Based in Sydney, Australia, Foundry is a blog by Rebecca Thao. Her posts explore modern architecture through photos and quotes by influential architects, engineers, and artists.

My New Home Theater Device

Here is a picture of my brand new home theater device:

I guess that does not look all that fancy.  What about from the back:

That probably gives away the joke to most of you.  How about a peek inside:

I put a new Home Theater PC inside an old VCR case!  Heh, I think that's kinda funny.  It is an MSI E350, whcih is a dual core AMD Fusion CPU which has an integrated graphics processor that is actually reasonably powerful (powerful enough for this application).  It is running Ubuntu 10.10 with XBMC as the media software.  Due to some software issues it is not using the graphics accelerator for video playback, but I hope to fix that soon.

XBMC is pretty nice, although I am still looking for a skin that I like.  There are some strange usability issues when trying to control it via a remote control.  (There is an IR reciever hiding behing the VCR's face plate).  On the upside, I really like its ability to fetch content off the internet.  In particular getting various videos from places like TWiT and Revision3.

This HTPC also has a 2 TB hard drive, so I have dumped all of my music on it.  I am also thinking of ripping our heavily watched dvds (Arrested Development, Burn Notice) on there too.  That way we can watch them without messing around with disks, as well, we can copy them onto ipod/ipad/other devices without having to resort to physical media.

Anyway, I am still playing with everything, but so far I am enjoying it.

Garden Status: End of April

Tour de Bloc 2011 National Bouldering Finals