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Ordering a Roku Ultra

My media player of choice for years has been the Apple TV. I have a Gen 2, Gen 3, and a Gen 4 throughout the house. The combination of the Gen 2 & 3 along with iTunes has been a pretty solid combination for my household. I was pretty psyched for the Gen 4, because all it was missing was apps. I bought the 32GB Apple TV 4 right when it was released and I’ve just never been happy with it. The interface is crap, the remote is crap, and I constantly have to restart it to get it working properly again. I was really hoping that the tvOS update that came last month would have brought tremendous improvements, but it brought nothing that improved my user experience with it.

At this point, I’m ready to try a different media player. One thing that has kept me tied to the Apple stuff was that all my media has been kept in iTunes. I’ve since setup a Plex server and moved all my media over to it and it’s been a pretty impressive experience. Being on a new media server allows me to look at other media players. So I’ve pre-ordered one of the new Roku Ultra‘s.

rokuultra

The new Roku’s officially release October 7th, so I won’t have it until early next week. I will report back once it’s setup with my first impressions.

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