Ender’s Game Official Trailer #1 (HD) Harrison Ford

Released the other day is the Official Ender’s Game trailer. Although I posted on Google+ about it, I figured that I should also post about it here. Ender’s Game is a Science Fiction novel set in at a non-descriptive future date in Earths History.

Although I read this book many many years ago for the first time, and parts of it have always stayed with me. I don’t think that I fully grasped some of the [looking back] adult themes through out the book. But since then I have re-read it, matured, and speculated. I’ve read most of the follow up books as well and highly recommend reading it before the movie comes out! 🙂

XBMC 12 : Advanced Launcher : Netflix no sound fix

So since I updated to XBMC 12 (Frodo) Netflix hasn’t worked quite right. It would load, it would stream, but it wouldn’t play sound, and well thats a game stopper.

I have sound in XBMC. If I logged over to the desktop I have sound when I open a webbrowser and load youtube.com to play something. But if XBMC is running (either by launching it from the desktop or booting into it) I wouldn’t get any sound when using Advanced Launcher to load Netflix.

So as far as I can tell XBMC is grabbing control of the sound hardware and not playing nice with other applications. So how do I get it to play nice? Well I could probably spend some time to delve into customizing my .asoundrc, I can google the problem some more, or I can revisit the first thread I read

Linux HOW-TO The Complete Linux N00bs’ Guide To Installing ZSNES on XMBCbuntu

Specifically post #52. This sentence got me to thinking, “i solved this by changing my audio output device to HDA Nvidia, HDMI1 in the system settings of xbmc.” Now while I don’t have an NVIDIA card, perhaps changing the audio output device, and leaving the audio pass through device might fix my problem.

You will find this under:
System -> System -> Audio output

Sure enough now when I launch Netflix from XBMC I have sound. Now I can watch House of Cards. 🙂

Upgrading from XBMC 11 (eden) to XBMC 12 (frodo) on XBMCBuntu

With XBMC 12 (Frodo) being released January 29th it was time to think about upgrading my HTPC. Since it’s been a little over the a week since its release I figured if there were any show stoppers I would have read about them over at the XBMC forums, so I figured last night that it was time.

As with any serious upgrade you should always take back ups first. So I utilized rsync to create a back up of my boot drive just in case. Here’s what I did:

rsync -av / /path/to/backupdir --exclude "/path/to/media"

Obviously if you are going to do this you should personalize it for your machine. I didn’t want to backup my media files so the exclude makes sure that doesn’t happen. Once that’s done its time to upgrade. I wanted to make sure that everything was current before I upgraded XMBC so I ran the following:

sudo apt-get update

Next I ran the following command.

sudo apt-get upgrade-dist

About 10 minutes later the whole machine was done upgrading including XBMC. So I rebooted to make sure that it would still boot, and viola XBMC 12!

The first thing that I noticed was a pop up error saying “Error: script failed: randomitems.py”. To get rid of this error delete the script. It has been replace in Frodo by skin.widgets.
source: http://forum.xbmc.org/showthread.php?tid=79378&page=34

The script is the script.randomitems folder and while I haven’t deleted yet here’s where it is if you want to.

Under Windows 7:

Go to C:\Users\YOURUSERNAME\AppData\Roaming\XBMC\addons

Under XBMCBuntu (and other Linux distros):

/home/tmib/.xbmc/addons

Lastly I should note that if you are using the AEON skin like I do you will encounter this error.

Next is that navigation no longer made noise. Well if navigation noises don’t work I should try playing something so I went into TV Shows it told me that my art needed to be updated and that it would not require any downloading. It should prompt you with a Yes/No to do it now. I chose to do it now. Trying to fire up an Episode was also soundless. To fix this I had to go into System -> System -> Audio Output, scroll down and play with my Audio output Device and Passthrough output Device. You may need to do the same.

Now to get caught up on CSI right? Well sadly no. While watching a video I decided to fire up my web-browser and connect to XBMC wouldn’t you know it, connection timed out. So I went to the box and opened a terminal and ran ifconfig. Huh eth0 isn’t there. Next step I ran:

lshw -C network

The very first line read “*-network UNCLAIMED”. That tells me that the driver isn’t being loaded right and it isn’t claiming the device. Funny thing about the ASUS P8H77-V, it has an Atheros ethernet controller. Ubuntu as well as XBMCBuntu does not have the driver for it, so you have to jump through some hoops. I’m pretty sure that it is actually an AR8161, but I’m not totally sure. Either way though there is an excellent site that covers detailed instructions on how to get it working. The short version is to the compat-wireless drivers. Luckily I still had the package I downloaded last time. Here is a link to where I downloaded the version that I already had 2012-03-12-p. You may want to try a more current version, but this one worked for me in the past.

The article that pointed me in this direction is linked below in case you don’t know how to compile a driver and install it.

AR8161 ethernet using compat-wireless

Hopefully you do not run into the same problems that I did upgrading, but if you do maybe this article will help you figure it out. Good luck!

UPDATE: After writing this I received a pop up notification that read: “Random Items script: Add-on has been marked as broken in the repository. Would you like to disable it on your system? Yes/No”. I selected Yes, and hopefully that means the next time that I start XBMC the error will be gone.

Netflix on XBMCBuntu (Using Wine)

I wrote this awhile ago and forgot to post it. So even though XBMC 12 (Frodo) was released a few days ago I figured that I should finally post it

One of the things that I’ve wanted my HTPC to be able to do for about a year now is run Netflix. Since I’m running Linux (specifically XBMCBuntu) this was really a pipe dream unless I wanted to setup a virtual machine to run it under. Since my boxes hardware is fairly low end with out a dedicated video card I didn’t think that it was much of an option. Then I happened across a blog posting with a ppa for netflix. Victory at last! Here’s the instructions to get netflix running under wine on XBMCBuntu. Enjoy.

Step 1

A. Go to your desktop. I do this by quitting out of XBMC and then logging into XBMCBuntu at the login prompt.

B. Open a command prompt and Run the following commands.

sudo apt-add-repository ppa:ehoover/compholio
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install netflix-desktop

C. run netflix-desktop now.

The reason that you are running this after installing it is that it will need to download and install a few additional packages. Once it’s finished log in with your Netflix account, and test playing something. Once your done quit out of netflix by clicking on the big white x in the circle in the upper right. If you dont see it there, thats ok, moving the mouse there will make it appear.

D. Before we close the terminal window we have one more thing to do. In your homedir create a file called “netflix.sh” and paste the following into it:

#!/bin/bash

# turn off screensaver/screenblank
xset s off

# turn off dpms
xset -dpms

# run netflix
/usr/bin/netflix-desktop

# turn on dpms
xset +dpms

# turn on screensaver/screenblank
xset s on

Step 2

A. Log back into XBMC or start XBMC from the start menu.

B. Navigate to Programs, and install Advanced Launcher.

C. Configure Advanced Launcher.

  • Navigate to Programs.
  • Open Advanced Launcher.
  • Open the context menu. (by hitting c)
  • Select Create New Launcher.
  • Select Stand Alone.
  • Select Home Folder.
  • Select the netflix.sh that we created in the last step.
  • Backspace “%ROM%” and click done.
  • The name should already be netflix, so either rename it or click done.
  • Select the platform. It’s my understanding that this shouldn’t matter. I personally selected Linux.
  • click ok. Alternatively you can pick the select the thumb nail path which is what your expected to do.
  • click ok. Alternatively you can pick the select the fan art path which is what your expected to do.

Next highlight the new Netflix entry that you just made and do the following:

  • open the context menu (by hitting C)
  • Select edit launcher
  • Select Advances Modifications
  • Select Toggle XBMC into Windows Mode and enable it.

Step 3

Next we want to add a menu option to XBMC so we don’t have to drill down as much.

  • Add Advanced Launcher to Favorites
  • Go into “Settings” / “Skin” / “Shortcuts/Backdrops”
  • Select “Favorite #”, then “Add Favorite” and select “Advanced Launcher”
  • Activate

source 1: http://www.iheartubuntu.com/2012/11/ppa-for-netflix-desktop-app.html
source 2: http://wiki.xbmc.org/index.php?title=HOW-TO:Edit_the_home_screen_skin_files#How_to_add_a_new_button_to_the_Menu
source 3: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NkqQreNpRyg

*** Updated on 03/06/2013 ***
added step 1 part D, and expanded upon step 2 part C

Disney buys Lucas Films and Star Wars!

Are you serious? Why yes I am. Not only is Lucas selling Lucasfilm Ltd AND Star Wars to Disney, but the article also specifically mentions a new Star Wars movie to be released in 2015.

Here are a few quotes:
“STAR WARS: EPISODE 7 feature film targeted for release in 2015.”

“$4.05 billion, with Disney paying approximately half of the consideration in cash and issuing approximately 40 million shares at closing.”

“Star Wars Episode 7 is targeted for release in 2015, with more feature films expected to continue the Star Wars saga and grow the franchise well into the future.”

” In 2015, we’re planning to release Star Wars Episode 7 – the first feature film under the “Disney-Lucasfilm” brand. That will be followed by Episodes 8 and 9 – and our long term plan is to release a new Star Wars feature film every two to three years. We’re very happy that George Lucas will be creative consultant on our new Star Wars films and that Kathleen Kennedy, the current Co-Chair of Lucasfilm, will executive produce. George handpicked Kathy earlier this year to lead Lucasfilm into the future. She’ll join Disney as President of Lucasfilm, reporting into Walt Disney Studios Chairman Alan Horn and integrating and building the Star Wars franchise across our company.”

Dear George,

What were you thinking?

Signed,
Everyone

source: http://thewaltdisneycompany.com/disney-news/press-releases/2012/10/disney-acquire-lucasfilm-ltd

Dragonlance Update: the animated feature length film!

As some of you may have heard by now the pre-production animated movie based upon the famous and revered fantasy of Maragret Weis and Tracy Hickman Dragonlance series is in the works. The latest news is that Kiefer Sutherland has signed on as the voice of Raistlin Majere. The story is based on the “Dragons of Autumns Twilight” book of the Chronicles series.

Some of the other voice talent already signed on include: Lucy Lawless as Goldmoon (Xena), Michael Rosenbaum (Smallville) as Tanis, Michelle Trachtenberg (Buffy) as Tika, Jason Marsden (Fairly Odd Parents, Invader Zim and Teen Titans) as Tasslehoff, and Rino Romano (The Batman, Teen Titans) as Caramon Majere. More cast members names can be found in the cast section of the official web site.
Read more “Dragonlance Update: the animated feature length film!”