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Archive for the ‘Technology’

The new breed of media players

October 18, 2007 By: webmaster Category: Technology, Video

There is a changing of the guards happening in the standalone media player world. The current batch of players like the Mvix MX-760HD, the TViX HD-M5000, the Mediagate MD 350 HD etc are rapidly becoming obsolete because of a new chip from Sigma Designs. The old players are based around the EM8621, the new ones are based around the SMP8635. There are newish players out which use the EM8623, but find a player with the new chip instead as they're just being released and you don't want to end up with yesteryears technology. They have support for H.264/MPEG4, and quite a few HD-formats like Xvid-HD, Divx-HD, and WMV9-HD. Audio support includes Ogg and Flac. In addition to this, the devices will come with a browser and audio/video streaming from the Internet, bittorrent client and even RSS feed support. All highly desirable functions you simply can't get on the current crop of players. See for example http://www.popcornhour.com/.

 

No idea how they are as a company nor if their product will live up to expectations, but the technical specifications certainly look impressive. Especially considering the US price of $179. Most likely much more expensive here in europe of course. The tech specs are a bit loose on whether or not the device will support 1080p video or not, possibly just as 720p in and upscaling to 1080p out. Time will tell, as they've promised to start taking orders at the end of next week. Note that the image above may or may not be the final look of the thing, as I've seen several alternatives. This image is straight from the actual site though, so it might be the final design. Too bad it now looks like a cheap external hard drive enclosure, but for that price you can't expect too much.

 

Ever seen Google fail?

June 04, 2007 By: webmaster Category: Technology

First time for me. And I only asked for the main page, didn't even perform a query. You gotta wonder if this error page was the first thing they designed though, as it has a definite last century feel to it.

 

Click for full image 

 

If you want to look at the source, here it is

 

And, impressively enough, Google Adsense caved on me just a day or two after. What is the world coming to... 🙂

 

 

And you can find the source for that  beauty here.

 

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Wireless HD Media Player

April 03, 2007 By: webmaster Category: Audio, Technology, Video

Note that I have a whole set of useful information about the Mvix collected under the Mvix-link on the Pages menu to the right. 

My new toy is a Mvix MX-760HD Media Player. Like the Apple TV and so many other similar devices out these days, it simply lets your media collection talk to your TV in the easiest manner possible. It groks both wired and wireless, and from unpacking to viewing something from my server on my TV took all of 10 minutes. And that includes the time spent actually reading the manual to figure out how to get it to talk DVI out. Your mileage may vary depending on infrastructure and skill though, but it does seem like one of the better items in this regard.

 The good parts are plentiful. The documentation and the web site is a bit divided on whether or not it will read and display 1080p HD or just 1080i. I have only tried 720p because that is the native resolution of my TV but I will nvestigate further. It claims to understand most known formats out there, both video and audio. It even knows OGG, most likely due to the device being Linux-based.


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Ubuntu Feisty Fawn

January 27, 2007 By: webmaster Category: Technology, Ubuntu

So you want to be a hero. Well, at least you want to be able to run the latest and greatest Ubuntu version. Perhaps you're a Gentoo convert like me, who miss being able to update your system at least four times a day. Just to get that fix. It's like going 10 minutes without getting an email, you send one to yourself just to see if the system is working...

Ubuntu Feisty Fawn 

Aaaanyway, there is really nothing to it. Edit your /etc/apt/sources.list and change all references to edgy to feisty. I.e. replace edgy with feisty throughout the file. Then run apt-get update and  update-manager -c, both as root. You may have to say yes to one or two "are you sure you're willing to destroy your system"-questions, but what the hey. After that, you'll be the proud owner of a bleeding Ubuntu system and you'll be able to do an apt-get update as often as you wish and more or less be guaranteed to get an update every time. Upgrade bliss.

Keeping time in Ubuntu

January 17, 2007 By: webmaster Category: Technology, Tutorials, Ubuntu

For some strange reason, none of my Ubuntu 6.10 installations have included NTP (Network Time Protocol) by default. No idea why, but here is how you make sure the clock your Ubuntu box is staying in sync with the rest of the world if the same thing happens to you.

 # sudo apt-get install ntp-server

This is technically it, but the stock installation does not adjust your time right away if it is way out of sync. So we just do this to make sure we're correct from the start:

# /etc/init.d/ntp-server stop
# ntpdate -s pool.ntp.org
# /etc/init.d/ntp-server start

There, you're in sync and will stay in sync from now on.

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Growing RAID5 sets in Ubuntu

January 10, 2007 By: webmaster Category: Technology, Tutorials, Ubuntu

Growing RAID5 sets under Linux by adding new disks on the fly has been possible for some time now. However, the kernel that comes default with Ubuntu 6.10 does not appear to contain all the needed support to do this. So if you need to do this, as I did, you first need to boot a newer kernel than the one available. I picked 2.6.19 and compiled it using these instructions. That took about five commands in total to do, so I won't repeat those instructions here. Note however, that I had to specifically add support for both RAID5 and my various SATA-cards to the kernel configuration (the make menuconfig part of the instructions). Your mileage may vary.

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