Author Topic: Between a rock and a hard place  (Read 3037 times)

wierdbeard65

  • Guru
  • ****
  • Posts: 449
    • View Profile
    • My Quest
Between a rock and a hard place
« on: May 29, 2009, 01:16:09 am »
Agggghhh!

Just as I think I'm settling on the kit to buy, someone throws a curve-ball and I have to start again. This time, I've just seen a posting that says 7.10 and SATA don't play nicely. Given that all the big drives are SATA....

So, can anyone point me at a resource that tells me what currently works in 8.10? I've noticed various people seem to be running it, but I don't know how successful they are! If I go for 8.10, will I experience a level of hassle that I haven't seen since my divorce, or is it now down to a few odd things not quite there yet?

I REALLY want to get my system built, but it seems that 7.10 requires older hardware and the new stuff is only being developed in 8.10 (I appreciate why this is, I'm not asking for you guys to keep developing for 7.10).

Which way to go?

7.10 and try to find old hardware?
8.10 and hope it stays stable until the release version comes along?
8.10 and regular updates hoping that things are getting better and not being broken?

I'm not a hardware guru and struggle with all the chipset / mobo / GPU / graphics card jargon. I also am on a tight budget and don't want to waste any cash, but I'm absolutely desperate to get it running before my wife gives in to the kids and gets Sky+ and has a TV guy in to wire up the house with coax so she can watch TV in bed.

I have (or thought I had) worked out that the chipset / MOBO nightmare wasn't an issue for a dedicated core, so that's where I'm starting (I intend to begin by replacing my aging linux fileserver with MCE). I have a vision of touch-screen MD's in the kitchen and kids rooms. Orbiters on the walls making the house look like the USS enterprise. Complete freedom to collect my favourite shows as they air and then watch them at my convenience. Is this asking too much?

Sorry, went off on one there, but having read a lot of postings, I guess my frustration is shared by many. So some simple (regularly updated) sources of information as to the current state of play would be helpful. As well as knowing what doesn't work (yet) in 8.10, it'd be handy to know what features there are kicking around that won't work in 7.10 (like SATA, for example). The worst possible scenario for me is to end up with a collection of bits that don't work completely with either!

Thanks :D
Paul
If you have the time to help, please see where I have got to at: http://wiki.linuxmce.org/index.php/User:Wierdbeard65

Pnuts

  • Veteran
  • ***
  • Posts: 130
    • View Profile
Re: Between a rock and a hard place
« Reply #1 on: May 29, 2009, 01:29:49 am »
Well, im kind of in our boat. My system for 710 failed and its not worththe effort to get it functional again.

I figure, I have 3 choices, buy 710 stuff (hard to find, not really worth it with 810 in the future), wait for 810, or try 810 alpha.

I have a fairly new machine that will not work with 710 at all and figured why not roll with the 810 alpha. I was planning to use it as a 810 core anyways come release so...

I've also been learning Linux for the last few months and even have work offering to pay for some upcoming classes im taking. Im about ready to completely drop Windows at home too. I honestly have no idea why I never looked at Linux sooner. I figure doing this well present issues that could further my knowledge while im at it too.

totallymaxed

  • LinuxMCE God
  • ****
  • Posts: 4382
  • Smart Home Consulting
    • View Profile
    • Dianemo - at home with technology
Re: Between a rock and a hard place
« Reply #2 on: May 29, 2009, 01:32:59 am »
Agggghhh!

Just as I think I'm settling on the kit to buy, someone throws a curve-ball and I have to start again. This time, I've just seen a posting that says 7.10 and SATA don't play nicely. Given that all the big drives are SATA....

So, can anyone point me at a resource that tells me what currently works in 8.10? I've noticed various people seem to be running it, but I don't know how successful they are! If I go for 8.10, will I experience a level of hassle that I haven't seen since my divorce, or is it now down to a few odd things not quite there yet?

I REALLY want to get my system built, but it seems that 7.10 requires older hardware and the new stuff is only being developed in 8.10 (I appreciate why this is, I'm not asking for you guys to keep developing for 7.10).

Which way to go?

7.10 and try to find old hardware?
8.10 and hope it stays stable until the release version comes along?
8.10 and regular updates hoping that things are getting better and not being broken?

I'm not a hardware guru and struggle with all the chipset / mobo / GPU / graphics card jargon. I also am on a tight budget and don't want to waste any cash, but I'm absolutely desperate to get it running before my wife gives in to the kids and gets Sky+ and has a TV guy in to wire up the house with coax so she can watch TV in bed.

I have (or thought I had) worked out that the chipset / MOBO nightmare wasn't an issue for a dedicated core, so that's where I'm starting (I intend to begin by replacing my aging linux fileserver with MCE). I have a vision of touch-screen MD's in the kitchen and kids rooms. Orbiters on the walls making the house look like the USS enterprise. Complete freedom to collect my favourite shows as they air and then watch them at my convenience. Is this asking too much?

Sorry, went off on one there, but having read a lot of postings, I guess my frustration is shared by many. So some simple (regularly updated) sources of information as to the current state of play would be helpful. As well as knowing what doesn't work (yet) in 8.10, it'd be handy to know what features there are kicking around that won't work in 7.10 (like SATA, for example). The worst possible scenario for me is to end up with a collection of bits that don't work completely with either!

Thanks :D

Sata works fine under 0710... we use it for all of our drives (sometimes even the optical).

You seem to keep asking the same questions...and going around in circles. Get yourself some cheap old'ish hardware and have a play with 0710 or try the 0810 alpha...then suddenly some of this stuff will be tangible to you and you can start to lear and understand how the actual system works. Get your self any old i945 motherboard and put a cheap 9400GT card in it for your displa...find an old ide/sata drive or buy a cheap new one and get started :-)

Andrew
Andy Herron,
Convergent Home Technologies Ltd
United Kingdom

Read My Blog; http://ellipticalcurve.com

Contact me for Smart Home consulting advice here;
@herron on Twitter, totallymaxed+consulting@gmail.com via email or PM me here.

Get a Dianemo S License: http://forum.linuxmce.org/index.php?topic=8880.0
iOS Orbiter: http://wiki.linuxmce.org/index.php/Dianemo_iOS_Orbiter
Follow us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Dianemo-Home-Automation/226019387454465

Sales & Info:
http://www.dianemo.co.uk

wierdbeard65

  • Guru
  • ****
  • Posts: 449
    • View Profile
    • My Quest
Re: Between a rock and a hard place
« Reply #3 on: May 29, 2009, 01:35:55 am »
Thanks, Pnuts :)

I've seen various postings from you and see your status as "veteran" so don't do yourself down ;)

Have you got 810 Alpha working yet? Is it painless or a nightmare?

I think part of my problem is the need for strong WAF (and CAF). My existing linux box has had some problems and this is frustrating the boss no end. If I go ahead with something which makes the kids' TV in any way unreliable, she'll kill me :o It's partly for this reason that I'm planning on leaving my STB connected directly to the main TV and to a capture card in the MD.

Anyone else comment on how well their 810 setups work?
Paul
If you have the time to help, please see where I have got to at: http://wiki.linuxmce.org/index.php/User:Wierdbeard65

totallymaxed

  • LinuxMCE God
  • ****
  • Posts: 4382
  • Smart Home Consulting
    • View Profile
    • Dianemo - at home with technology
Re: Between a rock and a hard place
« Reply #4 on: May 29, 2009, 01:37:13 am »
Well, im kind of in our boat. My system for 710 failed and its not worththe effort to get it functional again.

I figure, I have 3 choices, buy 710 stuff (hard to find, not really worth it with 810 in the future), wait for 810, or try 810 alpha.

I have a fairly new machine that will not work with 710 at all and figured why not roll with the 810 alpha. I was planning to use it as a 810 core anyways come release so...

I've also been learning Linux for the last few months and even have work offering to pay for some upcoming classes im taking. Im about ready to completely drop Windows at home too. I honestly have no idea why I never looked at Linux sooner. I figure doing this well present issues that could further my knowledge while im at it too.


Hmmm...again dont be so blinded by the need to have this or that on the Core's motherboard. We are still building systems with i945 motherbaords...they work fine with a reasonable nVidia card installed. I am writing this on this on a ASUS Eee Box...you can even build a Core around that (we have done so). It works and is cheap.

Less talk...more do! ;-)

Andrew
Andy Herron,
Convergent Home Technologies Ltd
United Kingdom

Read My Blog; http://ellipticalcurve.com

Contact me for Smart Home consulting advice here;
@herron on Twitter, totallymaxed+consulting@gmail.com via email or PM me here.

Get a Dianemo S License: http://forum.linuxmce.org/index.php?topic=8880.0
iOS Orbiter: http://wiki.linuxmce.org/index.php/Dianemo_iOS_Orbiter
Follow us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Dianemo-Home-Automation/226019387454465

Sales & Info:
http://www.dianemo.co.uk

colinjones

  • Alumni
  • LinuxMCE God
  • *
  • Posts: 3003
    • View Profile
Re: Between a rock and a hard place
« Reply #5 on: May 29, 2009, 01:39:50 am »
Please note Andrew's comments. SATA is fine with 0710.... in fact I would be surprised if there is anyone out there not using SATA!!

There are a VERY small number of posts, a long time ago about some people that had problems with SATA. In almost all of these cases, the issue was to do with APIC/ACPI boot options that circumvented the problem OR a dodgy SATA cable. But the boot options issue I haven't seen in a long time, and suspect it was for one specific mobo. I only remember one person that could not resolve a SATA issue, and I believe this was simply because they didn't try all the options. 99.9% of the time, it just works, no issue.

totallymaxed

  • LinuxMCE God
  • ****
  • Posts: 4382
  • Smart Home Consulting
    • View Profile
    • Dianemo - at home with technology
Re: Between a rock and a hard place
« Reply #6 on: May 29, 2009, 01:42:45 am »
Thanks, Pnuts :)

I've seen various postings from you and see your status as "veteran" so don't do yourself down ;)

Have you got 810 Alpha working yet? Is it painless or a nightmare?

I think part of my problem is the need for strong WAF (and CAF). My existing linux box has had some problems and this is frustrating the boss no end. If I go ahead with something which makes the kids' TV in any way unreliable, she'll kill me :o It's partly for this reason that I'm planning on leaving my STB connected directly to the main TV and to a capture card in the MD.

Anyone else comment on how well their 810 setups work?

Well look...0810 is an Alpha...Alpha builds are never going to be reliably WAF or CAF ready...thats why they are Alpha's!

Get yourself some old cheap hardware and build yourself a system you can play & learn with and then this will better equip you to choose the components and features that you truly need...don't sit this system in the middle of your lounge...it will not endear you on the WAF front. Use and train yourself on it away from too many critical eyes ;-)

Andrew
Andy Herron,
Convergent Home Technologies Ltd
United Kingdom

Read My Blog; http://ellipticalcurve.com

Contact me for Smart Home consulting advice here;
@herron on Twitter, totallymaxed+consulting@gmail.com via email or PM me here.

Get a Dianemo S License: http://forum.linuxmce.org/index.php?topic=8880.0
iOS Orbiter: http://wiki.linuxmce.org/index.php/Dianemo_iOS_Orbiter
Follow us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Dianemo-Home-Automation/226019387454465

Sales & Info:
http://www.dianemo.co.uk

wierdbeard65

  • Guru
  • ****
  • Posts: 449
    • View Profile
    • My Quest
Re: Between a rock and a hard place
« Reply #7 on: May 29, 2009, 01:45:40 am »
Thanks again, Andrew, for pitching in on this.
Sata works fine under 0710... we use it for all of our drives (sometimes even the optical).
Humm, the posting that sparked this particular rant was in the thread http://forum.linuxmce.org/index.php?topic=8236.0
You seem to keep asking the same questions...and going around in circles. Get yourself some cheap old'ish hardware and have a play with 0710 or try the 0810 alpha...then suddenly some of this stuff will be tangible to you and you can start to lear and understand how the actual system works. Get your self any old i945 motherboard and put a cheap 9400GT card in it for your displa...find an old ide/sata drive or buy a cheap new one and get started :-)
How well you seem to know me! As I said at the outset, I every time I seem to get my head around what I need, I see a posting like the one above and it's back to square one again. The problem is that cheap is relative. Like most people I want everything, I want it now and I want it all for $2.99 :D (Just like my kids!) Perhaps I'll just keep my existing MOBO (P4) and HDDs (2 x 80GB) to play with. What would you recommend as a "budget" MD? I want small, cheap and with a capture card for the STB. I've seen a nice case (http://www.mini-box.com/M350-universal-mini-itx-enclosure?sc=8&category=87) if I go for a self-build, but that would require a mini-ITX MOBO. Output to my TV on either HDMI, component video or SCART (not fussed about HD quite yet, although want to leave the door firmly open ;) )
« Last Edit: May 29, 2009, 01:53:45 am by wierdbeard65 »
Paul
If you have the time to help, please see where I have got to at: http://wiki.linuxmce.org/index.php/User:Wierdbeard65

wierdbeard65

  • Guru
  • ****
  • Posts: 449
    • View Profile
    • My Quest
Re: Between a rock and a hard place
« Reply #8 on: May 29, 2009, 01:53:09 am »
Ye gods I seem to have sparked a storm! I can hardly keep up with the replies :D Thanks everyone!

Well look...0810 is an Alpha...Alpha builds are never going to be reliably WAF or CAF ready...thats why they are Alpha's!
Yeah, I know that, but like a lot of stuff, it's all relative. I mean, I don't reckon some of M$'s stuff should have been classed as high as Alpha, yet they released it (ME - yuck). Other software seems to have become the industry standard despite having a "0." version number. People seem to be posting questions in the User forum about 810, which would imply that it's working to some extent. I don't mind putting in the effort, but don't want to be wasting my time.
Get yourself some old cheap hardware and build yourself a system you can play & learn with and then this will better equip you to choose the components and features that you truly need...don't sit this system in the middle of your lounge...it will not endear you on the WAF front. Use and train yourself on it away from too many critical eyes ;-)
If only! I don't have the feeds anywhere but the lounge at the moment, and as for finding a place away from critical eyes....  ::) I take your point, though. Existing H/W for a core - awaiting advice on a cheap MD (although perhaps the Asus device might be good bet.
« Last Edit: May 29, 2009, 01:55:02 am by wierdbeard65 »
Paul
If you have the time to help, please see where I have got to at: http://wiki.linuxmce.org/index.php/User:Wierdbeard65

colinjones

  • Alumni
  • LinuxMCE God
  • *
  • Posts: 3003
    • View Profile
Re: Between a rock and a hard place
« Reply #9 on: May 29, 2009, 01:53:16 am »
He's already suggested the Asus Eee Box. Another is the newly released Acer Aspire Revo. And the Zotac board is also very good according to Andrew's team... but note the latter two will only be pnp with 0810... they need slight intervention to work with 0710.

BTW, I have moderated the thread you pointed to. He has been corrected.

wierdbeard65

  • Guru
  • ****
  • Posts: 449
    • View Profile
    • My Quest
Re: Between a rock and a hard place
« Reply #10 on: May 29, 2009, 01:58:26 am »
He's already suggested the Asus Eee Box. Another is the newly released Acer Aspire Revo. And the Zotac board is also very good according to Andrew's team... but note the latter two will only be pnp with 0810... they need slight intervention to work with 0710. Could you elaborate on "slight intervention"?
Thanks, I'll see if I can find one! Could you elaborate on "slight intervention" please?
BTW, I have moderated the thread you pointed to. He has been corrected.
Thanks, again. Like you said, posts like that just spread panic! (At least for people like me of a nervous disposition  :-\)
« Last Edit: May 29, 2009, 02:02:08 am by wierdbeard65 »
Paul
If you have the time to help, please see where I have got to at: http://wiki.linuxmce.org/index.php/User:Wierdbeard65

Pnuts

  • Veteran
  • ***
  • Posts: 130
    • View Profile
Re: Between a rock and a hard place
« Reply #11 on: May 29, 2009, 02:15:01 am »
Hmmm...again dont be so blinded by the need to have this or that on the Core's motherboard. We are still building systems with i945 motherbaords...they work fine with a reasonable nVidia card installed. I am writing this on this on a ASUS Eee Box...you can even build a Core around that (we have done so). It works and is cheap.

Less talk...more do! ;-)

Andrew

Its more so, everything has a cost. I can spend money and do as you suggest, or do what im doing, using what I have at no cost to me. Whats cheap to one person could be a months savings to another.

Basically I have a Dell Optiplex 760 and a MSI Wind Nettop at my disposal aside from a 2xlaptops and a Windows XP Media center I dare not touch in fear of the wife.

Thanks, Pnuts :)
I've seen various postings from you and see your status as "veteran" so don't do yourself down ;)
Have you got 810 Alpha working yet? Is it painless or a nightmare?

Well so far I had one attempt a few weeks back at the install on the Optiplex 760 mentioned above. I got past the AV wizard, but I guess it didnt like the Intel GMA 4500 video card as the photo's froze it. After disabling the photos, it seemed to just work. unfortunately, I got the update that broke it here: http://forum.linuxmce.org/index.php?topic=8081.0

Just finished the installation again last Tuesday night but did it as a core only instead of hybrid. Next chance I get, ill setup the nettop as the first MD and then get my HDHomerun going. Maybe this weekend? Also, I'm not sure if ill run into any issues doing this but ill find out, I used the Alternate installation disk and have 2x320gb drives in a software RAID 0 as the root partition.

Im also debating trying to set it up on a server in my garage. It was a Windows 2k3 box (Core Duo 3ghz with 8gb RAM and Raid 5), but I have since replaced it with Ubuntu 9.04 and have several KVM images running on it. After reading the post on doing this, im considering it as my current images are doing almost nothing to the system so I do not think IO would be an issue.

-Pnuts

Techstyle

  • Addicted
  • *
  • Posts: 674
    • View Profile
    • Techstyle UK Ltd.
Re: Between a rock and a hard place
« Reply #12 on: May 29, 2009, 05:02:16 am »
I agree with the 'use what you have' mentality

My core was a machine I upgraded slightly but 2 of my MD's are athlon XP 2600 with MX440 AGP graphics cards.  one was rescued from the scrap heap at work and the other was an old Mobo I had knocking around.  they are both a bit loud an use a bit more power than the new stuff but work fine.  eventually I will replce them but for now they are fine.

Weirdbeard65, jump in and get wet!!  try that P4

Pnuts

  • Veteran
  • ***
  • Posts: 130
    • View Profile
Re: Between a rock and a hard place
« Reply #13 on: May 29, 2009, 05:12:00 am »
...one was rescued from the scrap heap at work...

This reminds me... In my area every other month or so, they do electronic recycling drives at one of the local schools. I have heard from friends of going to these and pilfering some parts. I might have to head on over next time and see if I can grab anything. Worth a shot and odds are its 710 compatible.

Worst they can say is no and its only a few blocks away for me, might also be an option for you to try.

totallymaxed

  • LinuxMCE God
  • ****
  • Posts: 4382
  • Smart Home Consulting
    • View Profile
    • Dianemo - at home with technology
Re: Between a rock and a hard place
« Reply #14 on: May 29, 2009, 10:30:23 am »
Hmmm...again dont be so blinded by the need to have this or that on the Core's motherboard. We are still building systems with i945 motherbaords...they work fine with a reasonable nVidia card installed. I am writing this on this on a ASUS Eee Box...you can even build a Core around that (we have done so). It works and is cheap.

Less talk...more do! ;-)

Andrew

Its more so, everything has a cost. I can spend money and do as you suggest, or do what im doing, using what I have at no cost to me. Whats cheap to one person could be a months savings to another.

Basically I have a Dell Optiplex 760 and a MSI Wind Nettop at my disposal aside from a 2xlaptops and a Windows XP Media center I dare not touch in fear of the wife.


Well that suggestion was aimed at wierdbeard65 who needs to get his 'hands dirty' without disturbing his families Karma ;-)

Andrew
Andy Herron,
Convergent Home Technologies Ltd
United Kingdom

Read My Blog; http://ellipticalcurve.com

Contact me for Smart Home consulting advice here;
@herron on Twitter, totallymaxed+consulting@gmail.com via email or PM me here.

Get a Dianemo S License: http://forum.linuxmce.org/index.php?topic=8880.0
iOS Orbiter: http://wiki.linuxmce.org/index.php/Dianemo_iOS_Orbiter
Follow us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Dianemo-Home-Automation/226019387454465

Sales & Info:
http://www.dianemo.co.uk