Those nice people at CurrentCost have teamed up with Google to enable the automatic upload of CurrentCost data to Google PowerMeter, so I’ve switched from the monitoring software I was using to Google’s system. And I must say, it’s pretty funky.
I’m still using my el-cheapo tiny little low-power Viglen MPC-L running Windows XP and have the CurrentCost connected to it. It runs a little application from CurrentCost that enables the upload to Google PowerMeter every 10 minutes.
PowerMeter itself shows a pretty graph of the power usage in 10 minute intervals, and shows historical daily usage. You can set a daily usage budget and it shows you how likely you are to meet or exceed this budget, which is useful for trying to reduce your energy consumption.
You can also share your PowerMeter page with other Yahoo users, but cannot as yet share it publicly. It’s a very slick and well done system that is highly recommended if you have a CurrentCost.
After I had removed Xubuntu from my tiny Viglen MPC-L and installed Windows XP onto it I started to think about what I could use it for.
It’s already running the CurrentCost software to monitor electricity usage in my house and my next plan was to install SqueezeCenter and AlienBBC on it to see how it coped with feeding my Squeezebox Boom.
I wasn’t expecting it to work very well, as the MPC-L isn’t all that powerful, but to my surprise it is running perfectly well and is playing regional BBC radio stations via AlienBBC with no issues.
Accessing the SqueezeCenter web interface directly on the MPC-L is painfully and in reality unusable slow. However accessing it on a more powerful machine (my Samsung NC10 netbook in this case) over my WLAN is much better and perfectly usable.
I’ve only got two MP3’s installed on the MPC-L at the moment but they both play fine. I’m not sure how it will cope with my large music collection – especially if I run it from an external USB hard drive. That’s my next test…
UPDATE: Ok so I copied my entire music collection (about 40Gb worth of mp3’s) to the Viglen and got SqueezeCenter to do a rescan. And it’s still working great. So good in fact that I have uninstalled SqueezeCenter from my main PC and am just using the Viglen now to run my Squeezebox Boom.