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post #41 of 62 Old 07-28-2015
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Re: Computer Upgrade

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I use my laptop to watch on-air tv on my boat, but you need MS Media Center to do so. Windows 10 doesn't include Media Center, and reportedly is not promising to offer it in the future. I'm sticking with earlier versions of windows on all my computers.
The reason they are not supporting it any longer, is that the feedback they have gotten is that not many like it. There should be plenty of 3rd party apps to take up the slack, and have actual development done. My guess is that it will take a few months and something will come up as the leader. I like Plex but doubt it will work to for live RV. Are you using a TV reviver card or streaming it? I am wondering if my TV card will be supported by Windows 10, but have not had it hooked up since I get no over the air signal where I live and cable companies have stopped any unencrypted signals.
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post #42 of 62 Old 07-28-2015
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Re: Computer Upgrade

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Yes, pretty much. I have gone through more than my share of Linuxes (from the time when Slackware was a major improvement over the state of the art which was called SLS and required more than 50 floppy disks for the source code, from which you compiled your core; only way to get it!). I switched to Ubuntu a decade ago and it is the easiest of all Linuxes I ever used.

In some ways Ubuntu is easier than Windows. I wouldn't know the latter since I haven't used it since the mid-90s but my wife (M$ person) and I changed computers pretty much at the same time. Mind you, she has as much experience with M$ as I have with Unix/Linux. In both cases, we needed some additional drivers for the installation. She was hunting them down on some manufacturers web pages while Ubuntu went out by itself and asked politely if it should install them.

Give it a try!
I love Linux and have tried most of the major platforms but keep going back to Windows. I may try again and use a virtual machine to run Photoshop in, but the Gimp just does not do it for me.
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post #43 of 62 Old 07-28-2015
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Re: Computer Upgrade

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The reason they are not supporting it any longer, is that the feedback they have gotten is that not many like it. There should be plenty of 3rd party apps to take up the slack, and have actual development done.**
I haven't found any software that does what Windows Media Center does, and, for that reason, consider it irrepplaceable, and I like it very much.

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I like Plex but doubt it will work to for live RV. Are you using a TV reviver card or streaming it? I am wondering if my TV card will be supported by Windows 10, but have not had it hooked up since I get no over the air signal where I live and cable companies have stopped any unencrypted signals.
It doesn't appear that Plex provides live, over-the-air tv.

I don't know what a tv revivor card is. I use an Avermedia HDTV Tuner kit for Windows. It is an electronic tv tuner that is connected to my laptop. An amplified over-the-air antenna is attached to it. Windows Media Center is the software that tells my computer how to process the tv signal that it receives. I have never been able to find any other software that does that job, and the company that manufactures the tuner doesn't provide any software to do it.

I haven't been able to find either a tv tuner kit for my Mac laptop, or the necessary software for it.

As far as I can tell, Plex looks like a type of cloud service, where you can save videos etc. to a cloud and then access them whenever you have internet access via a hotspot. The tv tuner, coupled with Windows Media Center, lets me view over-the-air tv, without any internet connection.

I have searched long and hard and have found no alternative to Windows Media Center for turning my laptop into a tv.
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post #44 of 62 Old 07-28-2015
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Re: Computer Upgrade

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...I have searched long and hard and have found no alternative to Windows Media Center for turning my laptop into a tv.
I'm not sure how long you've been searching, but there have been solutions out there for many years that were far superior to WMC. I've had Beyond TV running recording OTA HDTV on my HTPC for 10 years, and it is SO MUCH BETTER that WMC, I don't even know where to start to explain. I still have WMC on my Windows 7 desktop, and am reminded how cluttered and buggy it is every time I try to use it. The latest problem is the guide updates have stopped, rendering all scheduled recording useless. THOUSANDS of people are having this problem, and Microsoft's only solution is tell you to redo setup (which erases all previous settings, including recording schedules). But after doing all that, most people are reporting that it's NOT even fixing the problem. Totally sucks.

Personal DVR software development has pretty much died. Not sure why, but the fact that the mass market isn't interested in connecting a computer to large format TVs may be part of the reason. The laptop recording market is apparently too tiny to get anyone interested. Most likely, the reason is that the average user isn't tech savvy enough to figure out how to piece together tuner dongles/cards and software, and just wants to plug in the cable company's DVR box (which is also far inferior to the software options).

Unfortunately BeyondTV is no longer supported by SnapStream, though I still have it running and the Guide updates reliably. A competitor, SageTV, has been bought out by Google, who has announced that it will become open source and broadly available in "months, not years." Then there's also the Open Source MythTV that is still widely available.

If you're not familiar with these alternatives, then you haven't been searching hard enough.
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post #45 of 62 Old 07-28-2015
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Re: Computer Upgrade

I'm a little late and started making some responses to others here even though some things were already answered, I'll include it here.

I don't plan on going back to windows. I had played around with Ubuntu and Fedora in the past. But after having to fix my 5yr old laptop, I decided to just get an SSD and switch to linux full time. I went with Linux Mint Debian Edition (LMDE) 1 and now have version 2. I love it. Works great and does everything I would want. I still have the original hard drive with windows on it that's more of an extra storage drive but on very rare occasions (like work reasons) I'll switch back to windows for certain tasks. Otherwise, I'm sticking with linux. I've even modified the runlevel to 1 so I can work under text only mode. I just like having fun trying different things with the system.

Enjoy!


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Do you mean the charts or the software? You probably already know this, but Windows software won't run natively on Linux (or vice versa).
Chip, it might work with Virtualbox. I'm saying might because I'm testing it with an old version of Windows Server 2003 under linux. So far, it's working well and I can do what I need to under the virtual windows environment.

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I have a spare computer that I'm going to wipe completely and give Linux a try for nav. The Navigatrix program look very interesting. Which version of the Linux op systems do you think would be best to give a spin?
Ubuntu is usually a good starting point with linux. There's a lot out there. Linux Mint would be another good one, I think and is pretty popular in the linux crowd (from what I've heard).

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Taking this all down guys. Thanks.

So, what can be done in a transition regarding Excel spreadsheets and Word files transfer?
I use Libreoffice, it's compatible with MS Office files.

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Originally Posted by smurphny View Post
Well, couldn't get any Linux to work on an old laptop, too little RAM
There should be some other distros that allow older hardware w/low RAM to work. Just can't think of which off hand.

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post #46 of 62 Old 07-28-2015
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Re: Computer Upgrade

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Originally Posted by Sailormon6 View Post
I haven't found any software that does what Windows Media Center does, and, for that reason, consider it irrepplaceable, and I like it very much.


It doesn't appear that Plex provides live, over-the-air tv.
You're right it doesn't. I missed that in your earlier post. Check out Hauppauge.com They have a USB TV tuner that will work with your laptop and software called WinTV that will probably do what you're looking for.

I've been looking at getting a 4 tuner Tablo Box that will integrate with my current PLEX/Roku setup. That will allow me to record multiple over the air programs while watching TV. Once recorded shows can either be streamed to me remotely over the web or if bandwidth is an issue I can drop the MP4 files onto a laptop or tablet to watch later.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sailormon6 View Post
As far as I can tell, Plex looks like a type of cloud service, where you can save videos etc. to a cloud and then access them whenever you have internet access via a hotspot.
Nope.

Think of PLEX as creating your own version of Netflix and Pandora rolled into one running on a PC on your home network or in your boat.

After setting up our server I burned all our DVDs, Blu-Rays and music onto a 1TB hard drive.

I also burned TV shows from DVD, hi-res videos from YouTube and videos from places like Off Center Harbor.

I can watch these shows on a big screen via Roku or on any PC or tablet connected to the network (via an app). I can stream CD quality music to any device on the network by album, artist, genre or playlist.

I can open a hole through my firewall and stream any of these formats to a remote device. That could be watching a movie via a high speed connection at the marina or listening to my music library in the car over my cell phone connected to the AUX jack in the car stereo.

It takes a while to get everything loaded but it's pretty incredible once you do. I've rediscovered music I forgot I had. The next step is pulling all the old vinyl out and recording it

I started digging into all this when we cut the cord with cable. It's pretty amazing what you can do now.

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post #47 of 62 Old 07-28-2015
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Re: Computer Upgrade

To keep this on topic........
When we are out cruising, we are often beyond cell range and no chance for WiFi. But even at anchor we like to watch a show or hear music.

I bought a "Wireless Router, RAVPower Mirco SD Card Reader, Hard Drive Companion, Access Point, 6000mAh External Battery Pack Travel Charger - FileHub White" from Amazon. It's a GREAT toy! I ripped most of our DVDs & music to a external hard drive. I can just plug it into the RAV and turn it on. It's a wifi hot spot that we can watch all the videos from no matter where we are. And, it will even charge a cell or other item when they need power.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00ICEWB58?psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00
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post #48 of 62 Old 07-28-2015
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Re: Computer Upgrade

Greg,
VERY COOL !

It's amazing how quickly this stuff is evolving.

Jim

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post #49 of 62 Old 07-29-2015
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Re: Computer Upgrade

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So far the Linux Mint Cinnamon has crashed twice, some graphics issue with switching monitors. But no "blank stare" problem although shut down button was lost so had to power off and reboot.
If Linux Mint isn't responding, you can drop to a text prompt by pressing Alt-F1. Log in with your username and password, and then type

sudo reboot now

Enter your password again, and it will reboot neatly. Much cleaner than switching off the power.

The only dumb question is the one that you didn't ask because you thought it would make you look dumb.
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post #50 of 62 Old 07-29-2015 Thread Starter
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Re: Computer Upgrade

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Originally Posted by Rhapsody-NS27 View Post
I'm a little late and started making some responses to others here even though some things were already answered, I'll include it here.

I don't plan on going back to windows. I had played around with Ubuntu and Fedora in the past. But after having to fix my 5yr old laptop, I decided to just get an SSD and switch to linux full time. I went with Linux Mint Debian Edition (LMDE) 1 and now have version 2. I love it. Works great and does everything I would want. I still have the original hard drive with windows on it that's more of an extra storage drive but on very rare occasions (like work reasons) I'll switch back to windows for certain tasks. Otherwise, I'm sticking with linux. I've even modified the runlevel to 1 so I can work under text only mode. I just like having fun trying different things with the system.

Enjoy!




Chip, it might work with Virtualbox. I'm saying might because I'm testing it with an old version of Windows Server 2003 under linux. So far, it's working well and I can do what I need to under the virtual windows environment.



Ubuntu is usually a good starting point with linux. There's a lot out there. Linux Mint would be another good one, I think and is pretty popular in the linux crowd (from what I've heard).



I use Libreoffice, it's compatible with MS Office files.



There should be some other distros that allow older hardware w/low RAM to work. Just can't think of which off hand.
I tried that to no avail and then switched over to another desktop with enough RAM. I split the volume to run Linux Mint and Windows. So far Mint has crashed 8-10 times so have been tempted to sack the effort. Windows has not crashed on me since around 2000. I don't think I'm willing to spend my time going back 15 years when crashes occurred regularly. Working with Linux seems to be akin to having to go into DOS commands to rescue things. There isn't even a simple convenient Chkdsk command or Defrag option. Hmmmmmm.

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