Tuesday, February 28, 2012

project: HTPC nerdbox - the boring shit

the boring ass task of renaming my media files begins! the reason for this is so media browser can read the files correctly and attach the metadata + cover art.

its easy for tv shows and movies but what about music videos and other vids such as ufc?

i've copied a few ufc events to my test library and with the help of the internatzzz the best way to prep these files is to treat them like movies where each event is a movie but you name the event followed by the headline card and finally the actual date.
eg. UFC\UFC 141 Lesnar vs. Overeem (2011-12-30)\whatever the fuck.avi

this should pick up on themoviedb.org and populate metadata + cover art.


next, i couldnt get mkv and ogm formats to play on windows media center so im going to install the LAV codecs to see if that works. This is one of those easy installs that dont involve and specific settings.

looks like it works with Goldenboy *.ogm (YAY), UFC 142 *.mp4 and hellsing *.mkv (no subtitles!) i'll need to work on that!

Monday, February 27, 2012

project: HTPC nerdbox - appearances

playing around with mediabrowser tonight, learnt how to add a backdrop for my library.

all you do is dump an image file in

C:\ProgramData\MediaBrowser\StartupFolder\

rename it to "backdrop", launch wmc and whoala! also played with some of the view settings in mediabrowser (the spanners next the time) and its looking at little better now. here it is using the coverflow with my test backdrop.



now one thing that always puzzled me was how did all these people get movie and summary info showing for their library content.. did they type the shit? or was it magic ?

turns out media center master is what provides all the info, hop onto http://www.mediacentermaster.com/ to download this awesome organisation tool!

one thing you need to adopt is the correct file structure so that everything is recognised by mediabrowser. its pretty simple.. all you need to do is ensure that your folder is named correctly for movies. for tv shows you need to name your files in the se format. eg. s01e01 for season 1 episode 1. i cbf'd renaming my anime library atm so i'll just have a play around.

fire up media center master and let the thing update.
once its open you set the scan folders in the application menu. the application will then load these up. once again if you're playing around use a small library! not the freakin' networked anime folder i've used LOL. shits taking forever again!

30mins later.. ahh FUCK!

its taking too long, im just going to create a small test library instead!!
anyways, i added the test library to mcm and it looks like i'll need to rename my anime in the same format as tv shows. FUCK ME NARUTO/BLEACH/GINTAMA IS LIKE 300+ EPS!! nooo /o\


now that the shits there, its time to get some info/content. select auto-scan and wait for the information to populate. while waiting i was looking around and it looks like you can use the app to queue new episodes and stuff like that VERY EDUCATIONAL!


holy smokes batman! its populated and even anime metadata is there.. awesome!


now thats done, i refreshed my mediabrowser library and it looks damn good! i think thats all for tonight.. the assassin guide is THE SHIT!!


mediabrowser showing latest anime


enter s-cry-ed whoa!


enter movies & rocknrolla


enter tv shows & californication

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

project: HTPC nerdbox - windows media center

To start off testing im going to go with the windows media center (WMC) + mediabrowser addin route. i'll be using the assassin's guide for setup. please note that this isnt a detailed step-by-step tutorial as i've purchased the guide from the assassin's site.

anywho, to begin i've installed the following:

Windows 7 .. duh
Windows media center - this comes with windows 7
MediaBrowser - this is the addon for WMC and will provide the nice GUI
Media Center Master - not sure what this does just yet.. but its recommended lol
CCC codec pack - the guide suggests LAV splitter but i cbf'd installing more codecs since CCC plays everything and since my PC isnt connected to an AV reciever i dont see many issues but time will tell lol.

open WMC and run through the TV/audio/display setup - done!
first thing i notice is that the EPG is heaps better than lets say.. samsung tv's updates straight away and provides plenty info. A great alternative to samsung's (series 6 and lower) horrible EPG.




next, setting up mediabrowser! its relatively easy stuff, you add in your media files and install a theme plug-in and voila! im using the 'chocolate' theme cause its free lol. the guide then helps you setup the display/playback settings. in the meantime im going to turn off the weather settings as todays aim is to just get the basic setup done.



opening up wmc and ooOOo a new menu has appeared! you'll then run through the various options and it'll start to migrate your library. best to start off with a small folder/library instead of picking something large to test with. also, dont bloody use a network drive either LOL shits taking ages!

20minutes later

ok! library is setup, wmc has restarted and now i can access mediabrowser. looks pretty basic and crap at the moment



but it plays fine although the ogm files didnt work so i may have to use the recommended codecs after all lol. thats all for today, i'll start fiddling around with settings and backdrops another day. ITS NOW PORN TIMEEEE!!

Monday, February 20, 2012

project: HTPC nerdbox - testing begins

when it comes to setting up a htpc i'll be using the guides from avforums and assassins htpc blog:

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/forumdisplay.php?f=26
http://assassinhtpcblog.com/

the assassin's guides are highly regarded and very detailed when it comes to setup etc so its definitely worth the $25 donation

i've had a look into the 2 main types of software that people use for their htpc's (Win7 Media Center or XBMC). its hard to decide on which one to go with, both had their own advantages and disadvantages. to find out which one i prefer better i'm going to run both on my pc. it should be a good test bed to get familar with the software and see whats the better choice for me.

My PC aka. testbed specs:

Intel Core 2 Quad 2.4ghz
2gb ram
ATI Radeon HD 5670
Onboard 5.1 channel sound
AverMedia A188 DVB-T tv tuner
2x monitors

Im going to be testing Windows Media Centre + addins first since i currently use this to watch TV.

project: HTPC nerdbox - proposed specs

after some research and discussions with my mate thien.. i've decided to go with the following specs.

Intel i3-2120 3.3ghz with integrated graphics
Asus P8Z68 M-Pro motherboard
Gskill Ripjaws X 4gb DDR1600 ram
WD Caviar Green 2TB hdd
Antec Neo Eco 300W PSU
Antec Fusion black remote case



that should support everything i want out of the HTPC. the size of the case may be abit of a worry but i think i'll just need to find the right TV unit to accomodate it.

im still a little unsure about what software to run but its either going to be Windows Media Center (with plugins) or XBMC. Alot to think about lol

project: HTPC nerdbox

Project: HTPC nerdbox v1 build

Background: A few months back a friend and I dabbled at the idea of running a media centre aka Home theatre PC to store all multimedia in the home and stream it to the main TV. with a spare PC, i centralising all my media files to the one pc freeing up space on all the other PC's and eliminating the need to connect laptops/usb sticks to watch movies etc. Now that i'm moving out to a new place I want to build a new HTPC but i want it to be able to be more than just a PC connected to a TV.

Requirements:
the essentials
- Capable of 1080p and 3D streaming
- Store and stream all media files to other PC's in the home (network related really..)
- Have a large HDD for storage
- Run a pretty GUI for friendly use
- Be able to be controlled via remote control
- Low power consumption and minimal noise

the optional extras:
- Watch & Record live TV
- Remote Control via android/ios devices. On top of that, look at solutions where these devices can control other devices ie. TV/hifi etc.
- TV & Media Streaming on all networked devices (Yikes!)
- Blu-Ray burning capabilities

Budget: no more than $700 to build this sucker
Deadline: May 2012, the 2012 TV's are predicted to be released round march/april so i've held off buying the TV till mid year. this means that the budget is freed up and I can buy/build the HTPC before we move in. By May i hope to have the basics covered and anything fancy can come afterwards.

Now to figure out the specs and decide on what software to use.

project: road bike - sexytime

this really happened on the: 16th December 2011

purchased a new saddle from dave! its a fizik arione cx carbon!
then ..my two caad9's made sweet beautiful love today. pregnancy was quick and the result was this:



(please ignore the green bottle lol)

specs now:

2009 Cannondale Caad9 50cm BB30
Cannondale SI Slice carbon fork
SRAM Red Front/Rear Derailleur
SRAM Red Shifters
SRAM Red BB30 Crankset
SRAM OG-1090 Cassette
Planet-x ultralight brakes
Zipp 101 Wheelset
Schwalbe Ultremo R1 tyres
Zipp SL Carbon handlebars
Zipp Service Course SL Stem
Thomson Masterpiece seatpost
Fizik Arione CX carbon saddle
Token TK9482 Mono-Q bottle cages
Tune Ti Skewers

total weight: 6.8kg (6.4kg without pedals lolll)

i've gone under goal weight! and im about 90% complete! vely niceee!! theres still a few things i need which i'll eventually get around too:

Garmin edge 500 gps
Riding shoes and a new bloody helmet LOL
Clip in pedals
MAYBE Zipp Vumaquad crankset

for the time being i'm very happy and need to ride more to do this bike justice! haha

project: road bike - version 2.0

this really happened on the: 14th November 2011

faced a harsh reality the other day.. this bike is too big for me! despite shorter stem, smaller handlebars, lowered stem and better seat position im still too stretched out, its causing shoulder and back pains and i just dont feel right...my limbs are just too short ! so i need a smaller frame, 48cm felt too small so 50 has to be go.

so i was on the hunt for a 50cm caad9 frame and it wasnt looking good until *POOF!* a wild 2009 white/red caad9 appeared! (thanks dave for the ebay hookup). i quickly threw my pokeball (wallet) and caught it.. so introducing caad9 2.0!



specs:

2009 Cannondale Caad9 50cm BB30
SRAM Red Front Derailleur
SRAM Rival Rear Derailleur
SRAM Red Shifters
SRAM Rival BB30 Crankset
SRAM PG-1070 Cassette
SRAM Red brakes
Zipp 101 wheelset
3T Team Stem
3T Team Seatpost
Selle Italia Troy lee designs seat

now to mate these 2 bikes together and make da baby! hahah

project: road bike - ebay win!

this really happened on the: 26th September 2011

the benefits of having bike crazy friends is that they come across absolute steals. I was on the look out for a Cannondale SI Slice carbon fork for some time (though not seriously looking considering the high prices). A mate of mine pasted a link to a guy selling one for $90 on ebay. i jumped at it and met up with the guy for payment.. upon meeting the guy we discovered that there was a star nut stuck in it. feeling sorry for overlooking this detail and the trouble it would take to remove it he gave it to me for $30 LOL. WINNERRRRR!!

picture is just for reference, i never weighed it lol


havent put it on the bike yet

project: road bike - sram red baby!

this really happened on the: 21st April 2011

finally bought the SRAM red groupset, i've used it a few times on other peoples bikes and quite like it. this is the most expensive bit of the build so far.. i went for the compact version so hopefully it improves my riding. Quicker/lighter and better shifting woo~!



specs now:

2010 Cannondale Caad9 '4' 52cm BB30
SRAM Rival Front/Rear Derailleurs > SRAM Red Front/Rear Derailleurs
SRAM Rival Shifters > SRAM Red Shifters
SRAM Force BB30 Crankset > SRAM Red BB30 Crankset
SRAM OG-1090 Cassette
Planet-x ultralight brakes
Fulcrum Racing 1 wheelset
Schwalbe Ultremo R1 tyres
Zipp SL Carbon handlebars
Zipp Service Course SL Stem
Thomson Masterpiece seatpost
Token TK9482 Mono-Q bottle cages
Tune Ti Skewers

Total weight: 7.2kg

200 grams to go!

project: road bike - hmm i think this thing is too big

this really happened on the: 13th february 2012

i seem to be stretched out on this bike, so im bought some stuff lol.
Zipp SL handlebars, Zipp Service Course SL Stem, Thomson Masterpiece seat post.
hopefully i'll feel a little more comfortable when riding.





specs now:

2010 Cannondale Caad9 '4' 52cm BB30
SRAM Rival Front/Rear Derailleurs
SRAM Rival Shifters
SRAM Force BB30 Crankset
SRAM OG-1090 Cassette
Planet-x ultralight brakes
Fulcrum Racing 1 wheelset
Schwalbe Ultremo R1 tyres
Controltech ONE handlebars > Zipp SL Carbon handlebars
Cannondale C2 Seatpost & Stem > Zipp Service Course SL Stem
Thomson Masterpiece seatpost
Token TK9482 Mono-Q bottle cages
Tune Ti Skewers

total weight: 7.4kg

project: road bike - braking out

this really happened on the: 14th January 2011

purchased some lightweight brakes to start off the new year. they are from planet-x and are made from a mix of cnc alloy and titanium. it'll improve braking and is alot lighter than the current tektro brakes. threw em on and braking is heaps better !



specs now:

2010 Cannondale Caad9 '4' 52cm BB30
SRAM Rival Front/Rear Derailleurs
SRAM Rival Shifters
SRAM Force BB30 Crankset
SRAM OG-1090 Cassette
Tekro R580 Brakes > planet-x ultralight brakes
Fulcrum Racing 1 wheelset
Schwalbe Ultremo R1 tyres
Controltech ONE handlebars
Cannondale C2 Seatpost & Stem
Token TK9482 Mono-Q bottle cages
Tune Ti Skewers

new weight: 7.5kg

only 500grams to go!

project: road bike - rolling in the deep

this actually happened on the: 16th December 2010

scored thien's fulcum racing 1 wheelset with SRAM Red OG-1090 cassette for my bike.. thanks mate!



Also purchased token bottle cages + tune ti skewers (very light compared to the old stock ones haha)




specs are now:

2010 Cannondale Caad9 '4' 52cm BB30
SRAM Rival Front/Rear Derailleurs
SRAM Rival Shifters
SRAM Force BB30 Crankset
SRAM PG-1070 cassette > SRAM OG-1090 Cassette
Tekro R580 Brakes
Shimano RS10 wheelset > Fulcrum Racing 1 wheelset
Zaffiro Pro Slick Tyres > Schwalbe Ultremo R1 tyres
Controltech ONE handlebars
Cannondale C2 Seatpost & Stem
Token TK9482 Mono-Q bottle cages
Tune Ti Skewers

new weight: 7.6kg

Sunday, February 19, 2012

project: road bike - tooling up

this actually happened on the: 1st december 2010

i've bought a couple of essentials to turn part of my garage into a small bike workshop. also found an old table i can use to house my shit.

bought the following:
- union biketools
- top peak tools
- kitchen scale for parts
- hanging scale for bike
- box of continental bike tubes and bike repair kits
- bike stand
- giro pump



heres the area all set up

project: road bike - cha-ching!

this really happened on the: 8th September 2010

purchased my bike! in the end i didnt go with any of the 3 i was looking out for lol. i ended up being convinced to give alluminum frames a go.. so now introducing my 2010 Cannondale Caad9!

Its a quick bike with lots of potential.. much like the evo hehe. Currently weighs 8.3kg, i will try get that down to the 7kg mark so it'll be a true beast!

already have plans of building the bike up but in the meantime heres a pic of it during a break in ride with Dave's Colnago and Tn's superballer TIME



Bike specs are:

2010 Cannondale Caad9 '4' 52cm BB30
SRAM Rival Front/Rear Derailleurs
SRAM Rival Shifters
SRAM Force BB30 Crankset
SRAM PG-1070 cassette
Tekro R580 Brakes
Shimano RS10 wheelset
Zaffiro Pro Slick Tyres
Controltech ONE handlebars
Cannondale C2 Seatpost & Stem

project: road bike - finding the right one

this really happened on the: 1st September 2010

after much research i broke it down to 3 bikes i want:

BMC racemaster SLX01 with ultegra groupset


Felt F5 Team Garmin with shimano 105 groupset


Bianchi Via Nirone with champagnolo veloce groupset


theres a few others that i might consider.. im heading to the stores this weekend to see these in person and will report back with what i really want. im not overly concerned with groupset as i look to upgrade this anyway.. the bmc is the most expensive given it comes with ultegra but its on special so its rather tempting.

but I should really be smart here and not spend foolishly until i return from holidays. Otherwise i wont be able to pay homage to Drake by sayin'.. "bitch, i got money to blowwwww!"

project: road bike

Project: Road bike

Background: turning into mad unfit FATCUNT, need to exercise and sheeping out and following the cycling fad. the logistics involved with mountain biking is just too much for me.. living close to the m7 cycle path makes road riding more attractive and what guy doesnt like to build and modify something.

Requirements:
Essentials
- 1 bike
- lightness is key, aiming for 7kg total weight
- must look sexy for autosalon status

Budget: initial purchase < $3000. mods? skys the limit lol
Deadline: n/a

although i should be spending my money on cars, i would like to have a nice road bike too! boys and their toys aye!

now to find a bike to buy!

braindumps go here..

a departure from my car focused blogs, this is where i'll dump entries about all things relating to lifes lessons and the various interests/fads i get into.

insert ramblings and brain vomit here.

ohhh dont forget to dump pics of lowies and gangas too!