linux

Swapping HTPC HD's

My HTPC died the other day. It didn't turn out as tragic as I thought, but nonetheless it was cause for concern. The dual-core 2GB machine had been running with a 5400 RPM laptop drive, so when it came time to replace I decided to use an old 80GB 7200 RPM drive from my old single-core 64-bit machine. Oddly enough, it booted right to my install of Linux Mint 7, perfect the first time. Once the HTPC booted, I ran the Hardware Drivers application to pick up the nVidia drivers for the card, and it ran itself at a full 1080p. It had xbmc previously loaded on it, and it ran flawlessly with it. After I verified that it would in fact play any videos I threw at it as well as startup and shutdown regularly, I ran the LIRC commands again to get my remote working, and presto! I was back in business!
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HTPC Switching... Again

My bedroom HTPC is back up and running, with my wife singing its praises. We have a 56" DLP in the living room and she wants to watch her shows on the 19" LCD monitor setup in there. But whatever the wife wants, the wife gets, right? The issue came down to using Boxee vs. XBMC, and using Vista vs. Linux vs. XP. In the end, XP and XBMC won out. The first machine I started with was a 3GHz single-core HT P4 with 2GB RAM and a 128MB nVidia card. It started as a Vista machine, but the license I was using was betrothed to the machine in the living room. After two weeks it just crapped out with limited processor, black desktop, and annoying prompts that I may be a victim of software counterfeiting. After that I installed the latest Ubuntu, 10.04. Aside from the annoying left-side close buttons, it didn't work too bad... until XMBC or Boxee started up. The machine just went to a crawl and took forever to bring back from a coma.
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Finally!

Last night I finally swapped out my Windows+MediaPortal HTPC for a Linux Mint+Boxee one. The benefits, of course, being the on-line content that Boxee brings to the table as well as the ability to use the $20 Vista-only remotes I bought ~3 years ago. I played back some 1080p videos in testing, and... wow. Not a peep from the newer machine (dual core, 2GB, 512MB video). This was a stark contrast to my other HTPC that sounded more like a jet engine than a computer when attempting to play HD content.

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My Mind

I've been playing with a program lately called "View Your Mind". So far it's a really interesting program to basically map things out logically. It supports links, colors, branching, etc. and I've found it pretty dang fun so far. Oh, and it's Linux-only.

Check out my mind:

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