Right Left Confusion

2703B3B200000578-3012739-image-a-22_1427376204695I find it difficult telling my left from my right.

This has been an issue for as long as I can remember and I’ve had to develop means of overcoming it, and can now do so fairly successfully.
I am also Nigerian and grew up as part of a Yoruba family. Anyone that knows anything about the Yoruba people will tell you that we are big on one thing; respect.
The Yorubas value respect to an almost ridiculous extent. It’s not so much the thought of respecting your elders as the act of showing respect, whether you mean it or not.
There are many protocols and ways to show respect to different sets of people depending on their relationship to you. This ranges from special words to use when greeting them to postures to be taken during said greeting, etc. These words and postures differ based on several factors such as the person’s age, relationship to you, marital status, etc.
What does my issue with left and right have to do with being Yoruba you might ask? A lot actually.
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Book Review: The Martian by Andy Weir

the-martianThe Martian by Andy Weir is a Science fiction Novel that follows the events of a manned Mars mission called Ares 3. Things go wrong for the mission not long after they land on Mars and they have to abort, but in the process, the protagonist Mark Watney has an accident and is presumed dead. A series of circumstances occurred though that ensured that Mark didn’t actually die, however, by the time he regained consciousness, his colleagues had left the red planet, taking the ship with them. So, Mark found himself grounded on Mars, and had to find ways to survive, while devising a means of getting the attention of NASA, and ultimately, going back home.

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On things that suck

Life is weird

I’ve been writing on this blog for quite a while now, and even though I’ve been very infrequent in updating it, going back through the archives, I get a pretty decent snapshot of my life over the past five years or so. I can see the stuff I was into that is still relevant to me, and the stuff that seemed to be in phases. I might not write a lot of personal stuff on here, but certain articles remind me of something totally unrelated to its subject matter.
The only conclusion I can come to from all this is that life is weird.

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A new beginning

In less than 48hrs, I’ll be able embarking on a journey unlike any I’ve done before. Its a little scary, but I know it’s for the best, and in a way, I can’t wait to see what the future holds for Lil old me.

Raspberry Pi update

So, it’s been a while, and I thought I should post up an update to my travails with the Raspberry pi.
Since I last posted about it, I’ve probably pivoted like twice on what I’ve used it for, but all that isn’t important. What’s important is what it’s being used for at the moment.
On a related note, one of the pi’s died out on me recently. I blame the terribly inconsistent power supply and unstable power generating sets. It could just be that the SD card slot has a bent pin though. I haven’t really had time to examine it, and all the lights still come up when I put it on, so I’m still hopeful.
Since I have another pi and, for now at least, only need one, I’m not too bothered.

So, on to what I’m doing with it.
I decided that using one pi only for xbmc and another as a file server was a waste, so I decided to combine both functions into one, and so far, it seems to work quite nicely.
I am now running Raspbmc as the base distro, which is based on Raspbian, so I have a very familiar debian base to work with.
Once I got xbmc up and running, doing all the updates and what not, I installed “XBMCtorrent” addon.
XBMCtorrent basically does the same thing as Popcorntime, but it proceeds it. It works as you’ll expect, and if you don’t know what popcorntime is, Google it.
Once I had that installed, I configured a static IP so I could SSH into the OS from my laptop.
From console on my laptop, I did an apt-get update, installed samba and bit torrent sync.
I then configured some folders to sync from my laptop to the external hdd connected to the pi. Again, if your unfamiliar with samba or bittorrent sync, Google it! :).

So, now, I’ve got a fully functional xbmc box with online media streaming capability via xbmctorrent, and local storage via the external hdd connected to it where I have my media collection properly indexed with metadata by xbmc.
On the same box, I also have shared folder capability with samba, even to Windows boxes,  and Dropbox like syncing, albeit on a local network, across all my devices.

It’s a pretty sweet setup that I’m sure I’ll continue tweaking in the future, plus, now I have to look for something for the other pi to do, assuming it’s still working of course.

It’s live!

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CBC site homepage

It’s been a long time coming, but this past Sunday the CBC media team launched the Central Baptist Church Website over at http://centralbaptistchurchphc.org. It’s a mouthful, I know. We’re probably gonna have a shorter redirect for that in the future.

The site is built on joomla 2.5 with a premium template which has been heavily modified. It features several joomla for sliders, calendars, etc.

The site is still a work in progress as several pages are yet to bring filled. There is still lots to get done.
Kudos to all the guys in the team for rushing to ensure we had something presentable for Sunday.

Raspberry Pi as File server

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Raspbian running on the Pi

I’ve been using the Raspberry Pi as a home theatre PC for a while now, however, since it doesn’t have a dedicated storage, I have had issues getting media on to the TV. I initially used  Plex, with Plex media server running on my laptop, RasPlex running on the RPi and Plex clients for Android and iOS on my phone and iPad respectively. This setup worked for a while, but it meant that I had to have my laptop on all the time. Also, updates to plex would routinely break some of the functionality, and after a while, this got pretty frustrating. I finally decided to dump this method and reloaded the Pi’s SD card with OpenELEC.

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OpenELEC XBMC

OpenELEC is basically a stripped down embedded operating system running XBMC. It is lightweight and runs smoothly on the Pi. Once I had that installed though, I had to figure out a way to get my media to OpenELEC without needing my laptop to be on all the time. Theoretically, I could just connect an external hard drive to one of the USB ports of the RPi and play the media that way, however, that would mean I would have to remove it and connect to my laptop whenever I need to add or remove a file to it. This can get tedious really quickly. Instead, I decided to buy another Raspberry Pi, this time locally from the fine folks at CoCreation Hub.

I setup the second Pi as a file server which acts as storage for my media files streaming to OpenELEC on the other Pi, as well as general storage and backup server. For this, I used Raspbian (Debian Linux for Rapsberry Pi) with is the recommended Linux distribution for the Pi.

I did some preliminary configuration such as setting a static IP and creating users directly on the device with its video out hooked up to a tv and a keyboard connected to it.
Once I had it on a network, I did the rest of the configuration like device automount and samba (smb) file sharing over SSH on my Ubuntu laptop.

I also configured weekly backup of my files from ubuntu using the default backup utility over SFTP, as well as adding a permanent bookmark to the network drive to my file manager for easy access.

After doing all these, I now have an almost complete media centre and file storage/backup solution.

I’ll still continue tweaking and making necessary changes as time goes by. For example, i’m considering replacing OpenELEC with Raspbmc. I already have it flashed to a spare SD card. Its major advantage over OpenELEC for me at the moment is that it runs on a more traditional Linux OS foundation, and so I can do more with it, like running most XBMC addons, even those not in the official repos. That’s something to consider for the future.
For now though, I’m pretty happy with how things stand.

I didn’t go into a lot of details about the specifics of what I did, because most of it is already available online.

For now, the next thing to do is to complete migrating my media collection to the external Hard drive connected to the File server Pi, and then index it with movie posters, album art and all that good stuff.

I used a very nice tutorial from Linux Journal for pointers in configuring the Raspbian server, and everything you need to know about OpenELEC is readily available on their site and Wiki.

For reference, you can check out previous posts I have done on what I’ve been doing with the Raspberry Pi here and here.