Current Computer Craftmanship Collective

Of course whenever there is even a little free time I’m spending it tweaking and expanding another of my favorite past times, open source operating systems.

I’ve mentioned Gnome-Do in a previous post and am happy to say it’s still my launcher of choice on my home office XUbuntu box. Very quick and effective, learns which programs you launch most often and will give you those as choices sooner, and boasts a host of plug-ins. On this box I’ve also been playing around with a port of XBMC – Xbox media center. Still in early testing so very buggy but promises to be a very cool way to organize a media center in the near future (it’s also being ported to Windows and is already fully operational on Mac OSX).

While attempting to help a friend out with a computer problem last Saturday, we ran headfirst into a brick wall of Windows frustration (installation wouldn’t recognize he had a hard drive in his computer?). Throwing up our proverbial hands in frustration, I threw a copy of Dreamlinux 3.1 on his computer – after a bit more frustration, it finally installed. Hopefully it works well for you KJ. He was also very gracious to hand over an older HP notebook (he just upgraded to a new MacBook) to let me have my nerdilicious fun on it, and fun I have been having. At the first opportunity I had, I also threw a copy of Dreamlinux 3.1 on it, and deciding to keep my old (and very heavy) Dell laptop stationary on my office desk, transfered the Linksys wireless card to the HP. I was very impressed with the ease of wireless card recognition of Dream 3.1 – It was almost just as simple as Ubuntu – the Windows driver loaded without a hickup, (I did need to execute the “magical” command of “sudo ndiswrapper -ma”) and off it went with wireless.

I then decided to dabble in the realm of networking and found this very helpful tutorial on NFS and set up some shared folders from my office laptop’s music and documents folders which now can be easily mounted by the HP anywhere within my wireless network. Next task is to do this with my media center PC to be able to stream video from any computer within the network and eventually set up a VPN to access such files and media from anywhere. Pretty cool stuff.

Also since my wife and I subscribed to Netflix, I’ve been forced to reinstall Windows on my media center PC to stream the “Watch Now” content. We’re loving netflix, but the lack of support for Linux and Mac needs to be remedied soon.

~ by veniatregnum on August 19, 2008.

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