Wednesday, August 28, 2013

PC or POC: Update - Bedroom PC

What happens when you cross a Windows Media PC with Gigastrand OS? This:

Home Bench
A few months back I pulled my bedroom PC which was an old DVR I re-purposed to run Netflix, access Internet, etc. It sat in my office waiting for a plan to clean it up and give it a new life.

The problem was, that this PC HAD to run Netflix - something Gigastrand OS has yet to do. So eliminating the Windows XP partition was out of the question. I had the option of running XP in a Virtual Box in GsOS but that would require a complete re-installation of all the software and hours of setup. The end result might be less than stellar.

Running a Vbox is something I will try but to make things easier on myself for now, I simply resized the XP partition and made it a dual-boot machine - leaving enough room to add a Vbox later.

There really was not much to upgrade. It has a 250Gb hard drive with 500Gb storage drive (will use for digital media). I added a multimedia reader with USB so now it has an up front USB port. I am replacing the old wireless keyboard and mouse and putting the new receiver on a USB extension cable. 

I have not decided if I will be adding a wireless USB stick but I doubt it. I currently use a Linksys access point connected to the network port on the PC and my wireless network. It seems to work better than any wireless USB stick I could use.

Netflix is the bane of my existence. If it were up to me, I would just use Hulu and my cable provider's on-demand services. Netflix is the only service we use that won't run natively in Linux. 

We'll keep working on it.


Wednesday, August 21, 2013

PC or PoC: Gigastrand DVR

Gigastrand needed a demo unit for its security division. Using spare parts, we built one. 

Ok, the story doesn't end there. I found a $25 15 inch monitor that was light enough so it could be mounted on the side. I mounted it on a monitor arm so it could be moved and adjusted. I mounted a camera to the top and ran a power wire from the 12v connector inside the PC to power the camera. We originally had a rubber wireless keyboard and USB mouse attached but opted for a wireless desktop when it is sitting in the office. It runs Windows XP - really doesn't need anything else.

Hardware wise it runs a socket 775 Intel Dual-Core Pentium, about 1Gb RAM and a 500Gb Storage drive. It has a 4ch card in it running 3 cameras. Channel 3 is open to demonstrate connecting other video equipment to it. All 4 channels have audio and can be accessed from the Internet via PC, Android or iOS.

Gigastrand is using it to try and develop a version of the software for Linux as well. Right now our focus is on the Gigastrand OS so not a lot of progress is being made on that front.

For now, it runs the couple of cameras in the office and is used for demonstrations.


Monday, August 19, 2013

Gigastrand OS: The development resumes...

After a regrouping, some time off, and a few minor purchases, Gigastrand is resuming development of the Gigastrand OS.

Previous attempts to build the base system in Virtual Box failed. So we decided to build with real systems. The prototype for the Game Box is reprising its role as the build system. Personally, I prefer to build on real hardware anyway.

Both the 32 bit and 64 bit base systems have been built on Debian 7. We had some minor hard drive issues with the 64 bit build - namely bad hard drives. We are re-purposing old DVR hard drives so encountering a few bad ones really was not a surprise.

Another issue we encountered was the demise of Remastersys. Remastersys was a one-man project that allowed us to create an installer for first release. The efforts of the maintainer is deeply appreciated here at Gigastrand and completely understand his decision to discontinue the development.

We have procured the source for Remastersys and will be continuing development of the Gigastrand OS with it.

We still need to raise money for development and will be starting a fundraiser on Indiegogo. We have also updated the Gigastrand Store and the Zazzle Store. Proceeds from the sale of Gigastrand OS products will go toward the development. 

Don't Crash Bumper Sticker
Don't Crash Bumper Sticker by mrgigabytes
See other Linux Bumper Stickers at zazzle