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Topics - Armor Gnome

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Developers / Link Aggregation in LMCE
« on: July 29, 2015, 03:15:27 am »
I would like to open a discussion topic on a feature I am interesting in developing and testing for LMCE.  This project is something I could tinker with and do development work on at a bench while the bulk of my system remains in storage.  Before I dive in however I would like to pose some function questions to those much more experienced than I to feel out what the usefulness of this would be in the LMCE network, ie. are performance improvements expected or is this a neat trial with no true benefit other than saying I did it.

Basic idea:  Provide manual configuration options to get network port aggregation working on the core.  A configuration on the web-admin for after install upgrades with manual port bonding or auto-magic detection scripts for installation that would assign bonds between NICs.

Limited initial support hardware:  dual pci-e NIC, quad pci-e NIC,  possible later add support for multiple single inexpensive PCI NICs

Concept:  In a PXE boot environment with all IO routing to and from the core, a 10/100/1000 is understood to be a minimum requirement.  From my understanding of LAG, the gigabit transmission is then split among all nodes pulling and requesting data at once limiting each connected node to a fraction of the 1000mb/s.  Two MDs would get 500mb/s each, four would get 250mb/s each.. etc.  By adding support for two (or more) gigabit NICs working as a bonded eth1 on our cores, network bottlenecks during peak traffic conditions could get closer to the 1000mb/s data per node after the switch.

Network boost, Minimal expense:  LAG would be beneficial between the core and the switch(s) only in my opinion and would require support for additional hardware on the core + extra ethernet cable to the switch.  Single lines from the switch out to MDs would not be needed or beneficial.

Developer/Network Architect Input:  Above is what works well on paper and depending on which article you read is either the greatest networking throughput gain ever or a lab experiment for a rookie Cisco student with no real benefit.

In our networks:

Are there peak transmission times where all MDs want data and we feel our cores cant provide it fast enough?
      Are MD boots done sequentially or all at once? 
      When streaming media from SAS on the core is IO bottlenecked?
Is LAG believed to be a feature worth testing and developing for LMCE 14.04 and later releases?
*Regarding LAG with switch redundancy:  Although it adds some complexity there is also the multiple bonded NICs going to multiple switches for redundancy in network topography.  I see less usefulness here in our networks but could also experiment with this easy enough.

Users / Media attributes display priority
« on: March 23, 2014, 07:29:44 pm »
Looking for possible solutions for a simple issue.  Technically a feature request as I imagine it may take some work, but wanted to check here in users section to see if there is already a method.

When adding media attributes to video files I use TMDB, a great add to the web-admin and a welcome change to the Amazon attribute finder.

So many attributes are added however that the synopsis of the movie does not display when a video thumbnail is pulled up.  Movies manually tagged or tagged using Amazon with fewer attributes (director & 2-3 performers) will display the synopsis.

- Is there a method of displaying all attributes without starting the video and then navigating to attributes>more in UI2?
- Could attributes be prioritized to display before others?

Users / Video File Format
« on: March 06, 2014, 09:02:23 pm »
Wondering what other users have found to be a good video file format in regards to quality vs. disk size. 

When I only had 100 or so movies, most of my collection was ripped DVDs in .dvd format which based on their size (4.7gb +) were pretty accurate copies of the original disk.  Quality was great imo and the special features included on disk were nice to have.

Now that my collection is near 1,000 movies I have noticed a large difference in quality using .mp4 and .mkv files which average 700mb - 1.5gb.  I have animated movies for the kids compressed down to 250mb in .mkv where quality is not critical but for other videos where I intent to watch with HD surround audio and want better picture I am looking for recommendations. 

Users / Haven't posted a thank you in a while
« on: March 01, 2014, 04:36:04 pm »
The title should be pretty straightforward.

It's been quite a few (five?) years since I started using LMCE in one form or another.  Even with frustrations I've experienced at times I really appreciate all the work that has and still goes into making this so enjoyable for users like me.  Next weekend I will be setting up a Hybrid for my parents who have until now enjoyed accessing my media through a PS3 and will really benefit from at minimum the ease of access UI2 offers.  Perhaps in time they will also enjoy the additional features that makes LMCE a total home solution and not just a media player.

Thank you to the developers, donators, testers and users who have posted feedback.   

Users / [SOLVED] Orbiter Clock for 800x600
« on: February 03, 2014, 04:47:50 pm »

In order to make the clock render correctly, you may depending on your orbiter resolution need to alter the clock font size.  I have found that a very nice size for 800x600 is a PixelHeight of 600.  Read on below if you would like to know how to change this value for other sized orbiter resolutions.


My thanks to tschak for the clock addition.  I have it although rendered incorrectly and appreciate it already.  Starting a topic to ask for some assistance in making it render as intended.  What is happening now is when doing 4 digit time (anything after 9:59) it places the minute number off the far right side of the screen. 

I followed the steps outlined in the LinuxMCE at Home thread and will go over those now incase I missed or misread something.

1. Downloaded the HelveticaNeue-UltraLight.tff
2. web admin>SqlCVS>update>all - waited for "successfull" in the popped up window
3. Used a konqueror browser and used "fish://" to graphically copy that .tff to my webDT. 
4.  ran the following from my core:
Code: [Select]
sudo -i
cd /usr/share/fonts/truetype/
*dir returned a couple subfolders and HelveticaNeue-UltraLight.tff file

5. Via web admin I selected the webdt under orbiters and selected Full Regen
6. waited for status bars 1 & 2 and the words "orbiter regeneration complete"
7.  Quick reload router

** WebDT is using BlueCrystal skin, 800X600 UI1, everything else works smoothly and fits the skin

Users / Adding a special "room"
« on: June 23, 2013, 10:49:48 am »
Greetings old friends!

I am still happily using 10.04 in my home and have enjoyed LinuxMCE for about 5 years now.
For reasons of roommate consideration, I have downsized the number of rooms with devices and dramatically reduced the amount of control and automation active.  -Of special note to those who have watched me struggle with old/unsupported equipment, this means only the best, most supported, newest equipment is in use now.

With extra time and automation equipment on my hands I have decided to pick back up the aquarium/vivarium hobby and think I could greatly benifit from some of my unused equipment and all I have learned about automation with and in LMCE.  My first question is about lights as I ran out and bought before asking before.  Following that question I will list a few ideas I have and if anyone is interested in following along or discussing this application I would be happy to update.

Innotech? Z-Wave Dimmable Light switch controlling 1-3 5000k LED bulbs?  Dimming with CFLs was not very successful for me using this switch and having watched TSCHACK's LED dimming YouTube video I have my doubts. (Congratulations btw TSCHACK on your recent family addition)
These lights will ideally provide a gradual increase in brightness each morning to simulate dawn and then a gradual reduction in the evening for dusk.  I am hoping for input on wide coverage bulbs that don't "beam" a narrow area, work well with z-wave fed fixtures and dim in small increments to very low intensities.

The whole picture of this new "room"

125 gallon (72x18x20) eurobraced glass aquarium w/ 40 gallons extra in refugium and sump
Paludranium (spelling may be off) meaning 50/50 water and land with many live plants
Two juvenial axolotls will call this home

Non-typical or creative aquarium ideas

Axolotl require cooler water than most aquariums (60-64F) and do like intense light.
Sumps and refugium overflows will function normally but I would like to add a refrigerated resevoir which would pump to 'cool rain' sprinkler heads when the tank goes above 64F. My thought is to use the relays on the gc100 to open automatic sprinkler valves but I have not found a good submersible temp sensor that could talk to LMCE.
Rain simulation would mainly be used as a cooling method but will also be added to accompany seasonal changes around breeding time.
Lightning storm effect: simple x10 or z-wave wall outlet would need to quickly turn on and off a cheap strobe light dialed in to lightning flash speed and mounted in the canopy.
Cloud movement: my idea is to have dark areas of a rolled film pulled horizontally from roll to roll between the lights and the glass top to give a moving cloud shadow effect.  Z-wave blind controls?
2gig z-wave thermostat: used to control the air temp inside the dry top half of the tank.  It would be cool only and would output to PC fans on either side of the tank.  Battery life of the thermostat or supply of voltage through a wall wort adapter are my thoughts.
Closed loop x10 use? I have a cm15a and a dozen x10 devices I would like to have on an isolated circuit for various sound effect, moonlight control, other effects.  Is there a way to isolate x10 or does the signal have to return to the breaker box each 'loop'
Mechanical or gravitational failsafes for all light/cooling/water level automation.
Event logging
Notifications, audible or email/text/VoIP recordings for out-of-spec conditions, water change or maintanence reminders.
Database logging and note taking (ideally via orbiter near the tank) for last fed, how much, breeding info, health etc.
Aeon-Labs energy monitor switch: connected to a mini-fridge housing my chilled resevoir.  This would turn on when the tank water temp nears my high limit, preventing wasted power keeping the cooling water cold when not needed.  This could also show me power usage and give me notice of other cooling issues.
Long term scheduling to automate seasonal changes in light and temperatures.  I can pull weather info from these amphibians natural range and duplicate those settings in my enclosure.

Users / Core HDD Size Estimates
« on: June 01, 2013, 08:18:25 pm »
What are other users seeing for total space required per MD for their core?

I am looking over things from a few previous installations while I gather hardware for a reinstall and have found some areas I want to look into further.  Specifically I am looking at logrotate and some run-away folder sizes.  The issues causing these coredumps and crash logs of course will need to be located and addressed individually.

Healthy Core (OS partition)
Total disk space used?
Total number of MD?

With enough input I will add a portion to the wiki pertaining to hardware selection covering suggested drive size based on max number of potential future device, or room count + outdoor areas if that reads easier.  Thanks.

Tireless developers and administrators:

I am using Facebook business pages to promote my home-business.  The large majority of electronics in my home are operated by and use LinuxMCE menus, displays, logos, etc.  I am requesting proper procedures for displaying images and videos of these devices, while giving all credit to LinuxMCE for its operation.

I do computer repair, non-glamorous "fix this PII so I can get on facebook", hardware upgrades and similar the majority of the time.  On occasion I do,  and my company goal is, to move into more and more customization, product development, installations and yes... home automation.  I will type it here nice and clear so it is communicated and can be quoted:
I will not offer for sale LinuxMCE or any software that is not entirely my creation.  I will not sell equipment that I am not able to make operational for my customers without the use of LinuxMCE, as this would burden LinuxMCE's developers with supporting customers I profited from."

There may be a situation where a customer is inspired after visiting my home office or seeing images/videos of LinuxMCE operating and despite my declaration of the quoted above, wishes to install LinuxMCE.  Should this occur I will refer to any instruction I am given here or contact an admin directly.  So far no customers of mine (that I am aware of) are using LinuxMCE.  The few used pieces of compatible equipment I have sold were configured to operate stand-alone or with that customers existing OS/control devices.

I realize that the mention of profit makes for immediate uneasiness.  I apologize though as I prefer a direct post and request such as this to any doubt about my intentions.  Links to GPL documentation, feedback from developers and responses from administrators is 100% welcome.

Developers / html grabber source
« on: May 06, 2013, 12:24:32 am »
This could well be a mythtv development issue but it could be helpful to add to the HDhomeRun setup scripts lmce already employs.  This particular TV tuner does appear to be one of the more popular in use by lmce users.

I am a supporter of datadirect's service, but the difference between cheap and free at times is pretty noteworthy.  I can probably do 90% of the work on making this an easily selectable option in mythtv setup if someone is able to oversee and provide the assistance with the other 10%. 

There are other free guide data sources I have used such as iTV for iOS that with more work could be brought in as well but as the protocols add up in number I would need more assistance.  So if there are other aspiring developers out there looking for a project and like this idea, respond.   

Developers / Configuration lock/unlock
« on: April 26, 2013, 01:43:42 pm »
I have had a lot of issues with standard installation devices working and then breaking after a reboot because of driver/kernel changes that I am not initiating.  Instead of hacking my install to bits and ending up with something other than LinuxMCE I wish to develop a feature.  My plan will be to write a small shell script and perhaps a few supporting files.  If they work without changing much else than I would like a dev to try it out and then figure out how to submit it.

Devices currently breaking themselves as examples:

Hybrid install w/ onboard ATI 4200 HD.  Can be installed from snapshots or 10.04 Final and works amazing with onboard HDMI w/ audio etc, as long as the hybrid is off-line.  If the machine has Internet during install or any reboot after it loads back ports and flgrx driver which breaks it.

Acer Revo 1600R as MD.  First install as new MD works flawless and uses the nvidia driver.  The MD continues to work unless it has to reboot, be reset.  On any reboot after initial it removes the nvidia driver automatically and will not run again until the moon# is deleted and re-detected as a new device.

My executable:
/usr/Pluto/bin/ & (This would also need to be present in /usr/Pluto/diskless/##/usr/Pluto/bin/

Replace sources.list with a blank or commented out version?

My problem, and where I need some assistance please:

LMCEs entire structure is built around detection, self testing and configuring new devices.  I had tried everything I can to prevent a problem driver (and will need to try for the Revo) from making two working devices into non-working devices. rewrites itself, killing sources.list alone would not stop other detections from going off such as storage radar etc...

I am going to write it and test it but,

If you wanted to cement a configuration of your own, which files/scripts/initd/modprobe/blacklists would you change?

Users / Shared Success (telecom with VoipCheap)
« on: April 25, 2013, 10:21:31 am »
The users section was probably the most appropriate place for this. 

Today I successfully placed my first VOIP call through LinuxMCE.  Asterisk is still very much a black-box for me but I hope to learn it better as I have with each category of device I have added and needed to support or seek support on.  Thank you once again to everyone who has worked on this project.

My hurdles that others may want to look at if they are having issues:

*If buying used voip equipment, inquire about the firmware version.  "stepping up" a 7970 with very old and very unknown firmware was a chore.
*Open those ports.  It was confusing to me until I actually sat down to do it.  You basically build a rule into any router between your core and "outside" that communication using port 5060 (or your providers port #) gets handed down.  In my case there are 3 routers between the core and my ISP so I had to have each router hand down port 5060 to the router closer to me.
*Google search, study, ask your provider for details, and get details.  Again in my case the SIP - phone number was my user-name to log into their website again.  I didn't get that information in my first help ticket I opened.
*Share your successes.  I admit to shying away from a 30 page long ongoing thread that may or may not have resolved someones issue.  I will read a dozen 2-3 response threads that quickly explain what was wrong and what needed to be fixed.

name = website name
pw = website password
phone number = website name
port = 5060
provider = this is noteworthy as their website says sip.voipcheap
prefix = [something] ~from another current thread this is also important to indicate.

Installation issues / Disable ATI drivers in 10.04? [side-stepped]
« on: April 09, 2013, 09:22:11 am »
10.04 Final.iso is working marvelously on my new hybrid as long as I am not connected to the net. 

Once I connect and the flgrx drivers are downloaded I am getting some pretty severe problems that I would like to share with L3top and others via IRC.  The way that it is breaking however is preventing booting so I need a way to assure those drivers are not selected and allow me to take the system online.

I could once installed off-line edit the sources list to remove ati.  This would work for now as I won't be adding MDs until this gets resolved.  Could someone please share the source that contains ati flgrx and anything that points to them?

Block flgrx or specify a rule to not select it for this particular chipset (ATI 4200 HD)?  I would go this route but the chip detection and driver selection rules happen so early that I am willing to bet would require a custom boot script.  If those scripts however pull from a single file I can modify values in, I could make LMCE devalue the ATI driver and choose to leave the existing drivers alone

Installation issues / Amazon Coverart?
« on: April 04, 2013, 04:58:41 am »
After a sqlCVS update today I noticed that Amazon is no longer available under media files sync.  TVMD and another similar acronym where in their place.  I have not been able to pull a single music attribute using the two provided sites and have manually been tagging my own via google image searches and wikipedia for disc info.

The complexity of the entire telecom portion of LinuxMCE has always floored me.  When over the years an issue that affected a lot of asterisk/FreePBX hit the forums I would try to follow along but quickly would become confused and lost in the menus and settings necessary to make a call.  About 2 years ago I began paying for VOIP service and continued to pay for over 12 months without ever placing or receiving a single call.  I have at best been able to make one on-screen orbiter ring another,  but the moment I try to pick it up I get a "call dropped, normal clearing".  I have tried IP phones, ATAs, softphones, hardphones, orbiter embedded, usb mics, headsets, 3.5mm desktop microphones all to no avail.

Meanwhile during this time the VOIP experience has become so commonplace and easy everywhere else that I canceled my cell service and use wifi apps to handle all of my calling/SMS needs.  Watch a 30 second ad on my iPhone and earn 2 minutes of calling.  In an hour or so at my desk reaching over and tapping 'watch videos" every few minutes when I think about it gets me 60+ minutes of calling to any number.  As I am often experimenting and looking at VMs running different OSs and packages I am amazed at how difficult it is to "not" make a call.  I obviously am making something too difficult but can not understand where.  Is the telecom plugin that configuration and user input dependent?  Below is my setup that I would guess is pretty standard fair.

One hybrid - orbiter embedded phone
Two media directors - each with orbiter embedded
3-4 different DNS services I keep giving money to even though they can not provide me DNS service.
LinuxMCE is behind a router that my ISP provides. Firewall disabled, no custom port configurations or forwardings
One Cisco 7970
One Cisco 7905
One Budgetone 100 (previous voip provider issued, Grandstream is the make)
One Sipura2000
Cisco Mobile iOS
Google Talk #
Google Voice account
Text + account (iOS app I mentioned earlier)
... 5 years worth of accounts, hardware, passwords, registrations etc...


Web-Admin/Phone Lines/ shows my voipcheap account enabled but alternates between not-registered, request and I forget the other.  I do not have any other phone # so when I registered with VoipCheap I gave my roommate's cell.  I do not know if that is my voipcheap number now, or if its +1(area code) 9(areacode).  I have found two different guides here and on the wiki that give conflicting information about what to put in the ATA configuration fields for authorization yes/no and user id.  Am I supposed to put the extension of the softphone or the voip provider info?

7970 when calling any extension or *## gets a busy signal
7905 gets a loud ringing noise the instant I lift the receiver (device removed as I suspect it may be damaged)
cisco mobile app can call the 7970 though I can only answer by using the softbuttons (or picking it up), attempts to use the orbiter drop the call.  This app is also the only device under phones that is capable of reaching my voicemail box.
Softphones (connected through various FXO equipped modems or ATAs) all get a dial tone but go to a busy signal after attempting any call.  2-3 attempted calls results in the loud screeching noise that I have only been able to clear with a reload.
The mobile iOS device status continually enters a "RUN_CONFIG" status where it becomes unuseable.  My IP for this device is on the 192.168.80 network and was assigned by dcerouter.  It may be a coincidence but I notice more problems after I return home, almost like this device not being ping-able causes an issue?

**Admins please feel free to move this post if you feel it is better suited for help wanted**

This is not an area I am able to troubleshoot and could really use some help on this.  My roommates are growing tired of "I am working on it", or "someday you will be able to get calls right here on the tv!"  If my problems can be narrowed to 2-3 most likely causes I will jump on any suggested hardware or service providers, I will even wipe my installation and start from step one if needed.  If need be, "yes" I am willing to offer some compensation as I am not aware of any major telecom bugs for other users...

Installation issues / [Solved] Cisco 7970 - missing firmware
« on: March 23, 2013, 09:59:48 am »
I working on getting my cisco 7970G working in linuxmce as outlined in the wiki article.

I was able to follow the directions and added my phones mac range to the 7970 template which did prompt a detected device on a nearby orbiter.  I have reloaded my router several times since then but the phone repeatedly restarts itself in a pattern.

Reboot, speaker button illuminated
white Cisco boot screen with a target icon in the lower left
white screen with Upgrading, current mac #
white Cisco boot screen with a checked square
white screen with Upgrading, current mac #
Reboot, speaker button illuminated

I attempted a tcpdump command on my core to see if there were any errors detectable but after doing apt-get install tcpdump I was told that "tcpdump -i eth1 was incorrect syntax.  I am not sure where to begin looking for an error/activity log to determine any other information.  In my webadmin I see that there is a 7979 listed under asterisk and that it had a child device of Cisco 7970 Orbiter.  Port listen number is 3452 as my webpad orbiter is on 3451.  Orbiter was fully regened, still nothing.

Perhaps this is a firmware issue?  How in the world though are people getting to the settings screen with ethernet disconnected or trapped in one of these reload loops?  

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