Ambilight Clone with Arduino & WS2801 LED Pixels

Setup Ambilight Clone with Arduino & WS2801 LED Pixels

There are multiple methods and devices to get Ambilight like effects. One of the simplest is to use Arduino with WS2801 or similar lights. Arduino is easy to program with the help of Adafruit library. Boblight Add-On for Kodi (XBMC) along with the Boblight Daemon outputs the required data from the video stream to Arduino via USB or possibly another communication method.

Setup Ambilight with Kodi & Boblight on Arch Linux

Ambilight with Boblight Add-on & Kodi / XBMC on Arch Linux

Boblight uses server-client model and consists of two component parts. The client component captures video or audio input, processes the stream and sends the resulting light data to the server. In this case the client is Kodi Boblight Add-On. Boblight daemon – boblightd runs in the background and translates the light data from the client into commands for the external light controller such a Arduino. Before configuring the software build Ambilight Clone with Arduino & WS2801 LED Pixels.

Install Mosquitto MQTT Broker on Arch Linux

Install Mosquitto MQTT Broker on Arch Linux

Mosquitto is a lightweight MQTT broker that uses publish/subscribe model. Since it is written in Python it can run on practically any Linux and many other systems. It also comes with command line utilities to publish and subscribe to MQTT clients.

Install Tvheadend on Ubuntu 14.04

Install Tvheadend on Ubuntu Linux

Tvheadend is a TV streaming server for Linux. Hardware devices can be managed and live TV can be viewed directly via the web interface albeit with somewhat of an outdated user interface. It makes a great back-end to a media centre such as Kodi. Among other things it can also record based on user defined schedule.

Install Deluge on Arch Linux

Install Deluge Server & Web Interface on Arch Linux

Deluge is a Python based torrent client that consists of a back-end and front-end components. Daemon runs in the background while the interface can be one of several options. For a headless server web interface component is the most obvious option.

Fix YouTube Stuttering Video in Chrome

Fix YouTube Video Stuttering

YouTube stuttering can be very frustrating and make certain videos practically unwatchable. There are many reasons why this may happen such as a slow or overtaxed computer, insufficient bandwith or even issues with the video service. Often however even with more common issues eliminated stuttering can still persist.

Install aMule on Arch Linux

Install aMule the eMule like Client for e2Dk and Kademlia networks on Arch Linux

aMule is an eMule-like client for eD2k and Kademlia networks. While these networks are quite outdated by today’s standards, they do occasionally have older content not available anywhere else. It comes with a web interface that has limited configuration options.

Force Hard Drives to Sleep on Ubuntu 14.04

Activate Num-Lock at Boot on Ubuntu 14.04

One of the more important traits of a good home server is low power consumption. Hard drives can account for a big chunk if not the majority of power usage of a home server depending on the number of drives. Most hard drives can be put into sleep or stand-by mode to reduce power usage dramatically. Western Digital drives require a more forceful method which is where hd-idle tool comes into play. Hd-idle is a simple tool that can force both SATA and USB hard disk devices into stand-by mode.

Install Xorg X11 Window System on Arch Linux

Install Xorg X11 Window System on Arch Linux

Xorg is required to have any output on the display and which in turn requires video drivers to be installed. There is practically one choice when it comes to a window system – X11, aka X Window System. Certain additional packages need to be installed to enable keyboard support, hardware acceleration and more. Depending on the hardware more packages may need to be installed. They can be found in the xorg package that contains all dependencies however it is wasteful to install so many unused packages.

Install Calibre eBook Manager on Arch Linux

Install Calibre ebook managment software on Arch Linux

Calibre is an eBook management application that can be used on multiple platforms. Calibre server on the other hand runs as a web service. It is not as feature rich and seems very outdated, buggy and clunky to use. It is however the only option currently available and does provide basic functionality that allows to browse and download eBooks from a web browser.

ESP8266: Wire & Configure

Wire & configure ESP8266-07 Wi-Fi Module

Before attempting to use ESP8266 Module with a microcontroller like Arduino it is a good idea to test and get familiar with it by using a USB-to-Serial converter. With the converter AT commands can be issued directly to the module. Since some functions are not available on older firmware versions it is advisable to flash ESP8266 Wi-Fi module firmware to the latest version before proceeding to configure it.

Mount Filesystem Partitions in Arch Linux

Mount Filesystem Partitions in Arch Linux

On Arch Linux non-system partitions are not mounted automatically. Partitions have to be mounted in fstab or systemd mount scripts. Mounting in fstab is the more traditional method and is still used because of it’s simplicity and convenience. Mounts in fstab are converted to native systemd mounts so there is no major benefit to mount with systemd at this time. After the system partitions have been mounted you can install MHDDFS or another virtual pool volume.

Configure Samba Recycle Bin on Arch Linux

samba-recycle-bin

Before configuring Samba Recycle Bin, make sure to install Samba on Arch Linux and configure Samba shares first. Samba Recycle Bin is similar to windows Recycle Bin and is essential Samba addition for easy recovery of deleted files. It is somewhat different than Desktop based Recycle Bins in that it creates directories as specified and moves the deleted files there.

Custom Dynamic DNS Service on Arch Linux

Setup Custom Dynamic DNS Service on Arch Linux

DDNS or Dynamic Domain Name System service makes reliable remote access without a static IP. The setup consists of the client script that runs on the Linux machine and the back-end service that is hosted on a remote server. The client periodically sends it’s own external IP to the remote server. The remote server will then be able to redirect to the dynamic IP of the local client. If you do not have a remote server with a static IP to host your custom service you can instead setup No-IP DDNS on Arch Linux. The advantage of a custom Dynamic DNS server is that it remains under your control and there are no limitations as with free services.

Install Copy Cloud Sync in Command Line on Arch Linux

Install Copy Cloud in Command Line on Arch Linux

Copy Cloud service currently offers 15 GB out of the fox for free. This alone is better than most services. For example if you setup Dropbox on Arch Linux you will only be getting 2 GB to start. With Copy it’s also possible to gain an extra 5 GB per referral up to 25 GB of additional storage compared to 16 GB maximum with Dropbox. Before you install Copy, sign up for a copy account with a referral link which will get you 5 GB extra storage.