Oct 06 2010

Blog - A small update

Well, I'm sad to say that I had to temporarily disable my server power savings.  There were a couple of key problems that I ran into while using the shutdown and wakeup scripts.  The first was that there were a few times where I would be watching a show on my frontend (which is a separate machine from the backend) and it would run for an hour or two but then the backend would "forget" that there was a system connected to it and it would shut itself off.  The show would just freeze wherever it happened to be.  After turning the backend back on again it would pick right back up as though nothing had happened.

The other thing that I ran into was that after a certain number of power ups the system would force a filesystem check on the hard drives which would take upto an hour to complete.  This wasn't a concern for me before because I never had to reboot my server.  Mythtv is very reliable and I really only needed to shut it down to upgrade hardware or to physically relocate the server.  The result for me was that I missed a couple of recordings because the system expected to be up and running in 5 minutes or less.

I think that both of these issues have probably been resolved with updates to Mythtv.  The current release is 0.23 (soon to be 0.24 - yay) and my production server is running 0.21.  Once I determine what Linux distribution I end up liking on my development system I plan to update the production server to something current.

Speaking of which, on my development system I have so far tried out Debian, CentOS and now Mythdora.  In all of these setups I have been able to use packages to get Mythtv up and running quickly and easily.  The issue that I've been struggling with in each of these systems is getting the same system to also run Zoneminder as well with the long term goal of being able to use the MythZoneMinder plugin.  There has been some level of fail that I've run into on each of these setups.  That is not to say that I couldn't have gotten everything working on each of these setups, I just wanted something that would work out of the box.  And if you are not interested in Zoneminder, each of these setups ran Mythtv alone very well.  Especially in the case of MythDora, getting Mythtv up and running was a breeze.

I've got ArchLinux and Gentoo distros downloaded and burned onto CD to try out soon.  I'm sure I'll be back soon with an update for both of you that are still interested.  :)

Until then....

Oct 05 2010

News - Help a Charity and Enter to Win, Courtesy of DMZ

Not sure how nobody else posted it, but one of my favorite podcast guys and fellow HTPC geeks at TheDigitalMediaZone are having a wonderful contest full of great prizes. To participate you make a donation to Child's Play Charity organization, and then you have a chance to win some great stuff! Go help a good cause and hey, maybe you'll win some new toys.
We’ve decided that we want to help out some kids.  As such, we’re asking for a $5 donation to Child’s Play in order to enter the contest.  You can enter as many times as you’d like.  The sky is the limit and only you can decide how much you want to help out or how badly you want to win.  100% of all donations go straight to Child’s Play and will help provide long-term care children across the country gaming platforms and other things to make their stay at the hospital just a bit easier.  Even if you choose not to participate in our contest, we encourage you to help out.

 

Oct 05 2010

News - CNET Reviews Samsung's PN50C8000


I can't say that CNET's conclusion came as a surprise, but it was nice to see the VT25 maintain its crown as 2010's best HDTV.

 

The PNC8000 is an excellent performer, and deserves the silver medal among plasma TVs we've tested so far this year. In addition, we'd wager no other as-yet-announced TV will outperform either one in 2010. But the Samsung's crucial reproduction of black can't achieve the same inkiness as the Panasonic, so it falls short. It beats the VT25 to a greater or lesser extent in a few other areas, including overall color reproduction, bright room performance and video processing, but none of those margins of victory are convincing enough to close the gap. The Samsung costs less, however, and its style and feature set will certainly turn heads, although for this price we'd expect to get a pair of those 3D glasses thrown in, too. The VT25 might be the better performer, but the picture quality of the PNC8000 series will rightly claim its share of videophile devotees.

 

Oct 05 2010

News - Bioshock Mineral Oil Media Center Case

Now here's a pretty darned cool take at an HTPC enclosure. It's not your traditional HTPC-style case mod, but it is effective in noise suppression and the user does use a Zotac board. I'm not a Bioshock player but this would be pretty awesome.

http://i.imgur.com/3vHMc.jpg

I've wanted to make a mineral oil PC for a couple years now. Not necessarily because of the cooling benefits or anything performance related, I just thought they looked really nice. Also, it visually goes against one of the major rules of electronics (don't get them wet!). I had recently built a media center but I didnt like the case, and since it runs 24/7 in my room, the fan noise was annoying while i was trying to sleep. It has an on-board Atom/Ion combo so it runs cool, but i still had a fan on the case that i was hesitant to remove.

 

Oct 05 2010

News - October 5th Blu-ray Releases

Not a ton of new releases this week, but lots of classics coming out with Blu-ray versions for your enjoyment. The Last of The Mohicans was a phenomenal film, as was Rocky and the Exorcist of course. New releases include the way overrated Karate Kid, which in my opinion is an awful rehash of the original. Haven't seen Splice or A Nightmare on Elm Street, but I'm sure being a horror fan I should enjoy both.

MissingRemote's Pick of the Week

The collectors edition of Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodrigues fun with both Grindhouse and Planet Terror films combined. I found both of these movies were underrated and very enjoyable, and of course the spoof trailer for "Machete" has now become its own movie itself due to the attention it garnered here. 



Note:  Warner Brothers, Universal and Fox titles which  have the 30-day Netflix/Redbox rental window imposed on them are noted with ** next to the title.

               
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