It’s a freaking _power_ button …

Last year I installed a home theater computer thingy with the AsRock 330HT platform. I installed linux and xbmc on it, made the xbmc user log in automatically, it all went smooth, looked nice, was easily usable for other, non-linux people and I thought …

nice, finally you can set something up that everybody can use and not complain about it being complicated “because it’s linux”

We’re no power users on that. We’re totally fine with being able to browse through files with the remote control, not having to have a keyboard around for that makes us happy. Nothing fancy …

So, this thing was nice … until … after an upgrade a couple weeks ago, the system just wouldn’t shutdown any more but go to standby mode instead after pressing the power button. This sort of blows since we power off the power strip while we’re not using the device in order to save some power (why the heck can’t TVs be turned off these days).

At first I didn’t bother looking into it and lazily moved to grabbing the wireless keyboard from behind the TV and doing a manual shutdown instead. But this was a step I couldn’t tell the rest of my family to do if they wanted to shut the thing down. Due to that, I estimate the device has been powered on for about a week (in total) without being in use at all because people could not shut it down and I was not around to do that. While this does show they learned that you do not just unplug a running computer, which is good, it still unnecessarily consumes power.

So yesterday, I finally found time to look into that and found that the xbmc people switched from shutting the machine down to putting the machine to sleep if you press the power button (on the device or remote). Since I fail to find the commit that changed this (looking through git log and searching for shutdown, shut, sleep and hibernate did not bring it up), I can’t find the reason for this step but I figure the reason was to make xbmc be online faster after pressing the button.

For me, this did not work at all and resulted in more runtime and unnecessary power consumption. Am I too old fashioned (already?) to think that a “power” button should power a device off?

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