Its been a few days since the last post and god knows the podcast is overdue, but times have been once again, pretty busy. One of the major things keeping me away from the keyboard are the recent "painting activities" at casa del Knightwise. We have successfully completed the renovation of the upstairs attic ( Lounge room / computer room) but in the wake of that action comes a lot of ‘re-wiring’. Try pulling apart your hobby/geekroom and reinstall everything in one single evening. Doesn’t realy go that smoothly .. does it. So I’ve been pretty busy re-wiring and reinstalling my entire setup into a nice little niche in the corner of the room. I’m still surprised at how compact the whole setup is, yet how powerfull it is. Over the last few years i’ve seen my computer setups shrink and shrink. From "Wargames like" rows of crt screens, keyboards and towers, to a compact but feisty 24 inch mac mini and a multivalent keyboard/mouse/screen setup that I can use to hook up anything. With that little setup, some virtual machines and some SSH connections .. I can do pretty much EVERYTHING. I’ll post up some pictures this week.
What HAS been keeping me busy is the installation of a new media pc. Since we like the room upstairs THAT MUCH we decided to move our 32 inch LCD Tv upstairs and use it as our main living room. But with that comes a little problem. So far I had been using a G4 Imac for video playback on our (classic crt) tv. With a resolution of 800 X 600 it was a perfect solution. But hooking up the same Mac Mini via a rgb connector to our LCD tv has it pushing out a resolution of 1920 by 1080 ! ANd thats too much for the little Mac Mini to handle when playing full screen Mpegs.
Thus i’m working on another solution. The only thing the machine has to do is play dvd’s, have itunes to play music and run VLC media player. So a stripped down version of XP will do the trick. But i’m not realy looking forward to having an XP machine in the house (at least when its not virtual). So the options are : A Ubuntu installation (i’m running it on a P4 with 512 megs of ram , a 40 gig internal drive and a GForce card) The standard Ubuntu machine would work just fine ( play dvd’s , run VLC etc) but there are still other options.
So far I have heard a lot about MythTV and Mythbuntu (Mythtv + ubuntu) offering a solid powerfull and scalable media center solution. So i’ve been playing around with that. MythTv offers both a frontend and a backend server (or an all in one) and the possibilities gently exceed the ones of a slimmed down XP with just powerDVD and VLC. So I might look into that one. Especially since I dugg up four old TV tuner cards I had lying around. (So I could use it as a DVR for four simultaneous recordings). But i’ll keep you posted.
Links : Mythbuntu.