Thursday, August 20, 2009

Forget Xzibit, I’ve got Mr. Trizzle!

We all have things we’re good at and things we’re not so good at.  Sometimes I pick on Mr. Trizzle for the things he’s not so good at, like laundry.  (Mommy thinks it’s bad that Daddy washes all the laundry  on cold; well, Mr. Trizzle washes everything on warm!  If I had to choose, I go with Daddy.)   But, if there’s one thing Mr. Trizzle is super good at, it’s computers.

He’s totally pimped our house out.  Check this: I can sit in the back room, and with my laptop not plugged into anything (except the wall if I want) I can play music on the stereo in the living room, print on the printer in the living room or access any of the hundreds of GB of files on our home server.  It’s so cool!

Can you do that in your house? Huh, huh?  Didn’t think so.

He set it up during the brief period he had a Mac Book, so he actually used three different operating systems to do it.  Mac OS, Windows and Ubuntu.  He handled all the techie stuff, I was in charge of making it look pretty – but I had plenty of input from him on that.  (Our router looks like a flying spaceship sliding up the wall; it’s neat!  And all the different components, modem, server, print server, external drive, are mixed in with the books so you don’t notice them, except for the blinking lights.)

He did it something like this – I’m not a techie, so this my approximation of what he tried to explain to me – :  There’s a special computer that sits on top of a speaker.  It runs Ubuntu and doesn’t have a “C” key.  Mr. Trizzle put some type of program on the computer that allows you to run the machine virtually. 

Then he put other programs on the other machines that tap into this virtual program through the wireless network and let you move the mouse and type on the Ubuntu machine, no matter where you are.  [The Mac program was called Chicken of the VLC, which I thought was hilarious.  The icon was a chicken in a tuna can.  Mr. Trizzle is not familiar with Chicken of the Sea, so he didn’t get it.]  These virtual thingies open in windows on our laptops, just like any other window, except that window shows the entire Ubuntu desktop.

I think those pieces were the easy part and that the hard part was getting the Ubuntu machine to access the Windows-based home server, but I could be wrong about that.  The Ubuntu machine is hardwired to the stereo, so as long as the stereo is on, and on “Monitor,” the system will play.  We can listen to Pandora on the web, or play music from our music files, or anything else we want.

There’s still some work to do with the server to get it to play nicer with the external hard drive, but the whole system’s still pretty cool.   Thank you, Mr. Trizzle for pimping our apartment.


P.S. In case you’re wondering, there are other things Mr. Trizzle is good at too, like parallel parking and pushing the status quo.

dorian in tie and polo


munckinhead said...

status quo?
now i got high school musical in my head

MaryRuth said...

Wow--that is impressive! This is what the computing life should run it, not that it runs you. Dale is a MacGenius, so we too have a wireless network in the house pretty much like yours, except we don't have the shared server thing with the apps on it. The signal is good enough that Dale can be in the hammock and use his MacBook. My favorite thing is the mini hub in the bedroom....we have our earbuds plugged into it so we can listen to Old Time Radio shows in bed.
Sad to hear that MrTrizzle gave up on the Mac, but I have to agree with his opinion that it really wasn't the right computer for him.

Jeannie said...

So - was the tie his concession to some place that required ties for entry?

goldenrail said...

Not at all. He just decided it looked cool with a polo shirt. The oranges on the tie matched the orange in the shirt.