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Messages - chrisbirkinshaw

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Users / Re: How do you feel about
« on: June 11, 2010, 02:21:59 am »
Maybe there is a way to have some kind of configuration string which allows the user to set their naming scheme?



Users / Re: 100$ Android with 7" touch screen as Orbiter?
« on: June 11, 2010, 02:15:27 am »
Looks like VNC viewer is available for Nokia 770 which I have, so I can try it on that.

A company I worked for did an install of around 50 touch screen controllers for a major UK TV broadcaster. Each was a VESA mounted thin client with a remote desktop session open to a large blade server running 50 Virtual Machines on which the client applications were loaded. There was some latency on full screen redraws but it was not judged to affect usability in the trials we ran. It's still in use and people are happy with it...

Users / Re: 100$ Android with 7" touch screen as Orbiter?
« on: June 10, 2010, 02:06:30 pm »
I'm considering setting up an MD in a virtual machine on the core, then using VNC viewer on the tablet to connect to it and use the orbiter. I'm not sure how responsive VNC viewer is on the tablet, and there would be some latency, but presumably not as bad as the web orbiter?

Developers / Re: Reinventing the wheel
« on: June 09, 2010, 08:15:30 pm »
@Andrew Exactly :-) I have LMCE 810 running in a VM for fun/testing. It has some zwave stuff and a USB-UIRT attached. However I can control all the zwave stuff without LMCE and can play the GF a video from the Xtreamer (albeit with a much worse UI than LMCE). Even when 810 is stable I think I'll keep the Xtreamer as a backup - a core hardware failure is never out of the question. As I said I am not complaining - I understand the risks of running beta software.

@Thom Yes this must be extremely frustrating. I'm just not sure what the answer is. Have the LMCE senior developers made some presentation to the dev communities of Xine, Mplayer, Myth etc? Perhaps we could make a slideshow describing all the cool architecture features and fire it over? I am up for doing this with a little guidance. If the system really is amazing under the hood (I believe you from what I've seen) then those guys should get fired up.

Users / Re: sharing one usbuirt with core and md?
« on: June 09, 2010, 04:35:12 pm »
Learning works fine. I did 4 controls in about 20 mins :-)

Developers / Re: Reinventing the wheel
« on: June 09, 2010, 04:31:25 pm »
Yeah but you know I *had* to have the Beta! Don't get me wrong - I'm not complaining about stability here. You won't see a "this is why I left LMCE post from me!". This post was about making a suggestion which I hoped would save someone time and improve ease of maintenance and promote involvement by devs from other projects. I've seen a lot of frustration on the forum and started thinking - is this the right path? Is there a way to solve this? The answer was no, not right now, but it was worth asking I think. Thanks for the info all.


Users / Re: Solution for front door peephole security camera
« on: June 08, 2010, 05:43:32 pm »
Yeah it's composite only. You can run USB over cat5 :-)

So any suggestions for a USB composite video capture card that's compatible?


Developers / Re: Reinventing the wheel
« on: June 08, 2010, 05:40:36 pm »
Hi guys,

Actually I'm not using XBMC, I use a Xtreamer which has a crappy GUI but is reliable and I can invite the girlfriend round to watch a film without ending up getting my balls cut off. Ho hum! :-(

I guess I'm just trying to see if there is a way that time and effort can be saved - I'm not making a feature request. My particular worry is continuing maintenance effort for what is essentially a huge branch of multiple linux software products all maintained by 4 or 5 overworked guys. you can see the tension as sparks fly in the forums! I don't think that adding a new plugin to control XBMC to LinuxMCE really adds anything. Who knows though - maybe it would entice some of the XBMC crowd over? We'd be stuck in the situation we were with Myth a few months ago though, where things weren't that tightly integrated. And if we look at Mplayer, Xine, Myth, VDR, Asterix etc, do we have any evidence that their developers came over to LMCE? I'm guessing not.

What do you think? I don't want to set off trying to achieve something which is unhelpful and quite frankly a waste of my and anyone else who care's to be involved's time. This is why I don't agree with the "if you want it, make it" line that I keep hearing. That kind of behaviour will lead to an increasingly fractured product which confuses the user no end (Mplayer/Xine choice and VDR/Mythtv is probably bad enough as it is!). Although too much talk and no action might annoy a few people it's better than just setting off at full speed towards an unknown target.

@golgoj4 - no offence taken, just heard your line so many times on these forums and it got to me I guess. Regarding your question, if you are not sure about issues with the interface for watching media then I can assure you that after a couple of years of lurking around these forums it's something which is heavily discussed/criticised by new, existing, and departing(!) users. I don't have any particular problem with it personally, but that's not always the full picture with software of course.

General point: Did anyone try to drum up support on the forums of the integrated products (asterisk, xine, myth etc)? Have they been shown videos etc? This could be an interesting area to explore maybe?

Developers / Re: Reinventing the wheel
« on: June 08, 2010, 08:46:44 am »
Well I think I have a pretty good idea of the basics - I've made simple ruby devices, interfaced perl scripts using the telnet interface. I made the ruby on rails database mapping and basic web GUI so I know how things fit together in the DB. But it still wasn't obvious why this approach would not work. The <other_media_center> based plugin could still be a DCE device.

I already spent a lot of my time on LMCE, even just getting things running probably adds in total to weeks. My ex girlfriend hated it, and I realised I was being generally antisocial because of it, etc etc. In the end I ripped everything out, replaced with dedicated hardware devices, and only have LMCE running in a Virtual Machine these days for testing and a bit of fun. Sometimes I just wonder (partially in awe - don't get me wrong) how much of your life you are prepared to devote to this project. It's impressive that you do so much, but seriously that would get to me after a while - even doing 1/10th of what you do was too much. Don't you want to set something off which just sustains itself and you can dip in and out of it? It must frustrate you to see the lack of interest in the programming tasks, the constant "when is the next release?" posts. I'm not trying to spread doom and gloom - just suggesting that there may be a way to leverage support from existing linux communities in other ways than just hoping they will see the light and jump ship to the architecture which is "light years ahead" of any other media centre. I don't doubt that pluto were very clever. Even looking at the database I thought "WOW!" the first time. But perhaps they were a little too clever.... Who knows...

I did say I was happy to be wrong ;-)

Developers / Re: Reinventing the wheel
« on: June 08, 2010, 07:00:22 am »
Yes, that is a different discussion, and I probably will as it looks like a simple API. But can you tell me - did you ever think of this, and are there reasons you decided LinuxMCE must have it's own completely separate path (and commit yourself to a potentially never ending project maintaining that path)? I presume that this kind of thing already crossed your mind but perhaps you have arguments against it? Just adding a new plugin to a massive pile doesn't exactly address my point, which was about reducing the amount of plugins to maintain :-D

EDIT: I don't "want XBMC"! I'm just asking a valid question nobody will answer! If I write a plugin this doesn't help - what I proposed was much bigger

Developers / Re: Reinventing the wheel
« on: June 08, 2010, 05:50:17 am »
As far as your point about competing media center applications, is it really a competition? Its what people prefer, not a popularity contest. Im not saying your points on sharing of code to the greater 'pool', but does it have to come at the loss of individuality. We do things different than XBMC. And for some reason, there are people that want us to be XBMC. Why not just install XBMC? Are there things i want to change? yes, make no mistake. But i guess my philosophy is fix/make it as opposed to being tied to something else which isnt so great imo.

What I'm saying is that we don't do things that differently to (for example) XBMC. I think there are very significant areas of overlap. I am open to discussion on these points and ready to stand corrected if you can give me some examples of how a combined solution would not meet the use cases of the current solution. I have already described why "just installing XBMC" is not sufficient - the products do not 100% overlap.

BTW doesn't the KDE vs Gnome thing annoy you? Doesn't it seem like a bit of a waste? Doesn't it make linux seem more complex to Joe Bloggs?

Developers / Re: Reinventing the wheel
« on: June 08, 2010, 05:45:09 am »
No, my post is not self centered. I do not care a rat's arse for what is powering the media experience. It's quite the opposite of self centered - I am suggesting a way to save time for the developers.

Yes, there would be some development to move to an architecture closely aligned to XBMC (for example), but my argument is that in long run maintenance would be reduced and sharing a codebase with more developers from another larger community would be helpful for all.

You haven't answered my point at all or taken notice of any of the benefits I have suggested, you simply have something against my post because I have not written any C++ code. I thought we were passed that... (BTW I have contributed perl and ruby code to the best of my abilities, and debugged some scripts, if that matters to you).

In the company in which I work products would go off the rails if there weren't some non-coders looking on from a high level and making architectural suggestions. We had a few products where "silo development" became a problem due to a few keen developers and now have a big job on our hands removing redundancy from overlapping products. Sometimes you need the birds eye view and different people have different skills. Software companies with products which are successful are not architected, coded, and graphic designed by one of even a handful of people.

So, please do not flame my post for no apparent reason.

I have suggested many areas of overlap with other open source linux media centres, ways time could be saved, and posed a question "why reinvent the wheel?". A useful response to my post would be to answer that fundamental question. I don't think you can argue that asking it or answering is not valid, no matter what the answer is. It is an open question, and not a predetermined conclusion as you suggested.

So please, discuss... Nobody should be attacked for promoting architectural discussions. If you don't have time because you are so busy doing coding and contributing to the project then simply ignore this thread.



Developers / Reinventing the wheel
« on: June 08, 2010, 04:08:25 am »
In the daytime I work as a presales solutions architect for a software company. I've had chance recently to sit back from linuxMCE and have a think about things in a broader sense, as if I were approaching a project at work, and try to think objectively. Here are my thoughts.

LinuxMCE is a media center. Cool.

What is great about it? Well it can turn on my lights when the film has finished, I have easy touch screen access to lighting scenarios around the home, when I'm watching TV I can see who is calling when the phone rings, etc etc.

What makes LMCE indispensible and unique is the cool integration between security, HA, media, etc. What everyone complains about? Media playback.

I have heard some of the core devs getting very dispondent at the mountain of work to do on LMCE to do things like remove non open source code, bring it up to the current standards for media center UIs such as XBMC, write new plugins for things like Hulu, Mame, Pandora, etc. I feel sorry for the small handful of devs who are literally recoding a mammoth system, so complex and interconnected that probably not even one person alive knows every inch of it and never will. Maybe it's time to stand back and ask if the task is really too big, and also if it is justifiable (read on!)?

I also did a bit of playing around with Boxee and XBMC and suddenly thought - if the only thing stopping me using these packages full time was the lack of cool HA/security/climate integration, then wouldn't it be better to take the media playback from XBMC into LinuxMCE all get all those Hulu, Netflix, iPlayer, Pandora plugins for free, and not have to maintain this huge beast anymore? There is even now a mythtv plugin for XBMC which allows liveTV and recorded program watching, and of course it's very much under active development by a large community.

XBMC is all easily controllable via a HTTP API, which is even better.

I would propose to strip frontend duties away from the orbiter (except for non MD devices) and have XBMC launched by the DCERouter on startup. The HA, security, and telephone menus would all then be XBMC plugins. It should be possible to get devs in the XBMC community to write these plugins if we get them excited enough, which would be great news obviously.

- Leverage existing iphone/smartphone apps for XBMC control
- UI3 for things like webDT goes into XBMC dev pool and you get their dev support and involvement
- No more coding new plugins for media playback as new web portals launch (there will be a lot over the next few years you can bet! - how many do you want to code?!!)
- Development on things like the mame plugin becomes an XBMC plugin, and again gets a wider audience and contribution from XBMC devs
- DCERouter stays in there and modularity is preserved

Seems like a win/win situation.

Does linux need separate teams writing competing media centre applications? Is this for the best? It kind of defeats the whole open source philosophy of contributing code to make the pool better so that it benefits everyone involved. Lots of separate pools reduces the chance of benefits being shared.



Users / Zwave Out of Frame Flow error
« on: June 07, 2010, 10:22:32 pm »
Has anyone seen this before?

Code: [Select]
01 06/07/10 20:38:17.867 ERROR! Out of frame flow!! <0xb7261b90>
05 06/07/10 20:38:20.975 No callback received: await_callback: -1 timer: 31 <0xb7261b90>
01 06/07/10 20:38:21.078 ERROR! Out of frame flow!! <0xb7261b90>
01 06/07/10 20:38:21.216 ERROR! Out of frame flow!! <0xb7261b90>

Using the tricklestar USB stick.



Users / Remote control strategy for video source feeding two rooms
« on: June 07, 2010, 03:55:19 pm »

I have a Satellite Receiver in the living room I have split via a 2x4 HDMI matrix to also feed the living room.

HD SAT --> HDMI In 1
Other video src --> HDMI In 2

HDMI Out 1 --> Living Room TV
HDMI Out 2 --> Bedroom TV

I have a USB-UIRT in the cupboard with the source equipment and have all devices working for the living room setup.

What is the best approach for remote control from the bedroom? Should I add another instance of the SAT receiver to the devices list and assign to the bedroom? I notice that I cannot route the SAT device to both TVs from the web admin, which would be the best solution. Having the device defined twice is going to cause problems with the standby status getting confused I expect.

I would also have to split the matrix template in 2, and have one half assigned to the bedroom and one to the livingroom.

Would be interested to see how you've all tackled this one.



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