Posts tagged IPad
This is an update to an older post: My perfect TV setup
I recently upgraded the whole media consumption set-up in my apartment. This post describes all of the different aspects, hardware and software components in use.
- Mac Mini – this is the main hub of the whole operation. It sits in my living room, connected to sound system and projector.
Specs: 2.3GHz i5, 2GB RAM, 500GB HD, Intel HD 3000 Graphics.
- Apple TV – the new 1080p one. Connected to the LCD TV in my room.
- iPad – also the new one.
- Projector - still the same old one that won’t die. Only 720p, but I refuse to replace it before it has reached the end of it’s lifetime.
- Logitech Harmony - universal remote to control the cable box, sound system, projector and XBMC (via Mac Mini’s infra red port) in the living room.
- 2TB harddisk - connected to Mac Mini via USB.
- 2x AirPort Express – connected to speakers in the kitchen and bathroom.
Software on Mac Mini
- XBMC – with it’s recent Eden release and a few configuration tweaks the perfect, easy to use frontend for all my movies & TV shows.
- Transmission – Torrent client with a nice web based remote frontend.
- Catch – to automatically download new TV show episodes.
- Air Media Server – serves media to iOS devices.
- AirServer – receives AirPlay streams from iOS devices.
Software on iOS
- Air Media Center – plays movies and music from Mac Mini via Air Media Server.
- TouchPad – substitutes mouse and keyboard for Mac Mini.
- Mocha VNC Lite – remote desktop software.
- Apples Remote App – controls Apple TV or iTunes music on Mac Mini.
Mac Mini is my always-on media server. It serves it’s video signal, running XBMC, to the projector. XBMC periodically scans all the appropriate directories on the external harddisk for new movies and TV show episodes.
iTunes is running with a copy of all of my music and Home Sharing turned on. That way I can listen to music on my iPad, iPhone or Apple TV whenever I’m at home and also stream it to AirPlay receivers in the living room (AirServer), my room (Apple TV), kitchen (AirPort Express) & bathroom (AirPort Express).
Further Mac Mini checks the showRSS website via Catch for my subscribed TV shows and downloads new episodes via Transmission. The finished episodes are sorted into the correct directories on the external harddisk. I can also add new downloads via Transmission’s web frontend that’s accessible from the outside and very usable even on small smartphone screens. That way, whenever I turn on the projector in the living room, I get greeted by XBMC with all new and unwatched content in my library.
To tie in all iOS devices, I am running Air Media Server and AirServer.
The first serving the same media as XBMC’s library to iOS devices connecting via Air Media Center iOS App. This also works remotely since Air Media Center automatically configures port forwarding on my Time Capsule. AirServer enables me to send media via AirPlay from my iPad or iPhone to the projector’s output in the living room. AirServer also supports AirPlay mirroring in it’s latest version, which is really awesome for games like Real Racing 2 HD which I can now play on the big screen.
If I want to watch a movie or TV show in my room, I just fire up Air Media Center on my iPad and send it’s video output via AirPlay to the Apple TV.
With all those devices interconnected and relying, as much as possible, on Apple’s protocols, there is a myriad of different possibilities: from having different music playing on varying combinations of speakers throughout the apartment, to streaming movies to my tiny iPhone screen over 3G while riding the subway to work and everything in between. I think I’m quite happy with the way it’s all working together now, I think this might finally be a system sustainable a bit longer than all the previous hacked together arrangements.
- Google released an Apache module that auto tunes performance
Google has announced that they are launching a module for the Apache HTTP server called mod_pagespeed, that will automatically tune several properties to optimize page load speed. I haven’t tried it out yet, but will definitely do so.
Amongst other things, mod_pagespeed will:
- recompress images
- modify cache lifetime for static elements
- make changes to pages built by CMS
I don’t know if I’ll see a great performance on this server, as I already took care of a lot of speed improvements myself, but this module is a great way to implement common best-practices without having to dig into Apache’s configuration too much.
Read more and download the module on the Page Speed Google Code website.
- Facebook Mobile Announcements
Just a short summary of what Facebook announced yesterday, there’s already tons of coverage out there:
- Facebook for iPhone updated (as I hoped in my tweet just minutes before the event started).
- Facebook for Android updated.
- Single Sign-On for mobile platforms.
So you don’t have to deal with entering your password in every app that uses Facebook connect.
- Facebook Places API Update. Full read and write access for third parties.
- Deals. This sounds kind of like Groupon mixed with Foursquare.
Could be very interesting, once it reaches the critical mass of user adoption.
- No dedicated iPad App in the near future.
Although I’ve read about speculations of a HTML5 based website/app that could offer the same experience on multiple tablet based platforms.
- Google Announces API Console
The new Google API Console lets you manage your API uses across all your applications and websites.
- iOS 4.2 Gold Master release seeded to developers
iOS 4.2 has gone Gold Master and can be used by all iOS developers to create consistent apps across iPhones, iPod touches & iPads.
Apple urges to submit new iOS 4.2 apps soon, so they are available in the app store, once the software update gets pushed to all the devices.
- eBay + Paypal + Facebook Connect = Group Gift-Buying
In an attempt to capitalize on the rise of social commerce, online auction behemoth eBay launched its Group Gifts service today, enabling users to source the power of their social networks to collectively purchase gifts.
- Video comparison between HTC 7 Trophy (left) and the Samsung Omnia 7 (right)
- Internet Explorer 9 just beat everyone in HTML5 compliance
Internet Explorer 9 just beat Chrome, Firefox, Opera, and Safari in a compliance test.
- WiMAX 4G Coming to New York City, San Francisco and Los Angeles in 2010
The next-next generation U.S. wireless technology is preparing itself for primetime in major metropolitan areas. New York City, San Francisco and Los Angeles will each have 4G WiMAX by the end of 2010.
- Microsoft’s Ray Ozzie To Step Down As Chief Software Architect
Microsoft has just announced that Ray Ozzie, the company’s Chief Software Architect is stepping down from this position.
Ozzie assumed the chief software architect’s role in June 2006. In his role, Ozzie was responsible for oversight of the company’s technical strategy and product architecture. Prior to this role, Ozzie was chief technical officer from April 2005 to June 2006. He assumed that position in April 2005 after Microsoft acquired Groove Networks, a next-generation collaboration software company he formed in 1997.
- Driverless taxi gets called with an iPad
This is just wild! A group of researchers in Berlin have been working on “autonomous cars” for a while. The Berlin team has pushed the idea ahead by hooking the car up to an iPad. The iPad’s GPS location is sent out to the car, and then the user can even track the car’s movement and scanner information directly from the iPad.
- Google Puts the Emphasis on Location in Search
With a few tweaks and an interface change, Google has placed location and location-based search front-and-center in its search engine.
The big change, announced earlier today on Google Blog’s, is thatGoogle has moved the user location setting to the left-hand panel of the search engine results page. This feature automatically detects your current location and tailors search results based on that.
The change rolls out starting today and will be available to users in 40+ languages sometime soon.
- Apple releases Q4 results: $20.34B revenue, $4.31B profits
Apple reports earnings of $4.31 billion, or $4.64 a share, in the fiscal fourth quarter, versus $1.82 a share in the year-ago quarter.
3.89 million Macs, 14.1m iPhones (almost 2x the previous year’s number), 4.19m iPads sold in Q4.
During Apple’s earnings call yesterday, Jobs pointed out that “open systems don’t always win.”
But he also tried to reframe the debate. “Open versus closed is a smokescreen,” he argues. “Google likes to characterize Android as open and iOS as closed. We think this is disingenuous.” The real difference between the iPhone and Android is, he says, “integrated versus fragmented.”
Android chief Andy Rubin responded with his first tweet. (See image)
- IPv4 Space Shrinks To 5% – Final Addresses To Be Issued In Early 2011
The Number Resource Organization, the coordinating mechanism for the five Regional Internet Registries or RIRs, this morning announced that less than 5% of the world’s IPv4 (Internet Protocol version 4) addresses remain unallocated. The IPv4 pool first dipped below 10% in January 2010, and in the next nine months some 200 million addresses have subsequently been allocated from the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) to the RIRs.
Follow @IPv4Countdown to keep up to date and meanwhile prepare your systems for IPv6 (it’s about time anyway).
This is the first post of what I plan to make a recurring feature on this blog. Each day I will try to assemble a post with interesting news that pop up in my newsfeed.
So here it goes…
- Police force tweets emergency calls, scores Twitter hit [TNW UK]
A UK police force has scored a major hit today by tweeting every single 999 emergency call it receives over a 24-hour period.
- TED Brings “Ideas Worth Spreading” to the iPad
The free app [iTunes link] provides a more convenient and engaging experience for viewing TED’s streaming library of nearly 800 video presentations on the device. Users can browse videos by date, popularity and keyword.
- 4 Game-Changing Trends in Web App Design
…web apps are driven by trends, and trends move fast. So if you’re slaving away on a mobile app, here are four trends that you might want to consider before coding yourself into irrelevance.
- Google Grows Revenues 23 Percent In Third Quarter
Revenues jumped 23 percent to $7.3 billion. Net income was up 18 percent to $2.2 billion.
- Another trend that keeps popping up in the last weeks is QR Codes
This technology has actually been around for quite some time already and I always kept wondering when developers would start to use it more thoroughly in their solutions.
- RedLaser Now Scans QR Codes
- With Their Own QR Code Trick, Bit.ly Eats Google’s Balls
- Paperlinks Brings QR Codes To Event Invitations
- Goo.gl’s Awesome Easter Egg To Instantly Turn Any Link Into A QR Code
- QR Code Generator and DataMatrix Barcode Generator
- QR Code Generator Creates Smartphone-Friendly Barcodes from Chrome
- HOW TO: Create and Deploy Your Own QR Codes