10/8/10

Greetings from another decadently warm day in the great state of Wisconsin..

Again the temps got into the upper 70s’ today and the weekend will be much of the same.

My work day actually went by quickly. Went to lunch with coworkers to Buffalo Wild Wings where I had a grilled buffalo chicken wrap – not the best I ever had, but was still tasty. Then I spent the remainder of the work day finishing up lots of bugs that have been submitted from several of the systems. The ‘never ending changes’ are starting to slow down. I have all of the bugs dealt with by the time I left – only because several of the lead bug submitters had the day off. I’m sure they will make up for lost time when they get back in next week.

This is a three day weekend for me because the major financial institution is closed on Monday for Columbus Day. John will be heading back to DC on Sunday morning for work – so don’t have much planned. I’ve decided to work on a new computer project and to start on it tomorrow. I’m going to take the older MacBook Pro and configure it as a media server that is connected to our TV. This way I can stream movies and TV shows from Netflix, Hulu and our iTunes libraries. The functionality will be similar to what Apple TV does.

The plan is to completely wipe the hard drive clean and do a fresh install of OS X Snow Leopard. Then configure it so I can remote into it with my current MacBook Pro. Then for the media server I’m using an open source system called “Plex for OS X“. There’s two parts to Plex – the Media Center and the Media Server. Media Center is the user interface to the server. Been doing some reading and it seems easy enough to install and get working. Once Plex is up and running, then I need to install plug-ins for each of the different media sources like Netflix and Hulu for starters.

The user interface for Plex is designed to be used with a remote control of sorts. We can use our iPhones as remotes by purchasing an app for $1.99 and configure it. Another alternative is to purchase an Apple Remote for $19.00 and use (and loose) that to interact with Plex.

Example of the Plex User Interface

John supports my idea and said he would help me connect the laptop into the MoHo’s AV system. I will need to purchase an adapter to get composite RCA video out of the laptop. I believe this needs to be an Apple DVI to Video Adapter for $19.00. We will then need to figure out what to about getting sound out because I don’t think our surround sound system will work with it. John can help me figure out something.

So that’s the plan – will be interesting to see how it actually turns out. A few trips to the Apple Store and Radio Shack will probably be in store for me tomorrow. I really miss not having a MicroCenter or Fry’s around. Around here it’s Best Buy, Colder’s and Walmart for computers, tv’s and home electronics. Kinda boring….

Not much else going on… Don’t want to get started on the Plex project until morning. John’s watching Weed’s on Showtime. Another show that I liked the first season, but don’t like where the plot has gone on consecutive seasons – so don’t pay much attention to it…

Tomorrow there will be Rummage-A-Rama! at one of the pavillions at the state fair park.

I will probably walk over and check it out. I went to one last spring and was not overly impressed, but you never know what I will find. I might drag John around by telling him that he might find some old fountain pens. He might… 😉

Found another fun video to share from archive.org – today I present the 1965 classic “This is Hormel” – the poignant story of animals being cut up and being turned into yummy meat products:

So that’s where Spam comes from….

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