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Messages - B34N

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136
Users / Re: Web bookmarks
« on: March 19, 2010, 06:12:58 pm »
Has this been resolved or has anybody found a work around for the time being?

Yes. I just found an answer by chatting with people on the IRC. Thanks to possy, Tschack and demnvt.

The bookmarks.html file is copied from /home/public to /home/user_# when you create a user. While you could edit that file, the changes will only appear for new users. You need to edit the bookmarks.html file in the user_# directory for your users. To see who the owner is do "ls -al /home" and it will show you. I tried to change my user to the owner of the /home/user_1 directory but it still wouldn't let me in so I resorted to sudo su to be able to go into the directory and edit the file (after backing the file up of course).

My understanding that this problem came about when firefox changed how it handled bookmarks. A fix is not planned since firefox is going to be replaced with a microbrowser. Should this be put on the Wiki? If so, is there a more appropriate way to get into the user_# directory and edit the bookmarks.html file than using sudo su?




137
So question, am I really supposed to be having to set all this stuff up, or was the Wizard system of LinuxMCE supposed to do most of this, but somehow I got off track?

I'm at pretty much the exact same place as you. Which version are you using? I am using the 3/8/10 snapshot. Did your install go well? Mine stopped at "setting up alsa-modules-2.6.27.17-generic". I exited the installer, rebooted and was able to do the A/V setup and then the setup wizard with Anna. I didn't have my tuner card in the hybrid during the initial install (Hauppaugue 2250). I added it later so that it wouldn't cause any additional confusion during the install. Through advice on the forum I ran the same setup avenard/MythTV. After that I was still unable to see my capture card in MythTV backend setup. I then upgraded the firware on my 2250 and was able to add the card. I went into the IRC and I was told that I may have broken something by upgrading the firmware. They had me remove the card from MythTV backend setup and from the LMCE Webadmin. I was told that LMCE should find the card and add it. I left the computer on for hours and rebooted a number of times and still no card. My understanding is that the system should find the card and add it and that we are not supposed to manually add it to the MythTV backend setup. However, I'm a newbie too so I'm still trying to figure everything out

138
Your desire to change Pandorra channels from your BB may be being looked at:

http://forum.linuxmce.org/index.php?topic=9706.0

Thank you. I saw the other day. I had wondered if it had anything to do with my asking about it in the chat room or if it was serendipity.

139
Users / Re: LinuxMCE best hardware suggestion
« on: March 01, 2010, 08:12:39 pm »
Hello, is there a suggested/best hardware list for a LinuxMCE machine? I want to initially build a Hybrid and 1 really small, cheap and elegant Media Director to drive a late model 1080p TV. Is there a best in class list of motherboard and other standard parts with high compatibility list somewhere? I want the Hybrid to be stable and fast, and the Media Director to be as cheap as possible. Does it even need to have a harddrive?

Thanks for any advice or direction.

Read the Wiki, browse the forums and if you are familiar enough with current hardware specs, you should be able to answer those questions. I'm a few years behind on hardware specs and while I'm sure I could build my own, I still can't figure out how much power to get and which components will work best. I decided to punt and have lmcecompatible.com build me a barebones hybrid. I'm using existing hard drives (one for OS and one for data) and DVD. It didn't cost too much more to have them put together something using their knowledge on what works and doesn't work. I'm expecting that the slightly higher cost will be well worth the savings in frustration.

140
Updates

Wiring:
I ordered the cables as described. The in-wall speakers and cabling should be installed in the next week or so. I went without volume knobs. I also ditched rack mount as it significantly increased the cost.

Core:
I ordered a bare bones hybrid from http://lmcecompatible.com. After reading about the difficulties that people had with compatibility I feel that this was well worth the expense...and it really wasn't too much more than doing it myself. I will still add my own HDs and DVD drive.

Tuners
I never found an answer to if there are any quality differences between tuner cards. I found a Hauppauge WINTV-HVR-2250 Dual TV Tuner for $80 so I ordered that. The writeup looked promising http://www.mythtv.org/wiki/Hauppauge_HVR-2250 I liked the idea of nothing hanging from the USB ports and having only one coax into the back of the hybrid.

Lighting Automation:
I ordered http://wiki.linuxmce.org/index.php/Aeon_Labs_Z-Wave_Interface_with_built-In_Inclusion_Remote but I have yet to settle on Z-Wave switches and outlets. I would really prefer toggle light switches over the large rocker style but it looks like they may be difficult to find.

Orbiters:
I'm going to have to figure out the orbiters as I go. It looks like my desire to control Pandora.com from my Blackberries is not going to become a reality at this time. I'm thinking that I should be able to setup an instance to get Pandora started on the Hybrid. Worst case scenario is that I'll use VNC and control the hybrid and change pandora channels from my netbook...or am I missing something (again).

I hope to document/video the setup process so newbies like me can learn from it.

141
Users / Re: Newbie questions to get started
« on: February 25, 2010, 04:10:52 pm »
First of all I must admit that I am complete newbie in all the home automation but I am very excited to build a system on LinuxMCE and help develop it since I have lots of years of programming experience.

I am only a little further in my progress of setting up a LinuxMCE system than you are so I can only offer a little bit of guidance. The biggest difference is that I'm not a developer.

1. I understand that there are three protocols Insteon, X10, and Z-Wave. What are the pros and cons of each protocols. Which ones are supported by LinuxMCE ?

I'm going with Z-Wave as that seems to be easy to setup.

2. What hardware do I need to run a server based on LinuxMCE (inlcuding camera streaming support).

Read the Wiki, browse the forums and if you are familiar enough with current hardware specs, you should be able to answer that question. I'm a few years behind on hardware specs and while I'm sure I could build my own, I still can't figure out how much power to get and which components will work best. I decided to punt and reach out to lmcecompatible.com to have them quote and build me a barebones hybrid. I'm hoping that will save me some frustration. I only just reached out to them so I can't yet report back on how successful I am.

3. Are touch screens are supported by LinuxMCE ?

Supported for what? I would assume that most are supported for the web orbiter (key word assume). Take a look in the hardware section on the Wiki.

4. From your experience what is are the expences I am going to face to equip a flat or a house ? Lighting, TV/Stereo control and maybe shades and garden appliances ?

I'm upgrading the wiring in my house from Cat5 to Cat6. That'll run me some $$$ but i expect that it'll serve me for years to come.

For Z-Wave expect $65 for the controller and $50 per switch.

TV/Stereo seems to be easier and less expensive if the devices have RS-232. If not then you would have to control the devices by IR Transmitter. I don't know what a IR transmitter only will cost you but USB-IRT is $50 a pop.

What equipment do you already have? I'm hoping to get started by just buying a bare bones hybrid which I'll add DVD, HDs, and tuners to. I could use an old router as a switch, but I will eventually upgrade to a gigabit switch

I'm also trying to do whole house audio using in-wall speakers in rooms without MDs. I'll likely have some issues trying to get that working the way that I envision. I just can't resist moving my amplifiers to a out of site location and buying well rated speakers for only $53 a pair (http://www.monoprice.com/products/product.asp?c_id=108&cp_id=10837&cs_id=1083703&p_id=4101&seq=1&format=2). Actually that was part of the selling point for my wife to allow me to take on this project.

Also, I've been told to take the setup one piece at a time and my expectations have been set that not everything will work as I envisioned it.

I've found that most here and in the IRC are more than willing to help so long as you do your homework/search first.

142
Thank you for the heads up regarding my desire you use Pandora for whole house audio.  It looks like I may need to revisit or make some adjustments to achieve that goal.  I'll also look potentially adding a Roku or Squeezebox as a solution.  Also it looks like WiFi may not be realistic at this point but I should be fine with Bluetooth.

Any thoughts on the other parts of the post?

143
I don't think you can do whole house audio using Pandorra, I don't think it is possible to share the exact same 'Computer' window.  two media directors could be playing pandorra but they would be two different sessions, so different audio

you can do it with your audio and video although I am not sure how synchronised it is in 0810 becaues I haven't tried it.

Thank you for the response regarding Pandora.  If I'm using the core as a hybrid and playing content through Pandora, then couldn't that be a source which I could use for whole house audio?  I understand that it would not be able to play different sessions to multiple zones with the setup I'm describing, but I would be happy with one session playing to one or multiple zones.  I suspect that I could setup a scenario to get Pandora started on the hybrid, but how would I use an orbiter in a room without a MD to change the Pandora stations? 

144
   I've been reading the Wiki and the forums in an attempt to get started on setting up LinuxMCE for my house.  I have been running a Mythbuntu back-end with three MythTV front-ends for the last few months.  I am fairly comfortable with those setups and what it takes to get the MythTV up and running

   Below are my plans to get moving forward with LinuxMCE.  I apologize for the long post but I wanted to be as thorough as possible.  I greatly appreciate any guidance and advice.

In order of importance, this is what I'm looking to initially do with LinuxMCE:
  • replace current MythTV setups
  • whole-house audio using Pandora.com and personal audio library
  • control everything using Blackberries
  • basic lighting automation/control
  • replace broadband router's DHCP

What I'm hoping to do with LinuxMCE in the future:
  • home security using motion detectors
  • climate control
  • telecom (integrated with security)

Wiring:
   My core, switch, patch panels and audio amplifier(s) will be mounted (shelf or rack) in an unfinished portion of my basement which doubles as my exercise and utilities room.  My plan is to run Cat 6 UTP solid CMR 23AWG and 12AWG CL2 rated 2-conductor speaker cable (both likely will be purchased from monoprice.com).  The speaker cable will be run to in-wall speakers (to be installed) in rooms that will NOT have MDs.  Assuming multiple amplifiers or multi source amplifiers in the basement with the core, will I avoid the need to install volume knobs and be able to control everything using my orbiters?  I plan on having my orbiters (Blackberries) connected via WiFi instead of bluetooth.

Core:
   I will be purchasing a new MB, CPU, RAM, NIC, video card (if on-board not sufficient), case and PSU for the core.  At least initially, my core will be used as a hybrid connected to a nearby TV in my exercise room.  I suspect that it may remain as a hybrid since I will need something to provide the whole house audio (Pandora.com).  Simply by going to Newegg and searching for a MB with built-in NVIDIA, I came up with http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813141015 which handles LGA 775 processors has NVIDIA GeForce 9300 on-board and plenty of room for a NIC and an internal tuner card.  Does this look good and are there any suggestions on a CPU to pair it with?  Would 4GB RAM provide a benefit over 2GB RAM?  I plan on using my existing SATA DVD, 70GB HD and 1TB HD.  I would install the OS on the small HD and keep media on the larger drive.  Another idea I have toyed with was getting  http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813500036, ditching the internal tuner card, add a NIC to the PCI Express and using a 16GB Half MiniPCI-E SSD (already own) for the OS.  Would this be sufficient?

Tuners:
   My MythTV setup is currently running using a Happauge WinTV-HVR-950Q (USB) and a Kworld ASTC 115.  I plan on using the existing Happauge with the core.  I may skip using the Kworld since I don't want to rip apart my existing MythTV setup until the LinuxMCE setup is running, the Kworld requires firmware updateds to get up an running and if I went the Atom based route described above, I won' t have a slot for it. 

   Is it safe to assume that if a tuner worked with MythTV that it should also work with LinuxMCE?  Also, does the tuner's quality make any difference if all it is being used for is to capture ClearQAM content?  My newbie understanding is that digital tuners don't do decoding and only transfer a digital stream to the HD.  If that is correct then shouldn't a cheap USB tuner like http://www.meritline.com/hybrid-usb-dongle-tv-stick-geniatech-u6012---p-35677.aspx perform just as well as any other unit?

Lighting Automation
   Initially I plan on controlling a few switches and my landscape lighting.  Most switches that I will replace are either simple 2-way or 3-way.  In the cases where dimmers are present, they on 3-ways which I suspect I would just replace the standard switch and keep the dimmer set to the same level if it saved me money.  Should I start out with Z-wave using the Aeon Labs USB Z-Wave interface with built-in inclusion remote (US) or are there more cost effective options since I have only basic needs at this time.  I do foresee needing to eventually go to Z-Wave for the security and climate control, so does it make sense to just start out with Z-Wave.

MDs:
   For now I'm planning on using my existing machines as MDs.  All my TVs will be connected using HDMI.  I don't currently have a surround sound setup and I don't have any immediate plans for one.  In the longer term I suspect that I'll want new MDs for which I'm thinking of a similar Atom 330 system as described in the Core section above. Would running those as diskless systems be a good choice or will I run into some problems trying to do so?

Orbiters:
   I have two Loop pointers (http://www.hillcrestlabs.com/loop/) which I don't foresee having any problems getting them up and running.  We hope to use Blackberries as the primary orbiters, especially for the whole-home audio, since they are generally only an arms reach away from us at any given time.  My plan is to get the Blackberries up and running using JavaMO.  Will we be able to control Pandora.com running on the Core from the Blackberries?
   
Other:
   WiFi will be provided through a router which is currently running as a basic WAP and is not handling  anything other than authentication and encryption.

   I am not a developer so I won't be much help in making progress on that level.  However, I am willing to participate by helping to document as much as possible. 

Thank you for making it to the end of this post!

145
Quote
3k to spend on a core

Wow 3k for something an ATOM core can handle.....
The heavy lifting is done with Media directors, and now mostly handed off to the gpu on the media directors, if you run VDPAU. (Nvidia accelerated drivers.)

So you are saying that an Atom is more than enough for a core?  Newegg is selling http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?nm_mc=AFC-SlickDeals&cm_mmc=AFC-SlickDeals-_-NA-_-NA-_-NA&ItemList=Combo.343643 for $179 including shipping today.  If this is enough power then I guess my only concern is that I would need external tuners since the single slot would be used up by the 2nd NIC. Or is there a mini PCI-e NIC available that would be supported?

How big of a HD should I have for the OS? I have an old mini PCI-E SSD that I'm guessing could be installed in place of the wireless nic that the MB comes with and then I could have the OS on the SSD and keep all media on a large HD.  Would this make sense?

146
...but now, the hard part comes in deciding on a Core.  There haven't been to many direct recommendations....so im going to stick with the basics i've been able to read about here in the forums.

As previously mentioned, I'm pretty much at the same stage with my system. The core is also my next step. How much power should a core have? What factors are most important? My head starts st spinning when trying to decide between processors. There are just so many different types of processors out there I don't know which one is best.  If using http://www.cpubenchmark.net is there minimum and recommended CPU score that one should consider? Is there a score that above which makes no meaningful impact in the core's performance?

As I mentioned in a previous post, my core will likely serve the whole house audio mostly from Pandora.com. Is there a suggested option to use something other than the core to do that? The rooms which will have in-wall and in-ceilings speakers will not have MDs in them.  I'm also trying to decide if my core will also serve video to a nearby TV or if I will get a separate MD.  Likely I will use it as a hybrid initially and as my system expands I will offload other tasks using a MD and a NAS.

Suggestions are greatly appreciated.

147
What you SHOULD have done, is start with a small test environment, and systematically test outward, doing research and interacting with the commuity at large, so that you can adequately understand that this system is constantly being developed, and that some aspects of the system do require more work than others...

So you are advocating an approach to build a core without too many extra features and get that up and running while one learns the ins and outs or LinuxMCE?  Since the MDs don't need too much power and can netboot, an old computer or two might meet the needs while going through the learning curve.  After a learning by making mistakes and probably multiple reinstalls, that one would be better educated to make informed decisions on what extras they should add and how to add them.  Is it fairly straightforward to expand to making use of things such as VOIP, NAS and security system or is it more likely that with each addition that a fresh install would be the norm?  My experience with MythTV is that it took me multiple reinstalls until I got the system up and running the way that I liked it.  Since MythTV is only one part of MCE, is it safe to assume that I will likely have the same experiences with MCE?

Isn't it safe to say that wiring the house while in construction was a good decision no matter what? Also, using Zwave switches at the onset should be fine too since it's only an incremental cost and could be used with a standard controller until they get the Zwave network up and running with MCE?

148
Installation issues / Re: Fix the torrent
« on: February 13, 2010, 04:09:02 pm »
Anyone? Any download mirrors up yet?

I keep it up whenever I have my machine on.

149
Part of the reason I decided to go with a NAS setup is that i read in Forums that this would decrease processing server load overall, and since im trying to run all facets of the system, it seemed logical to start off right and devote as much of that processing power to managing the various systems it will be running. 

NAS does make sense. Would one be better off to build an atom machine and run FreeNAS (or some other Free Linux-based NAS software) instead of buying a turnkey product? What issues would one have in adding NAS after the initial setup?

What have you decided on for your core box? What about for tuner cards?  I have a Kworld 115 (internal) and a Happauge 950q (USB) already working on my exiting Myth box and I would hope to be able to use the same cards on my LinuxMCE core.

I'm not trying to hijack the thread but since we are in similar phases of the setup process, this may be a good place for me to ask a question.  One of the features that I would like to make use of is whole house audio with my music library and online music (Pandora) as the sources. I won't have media directors in the rooms where I will have wall and ceiling speakers. Could the core machine serve that content or is there a better option? If I have a multichannel amplifier in my closet with my core, could I avoid the need for in-wall volume controls?

Thank you!

150
And not to break subject, but im back at what type of core to build, or buy, as that will be coming first...I've looked at a few pre-packaged boxes, but there always seems to be something lacking.  The core will be housed in a closet in the middle of the house, and truly just be a dedicated slave box to serve the MD's., so im not so prone to buy the best video card for it, im more concerned with it's ability to serve all the functions of LinuxMCE at this point.  And im taking the advice and looking to setup NAS for media storage and keep this out of the Core completely.  I know there is a push at this point to make a clean core install and i've been taking notes from the forum on what to watch out with the first installation, and for my purposes, it seems like once I get to that point that the DVD install will work fine, as there will be nothing on the harddrive.  My question is, based off of just these parameters, are there any suggestions for a "off the shelf" box that i can use as a core?  Everything i see that has a i-7 chip, seems to over the top in other areas (graphics card, sound...etc.)?

I have been following your progress and I'm also at the point of deciding what type of dedicated core to build so I am curious to see the recommendations.  I have not yet decided if I will do a NAS.  Won't that increase the cost rather significantly?  I'm also toying with rack-mounting as much as possible (core, switch, UPS, power strip, patch panel, multi channel amplifier).  It would make the setup extremely clean but it would also significantly increase cost.  It looks like I'm on a slippery slope.  I started out planning on just using an old PC as a core.

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