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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Right now I have an IMAC desktop running OS X and an HTPC that I built myself running XP hooked to my HDTV.


I want to add to my home computer network without adding unneccessary expense.


Here are a few problems I currently face and hopefully you can advise on what I need to buy/install:


1) I have no VGA monitor for my HTPC so no BIOS modifications are possible since no DVI output works at this boot stage. Causes me major headaches when video driver problems occur as I need to bring my HTPC to a friends house to use their monitor. One option is a cheap used CRT monitor but I live in a small apartment and dont have the storage space for that. A 15" LCD is an option but $200 is a pretty large expense for an item I will only use on rare instances and then store in closet.


2) I need to create a network storage for my media to stream to my HTPC. This will require building a server and installing Linux. My IMAC doesnt make floppies so I dont know how I will "boot" onto the server to install Linux. I can burn CDs from my Mac but do not know if the format will be correct to boot an X86 machine. I could probably do a network linux install but unless theres some initial boot disk on the Server, I dont think I can do anything.


3) I would like to be able to rip my media from a device other than my HTPC. Its annoying sitting in the living room with the crappy gryoscopic mouse using DVD Shrink on my HDTV. The resolution is readable but annoyingly small. Ideally I could rip it from a different computer but even if I create a Linux server, I cant have XP on there for DVD Shrink unless I made it dual boot. I am not sure how great of a job OS X ripping software does, as I ver much like DVD shrink's ability to remove unwanted features and cut out end credits.


So it would seem that I need to buy both a new windows work box and build a linux server. That seems like it might be unnecessary.


I thought about building my HTPC into a larger case to hold more HDDs but its in a small form fitting case now so the MoBo and such would be a pain to reinstall into something else.


Any ideas?
 

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As far as your question 1) goes, what I do is connect the htpc with s-video to the TV, in addition to DVI (2 separate connections). With the s-video output you should see boot-time info and should be able to boot to Windows if necessary. The screen might be distorted (on my TV I only see the upper 60% of the image), but it is still workable for making BIOS mods and reinstalling drivers.
 

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Forgive my ignorance - do you need Linux for your fileserver b/c OS X can't read windows volumes?
 

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I use a Maxtor Shared Storage NAS to store my media. It is advertised as being for Windows only, but according to this article on Tom's Networking it will work with Macs just as well.


Good luck,

Gerald
 

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So much wierdness in your setup ...

Quote:
DVI / monitor problem
This is an incompatibility between your video card and your monitor. I'd try a different video card.


My 9800 nonpro works with my dell 1800fp over DVI. As does my ATi X300 via DVI to my Samsung LNR408d. It also works on every recent dell laptop which are connected via dvi.

Quote:
linux boot issue
Fedora makes a bootable linux setup CD. I would assume that most major releases (Suse etc) do as well. There is no need for floppies in this day and age. Hell most bioses support booting off a USB key now too!

Quote:
Ripping issue
The mac is just as capable at ripping as a PC. So is *nix. You just need to find the right program. Someone in the mac htpc forum can reccomend an easy program.
 
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