I was an early adopter to the roku Streaming Video Player. The only downside I could find with the device was the inability to stream your own video from within your own home network. Over the years several options have arisen to include: roConnect, Plex, roksbox, and others. After testing all of these over the last year I found the roksbox channel to be the best for my needs. roksbox allows me to stream from a plain old web server which is very powerful. The setup can be daunting but that is only because of the huge amount of options available. As is often the case with technology, the more powerful an application is often the more difficult it is to setup.
Continuing on with this project it became necessary to look a little deeper on how apt based software repositories handle version numbers. At first I thought this was the silliest overly complicated mess I could imaging. For instance, how does one compare package versions that look like this ’2:1.0~rc3++svn20100804-0.2squeeze1′ with versions that look like this ’2:1.0~rc3++final.dfsg1-1′ to determine which is newer? Luckily this is actually well documented, makes perfect sense when you stop to think about it, and (through the power of open source) easy to accomplish programatically. Read more
Backing up large data sets to DVD-ROM or (God Forbid!) CD-ROM can be quite frustrating. When this has been a requirement for me I dreaded sifting through the data, attempting to find a logical place to split the data between disks. Often times the disk size limitations doesn’t allow me to split the information at logical bounds (such as splitting on top level folders etc.) In the end I inevitably am forced to try and pack as much data as possible onto each disk. This gets even more frustrating. So I wrote fsl.pack.isos. Read more
Working on both Windows and Linux systems its easy to see the strengths of each platform. One thing that I really like about Windows environment is the existence of small portable applications. These are usually a simple executable which require no installation and few if any dependencies.
While I would take the power of Linux any day over Windows sometimes I wish I had some more small and portable tools. This is where HTTPi comes in. HTTPi is a small portable web (http) server written in Perl. Since Perl is part of the Linux Standard Base you know it will run without needing any dependencies. Read more
Once upon a time I had the unfortunate tasking of trying to track all the computers within my organization. The worst part was trying to manage this using a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet which was a managerial requirement. Querying records, changing records, adding records, etc. in a spreadsheet is simply impossible and impractical. What was clearly needed was a databasing solution. I had just started learning about using Perl/tk to build graphical applications so I decided to reinvent the wheel. Read more