Posts

Manjaro and Deepin Desktop 15.5 - Elegance Redefined

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Greetings from the nut hutch that is my house here in Thailand. While Thailand doesn't celebrate Thanksgiving and Christmas like we do in the West, the Expat community here does. So I have been off visiting friends, doing some Christmas shopping, and picking up the latest cold that is going around some of the students I tutor. Next thing I know, it is the middle of December, and I have not put out a blog entry in a while. During my "break", I was issued a challenge by a fellow Expat. To install and use the Manjaro Deepin Community Edition for a month. Since I was impressed with Manjaro's implementation of the Gnome DE, link, I decided to take up that challenge.


Overview

Before I get too far into this post, an explanation needs to be given. There are two projects that use the Deepin name, and to make it even more confusing, they are developed and maintained by the same company, Wuhan Deepin Technology. They are responsible for not only the Deepin Desktop Environment, b…

Nuke and Pave: Windows 10 Pro ver. 1709 - Aka The Fall Creators Update.

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Just a quick update. About 2 weeks ago, I had a new post almost ready to publish, and then I lost it all. You see, I write the texts of these posts off-line and then upload the text and add the pictures and links before I publish them. Just as I was about to do this, Windows 10 automatically updated itself to the new "Fall Creators Update". The number of problems created by this update, made my computer so unstable, that the only solution was to re-format my hard drive and re-install Windows. Luckily, about 95% of my data was backed up. Unfortunately, the text of my blog post was not among that data. Here are the problems I ran into with the latest and "greatest" to come out of Redmond.

Problem - I was required to log into my computer two times. From my research, this was caused by the graphics card driver not talking to the Operating System (OS) properly. So I was logging into the OS with out the graphics card driver enabled the first time and then the OS with the …

Setting up Plex to work with a Panasonic Viera HDTV and Kodi Comparisons

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Like many people I know, I have a television in my bedroom. In order to watch programs from my Media Server, I have an Android TV attached to it. After playing around with some of the options on the TV, I noticed that I had another option to stream content from my Media Server. Smart televisions from Panasonic and other manufacturers have the ability to stream media from servers that use the DLNA protocol. I was intrigued to see how this protocol worked. Since I needed some DLNA server software, it gave me an opportunity to try out Plex. Little did I know it at the time, but was I in for an interesting ride.

Plex and the Panasonic Viera HDTV

The first thing I needed to do was install the Plex Server software on my Media Server. This was accomplished quite easily on my Linux Mint 18.2 by using the provided deb file. It installed and configured itself without any noticeable hitches. Since at this point I was just experimenting, I added only one of my media hard drives to the server's …

Manjaro Linux: Arch Linux for Everyone?

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One of the things that interests many Linux users is the sheer diversity of distributions (distros) of Linux available. While some users will settle on a distro and that will become the version they use for a long time. Others will do what is called distro-hopping. They will move from distro to distro until they find one that either "clicks" with them or one that meets all of their needs. As a long time Linux user myself, I have always been interested in different Linux distros. For a long time, I have used Ubuntu/ Debian based distros such as Ubuntu and Linux Mint. Sometimes I would step out of my comfort zone and try other distros of Linux such as the Gentoo based Sabayon Linux, link, or loose my mind completely and try out Slackware, link. Needless to say, those forays were not successful. While I enjoyed the experience, I either found them too unstable for use as a daily driver, or they just took too much work to manage properly. I always ended up going back to an Ubuntu…

Rebuilding My Home Media Server

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In a previous post, link, I talked about my home media server. Since that post, the server described decided to take a permanent vacation. Since its departure was sudden and surprising, it will be sorely missed. The journey required to replace it was both fun and frustrating. It also gave me an opportunity to teach my wife a little bit about how computers are made. Since every journey begins with a step, let us take the first one together.

The server was running perfectly as I was applying a security patch. Upon reboot however, the system decided that it did not want to post. After some troubleshooting, and removing one stick of RAM, the system was able to boot. While this was a step in the right direction, it was not a solution. Withing five minutes, the system would freeze and require a hard reset. After the hard reset, the system would not post. So some more in depth testing was needed.
In order to this testing, I needed another system that used DDR3 for RAM and used the LGA-1155 c…

Fixing an Over Heating Android TV Box

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I must apologize for the lack of content lately. In the last month I had problems with my Android TV in the bedroom overheating and then my home server decided to go on a permanent vacation. The server was an easy fix, but the Android TV took some time. Today, I would like to talk about my Android TV fix. While the solution I came up with was not as elegant as it could be, it was fun to do and a learning experience for me.

In my previous post link, I talked about my Home Media Center setup. In my bedroom, I stated that I was using a Memobox Q-Box Android TV that I had purchased from Aliexpress, link. This little piece of hardware is pretty good for the price that you pay. The only problem I was having with it was heat. The box would get very hot during use. Hot enough, that the quad-core processor would slow its speed to try and cool itself off. This is called "thermal throttling". Thermal throttling is normal with modern processors. Both desktop and mobile processors use t…

My Home Media Center Setup

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When I talk about Kodi, I often get asked about what hardware I am running it on. So I thought I would take a moment to share with you my Home Media Center. Unlike most people today, I do not stream most of my content from the internet. Most of my content is streamed locally. How I have my computers set up is designed to allow my wife and I to watch content all over the house. If something I am using is still available for purchase, I will add the needed links to their section.

Server



The server is the heart of any home network. My server is housed in a custom case from Moneual that is designed to look like a DVD player. This allows it to blend in with the other components in my entertainment center. When this case was released in 2010, the Moneual 312 was lauded for its look, internal storage options, and its small size. At the time, most cases for HTPC's were a standard ATX computer cases turned sideways. They were large, bulky, ugly, and they did not have near the internal stora…