Also, virtualbox let me play with ubuntu, kubuntu, and xubuntu desktops and dear God it was nice to move things with a click.
(seriously, my bash script for mass-moving is thirty pages long)
New-to-me-to-use software recs
Virtualbox - it has both a gui and a local web interface, both of which I recommend highly. There's a version for every OS. It's stupidly easy to create the basics, and the steep learning curve is when you get fancy. You install as bootable directly through the virtualbox interface and then open it up and use it like any OS. I haven't tried it on a windows machine yet, but from what I can tell, there's no difference. If you've wanted to check out other OSs but are enslaved to Windows, seriously, this is fantastic. Trust me when I say I did my best to make a mess of it, and it still didn't destroy the universe.
The web gui is phpVirtualBox; the only flaw is that while it walks you through creating the VM, the first-run wizard that loads and installs the OS isn't there, or at least, I can't find it. Easily fixed; before double clicking to start teh machine, go to settings, storage and mount the ISO file to the virtual dvd/cd like you would if you were installing any OS. The only other problem is I can't make the mouse function lock, so I have two mouse arrows and it's weird.
This really is the most ridiculously easy program to use. And here I was trying to use vmware like a sucker.
Mediatomb also has the ability to find and play youtube, apple trailers, and a lot of flexibility on adding other web-based media if you write the transcoding.
Calibre - this isn't new to anyone, but I just started using the server aspect and that part is damn awesome. After staring the server, the web interface loads and it has nice organization. When you're away from home but you totes forgot to add the Wheel of Time series to your ereader, it used to be you'd have to cry into your ereader and curse the vagaries of technology, but now, you just login (if your computer happens to be on at home; wait, you left your computer at home?) and download it. I know all of us have had that moment.
Things That Are Annoying Me
I did say this is my Weekend of Slothful Indulgence, right? Right.
1.) I cannot find a decent apache gui. I get it's complicated. I even get that a web based gui can't (I do not believe this, but whatever) cover all complicated functionality. I do not get the idea that because command line and config files were good enough for the cavemen chipping out the code on stone punch cards we should all look askance at a goddamn working gui to take care of the basic functionality and make it easy to monitor. Coding is fun; drudgery-coding is not. I have written many stupid bash scripts in my time, but none have come close to the ones that I had to write to tell me periodically that my apache was still running correctly. Using Webmin is nice and all, but I want a dedicated goddamn gui.
2.) VLC does not have UPnP right now. Just. Why? Why why why.
By the way, has anyone used mythbuntu yet? I'm loading a copy into virtualbox to play with, but I was wondering what exactly I'm looking at. Is it just recording TV or is there more to it?
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