Monday, Dec 17, 2018

Another quiet weekend. Mostly spent sorting and cleaning in the basement. I’ve almost got my work bench ready to use again after some time partly buried under various things that needed sorting out.

Once I have the work bench back in a functional state, I’ll likely get started taking the next steps towards building a RepRap 3D printer. Malcolm at work has offered to print the plastics for me (got to buy a spool of filament to support this) and I’ve dug out my stepper motors and main electronics board. I may have to re-buy some stepper controllers as those I bought before seem to have scattered to the four winds (I currently have one in hand) but they’re not that expensive.

We went to Sherrill and Ed Cieleszko’s Christmas party and, as always, had a great time. Didn’t even get lost on the way (google maps doesn’t really understand their address and can misdirect pretty badly on the way).

It has been a somewhat crazy year and we’ve got to get back in touch with folks as the new year rolls around. Lots has been dealt with so we should be pretty well primed for a less crazy 2019.

I had been writing paper letters (printed not hand-written as my writing is less than legible) to Alyssa for a while. As of this last week I’ve realized that sending her emails on a daily basis is probably a better thing as Lorna is sending paper letters and boxes and the emails are more immediate and a continuing stream of them is likely helpful.

Media Center Linux

I’ve populated a spare NUC that I had around (was a bit flaky under heavy load and thus it got shelved for software development purposes) with memory and storage as a media PC for our basement television.

I’m looking at using Ubuntu Linux or a derivative as the operating system as I’m hoping to get a more integrated look and feel than I have with the living-room machine that runs windows and is used with a mouse and keyboard.

I’m also adding in an HDMI switch as this is a less expensive television and only has two direct HDMI inputs. We currently have the VR system and a blue-ray player occupying these inputs. I’m borrowing the blue ray player input for the NUC for the moment but would like to have the NUC as the primary input switched against the VR system and the blue-ray on the secondary.

A friend at work dug up some options on the linux front that seem to center around variations of the kodi package running on an Ubuntu variant.

Over the weekend I loaded Ubuntu on the machine and after a few missteps got a new enough version of Chrome loaded to allow Netflix to run properly. Older versions complain that Silverlight isn’t available and HTLM5 support isn’t there (or at least not sufficient).

I’ve loaded kodi and the base package seems pretty nice. It even supports the IR remote that I used to have working with windows media center before that went away with windows 10.

I did not have much success in getting the Netflix plug in loaded. In order to really do the job I want, kodi must at least stream Netflix, Hulu, YouTube and Amazon Prime Video. I’ll likely keep after this as time permits and stick with Chrome based video for the time being. AM AM AM
or if you still want the flexibility of a full desktop behind it all, install normal latest Ubuntu and then install Kodi on top of it