i have a media server that i have been working on (slowly) with 2.2 terrabytes of space, an ubuntu machine, amd 64 bit, with mythtv running (german dvb-t or cable tv recording capabilities). all this is well and good but i wanted a better interface to navigate my growing movie and tv show collection. enter xbmc, the interface optimized for couch use (aka with a remote) for navigation of a home theater pc. i have had some woes setting up xbmc, and about a year ago someone recommended trying boxee as it is xmbc + online social network, so you can see what your friends are watching and loving. it turns out boxee still doesn’t have package binaries for 64 bit linux machines, so there are a few hacks to get it working. here is what i did yesterday (after upgrading my ubuntu box to 9.04 jaunty most of the day). i tried a lot of different ways of getting boxee to work, here is what finally worked for me, a bash script for grabbing the newest package (hard to find url on boxee’s site, this script helps with that) and it installs getlibs, a way to getlibs for 64 bit machines with 32 bit packages.
and then to get the network recognized by boxee, add this:
sudo apt-get install lib32nss-mdns
next on my list is getting lirc (the infrared remote control stuff) working so my remote works better with mythtv (some buttons working) and to work at all with boxee (not recognized at all). it’s fun to pick up working on all of this after putting it aside for over a year!
lots of hardware related events are coming up. first of all i will be speaking informally at the baustel-montag this coming monday about hardhack. next up i will be speaking during re:publica about open hardware (namely licensing and historical implications of open circuit information). i will most likely attend sigint, (the ccc event not in december and not in berlin). after that comes my event, hardhack, which will be only hands-on hardware stuff, no blah blah at all. then ph-neutral which this year will include some hardhack components. and the newest addition to my roster, i will be organizing HARdware, a pre-HAR2009 event to build some really awesome interactive hardware things for attendees of HAR to play with during camp. my project will be a group of networked, interactive, and hackable couches in the slacker dome. other projects may include a huge outdoor capacitive dance interface, cotton candy representations of network traffic, and walls of networked color changing pixels. contact me (fabienne @ this website) if you want to get involved!
i am way way way behind on blogging, but i just wanted to start to pull myself out of this hole of online silence by starting with the mobile massage couch i helped build in amsterdam during the rfid hacker camp put on by mediamatic during the picnic conference. i haven’t finished documenting the build process, but at least i’ve started. i have more photos not on the couch’s page here. the top level trac page for code is here and the source code for the various components (microcontroller code for massage units and led display units and python code for the eeepc to talk to the network and control the whole couch) is here. the couch was conceived of and built in five feverishly hacktastic days with a team of three: Edwin Dertien, Ralph Meijer, and myself. the massage couch had rfid readers built into the armrests and gave you a longer massage if you weren’t yet friended in the picnic conference’s social network. it was all wireless and powered by a 12v lead-acid battery, thus the mobility factor. we hacked the living daylights out of every single hardware component in the couch, and started to document what we did, the most extensive being the add-on circuits to control the once-static massage controllers. we upgraded them to pulse width modulation controls and wrote our own massage programs. check out the massage couch’s project page for more info.
by the way, if you were wondering what happens when the hardware team finishes and the poor lone coder is left to do some late night coding on the last night:
this bed, which i’ve aptly named the bed project, has been a LONG time in the making. it is only missing the last step: the upholstery of the topmost grey layer on the left half.
the purple satin tufted headboard is also a diy project of mine. the middle pillow cover was made by my mother. next up in the room decor queue are some bright purple acrylic diy lights to replace the grey ikea lamps.
sometimes projects take longer — much longer — than anticipated. one such project is the bed project, aka the bed project from hell. well, today, on my first day off that came consecutively after another day off, i managed to get back into a woodworking mood. it helps that i no longer have people over after a rash of houseguests, but the two consecutive days off were the clincher. thanks dear employer, i couldn’t imagine getting things done without this highly esteemed gift: the weekend. (if that sounded sarcastic, it wasn’t, i love my job and yes i do love my new two consecutive days off!)
pictured above: what i finished today is the right hand frame of the bed, all of this will be covered with foam and dark grey fabric and will fit on the frame/legs that i completed months ago.
pictured below: the frame (that came with a mirror) that will be the frame of a purple tufted satin headboard mounted landscape-wise behind the bed.