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Derrick Whittet (Wintersdark)
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Gotta admit, I laughed.

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Added a E3D extruder, complete with 3D printed mount. Also a secondary part cooling fan with dual integrated LED's to illuminate the printing.

The main fan cooling the extruder heat sink is on all the time the extruder is on (wired directly to main power switch) as a disaster prevention feature: I never want that fan off, or the heat sink could hit temperatures resulting in the mount melting, and potentially cause a fire.

The secondary part cooling fan is wired to the motherboard and can be controlled via gcode, so I can have the printer change the part cooling fan speed mid print.

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The fuck?

Ban Muslims, so that your own, local American terrorists can't hurt them? This hurts my head.

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In other HTPC news, I'm experimenting with using Emby as my "back end" for Kodi.

Like Plex, Emby offers on the fly transcoding when streaming media, so I'm able to stream my media to phones/tablets when outside of my home network and not chew through my cellphone data plan so much, but Emby has a great Kodi add-on allowing it to provide media for your Kodi library. Plex lacks this, and Plex's apps/front end are terrible in comparison to Kodi.

As I use multiple devices, I need a good way to share libraries. Currently I use a MySQL library on my server which each Kodi instance connects to. This method works fine, but has a couple flaws.

First, it requires every Kodi instance to be on the same version. That can be a pain when updates are not available for every device at the same time. Second, it's kind of fragile. It's easy to "break" the database, and I've had to rebuild it several times over the years - this can happy as a result of the first point in fact. And third, it means there's no easy way to bulk edit media metadata without monkeying around with the database itself (risking breakage, and requiring SQL knowledge I lack).

Emby (theoretically) bypasses this. It should be seamless in Kodi, while also offering​ web based tools to manage media metadata, and also offering easy media streaming tools and apps of its own.

But, the proof is in the pudding. I'm going to set up a secondary installation using Emby as a back end while my main setup continues as is, and will see how it works in practice.

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I've run a fairly elaborate home theatre network for some years now with a variety of devices. My current main HTPC, a regular Intel Celeron J1800 based minipc, had recently been having some issues with random reboots that I've been unable to nail down.

I'm very picky about what I use there. For alternate TV's, such as a bedroom TV, I'm fine with lower powered systems that'll just run Kodi, but for the living room I want a wider feature set. It's important that it's upgradable, runs Kodi well, supports Netflix and Prime now that Amazon Canada sucks marginally less, and that it's reasonably future-proof.

I like to game on my living room TV as well, and have traditionally used Steam to stream my gaming rig to the TV.

Smart TV's are fairly terrible, as they never see software updates and are not very expandable. No streaming gaming.

Android boxes rarely allow for HD netflix, and are often hit or miss for quality. The Mi Box and WeTek Play2 are good options, however. Both are <$100 and do everything I need. The downside is they're pretty weak in terms of processing power, and would be basically limited to just playing Kodi+Netflix, no gaming.

A replacement motherboard was an option as well, and just keep the existing system as is. However, I needed to get a windows license for that system or revert to Linux - the former costs ~$120 and the later is a PITA (I'm never able to get great results from streaming apps and Kodi both, and struggle to get a good "10 foot" interface set up).

I ended up splurging somewhat, spending more than I could really afford, and getting a nVidia Shield (2017 version). It cost roughly as much as a new motherboard+windows license would have, and I was somewhat nervous about how good it would actually be in practice.

Those concerns were unfounded.

The Shield is an amazing piece of kit, and I regret not buying the 2015 version when it was released. It streams all my gaming flawlessly (holding 60fps at maxed settings in Dishonored), it's gamepad is fantastic if a smidge small for my huge paws, and has oodles of power. Its accessories work via wifi, with no lag. Controls the TV by CEC and IR, so you can turn both on or off easily. Voice control works smashingly - it's just Google's Assistant, after all.

It does everything my old HTPC did, and actually runs faster.

You can certainly build a stronger HTPC, but not anywhere near the Shield's price point.

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I think this is the single most absurdly dangerous machine I've ever seen someone make. Skip to 2:40 to see it in action.

The whole time he's showing the build, though, I couldn't stop thinking "Is there a single part of this design that isn't horrifying?"

What could possibly go wrong?

I can't help but wonder.

How many steam games get bought and never played, vs. how many are bought and played?

I ask, because I tend to do this on steam sales...

"Hey, that looks cool, but I'm already playing a couple games now... but for just a couple dollars, I'll grab it to play later!"

...enter library with 100+ games that have never been installed.

Just watched Star Wars Episode 3.5: Rogue One.

I'll stay spoiler free for this post, though if anyone asks, I make no promises in the comments.

Overall, it's an excellent installment in the franchise, and does a really fantastic job of setting up the original trilogy and adding weight to it - you see the cost the rebels paid, both in body and soul. Makes them feel more "real" if you will.

The supporting cast does a great job, but - and this is really my only complaint - they don't get nearly enough development time (read: any, really) for you to care much about them when the time comes.

But with that said, the story is great, the acting is great, it's a great movie overall and really helps the lead in to Episode IV be more than just a roll on bit of text. Good stuff!

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Here we go. Warm was nice while it lasted.

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Turned off lights and heading to bed, when I realise my half of the living room has a couple LEDs. Just a couple.
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