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Topics - davidsmoot

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What do you guys think about this:

No details on the underlying tech but they route the data to their servers and let you view it via a web interface.  The catch is you agree to let them cycle your AC off during peak periods for 10-15 minutes but you can manually override their ability to do this

Seems a cheap way to get your thermostat connected.  Gonna give it a try I think.

Saw this on and thought it was interesting although probably not much use to LMCE.  It is an FCC filing on a device that comes from Nokia's spun off home automation division.

The interesting part is the draft user manual where it talks about jumping into the box via telnet to configure Z-wave devices.

Just thought those that read this forum might find it interesting.

So I'm starting to wrap my head around what LMCE is. Here's my concept of LMCE, correct me if I am wrong.

The core of LMCE is the DCErouter that is basically a "post office".  Open source applications like Xine, Myth, Asterisk, etc have a LMCE "wrapper" that interfaces them to the DCERouter.
This wrapper can do multiple things:
  • create messages to be passed into DCErouter
  • register for messages that it is interested in receiving
  • respond to messages it receives by making the wrapped application do something

So LMCE at its simplest is a framework for automating the interaction of various standalone open source applications.  Asterisk and Xine were never designed to work together to pause a movie when the phone rings.  But that can happen through LMCE. LMCE creates wrappers for both applications. The Xine wrapper registers with DCERouter and says he wants to know when a phone call message is received by DCERouter.  The wrapper for Asterisk registers with DCERouter and says I am going to create phone call messages. When the phone call happens, the wrapper around asterisk creates a message that is passed to DCERouter and then to the Xine Wrapper. The Xine Wrapper then makes Xine pause the movie.  Is that roughly correct?

So in theory, D-Bus could provide a lot of this functionality if the "wrapped" applications built in support correct?  Could / does DCERouter interact over D-Bus?  Probably would be PITA to handle the registration process.

So what are the pros and cons of LMCE versus D-Bus for this type of event driven message passing?  I know LMCE was up and working before D-Bus was mature so it had mature functionality first.  Plus D-Bus support has to be built into the application where the wrapper model can be applied after the fact. But the wrapper model means LMCE has to lag behind upstream development to make sure the integration is correct, right?  Plus D-Bus is application specific where LMCE is more "event driven", you can send messages directly to xine or asterisk using D-bus but there is not a generic D-Bus API for registering for all home security events?

I want to play with some of this home automation stuff but I'm really not a big media consumer (at least not TV / Movies anyway) and I'm trying to figure out which framework makes more sense.  LMCE is much more mature but if I want a new wrapper, I write it or pay someone to write it.  If I use something like D-Bus then it becomes more likely that hardware and software will be supported out of the box in the future.  Or maybe a middle path of building a D-Bus plug-in for DCERouter where the two protocols could interact?


Users / Elgato USB stick work for video capture in LMCE?
« on: April 05, 2010, 09:06:51 pm »
Slowly cobbling together my first core. Have one of these left over from a Mac setup I had for a while. It appears to have linux drivers. Has anyone made it work with LMCE?  I know I could just build the core and see what happens but if it is not gonna work I'd rather spend the cash on hardware that will work instead of building my core up more than once.

Users / Audio system options 101
« on: March 10, 2010, 04:50:27 am »
This might be too stupid a question but sometimes I don't even know the right terms to Google...

I know the technical side of programming and development a lot better than I know the multimedia side.  I am in the process of buying a new house and I finally have my own space.  I want a "good" sound system.  I'm not an audiophile but I know that I want something better than standard PC desktop speakers.

I know there are a lot of variables, encoding bitrate, channels, analog outputs versus digital.  Is anyone here aware of a webpage or resource that takes you through the basics.  I've got a lot of questions.

I have a core with an SPDIF output... Does that need to go to a receiver to get good sound?  Is my money better spent on a high end sound card or a basic receiver?  I've got several gadgets with Bluetooth A2DP capability, is it worthwhile to try to get that supported in my office soundsystem or is the sound quality so much lower it isn't worth it?  How does the audio quality of streamed music compare to the audio

Any help appreciated.  I've googled "home audio systems", "audio system tutorial", and a few other phrases but I can't seem to hit on a basic introduction to your options, tradeoffs, and pricepoints.


Users / How do you guys backup your media?
« on: March 09, 2010, 05:22:49 pm »
I'm putting together my first system mostly from stuff I have laying around. My Hybrid will be based off an ASUS AN-M2 motherboard ( in a Shuttle small form factor case that I happened to have available.

My question is how do you (or do you?) back up your media? In this box I only have room for two SATA drives.  I might be able to squeeze a USB stick or a 2.5" drive in there as well if I got creative.

Once you spend a lot of time ripping your DVD's and music, I would assume you would want that protected from mechanical disk failure.  I could do raid but a hardware RAID controller is about the same money as an external raid enclosure.  I could buy a NAS with RAID for not much more.

So based on your experience with LMCE, what would you recommend.  If it matters, I am more interested in ease of use than absolute performance.

1. Software RAID built into motherboard
2. Buy a hardware RAID card
3.  Buy an external RAID enclosure and connect through ESATA
4.  Buy a NAS with RAID built in
5.  Just connect an external drive and run backup scripts regularly

What do you guys do?  Do you run separate physical disks for OS versus media or just separate partitions?


Users / Serving other services / tasks from the core?
« on: March 07, 2010, 05:38:48 pm »
First post greetings... I'm a embedded system developer and I am in the process of buying a new house.  I finally will have my own office / study / gadget lab area and I am looking forward to playing with Linux MCE.  In the past, I really only had room for one computer and the wife did not want my Linux projects interfering with her computer use (Ubuntu 64 bit did not play nice with flash a couple years back).  So finally I can play around.  To be honest, the security cam / alarm integration appeals more to me, I don't watch that much TV.

I'm working my way through the Wiki and online info and I have come into some slightly contradictory info:  Should my core be a dedicated core doing nothing but MCE tasks or can it be a general purpose server/workstation?

For example, I want a Trac/SVN server for some of my code development projects.  I'm trying to learn Python / QT (got an N900 that I am playing with) and I want to use my linux box as a development workstation for Maemo / Meego. I own a domain that I have never put to good use and I might try to throw wordpress up there.  I'll probably try to set up openVPN and an incoming SSH server (I know about the SSH keys issue).

One place in the wiki it says that you can use your MCE box as a standard workstation, but elsewhere it talks about a "clean core". Am I going to break a lot of MCE functionality if I update pieces of Ubuntu for software development tasks?

Anybody else use their MCE box as a general purpose home server?

Many more questions to come but I'm going to finish the Wiki first...

Ok so maybe my question was too vague but here's my specific confusion:
"It is best to dedicate one PC as the Core server. You can put this computer somewhere out of the way and not connect a monitor to it."

But from
"We didn't take any modules away from the Kubuntu distribution, we only added some. You can still use your Core as a normal Kubuntu Linux PC. In fact, our additions can be bypassed if they get in your way, as is explained below. But in general, DCERouter and other devices, like the home automation modules, all run in the background and won't interfere in screen sessions."

I'm laying out my systems / network and I would prefer to have one "home server" that has my media, my VPN server, my TRAC / SVN server.  But if I am going to be constantly fighting compatibility between what works for MCE and the other services I want to run, I'd like to know sooner rather than later.  Surely with all the geeks around here somebody runs other Linux services on their core?.


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