Category Archives: Techie Stuff

A day of computer fun

From old technology to the latest !! With a hint of retro

A day I’m the office booking up a handful of mini computers 

Raspberry pi 3 with two sd card one retropie to run classic arcade games and another raspbian card to run as a desktop computer. 

Raspberry zero with one as card and cut down Debian system to just experiment with.  The smallest computer on the market I know! 

Sinclair spectrum not been powered for a age so fixed up all the leads and spectrum and got it to boot! I’m going to load a game this week using wav files.. manic miner maybe!?.. 

And last but not least fixed up two mini remote keyboards that are to operate this little bunch of joy! 

One more mini computer tomorrow! The intel compute stick …..!! 

Looking forward to loading up the retro pie !!!! 🤗
 

Piecing together the ultimate media server

Ive always been more geared towards building my media servers on Emby, a great fully blown media server available on all platforms with server and tv / mobile client apps.I took a year out and ran Plex and it was a pretty bad experience to be honest unless you want to pay for a Plex pass which is a pretty hefty fee for not a lot!

Any way i got the Emby server back up and running on my Mac server and this server paired up with a few great bits of software makes the ultimate media server. Also if your a scribbling fan like me! I like to scrobble music to last.fm and movies and tv shows to trakt.tv these are built direct into Emby and easy to enable unlik on plex which i found a pain and not really reliable. Running Emby server serving movies, photos , music and tv shows and music videos is the standard but i decided to build the IPTV server in. Two option use the free iptv option which lets you add the channels in separate which works but isn’t that great, option 2 is the right way which is Emby premier i did a one month to test and it pass te test which was 5 dollars or 80 which I’m paying when the month runs out! As well as a mountain of nice features with premiere this enables iptv, in iptv section you can your iptv url and it will add all the channels at once. Now with my iptv provider they didn’t supply a EPG url which you will need if you want to use te TV guide and recording features. I got my url from epg guide which lets you select your region and pay 30 for the full year and thats it get the url and add this into the guide section of Emby iptv section it will go off scan the guide and channels and your way! The tv section is pretty good although i found the TV guide on Apple TV useless but they are working on replacing this but have been for a couple of years so there may be a wait! Although the guide on iOS and WebOS is right and easy to use, When you find a program you like you can select favorite then you would think this would be present in the favorites section on the front but it doesn’t, it basically moves any you select to the top of the channels section which basically saves you diving through a thousand channels to watch some say like bbc1! So if you got the guide installed you can sit through that and mov forward intime to a tv show select and pick record for that one show or use the series record if you would like the full series etc. If you go to channels and pick the channel direct you will see the guide on the left hand side so you can see what the line up is or just click play and you get your tv live. Also you get a tab for recordings so you can watch your recordings or schedule so you can see what your recording if you want to cancel them. Media and tv shows with tv show recording awesome! No don’t stop there !!!

Here enters Ombi! Ombi is a great server with mobile app that shows you latest movies and music and can search music but the music is enabled by default, now this is the only bit of software I could find with a iOS app. Now Ombi will show you trending tv shows and movies and let you request them and pass that to the Ombi server and that then uses external to download which we will go over. You need a port forward if you want to get to from outside so open ports on the router and forward to the server and a domain name i use no ip service which offers a free solution by renewing the domain each month by clicking on a email easy peasy, also its worth a mention that this will take multiple users so you can have people request moves or tv shows and then you can accept the movie or tv show then this lets the user know that you have accepted this so they know it will appear in the Emby (or plex) now Ombi has to talk to the download clients this is where is gets tricky ! As i use Sonarr to download tv show Radarr to download movies and ladrarr to download the music! Yup three standalone servers which you need setup then it doesn’t stop there they then have to pull the data from somewhere! So i use nbzget which is the download client and then in that you will need a indexer which i used nzb.su and paid 14 for the as my primary indexer is great then you need your news server I tested the standard service 14 day trial and chewed 50 gig testing so then i noted i only needed ntp so setup 10 dollars a month subscription for unlimited ntp and thats perfect. Setup a port forward for your nbzgt and add a user pass. Then from your mobile or tablet install the Emby app connect it and Ombi and connect it and then your nbzget and then you can basically go to Ombi select the tv show or movie select request then you will get back a notification then if you go to nbzget you can watch them drop in then check your Emby and you should see the requests you made drop into Emby with out going near the computer or NAS etc.one problem i had with Sonarr was it thinking my drive was full as it couldn’t read how much disk space but there are fixes i just ticked the tick box in the media section that says don’t look at the disk space, if you don’t do this it thinks its out of disk space and doesn’t automatically move the tv shows and they will just stay in your downloads folder!

Couple of last minute pointers if you add the music service in Ombi you have to tick the enable button as it’s i ticked by default, in the app you wont see the music tab I’m not sure if that comes in the next version i know version 4 is around the corner add in the re request option which is needed as if you pick a season from the TV app say you cant back in for Eason two as you already requested it which is dumb! But you get the music tab from with the web browser version. Last but not least if you don’t want Ombi and just want to use the Oda loaders separately sonarrr, radarr and ladarr offer awesome web client with full calendar, tv show, music and movie search and discover features that will you wont find in others. Although no trakt support which can be achieved by piecing more software together Which id had enough of I’m hoping trakt support gets added soon ill keep nagging on the forums!

Last tip if you awesome direct support then just install the reddit app I’ve connect to Ombi Emby and Sonarr Groups there and been interacting with other users if i got stuck setting these services up!

Last couple of Mac tips you need mono to run radarr, Sonarr and ladarr which installed mono but i t didn’t work not sure if i got the wrong version or something ! I installed a bit of software called brew which give you almost like a apt-get / Pac-Man install interface from a terminal so i just for instance pasted one line of code which went of and got brew sniffing then i typed brew cask sonarr which went of and pulled mono install and installed then went of and grabbed the stable release of sonarr and dropped in the applications folder! But it didn’t end there when i went to run it never worked!! So i went to a terminal cd .s into /Applications/Sonarr,app/Contents/Macos folder and executed manually like mono Sonarr.exe and it kicked in! I had to do this with all the download apps even Ombi so I have a terminal with 4 tabs running Ombi Radarr Sonarr & Ladarr for now I’m pretty certain i can make script that will Judit trigger this lot a t boot but i ve kept like this when i do reboot which is hardly ever i can watch the service start and look for any warning messages in the console! Not surE if todo with me running the las test version of macOS but I’m sure something they will fix and then you can just add these to your startup which would be handier.

I hope this helps i spent around 3 or 4 days at this and nearly cost me a divorce !!!!

Now thats is a real media server.

UPDATE! 

Since this I made a few changes.. For one I installed SABnzbd for the download server as this ties into a new app ive side loaded on to the iPhone which connects to sonarr / radarr and lidarr and then the SABnzbd so you can see what’s downloading and history! Also I added pushover support to all services and installed the push over app to my iPhone then paid the 5GBP Licence! this notifies me when its pulling series and downloaded which comes to my watch and phone! And I installed a bit of software called istat which you install the server on the Mac and get a iPhone client so I can track disk space and system performance.

 

Technology change

Some serious technology changes kick in recently

some with the change of life and some because its just required!

before all this i dumped the bq ubuntu phone which wasnt cutting it and since then been dropped as well as unity desktop … aggghhhh!

First of all i dump the new bq x5 i bought, personally its the best phone ive had and was sad to par twith it but it went to good hands. I got me a samsung note 4 as needed the bigest screen i could get my hands on for my gigs im doing with backing tracks and the note 4 just cuts it in all aspects to the point when when the note 8 gets released ill probably break the bank and get one! the resolution is high as well is the spec! plus it works nicely for NFC payments. Im using songer pro on the droid to load my backing track sets and can use it to cue the songs along which is handy https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.boogieman.songerpro&hl=en 

also i used this but it was bugggy as hell and crashed a lot, not something id trust on a live performance!! https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.syntax.apps.backingtrackstudio&hl=en

the next big thing was upgrading to the samsung gear 3, now misfit buys pebble out and then dump all the existing pebble watch updates, so my 250 quid pebble steel just went down the pan. The samsung gear 3 is great but the battery lasts me 2 days compared to the 6 days on the pebble?! but hey ho goes cap in hand with the samsung note 4 and so to be 8 ! so i took the plunge – check this..

samsung gripes. samsung pay isnt now on the note 4 which is rubbish as i can still use pay using likes of android pay etc. the samsung gear 3 advertises it can do nfc payment but you cant install samsung pay on the watch as you cant install it on the phone?! so i have t wait till they push it standalone in a update. come on samsung get with it.

Computers.

Well ubuntu dropped unity – which shocked me, but to be honest i had a couple of ubuntu phones and they just didnt cut it so wasnt surprised when they dropped the phone but was surprised with the dropping of unity! So i noticed they were switching to gnome so seeing 17.04 was released i just took the plunge on desktop and laptop and did two ne 17.04 installs along with the gnome desktop so i used the gnome ubuntu edition. Love it now gnome was the first desktop i used on linux and switched from kde to gnome mainly. Gnomes come on leaps and bounds almost like a mac in simplicity and ease of use but more how can i say configurable, with this i dumped thunderbird which doesnt look the best of mail clients and dropped back into evolution mail. Ill be honest its like a new lease of linux life and really enjoying it. Im looking forward to the new additions of apps that are lined up for gnome and new features coming in ill be doing some reviews.

here is some eye candy!

Last but not least i have some new kit im just testing out for my acoustic show – 

TC-Helicon Harmony-G XT
 and 
Boss RC-30 Dual Track Looper
Now  im just waiting on the looper but once i get these two together and have a month with them ill do a review on these and talk you through them.
Now thats a lot of technology change, but its all forward.
 

emby media server last.fm plugin

emby media server last.fm plugin

Finally fixed! When i first started using emby media server a few years ago i loved it because it had music scrobbling which ive been doing for years and also film scrobbling which id never done before which was amazing! but last year last.fm changed there api code which broke the last.fm plugin for emby 🙁 we did have mrsmoke looking at the plugin but the man is busy and after months of asking people who could look at this from out of nowhere Symphony came in and fixed it up just out of the blue! I tested it this morning its working great!! so the emby guys are back scrobbling!! great work – i can now write my full review on emby server on ubuntu – here is the plugin zip file. On ububtu you extract it to here /var/lib/emby-server/plugins   and the restart the emby-server service or reboot.

emby server last.fmplugin

here is the main forum thread if you would like to follow it http://emby.media/community/index.php?/topic/30066-lastfm-addon-gone/page-4

 

vimeo

Really like vimeo as well as having no stupid advertisements like youtube its clean cut and i get a nice ubuntu touch scope 🙂

vimeo_logo_header

i could just do with a bit more upload in a week, not enough to pay the annual fee, so ill get my main uploads done and trim down the videos using handbrake on ubuntu then ill do a couple of video blogs a week on it 🙂

here is my vimeo

https://vimeo.com/wayneward/

and here is one of my videos on the ubuntu scope!

photo_2015-12-17_21-06-10

 

Eltax Atomic A-6.2 Powered Subwoofer

recently needed another sub for my smaller 5. 1 rig up, i had a poke around ebay for a sb woofer that was close, now preston come up with a eltax sub for cheap and i outbid somebody at £25! now ive looked they go from 20 – 50 quid for this model. Now don’t be of put eltax subby the 60watt out put and the small cabinet. This has a phase frequency sweep control and plenty of ooompphff! i have one single output to this small unit and tucked it away neatly in a corner. The sound frequency blends so well into the rest of the system not making the sub evident and directional. If your looking for a cost effective sub for a secondary movie room etc.. give one of these a go you wasnt be disappointed, i wasnt i was shocked!!

 

 

acer c270 wont switch on black screen

for some reason i left the chrome book for ages and when i switched it on it tried to see what version i was running and it powered of while trying to do it, after that i got nothing just a black screen this fixes it… tried removing the battery and did nothing
DSCN2733

To trigger recovery mode,

  1. Turn on your ChromeBook
  2. Sign on to your WiFi (if you have not previously signed in)- but do not log in to Chrome Desktop
  3. Press the <esc> <F3> & <power> buttons at the same time.
  4. Release the power button when the device goes black – but continue to hold the other buttons until the chrome error screen (“Chrome OS is missing or damaged”) appears and then release them also. This is the “Recovery Mode” screen. 
  5. download this http://wayneward.co.uk/downloads/linux_recovery.sh
  6. sudo chmod 755 linux_recovery.sh
  7. sudo bash linux_recovery.sh
  8. follow the prompts enter the model in capitals as seen on the screen
  9. select sd card (wipes data)
  10. insert card into chromebook and reinstall