Thursday, October 31, 2013

Too busy to blog!

I'm snowed under; long days helping a big facility to move premises. I've tried to take half term off too spend time with Sarah and James (the only boy left at home since his brothers went to Uni last month) but have wound up working two days so far this week - ho hum.

So; here are just a few technical things I had to get off my chest.
  • If you use a Blackmagic Ultrastudio Express (I do - it's a a great way of playing out HD/SDi for demo'ing equipment, calibrating monitors and displaying training material) then be aware that the current version of the app/driver (v. 9.8 currently) is very unstable on OS-X 10.9 Mavericks - use the previous version 9.7.8 instead - all here.
  • Do you ever need to demo/test DolbyE encoded material - this is the clip I use (from my pals at National Geographic)
  • Do you ever need to do audio shuffling within an HD/SDi signal - shuffle, adjust levels, correct phase reversals, delay (up to 2,400mS), maybe apply dynamics? The most effective way I've ever found of doing this is with an AJA HD10AM, a Yamaha 0196V and the MY8AE option card; £2.5k for full control of two audio groups within an SDi stream; You couldn't do that with anything from Bel, Snell & Wilcox, TC Electronic or any other manufacturer of audio processors.
  • Hard drives - "MTBF= 30k hrs"; inter-quartile range is where >50% of HD fails occur. A few last 100k hrs, some only 2hrs as I discovered when the replacement cloned hard drive in my media computer failed after a couple of hours of use. Thankfully I'd cloned it twice! Don't trust spinning hard drives. A motto for our age should be "Friends don't let friends use RAID5"!
That's it, Christmas can't come soon enough!

Sunday, October 06, 2013

Windows remote desktop for Raspberry Pi

It's not very open-source/Linux but the best remote desktop I've found so far for the Pi is the venerable Windows RDP (Citrix Winframe or whatever else you want to call it). I know you should be able to run an X-server and all would be well but I haven't been able to find a nice combo that works across all my Windows, Mac and Linux boxes; RDP is the only lingua franca.

So - to set it up on the Pi;

  1. Start up your Pi to the terminal prompt. 
  2. Type the following command "sudo apt-get install xrdp"
  3. If promoted enter your password (the default is "raspberry")
  4. Type "Y" and press enter.
  5. This is now installing xrdp onto your Pi which is the software we are going to use for the remote desktop connection.  Wait for it to complete.
  6. Restart your Pi.  We are going to check that xrdp is going to start up automatically.
  7. When your Pi has booted to the command prompt look for [ ok ] Starting Remote Desktop Protocol server : xrdp sesman.  This shows you that xrdp is installed and automatically starting up on start up of your Pi
It takes best part of half an hour to extract and install but once running it's the most responsive experience - far better than VNC and even better than Apple remote desktop. Not quite as good as sitting at the machine (or over an Amulet/Teradici network connection) but excellent none the less. 

If you want to get to it via your router or firewall open one port - TCP; 3389.
Client for OS-X, Client for most Linux versions.

An alternative guide from May 2016;