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Messages - bgp

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Installation issues / Re: Black screen after installation is finished
« on: July 01, 2008, 09:40:15 pm »

I'm glad this is not an issue for you, but you may not be able to say for sure that it is not an issue for everyone experiencing this problem, unless you fancy travelling round the world checking our installations.

I have had a variety of difficulties with output from my FiireStations to my plasma and my LCD, many of which could be characterised as "black screen after installation is finished". I am well aware of the options to change port and resolution using the number keys. In my case this did not help. Nor did trying different output ports (VGA, S-Video, as well as DVI/HDMI, which is my preference). So far, no definitive solution has been found.

I'd suggest this may not be an issue - try the number keys might be a more appropriate generalisation.

Installation issues / Re: LinuxMCE with Raid-5 and LVM?
« on: July 01, 2008, 10:53:52 am »
I don't think you can install direct to RAID. I tried doing it by installing to a single disk, setting up the mds, copying the filesystem across, and editing fstab and lilo configuration. It boots up fine, but linuxmce also picks up the md device as a potential storage device, and wants to add it to the list of storage devices (in its irritating way of asking persistently, not taking no for an answer). If you make the mistake of saying yes, you will get all the silly little system sounds and images listed amongst your media. It will work if you are careful, but it could be friendlier.

Installation issues / Re: Fiire experience
« on: June 30, 2008, 11:28:38 am »
Dan, I did scan the forums, but what I saw didn't seem like a clear red flag. On the FiireEngine, you say:

Overal, the system DOES work well..  however, you should be able to build the same comparible system for half the price.

One note, they HAVE put a lot of effort into the configuration, DOCUMENTATION, and setup ease.. that HAS to be paid for..

The main criticism is on the cost, but I was happy to bite that bullet for a system that "just works". I thought Jeff responded pretty well to the criticisms on the cost. But obviously, what it is worth depends on how well it works out of the box.

On the 1" box, you say:

Been having minor lock up problems.. still working out the bugs..
works well though!

On the 2.2" box, the main issue highlighted is that you can't have MythTV and the UI2 interface. I was willing to live with that, doing the recording through the Engine (hence ordered the Engine with tuner card).

My problems are more fundamental than the ones you had. I can't get a working GUI at a reasonable resolution on either Station, even though they are both attached to 720p screens. I'd be happy if I got to the point where the lack of MythTV was the frustration.

I agree with you that the 1" box seems to run very hot. Particularly worrying, as Fiire have asked me to leave it on to give them a reasonable chance to get in on Remote Assistance and try to get it working. How did you slow down the 1" box?

To be fair to Fiire, their technical support and customer service have responded to emails (at least, until recently) and tried to help. But unfortunately without success, and I haven't had any response to my most recent communications.

Installation issues / Re: Fiire experience
« on: June 29, 2008, 11:09:55 pm »

Not the new ones (i.e. Fiire 12TB, Invisible and Prestige now advertised on their website), but the previous range (Engine and Stations). Their specs claim the Stations do 720p and 1080i/p though, so this kit should be OK for HDTV. I have them attached to two HD-Ready 720p screens (one plasma, one LCD), which seems to be a major part of the problem.

No, they did not work out of the box. We (Fiire and me) have had a patchy time trying to get them working, thanks to BT's lines going down and taking my internet connection with it for several weeks. And, to be fair, they have tried, although it seems to need _a_lot_ of input from me. I am giving them one last chance to get things working, so I don't want to say definitely that they have failed yet, but it's looking pretty likely. I'll tell more if that proves to be the case. Frankly, if there is no happy ending, this is a pretty miserable story that ought to deter anyone from buying their kit.

If you are looking at whole house systems (which I am also looking for - this was a trial), I am thinking that my next stop will be Convergent Home Technologies' Dianemo system. It may also have problems, but (a) they are in my home country, and (b) they are supplying systems, not just boxes, so it would be their job to make it work.

Alternatively, I may just give up and get some WinMCE boxes. I hate Windows, but at least WinMCE works out of the box and doesn't have problems with DRM. There is a limit to the amount of pain it is worth taking to use linux instead of Windows, and I say that as someone who has been using linux for over a decade, and even have it on my work laptop. I am pretty committed to linux, and to Free Software and Media standards generally, but I've been trying to put this sort of thing together for almost as long as I've been using linux, and progress is so slow and patchy that you can barely see it happening. Any changes just seem to introduce new complications, not solve old problems.

Installation issues / Fiire experience
« on: June 29, 2008, 08:14:58 pm »
In a number of posts on this forum, it is suggested that a way to avoid some of the hardware and setup issues with linuxmce is to buy the system ready-installed on Fiire's Engines and Stations. Some people had reported that the hardware compatibility of Fiire's kit was less than ideal, but many people seemed to think it was better than doing it yourself (I suspect based more on bitter experience of DIY and hope that there was a better alternative, than on any direct experience with Fiire).

I just wanted a functioning linuxmce system, and was prepared to pay the extra to have it pre-configured for me by Fiire rather than struggle with trying to get it going on my own hardware. So I bought a FiireEngine and two FiireStations (one 1" VESA-mount system, one set-top box) to see if it really made things easier.

My experience to date has been less than satisfactory. I have given them another 48 hours to get it working. I will report my experience and conclusions, including whether they finally got it working or how they behaved if they didn't get it working, to this forum later in the week. Based on my experience so far, I'd say you'd have to be mad to waste money (and, I suspect, more time than if I'd tried to put it together myself) on their kit, but perhaps they will rescue things at the last minute.

Had a "sort of" working install of 0704 on my FiireEngine ("sort of" in that the FE itself was working fairly well, but there were problems with the two FiireStations running off it). Received my copy of the 0710 install DVD in the post, so decided to upgrade to see if that solved the problems with the FiireStations.  Tried using the gutsy-upgrade-scripts, as per the wiki, and selecting to install from DVD. It copied all the packages from the DVD fine, but the script barfed at some point (I think on exit), apparently because I had installed a few non-core packages (e.g. emacs, which is the editor I am comfortable with). Still, it wasn't obvious what I should do, or that the failure to upgrade these packages was very serious, so I tried rebooting, as there were no further instructions. Now I have a dead FiireEngine.

If I select one of the recovery options from the grub menu (so I can see what is happening during boot-up), it gets as far as loading the forcedeth driver, and then freezes, eventually returning:

ALERT! /dev/disk/by-uuid/bf742ddb-[etc] does not exist. Dropping to a shell!

I have rebooted and changed the pointer to the root filesystem in one of the recovery options in grub, from root=uuid=bf742... to root=/dev/hda1, which is where I think the root filesystem is located by default on the FiireEngine. It still isn't happy (wanting to drop me to a console for repairs), but if I press Ctrl-D to carry on with the booting process regardless, it seems to mount the root filesystem and fires up the various processes. It seems to hang at the end, but that's simply because it hasn't fired up a GUI, nor switched me to one of the consoles. I can Alt-F1 to get an option to login. I had setup a password for root, so I can get in and edit stuff, so this has allowed me to find out what the UUID for the root device is and to edit grub accordingly. I also uninstalled the offending packages (emacs21, eieio, ede, semantic, jde).

Now I can reboot again, at the end of which it appears to successfully complete the installation process. But still I don't have the GUI - I am left at the console. I am not clear what I now need to do to get it to fire up the linuxmce GUI.

I've tried starting X as root, and then selecting Linux Media Center from the start menu. It's been ticking over for half an hour now. Don't know if it's just a question of patience, and whether it will start of its own accord as the linuxmce user next time I boot up. Any suggestions?

Users / Re: Unmet dependencies installing slimserver
« on: June 21, 2008, 09:05:53 pm »
It was 0704, which might explain the problems. I received the DVD for 0710 in the post recently. Just tried to upgrade and it's screwed my FiireEngine (I'll post separately on that), so I guess this problem is on hold until then.

Users / Unmet dependencies installing slimserver
« on: June 01, 2008, 01:51:02 pm »
I tried to install slimserver on my linuxmce server, but wasn't allowed to because of unmet dependencies for libnet-dns-perl, which required the security-updated version of perl (5.8.8-7ubuntu0.1) for feisty, rather than the release version (5.8.8-7build1). I had only the default repositories enabled in apt's sources.list (i.e. local deb-cache, feisty's release, security and updates, and linuxmce's repositories, neither of which seems to be available).

The only way I could get it to install the security updates for ubuntu was to comment out the local deb-cache folder in apt's sources.list. An apt-get update and upgrade then installed a whole host of updates (security and other) including the necessary version of perl. I could then install slimserver. Re-enabling the deb-cache repository then allowed me to install the slimserver-plugin for linuxmce and seemed also to downgrade slimserver from 6.3 to 6.2.2.

Is it safe to install the ubuntu updates like I have done, or will this break linuxmce? If the latter, how does one ensure that the linuxmce server is secure, and reconcile dependencies like this?

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