I started using Plex media server just over 1 year ago, and t first I was not sure if it would meet my needs. I wanted something that would organize my media and share it to multiple devices within my house. Now, I’m not saying that Plex is the only solution that does this, there are many others and I’ve used a few different options in the best, including Samsung Share Manager and Serviio media server, both of which worked fine most of the time, but they didn’t really jump off the stage as being above the rest of crowd.
Plex met a few conditions that I had that other solutions did not.
Allowed sharing with others outside my home
Allowed access to my content when away from home
Display posters/pictures of the media, along with a description of the movie or TV show.
Plex can be broken down into basically 2 parts. The first being the Media Server part, which you will need to stream to multiple devices in your house and allow sharing of your media. The second is the App or client, be it the Plex Home Theatre(US spelling is used on their website – Theater) or an app for IOS, Android or Windows phone.
I have Plex Media Server running on a spare desktop PC running Fedora Linux, and have 9 TB of disk in a raid 5 configuration, giving me 6 TB of space to store my media. I break down the organization into Kids Stuff, TV Shows (both SD and HD), Movies (again, both SD and HD) and Music. Of course, you can organize your media any way you like, but it came in handy with my method when setting up my folders within Plex and sharing with other users, I was able to restrict access for my daughter to only the Kids stuff.
Plex Media Server can also run on Windows (32 bit and 64 bit), FreeBSD (64 bit only) and MacOS, with the Linux offerings being 32 bit or 64 bit and available in Debian or RPM packages. It can also be installed on a variety of NAS systems.
Plex clients are not free for Android, IOS or Roku, but well worth the money, though if you want them for free, consider getting a Plex Pass, which gets early access to new features along with the clients for free. GoogleTV and Samsung Smart TV’s and Blu-ray players also have access to a Plex application. Since I mentioned Plex Pass, I should say that I purchased it, mostly for early access, multiuser support, the free application for Android and to support development of Plex. I bought a lifetime pass, but monthly and yearly subscriptions are available.
I do not work for Plex, nor have I received any compensation from them what so ever, this is just my honest feedback on an awesome application that is worth checking out.
We’re already over 2 months into 2014 and this is my first entry of the year. I’m still adjusting to being a parent, and having less free time than before, but then, I don’t recall having much to begin with. Well, this someone has set a few goals for this year.
I have a desire to develop an application to do scheduling and generate a phone list for search and rescue. It needs to allow administrators to add, edit and manage the user information, generate a weekly schedule (for either 1 or 2 crews) and generate a phone list, which can be viewed online or emailed to members of a distribution list. I discovered that Google has a custom script engine, and decided that using Google Drive, Docs and Scripts to complete this would be a good learning experience. I’ve begun working on the tutorials available at www.codecademy.com.
2. Switch from my laptop to a Chromebook.
90% of what I use my laptop for is online. I purchased a DellInspiron 14 back in August 2011, partly for me to use while watching TV, and since at the time my wife was off work for 3 months after having knee replacement surgery. I am also a big fan of Google, so why not a Chromebook? Selection is still a bit limited in Canada, but the prices for the devices seem right, ranging from around $199 to $349. I think I want to get one of the 13″ displays, so that narrows the options down a lot, pretty much the HP Chromebook 14, the Toshiba Chromebook or (if I’m a little crazy) the Pixel.
3. Get Google Glass.
It may seem a strange goal, but I want to be one of those people wearing Google Glass. I see potential to use it for work, navigation, and I’d like to figure out the logistics of using it while flying a plane. Think about it, it could be handy for general aviation navigation, landing approach plate overlays, and could even be handy for aerial search and rescue. Since the device is not available in Canada yet and still costs $1,500 USD, this could be pushed back until next year. NOTE: If anyone that currently has Glass, wants to donate their pair, hit me up (leighATleighcDOTcom). I suspect getting Glass to fit with an aviation headset is going to be real tricky/fun.
But I am back, so I’ll give a bit of a recap of some of the activities that I was up to this past summer, and most of the fall.
I have started flying again, which is a lot more expensive than when I earned my wings. I’ve managed a few left seat rides this summer, though not as many as I would like due to cost and schedules. I still need to get used to cross wind landings again, loosen up the death grip on the yoke, and as my dad was more than happy to point out.. “You have flaps, why not use them” so yeah, I need to use them again too, especially considering how much I did when I learned to fly.
In the spring I had signed up to volunteer with the Civil Air Search and Rescue Association, which meant I had another reason to go flying, though mostly in the right seat acting as a navigator. Who could ask for a better way to spend their Saturday mornings than going to a flight?
This fall I also started helping out as an instructor/supervisor as one of the local Air Cadet Squadrons, mostly teaching aviation related subjects to kids aged between 12 and 18. I figured it was good to give back to a program that I got so much out of when I was younger.
And I’ll back up a bit, we, being my wife and I, were able to take a summer vacation in Jamaica. We stayed at the beautiful Couples Swept Away resort in Negril, along the western coast. Oh how I can’t wait to go back, though it may be a few years before we have the cash and free time to get back.
Oh, and this summer we also adopted a little girl… so you can guess how busy we are now.
Synopsis: An FBI agent and an Interpol detective track a team of illusionists who pull off bank heists during their performances and reward their audiences with the money.
This one may not be a re-make, at least that I know of, which is surprising in Hollywood these days. Now You See Me has a decent cast, with Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Harrelson, Morgan Freeman (yes, he should narrate every bodies life), Michael Caine (Legendary) and Mrs. Borat… Isla Fisher.
Will Smith is a class act. This is not his first appearance on the Graham Norton show (last time he did the theme from the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.), this time he raps with his son, does part of the Fresh Prince theme again, but this time with DJ Jazzy Jeff, and then gets joined by Alfonso and they all do the Carlton Dance… and they aren’t done there… Graham joins them and they all do a quick Apache by The Sugarhill Gang.
Synopsis: After the crew of the Enterprise find an unstoppable force of terror from within their own organization, Captain Kirk leads a manhunt to a war-zone world to capture a one man weapon of mass destruction.
Lens flare Ho! Yup, were getting ready for J.J. Abrams continuation of the Star Trek franchise he helped reboot in 2009. The complete story can probably be pasted together from all the trailers that have been released, with the exception of the ending… but we can assume Kirk and crew win. All the same actors are back from the first film to reprise their roles and are joined by the gorgeous Alice Eve as Dr. Carol Marcus and Sherlock… errr, I mean Benedict Cumberbatch as Khan Noonien Singh.
Props to Audi for this one, pitting Spock vs. Spock in this fun loving commercial for the brand new S7. Not only does it show off some of the features of the car, it is a decent little promo for Star Trek.
Here we go with this weeks edition of Best of the Week.
Movie Trailer of the Week:
Iron Man 3 – In theatres May 3rd, 2013 (Earlier in other parts of the globe)
Synopsis: When Tony Stark’s world is torn apart by a formidable terrorist called the Mandarin, he starts an odyssey of rebuilding and retribution.
As much as I have enjoyed the Iron Man films, I do hope this is the last one in the series. Robert Downey Jr. has done a great job as Tony Stark, but it is time to put the suit to bed. RDJ is joined by Don Cheadle as Col. James Rhodes, the lovely Gwyneth Paltrow as Pepper Potts and joined by Ben Kingsley who takes on the role of the main protagonist, the Mandarin.
NOTE: I wrote the above portion on Wednesday, before seeing the film for an advanced screening on Thursday… and of course, it is now Saturday, so most people will have already seen the film.
YouTube Video of the Week:
Honest Trailers – Iron Man 2
I figure, why not, since we’re on the subject already… Here is a different take on Iron Man 2, done by the fine folks at Screen Junkies (The same YouTube channel that I recommended you subscribe to a few weeks ago).
News Article of the Week:
School cancelled due to nice weather. http://www.krmg.com/news/news/local/school-cancelled-due-nice-weather/nXgXY/
This is pretty much every kids dream, or at least kids that don’t live in Canada where we get snow days and 2 to 3 “professional development” days a month. I must say it is a novel idea to give the kids a nice day off, and since the school is located in Washington state, they probably see a lot of rainy days.
As always, I’m still open to suggestions for other categories, and for nominations to get included on the list. You can let me know at: oftheweekATleighcDOTcom
An open letter to Mitsubishi Canada about your OEM rear parking sensors.
Earlier this year, my wife and I, shopped for a new vehicle. We had some fairly simple criteria to find the vehicle we were looking for to replace our existing 2003 SuzukiAerio.
AWD/4WD, either all time or switch-able.
Higher seating position.
Seating for 4+.
Plenty of cargo space.
Great fuel economy.
Key less Entry.
After looking through our options, doing research online, and doing a few visits to the local dealerships, we had narrowed our options down to the HondaCR-V, NissanRogue and MitsubishiRVR (Outlander Sport in the USA).
After many test drives, even more research online and after seeing the colour she liked best, my wife decided that the Mitsubishi RVR was the best choice. It was a decent size, had heated seats, one of the best warranties in the business, great fuel economy and it was available a nice blue colour.
Although we (more like I) wanted the GT, it wasn’t quite within our budget, so we went with the SE 4WD, which did not have the remote start, but it was an available option, and we also decided that getting the front and rear parking sensors would be useful. So adding on $1,200 in accessories ($600 each for the car starter and sensors), we thought we were getting every thing we needed, and before you ask, we went with the manufacturer accessories so that they would be designed and compatible with the RVR, and get covered by the manufacturers warranty. Oh, it also helped that the dealer gave us what we were looking for on the trade in, and we got a $500 gas card.
Here is where the fun started. We picked up the car on February 2nd, without either of the options we bought, as both had to be ordered in. So, we wait a week and the car starter arrives and was installed in 1 day… so far so good, sensors are still on order. February ends, still no sensors… Mid March, sensors arrive, take the car in, oh no, some part of the rear sensors was broken and they need to order replacements. March ends, still waiting.
Finally, April arrives, and so do the sensors. Car goes into the dealer on Tuesday, but no, the dealer did no know they needed 4 sensors for the rear bumper and only received 2. On the good part here, the sales person that sold us the car loaned us his Outlander. Wednesday, waiting… Thursday, the extra sensors arrive, but they only have time to install the front ones. Finally Friday arrives and we get the RVR back.
The rear sensors suck, yes, the Mitsubishi parking sensors that they manufacture and sell for their own vehicles is bad. The beeper is located in the rear bumper, not wired into the cars sound system, which make it nearly impossible to hear over the radio, let alone the engine. My wife contacted the dealer, Loch Lomond Mitsubishi in Saint John, NB about this on the weekend after we got the car back, they said there is nothing they can do about the volume, and maybe we should go to an after-market shop to see if they can do anything, but they would get us contact information at Mitsubishi Canada. Really, you want us to go spend more money on your product that doesn’t work right?
Well, she patiently waited 2 weeks with no further contact from the dealer, so she decided to reach out to Mitsubishi Canada on her own, and sent them an email (see below) on Friday April 19th. Now, I figure that a large company like Mitsubishi should be able to respond to complaints within 3 to 5 business days, but we have not heard anything back from them as of end of business day today, Monday April 29th.
Now I am putting the ball in your court Mitsubishi, we have been relatively patient, but remain highly un-satisfied by the quality of the accessory we purchased and the complete lack of any semblance of customer service on your part. Since I am posting this on my blog, and will be sharing it via Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr, you will have multiple ways to contact me or my wife.
//Begin Wife’s Email
I am Very Disappointed in the Lack of Customer Care I have been show on this issue. I was under the impression that Loch Lomond Mitsubishi was a different type of car dealer, but it turns out you are just like all the rest. Now that you have your Money, who cares about the Customer. I have been in contact with your Service department and told them about my issue and was told to go get it fixed somewhere else, Mitsubishi will not fix their own product.
I am sorry, but I had thought you were better than this. I will let you know that I will be posting my complaint on both your Facebook page and Mitsubishi Canada’s Facbook page. I will also be posting it to any Blog or Web page I can find to Voice my dissatisfaction with you and your product. When I was looking to purchase my new vehicle I saw so many nice things said about Mitsubishi and their service. I am very saddened to find I did not look hard enough to see that they were lies. I will make sure the next person does not go in with the same rainbow coloured glasses that I did. I will make sure as many people as I can, will know what you are really like. Your just after the sale, just like all the rest and cannot be trusted to Keep your word about your Customer Service.
Synopsis: A trio of bodybuilders in Florida get caught up in an extortion ring and a kidnapping scheme that goes terribly wrong. Michael Bay films don’t normally get me excited, especially after the lens flare filled trilogy about transforming robots from my childhood that has been destroyed, and I can never get those moments back. This might make the list of safe films that Bay has been involved with. Pain & Gain pairs up Marc Wahlberg with Dwayne Johnson in an action comedy based on a true story.
I’m a big fan of Mr. Branson. He started out with a small record store and turned it into a global empire that includes airlines, cellular service, recording and more stores, just look at the complete list here. Now here he is announcing what seems to be a late April Fool’s joke, giving airline passengers the ability to order drinks and food for other’s they find attractive, and sending them a personalized hello message. I would never use it, but I’m sure there are others that will take full advantage of this new service.
Synopsis: A veteran assigned to extract Earth’s remaining resources begins to question what he knows about his mission and himself.
This has nothing to do with the Elder Scrolls series of video games, believe me. Here we are taking a look at another story about our own future, a look into a post war Earth where we are forced to re-think everything we know… kind of like the Matrix, but with no blue or red pills. Oblivion stars Tom Cruise in the main role, and he is joined by Olga Kurylenko (Quantum of Solace), Andrea Riseborough (New to me, but cute), and the man should should narrate my life, Morgan Freeman.
Again, we won’t understand most of the lyrics, and we get to watch the South Korean pop sensation dance around silly well being moderately dressed… though I think he has the dressier version of MC Hammer‘s parachute pants on. Let’s help pad PSY’s retirement fund, as his newest video is only a week old and hovering around 150 million hits on YouTube. Oh, and does anyone know what a mother father gentleman is?
Synopsis: The life story of Jackie Robinson and his history-making signing with the Brooklyn Dodgers under the guidance of team executive Branch Rickey.
I may not big a big fan of Baseball, or a lot of other sports, but the Jackie Robinson story is important. It not only changed baseball, but a lot of other sports as well. The biggest name to star in this film is Harrison Ford, and he is joined by one of my favourites, Alan Tudyk and Chadwick Boseman, who will take on the main role.
News Article of the Week:
Researcher hacks aircraft controls with Android smartphone. http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/04/11/hacking_aircraft_with_android_handset/
I’m and android user and I’m a pilot. This hits close to home, well, sort of. The gentlemen that did this is also an android fan and developer, and also a pilot. His main reason behind doing this little experiment was to open the eyes of the aviation industry to the fact that a lot of the systems used to monitor commercial aircraft are not secure. His presentation is great, but does leave out a lot of key information that will keep your everyday users from taking over the flight your on. If it helps, the FAA and EASA ere made aware of his findings months ago and are already working on fixes.
Meme of the Week:
Dogs wearing Pantyhose
This is an odd little fetish isn’t it. This fad seems to be taking China by storm. After the original image from Chinese social network Weibo user Ulatang on April 2nd, hundreds of these photos have started popping up all over the internet. It’s almost like a strange new version of dogshaming.
As always, I’m still open to suggestions for other categories, and for nominations to get included on the list. You can let me know at: oftheweekATleighcDOTcom