File server – music server – HTPC

Now that I have my Lightroom workflow set up nicely and my iTunes library organised centrally… I’m getting aware of a new problem with my current hardware setup !!
Because of the use of DNG photo files and MP3 files that have a low compression, I’m using up disk space fast !! And due to the fact that I don’t want to loose these files, I’m also duplicating them onto another drive, so that drive is getting full also.
So it seems that I need some new hardware to accommodate this.

First of, let me give you a small overview of what I have available right now:

  • Laptop with 80gb ( 2 years old )
  • Desktop with 80gb ( many years old )
  • USB/FireWire external HD with 250gb
  • USB external HD with 500gb

What are my needs for the new system:

  • Less external devices ! ( those external HD’s are great but take up space )
  • Central networked system so I can get to my files from my laptop or other devices if needed

But given these features, there are several possible solutions. Let me sum up a few:

  • A networked external HD
  • A NAS, that will act as networked storage center
  • A low level server system ( linux kind ) with enough HD’s
  • A high level server system, guessing more like the Windows Home Server kind
  • A HTPC

So you see, to much options. Thus I have to define my needs in much more detail…
This brings me to following extra needs:

  • RAID would be a suburb option
  • Music streaming/serving

And that sums it up, so looking at these specs, I think a nice HTPC would do the trick. Because that way I can hook it up in the network and place it at my TV and Hifi set, making movie and music playback possible !
But I’m a n00b when it comes to building pc systems myself, so I’m a bit stuck on what hardware to choose.
Still, the first selection any HTPC buyer has to make is picking a case to put all the hardware in.

So I did some searching and let me present you the current choices:

Origen AE H6

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Zalman HD160

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Antec Fusion 430

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Here again to much choice ;), but I have to start somewhere !
So any thoughts on what to pick and why, just leave a comment… now I’m of to my friend Google again to read some reviews 😀

[tags]HTPC, NAS, File Server, iTunes[/tags]

Movie favourites – Tim Burton

Being a bit of a movie fan, I too have my favourites ! Recently I had a look at my current DVD collection and I have to say that there are some common genres that stand out.

The first I would like to point out is my love for movie director Tim Burton.

I don’t own ( yet 😉 ) all his movies on DVD, but I have seen most of them and I’m always pleasantly surprised ! ( except for his one big flaw called Planet of the apes )

My first encounter was when I viewed his Batman movie. It’s dark, intense and has, in my view, a very good cast !! To me, the sequel Batman Returns, is even better. Michelle Pfeiffer playing Catwoman is just brilliant…

The nightmare before Christmas is another Burton feature that captures my taste in movies perfectly !! Although not directed by Burton himself, it still has all the ingredients you would expect in a Burton production. Dark settings with a macabre humor.

Casting Johnny Depp as a main character in most of his films, is also one of Burtons’ trades. I helps, because lets be honest, Johnny Depp is one very talented actor ! Edward Scissorhands is a fine example of Johnny’s’ greatness although Ed Wood and Sleepy Hollow are not far behind !

So if you are like me and love some dark, fantasy like world where crazy stuff can happen, just pick up a Tim Burton movie and enjoy the treat !

More background can be found here…

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Blood thirst

Not that I play any real time/life RPG, I always have had a ‘thing’ for Vampires. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t have some sort of a fetish for the occult or vampirism, but still my interest is always direct towards vampires when the subject comes around. ( I’m also a sucker for werewolves, but that story is for another time 😉 )

This interest has a major influence on me, when it involves acquiring movies or tv series ! Many of my own dvd’s have vampires in it and I like every each one of those movies/series. But to be honest I like the anime versions more…

A tv series that I’m currently watching is Hellsing, it’s a anime series based upon a manga. The complete tv series detailed information can be found here !

The story evolves around a vampire Alucard from the organisation Hellsing, who kills other vampires called Freaks. Just check it out !

My most recent movie viewing’s with vampires are Vampire Hunter D and Vampire Hunter D:Bloodlust, also anime movies that already have some age, but still look very good. Vampire Hunter D is a descendant from the vampire king and hunts down other vampires who are on a killing spree.

One last reference I will give you is a double issue ! First a movie called Blood:The last vampire and afterwards a tv series called Blood+. The series resumes the story of the movie, but decades later. Here a young girl, the last remaining true vampire, fights demon vampires !

I hope you can enjoy these features like I do, because they are really a pleasure for the eye !!

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