First let me say that I have the utmost respect and enthusiasm for Linux MCE and those who developed it. That being said, I'm off to what I'd consider a rocky start. Rather than complain about stuff that I'm certain will turn out to be operator error, I'd like to do something constructive. I think the root cause of my problems is that information is just too hard to find on the LMCE site.
I would like to make a LinuxMCE Quick Start Guide. I would keep this current and complete, including screenshots and videos as necessary. There would be minimum links to other pages. Obviously, we would have to limit the scope to keep this from becoming an overwhelming task.
I think most newbies will probably want to test drive LMCE in a relatively limited way using hardware they already own, as much as possible. I'll go out on a limb and say that everyone considering LMCE already has an amplifier, speakers, and a TV or monitor that would work. They probably already own a suitable computer (or can get one for a few hundred dollars). Many already own a laptop that could be used as an orbiter. There are probably a lot of people who could put together a usable starting point merely by purchasing an NVIDIA video card, TV capture card, USBUIRT, and a remote control. It is for these people using this type of equipment that I propose to write the Quick Start Guide. It would focus on using LMCE as a media center. I'd be tempted to stop there, but LMCE is more than just a media center, so I would cover lighting as well. Once a newbie has built a working system to this point, he/she is no longer a newbie and can graduate to more advanced topics not covered in the Quick Start. Below is an initial framework.
Quick Start Guide To LMCE
Select Hardware – Hybrid Core, Amplifier, Display, Controller, Networking, Interconnecting cables
Prepare for installation (download, burn ISO, Schedules Direct)
Initial installation and Wizard
Control LMCE (with keyboard, with remote, with laptop orbiter)
Control Amp through LMCE (serial, IR)
Control TV through LMCE (serial, IR)
Music (rip from CD, add pre-ripped files)
DVDs (watch live, rip to disk, add pre-ripped)
OTA TV (watch live, record/playback)
Add storage (internal disk, NAS)
I'm offering to write this, but as I said, I'm off to a rocky start and will need a hint or two.