Raspberry Pi and the home theatre


For years I have wanted a centralized digital home theater system.  The limitations of almost every component failed for a variety of reasons.  Cost being a big issue, limitations in computer speeds, noise and complexity all played their part in preventing me from getting the system that I wanted.  The biggest issue was not requiring a full blown media center enabled PC on every television in the house.  Even the cheapest PC is several hundred dollars, and you are forced to deal with consumable parts such as hard drives and fans wearing out.  Size is also a big issue, and boot up times is REALLY annoying.  Additionally, even the quietest of PC’s will add at least 30DB’s to the noise of the system by the time you add in several quiet cooling fans, power supplies, spinning hard drives, etc…  The way around this is long cables, dedicated rooms, etc… which is just more cost, complexity, etc…


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Ongoing Website Development

Development efforts continue on the latest website I am working on.  For the first time in a while, I am excited to build something which really has potential to grow beyond myself.  Development work so far is going well, although slower than I hoped.  The reason for the speed issue is that I am trying to wrap my hand around the Web 2.0 concept, and exploiting the open-source community and their hard work.  As such, when I find a cool widget I am going to post about them here to further help and pay tribute to this valuable source of code.

To date with the site, I have a basic framework setup.  Supporting structures are built, such as sitemaps, xml files, etc… and users may actually join the site, and login and out.  My next step in this arena is to allow users to update their personal information as the user component takes shape.  I am hopeful that this portion of the site will be complete this evening.  The biggest issue I see at this point is uploading images files.

The next step will be to design and build the main piece of the site.  I don’t wish to write too much about it at this time.

More to follow…

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Starting from scratch

Today, a jeep trip was cancelled at the last moment.  The cancellation was no ones fault, just life.  As such, I found that I had a “found” day today and started work on a new website.  I am not ready to announce the site at this point, I have a lot more to accomplish before that event.

For my new website, I have a new philosophy that I am working under.   My idea is the build the site with as many off-the-shelf open source components as possible.  This will re-educate me to the various projects out in the world and hopefully allow me to deploy quickly.  Beyond just open source, I am hopeful to exploit some of Facebook’s developer features to market the site amount other things.

Although keeping copyright information in open source files is a common feature of open source tools, in order to further pay back the community and the developers who work within it, I have decided to call them out specifically on this site.

Open Source Tools:

  •  jQuery is a fast and concise JavaScript Library that simplifies HTML document traversing, event handling, animating, and Ajax interactions for rapid web development. jQuery is designed to change the way that you write JavaScript.  The jQuery website is www.jQuery.com
  • ImageMapster is a jquery plugin, which allows a developer to quickly build image maps for their website.  This plugin is written and maintained by James Treworgy and more information is available at http://www.outsharked.com/imagemapster
  • Sliding Login Panel with jQuery is available from web-kreation.com. This plugin adds a cool div overlay which can be dropped down to all your users to register and login.  Very cool gadget and easy to implement.

More to come….

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