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Topics - jondecker76

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Users / New flash 10.2 beta has VDPAU support!
« on: December 02, 2010, 08:01:19 pm »
What this means is that in the near future, HuluDesktop (ala lmce hulu player) will be able to handle full HD with very low CPU usage and smooth framerates on low end media directors (Atom/Ion boxes for example)

Although full VDPAU support is in the new flash beta, it is not  yet working for Hulu - here is why:
As you can read, there is a  new API spec for the new object which does GPU video decoding, and vendors must update their software before the benefits of the GPU decoding can be leveraged.

YouTube is already updating their video playback to the new API calls. You can read about YouTube's speedy adoption of the new API calls  here:

Just wanted to post this, as I'm sure many people will be wondering why they aren't seeing any performance gains if they manually installed the new Flash 10.2 beta manually.  As soon as Hulu  updates their software, we will be in for a big treat!

Developers / LMCE Launch Manager - name change suggestions please
« on: March 21, 2009, 07:06:26 am »
As I am starting to wrap up the Launch Manager port, and as the direction and purpose of this application has changed to be a daemon - I think we need to rename it so that its purpose is clear, and to stay in tune with normal Linux naming conventions (including the package name, executable name, and source directory name). Right now, I am suggesting:

lmced (LinuxMCE daemon)

And as for any GUI front ends (that will connect via socket) that will eventually be made, we could call those lmced-client (LinuxMCE daemon client).

Just wanted to get some input before I just push such a drastic change through

The User system badly needs a way to log out. Currently, somebody is always logged in as a user for a particular orbiter. For example, lets say I'm logged in to the on-screen orbiter of my hybrid. I go to work, but at home, my user is still logged in to that orbiter. If I had the hybrid set so that only I could log into it, then my security scheme would fail, as I am the only user that can log in, but yet I can't log out of the orbiter, so while I'm at work my hybrid remains wide open to anybody.

What I am proposing is a "Logout" button on the select user screen. The action of this button would be to take to to a "logged out" screen. This "logged out" screen could, in turn, be the select users screen, with the home button removed and the logout button removed. Then when someone wants to log back in, they just have to touch their name, enter their pin, then they are back to the home screen.

Also, while the above proposal takes care of the "visual" end of things, internally LMCE needs a member varialbe to track the logged out status of each orbiter, set the current user to null, and not allow any orbiter screen except for the "logged out" screen to be shown if it is set.

Anyone agree? Anyone have a better idea of how something like this could be implemented?

Developers / 16:9 UI1 Variant Do you think its warranted?
« on: March 12, 2009, 03:14:45 pm »
As a lot of small widescreen ratio devices are starting to pop up, I think we need to consider making a 16:9 variant of the UI1 (Normal Horizontal 16:9). Orbiter is sure to be ported to more and more 16:9 devices. A prime example is my google G1 phone. UI1 looks horrible on a 16:9 device currently because all of the background images retain their 4:3 aspect ratio. Also, areas such as the media browsers could make excellent use of the extra screen realestate (either by displaying longer Title names, or by adding a 3rd column for browsing media for example).

Just wanted to open it up for discussion - I'm probably going to start making it regardless (unless anyone has some compelling reasons not to do it), just wanted some input and Ideas of what we could do with the extra screen area.

Developers / lmce-launch-manager vs. cleancore scripts
« on: February 05, 2009, 01:15:59 am »
The more I'm using my 0810 alpha2 install, the more it appears that there is still a lot missing from the cleancore scripts that replaced the launch manager.

After talking on IRC, I can see why the launch manager was done away with:
- It relies on QT4, so it needs to be ported from QT3
- Using the QT library ties it in too much to KDE. Ridding this gets us closer to getting LMCE to run on Ubuntu
- It is graphical. It is desired to have it as a CLI tool that can run on anything such as a purely dedicated core with no monitor.

Now I'm wondering if we should port launch-manager to purely cli. The launch manager logic has been well proven in LMCE versions up to this point, and is relatively bug free. It would be trivial to re-write it so that:
- It has no GUI... Get rid of the QT4 all together
- Anywhere there was a QT widget to provide feedback to the UI, replace it with with echos to the terminal like any normal CLI utility
- Anywhere that launch-manager received input from the UI, replace this functionallity with command line parameters

The above approach would leverage that fact that the launch_manager logic is sound and works, as well as catering to the goals of having a CLI utility that accomplishes these tasks. It would also save a lot of time and effort developing, testing and debugging the cleancore scripts to provide the equivalent functionallity.

The other option of course is to port it to QT4 which should be quite simple with the QT3 compatibility library and tools such as qt3to4

Any additional thoughts on this?  I have a 4-day weekend coming up and will have time to do something productive.

Users / EeeBox users - can you paste your xorg.conf?
« on: February 04, 2009, 09:05:31 pm »
I have my EeeBox running under the latest 0810 alpha - though I am experiencing some issues with the graphics (mostly aspect ratio related, not photo screensaver related).

Can anyone that is running an EeeBox under 0710 paste their xorg.conf file so I can do a compare?



Developers / My 0810 Alpha 2 experiences so far...
« on: February 04, 2009, 01:46:10 am »
I'm on day 2  running 0810 Alpha2 and wanted to post my results so far. I want to share this information so that A) casual browsers and normal users that look in the developers section have an idea of how things are progressing and B) just to share the information with other developers, as I don't have time to be on IRC all too often.

I used the new-installer-alpha-latest.tar.gz install scripts. Everything worked as it should and a few hours later I had 0810 UI2 masked running. The machine I installed on is based on an Asus M2N SLI Deluxe that ran flawlessly with no hacks or tweaks in 0710. While the install went smooth, there are a few problems:

- I can only select 640x480 resolution from the A/V wizard. Any other resolution (I was wanting 720P) would display inside of a scrollable 640x480 window.

- Sound would not work (I am going to try alsamixer tomorrow to see if I can remedy this part)

- My serial ports were not detected so I couldn't add things like my CM11A interface. I was able to fix this by manually running, after which I was able to install my CM11A

- I put my old 0710 raid array back into my core. After waiting about a day nothing happened. I was able to get it redetected by manually running, after which I could see my raid array in the web admin. About 6 hours later, my media was back in my datagrids. I am still messing with this to get it to go back to using LMCE's directory structure.

- Now that I had my CM11A interface device installed and plugged into a serial port, I added one light in the web admin to test it out and it worked (I'll be adding all of my other X10 devices as time permits)

- In the setup wizard there was no software in the list of software to install. To watch my DVD's, I had to manually apt-get install libdvdcss2. I also installed w32codecs manually

WebDT Orbiter Install
I booted my WebDT 366 to see what would happen. The padorbiter was already installed and worked great on 0710. Upon booting, I got a message that this did not appear to be a valid orbiter because there were no database entries for it. There was also a button on the screen that I pressed that said something to the effect of "This is a new orbiter". After pressing that button and waiting a few while it added the orbiter to 0810 and generated the interface, it came right up and worked without a hitch.

WinXP Orbiter Install
I booted one of my Datalux iPix touchscreen computers that I used as an orbiter in 0710. Like the WebDT, this also went very smooth and works great under 0810. Note that I have to check the orbiter version and see if I should install a newer version, but all is well for now

Asus EeeBox Install
This was my first diskless MD setup. I plugged in an ethernet cable, set the bios to boot from Lan and enabled Wake On Lan features, then booted the unit. It started the PXE boot process, which quickly failed. Though I was excited to see that the NIC worked with no tweaks!
Next, on the core I ran /usr/pluto/bin/, then booted the Eeebox. This went smooth until it went to start the AVWizard, where I got a message that X failed to start. Looking in /usr/pluto/diskless/##, I noticed that there was no xorg.conf file. There was however an xorg.conf.pluto-avwizard, which I copied over to xorg.conf and then edited to use driver intel, and removed the line containing rgbPath. I then rebooted the EeeBox, and it went straight to the AVWizard. Here I did my settings for 720P, which worked great, and I tried to adjust the sound volume. I set the volume to 100%, but I couldn't hear anything. After the AVWizard was finished I again rebooted, but got a message saying that the UI was generating. I waited over an hour, and it never finished. So I went to the web admin and a full regen of all orbiters. After rebooting the EeeBox again, it went to the setup wizard. The LMCE chick appeared on the screen and the sound was working. I went through the wizard and after that I was in UI2. Ui2 looked great on the EeeBox, but within seconds all of the graphics started scrambling. Remembering that this was likely related to the phone screensaver, I disabled that device for this MD, and all is well. I also had to run, and apt-get install libdvdcss2 and w32codecs. After running the, it listed my USBUIRT that was plugged in as a PCI serial port device. Note that I haven't tried to install or use the USBUIRT yet, just that it looks like it sees it now. I also was very happy to see that powering on and off the device remotely from an orbiter works just as it should - so I permanently mounted it behind my TV with the VESA bracket

the only problems with the EeeBox MD so far are:
- photo screensaver completely garbles all graphics instantly

-movie playback aspect ratio is all wacked out. 16:9 movies play back at 4:3, and everything looks like its stretched tall and skinny. Playback is good and smooth though, and the sound is excellent.

Other things I noticed
The new unmanaged room type worked great in my tests. The home screen for that room is completely blank.
X seems way more picky in 0810 than in 0710

Things I am going to do next
-add 2 more net booting media directors (old PC's that worked as great MD's in 0710). These use NVida cards, so I expect it might work just plugging them in and booting

-add my 3 other WebDT orbiters

-add my 3 other datalux ipix orbiters (winXP based)

-Try to see if I can get my USBUIRT to work, and set up my TV device to be controlled by LMCE

-Try motionwrapper with a logitech webcam that worked great under 0710

all and all its looking pretty good. I'll report back to this thread my progress as I make any. I started the svn checkout of the 0810 branch when I left for work, so soon I can work on finding and fixing some bugs. This will now be my production environment, so me and my family will surely find many bugs while using it on a daily basis. It should also give me some motivation to get some things fixed.

Just wanted to get some feedback on this. Now that Unmanaged room types are a reality, i took some time to get to know the UpdateEntArea code a little more deeply. I now know of a good reliable way to lock autogenerated scenarios so that you can make changes to them and have them survive a router reload.

Please see trac ticket #93 and let me know if anyone disagrees with this approach or has anything else to add before I get moving on this.



Users / Telecom FAQ, Tips and Tricks. Please add yours here
« on: January 15, 2009, 10:32:49 am »
Now that I'm working on some telecom related stuff in LMCE, I thought it would be a good idea to collect as many tips and tricks as I can so that I can test them all out and get more familiar with the way LMCE handles telephony - and more importantly, how a user is supposed to interact with the system. This is also a lacking area in the wiki, so all of this information will be compiled and added there as well as a benefit to all. What I'm looking for is things like:
  • Hidden extensions and what they do
  • How to conference call
  • How to place a call on hold
  • etc

I will kick this off with the little that I know right now:

Orbiter Extensions - Each MD (or more appropriatey, each soft phone on the MDs) is automatically given an extension starting at 200
User Extensions - Each User is given an extension starting at 300. This is where LMCE will automatically try to route a call to the phone closest to the user.
Phone Book - Until recently, I thought the Phone Book section on the orbiter was broken. To use the phone book, go to the web admin (Telecom->Phone book) and create some entries. To do this, first create a contact (such as "John Doe") using the "Add Contact" button. Once you have created a contact, you may assign as many phone numbers as need to this contact by using the "Add Phone Number" button. Repeat this process for as many contacts and phone numbers as you need.
Now, to use the Phone Book on the orbiter - just click on the Phone Book scenario on the orbiter. You may be surprised that there isn't a list of phone numbers on this screen! Thats because you must type the name of the contact (first name or last name) you are searching for, and as you do this a filtered list of phone numbers will populate the screen.

Looking for others that wish to connect LMCE to their analog phone line using a Sipura 3000. It would be nice to document this process so that in the future we can automate the setup.

Connect an analog phone line to LMCE to take advantage of some of Asterisks and LMCE's features, such as:
  • Forwarding calls depending on status (Asleep, away, at home, etc..)
  • Priority caller features
  • Integration with security system (call neighbors, your cell phone, police, fire dept. on different security events)
  • Answering Machine features / mailbox features
  • Dialing from orbiters (phone book, speed dial etc)
  • Recording and archiving of conversations
  • Hold features and on hold music
  • pausing media upon receiving a phone call

As you can see, for those of us that don't want to use VOIP, there are still many benefits of hooking your analog phone system up to LMCE.

The idea is to have the internal phone line treated as 1 extension (all hard wire pstn phones ring together). Beyond that, normal VOIP phones can be used as additional internal lines, which will interface the Analog line through Asterisk.

Another nice feature with this approach and with the Sipura 3000 is that upon a power outtage or failure of the core, the FXO and FXS ports are jumpered automatically, linking your internal phone line to the analog line, allowing the phones to still be used.

Anyone want to put their heads together with me to get this set up? My Sipura 3000 is dieing to be configured and interacting with LMCE!

Users / DS9490R 1-wire interface. Is it working? Anyone using one?
« on: January 08, 2009, 07:05:53 am »
Some time ago I purchased a few DS9490R USB 1-Wire interfaces. Looking at the device template, there are no GSD codes, or anything to suggest that this interface actually works.

Anyone have any experience with it?



Developers / Backup System Improvements (0810 Critical)
« on: January 06, 2009, 10:04:58 am »
Another project of mine for the weekend (I finally get a few days off work after months of forced overtime) is to work on the Backup System (
During an upgrade, this same restore system creates and restores a backup. The problem is, especially during an upgrade, that Pluto_Media nor Mythconverge is not taken into account. Because of this, a lot of things are lost, including:
Scheduled recordings will again start recording duplicates as this data isn't restored

I propose to include both Pluto_Media and MythConverge in the backup - this is essential to any upgrade!

And as far as doing manual backups this way, I see no problem with it either..  Some logic will just have to be in place to do the restore safely as not to get mixed up with media files added after the backup was made.

Or perhaps just make a flag so that media/mythconverge is only included during the backup/restore done during upgrade.

Any comments?

Developers / UpdateEntArea improvement suggestion (Unmanaged room)
« on: January 06, 2009, 12:23:07 am »
This feature has been requested several times in the past, and I wanted to implement it this weekend. First, I wanted to see what everyone thought of the idea..

The general idea is to have a way that a user can opt out of having auto generated scenarios. Some people want to have ultimate control of all scenarios displayed. For example, if I didn't want a Showtime scenario in my bedroom, I could have a way to make sure that it is not generated by UpdateEntArea.

Upon looking over the code again, two different methods came to mind:

Method 1): Use the "Miscellaneous" room type to designate that auto-generated scenarios should not be generated.

Method 2:) (my preference) Add an "Unmanaged" room type. Then, do not auto-generate any scenarios for this "Unmanaged" room type. Then if someone wants full control of scenarios, they can set the room type to "Unmanaged" and make their own scenarios. The advantage of doing this method is that it is guaranteed not to break current installations. The coding would be very easy - essentially checking if FK_RoomType_get()!=ROOMTYPE_Unmanaged_CONST

I think this would be a great addition to LMCE and users that wish to have full control over their scenarios.
If you have any opinions against this, or other ideas, please post them here.

I have been using all-in-one industrial 15" Datalux iPix touchscreen tablets running Win XP for my orbiters. Now that I have replaced them all with the WebDT 366's, I thought that it would be cool to get these to run as full MD's running UI1 (this way they will still appear like the same orbiter, with the added benefit of being able to watch video and listen to audio.

The unit network booted just fine, and I used a USB mouse to get through the setup wizard. It also boots to UI1 with no problems. However, some things are not working:
1) The touchscreen is not working. It is a 3M Microtouch, which is well supported in Linux. After installing the appropriate drivers and editing xorg.conf, the touchscreen will work (though in bad need of calibration) until the last stage of orbiter loading, then quits working.
2) Video playback is extremely slow and jerky - maybe around 15 FPS.. The unit has an embedded Silicon Motion LynxEM+ craphics chip, 256MB RAM and a Pentium III 700MHZ processor..  I'm wondering if the processor is just too slow....
3) Sound does not work at all. While looking into this, I noticed that in XP's device manager, it lists the sound card as:
Code: [Select]
Crystal WDM AC'97 420X Driver for 440MX
However in linux using lspci, the sound card is shown as:
Code: [Select]
http://Intel Corporation 82440MX AC97I have to research this part further - sound was the last problem I thought I was going to have

The photo screensaver works great though, and is another reason why I want to net boot these as full MD's (plus I can put one in the kitchen and in the bathroom so I don't miss any Sunday Night Football!)

Anyways, I'm going to keep trying to get these to work well as full MD's, so if anyone has any suggestions for me I'm all ears. If I can't get a good suitably fast MD out of these, I'll probably compile a linux orbiter for them and see if I can get Photoscreensaver running on them as well. But I'd much rather see these being full MD's

Users / RAID problems.....again......
« on: October 31, 2008, 09:15:26 pm »
I have had a ton of software RAID problems in the past with LMCE. My 4-disk RAID has been working fine for quite some time now, but today it totally crashed out on me. In the web admin, the RAID array is listed as FAILED, with each individual disk listed as REMOVED / SPARE DISK

Here is some output I'm experiencing while trying to see what is going on...

Code: [Select]
linuxmce@dcerouter:~$  sudo mdadm -Ebsc partitions
ARRAY /dev/md0 level=raid5 num-devices=4 UUID=ef05e3dd:c2ec8d78:bd9f1658:0a1d2015
linuxmce@dcerouter:~$ sudo mdadm -a /dev/md0 /dev/sdb
mdadm: cannot get array info for /dev/md0
linuxmce@dcerouter:~$ sudo  mdadm --detail /dev/md0
mdadm: md device /dev/md0 does not appear to be active.
linuxmce@dcerouter:~$ sudo mount /dev/md0
mount: can't find /dev/md0 in /etc/fstab or /etc/mtab
linuxmce@dcerouter:~$ cat /proc/mdstat
Personalities : [linear] [multipath] [raid0] [raid1] [raid6] [raid5] [raid4] [raid10]
md0 : inactive sdb[0](S) sde[3](S) sdd[2](S) sdc[1](S)
      3907049984 blocks
unused devices: <none>

Ever since I have had so many problems in the past, I check at least once every few days on the RAID array status to make sure everything looks good. I just checked yesterday and there wasn't a single problem. Last night, I tried to copy the movie "Leatherheads" to the core, it stopped at 3% and gave the message that it may take a long time to copy. I left it in overnight, and this morning everything was completely crashed out (I couldn't even SSH into the core)
Upon reboot,nothing RAID related appears to work.

I had almost 3TB of data on this RAID array. I really hope it is not all lost - just 6 months ago it was all lost and I had to restart from scratch. I don't have the energy or time to do that again.

Can anybody help me find out what the problem is this time? (Since last time I completely changed motherboards and everything - I am now using an M2n-SLI Deluxe which is known to work very well.

Also - I would warn anybody not to use LMCE's software RAID to save themselves all of the problems I have had. I wish I could afford a dependable RAID solution, but unfortunately with a single income and a family of 6, that is just never going to happen. (it is also why I can not afford to do true backups of 3TB of data)

thanks for any help anyone can offer

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