Android and Linux

Friday, October 7, 2011

Yay, new computer.

I bought a new computer and, boy, why didn't someone tell me computers had gotten so darn good these days? My main desktop was a 2.2 GHz box with 2 gigs of ram. That's pretty outdated but was enough for everything I needed, but I wanted to turn it into a server and get a new one for general use. Now I have an i7 quad core with eight 3.3Ghz processors. What a difference!

Since I got the Roku, I found myself wanting to encode videos to play on it. With the old computer, encoding a 175mb 30 minute TV show took about 45-50 minutes and the fans on the computer sounded like a jet trying to take off. And movies? They weren't worth spending hours to encode.

The new computer? It can encode a TV show in 1-2 minutes and a 3 Gig HD movie in 15-30 minutes and it doesn't make a sound the entire time.

I've had it for a couple weeks, but soon after getting it, half of my home automation stopped working. I finally figured out that the computer was to blame. The instant the power cord is plugged into the computer, it causes interference that drowns out the X10 signals. I ordered a noise filter that finally arrived so now I can leave it plugged in as long as I want and still have my automation working.

Anyway, I've been slowly setting up the old computer to act as a server. It isn't a lot of work, it was really a desktop/server before, but I need to get everything set up so I can stick it in a closet somewhere and forget about, administering it from the new computer when needed.

I should have a lot to post about soon. I have a transceiver for my home automation on the way in order to pick up RF signals. With it, I will be able to set up motion detectors and things that can send a signal to the computer instead of only the other direction. Automation is only half useful without that.

I'm also planning to start toying around with plug computing. A plug computer is a full fledged linux computer that fits in a box the size of an electric plug. With the right setup, I could do away with my computer that acts as a server and use a plug computer to run the automation, and mount a cheap hackable display like the Chumby in the house to control it all graphically, and of course Android to control it all remotely.

Anyway, sorry for not having much to post about but hopefully that will change soon.