Happy Birthday Coen!

I’d like to take this opportunity to wish my firstborn son, Coen Hendrix Perry, a very happy 3rd birthday.

Happy Birthday Coen!

My Two Cents Worth Podcast — Episode 001

Meet My Media Center: XBMC

So you’ve got a decent machine and you’re wanting to try out this crazy Linux thing to build a home media center. I previously posted a quick cheat sheet for installing the Ubuntu Desktop 64-bit Edition 12.04, and will be using that as my base OS for this post, however most is very comparable if not identical to the other linux variations.

XBMC Media Center is an award-winning free and open source cross-platform entertainment hub software for HTPCs (Home theater PCs). It uses a 10-foot user interface designed to be a media player for the living-room TV using a remote control as the primary input device. Its graphical user interface (GUI) allows the user to easily browse and view videos, photos, podcasts, and music from a harddrive, optical disc, local network, and the internet using only a few buttons.

–quoted from http://xbmc.org/

Let’s discuss installation. The XBMC installation is a piece of cake (or pie if you prefer) and we’ll take it one step at a time.

  • Make sure that you have installed Ubuntu Desktop 64-bit Edition 12.04 for an exact duplication of my media center setup. That said, older versions of Ubuntu (both 32-bit and 64-bit) and its derivatives will most likely work as well.
  • Add the PPA for Team XBMC by typing this (minus the quotes) into a terminal prompt:
    sudo add-apt-repository ppa:team-xbmc
    (if prompted for your password, enter it)
  • Now you need to update your repos by typing this (minus the quotes) into a terminal prompt:
    sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get upgrade
  • Now let’s install XBMC by typing this (minus the quotes) into a terminal prompt:
    sudo apt-get install xbmc

Now you have it installed, and you can run this from your local machine without doing one thing more. From here on, it’s all about customization, which is completely specific to your own personal taste. There are so many things to customize within XBMC that I could never cover them all here, however I will leave you with a link to some of the options you’ll have going forward. Whether you want to play video games, watch live TV, setup remote controls, sync any of this media across your house, or just customize the look with skins, this Wiki page has it all.

Team XBMC Wiki

There you have it! This should give you a fully functional XBMC to rule them all.

Enjoy!

…and if you don’t, please write me to tell me how horrible it is and what parts you merely dislike as well as the parts that you utterly despise.

~ matt

Meet My Media Center: Headphones

So you’ve got a decent machine and you’re wanting to try out this crazy Linux thing to build a home media center. I previously posted a quick cheat sheet for installing the Ubuntu Desktop 64-bit Edition 12.04, and will be using that as my base OS for this post, however most is very comparable if not identical to the other linux variations.

Then we went over how to quickly and easily install your very own SABnzbd instance, how to install Sick Beard to handle your TV show downloads, and how to install CouchPotato to handle your movie downloads. Now we’ll cover how to install Headphones to handle your music downloads.

Headphones is a SABnzbd add-on that automates your music downloading. It’s written in Python so it works on pretty much all systems, and it’s easy to setup and configure. You can import all your favorite artists from iTunes, and keep an eye out for any new albums they might be releasing.

–quoted from https://github.com/rembo10/headphones/wiki

Let’s discuss installation. The Headphones installation is a piece of cake (or pie if you prefer) and we’ll take it one step at a time.

  • Make sure that you have installed Ubuntu Desktop 64-bit Edition 12.04 for an exact duplication of my media center setup. That said, older versions of Ubuntu (both 32-bit and 64-bit) and its derivatives will most likely work as well.
  • Download the most current version of Headphones by typing this (minus the quotes) into a terminal prompt:
    wget https://github.com/rembo10/headphones/tarball/master -O headphones.tar.gz
    (wait for it to finish and to recieve a new command prompt)
  • Now we will extract this archive into a folder by typing this (minus the quotes) into a terminal prompt:
    tar xvf headphones.tar.gz
  • Once it is extracted into its own folder, we’ll move the contents of that folder to a hidden folder in your home directory by typing this (minus the quotes) into a terminal prompt:
    mv rembo10-headphones-xxxxxxx .headphones
    (make sure that the ‘xxxxxxx’ portion of the above command is replaced by the specific version as seen in the folder name)
  • Next, we’ll move the configuration file so that Ubuntu knows where to find it by typing this (minus the quotes) into a terminal prompt:
    sudo mv .headphones/init.ubuntu /etc/init.d/headphones
    (if prompted for your password, enter it)
  • Now let’s edit the config file with your details by typing this (minus the quotes) into a terminal prompt:
    sudo gedit /etc/init.d/headphones
    this will launch a text editor displaying a configuration file
    DON’T PANIC!!
    just look for a portion that reads:
    APP_PATH=/location/of/install/
    replace the existing path so that it reads:
    APP_PATH=/home/username/.headphones (where “username” is your Ubuntu user name)
    then find the portion that reads:
    RUN_AS=username (replace “username” with your Ubuntu user name)
    click “Save” and close the text editor
  • Let’s make sure that this file is executable by typing this (minus the quotes) into a terminal prompt:
    sudo chmod +x /etc/init.d/headphones
  • You have it installed, but let’s make it automatic by typing this (minus the quotes) into a terminal prompt:
    sudo update-rc.d headphones defaults
  • At this point make sure that the ‘Folder/Path‘ and ‘Category‘ on the ‘Categories‘ settings page in SABnzbd reads ‘music‘ as below:
    SABnzbd - 8 Categories
    SABnzbd – 8 Categories
  • Reboot the machine
  • Once the system has rebooted, open a browser and go to http://127.0.0.1:8181
  • This will display the main screen of Headphones. You may want to bookmark this screen when it comes up.
  • At the top of the screen, you’ll probably be given an update message. Click on ‘Click here to update‘ and wait for it to update and restart.
  • Once Headphones returns to its main screen, choose the configuration ‘Gear‘ from the menu bar.
  • The rest of the setup is quite specific and tedious so rather than make you read 18 pages of commentary, I’ll just list images of the configuration pages.

There you have it! This should give you a fully functional Headphones setup. Now on to XBMC (Media Center) to rule them all.

Enjoy!

…and if you don’t, please write me to tell me how horrible it is and what parts you merely dislike as well as the parts that you utterly despise.

~ matt

Meet My Media Center: CouchPotato

So you’ve got a decent machine and you’re wanting to try out this crazy Linux thing to build a home media center. I previously posted a quick cheat sheet for installing the Ubuntu Desktop 64-bit Edition 12.04, and will be using that as my base OS for this post, however most is very comparable if not identical to the other linux variations.

Then we went over how to quickly and easily install your very own SABnzbd instance, and how to install Sick Beard to handle your TV show downloads. Now we’ll cover how to install CouchPotato to handle your movie downloads.

CouchPotato is an automatic NZB and torrent downloader. You can keep a “want to watch”-list and it will search for NZBs/torrents of these items every X hours. Once a correct release is found, matching the correct quality, it will send it to SABnzbd or download the .nzb or .torrent to a specified directory.

–quoted from http://couchpota.to/

Let’s discuss installation. The CouchPotato installation is a piece of cake (or pie if you prefer) and we’ll take it one step at a time.

  • Make sure that you have installed Ubuntu Desktop 64-bit Edition 12.04 for an exact duplication of my media center setup. That said, older versions of Ubuntu (both 32-bit and 64-bit) and its derivatives will most likely work as well.
  • Download the most current version of CouchPotato by typing this (minus the quotes) into a terminal prompt:
    wget https://github.com/RuudBurger/CouchPotato/tarball/master -O couchpotato.tar.gz
    (wait for it to finish and to recieve a new command prompt)
  • Now we will extract this archive into a folder by typing this (minus the quotes) into a terminal prompt:
    tar xvf couchpotato.tar.gz
  • Once it is extracted into its own folder, we’ll move the contents of that folder to a hidden folder in your home directory by typing this (minus the quotes) into a terminal prompt:
    mv RuudBurger-CouchPotato-xxxxxxx .couchpotato
    (make sure that the ‘xxxxxxx’ portion of the above command is replaced by the specific version as seen in the folder name)
  • Next, we’ll move the configuration file so that Ubuntu knows where to find it by typing this (minus the quotes) into a terminal prompt:
    sudo mv .couchpotato/initd.ubuntu /etc/init.d/couchpotato
    sudo mv .couchpotato/default.ubuntu /etc/default/couchpotato
    (if prompted for your password, enter it)
  • Now let’s edit the config file with your details by typing this (minus the quotes) into a terminal prompt:
    sudo gedit /etc/default/couchpotato
    this will launch a text editor displaying a configuration file
    DON’T PANIC!!
    just look for a portion that reads:
    APP_PATH=/location/of/install/
    replace the existing path so that it reads:
    APP_PATH=/home/username/.couchpotato (where “username” is your Ubuntu user name)
    then find the portion that reads:
    ENABLE_DAEMON=x
    replace the existing path so that it reads:
    ENABLE_DAEMON=1
    then find the portion that reads:
    RUN_AS=username (replace “username” with your Ubuntu user name)
    click “Save” and close the text editor
  • Let’s make sure that this file is executable by typing this (minus the quotes) into a terminal prompt:
    sudo chmod +x /etc/init.d/couchpotato
  • You have it installed, but let’s make it automatic by typing this (minus the quotes) into a terminal prompt:
    sudo update-rc.d couchpotato defaults
  • At this point make sure that the ‘Folder/Path‘ and ‘Category‘ on the ‘Categories‘ settings page in SABnzbd reads ‘movies‘ as below:

    SABnzbd - 8 Categories

    SABnzbd - 8 Categories

  • Oh, and make sure that ‘Movie Sorting‘ is disabled and that the ‘movie‘ category is selected on the ‘Sorting‘ settings page in SABnzbd as below:
    SABnzbd - 9 Sorting
    SABnzbd – 9 Sorting
  • Reboot the machine
  • Once the system has rebooted, open a browser and go to http://127.0.0.1:5000
  • This will display the main screen of CouchPotato. You may want to bookmark this screen when it comes up.
  • At the top of the screen, you’ll probably be given an update message. Click on ‘Update Now‘ and wait for it to update and restart.
  • Once CouchPotato returns to its main screen, choose the configuration ‘Gear‘ from the menu bar, and then ‘General‘ from the sub-menu.
  • The rest of the setup is quite specific and tedious so rather than make you read 18 pages of commentary, I’ll just list images of the configuration pages.

There you have it! This should give you a fully functional CouchPotato setup. Now on to the others: Headphones (Music), and finally XBMC (Media Center) to rule them all.

Enjoy!

…and if you don’t, please write me to tell me how horrible it is and what parts you merely dislike as well as the parts that you utterly despise.

~ matt

Meet My Media Center: Sick Beard

So you’ve got a decent machine and you’re wanting to try out this crazy Linux thing to build a home media center. I previously posted a quick cheat sheet for installing the Ubuntu Desktop 64-bit Edition 12.04, and will be using that as my base OS for this post, however most is very comparable if not identical to the other linux variations.

Then we went over how to quickly and easily install your very own SABnzbd instance. Now we’ll cover how to install Sick Beard to handle your TV show downloads.

Sick Beard is a PVR for newsgroup users (with limited torrent support). It watches for new episodes of your favorite shows and when they are posted it downloads them, sorts and renames them, and optionally generates metadata for them.

–quoted from http://sickbeard.com/

Let’s discuss installation. The Sick Beard installation is a piece of cake (or pie if you prefer) and we’ll take it one step at a time.

  • Make sure that you have installed Ubuntu Desktop 64-bit Edition 12.04 for an exact duplication of my media center setup. That said, older versions of Ubuntu (both 32-bit and 64-bit) and its derivatives will most likely work as well.
  • Download the most current version of Sick Beard by typing this (minus the quotes) into a terminal prompt:
    wget https://github.com/midgetspy/Sick-Beard/tarball/master -O sickbeard.tar.gz
    (wait for it to finish and to recieve a new command prompt)
  • Now we will extract this archive into a folder by typing this (minus the quotes) into a terminal prompt:
    tar xf sickbeard.tar.gz
  • Once it is extracted into its own folder, we’ll move the contents of that folder to a hidden folder in your home directory by typing this (minus the quotes) into a terminal prompt:
    mv midgetspy-Sick-Beard-XXXXX .sickbeard
    (make sure that the ‘XXXXX’ portion of the above command is replaced by the specific version as seen in the folder name)
  • Next, we’ll move the configuration file so that Ubuntu knows where to find it by typing this (minus the quotes) into a terminal prompt:
    sudo mv .sickbeard/init.ubuntu /etc/init.d/sickbeard
    (if prompted for your password, enter it)
  • Now let’s edit the config file with your details by typing this (minus the quotes) into a terminal prompt:
    sudo gedit /etc/init.d/sickbeard
    this will launch a text editor displaying a configuration file
    DON’T PANIC!!
    just look for a portion that reads:
    APP_PATH=/location/of/install/
    replace the existing path so that it reads:
    APP_PATH=/home/username/.sickbeard (where “username” is your Ubuntu user name)
    then find the portion that reads:
    RUN_AS=username (replace “username” with your Ubuntu user name)
    click “Save” and close the text editor
  • Let’s make sure that this file is executable by typing this (minus the quotes) into a terminal prompt:
    sudo chmod +x /etc/init.d/sickbeard
  • You have it installed, but let’s make it automatic by typing this (minus the quotes) into a terminal prompt:
    sudo update-rc.d sickbeard defaults
  • Now let’s teach Sick Beard to play nice with SABnzbd by typing this (minus the quotes) into a terminal prompt:
    mv /home/username/.sickbeard/autoProcessTV/autoProcessTV.cfg.sample /home/username/.sickbeard/autoProcessTV/autoProcessTV.cfg
    (replace “username” with your Ubuntu user name)
  • If you setup a username/password or different port for your SABnzbd installation you will also need to modify those settings in this configuration file, by typing this (minus the quotes) into a terminal prompt:
    gedit /home/username/.sickbeard/autoProcessTV/autoProcessTV.cfg
    (replace “username” with your Ubuntu user name)
    click “Save” and close the text editor
  • At this point make sure that the script drop down menu on the ‘Categories‘ settings page in SABnzbd is set to ‘sabToSickBeard.py‘ as below:

    SABnzbd - 8 Categories

    SABnzbd - 8 Categories

  • Oh, and make sure that ‘TV Sorting‘ is disabled and that the ‘tv‘ category is not selected on the ‘Sorting‘ settings page in SABnzbd as below:

    SABnzbd - 9 Sorting

    SABnzbd - 9 Sorting

  • Reboot the machine
  • Once the system has rebooted, open a browser and go to http://127.0.0.1:8081
  • This will display the main screen of Sick Beard. You may want to bookmark this screen when it comes up.
  • At the top of the screen, you’ll probably be given an update message. Click on ‘Update Now‘ and wait for it to update and restart.
  • Once Sick Beard returns to its main screen, choose the ‘Config‘ from the menu bar, and then ‘General‘ from the sub-menu.
  • The rest of the setup is quite specific and tedious so rather than make you read 18 pages of commentary, I’ll just list images of the configuration pages.

There you have it! This should give you a fully functional Sick Beard setup. Now on to the others: CouchPotato (Movies), Headphones (Music), and finally XBMC (Media Center) to rule them all.

Enjoy!

…and if you don’t, please write me to tell me how horrible it is and what parts you merely dislike as well as the parts that you utterly despise.

~ matt

Meet My Media Center: SABnzbd

So you’ve got a decent machine and you’re wanting to try out this crazy Linux thing to build a home media center. I previously posted a quick cheat sheet for installing the Ubuntu Desktop 64-bit Edition 12.04, and will be using that as my base OS for this post, however most is very comparable if not identical to the other linux variations.

SABnzbd is an Open Source Binary Newsreader written in Python. SABnzbd makes Usenet as simple and streamlined as possible by automating everything we can. All you have to do is add an .nzb. SABnzbd takes over from there, where it will be automatically downloaded, verified, repaired, extracted and filed away with zero human interaction.

–quoted from http://sabnzbd.org/

SABnzbd is basically, a Usenet client. Meaning that it is to the Usenet (an old school pre-www BBS-like worldwide distributed Internet discussion system), what Chromium/Chrome/Firefox are to the web.

Let’s discuss installation. The SABnzbd installation is a piece of cake (or pie if you prefer) and we’ll take it one step at a time.

  • Make sure that you have installed Ubuntu Desktop 64-bit Edition 12.04 for an exact duplication of my media center setup. That said, older versions of Ubuntu (both 32-bit and 64-bit) and its derivatives will most likely work as well.
  • Add the PPA for jcfp by typing this (minus the quotes) into a terminal prompt:
    sudo add-apt-repository ppa:jcfp/ppa
    (if prompted for your password, enter it)
  • Now you need to update your repos by typing this (minus the quotes) into a terminal prompt:
    sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get upgrade
  • Now let’s install SABnzbd+ by typing this (minus the quotes) into a terminal prompt:
    sudo apt-get install sabnzbdplus
  • You have it installed, but let’s make it automatic by typing this (minus the quotes) into a terminal prompt:
    sudo gedit /etc/default/sabnzbdplus
    this will launch a text editor displaying a configuration file
    DON’T PANIC!!
    just look for a portion that reads:
    USER=username (replace “username” with your Ubuntu user name)
    click “Save” and close the text editor
  • Reboot the machine
  • Once the system has rebooted, open a browser and go to http://127.0.0.1:8080
  • This will display the SABnzbd Quick-Start Wizard. This should be self explanatory, pick your language, etc.
  • You will come to “Server Details” which will be specific to your Usenet service provider. If you don’t have one, just Google “Usenet Provider” and pick the one that fits your situation best. In general “Host” should be something like “news.usenetprovider.com,” the “Port” should be “563” (this will allow you to use 256-bit encryption for your connection). The “Connections” will be specific to your provider. Make sure you check the SSL box to enable it.
    Make sure to use the “Test Connection” button to test your connection to your provider and make sure that it’s kosher.
  • Next will be a question about whether or not you want it to be accessible from just your machine or all the devices on your network. This is personal preference. Pick one. Move on. Oh, un-check the thing about launching the browser, otherwise you’ll hate yourself every time your machine boots.
  • Now a page to add your details for Newzbin and NZBMatrix. You can fill these out if you subscribe to them, or skip it if you haven’t yet.
  • You may want to bookmark the “Home” screen when it comes up.
  • The rest of the setup is quite specific and tedious so rather than make you read 18 pages of commentary, I’ll just list images of the configuration pages.

There you have it! This should give you a fully functional SABnzbd setup, and the groundwork for other fine products like Sick Beard (TV), CouchPotato (Movies), Headphones (Music), and finally XBMC (Media Center) to rule them all.

Enjoy!

…and if you don’t, please write me to tell me how horrible it is and what parts you merely dislike as well as the parts that you utterly despise.

~ matt

Meet My Media Center: Ubuntu 12.04 64-bit

So you’ve got a decent machine and you’re wanting to try out this crazy Linux thing to build a home media center. I’ve used various Linux distributions for various projects, and they all have their strengths. If you’re a noob to the wonderful world of Linux, I’d recommend you start out with one of the many Ubuntu varieties. They have multiple versions for whatever environment and look you prefer. If you’re the type who likes things to ‘just work,’ aka the Mac type, Ubuntu (Gnome) is for you. Love getting buried in the details and customizing every nook and cranny of your workspace, Kubuntu (KDE) is your new best friend. Linux built for the classroom computer lab is dubbed Edubuntu (Gnome). Wanting to test Linux on an old machine before replacing the OS on your main box isn’t a crime, but you may want to choose Xubuntu (XFCE) or Lubuntu (LXDE). You can even run this stuff on your Android phone or TV.They also have derivatives for multimedia production, Ubuntu Studio (Gnome), and even Mythbuntu for building that home theater MythTV PC you’ve always wanted. Last but definitely not least, if you’ve got a rack that needs new life breathed into it, try the Ubuntu Server Edition.

We’ll be discussing the Ubuntu Desktop 64-bit Edition 12.04 primarily using the Gnome Desktop Environment in the post, however most is very comparable if not identical to the other variations.

Let’s discuss installation. The Ubuntu installation is a piece of cake (or pie if you prefer) and only a couple areas foul folks up.

  • You’ll need to get your hands on an Ubuntu install image. You can download one directly, via torrent, or if you have a spare USB thumb drive and a buddy who already has Ubuntu installed, have them make you a USB install stick.
  • Insert the install disc/usb stick and boot up the machine.
  • Select ‘Install Ubuntu’ and hit the ‘enter’ key.
  • Select Language for Ubuntu.
  • Where are you? Pick the Region and the closest City in your time zone, and click ‘Forward’
  • Keyboard Layout. The ‘Suggested option’ is generally perfect, click ‘Forward’
  • Select ‘Specify partitions manually’ and click ‘Forward’
  • HEAD’S UP!! Okay, this can totally hose your machine if you don’t pay attention and know what you’re doing. Make sure you know which hard drive you want to use for your Linux installation, otherwise you’re going to wipe out your music/movie/photo/game collection, your Windows partitions, etc. If you’re wanting to toss Windows out the, uh, window, this will overwrite those partitions if you choose. Just make sure you backup anything you want to keep on another drive, disc, server, etc.
  • That said, pick the drive/partition you want to install Ubuntu on and ‘Delete partition.’ To scrap the whole drive and use the whole drive for Ubuntu, choose ‘New partition table’ and click ‘Forward’
  • Now you have ‘free space’ on that particular drive/partition. Select the ‘free space’ and click ‘New partition’
  • Create a new partition.
    For the first new partition (swap), you’ll want to make sure that the ‘Type for the new partition’ is set as ‘Primary’
    ‘New partition size in megabytes’ as a general rule, needs to equal twice the amount of RAM on your machine. If you have 2GB of RAM, you’ll want 4GB of swap space. (1GB = 1024MB)
    ‘Location for the new partition’ should be set to ‘Beginning’
    ‘Use as’ needs to be ‘swap area’ and click ‘OK’
    You’ll notice that your swap space partition now appears on your partition table screen.
  • Select the remaining ‘free space’ and click ‘New partition’
  • Create a new partition.
  • For this partition (root or /), you’ll want to make sure that the ‘Type for the new partition’ is set as ‘Logical’
    To use all the remaining space, leave the ‘New partition size…’ as it is. If you plan to have separate partitions for your settings (/home) or the like, choose the size to fit your preference.
    ‘Location for the new partition’ should be set to ‘Beginning’
    ‘Use as’ should be set to either Btrfs or EXT4, I prefer the latter
    ‘Mount point’ should be set to ‘/’ unless you’re planning to have separate partitions for your settings etc. If you choose the latter select the mount point to preference. Click ‘OK’
    You’ll now notice that ‘free space’ is all gone and we’re ready to click ‘Forward’
  • You’ll see the last Warning about the partitions and a general summary of your install options selected thus far. Take this time to check again to make sure you haven’t selected the wrong drive/partition etc. Once you’re sure that all is well, click on ‘Install’
  • Now you get to tell Ubuntu what to name everything. When you’ve got that all filled out, click ‘Forward’
  • Now is a great time to go grab your beverage of choice and relax for a bit. Don’t get too comfortable though, this won’t take long.
  • Installation Complete! Yee-Haw! Click on ‘Restart Now’
  • Remove the CD/USB installer and hit the ‘enter’ key like it says

As always, feel free to comment or ask questions about any of the ideas shared in this post.

~matt

Happy Birthday Deanna!

Today’s my wife’s birthday and I just wanted to wish her a quick Happy Birthday.

Happy Birthday Deanna!

I love you!

~matt