Ramblings of a Linux Geek.

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Testing out Scribefire

by on Sep.29, 2011, under Blog, Linux

Was looking around on the net today trying to find a good desktop WordPress client for Linux.  So far with a little bit of playing Scribefire looks like it will work perfectly.  I will have to update later when used the application a little more.

https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/scribefire-blog-editor/

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World IPv6 Day

by on Apr.23, 2011, under Blog



World ipv6 days is fast approaching are you ready?

On June 8 2011 several major web sites will be switching on ipv6 for 24 hours as a kind of test. On my home internet connection I have added in an ipv6 tunnel broker along with getting an ipv6 ip for my laptop. Why would anyone want to do this you ask? Well for one I am a geek and I had nothing better to do one night besides learn something new. Reason number two is I wanted to be able to access my home boxes without having to go through a vpn. Reason number three well at this point I was just grasping for something but I decided what if there was something cool on the internet that I was missing out on. Going through the setup of ipv6 was much easier then I had ever thought it would be. I am hoping to do a writeup on my ipv6 setup adventures but for now I will leave you with the following links.

http://isoc.org/wp/worldipv6day/
https://www.sixxs.net/main/
http://tunnelbroker.net/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ipv6

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Pandora

by on Aug.15, 2010, under Music

Pandora has to be one of my favorite websites. I have tried a few of the other streaming music sites out there but every time I come back to Pandora. If you like music I suggest you check this site out and if you like it pay the $36 for a yearly subscription. A few things I love about Pandora.

  1. Selection of music is great
  2. Adobe Air desktop application
  3. Android application
  4. Does not cost a ton for a yearly subscription.

If your not big on using flash interfaces to listen to your music a few dedicated people have written a CLI for Linux and an XBMC plugin both of these apps are underdevelopment but very good.

1. Pianobar is the cli application and it can be found here http://github.com/PromyLOPh/pianobar, Debian testing also has build for easy install.

2. The XBMC plugin can be found on the forums here http://forum.xbmc.org/showthread.php?t=70471, works great for playing stations some features still under development but I am extremely happy that I can have on XBMC!

Remember the Pandora team needs to pay their employees and royalties so if you find yourself frequenting the site pay the $36. There are also a few upgrades you by paying for the sites, better quality streams, unlimited streaming, and the satisfaction of knowing your keeping a great site online.

Pandora team if you read this, you rock, keep up the amazing work!

http://www.pandora.com/

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Logitech Webcam Pro 9000 and Linux

by on Aug.15, 2010, under Hardware, Linux

This is just a short review of the webcam I picked up.   As lots of people know getting hardware that will work with Linux can sometimes be a real pain in the butt.  I have been using this camera with Debian testing amd64 for skype and flash.  This camera has really impressed me its microphone is great and the video is great quality.  The only real issue I have with this camera is that it does not want to stay hooked on the top of my laptop screen, I will admit I should have gotten the laptop model.

Some specs about the Pro 9000

  1. Carl Zeiss optics with autofocus
  2. 720p HD video and 2MP sensor
  3. Logitech Rightlight 2 Technology
  4. Built in microphone

Here are a few links to check out if you are in the market for a webcam for Linux.

Information about UVC http://www.ideasonboard.org/uvc/

List of Logitech Cameras that are UVC http://www.quickcamteam.net/devices/logitech_uvc_device_list.pdf

Link to the hardware reviewed http://www.logitech.com/en-us/webcam-communications/webcams/devices/6333

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Android and XBMC

by on Feb.13, 2010, under Android, xbmc

If you have an Andoid based device and you run XBMC you need to check out the android-xbmcremote project.  I have been using it on my Verizon Droid for a few weeks now and while it is very beta when its done it will be the perfect accompaniment to XBMC.  You will need to change settings on your Android device to allow for apps not in the market.   The developers have said that they will be submitting the app to the marketplace once the app is more mature.

Taken off of the website.

Current Features

General

* Remote control with the look of the Xbox’ DVD Dongle
* Control XBMC’s volume directly with your device’s volume buttons
* Fast access to items in list via hard- or soft keyboard (long-press Menu)
* Manage multiple XBMC instances
* Live view of currently playing playlist
* Notification bar shows what’s playing with direct access to “Now playing” screen (can be disabled)
* Large screen (854×480) support, while maintaining 1.5 compatibility
* On incoming call, display who’s calling on TV screen and pause video until call is over
* On incoming message, display on TV screen
* Setting that prevents your phone locking the screen. You can apply it either for remote control only or all screens (or disable it completely)
* Tabs looking and behaving like HTC’s Sense UI, also check out the Gallery.

Music Library

* Cover art is shown where available
* Now playing screen allows skipping, seeking, stop and pause
* Browse by album, artist, genre
* XBMC’s “Hide artists who appear only on compilations” setting is taken into account when listing artists
* Within a genre, browse by albums, artists and songs
* List all albums and songs of an artist
* Browse compilations only
* Browse files directly
* Sort by album, artist, title, track number etc..
* Play and queue albums, songs, genre selections and much more directly without having to turn on your TV. For instance it’s possible to queue/play all songs from an artist but of a certain genre.
* Primitive listing of current playlist with options to jump to another song or remove a song.

Movie Library

* Browse by title, actors, genre.
* Display all movies of a genre or with an actor.
* Displays movie poster and actor thumbs where available.
* Play trailer from details page where available.

TV Shows Library

* Use the movie library’s file mode for browsing TV shows. A special TV shows library will soon be implemented.

I have not run into a lot of issues while using this app on my phone, there were some issues pulling down all the album art for my music collection but eventually all that synced up.

Ok now that I have you interested follow the link.

http://code.google.com/p/android-xbmcremote/

Note to the Developers:  Love this app keep up the good work!

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XBMC 9.11 Beta1

by on Dec.07, 2009, under Blog

This is a short review of XBMC 9.11 Beta 1 live CD.  I will admit that I have booted the new live cd on my spare HTPC which is a bit outdated and does not have an Nvidia card that can do VDPAU.  I also only spent a few hours with the beta as it is the first beta and I figure the team is busy polishing the details.   This should be noted this is just a first observation review of a beta version of software!

List of highlights

  • Update Nvidia drivers 190.42
    Nvidia’s change log for the driver is located here http://www.nvidia.com/object/linux_display_ia32_190.42.html
  • New theme, Confluence, which looks very nice
    I really like PM3.HD but after using Confluence for a little bit it is quickly becoming my new favorite.  I am really looking forward to checking out the final version along with some of the other new skins that are out.  Screen shots of the new Confluence skin are located here http://xbmc.org/skins/confluence/
  • New boot splash screen
    Just a little more polishing to add to how well rounded XBMC Linux port is getting.
  • There are a ton more features too many to list here the ones listed above are what jumped right out at me.
    A full list of new features can be found on the trac page http://xbmc.org/trac/milestone/9.11.

List of annoyances

  • Seems to be missing a way of setting default username/password for smb shares
    I am hoping this gets added back in as its a real PITA to enter in username/password over and over again with the remote!

Wish list

  • Nice upgrade path from 9.04 to 9.11

So far all I can say to the XBMC team is please bring back default username/password for the smb shares and keep up the amazing work!

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XBMC on Linux one month later

by on Oct.06, 2009, under Blog

This is a follow up to an earlier artical I wrote about installing XBMC on the ASRock 330.  I want to thanks the XBMC team for porting their wonderful application to Linux.   In my opinion it is almost up to par with the xbox version.  Following is a list of issues am currently having with an XBMC Live install on my ASRock 330.

1. HDMI Audio takes a little while before anything is output.  Now I will admit this could be my reciver taking a while to decide what kind of signal is being sent to it.

2. Cannot play 5.1 DTS Audio CD’s over HDMI I get an error saying something like cannot initialize the audio device.  Again I have not looked tons into this and I still have yet to try switching over to Toslink connection.

3. When starting out playing .mkv files sometimes there is a pause of about 5 seconds before the file starts to play.  This is really just an annoyance but would be nice to have some sort of feedback that something is going on.

4. This is not an XBMC issue but is more of an XBMC Live or lircd issue as on reboots sometimes the remote completely stops working.  I have found several people complaining about this issue in the ubuntu bug trac, so I am willing to say this is an lircd issue.

All in all I would like to say XBMC on Linux rocks and just becuase I have this issues doesnt mean you will.  According to the XBMC roadmap 10/25/2009 is the date that version 9.10 drops and I cannot wait for that to happen.

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ASRock ION 330 with XBMC Live Install

by on Aug.30, 2009, under xbmc

The 330 got her on last week Wednesday, I was a little busy last week so I am just getting around to doing the write up now.  I have some unboxing pictures, setup tips and overall review of the device running XBMC.  I do have to say I love this device!

(continue reading…)

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MP3FS

by on Aug.22, 2009, under Blog

I stumbled across this FUSE module that converts you use to transparently convert your FLAC files to MP3’s. The module does not decode your music and make copies of it, it does however convert the FLAC to MP3 when the files are accessed.

Why I wouldn’t I just encode the files to MP3 in the first place? Well that has been a great point of discussion I have had with lots of my friends and it requires the understanding of lossless vs lossy compression algorithms. I will admit I am a little bit of an audiophile and I like my music to stay in the highest quality and MP3’s just do not do that. A few people out there would argue you cant tell the difference, I would agree when listening to an iPod, but when listening on a high end home audio system there is a huge difference. Flac lets me keep my music on my file server to be played when ever I want at CD quality and now with MP3FS i don’t have to reconvert those files to MP3 to put them on my iPod.

Heres the link if you are interested.
http://mp3fs.sourceforge.net/

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ASRock Ion 330

by on Aug.19, 2009, under Projects

Just ordered myself a ASRock Ion 330!!!  I cant wait to get it and have XBMC up and running, of course I will be doing a full write up along with how setup your own.

For now you will have to be satisfied with these links. :D

ASRock Ion 330 @ Newegg

Nice blog post about the 330

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