Wednesday, April 30, 2014

PC or PoC: MR GB Home DVR

When you design and build DVRs for a living one is bound to come home with you. Such is the case with my personal home DVR.

This system was built several years ago specifically to connect several cameras up at my home. It has 3 GB of memory a 1 TB hard drive and an Intel dual core processor. It uses a Hikvision 8 channel capture card running Unisight professional DVR software.

There is no option to run Linux on this particular system as the DVR software is only compatible with Windows. While I can run Windows 7, I choose to run Windows XP. Gigastrand will be developing a DVR software that will run in Linux and be very similar to the software that runs on my home DVR and current Gigastrand Security systems.

At one point this system was connected to a projector. With our cable box connected to the 2nd channel we could display the TV show we were watching plus 5 cameras around it. We can still do this however on a smaller screen it provides some reduction in enjoyment of our show. Additionally the signal is down converted from HD when watching an HD channel. So watching HD television through the DVR is sort of an academic exercise.

One benefit of running the TV through the DVR is that whatever is on the screen is recorded so we can monitor who is watching what on the television and even stream our live TV in low-quality over the Internet.

The DVR also has a couple of video outs so we can connect additional monitors as well as a Blu-ray burner so we can watch Blu-ray movies and burn Blu-ray discs. Also, being Windows we can watch Netflix or Hulu or whatever else we can watch on a PC.

I have loaded XBMC on this DVR however running the DVR software and running XBMC is quite a bit more than this particular system can handle at once. I am not certain if the systems will need to be separate systems or if a few upgrades will solve the issue. For now, the system is unlikely to change very much in the near future.


Monday, April 28, 2014

Gigastrand OS: Preliminary development begins this week on 2.0

Gigastrand OS 2.0
This week begins preliminary development of Gigastrand OS 2.0. We will determine the base OS, and have something presentable by the end of the week.

Silent Blog
This blog has been fairly quiet over the last month for a number of reasons. We have been prepping for development, finishing up on several customer projects, and MR GB himself has been going through issues related to an unexpected death in the family.

Fear not, however, things are starting to get back to normal.

Gigastrand Jobs
Gigastrand is hiring for several contract positions. Visit for more information.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

April fools?

Just in case you didn't pick up on the queues in the April 1st announcement that Ubuntu was buying the Gigastrand OS, we would like to officially retract that announcement as it is completely made up and patently false. We know because we made it up.

We are, however, looking at possibly basing Gigastrand 2.0 on Kubuntu. This is by no means an official announcement, but just one of the possibilities. We are currently making inroads in development using Debian 7 and KDE.


Ubuntu to purchase Gigastrand OS

In a surprising announcement, Ubuntu plans to acquire the Linux distribution Gigastrand OS for an undisclosed amount of money. 

Plans announced today to acquire the fledgling distro were - to say the least - shocking. Founder and CEO of Gigastrand International, Josh Tordsen was happy with the announcement.

"We like what Ubuntu does and are truly pleased with their decision. We see great things for the OS in the future."

Head of new acquisitions for Ubuntu , Mattie Upneme, expressed similar sentiment.

"Gigastrand OS is the leap forward we needed here at Ubuntu. It fits in with Mr. Shuttleworth's vision of a Lino-centric world."

The acquisition is to take place today and expected to have approval by the FTC around this time next year.