Skip to main content

Desktops have higher ROI than laptops

When choosing between a desktop and a laptop, based on my personal past experiences my desktops seem to last a lot longer than my laptops. The max life span of a laptop I ever got out was 2-3 years. Most of them died or died, fixed and died again. Texas instruments (my first ever P133), Acer, Compaq, Apple, IBM, Dell. No laptop fared too far different from each other although some better than others.

In terms of performance, after each year, most softwares (especially games) have more demanding system requirements. Not to mention the new release of windows which appears more sluggish than the last.

In contrast, the lifespan of desktops seem to last a whole lot longer, the max so far is 10 years and still counting for my Intel PII 333mhz which I plan on retiring this year. My workstations are a AMD XP 2000+ 1.7 ghz (3 years old) and an Intel PIII 667 (6 years old) and both are still going strong.

So far, I've mostly built my own machines rather than relying on production line models. Its so much easier to replace and upgrade according to your own requirements as all the parts are pretty much standard for the computer enthusiast. In the case of laptops, even if the parts are replaceable, its definately more difficult for the average person to do especially when most notebook manufacturers have all sorts of weird designs.

The only real reason why I still use laptops is for work. Basically if you put them into the same class as your mobile phone or PDA, you wouldn't be disappointed.

(laptops shouldn't be called laptops anymore when its not possible to put them on your lap these days without burning a hole in your leg. I think the official term now is notebook computer)


Popular posts from this blog

Multiple Broadlink RM mini 3 integration using MQTT

Broadlink now has quite a lot of integration options almost out of the box. If you enable Broadlink IHC, you can directly link it to Alexa by giving the device a unique name.

There is a homebridge plug in for homekit integration but I haven't tried or tested this.

I wanted to put the device in domoticz so I can have more control over what can trigger my broadlink. I decided to use broadlink-mqtt for this, which is a fairly easy method to trigger from any source.

Setup Instructions for broadlink-mqtt

1. git clone

2. vi /home/pi/broadlink-mqtt/mqtt.conf

3. Update the mqtt.conf file with the device type set as multiple_lookup

device_type = 'multiple_lookup'
mqtt_multiple_subprefix_format = '{type}_{mac_nic}/'
4. Start the python script and check that it started and detected all the RM devices.
Check the log file to see what the IP / MAC addresses are. DEBUG Connected to RM2 Broadlink device at …

Fibaro HCL Virtual Device Slider

How to setup Fibaro home center lite (HCL) slider for virtual devices.

As the Fibaro HCL does not support LUA. The question was how to update the number value of the slider to send to the HTTP string. Thanks to this site which is a really good reference

The 2 use cases here are;

Sonos HTTP API Volume

To allow for volume control for all Sonos devices, add a virtual device with the IP address for SONOS HTTP API and specify the default port to 5005. Create Slider and put the following text into the string.

GET /volume/_sliderValue_ HTTP/1.10x0D0x0A0x0D0x0A

Domotiz Virtual Devices

GET /json.htm?type=command&param=switchlight&idx=XX&switchcmd=Set%20Level&level=_sliderValue_ HTTP/1.10x0D0x0A0x0D0x0A

Replace XX with the device ID.

Restart Fibaro HCL when it stops working automatically

It seems that the Fibaro HCL seems to hang every now and then. Instead of trying to restart it regularly, which doesn't really work, as it's almost impossible to predict when this will happen.

This method checks that the HCL is actually running and in the event it stops working, trigger a script that will restart it.

1. Get a non Fibaro controlled power plug and scripts to control it.

I used a wifi smart plug, TP-link HS100 and downloaded the scripts from

2. Create a bash script to restart the Fibaro, e.g.



$scripts/ -t $ip_addr -c off
sleep 10
$scripts/ -t $ip_addr -c on

3. Create a test global variable in the Fibaro HCL

Go to the variables panel and create a test variable, e.g. Test

4. Add a cron entry to test that the Fibaro API is still working and restart if it's not.

The cron script is scheduled ev…