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Tom Briant

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Monday, February 14, 2011

Tom's opinion on the introduction of the HP touchpad

February 9th, Hewlett-Packard came out with its answer to the iPad, the TouchPad and its operating system, WebOS. It looks impressive, but the presentation and ancillary marketing materials -like the e-mail I got on an old e-mail address-leave several questions to be answered.

Great! When it’s coming out? Later this summer. That leaves a lot of wriggle room.

What will it cost me? The retail price has yet to be determined.

Where can I buy one? Again, no answer. HP markets its desktops and laptops all over the place, so I would presume they would try to get some saturation on this product.

Since it’s primarily wireless, who will serve as your wireless partner? Again, no answer. Is the TouchPad in play for the best deal from the competing wireless carriers?

Also, by the time this comes out, Motorola should have its Xoom tablet out. Apple, of course, should have the second version of the iPad out.

I’m of the opinion that many potential customers will not wait for HP to get its act together and will buy a competing product they can physically touch in the store. Such as the new and improved iPad 2

A Few Words on Adding an External Monitor

I have found that adding a second monitor to my Mac to expand my desktop is one of the best investments I can make. For $160 to $180 you can buy a 23” monitor with a screen size of 1920 x 1080 pixels, big enough for full-size HD movies. If you look around on a Saturday morning, you can find an old CRT monitor that someone doesn’t want any more.

Using the Apple adaptors, you can hook them up to the second video port on your Mac. You can get these adaptors at the Apple Store in the mall or on-line.

If you don’t have the most current Mac, I’d ask at the Genius Bar if they have the video adaptor for your model of Mac available. I looked on-line and Apple sells a wide range of video adaptors.

Anyway, once you have the adaptor, you need the monitor and the applicable video cable. VGA in the case of an old CRT monitor, DVI in the case of a new LCD monitor.

You Do Not Need to run the monitor at the same resolution as your Mac’s primary display. For example, my 13” MacBook runs at 1280 by 800 pixels. I’ve attached a 14” Hyundai monitor I found in the laundry room of my condo complex and run it at 1024 x 768. I now run the new LCD monitor at 1920 x 1080.

You Do Not Need to install a video driver for this to work. Unlike most Windows computers, which only come with one video output, the Mac has featured a second video output since at least my first iMac, a G3 all-in-one. True, the video output was only good for mirroring my computer’s main screen and not extending the desktop. It provided me with a convenient way to add a projector.

To make adjustments to the video, go to the Displays preference pane in System Preferences. In the lower left-hand corner, you will see a check box for Show Displays in Menu Bar. Check that off and you’ll see an icon that resembles a flat-panel display up in your menu bar of your primary display. Click on this and a menu will drop down, displaying all the monitors attached to your Mac. You will see the resolutions you can select for each one.

By default, the displays will extend the desktop area. You use the Displays preference pane to adjust the displays. Do you want them arranged horizontally or vertically? Do you want the secondary display on the left or right of the primary display? Adjust them to your pleasure with the Displays preference pane.

Have fun. More in the March Voice, including how to use an external computer as a secondary display.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Successful installation of forked-daapd, an iTunes music server for Linux

Hello and thank you for coming to this article that you found on Google. I've updated it here later in the blog with this article

Forked-daapd as found in the Ubuntu 15.10 repositories works great. It keeps running and running. I'm using Kubuntu 15.10, the KDE variant on the Ubuntu theme.

If you found this article and wondered how to do the tricks with ssh on a Windows machine; well, you want Putty, an ssh client for Windows. You can find out about it here and download it, too.

So enjoy using forked-daapd. Please leave a comment if you found it useful.

Tom Briant
Editor, MacValley Blog

Note: This is a draft of an upcoming article in the MacValley Voice.

I would like to thank Arind Srinivasan and his terrific article in the December 2009 MacLife magazine and Website "

Build an OS X Friendly Linux Media Server From Your Old PC" It is accessible here.

This article inspired me. If you see references to AFP, Netatalk, and Avahi; go read that article for the pertinent information.

I would also like to thank Toby Moore, who posted the original instructions for installing forked-daapd into Ubuntu 10.10. They also worked with a nightly build of 11.04 "Natty Narwhal" I'm happy to say.

My thanks to Jason McCandless, who coded forked-daapd and to those who included it in the Debian Squeeze repository.

Now for the article. Contact me if you have questions. Yes, the illustrations are missing. I'm not that good with Blogger yet.

the vaunted Firefly media server has reached the end of the line. It was last updated in 2008. Changes to iTunes have made it impossible to stream music from Firefly to iTunes.
Fortunately, Toby Moore has compiled instructions for installing the new and improved successor to Firefly, which is called forked-daapd, in its place.
Here's the original instructions:
  1. Add “deb squeeze main” to your /etc/apt/sources.list
  2. 2. Run “sudo apt-get update”, which will recognise the new repository
  3. 3. run “sudo apt-get install forked-daapd” which will install it and anything else it needs
  4. 4. If the forked-daapd failed to start up with the error “main: libgcrypt version mismatch” then run“sudo apt-get install libgcrypt11สบ″ which will install an updated version of libgcrypt11
  5. 5. Edit /etc/forked-daapd.conf with your settings
  6. 6. run “/etc/init.d/forked-daapd start”
  7. 7. If everything has worked correctly, remove the additional line from /etc/apt/sources.list and run “sudo apt-get update” again.

Right. If that makes sense to you, then proceed. If your reaction is “What is that? Magic spells from Harry Potter?!”, I'll break it down for you.

First of all, Ubuntu doesn't include this rewritten music server in its repositories. Repositories are where you get programs for your Linux box. Think of it as the antecedent for the Mac App Store.
What to do?! Well, you need to use a trick. That trick is that Debian, the father of Ubuntu from which Ubuntu is derived, does include forked-daapd in the main section of its Squeeze release.
So how to get ahold of that file? You add the Debian Squeeze repository to the already installed list of repositories which came with Ubuntu 10.10.
On the top menu bar, go to System. You want the submenu of Administration, not the Preferences menu. On the Administration menu, you want Synaptic Package Manager.
Go to the Settings menu. Under Settings you want Repositories.
You'll get a windows with 5 tabs: Ubuntu Software, Other Software, Updates, Authentication, Statistics. Click on Other Software.
To the right of APT line: type in this:
You will see a box appear in the lower right-hand corner asking if you want to add source, which is the source code of the programs. Click on it to add it, too.
You will see a message asking you to reload, or refresh, the repositories. Click on Reload.
Now you will get a message that the new repository lacks a public key security code. You can bypass this. This is Ubuntu warning you that they haven't tested this code for safety.
Now you can proceed to actually installed forked-daapd. Type daapd in the Quick Search box. You should see two packages with daapd in their names. You want forked-daapd. I took these screenshots after I installed forked-daapd.
Click on forked-daapd to highlight it.
Now right-click on it. You will see a black box with a list in white lettering. Click on Mark for Installation.
You will get a warning that the software you want to install can't be authenticated. In this case, you'll take the risk. Click on OK
Now click on Apply in the top toolbar. It has the icon of a green check-mark. The installation takes place.
Now you come to the “edit /etc/forked-daapd.conf”. What in the world?!
You can use the barebones nano editor or you can switch to a more graphic gedit editor.
To use gedit, enter this line sudo gedit /etc/forked-daapd.conf
Enter your password and up comes the configuration file.
The first line to consider is name = “My Music on %h”
As you can see, I changed it to My Wonderful Music on %h. You can change this name to fit your needs.

The next change to make is where you store your music. The default configuration is
directories = { “/srv/music” }
As I think you won't store your music in those directories or folders, edit that line to resemble mine
directories = { “/home//Music/” }
If you don't remember your user name, open a Terminal window. The prompt will be
Mine is thomas@thomas-VirtualBox:~$ Yes I installed Ubuntu using the Virtual Box virtualization program on my Windows 7 box. You can install Ubuntu on your Mac using VirtualBox. But that's another topic for another column.
Note two things. The folder names are preceded and followed by slashes. Don't forget the slash after the last name!
Linux is case-sensitive. So make sure to match the capitalization of any folder names, such as Music.
So click on Save and quit gedit.
Now the fun starts.
Now it's time to start the music server. Open a Terminal window and type
sudo /etc/init.d/forked-daapd start
Enter your password if necessary.
To stop the program, type sudo /etc/init.d/forked-daapd stop
Enter your password if necessary.
If you didn't add any music to your Music folder, add it using your AFP connection via Netatalk and Avahi.
Now run the stop command for forked-daapd. Count to 5. Now start it again.
You should see your new music server under Shared in iTunes along with your music library.



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