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General => Users => Topic started by: tschak909 on August 13, 2009, 07:30:02 pm

Title: Call for donations for features.
Post by: tschak909 on August 13, 2009, 07:30:02 pm
Okay fellas.

Your fearless coder has gotta eat, he's gotta pay bills.

We had success with the Gyration 3101 support, because lots of people wanted it.

Here's the rules of the universe:

I need to be able to pay $2500 a month in expenses. All while also looking for a job. This means, roughly half of my time each day searching for jobs, half of my day working on LinuxMCE.

Most features in LinuxMCE that you guys seem to be wanting take an average of 10 hours to complete. I need 20 hours to be able to pay my expenses at my calculated rate (which takes ALL of this into account.)

Now, knowing this, This means, nominally, that assuming a $100 donation a piece, 20 people need to donate to complete a 20 hour project.

If this can't be met, I can't continue on the project.

So this means, that we need:

(1) features that most people want
(2) and are willing to pay for.

So please, don't just think of yourselves, think of what would be of benefit to most people. In the end we give this away, and in the good times, I would just be doing this for free...But I haven't had a job in 9 months, fellas. and I am at the end of my rope.

This is an honest plea for help.
-Thom
Title: Re: Call for donations for features.
Post by: jimbodude on August 13, 2009, 08:02:58 pm
Things I would consider paying for (some of these might be irrelevant, I'm not up to date):
- When displaying media lists, sort titles and performers starting with "The " (not case sensitive, of course) by whatever is after "The "
- When displaying the details of a certain media file with a long "synopsis" field, allow the user to read the entirety of the synopsis with either a scroll or full window.  (Currently it gets truncated)
- When importing a DVD, set the metadata to "DVD" quality.  Allow the user to select if it's a "Movie" or whatever the rest of the choices are.
- Add the ability to have separate scenarios for common media searches. (Examples: "Recorded TV", "James Bond", "Horror Movies", "Blues Tunes", etc)  I've tried to get the right sequence of commands to make this happen, but have been unable.  I'm not sure if this requires code modifications, or just a bit of documentation
- Add functionality to MythTV recorded TV playback remote for commercial skipping (I sent you the work I did on this a while back)
Title: Re: Call for donations for features.
Post by: buckle on August 13, 2009, 08:20:37 pm
Maybe this should also be posted in Users or Marketplace.
Title: Re: Call for donations for features.
Post by: jimbodude on August 13, 2009, 08:28:40 pm
Agreed - things like this belong under marketplace.
Title: Re: Call for donations for features.
Post by: los93sol on August 13, 2009, 09:36:54 pm
I hate to say this because I've donated a lot already to support the cause, but I think the issue with people not donating is you're charging way to much.  At $100/hr. that's quite steep, basically you're asking people to donate to pay your bills for the whole month in half a weeks work.  I don't know what the running rate for an employed programmer is these days, but surely only contract programmers are making that kind of cash and they are typically going to be funded by companies, not by individuals looking to get some support.  Again, don't get me wrong I appreciate all the work you've put in, but as someone who has donated a few times already and plans to continue donating, it is quite a steep price when in a typical month to cover the expenses you'd have in more like 160 hours instead of 25.

The ironic thing is if the rate was lower instead of donating $50 I'd be inclined to donate $100-200 for things since I'd feel like it was actually making a significant dent in the cost of feature x or feature y.  This is just something you may want to take into consideration since you're relying on the users to donate at this point.
Title: Re: Call for donations for features.
Post by: tschak909 on August 13, 2009, 09:48:43 pm
You miss the point. I was merely citing that as an example. why do you think I made such a point of how much I needed versus how many HOURS I can allocate to working on major features versus finding other employment so that I can work on this in the long term.

I don't care if people donate $5, or $20, or $100, so long as I can make a certain minimum. If I can do that, I CAN CONTINUE WORKING ON THIS PROJECT. IT'S THAT SIMPLE.

-Thom
Title: Re: Call for donations for features.
Post by: davegravy on August 13, 2009, 10:04:11 pm
I'd contribute for a native iphone orbiter that works on jailbroken iphones.

I'd contribute for a UI1 orbiter with a continuous volume/lighting control (though I think I read this is a lot of work or even impractical)

I'd contribute for an improved UI for tagging media (with powerful sorting filters) which would streamline the tagging process.

Title: Re: Call for donations for features.
Post by: krys on August 13, 2009, 10:39:56 pm


I think projects that would benefit everyone and at the same time bring in more users which will in turn bring more interest and donations are... ( these are also projects that I would personally donate the $100 for)

1. Recompiling- xinelib (or whatever it takes) to take advantage of vdpau. This way all you need is a $30 card to be able to play HD movies flawlessly.
2. HDPVR- whatever it would take to make the HDPVR work, supposedly its functional now with MythTV trunk. In my opinion MythTV is just about useless since the very best quality a person can get is from s-video. The HDPVR encodes in x264 which would workout perfect if we have xinelib with vdpau support.
3. Pick a popular board and make it the LMCE recommended board and make it pnp. For example, the Zotac board has everything that you would need for a great media director (if we have xinelib with vdpau) and can be up and running for about $160. When someone new comes to the project and wants a board that will work right now there are too many hoops to jump through and no clear answer on what will work with LMCE.

I will stop there because we can all drone on about the little things that each of us would like to see implemented, but I think that one of the main things that will initially attract people to this project is the ability to play media, our lives seem to be centered on media now. If our project can't play HD content I think that many people will be turned off before they have a chance to see what all we have to offer.



I hate to say this because I've donated a lot already to support the cause, but I think the issue with people not donating is you're charging way to much.  At $100/hr. that's quite steep, basically you're asking people to donate to pay your bills for the whole month in half a weeks work.  I don't know what the running rate for an employed programmer is these days, but surely only contract programmers are making that kind of cash and they are typically going to be funded by companies, not by individuals looking to get some support.  Again, don't get me wrong I appreciate all the work you've put in, but as someone who has donated a few times already and plans to continue donating, it is quite a steep price when in a typical month to cover the expenses you'd have in more like 160 hours instead of 25.

The ironic thing is if the rate was lower instead of donating $50 I'd be inclined to donate $100-200 for things since I'd feel like it was actually making a significant dent in the cost of feature x or feature y.  This is just something you may want to take into consideration since you're relying on the users to donate at this point.

los93sol,
Don't forget how many hours Tschak spends on this project just as a Dev, i don't think what he charges is out of the question considering he probably does 100 hours a month dev work that most people don't ever hear about.
Title: Re: Call for donations for features.
Post by: davegravy on August 13, 2009, 11:58:15 pm
Well said krys. I agree with 1 and 3 especially.
Title: Re: Call for donations for features.
Post by: los93sol on August 14, 2009, 12:19:46 am
My point is that there are very few things people will come together for and agree on at the pricepoint of development.  If you drop the rate the total cost comes down making it more feasible for the small handful of us who do donate.  I've seen the numbers in IRC from Thom and he hasn't gotten much from donations.  That's my point, I understand your need to pay bills, but we need a lower hourly rate set ahead of time.  I don't care how many hours are spent on things that go unnoticed, Thom said it himself if it weren't for bad times he'd be doing it for free.  By the logic hours go unnoticed we should all be donating to every person contributing, that basically is Thom, Hari, Posde, JonDecker (when he was around), and a few others.  Something like a job would pay like $30/hr., are any of you making $100-175/hr?  Those are the rates that have been charged in the past here and I think that's downright fucking crazy!  If I'm all alone on this you should all be using Crestron shit and spending money like water lol.
Title: Re: Call for donations for features.
Post by: posde on August 14, 2009, 12:33:29 am
los93sol,

just as a price point: At the current exchange rate, people do pay me nearly 200USD an hour
/me has no idea why, though.

There are lots of people who like LinuxMCE. Lots of people would love to have a working and running LinuxMCE system. Thom has the means to get you going. As he has proven over and over again.

People should start thinking of maybe hiring Tschak to do the full blown installs. The person paying the bill would learn a lot, while at the same time receiving a system that is perfectly tailored to whatever the person wants. I know, for most people OSS and LinuxMCE is about the initial cost. Those people don't need to apply, imho. People have a choice: Do it yourself and invest hours upon hours of time to get *SOMETHING* going, or hire someone who knows the system inside and out for a couple of grands, and get a perfect system. I have priced LinuxMCE in the past. A full blown system incl. media director, wiring, house automation (with lighting and security), phone system, can EASILY reach a price point of around 50EUR a sqm. Adding 20-30EUR a sqm for installation makes sure, that things will work.

EDIT: Note about how things compare.
Title: Re: Call for donations for features.
Post by: colinjones on August 14, 2009, 12:37:04 am
I think we are getting off topic here.

Thom has posed a question/proposal - whatever individuals may think about the rates or prices - the topic is actually about getting feedback from members on what they would like to see and whether they are prepared to pay for it.

Lets stick to that point, please. I would like to see this thread a list of posts on that subject, and as minimal debate about other topics as possible. As always, if an important point comes up, it should be spawned as a new topic.
Title: Re: Call for donations for features.
Post by: rlb2 on August 14, 2009, 01:09:01 am
Krys has it for me!

2. HDPVR- whatever it would take to make the HDPVR work, supposedly its functional now with MythTV trunk. In my opinion MythTV is just about useless since the very best quality a person can get is from s-video. The HDPVR encodes in x264 which would workout perfect if we have xinelib with vdpau support.
3. Pick a popular board and make it the LinuxMCE recommended board and make it pnp. For example, the Zotac board has everything that you would need for a great media director (if we have xinelib with vdpau) and can be up and running for about $160. When someone new comes to the project and wants a board that will work right now there are too many hoops to jump through and no clear answer on what will work with LinuxMCE.

Maybe even sell the Zotac (+VDPAU) all pre-configured for $250?  Make $40 per unit + shipping (inc Case).  I'd buy 2 at least.
Rob
Title: Re: Call for donations for features.
Post by: uplink on August 14, 2009, 01:19:06 am
Now, knowing this, This means, nominally, that assuming a $100 donation a piece, 20 people need to donate to complete a 20 hour project.

This can also be split up like this:
* 200 people giving $10
* 100 people giving $20
* 75 people giving $27
* 67 people giving $30
* 50 people giving $40

How many people do we have that are willing to donate a minimum of $10? How about the other figures? Not tax deductible.

In other words: how much do you spend on a night out? And can you give Thom a "night out" once a month, in cash? :) Or are you all geeks programming computers under the moon light and don't go out more than once or twice a year?
Title: Re: Call for donations for features.
Post by: davegravy on August 14, 2009, 04:54:07 am
Quote
how much do you spend on a night out?

What's this thing called a "night out"? Come on, you're talking to a Linux crowd here :P

I'm not sure I'd hire anyone to do a full install, but if Thom is willing to do support work for money I might very well use him. As it stands he is too busy to give a full detailed answer in the IRC channel, but if one could get his undivided attention for a reasonable hourly fee I'd probably make use of that now and then.
Title: Re: Call for donations for features.
Post by: uplink on August 14, 2009, 05:20:38 am
Quote
how much do you spend on a night out?

What's this thing called a "night out"? Come on, you're talking to a Linux crowd here :P
I had the other guys in mind, the ones screaming from the top of their lungs: "I didn't pay for it, and I don't want to pay for it, and do it faster stoopid, 'cause my girlfriend is waiting for me downstairs to go clubbing, and I don't have time nor patience nor knowledge to fix my problem!"
Title: Re: Call for donations for features.
Post by: wombiroller on August 14, 2009, 05:25:44 am
Hey Thom. Count me in for $100 on whatever the wider group decides. FWIW I'd also really like to see (other than the Beta ;)):

* Ability to Tag media with Genre and Type from the Orbiter/UI1/UI2, possible extension of being able to do the IMDB/Amazon search and update also within the Orbiter.
* Enhancement for the WEBDT366 that allows the screen to be turned completely off (currently the back-light seems to stay on which keeps me awake  if I don't suspend it :))
* An Android Orbiter

Also if Krys suggestion is possible (Recompiling xinelib to improve HD performance) - that sounds like it might be the most use for everyone.

Thanks Thom!

Cheers,
Adriel.

Title: Re: Call for donations for features.
Post by: fido on August 14, 2009, 01:54:47 pm
The two issues that would be most important to me would be to get VDPAU working in Xine and getting the HD PVR working properly.

I would commit to a couple of hours for those two tasks.  I would also commit an hour to the fiire chief but only if the result will make it work the same as in 0710...i.e. absolute positioning, three button control etc.....
Title: Re: Call for donations for features.
Post by: grunt on August 14, 2009, 07:15:57 pm
What are the plans for linuxmce on Mac OS X? I might be able to find some people who want this on mac os x to put up some money.
Title: Re: Call for donations for features.
Post by: Ray_N on August 14, 2009, 07:22:57 pm
Here's something I would put $100.00 on:

   - To have LinuxMCE, recognize (either from a given (network) directory or generally), display and play from iTunes playlists. Not necessarily to have the ability to edit the playlists. Just recognize it and play from them.

   Wife and I have several playlists that we want to be able to play in the house, not just in our iPods, but currently we can't.

   And please let's not get into the argument of which media player is best or that there are better ways to make playlists than iTunes. Now, if there's something I don't know (which is usually the case), please respond the details in a different thread, to keep this one clean...thanks. ;-)

R
Title: Re: Call for donations for features.
Post by: davegravy on August 14, 2009, 08:26:28 pm
I'd contribute to that too Ray_N.
Title: Re: Call for donations for features.
Post by: jimbodude on August 14, 2009, 10:54:28 pm
Add to my list:
- When browsing recorded tv shows: group them properly by title, season, and episode - preferably sorted by air date or original air date.
- Add a similar feature to group series of movies (star wars, harry potter, james bond, etc) and the ability to sort by release date and/or episode number.
- In both of these cases, we should have groups when there are more than 1 item to group, and simply list the rest normally.  (Don't want to have to go into a group to see one item.)


HDPVR support would be great - but we should try to avoid making our own Myth package that we would have to maintain ourselves, if possible.  There's more than enough stuff to worry about already.

Similar comment for VDPAU in Xine.
Title: Re: Call for donations for features.
Post by: uplink on August 15, 2009, 12:59:04 am
By the looks of it, you will have to find yourself a real job. Your choice is between a real job or a slave job for these guys it seems. Even freelancing looks like a better way to go.

The whole "donation" point has been missed completely. Where do I send my $10/month? Find another 199 people to do this, and you're set to go.

And I don't want any features from you to please any significant other :) I don't want you to write everything in Bash either.

Reading the posts, even RentACoder looks like a load of cash for the work you do right about now. They don't get that you're dying of starvation there.
Title: Re: Call for donations for features.
Post by: compaqpresario on August 15, 2009, 02:01:30 am
I would contribute to:

1) video phone such as skype, i'm a little bit shocked that I haven't seen this requested very often when posts like these come up. Am I only the one who is interested in that being a part of a advanced system like LinuxMCE?

2)   I would contribute to another up to date mobile orbiter. Windows and Android phones will be available on cdma and gsm networks so everyone would be able to utilize a mobile orbiter. Presence detection for alarm purposes would be great.

3) Return of the Disked MD option
Title: Re: Call for donations for features.
Post by: lemming86_au on August 15, 2009, 04:45:08 am
I would gladly donate for:

- PNP support of the new HDHomeRun DBV-T
- (I know its a big job, but) Asterisk upgrade to 1.6 & a later supported FreePBX
This will be handy if anyone will be buying any new models of Digium boards, as they will only be supported with the new DAHDI (Zaptel Replacement) drivers

Regards,
Josh
Title: Re: Call for donations for features.
Post by: patmankn on August 16, 2009, 10:19:20 am
What i would donate for is a better support of media file like mkv . I would love to have a feature, that rips my DVD to any prefered codec like h264 or sth. else, keeps the language  tracks, maybe specials etc. Afterwards the file would be half the size e.g. may be more 3 GB than up to 7 or 8 with my DVD isos. That would safe a lot of space on any file server, and less data to supply to the MDs. If a feature like that would be (pls. don't beat me up) pnp with covers etc... I'm sure people wpuld donate... it would be a bargain.  ;O)

Patrick
Title: Re: Call for donations for features.
Post by: tschak909 on August 16, 2009, 10:27:22 am
a lot of these features being asked for are at least 20 hours of work...

-Thom
Title: Re: Call for donations for features.
Post by: widescreen on August 19, 2009, 04:51:38 pm
Question?  Thom...not sure if you have started a project already, but why don't you edit this post and add a poll so we can get the ball rolling.  Which ever feature request garners the most interest will get the most financial support, thereby becoming the first project. I would do a poll myself, but only you know how much work each project would entail and which ones could be grouped together to achieve the 20hrs. just a question.   
Title: Re: Call for donations for features.
Post by: wierdbeard65 on August 19, 2009, 10:23:02 pm
As already mentioned, a current "hassle free" hardware solution would be good. Zotac board looks like the leading choice. I would like to buy one and KNOW it's gonna work without me having to update drivers and jump through hoops.

"Proper" HD support would be cool.

Just another point. How about the iOrbiter? (iPhone AND iPod touch). I know this has been mentioned already and I've offered to look at doing it. In my case, I'm struggling finding a dev platform and don't have the time / resources to throw at it (I can't lug a MacBook as well as a full MCE system around with me and I'm on the road a lot. The other advantage of this (especially if you don't go down the "jailbreak" route) is that you can charge for it via AppStore. Other threads have already discussed this, but the key thing here is that not only are you not relying on "donations" but once it's complete, any and all installs continue to generate revenue. Put it up for, say, $30 and I reckon you'll cover costs and then some. I know I need 2 for a start ;)
Title: Re: Call for donations for features.
Post by: tschak909 on August 19, 2009, 11:03:48 pm
Are you guys not grasping that I am working on this because I have no other choice?

I am trying to get donations, so I do not starve. I have no job. People are not hiring me, I am being TURNED DOWN from LESSER jobs because I am in their words, "OVERQUALIFIED"

So, you guys can sit back, with your jobs, and use the software, for free, as it is right now... or... you can help pay for my expenses so I can EAT, so I can have a ROOF OVER MY HEAD..and oh yeah, SO I CAN WORK ON THIS THING I LOVE SO MUCH.

-Thom
Title: Re: Call for donations for features.
Post by: skeptic on August 20, 2009, 01:02:49 am
1) video phone such as skype, i'm a little bit shocked that I haven't seen this requested very often when posts like these come up. Am I only the one who is interested in that being a part of a advanced system like LinuxMCE?
No, you're not the only one.  I'd love to see video SIP phone support.  As I understand it, the linuxmce asterisk setup is audio only, but perhaps with all that in place it may not be nearly as difficult to add video sip phone support as it would something like skype.  Perhaps with an ekiga or similar client?  I'm not all that familiar with skype, but as I understand it, it's closed source and not completely free to use.
Quote

3) Return of the Disked MD option
This would be handy, if for no other reason it could allow wifi connected MDs.  Not as good as a wired connection, but it should be fine for most things.  With 802.11N the speed to a MD may not be an issue at all.  It would also provide an alternative to those potential MDs that for one reason or another cannot fully net boot into LMCE.

Are you guys not grasping that I am working on this because I have no other choice?

I am trying to get donations, so I do not starve. I have no job. People are not hiring me, I am being TURNED DOWN from LESSER jobs because I am in their words, "OVERQUALIFIED"

So, you guys can sit back, with your jobs, and use the software, for free, as it is right now... or... you can help pay for my expenses so I can EAT, so I can have a ROOF OVER MY HEAD..and oh yeah, SO I CAN WORK ON THIS THING I LOVE SO MUCH.

-Thom

You don't seem to be the type that likes to take advice, but I'm going to give you my 2 cents anyway.  You have enough info about what people want and need right now.  Instead of asking people what they want, start a thread like the gyration remote thread and simply state "if you want feature xyz, I need $abc.  Post up how much you are willing to donate and when we hit that number I'll implement it."  If you get the donations you need, you're set for that project.  If not, then decide if you are willing to work on it for less, or if you want to try it with another project.  You also might want to consider dropping your rate.  LMCE is a small community, it would be much easier to get people as a group to come up with $500 instead of $2,000 for an estimated 20 hour project, just as an example.
Title: Re: Call for donations for features.
Post by: widescreen on August 20, 2009, 01:34:16 am
Are you guys not grasping that I am working on this because I have no other choice?

I am trying to get donations, so I do not starve. I have no job. People are not hiring me, I am being TURNED DOWN from LESSER jobs because I am in their words, "OVERQUALIFIED"

So, you guys can sit back, with your jobs, and use the software, for free, as it is right now... or... you can help pay for my expenses so I can EAT, so I can have a ROOF OVER MY HEAD..and oh yeah, SO I CAN WORK ON THIS THING I LOVE SO MUCH.

-Thom



Hold the F@ck up a minute!!!!! Before I respond to that.....please tell me that response wasn't suppose to be as condescending and crude as it sounded! I may not be a linuxmce genius, but I can m@therfu@king read and your post was:

"So this means, that we need:

(1) features that most people want
(2) and are willing to pay for.

So please, don't just think of yourselves, think of what would be of benefit to most people."

So how the hell is me trying to help you by giving a suggestion to get the ball rolling by posting a poll for what probably will turn out to be a feature that is not a benefit for me, but i would contribute to help you out anyway, turn into you asking me if i'm "grasping" your request for a "donation"?!?! Now forgive me if i took it the wrong way, but if not, this is the second time you had some less then humble response for a man in your position.
Title: Re: Call for donations for features.
Post by: colinjones on August 20, 2009, 02:03:15 am
All of you, please simmer down and consider your wording before posting!! This thread in particular must stay on topic to get anywhere, and if it starts veering off topic or getting abusive I will start deleting posts.

A valid point has been made, and I would like to reinforce it. It is clear that there are _many_ features desired, and that list is getting bigger. However, not enough people have expressed interest in the same features to be able to garner enough donations to get one of them off the ground.

My suggestion - to Thom, if you don't mind - is to read through all the posts carefully and try to pick the most common 1-3 features mentioned, and consolidate them into a clear description of each. Then post a new thread for each of them, describing this process as picking the most desired features, and calling for donations specific to each feature. This in no way lessens the importance of the other features requested, it merely focuses on the ones most likely to achieve the donations needed. Also, if features that require work in similar areas could be picked (say Media Plugin), this will allow for some leverage between the donations for these features.

Remaining features requested can be picked up again after the first few have been delivered, and the community can see meaningful results for the contributions... this would likely prompt more people to donate.
Title: Re: Call for donations for features.
Post by: tschak909 on August 20, 2009, 04:19:03 am
I apologise that my comments have come across wrong, this happens.. a lot.

I didn't mean to sound condecending.

-Thom
Title: Re: Call for donations for features.
Post by: Techstyle on August 20, 2009, 05:41:43 am
Thom,

I was especially offended by the last half sentence:

Quote
SO I CAN WORK ON THIS THING I LOVE SO MUCH.

I thought it should be:

SO I CAN WORK ON THIS THING WE ALL LOVE SO MUCH.

The Amazon affiliate link I set up that would benefit the community, including the 'dev hardship fund' has had 7 clicks and no sales.  Does nobody in this community buy things on Amazon?  this doesn't cost you anything but the community will recieve commission for your sale at 4-7% of the purchase price.  Just click thru the link below and search Amazon, select, Buy, the community gains

http://www.techstyleuk.co.uk/lmce_ass.htm (http://www.techstyleuk.co.uk/lmce_ass.htm)

Title: Re: Call for donations for features.
Post by: Viking on August 20, 2009, 09:40:05 am
Hi,

I think Krys has the most wanted on his list

1. Recompiling- xinelib (or whatever it takes) to take advantage of vdpau. This way all you need is a $30 card to be able to play HD movies flawlessly.
2. HDPVR- whatever it would take to make the HDPVR work, supposedly its functional now with MythTV trunk. In my opinion MythTV is just about useless since the very best quality a person can get is from s-video. The HDPVR encodes in x264 which would workout perfect if we have xinelib with vdpau support.
3. Pick a popular board and make it the LinuxMCE recommended board and make it pnp. For example, the Zotac board has everything that you would need for a great media director (if we have xinelib with vdpau) and can be up and running for about $160. When someone new comes to the project and wants a board that will work right now there are too many hoops to jump through and no clear answer on what will work with LinuxMCE.
0 hours a month dev work that most people don't ever hear about.

I have spent hours getting LinuxMCE up to a point where it is usable in my oppinion.
I dumped my first 0710 install where I did not get VDR running and have now got an 0810 with MythTV and VDPAU (Avenards updates) and flawlessly LiveTV picture.

So the VDPAU is not only going to benefit HDTV users, but also SDTV as the Picture quality is very good and there is no tearing ! Maybe that is something that most of you have not undestood yet. MythTv LiveTV 1080i@50hz looks so good - it is incredible :) Also playing DVD/HD content using Mythvideo is good quality. So VDPAU is the way to go.

Therfore 1. and 2. is a very important part that would get LinuxMCE a lot further. 2. is already there as there are the Avenard repositories providing this. We could mirror that over to ourselfs and then use it. 1. would maybe take some more work, but also give good quality replay. when I find time I will myself take a look at it and see if I can get that running - but that will take months. Therefore I would gladly spend 2 times $100 for that.

And 3. would also be very important as it will bring a possibility to get new users quickly "online".
As it is right now I can't reccomend this to any of my firends because it is to difficult to get up and running. And you never know if the hardware works.
I would maybe reccomend to use something like the Acer Revo - a ready-to-go system. (If I see it right several have not got this one running = kernel dumps)

As the 4. point I would say that we need more orbiters like Windows Mobil, Iphone and Android. I have got 2 Windows mobile devices I would like to use and therefore vote for Windows Mobile first ;) Again I would spend $100 for the Windows Mobile orbiter. Preferably not the same month ;)

After getting easy setup, good picture quality, then we can improve sorting and other things. Otherwise we will loose people trying to set this up. I was shortly before giving up several times, but did not find anything capable of doing the same as LinuxMCE could - if it was easier setting up.

Greetings
Viking
Title: Re: Call for donations for features.
Post by: Ray_N on August 20, 2009, 01:24:22 pm

http://www.techstyleuk.co.uk/lmce_ass.htm (http://www.techstyleuk.co.uk/lmce_ass.htm)


Well, well, well...let me tell you Techstyle...I was especially offended by your link... What the hell do you mean by lmce ass?  :D

R
Title: Re: Call for donations for features.
Post by: widescreen on August 20, 2009, 04:43:46 pm
I apologise that my comments have come across wrong, this happens.. a lot.

I didn't mean to sound condecending.

-Thom

Ok Thom, I apologise also.
Title: Re: Call for donations for features.
Post by: Techstyle on August 20, 2009, 06:09:22 pm
didn't really think about that until it was already published!!  :)

it came from 'LMCE amazon ASSociates'

The page is really to get it started, I wanted the code adding to the LMCE webpage.
Title: Re: Call for donations for features.
Post by: wierdbeard65 on August 21, 2009, 12:06:38 am
And 3. would also be very important as it will bring a possibility to get new users quickly "online".
As it is right now I can't recommend this to any of my friends because it is to difficult to get up and running. And you never know if the hardware works.
I would maybe recommend to use something like the Acer Revo - a ready-to-go system. (If I see it right several have not got this one running = kernel dumps)
Personally, I'd go with a board rather than a system (or ideally both). This is because some people will want VESA mounting systems, others will want an HTPC case. The MD needs to be able to blend in in a lot of situations. Having a board and letting the user select an appropriate case reaches a wider audience :)
Title: Re: Call for donations for features.
Post by: pcbastard on August 21, 2009, 03:56:49 am
My vote is for VDPAU and HDPVR support.  Actually, exactly what krys suggested!

I'd easily donate $100+ for each.

Thom - look for a gift from me soon  ;D.  I hate that you are having such a tough time...

Leo
Title: Re: Call for donations for features.
Post by: widescreen on August 21, 2009, 03:29:45 pm


I think projects that would benefit everyone and at the same time bring in more users which will in turn bring more interest and donations are... ( these are also projects that I would personally donate the $100 for)

1. Recompiling- xinelib (or whatever it takes) to take advantage of vdpau. This way all you need is a $30 card to be able to play HD movies flawlessly.
2. HDPVR- whatever it would take to make the HDPVR work, supposedly its functional now with MythTV trunk. In my opinion MythTV is just about useless since the very best quality a person can get is from s-video. The HDPVR encodes in x264 which would workout perfect if we have xinelib with vdpau support.
3. Pick a popular board and make it the LinuxMCE recommended board and make it pnp. For example, the Zotac board has everything that you would need for a great media director (if we have xinelib with vdpau) and can be up and running for about $160. When someone new comes to the project and wants a board that will work right now there are too many hoops to jump through and no clear answer on what will work with LinuxMCE.


Looks like most people support kris' suggestions. vdpau and the MD mainboard for LinuxMCE does make sense. I would do a mobile orbiter, but those two do make sense in my opinion.
Title: Re: Call for donations for features.
Post by: speedyone on August 23, 2009, 02:37:16 pm
Colinjones, thank you for calming things down. It's a big turn off when folks get nasty. Thom, thank you for realizing your bad and being humble enough to apologize. I don't have a wish list for you but I do have a donation to give. I trust that the community knows enough (that I don't) and I like Techstyle's advice to compile the wish list and start working on the most requested item first and then on down the list.

Regards and thanks to all of the community!

Peaceout

Speedyone  :)
Title: Re: Call for donations for features.
Post by: colinjones on August 23, 2009, 11:42:09 pm
thats my job! and Thom's just passionate about this thing :)

thom - cue list please!
Title: Re: Call for donations for features.
Post by: Rukus on August 24, 2009, 12:22:01 am
Thom,

Do you a personal PayPal account set up for this, or should we donate through the LMCE site?
Title: Re: Call for donations for features.
Post by: los93sol on August 24, 2009, 07:58:42 pm
My request would be to get backup/restore working again.  I haven't personally used it in 0810, but other posts here indicate it does not work.  I think this would help development along too since people could play with a little less fear of breaking things since they would be able to easily restore.  How many hours do you estimate for this and at what hourly rate?
Title: Re: Call for donations for features.
Post by: posde on August 26, 2009, 09:38:17 am
Do you a personal PayPal account set up for this, or should we donate through the LinuxMCE site?

Donation should go thru the link on the http://www.linuxmce.org - All those donations end up in the pockets of the person in need of those donations ;) (as the name on top of the PayPal page is probably well known ;)
Title: Re: Call for donations for features.
Post by: soeren on August 27, 2009, 08:54:22 pm
I have followed this project for a year now. I'm not a user (yet), but when the project matures I will be for sure. Just to see the next release I will put in 25$. I would be nice and decadent if some of you out there would follow me.
Title: Re: Call for donations for features.
Post by: dothedog on August 30, 2009, 04:30:42 pm
Well, I have been a linuxmce user and before that plutohome for years. I have had the system running since the beginning. I am just now updating to alpha2. Thom has helped me enough over the years that I just donated $100 to say "thanks". As for features, I have been using knoppmyth/linhes on a separate box in my home theater because I could never get the linuxmce version to work to where I wanted. I would also like to see vdpau/hd support.

DoTheDog
Title: Re: Call for donations for features.
Post by: rdmustang on September 05, 2009, 05:40:00 pm
I would donate to see a live media browser (nfs, smb/cifs) instead of having to catalog media.  A good part of my media is updated daily and I prefer to keep my media organized by directory instead of by catalog.
Title: Re: Call for donations for features.
Post by: tschak909 on September 05, 2009, 08:00:07 pm
Not gonna happen. We will constantly improve the database, and make it faster, but we are staunchly against mirroring the file system.

Sorry.

-Thom
Title: Re: Call for donations for features.
Post by: skeptic on September 05, 2009, 09:11:11 pm
Not gonna happen. We will constantly improve the database, and make it faster, but we are staunchly against mirroring the file system.

Sorry.

-Thom

Gotta agree with Thom on this, with one wish list item that may already be in the works or part of 810.  It would be really nice if there was a way in the web admin/media sync page to set type/media sub-type/file format on "all" files in a directory similar to the way setting all attributes currently works.  Not necessarily a dynamic thing such that any file put into a specific directory would automatically have attributes set, but for example browsing to a directory and setting every media file to type movie, or setting them all to TV show/title xyz/season 2. 

On the surface it may seem like organization by directory makes sense, but in my experience as a casual user Thom is 100% correct.  Filesystem transparent media organization is the best way to go.
Title: Re: Call for donations for features.
Post by: rdmustang on September 05, 2009, 11:48:02 pm
Not gonna happen. We will constantly improve the database, and make it faster, but we are staunchly against mirroring the file system.

Sorry.

-Thom

Gotta agree with Thom on this, with one wish list item that may already be in the works or part of 810.  It would be really nice if there was a way in the web admin/media sync page to set type/media sub-type/file format on "all" files in a directory similar to the way setting all attributes currently works.  Not necessarily a dynamic thing such that any file put into a specific directory would automatically have attributes set, but for example browsing to a directory and setting every media file to type movie, or setting them all to TV show/title xyz/season 2.  

On the surface it may seem like organization by directory makes sense, but in my experience as a casual user Thom is 100% correct.  Filesystem transparent media organization is the best way to go.

To me this is one of lmce's biggest problems - it assumes that all computers, network, files, etc are owned by lmce and there are no other external applications required by the users.  If that's the case then lmce is perfect (other than the occasional quirkiness behavior).  Otherwise it has many shortcomings (my suggestion being one).  I agree that if lmce is all you want then the categorization is fine.  Personally I don't like storing 16TB of various types of 'video' (tv, movies, music videos, home videos, comical shorts, etc) in one directory and then having to go in and categorize it manually.  I would rather organize everything by directory (as has long been a standard in computing).  This also works well when having to upgrade or if something ever happened to the core which requires redoing all the work required to classify everything.

Live browsing could be implemented completely separate from cataloging.  I was speechless when I first installed lmce and found that this wasn't possible since every other alternative out there that I've tried has live browsing as the default.  To me that's a lacking feature.  I guess to everyone else that's what sets lmce apart from everyone else.

I wouldn't classify myself as a "casual user" since my media collection is probably 1000 fold that of other "casual users" here.  Setting it up as lmce requires would take far too much of my time.  I currently get around this by listing files by filename as this is close to live browsing but unfortuantely it still falls short.  I understand that everyone is different but I thought I would elaborate on why I think this feature might be enjoyed by others.  Please do not take any of this as a flame, just constructive feedback from someone who is appreciative of all the work that has been put into the project and the assistance I've received in the forums.
Title: Re: Call for donations for features.
Post by: colinjones on September 06, 2009, 01:13:10 am
No one said you have to put everything in one folder and categorise separately... that is just being willfully argumentative! Absolutely create a folder structure and file away your media... I do. And that way you can use BOTH the meta-tag sort mode AND the Filename sort mode depending on circumstances.

I don't understand your fixation with "live" browsing... you said yourself your library sometimes updates as much as daily! So what, the Filename sort mode updates every 2 mins, so the most your "live" directory browsing is going to be out by is around 2mins, which frankly is amply frequent if your library files are only getting updated as infrequently as daily!!

And be aware that file systems where not designed as categorisation systems, and are uniquely poor at being used as such. By definition all file systems are single-dimensional - meaning a file can only exist in a single location (and thus category) without resorting to multiple copies or links and shortcuts. This is a very simplistic taxonomy. Tagging systems by design are multi dimensional - meaning a file can be assigned to multiple different values in the same category and have any number of categories.

Say you have a file that is both a horror and thriller, and 720p and movie. Do you create a specific horror & thriller genre under your movie folder? What about action and adventure, and fantasy? How many combinations of genres do you create folders for because the file MUST exist in just one folder. Or do you create individual genre folders, place the move in one, and then symlink it to all the other appropriate folders, so that you can still find it? What about combinations of 1080i/p/720p/etc do you have folders for each under each genre? Can you see how ridiculously complicated this is becoming to achieve what is very basic and seemless using meta-tags?

I don't know where you got the idea that rebuilding your core means you have to redo everything - I suspect that you haven't really played around with LinuxMCE all that much and are trying to impose preconceived ideas. All meta data is stored both in the library database and either in embedded id3 tags (for mp3s) or parallel ID3 tag files for other media. Rebuild at will with no fear whatsoever... when the core rediscovers your media it will reimport all your metadata, good as new!

If we are to compare "other alternative" out there, lets get a few things straight... the mainstream competitor is Vista MCE, and that works in pretty much the same way, there is a library database, and the default views access this to provide a metadata-categorised view in exactly the same way. So you can sort or group by artist, or year and so on... and no that isn't "live" either, Vista periodically rescans its library in the same way. Lets not overstate it.... LinuxMCE's Filename sort mode may not be truly "live" but for almost all purposes it might as well be.... and one of the reasons for it being handled like this is so that all your media sources around the house can be overlayed and merged into a single location even in filename mode.... Vista cannot do this.

LinuxMCE has plenty of quirks, and missing features in managing media, but this realistically isn't one of them.
Title: Re: Call for donations for features.
Post by: skeptic on September 06, 2009, 04:02:36 am

To me this is one of lmce's biggest problems - it assumes that all computers, network, files, etc are owned by lmce and there are no other external applications required by the users.  If that's the case then lmce is perfect (other than the occasional quirkiness behavior).  Otherwise it has many shortcomings (my suggestion being one).  I agree that if lmce is all you want then the categorization is fine.  
Not true at all.  
Quote


Live browsing could be implemented completely separate from cataloging.  I was speechless when I first installed lmce and found that this wasn't possible since every other alternative out there that I've tried has live browsing as the default.  To me that's a lacking feature.  I guess to everyone else that's what sets lmce apart from everyone else.
Seriously, how often are you looking for stuff that is on disk but not in LinuxMCE quite yet?  I don't see how this can be a problem, just something to complain about.
Quote

I wouldn't classify myself as a "casual user" since my media collection is probably 1000 fold that of other "casual users" here.  Setting it up as lmce requires would take far too much of my time.  I currently get around this by listing files by filename as this is close to live browsing but unfortuantely it still falls short.  I understand that everyone is different but I thought I would elaborate on why I think this feature might be enjoyed by others.  Please do not take any of this as a flame, just constructive feedback from someone who is appreciative of all the work that has been put into the project and the assistance I've received in the forums.
I will agree that tagging large amounts of data can be tedious, and why I threw out my suggestion of allowing additional directory based tagging functionality.

Now, to throw out another suggestion in the spirit of the devs:  If it really makes that much difference to you, you can write a script that updates the database with new files based on the directory they appear in.  I wouldn't have the first clue how to do it, but the MythTV that comes with LinuxMCE has a custom user job or two that updates the LinuxMCE database after it records each program.  That might be a good place to start looking.
Title: Re: Call for donations for features.
Post by: colinjones on September 06, 2009, 11:53:52 pm
skeptic - actually jthodges was working on exactly that type of functionality (see my thread http://forum.linuxmce.org/index.php?topic=7116.0 ) Allowing you to configure definitions for folders that UpdateMedia would then use to automatically apply tags to media within that folder.

I believe he was almost there and was just working on the web interface. I can see that he still comes to the forums occasionally but hasn't posted in quite a while, so I have PM'd him to ask how it is going. Note: this function is quite separate and different from the recursive tagging feature that was added - that feature apparently was buggy and at least Thom found that it screwed up his meta data, so I have steered clear of it!
Title: Re: Call for donations for features.
Post by: jthodges on September 07, 2009, 01:19:56 am
I believe he was almost there and was just working on the web interface. I can see that he still comes to the forums occasionally but hasn't posted in quite a while, so I have PM'd him to ask how it is going.

This feature is complete and posted to a trac ticket (http://trac.linuxmce.org/trac.cgi/ticket/158).  There's more I would like to do with it, but I wasn't planning any further work on it until I got some feedback from others that were actually using it or I had some need come up for my own use. 

I agree that it would seem to meet the needs you describe.  I am using it to automatically tag files that come in under 'movies', 'tv', etc. folders.  It also uses regular expressions on filenames to automatically tag 720p, dvd, etc. 
Title: Re: Call for donations for features.
Post by: colinjones on September 07, 2009, 02:23:21 pm
possy has changed this from 0810 beta milestone to 0810 Release, which means that it is a long way off yet, and no one except people running a beta dev environment can test it (a handful or so at best!) ... if it isn't added in until the release, does that mean if the related code changes in the meantime, the patch will no longer work and need to be modified again?
Title: Re: Call for donations for features.
Post by: jthodges on September 07, 2009, 05:54:40 pm
That's definitely a possibility, but hopefully unlikely to be an issue.  Most of the changes are in new files, with only 5 existing UpdateMedia source files modified, so even if a conflict arises it should be fairly easy to resolve.  (Unless UpdateMedia changes drastically, of course.)
Title: Re: Call for donations for features.
Post by: donpaul on September 24, 2009, 10:35:14 pm

 It would be really nice if there was a way in the web admin/media sync page to set type/media sub-type/file format on "all" files in a directory similar to the way setting all attributes currently works.  Not necessarily a dynamic thing such that any file put into a specific directory would automatically have attributes set, but for example browsing to a directory and setting every media file to type movie, or setting them all to TV show/title xyz/season 2. 

I do this already with a sql file:

Code: [Select]
use pluto_media;
update File set EK_MediaType = '5' where IsDirectory = '0' and Path like '%MediaDiskOnCore [29]/HiDef%';
update File set FK_MediaSubType = '2' where IsDirectory = '0' and Path like '%MediaDiskOnCore [29]/HiDef%';
update File set FK_FileFormat = '4' where IsDirectory = '0' and Path like '%MediaDiskOnCore [29]/HiDef%';
update File set EK_MediaType = '5' where IsDirectory = '0' and Path like '%MediaDiskOnCore [29]/DVD%';
update File set FK_MediaSubType = '2' where IsDirectory = '0' and Path like '%MediaDiskOnCore [29]/DVD%';
update File set FK_FileFormat = '3' where IsDirectory = '0' and Path like '%MediaDiskOnCore [29]/DVD%';
update File set EK_MediaType = '5' where IsDirectory = '0' and Path like '%MediaDiskOnCore [29]/Screener%';
update File set FK_MediaSubType = '2' where IsDirectory = '0' and Path like '%MediaDiskOnCore [29]/Screener%';
update File set FK_FileFormat = '3' where IsDirectory = '0' and Path like '%MediaDiskOnCore [29]/Screener%';
update File set EK_MediaType = '5' where IsDirectory = '0' and Path like '%MediaDiskOnCore [29]/Comics%';
update File set FK_MediaSubType = '2' where IsDirectory = '0' and Path like '%MediaDiskOnCore [29]/Comics%';
update File set FK_FileFormat = '3' where IsDirectory = '0' and Path like '%MediaDiskOnCore [29]/Comics%';
update File set EK_MediaType = '5' where IsDirectory = '0' and Path like '%MediaDiskOnCore [29]/TV%';
update File set FK_MediaSubType = '1' where IsDirectory = '0' and Path like '%MediaDiskOnCore [29]/TV%';
update File set FK_FileFormat = '3' where IsDirectory = '0' and Path like '%MediaDiskOnCore [29]/TV%';
update File set EK_MediaType = '5' where IsDirectory = '0' and Path like '%MediaDiskOnCore [29]/Cam%';
update File set FK_MediaSubType = '2' where IsDirectory = '0' and Path like '%MediaDiskOnCore [29]/Cam%';
update File set FK_FileFormat = '6' where IsDirectory = '0' and Path like '%MediaDiskOnCore [29]/Cam%';
update File set EK_MediaType = '5' where IsDirectory = '0' and Path like '%MediaDiskOnCore [29]/HomeVideos%';
update File set FK_MediaSubType = '3' where IsDirectory = '0' and Path like '%MediaDiskOnCore [29]/HomeVideos%';
update File set FK_FileFormat = '3' where IsDirectory = '0' and Path like '%MediaDiskOnCore [29]/HomeVideos/HiDef%';
update File set EK_MediaType = '5' where IsDirectory = '0' and Path like '%MediaDiskOnCore [29]/HomeVideos/HiDef%';
update File set FK_MediaSubType = '4' where IsDirectory = '0' and Path like '%MediaDiskOnCore [29]/HomeVideos/HiDef%';
update File set EK_MediaType = '5' where IsDirectory = '0' and Path like '%/data/pvr%' and Filename like '%mpg';
update File set FK_MediaSubType = '1' where IsDirectory = '0' and Path like '%/data/pvr%' and Filename like '%mpg';
update File set FK_FileFormat = '3' where IsDirectory = '0' and Path like '%/data/pvr%' and Filename like '%mpg';

select Path,Filename,FK_FileFormat,FK_MediaSubType,EK_MediaType from File where IsDirectory = '0' and Path like '%MediaDiskOnCore [29]/HiDef%';
select Path,Filename,FK_FileFormat,FK_MediaSubType,EK_MediaType from File where IsDirectory = '0' and Path like '%MediaDiskOnCore [29]/DVD%';
select Path,Filename,FK_FileFormat,FK_MediaSubType,EK_MediaType from File where IsDirectory = '0' and Path like '%MediaDiskOnCore [29]/Screener%';
select Path,Filename,FK_FileFormat,FK_MediaSubType,EK_MediaType from File where IsDirectory = '0' and Path like '%MediaDiskOnCore [29]/Comics%';
select Path,Filename,FK_FileFormat,FK_MediaSubType,EK_MediaType from File where IsDirectory = '0' and Path like '%MediaDiskOnCore [29]/TV%';
select Path,Filename,FK_FileFormat,FK_MediaSubType,EK_MediaType from File where IsDirectory = '0' and Path like '%MediaDiskOnCore [29]/Cam%';
select Path,Filename,FK_FileFormat,FK_MediaSubType,EK_MediaType from File where IsDirectory = '0' and Path like '%MediaDiskOnCore [29]/HomeVideos%';
select Path,Filename,FK_FileFormat,FK_MediaSubType,EK_MediaType from File where IsDirectory = '0' and Path like '%/data/pvr%' and Filename like '%mpg';
commit;

Then run it in cron every 10 minutes:
Code: [Select]
0,10,20,30,40,50 * * * * /usr/bin/mysql -u root < /root/fix_media_type.sql >>/dev/null 2>>/dev/null

Works like a charm.

Oh, and Thom, great work and many thanks for all you do. LinuxMCE is a lot of fun. I too am unemployed (8 months now) and have been spending a lot of time with it. I hope things work out well for you.
Title: Re: Call for donations for features.
Post by: donpaul on September 24, 2009, 10:41:02 pm
I would also love to see a way to add media to a "favorites", and sort media by other attributes such as year. Others already mentioned the juicier features.
Title: Re: Call for donations for features.
Post by: tschak909 on September 24, 2009, 11:57:24 pm
Can somebody work on trying to get this into UpdateMedia itself? We shouldn't have to run a "script" ... perhaps by doing some introspection of the files we can at least set format, and use directories for the others.

-Thom
Title: Re: Call for donations for features.
Post by: jthodges on September 25, 2009, 04:55:32 am
Can somebody work on trying to get this into UpdateMedia itself? We shouldn't have to run a "script" ... perhaps by doing some introspection of the files we can at least set format, and use directories for the others.

-Thom

If you're referring to donpaul's script, the autotag patch I submitted six months ago integrates with UpdateMedia to do this and more.  It is based on file / directory path, allows regular expressions, and allows you to set/update/add MediaType, MediaSubType, ShortAttribute, LongAttribute.  

Edit: To clarify - it does not do any introspection on the files, though I think that's a good idea and separate from the autotag patch.
Title: Re: Call for donations for features.
Post by: dlewis on September 25, 2009, 05:22:27 am
is that patch in the current release?
Title: Re: Call for donations for features.
Post by: donpaul on September 25, 2009, 06:22:49 am
I would love to apply and test that patch if it isn't already in the latest release. I only use the script as a workaround until the feature was added, and provided it in case anyone else is as impatient as I am.
Title: Re: Call for donations for features.
Post by: indulis on September 25, 2009, 08:21:14 am

The Amazon affiliate link I set up that would benefit the community, including the 'dev hardship fund' has had 7 clicks and no sales.  Does nobody in this community buy things on Amazon?  this doesn't cost you anything but the community will recieve commission for your sale at 4-7% of the purchase price.  Just click thru the link below and search Amazon, select, Buy, the community gains

http://www.techstyleuk.co.uk/lmce_ass.htm (http://www.techstyleuk.co.uk/lmce_ass.htm)


I didn't know about this and have bought quite a lot of stuff from Amazon UK- how about a sticky in all forums with just the subject "PLEASE DONATE TO LINUXMCE" and the Amazon links and the normal donation button/link.

I'm going to try the new version of LMCE.  For me the things which probably need improving most with LMCE are:
Title: Re: Call for donations for features.
Post by: jthodges on September 25, 2009, 07:38:04 pm
is that patch in the current release?
Not as far as I know, but I did just notice a recent update on the trac ticket that someone had added the libpcrecpp library dependency to UpdateMedia.  Perhaps they are getting ready to integrate it?

I would love to apply and test that patch if it isn't already in the latest release. I only use the script as a workaround until the feature was added, and provided it in case anyone else is as impatient as I am.
I would really appreciate any testing and/or feedback.  Unfortunately, I don't currently have a functional 0810 build environment to provide you with binaries, but if you have one set up and wanted to try the patch, I'd be happy to help however I can.  The patch and my instructions for setting it up are in the trac ticket http://trac.linuxmce.org/trac.cgi/ticket/158. 
Title: Re: Call for donations for features.
Post by: donpaul on September 25, 2009, 08:34:55 pm
I would really appreciate any testing and/or feedback.  Unfortunately, I don't currently have a functional 0810 build environment to provide you with binaries, but if you have one set up and wanted to try the patch, I'd be happy to help however I can.  The patch and my instructions for setting it up are in the trac ticket http://trac.linuxmce.org/trac.cgi/ticket/158. 

I'll check it out.