I use Gentoo Linux as my OS of choice. I've tried them all though (Slack, RH, FC, SUSE, Deb, you name it) and I do appreciate the "just works-ness" of Ubuntu. But I prefer to admin a Gentoo box. Just don't forget to enable DMA like I did. Couldn't figure out my DVD skippage. Turns out it's not started "by default" on a Gentoo box. ;-)
I'm pretty happy with the way everything is just now (even though I have some tasks yet to accomplish). My next upgrade will probably be to add a Roku soundbridge to do music via uPnP for the nice stereo pair in the living room. Probably later this summer, as I still have to finish BUILDING those speakers.
I'm concerned about what'll happen when Time Warner kills all their analog cable channels, but each time I scan the QAM range, more and more channels are showing up. This is a very good sign for the future, but I won't be surprised if I end up having to kludge something with cable boxes. Might just go satellite at that point...
Master Backend / Frontend:
- STATUS: 95% complete. Proper HD channel listings are still oustanding.
- Primary duty: This is the most heavily used machine in the setup, not just as a backend. It spends more time front-ending than the other machines combined ever will.
- MythTV 0.21_p17722 (gentoo ebuild). 0.21 upgrade was almost painless. I lost my favorite scaling / stretching mode for 4:3 SD content! WTF, I say.
- AMD X2 4800+ Brisbane
- ASUS M2NBP-VM CSM (highly recommend, uber stable, has 4 SATA & 2 IDE channels)
- 2GB PC6400 (1GB x 2)
- MSI nvidia GeForge 7300LE
- (2) 250GB Maxtor IDE drives in RAID 1 (OS, home dirs, etc)
- (4) 400GB Samsung SATA drives in RAID 5 w/ LVM (recordings, media storage). 200GB unallocated yet for a rainy day.
- CoolerMaster 4-in-3 drive cage (highly recommend for greater storage density. cool drives live much longer, too)
- Plextor IDE DVD burner
- HD HomeRun (tried QAM, it sucked, tried ATSC, went back to QAM for now)
- MCE2 USB receiver & remote
- Custom VGA-over-ethernet wiring from basement office to HP Plasma upstairs
- STATUS: 90% complete. Mythgame needs config'd.
- Primary duty: This machine will spend most of its time doing MythVideo, with occasional MythGame action when there's a hankering for some old-skool NES action.
- MythTV 0.21_p17722 (gentoo ebuild).
- EPIA EX15000G w/ SVN OpenChrome, plays back SD-res w/o XvMC MPEG-2 & MPEG-4 at 35% & 45% respectively. HD & H264? Yaright. Took some work to get a clean, usable, playback profile. I'm still having a serious problem with not being able to enable DMA. Need to look into this to fix choppy DVD playback.
- 512MB RAM
- 60GB laptop HD (it's what was in my parts bin). The standard IDE drive was getting WAY too hot in the Silverstone case.
- Dynex PCI wifi card. Madwifi compliant. Got it on closeout for $20! I bought two. Note: For some reason, I have to restart the wifi in rc.local before it actually works. I think something's not getting initialized in time when the net.ath0 is brought up.
- Silverstone LC02 profile case. Very quiet, but it does have a noticable hum. Configured mythfrontend to allow poweroffs.
- MCE2 USB receiver & remote
- Twin Logitech Precision 2 gamepads. I like 'em, wife complains they're not square with red buttons. Pffft.
- Connected via VGA to Toshiba 20HLV86
- Installed now, still needs to have myth plugins tweaked.
- Fast-forwarding is very skippy and slow. No doubt a combination of system speed and the wireless. Still, commercial skip saves the day.
Home Theater Frontend:
- STATUS: 85% complete. Gentoo is installed, myth is emerged, recently moved out to home theater and connected to Sammy.Still need to configure X and decide whether to use Xine or VLD for DVD / MythVideo.
- Primary duty: Upscaling & enhancing DVD content as it's connected to the home theater. Also MythGaming NES, SNES & PSX.
- AMD X2 4800+ Brisbane
- ASUS M2A-VM AMD690G. Would have gotten the same mobo as in my BE, but that one is discontinued. First time with AMD-chipped mobo, we'll see how it goes. I did have to build the PATA / IDE drivers into the kernel. As a module, the controller was running in generic mode and I couldn't enable DMA.
- 512MB DDR2 667 (turns out not to be a bottleneck vs DDR2 800)
- PNY GeForce 8300GT. Active cooling, but I can't hear the fan.
- 160GB Samsung SATA (again, overkill, but it was in the parts bin). Zippy fast, though!
- Sony DVD drive
- Athenatech HTPC case. Very desktoppy, but seems to suck less than I expected. The PSU is set up wierd, and despite it being standard ATX size, if it dies, I think I'll have a hard time finding a proper replacement.
- SB Live w/ SPDIF daughterboard connected to Yamaha HTR-5960. Getting SPDIF to work was as simple as unmuting the iec device.
- MCE2 USB receiver & remote. Controls volume directly on Yammy, so no software volume concerns with the SPDIF. Copied the lircd.conf file from master backend. Done.
- Same Logitech game pads as above. Hooray for the ubiquity of front-mounted USB ports.
- Connected via VGA cable to Samsung DLP HL-S5086W. I tried component, but there was significant overscan. Over VGA, I was surprised that I got a native 1280x720p with zero overscan. I did have to tweak the DisplaySize setting to get the 100dpi that Myth likes.
Office dev box
- STATUS: 50% complete.
- Primary duty: No real rush on this one. Has mainly been a testbed and still dual-boots XP. Some time this winter I'll scrape it all back together.
- AMD XP 2400 (2.0Ghz clock)
- 1GB RAM
- 250GB WD IDE
- Some ancient half-dead ASUS NF2 mobo
- Chaintech GF 5900XT
- SB Audigy 2
- USB Keyboard
- BT878-based tuner