Archive for April, 2011

Linux for my TV Pt 2: Planning for Success!

In a former life (last week), I would just go install the Ubuntu 10.10 disk I just burned and then hope it all worked. It probably would, but I think a little planning will save me some time in the end, and give me a more stable and usable environment. So without further ado, this is what I plan to do!

1) Where’s my stuff now? What do I need to save?

Private Files
Web Projects
Ancient Relics

2) What Version of Ubuntu to install?

I’ve been leaning towards 10.10 64 bit. I was a little nervous that the ISO filename said AMD, but it turns out that is just because AMD created the architecture that Intel ended up adopting for their processors. Now I just have to figure out what packages I need to install and make sure that they will all work with 10.10-64bit.

Update: At the very early stages of my research I came across lots of issues around flash plugins and 64 bit. Also, prevailing wisdom is that for day to day tasks, I’m not going to see much benefit of 64 bit.

3) What software do I need to run?

For this particular installation I only need media and internet viewing software, and web server / streaming apps. Since this is also the testbed for my developer rig, I wan to make sure the environment will support the adobe and office products I have to use for work. I’ll be trying to get these things running under Wine.

1) Firefox 4.0
2) Netflix Instant support
3) Blue Ray / DVD playing and burning software.
4) Music Player  w/ outbound streaming (network and internet)
5) Wine (to support windows applications: Adobe cs4, Office 2011)
6) Ruby/Rails 1.9.2/3.06

So far I have found out that one of my most important features, Netflix Instant, does not work on Ubuntu due to DRM issues (Read MS won’t give up the goods). This is pretty much a showstopper for Ubuntu as my HTPC OS. Here’s a nice long thread about Netflix Instant and Linux.

Firefox 4.0 is also going to take a little work, but nothing too ‘hacky’. It seems that the ‘powers that be’ have not released FF 4 into the ubuntu wilds yet, but you can install Firefox 4 on ubuntu with couple extra steps. At any rate, there isn’t any reason that FF4, the latest Chrome and other html 5 capable browsers won’t be up to date reasonably quick on ubuntu.


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Linux For My TV

Last month I finally built myself a little HTPC box to use with my tv. There were a few goals for the build:

  1. Be able to cruise the tubes on my tube.
  2. Have a quiet low power machine that could stay on 24/7
  3. Serve up my videos and music around the house
  4. Host some web services to allow me to access my resources on the go.

I built the machine with these components:

  • SILVERSTONE Sugo SG05-B Black SECC / Plastic Mini-ITX Desktop Computer Case SFX 300W 80Plus Power Supply
  • LG Black Super-Multi Combo Drive SATA Model CT21N – OEM
  • Kingston ValueRAM 2GB 204-Pin DDR3 SO-DIMM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10600) Laptop Memory Model KVR1333D3S9/2G
  • AZiO BTD-V201 USB 2.0 Micro Bluetooth Adapter (Class 1, V2.1 + EDR)
  • Logitech Cordless Desktop LX 310 Laser
  • ASUS AT5IONT-I Intel Atom D525 (1.8GHz, dual-core) BGA559 Intel NM10 Mini ITX Motherboard/CPU Combo
  • Western Digital AV-GP WD5000AVDS 500GB SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5″ Internal AV Hard Drive -Bare Drive
  • ENCORE ENUWI-N4 USB 2.0 Wireless Mini Adapter

All together it cost me about $600 from newegg.

I just love it when you "Make things better". I didnt want to watch TV this weekend anyway!

Everything worked together well, and I was up and running in an afternoon with windows 7. The only problem I have with the machine is that windows is a pig, and the machine isn’t exactly ‘snappy’. The day has arrived for me to take the ubuntu challenge! This will be my second Ubuntu build. The first was a dual boot on my primary desktop machine. I didn’t do much with it and have since destroyed it in the process of reinstalling windows. If this install goes well, I plan to reinstall on my desktop.

Aside from the resource issue on my HTPC, I am also looking forward to having an Linux environment for my web development work. I’ve been doing a bit of Rails work of late, and under Windows it is a DOG 😛

Anyway, stay tuned for more exciting entries as I chronicle my exciting adventures in Ubuntu Land!

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Hello world!

Some people might delete this entry, but I’ll use it to tell you a bit about my history with the ubiquitous ‘Hello world!’.

1976: I say ‘Hello world!’ in the primal sense Birth

1991:  PRINT “Hello, World!” in QBasic

1995:  System.out.println(“Hello World!”); in Java

1998:  MsgBox(“Hello, world!”) in Visual Basic

1998:  <h1>Hello World!</h1> in HTML

1998: document.write(‘Hello World!’) in Javascript

2000: echo(‘Hello World!’) in PHP

2000: SELECT ‘Hello world!’ FROM DUAL in SQL

2001: <xsl:value-of select=”greeting”/> in XSLT

2002: print “Hello World.\n”; in Perl

2010: $(“a”).click(function() { alert(“Hello world!”);  }); in JQuery

2011: puts “Hello world!” in Ruby

What have I learned along the way?  Don’t be afraid to try new things. Don’t forget the semicolon! Sometimes things get simple again!

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