I’m starting to get a nice network at home now. Recently I’ve bought a MacBook Air after a long vacation from Apple products due to a lemon MacBook Pro, so now in addition to my HTPC/media server I’ve added a Mac server using that MacBook Pro. It runs my time machine backups and some other cool stuff like NetBoot/NetInstall. After using NetInstall I realized how much easier it was to just boot a device off the network to install instead of writing the install files to flash drives that seem to disappear when you need them most. If you’ve got Windows Server you can use WDS to accomplish this. Getting WDS to work from a network level really just requires some DHCP options. I didn’t feel like making my Windows server my main DHCP server (though you might have to if your router doesn’t allow changing DHCP options) so I left that to my DD-WRT enabled Linksys E4200.
Enabling PXE booting on DD-WRT is fairly easy. First things first you need to enable DNSMasq by going to Services, then DNSMasq, then enable all three options. In the box that says “Additional DNSMasq Options” enter:
Make sure to change 192.168.1.11 to your WDS host. Either IP or hostname will work. Note that the path is URL encoded to convert backslashes to %5C to play nicely with WDS. Before I was just using backslashes and it drove me crazy trying to figure out why it wouldn’t work. Once I found out that the path had to be encoded I felt like I had to make a post about this.
I don’t believe any special WDS configuration is necessary so this should work OOB.
A couple of posts ago I showed off how I made the lights in my room turn on and off with a sonic screwdriver universal remote. Since then I’ve been building on the same project. So far I’ve cobbled together something that might be similar to a very early day Jarvis (Tony Stark’s personal AI assistant). Okay when I say basic I pretty much mean it. Right now I only have control over my lights, thermostat, and my media center. It’s all controlled from one central interface: a Transformer Prime Android tablet that I’ve velcroed to the wall. Since right now it is so basic and doesn’t do everything I would like it to, I have named it Woodhouse.
EDIT: The GitHub repo should be updated now to the latest version.
Continue reading Woodhouse
A couple of posts ago I did a tutorial on automated CD/DVD/Bluray ripping that caught the attention of a couple people that wanted to see what my personal media center looks like. I’ve decided to post some pictures of my server and outline the specs and some of the applications I use.
Continue reading My Ultimate Media PC Server
I’ve been a bit quiet recently. My last post was about controlling some lights with a sonic screwdriver with a Raspberry Pi handling everything. I’ve been expanding on it (which I will go into great detail in a later post) and one of the greatest tools I’ve found has been transistors. I’ve used them in the past but I’ve never really known what they actually do. It’s kind of embarassing because it’s so simple. In layman’s terms (and possibly the wrong description), a transistor is a sort of switch.
Continue reading Light Sensing Switch