Author Topic: Is it worth it?  (Read 1205 times)

duketg

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Is it worth it?
« on: June 11, 2007, 06:07:54 am »
Hey All,

I'm about to set up a new HTPC for my house.  I'm planning on using my old box (Athlon 64 2800+, MSI K8M mobo, eVGA geforce fx 5500, 1GB ram) to do this, and building a new box to use as my main machine, which will be running my only WinXP license.  So now I'm looking for options for an OS for my HTPC (ignoring *cough*piracy*cough* for the moment).  LinuxMCE looks pretty awesome and seems to be exactly what I'm looking for, but after reading these boards for a few days, it seems like it's far from requiring "no knowledge of Linux and only basic computer skills."  Here's the problem:  I don't know kubuntu from a hole in the ground.  I'm a complete linux newb.  Never used it before.  Sure, I know my way around a windows machine, and I'm comfortable enough with hardware to build my own computer, but my knowledge of Linux ends at ls and mkdir.  So is it worth me even trying MCE out, or should I go with something that seems easier, like say Knoppmyth, for my first foray into Linux?  Keep in mind that all this htpc is going to do is download and play media.  I haven't even decided if I'm going to put a tuner in yet (I download 90% of the TV I watch these days anyway, thanks to bittorrent).  I'm not going to control my lights, sprinklers, toaster, or anything else.

Thanks for the advice!

sharlee_angelo

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Re: Is it worth it?
« Reply #1 on: June 11, 2007, 11:55:44 am »
installing kubuntu is very very easy and straightforward. also knoppmyth is a very good alternative for a media center. but linuxmce allows you to make very easy broadcasting for other computers in the house. and you can use different kinds of remote controls without headaches.
Read the F****** Logs!!!

Pastor

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Re: Is it worth it?
« Reply #2 on: June 11, 2007, 01:21:29 pm »
Hi duketg

I too am a complete Linux Newbie and come from a Windows Media Centre Edition background. Installing LinuxMCE 1.1B2 worked first time for me and looks amazing I have even managed to get some of my home automation working. My main/current problem at the moment is that my MS remote has stopped working. I am in the process of doing a complete LIRC install.

I find this much more fun than Windows MCE and is far more powerful out of the box. The sense of achievment is great when you get things working which I never got from my Windows system, sure some things require work to get going like the video drivers but there are loads of great guides on the net that take you through step by step to sort them. My main problem with LinuxMCE is that the list of suppoted hardware is qute small and some of them are damn near impossible to get hold of in Ireland.

My system is installed, the flickr facility looks great, I can play all my music, videos, DVD's with no problems so far. I can switch on my X10 light and appliance modules straight out of the box (with limited settings via web admin). I am going to set up the MythTV and add VOIP phone to the system. I have done all of this as a newbie and loved every minute of it. You really do get your hands dirty with this system which is great.

I hope that this will encourage you to give the system a try if you dont like it reformat and reinstall windows but if you can get it to work you will have one powerful system.

Paul
« Last Edit: June 11, 2007, 04:07:31 pm by Pastor »

duketg

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Re: Is it worth it?
« Reply #3 on: June 11, 2007, 05:08:46 pm »
That is a good point; if I install LMCE and I don't get anywhere with it, I can always wipe the slate clean and start over with something else.  :)

Pastor

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Re: Is it worth it?
« Reply #4 on: June 12, 2007, 12:36:19 pm »
Hi duketg

My best advice would be not to give up too quickly if you do run into any problems. This is a complex piece of softwware and my hat goes off to the programmers. There is so much potential for this system that it boggles my mind. There is so much help available.

If you have an Windows MCE remote you will be able to use this with the system and it works really well, the keys are mapped so by pressing music on the remote will bring you to the music section of Linux MCE.

I have started to play with the system and have to be honest it is far more powerful and nicer to use then Vista MCE.  Which is the system that I had installed before I saw the video on youtube, I backed the Vista system(using Norton Save & Restore just in case) so that I can go back if I want too.

Do give it a go but check out the forums before you do the install and you may save yourself some grief. I must say the current beta is much easier to install with the cache disk and dont be surprised if your install takes a while. I was able to watch the Aprentice, Aprentice: Your fired and Hotel Babylon and it was just finishing up. You may also notice during the install that there are a lot of errors while the system tries to download some packages but it gets there in the end.

Pleasd keep us posted as to how you get on and dont give up if you happen to run into some problems.

Paul