Monday, June 11, 2007

Friday, June 8, 2007

How Good *is* Vista Anyway?

To hear them tell it, Vista is the be all and end all of security. The charts are massive in size and point out some things that perhaps zealots don't view as part of their dogma.

You tell someone that Global Warming is a made-up thing, and you are deemed, essentially, a heretic. You tell someone that Vista is better than Linux, you better be right"unbiased", whatever that means.

Do I like Linux? Yes. Do I think it's rock solid stable? Yes. Do I think it's all that an OS can be? Depends. My experience with MythTV left me unimpressed. I'm reasonably comfortable in almost any PC environment that I encounter. Mac, Linux, BSD, etc. doesn't make any difference to me. Spending hours and days compiling stuff may be fun for some people, but for me, it's quickly losing its luster. I *know* I'm going to have to get Vista, if only to support it for the people who give me the money to do so. Based upon reviews, I think I'd personally think about upgrading to Vista Home Premium for the MCE.

Do I want to roll Vista out in my office environment? Not if I can help it. I was on Windows 2000 Professional across the board even until 2005. You want to know why the uptake was so slow for XP? Simply the same as XP->Vista. WHY? Now, I'm on XP and I don't want to go back, to be sure, but I tell you, Windows 2000 Professional *was* perhaps the best OS of its time.

Back to the ZDnet article. The comments are telling, and as much as I don't want to admit, very persuasive on Microsoft's behalf: If Microsoft is claiming so little vulnerabilities in its first 6 months for the shipped package it ships (15GB OS???? FIFTEEN GIGABYTES?) versus hundreds of vulnerabilities that, say, RedHat ships, -- even if not installed, even if not used -- it does beg the question, "How much junk/buggy/vulnerable software is worth including in a package?" I'm coming to a saner conclusion. Stop distributing distros with buggy software. Leave it to the end user to put their own software on their system. At the very least, it appears that a Linux distribution should come with appropriate drivers and xorg and an appropriate package manager/install utility and basically nothing else.

Come to think of it, that PC vs Mac Bloat seems all the more apropos if you take it into consideration of what Linux "provides" you with on the install CD. Or maybe Microsoft Vista vs Linux is the eternal feud that cannot die.

Nonetheless, keep it coming. I long to read about the next volley.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

MythTV vs Windows MCE?

After using the same hardware for both and the utter lack of support for my ATI Radeon 9250 on MythTV, I went to Windows MCE. I'm sorry, but YGWYPF is relevant here. Just to assuage the haters: I learned that I should have gone with nVidia because of lack of ATI Support. However, I'm just going to have to say that if I want to use a piece of software and it doesn't support my hardware (and a reasonable request to support a reasonable HW), I don't care how cool it is.

Also, if you ask around, MythTV (even KnoppMyth) isn't always just plug and play. There's tweaking and tweaking.

I am running Windows MCE 2005 with a Hauppauge PVR 150 with the remote/no FM tuner.

Some thoughts.

I used Bart's way to create a bootable XP MCE CD. After creating one coaster regarding "Please Insert Service Pack 2" I learned/figured out that all you need to do is have an appropriate win51ic.sp2 or win51ip.sp2 file in the files directory. Don't have an sp2 file? copy the win51ip.sp1 to win51ip.sp2. Yes, it's that simple.

Installing XP MCE requires information under the CMPNENTS folder, so if you're making a bootable install CD from an OEM installed PC with no OS CDs that came with, that's all that's really necessary: the i386 folder and the CMPNENTS folder. I hear tell, that it's likely that may be bigger than one CD can hold, but you can make a bootable DVD with it.

Get the Hauppauge Remote to Work with Windows MCE 2005: You might want to have a decent irremote.ini file for the Hauppauge remote that you might have gotten with the x50 package to work in MCE. It's rather slick.

I'm using my Radio Shack 15-2116 remote with AUX redirected to an alternate TV 0054. Others have used VCR 0081, which doesn't seem to work for me for the numbers. Since the 15-2116 is a learning remote, I simply learned the navigation and VCR functions from the Hauppauge remote. Trust me, this will increase your Wife Acceptance Factor if you get it right.

Now I'm attempting to fill my hard drive with appropriate media for family. If all goes well, the transition to a large screen TV for the bedroom won't be too horrible.

ETA: Actually, I never got all my codes stored in the 15-2116 remote. I might try the JP1 route, but I might just buy another clicker.

Get the IRBlaster driver to work: Also, if you are getting an IRBlaster error HW Not Found use the Beta 4 driver of the IRBlaster s/w.

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