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Topics - jamo

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Installation issues / Advice on new installation
« on: November 04, 2010, 11:32:30 am »
Hi All

Sorry if I'm posting in the wrong forum, please advise if so.

Obviously the MCE project is all about home automation and media serving but I was just wondering if someone could advise where the normal desktop computing part fits in best. I've experimented a bit with MCE and I'm keen to try it properly once construction on my home is complete but currently I'm just using my machine as a stand-alone desktop computer (fedora 13) to do the normal stuff - intenet, e-mail, office stuff etc.

When I go to MCE, at present my plan will be to use this machine as the core/hybrid. Where would the desktop computing aspect come in? Would I use the kubuntu stuff on the core/hybrid and just serve that to media directors which become terminals? Or should I have a separate machine to do this stuff and just connect it up to the MCE network to share drives and other resources?

I realise the project is obviously focussed around home automation but I just wondered where /how best to integrate the normal existing computing aspects while I experiment and learn with this exciting concept.

thanks in advance, and sorry for the clueless newbie question.

<background blurb>

I have searched this quite a bit on the forums and elsewhere but perhaps I know too little to search effectively.. be gentle with me. I am patient but still at barrier-to-entry stage.

I'm busy setting up my first MCE ever. Very exciting. At the moment I'm trying to set things up with the hardware I've got and then when I get the hang of things I'll expand/ rebuild the system as required. Don't want to go and purchase a whole lot of hardware before I know what it's all about.
</background blurb>

Anyway, Have setup the core/hybrid OK so far, I think. So my next step was to try to PXE boot an old IBM thinkpad as a Media Director just to test the concept and see if I could get it to work. If I can, it may become a media director or something in my final system.

PXE boot worked fine but gets to a point where screen is blue and a text box entitled "AVWizard" gives the message "Failed to setup X". There is an OK button but pressing enter or clicking or anything is unresponsive.

I am able to ctrl-f2 and log in to the machine via text login.

Some questions:

I'm assuming that this machine is now trying to do what I did on the core with the first reboot- go through the AVWizard choosing screen resolution, sound options etc? Is that correct? But it isn't able to even start the X-server to get the basic graphics up and running to do that?

Before anyone asks, I doubt the video card is NVidia and I'm prepared for the fact that the old and incompatible hardware could be a problem. Still, I'd like to at least try to resolve what is up.

How do I start debugging this? Is there some background reading I need to do?


Installation issues / Network switch - cupboard location?
« on: September 13, 2010, 04:17:17 pm »
I'm trying to plan the layout of my installation and have the idea that the core will reside in a room that is supposed to be study/ guest bedroom. My plan is to customize the house to fit my installation, wiring, needs etc but try not to make the place unsellable to someone that isn't keen to setup home automation/ networking in the same way.

It would be great to get some advice or tips on some of my design plans.

So I was thinking that I will need (at some stage) a decent sized (12+ port) switch to handle the neworking to the various components. My idea is to house that in the cupboard (closet, cabinet) in the same room. I just want to put it on one of the shelves, then I figure if each shelf has a decent sized hole in it, all the network cables can go up through that hole in a bundle into the roof (the cupboard will reach to the ceiling, where we have a similar hole). Then all my cables are neatly out of the way.

I figure I can have holes in each shelf pre-drilled to the required size and then capped - place a rubber or plastic cap in the whole so the cupboard can be used for purposes other than networking - ie socks and underwear - by the next owner if required. A similar cap could be installed in the ceiling hole.

I would even have an AC power outlet put in one of the shelves to power the switch.

It seems like a neat, workable solution to me... but is it practical?

I guess my main concern is heat and ventilation? Does anyone have any idea how much heat a unit like this (switch) needs to dissipate? I suppose if there is a power supply that will be at least one source of heat and then from the switch itself. The problem will be if I leave the unit humming away in the closet with the door closed, will it overheat?

Any suggestions as to how to combat that or other ideas? I suppose I could have a door put on that has ventilation - sort of a lattice work or something as appears sometimes on vegetable cupboards but of course that is extra cost and quite difficult to undo if someone wants to use this as a regular cupboard later on.

Any comments/ suggestions welcome.


Hi Everyone

Tonight is my first foray into the wonderful world of linuxMCE. I will be patient... please be patient with me.

Trying to install 8.10 from DVD.

I select "LinuxMCE Install" and run that, clicking all the boxes. The only glitch is a minor issue when install is complete and wants to reboot it asks to eject DVD, close tray and press enter. I do all that but enter (and any other key) has no effect... message just stays on the screen. Eventually I have to power down manually. I presume this isn't serious. Kubuntu comes up on startup no problem (it seems, I'm new to Ubuntu... been a Fedora man in the past).

OK, now I'm logged into Kubuntu and the install instructions say to run

"apt-get update" and then "sudo apt-get dist-upgrade" before running the MCE installer icon.

My question is - must I have an internet connection up and running before doing this? Because it isn't  :( and I'm not sure why but I guess if that's required, I'd better sort that out first.

Thanks in advance

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