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So far so good with the Roku

A few weeks back I announced I was going to get a Roku Ultra as I’ve grown tired of the piece of crap Apple TV 4. Well I didn’t get a Roku Ultra, I instead got a Roku Premiere+, which is the step down from the Ultra. And I didn’t replace my 4th gen Apple TV…..yet. I decided to install the Roku on my bedroom TV and replace the aging 2nd gen Apple TV I’ve been using. I really do like Roku. It’s nice having Amazon Video has a choice. The remote control is superior over the Apple TV remote. And the fact that I can plug headphones in to the remote is a nice tough.

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And if you didn’t know, there is a Roku app for your smartphone (at least for ios, not sure about android) that allows you to control the player as well as making it way easier to type in text. And it also will pass through audio if you have headphones plugged in to your phone.

Another nice feature that I discovered by accident was that I could stream the Youtube video I was watching on my iPad to the Roku. Not sure if works with other media apps, but does work for Youtube.

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Hopefully soon I can replace the other 2 Apple TV’s in the house.

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Arch Linux Home Server Challenge…Accepted

On a recent episode of Linux Action Show, Chris talked about his new home server setup based on Arch Linux. As a long time Arch Linux user myself, the thought of a server based on Arch is a bit concerning, but the points Chris made about going with Arch are valid. Being that if you keep the Arch install simple and focused, chances of breakage are greatly reduced, and you get the benefit of a rolling release with modern and constantly updated¬† packages. But there is still that Arch risk of a broken system when a package fails or the developers decide to make a major system change and you update the system without keeping track of Arch news. Yes, that’s happened to me plenty of times with my desktop install.

I’ve decided to give this a try myself following Chris’s model, using virtualized installs of Arch that are focused on specific tasks. I will also use Proxmox as the host and Arch Linux as the guests. I’m not familiar at all with Proxmox, and currently don’t have any powerful computers for an apples to apples comparison. I also won’t be going with a separate FreeNAS storage solution for all the data. However, I do think this will still be a great learning experiment and kind of fun. If I’m really happy with the results, maybe I will invest in some better hardware.

Also, I will do my best to to document my setup and install notes on my wiki here: http://cdavis.us/wiki/index.php?title=Arch_Linux_Home_Server_Challenge