Friday Round Up: Leopard Delay, Apple TV, Building with Cob

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Today I want to focus on the readers. Yes, all 3 of you. ^_^ I've been checking my hits from Google Analytics, and I've noticed an increase in page views and hits from all over the world. Most of the hits come from those searching on Google, but I have some regular hits as well. For those that keep coming back, I thank you!

There are two major subjects that represent the interest in my page: Apple, and building with cob. Well, today I'm going to cover both in my Friday Round Up.

Leopard Delay
As many of you have heard, Leopard has been delayed in its release. Much to my disappointment, and to the disappointment of others, the new operating system and server services that it offers are not going to be out on the Market until October, 2007.

How does this impact me personally? Well, I will be unable to set up a Team Server until October, which is a little disappointing, but I can handle it. It also sets back my training series offering considerably, so it looks like I will not be offering any additional classes until Summer or Fall of 2008. That is a problem, as many of my clients are looking forward to more Directory Service training, as well as future Xsan training. Ah, well, more time to read up on the Tiger services, I suppose, and get Kerberos working correctly.

Apple TV
I recently finished going through my taxes, and much to my relief, we will be getting a nice return. This means we can get an Apple TV, as well as take care of some other household maintenance (part of which will be covered in the next section). So, I finally get to start some hacks of my own (hopefully without having to remove the hard drive).

For those of you who have heard of the Apple TV, but were wondering why I would be interested in such a narrowly limited device, there are a number of reasons:

1. All my content is ripped through Handbrake, Which is an open source tool for ripping content into an MP4 format from a DVD. Why rip your content from a DVD? Because if you have a young child in your household, you realize how delicate your DVD's are, and how hard it is to keep them out of their hands.

2. It gets its content from iTunes, which is where I keep all my content anyway. It will also stream its content from up to 5 computers, be they Apple or Windows machines. Right now I'm searching for a replacement for the TV, as most shows have become to vulgar, crass, and mind-numbing for my taste. This way I can watch TV on my own terms without having to pay for On Demand material from Comcast. I am also looking for a solution for my parents, and the simplicity of this device makes it perfect for them.

3. I don't want to stop at just watching current shows. I would like to eventually provide plugins for additional formats, and even plug in a USB TV device to turn the little device into a DVR. While this is not currently native to the Apple TV platform, it is possible as outlined at Apple TV Hacks. There are several hacks here that I would be happy to try, given the opportunity.

4. It's nice because it also has audio control, therefore removing the need for a media center to control the audio. This is significant, because I have a beautiful floor stereo that once belonged to my grandfather, and it has the most magnificent sound! I had used it in the past as the audio output for my DVD's, and now I want to use it again as the audio output for everything.

5. Once I have safely installed one for content, I want to try installing various versions of OS X on it, to see if I can get a decent client system out of it, or even a decent server. A $300.00 server running my Directory Services would be nice, particularly since I don't need a lot of power to run a home Directory system running 802.11n speeds. ^_^

So, once I purchase the Apple TV, look for some updates. ^_^

Building With Cob Update
The weather is starting to dry out now, as we get closer to Summer, and with the tax return coming, I will be able to lay the foundation for the cob greenhouse, and possibly even build the entire structure within a couple weeks! That's exciting, because not only do I get to work with cob, but I also get to work on the hydroponic system that I want to build. Finally, everything is starting to come together in that area. Of course, that means I will need to make some special trips to get a citrus tree, but I can handle that. ^_^

I will be laying the foundation initially with gravel, which will also be the floor of the greenhouse (to allow for easy drainage). It will also be built up for the patio surrounding the greenhouse, which will be a perfect place for the grill and two benches. I'll see if I can't get a shot from the roof so that you can see how I am going to be placing everything. Yay! I get to show off my lack of Photoshop Skills!

So, that's the news from the week. I should have some pictures up by Monday evening, if you are interested in the cob building project, and I hope to have made some test adobe bricks to show off as well.