The best computer – tv setup for your living room

The best computer-tv setup for your living room

Here, i am posting this to remind myself of how to setup my media center at home, so it can be a bit messy

Kodi (XBMC) seems to be the only real competitor to Windows Media center, in my case, i feel it is much better than Windows Media Center.


The raspberry PI 2 (With 1 GB ram) can function as the hardware with it’s HDMI output


An old PC, with cooling switched to passive watter cooling (Cost me around $40 on ebay for the parts) to get rid of the noisy fan, and with the hard drive replaced by a bootable linux flash stick (Also to reduce noise)

Please note that the analogue (D-SUB / VGA) cable is just as good as HDMI, analogue signal over such a short distance is not a problem, so you can connect the D-SUB to your TV or the HDMI cable, you will not notice the difference. But you will need to connect audio to external speakers or something.

The disadvantage of the old PC method are

The cooling system costs half as much as a raspberri PI ! alot of money i would say.
The PC is bulky compared to the PI
Draws much more power than the PI

The advantages

You already have that old PC
You can use Kodi on Windows, then use your IPAD as a keyboard and mouse (No such app exists for linux yet)
You can use it for more general purpose purposes later on
It’s eithernet port is not provided through USB like the PI
You can have much more RAM on it
You can add an input card to it and connect your home receiver to it
You can install hard drives inside (Remember to make them spin down when not in use) and then use it as NAS
You can install an IR receiver on the com port and use LIRC to program any remote you have
It can play DVDs (If it has a DVD player)


Plugins that i like for Kodi

Fastest disk duplication tool

I have been using DD for a long time, specify the block size etc, then pipe it into PV if you like, and there you have it

But you can use PV directly

So let us assume we want to put sda on sdb (See how direction arrows are pointing out of sda in the command)

pv < /dev/sda > /dev/sdb

and you are done, no need for DD, PV is faster because it checks the speed on both disks first, and there you have it

At first it will be much faster than you anticipated, that is because it is buffering in RAM, once you run out of ram, the speed will drop back, even if you dont run out of ram, there will be time for the sync operation

For example, while cloning my 40GB SSD onto an 80GB western digital, at first the speed was 180MB/s, once i ran out of ram, it dropped to 50MB/s

The best way to find deal with duplicate files on Linux

There are 2 popular packages to deal with duplicate files on linux

The first would be fslint (apt-get install fslint), the down side is that it is not sorting by file size, because when i have 10,000 duplicate files on my disks, i really don’t want to deal with them all and make choices, so what comes to mind is this, the second is fdupes, i have never used it before so i would not know, so we will be using fslint with a small script.

first, find the duplicate files, in my case, i only want the ones over 2MBs

/usr/share/fslint/fslint/findup /hds -size +2048k > /root/dups.txt

Now, this little simple script should read the data into a mysql table (Command line PHP script, you will need to edit the mysql username, password and database), you also need to tell it what the path you used in the command above is (I used
“/hds”), also included is the database sql file, you can put that in with PHPMyAdmin

Now, you can run the above script and it will go and investigate file sizes on the file system.

Then, you can either walk through the database after sorting by size, or write your own display script (Fetch and print, nothing too fancy), so you will know where your greatest gains are, and this way you will not lose a day filtering those duplicate files.

Have fun, and please let me know what you think