such as Android/Linux Kubuntu as a host and then run ReactOS in a virtual environment.
This is a interesting option but you do need to dedicate a certain percentage of system resources to the extra OS emulating the others,
this would mean more power used which is one of the reasons i am avoiding use of a Sine wave inverter but i am keeping this one in mind nonetheless.

Need a good emulator that gives access to the hardware, be it USB, Hard disk, Optical Disk drive etc,
Hold that thought until i Have found some interesting boards!

could be some issues emulating x86 on ARM not sure how well it would handle this it could be very laggy and compatibility with choice of emulator may depend on what board i buy.
dizt3mp3r wrote:
Sat Aug 18, 2018 6:09 pm
and there will be an underlying host that could be much more useful than ReactOS is currently to do other things,
You have a good point but having seen React OS a few years ago and React OS toady i do see the system having the potential to surpass XP it just seems like a novel idea to use react OS in lieu of XP when something non compatible with XP crops up, also i will be updating react OS as much as i can.

will be using a more modern setup separately but this system is mainly for using some older software and doing the things you that PCs do better than Smartphones if i am going to be away from a power source for a while

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