Categories
Tech

Upgrade XBMC Live to latest SVN

See below for some short instructions on how to upgrade your existing XBMC Live installation to the latest SVN version. These instructions should also work for regular XBMC Linux users as well. It is particularly important to update your XBMC to the latest SVN version if you plan on using some of the latest and greatest plugins and skins. For example, after I installed the Aeon65 skin I noticed that the skin would crash when I would go to certain views… many of the people on the forums recommended upgrading to the latest XBMC build so I did exactly that…

Categories
Tech

How to Install GIT on XBMC Live

It’s relatively easy to install GIT on XBMC Live, but I didn’t find it well documented anywhere. Login to your XBMC machine console — either via SSH / Putty or directly from the machine (Ctrl+Alt+F2). After you are logged in, run the following command which will install the git utility:

sudo apt-get update sudo apt-get install git-core

You may need to enter your root password (default password is ‘xbmc’). The system will likely prompt you to install some other required resources. Press ‘Y’ to install those resources.

Categories
Tech

Set XBMC to Auto Update Library

After getting XBMC Live installed on my Revo and getting my library setup, I couldn’t find a simple option to have XBMC watch my video folder and automatically update my library. In place of this missing functionality, I figured I would setup a simple timed job to automatically update my library for me every hour.

Before I get started, I should note that there is an option to automatically update the library when the box is booted up which may work for some people. You can find this under System > Video > Update Library on Startup. This option wouldn’t work for me though as I leave my box on 24/7 or at most just put it in a standby state.

See below for the details on how to setup a timed job (cron) to update your video or music library. This consists of installing the xbmc-send application and setting up a cron job (and enabling the EventServer).

Categories
Tech

How to Install SABnzbd on XBMC Live

Installing applications on XBMC Live is actually much easier than you might think. It does require bashing out some code on a shell prompt, but it’s relatively easy. You can access the shell via two methods: directly from the XBMC-live machine or remotely via SSH. See below for the details on both methods.

Before I start the instructions on how to install, I’d like to give a plug for two other applications which pair up perfectly with SABnzbd: NewzBook and SickBeard. NewzBook is an application I wrote for managing my downloads and files remotely. (install instructions | info) NewzBook includes a mobile friendly website that allows you to search for content and start downloading it remotely — it also includes a web based media player and file manager. SickBeard is an amazing PVR app written by someone else and it heavily simplifies my life. (install instructions | info) Simply tell SickBeard what shows you want to watch and it will automatically go out and search the major indexers and download new versions of the TV shows as they come out. SickBeard can also index all your content locally so it can then download updated / better versions as they come available — for example, you might have a few episodes in SD quality and you can have SickBeard automatically check for HD versions.

Categories
Tech

Modding the 360

Before my xbox 360 even arrived I was thinking about modding it.  I think the ability to mod the 360 is another one of the tipping points that pushed me over the edge in purchasing the 360.  While you can’t currently use homebrew apps on the 360, I’m hoping you will be able to sometime in the future. After a week of having the xbox I decided to purchase a mod-chip for it.

Categories
Josh Lyon

Another Round of Toys

I just went through another round of buying toys and I’m not sure I’m quite done yet.  My most recent purchases include yet another large hard drive (500 gig), next-gen game console, speaker wire, and more.  

360 - Black and White ThumbThe Xbox 360 Elite edition recently came out and I had been eyeing it for a while leading up to it’s release.  It’s very similar to the Xbox 360 Premium edition, but it adds an HDMI port, black finish, and larger (120 gig) hard-drive. There are a number of reasons I decided to take the plunge and get one.  I’m not really a true “gamer” by nature, but I am interested in console modding / hacking.  My current Xbox 1 is the pinnacle of my home theater and entertainment system.  It’s modified to run “homebrew” software, copied games, and emulate older consoles. It currently has a piece of software on it called Xbox Media Center (XBMC), which serves as a dashboard from which I can launch other applications, games, and widgets or play movies, music, and pictures. I really should post an article about this to describe in more detail what it does, but for now I’ll leave it at that.

That being said, the Xbox 360 really didn’t excel at any of the things that my Xbox 1 did once it was modified.  However, the in-game graphics and technology inside the console are what really did me in. I said I’m not really a gamer, but if you know me you know I love technology and high-resolution video/graphics.  I recently bought a 56” 1080p TV and now that the Xbox 360 includes an HDMI output, I thought it would match up well.  On top of that, all my home-theater equipment is black so the console will match much better than the standard white version.  The fact that they threw in a larger hard-drive was just an added bonus.  I really have no need for it now – I already have around 2 TB (terabytes) of storage capacity on my network – but in the event that the Xbox 360 is modified to allow homebrew apps I’ll be happy the storage space is there.

Since I moved to my new apartment, the complete home-theater experience has been lacking in one area – completing my surround sound.  I have a 1000 watt 7.1 setup powered by an Onkyo high-current amp, but I only have 2 speakers and the sub hooked up at the time.  The way I laid out the apartment wasn’t really accommodating for the complete system, but I finally decided to buy the tools I needed to complete the job.  Laura has been doing some decorating and I now have a great place to hide the two rear speakers out of the way. I bought some Acoustic Research PR362 flat, white speaker wire to run to the rear locations and a fishing tool to get the wire where I need it.  I still don’t have a good location for the rear center speakers, but for the time being 5.1 will have to do. Attached is a diagram of what a 7.1 setup looks like.

 

7.1 Diagram

And what better to pair with my new home-theater and entertainment equipment than another 500 gig hard drive for the media-server.  The computer currently has an 80 gig “system” drive that is used for operating systems and applications.  I have Windows XP, Mac OS X, and SUSE Linux 10.2 loaded on it for fun – but really only use the Windows System. I keep getting larger and larger hard-drives, but there’s not much I can really do about it. Here’s the progression of the computer storage capacity:

40 GB
80 GB
80 GB + 80 GB
80 GB + 80 GB + 160 GB
80 GB + 160 GB + 160 GB
80 GB + 300 GB + 300 GB *
80 GB + 500 GB **
80 GB + 500 GB + 500 GB

* 160 GB drives went into the Xboxes
** 300 GB drives went into the Xboxes

As you can see, it will only be a matter of time before I need even more capacity. It would probably be a really good idea to have a good backup system, but as much as I change through hard-drives I couldn’t afford while I was in college. Who knows, maybe a good RAID setup will be my next purchase.

 

Categories
Tech

Gallery2 Joomla Bridge – Search

In case you haven't read my other posts about search engine optimization, I've been on an SEO kick lately.  I've renamed all my images in the photo gallery so they all have some context now.  Google indexes galleries, but the next step was to be able to search the images from within my own site.  I installed the gallery2 search mambot plugin for joomla, but it wasn't doing anything.  Here's what I did to get it working.

  1. Install the mambot
    -Administrator Backend: Installers > Mambots
  2. Enable the mambot
    -This is the part I was somehow forgetting, but it's critical
    1. Admin Backend: Mambots > Site Mambots
    2. Click the X icon next to the Gallery2 Search mambot to publish it
  3. Change some code that comes default with the Jan 6 release:
    -Go to the searchbot PHP file
    mambots/search/gallery2.searchbot.php

    Look for the code around line 63 like this:
       $info->created = utility::g2DateToMambo($time);

    Change it to this:
      $info->created = utility::formatdate($time);

Categories
Tech

Task Manager, msconfig, etc not working?

I noticed that I was having a lot of failed redirects for flamingcube.com for this file.  I decided to find the old archive and repost the information. For history's sake, here it his.

 These instructions are pretty long, so it might be worth printing them out. 


Here's the Fix:

  1. start computer (safe mode is not necessary)
  2. make a double rum and coke
  3. drink very fast then make another
  4. ok now for the fun part
  5. click start then run then type cmd and click ok.
  6. type the following line verbatim
  7. taskkill /im wuaumqr.exe /f
  8. the system will tell you that the task at whatever pid that is was loaded has been terminated.
  9. type exit
  10. launch windows explorer
  11. goto c:\documents and setting\all users\startmenu\programs\startup
  12. remove dcom.exe
  13. get another rum and coke we are just getting started
  14. run regedit
  15. click on my computer
  16. press control f (for find)
  17. type winsock2
  18. erase any setting that points to wuaumqr.exe only erase files that point to "wuaumqr.exe all other files are ok
  19. go back to top, click on my computer and press control f
  20. type wuaumqr.exe
  21. delete anyfiles that point to this location
  22. go back to my computer and press control f
  23. delete any files that point to dcom.exe (if any)
  24. get rum and coke, smoke cigarette
  25. exit registry
  26. click start then run the type msconfig and press enter
  27. uncheck the box pointing to wuaumqr.exe
  28. click apply then exit msconfig (ok)
  29. rum and coke
  30. click start then run the type cmd and press enter
  31. type cd\windows\system32
  32. type attrib wuaumqr.exe -h
  33. type del wuaumqr.exe
  34. type cd\
  35. type dir download_me.exe /s
  36. if this file exist on your computer goto that directory and type line 37
  37. attrib *.* -h -a -r
  38. type del.
  39. type cd\
  40. get rum and coke
  41. type dir dcom.exe /s /a
  42. if this file exists goto that directory and repeat steps 37 – 39
  43. type exit
  44. reboot system
  45. when system boots a message will pop up telling you that you are using a utility check the box marked "don't show me this message again, reboot system and get one more rum and coke for the evening