Attending: Joe and me (Mike)
Joe uses Apple computers, and I prefer a Windows PC, so not really a Linux meeting this week.
Joe has a Virtual Private Server (VPS) and was working with Gary’s Mod on a game server.
I decided to install Windows 7 on the Packard Bell imedia box pictured below to use it as a media centre at home. Windows 7 comes with a free version windows media centre. Windows 8 does not.
After a clean install, about 130 updates downloaded, and took several hours to install. This was followed by more updates, and then service packs which took several more hours.
Media centre itself was straightforward to configure once the USB tuner problem was sorted out.
Basically, windows tried to install the tuner itself, but wrongly identified it, so it didn’t work. I installed the driver from the disk, but each time windows did updates, it put the tuner back to none working. Eventually I identified the update that was doing this and disabled it.
The power saving scheme that I set up didn’t seem to work during testing until I realised a reboot was needed for the setting to work.
Sound comes out of the TV speakers via the HDMI cable, but needed adjusting. At first, with the TV remote sound settings on normal, I couldn’t hear anything because the computer volume settings needed to be turned up to maximum.
The hard disk makes too much noise when it is recording, I am going to try an acoustic jacket on the disk, but if that doesn’t work, I will image it across onto a quieter disk.
Now a bit about Linux.
Some of you will know that I have made several attempts to use Mythbuntu as a media centre, and failed each time, even though I have had Donald expertly guiding me.
The problem is probably this: I have been using Linux since the mid ’90’s, first Slackware, then on to Redhat, Mandrake, Mandriva, PClinuxOS, Knoppix, Puppy, Debian, Ubuntu, Mint …………. you get the picture, Distro hopping.
I have never really stayed on one distro long enough to really get to know it enough to sort out problems when things goes wrong.
I wouldn’t call myself a windows expert either, but I have always used it, and tend to recognise problems when I see them, and have an idea about what to do.
I said earlier that windows media centre was easy to set up, but it had just as many problems to overcome as MythTV had, so the easy feeling must be down to my familiarity with windows.
The reason I bring this up now is that the media centre install highlights the issue.
The problems I experienced setting up media centre on windows more or less mirror the problems I experienced with Mythbuntu, but I was able to sort the problems on windows but not on Linux.
If I had stayed with Slackware from the outset instead of distro hopping, chances are I would have been able to sort out the MythTV problems on Linux too.