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Old 08-01-2003, 09:58 AM   #1
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Burn TV to DVD, Watch in 3-D, Voice Recog., Game Drive. Possible W/Linux ?

I am now within $400 of completing my very specialized dream machine, and I would love to run it completely under open source from the start. I know I'm not the first to ask this, but I'm hoping
someone with more experience could offer an opinion.
My original plan was to spend the $100 (approx) for Whiny XP OEM, then dual, or tri- boot with my Mandy 9.1 and, or, Icepack.
I would love to put that $100 to better use, but my inexperience
with Linux is a real hinderance. Some of the software I've acquired claims to only work with XP.
Anyway, my purchases are:

P4 2.66 533 FSB
Soyo P4X400 Dragon Ultra mobo
Maxtor 120 Gig ATA 133 (will add another HD later)
MSI FX5200 Video with DVI and S-vid out and remote control
MSI TV@nywhere Master tuner card with another remote
Optorite DVD +/- R, RW
Firewire card to input my DV camcorders
Cyber Acoustics Dolby Digital 5.1 speakers


Farstone Game Drive stores whole games on hard drive
Pinnacle Instant Copy to copy DVD's and games
IBM Via Voice voice recognition with headset
Win DVD with 5.1 surround sound to play movies
A few different digital video editing programs
Lots of games, perhaps 30 or more

Linux; (which I've never successfully installed)

Mandrake 9.1
Icepack 2.75
Evil Entity
Knoppix 3.2

And my question?

Should I even attempt to run all of this under Linux, or should I
bow down to the XP Overlord, and just dabble with open source.
I'm building this machine to:
Shoot video, edit, burn to DVD. I already have customers.
Record TV shows to DVD, no more VCR's
Watch my local channels from anywhere in the world
Burn backup copies of my DVD movies, games, etc.
Speak, rather than type
Do my design work with some sort of autocad

From what I've seen so far, I think this is all too much, especially
the software. But if I'm wrong, I need to be slapped in the right direction.

Any input would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!

MSI TV@nywhere Master tuner card w/another remote
Old 08-01-2003, 11:45 AM   #2
Registered: Jul 2003
Location: DC
Distribution: mandrake 9.1
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couldn't you just get a windows cd from a friend and then install linux too and that way you can figure out what works best? thats what i'd do
Old 08-01-2003, 04:32 PM   #3
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Thanks, I guess I could save my $100 by not purchasing XP, and
simply throw my copy of 98SE in as primary. The only problem is,
some of the programs included with my MSI Multimedia Center
claim to only run with XP.
But back to the real question.
What are my odds of configuring one or more of my Linux distros to run such specialized hardware and software? I've got some books ordered for Unix code and Linux in general, and hope to learn much in the near future, but I suspect it would take an Einstein to to get all that up and running. I may be wrong, and that is why I am asking. I would LOVE to fire that box w/no M$,
from the very first time I push the button.

So, please, opinions?

Old 08-01-2003, 04:44 PM   #4
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Mandrake should be able to install but I don't think your video card is supported yet in the LINUX kernel. Try Gentoo or other distributors.

I suggest using Cinelerra from Heroine Virtual Ltd. I never tried it but its free and it has a lot of features. For the other programs like voice recognition, you have to do some digging through google, sourceforge, freshmeat, etc to find the right program. The howtos at The Linux Documenation for voice recognition might give you some hints. You can use mplayer for DVD watching and to record videos. Though you might have trouble with encrypted DVDs. The con of mplayer is that it has trouble with syncing audio and video. Not all DVD-R drives are supported by cdrecord. Also you need to patch it to record DVDs. If you can not get cdrecord to make DVDs, you can try or buy VMware and record a DVD from there.

I suggest you get a hardware RAID controller (I think 3ware) instead of using your software RAID controller on the motherboard. The hardware raid will give your processor time to do other processes like decoding and encoding. You can use your secondary on-board IDE controller for four hard drives that you can remove them from the bay. The four hard drives should be helpful when you want to store the original (non-edited) video. Don't use software raid for your setup because it will degrade your performance.

There are many games that have been converted to LINUX. Have a look at loki games. Trying to get other game manufactures to port their games to LINUX is like pulling teeth.

Basically, the hardware that you have is supported by LINUX. For some, you have to either compile the kernel or download new modules (drivers) in order for them to work properly.
Old 08-01-2003, 04:59 PM   #5
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Allright Electro! That's what I'm talking about. Your response gives me much hope. It does sound a bit complicated, but you've
given me much to go on. I'll print this, and when the time comes, I'll give it a shot. Thanks!
Old 08-01-2003, 05:10 PM   #6
Registered: Jun 2003
Posts: 144

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That may help also.

Old 08-01-2003, 06:26 PM   #7
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Registered: May 2003
Location: northeastern Ohio
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Thanks, FXRS! I did a quick scan down the list of programs on that link, and I'm amazed. What really caught my eye was the 15 CAD programs against the 3 for Windy's. Almost all of these are free! Unbelievable! I will use that site a lot in the future.


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