Category Archives: Home Theater

XBMC: hardware selection

I recently put together an XBMC system to replace an aging Apple TV (first gen). It was my interest in the Raspberry Pi that brought me to the idea of using XBMC, although ultimately, I did not end up going with a Raspberry Pi based system (I use one for other things around the house, but not the home theater).

I thought I’d share some of the decisions I made so others could benefit.

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Logitech Harmony and the Apple TV

When I first added our Apple TV to our Logitech Harmony remote, I included our LCD TV in the device list for the Apple TV activity.  Most of the time, we use the Apple TV for music, not for video, and we often use the Remote application on ipod and iphone.  So we don’t really need the TV on — but sometimes we do.  How could we get “TV On” and “TV Off” buttons added to the soft buttons on the remote?

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Advanced photo management issues in Picasa

I recently did a reorganization of our photo library (approximately 30,000 photos).  We had previously been using a centralized desktop computer to store our photos, which we would access via Windows laptops.  The desktop bit the dust recently, so I moved the library to a pair of external USB drives, which we connect directly to the laptops (eventually, I hope to move to an inexpensive, low-power NAS solution).

A problem we ran into is that Picasa, our photo management software of choice, isn’t really meant to operate in such a shared environment.  Let me detail some of the problems we ran into because of this.

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