Raspberry Pi – first (XBMC) impressions

Last week I received my Raspberry Pi, after three months of waiting. In short: it was worth the wait. I first installed Debian 6 from Farnell’s (where I bought my Pi) OS Download Center. I did not play much with Debian, so I did not get a good impression of it. The OS seemed pretty usable on the Pi, though I experienced some hickups while browsing (using the default browser, I couldn’t find a package for Chrome). Read on for my first impressions with it and a video demonstrating the Pi’s movie playback capability.

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Installing OpenELEC on the Raspberry Pi

OpenELEC suggests building the OS yourself. I did not want to go through the hassle of doing that, so I tried some pre-compiled images and then upgraded to the latest build. Disclaimer: this is what I did to get it running (there might be a faster way, but this works for me).

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Notes 2.0: fully optimized for Android tablets!

I just released Notes 2.0 yesterday. It’s fully optimized for Honeycomb and pre-Android 3.0 tablets (like the Galaxy Tab running 2.2)! Read on for the most important new features.

Notes 2.0 - now fully optimized for Android Honeycomb tablets!

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AMD Fusion E-350 HTPC with XBMC

After playing around with my Netgear NTV-550, I wanted something more user friendly, more powerful and more beautiful. So I decided to build an HTPC (Home Theater PC) based on AMD’s new Fusion E-350 APU (Accelerated Processing Unit). The E-350 APU offers low power usage, integrated Radeon HD 6310 graphics and slightly better performance than ION-based systems. My goal was to build an HTPC that is small, silent and able to play full-HD content on my network. I am using XBMC with the Aeon MQ2 skin which allows the device to play every popular media format, be user friendly and look stunningly beautiful (read on for pictures of the HTPC itself and screenshots of XBMC).

XBMC + Aeon main screen: movies

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Running Android 2.2 (Froyo) on a Dell Vostro laptop

I came across the Android x86 project today: a project to port Android to the x86 platform (meaning that it would be able to run on ‘normal’ pc’s, laptops and netbooks). They just released the Froyo (2.2)-version, so I tried it on my Dell Studio 15 (HD4570 graphics card), but it didn’t work. The graphics looked very weird, showing all kind of artifacts. Same story for my Dell Inspiron 8100 (nVidia GeForece2Go graphics card): it boots, but is unusable due to graphic artifacts.

Dell Vostro 1510 running Android 2.2 (Froyo)

It did run pretty smoothly on a Dell Vostro 1510 (nVidia GeForce 8600M-GS). Read on for my small review of the Android x86 project.

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Synology DS110j NAS – a short review

Synology is a well-known brand within the NAS market, offering solutions for home users as well as corporate enterprises. Last week, when I was looking for a NAS (Network Attached Storage) to replace the Western Digital Desktop Elements 2TB external USB hard drive I was using, I came across the Synology DiskStation DS110j, a budget-friendly one-bay NAS. I searched for reviews, and the DS110j turns out to be a pretty awesome NAS for it’s price, so I bought it at RouterCenter.nl for € 135. Read on for a short review.

Synology DiskStation DS110j NAS box

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Hello techblog!

I’m a freelance webdesigner, YouTube pianist and tech guy. This is my personal IT/tech-related blog where I will post short how-to’s, code snippets and other stuff. I’m also using this blog to improve my English (although my English skills are already pretty good). Feel free to check out my portfolio or my YouTube piano covers!

Dell Studio 15 running Mac OS X (Snow Leopard)

Just to test some settings here’s a picture of my laptop (a Dell Studio 15) running Mac OS X in VMWare.

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