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Plex Media Player

Download: Plex Media Player
(Debian Package, x86, 32-bit)

This package has been tested on Ubuntu Bionic 18.04.4 LTS using the standard shared libraries present in the default repositories.

The easiest method of installation is simply:

sudo dpkg -i plexmediaplayer_2.57.0-1_i386.deb
sudo apt --fix-broken install

The software installs to /opt/plexmediaplayer.

What’s All This About?

When iTunes was discontinued, I switched to Plex for my home media server needs and have been more than happy with it. Then, a few days ago, a comment on the Joggler Forums got me wondering why I’d never looked into running a client on the OpenFrame.

Two problems were obvious; no hardware accelerated video decoding in the OpenFrame 1 or 2 due to it using the GMA500 ‘Poulsbo’ chipset, plus the lack of a 32-bit Plex Media Player build, which I wanted to try as the web interface was being sluggish.

I’m not certain that I’ll manage to get the OpenFrame devices playing video as I would like (experiments with the Crystal HD BCM70015 card have not gone well so far), but with any luck this .deb will help out some other fringe case.

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Debian & Ubuntu for OpenFrame

Latest Release: Kernel 3.16

Download Debian Buster (10.3) for OpenFrame (soonish)
Download Ubuntu Bionic (18.04) for OpenFrame (~160 MB)

These images can be used on any OpenFrame 1 (O2 Joggler, Telefonica Orby) or OpenFrame 2 (Cisco Home Energy Controller, Telio Touch) device, running either from USB storage or internal memory. External storage is recommended as it will be much faster with plenty of space available.

The goal here was to make small-but-useful command line systems which can be customised all the way up to a lightweight desktop. There are a few built-in ‘of-’ commands to make life easier, including installers for software such as SqueezePlay, which are explained below. Once up and running there is very little difference between these images and the experience you would have running Debian or Ubuntu on any other device.

Unless you choose to write the operating system to the device’s internal memory, running from an external USB device will make no permanent changes to your OpenFrame, so there’s no risk to trying it out.

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AlertMe Mini Hub Disassembly

Completely forgot to post about this, but a couple of months ago I took a look at what lives inside the old AlertMe Hub.

There was a little surprise for me!

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Elite Dangerous on Linux

Headless servers? I’m a Debian, or more recently an Ubuntu, person. But way back when my old operating system of choice became untenable, I had to make a decision; use the Windows desktop I supported at work, or find another option. The Linux desktop back in 2003 wasn’t somewhere I wanted to be and I found myself wishing there was some other operating system with UNIX underpinnings, maybe a nice Bash shell, but with a really polished user interface…

I’ve been a Mac user since then and have watched as desktop Linux has slowly closed the gap between its commercial rivals. Though Windows 10 is one of the more polished releases in years, it’s not without its problems and there are so many great distributions of desktop Linux these days it’s hard to ignore the pull of open source life.

I’m a goal-oriented sort of person, so I looked at why I found myself booting my Mac into Windows more often these days. One reason is driver support for some capture hardware I use. The other is Elite Dangerous. I’d wanted to investigate the Wine compatibility layer to get this working, but my first solo attempt ended badly. There are some great instructions out there, but after making my own way through them I like to slim things back as far as possible, so this is what I came up with.

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Hive SmartPlug SLP2 Disassembly

Here’s the part where I realise that I hadn’t taken a peek inside the SLP2 plug in that last video.

As I think I mention more than once, there’s more going on inside this version; or rather the end result is just the same, but it’s using more components.

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Prevent Automounting on macOS

With huge external drives being far more affordable these days I usually have one hooked up permanently to my laptop dock for Time Machine. But I don’t need all that space dedicated to backup, so it gets chopped up into a backup partition, an encrypted APFS storage container and a bunch of 20 GB partitions which hold a bootable macOS backup, plus a couple of recent macOS installers – just in case I end up having a really bad day.

However, in common with many Mac users I’m sure, I can’t be dealing with all that clutter on the desktop or Finder sidebar when so many partitions are mounted. What a mess! Luckily, /etc/fstab is still a thing you can use in macOS Mojave, so there’s a quick and easy way to prevent these emergency-use volumes from mounting automatically.

First of all, plug in the drive and let everything mount, then fire off a diskutil list in Terminal. You’ll see all of your drives and their identifiers. In my example the external drive shows up as disk2 with various partitions being disk2s1, disk2s2, etc.

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