Old code never dies..

From: Mike Harrison 

Rambling while watching a long slow database load:

I got a strange call last night. Seems a pager company, that bought a 
pager company.. that bought a pager company... that bought a local pager 
company that was the dregs from another local pager company that somewhere 
in the late 1990's I wrote an SMTP mail server in Perl that gatewayed to 
alphanumeric pagers via the TAP protocol.. had a server issue. It's the 
only production C code I ever wrote, and it was munged from someone else's 
example code. Once upon a time it made a lot of money as e-pageme.com
(I used to charge $1 a month for the service, per pager..)

I SSH'd in.. rebooted it.. and its magically working again.

Seems pagers have become the medical worlds secret communications layer..
it's the one way to always contact a doctor, no matter what, because 
pagers are still allowed where cell phones are not.

That project taught me several things, including that most "magic" is best 
performed as a service for a small fee. It also reminds me that some 
things never ever die, even when you want them to, and that I should do a 
better job of making sure what I do is the right thing to do, and done 
well. I'm a big hypocrite on that point, most of what I do for a living 
barely qualifies as duct tape and zip-ties, although time has proven 
most of my kludges to be enduring.

It also reminded me, talking to the technical guys at the latest owners of 
this abortion... that few people understand the lowest levels of 
anything.. the "magic" that is a protocal like TAP
(Telecommunicator/Telelocator Alphanumeric Protocol).

Mediatomb... or better?

From: Mike Harrison 

I'm diving into things I would not normally do at home, at the request of 
Princess Nancy and am wondering if ya'll had advice.

Her goal is encoding a big rubber tub of music and audio CD's and making 
them available to a player in her office, making the tub go away.

I tried to buy her a Logitech Squeezebox...
but she balked at the price. For now.

So, using what I have laying around I updated a Chumby Classic with Zurks 
offline firmware:   http://forum.chumby.com/viewtopic.php?id=7831
which works very well.. impressive. She likes the Chumby because it is 
cute, the speaker is good enough for her uses (quite background music).

I'm using a little Asus Atom netbook as a server. I tried using it in 
Squeezebox mode, but after burning some time playing with setting up 
"logitechmediaserver" (the current version of SqueezeServer) I did an 
"apt-get remove --purge logitechmediaserver" It seems to be quite the 
kludge with lots of competing documentation.

Following Zurks notes in a Readme file, I installed MediaTomb as a 
UPnP/DLNA server on the Netbook. I'm impressed. The Chumby does it well 
enough, and enabled a webserver for managing the playlist. It also worked 
very well with my Android Samsung Note II (I'm still liking it..) using 
"MediaHouse" as an App.

My Asus RT16 has a "minidlna" server in it, but it seems to be picky
about what it talks to. The Chumby can not see files in the folders,
but my phone dos.

I've decided to go down this road and do it well.

So, my question is: Is MediaTomb the best choice for a UPnP/DLNA
server? I see a lot of options.

What are ya'll liking for a UPnP/DLNA server and
what else are you using it for?

Mike Harrison   bogon@geeklabs.com  cell: 423.605.6943