Web Ben's Information Station

Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Presentations with LaTeX Beamer

I've been thinking about open source equivalents to MS Powerpoint recently and came up with a couple of good possibilities not including OpenOffice Impress. MagicPoint was the first that I found, it produces HTML presentations albeit via a unique scripting language. The second, and more promising option is LaTeX plus Beamer:

Beamer produces PDF presentations, although it is within the realms of possibility to convert these to HTML I came to the conclusion that a presentation should have a constant look and feel and so a PDF is more suited to the task than HTML as HTML is subject to the look and feel of the HTML render being used by the browser.

Another option that I just found is called TeXPower, however, this doesn't seem quite as full featured as Beamer:

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

SVG with Inkscape

I have been thinking of using SVG for a while now and ran across Inkscape:

Sodipodi has been around for a while, however, Inkscape seems to both be easier to use and to be advancing more rapidly.

Friday, November 12, 2004

XBox MythTV

I just got an XBox so it's all go now for setting up my MythTV/XBox combo.

The XBox is a v1.1 so I'm going to have no problems modding it, although I may need to replace the fan with a Panaflo 80mm as the stock one's a little noisy for the living room. I'm planning on using the SmartXX mod chip (and very thin single strand Kynar wire) since it seems to have very good support for Gentoox, and I have become very fond of the Gentoo way of doing things.

The first stage will be to purchase a Hauppauge PVR 250 to put in my Linux server. This will act as the MythTV backend where all the TV recording will be done. The MythTV frontend which simply displays the MythTV GUI on the TV screen will be provided by the XBox, which is stage 2. The instructions for stage 1 are here:

or here:

As I stated above; stage 2 is to set up the XBox as the MythTV frontend, this will require the DVD remote control in order to make remote control of the device possible. I'll tie the remote control of the XBox into the rest of the stereo components with the Radio Shack 8 in 1 model 15-2116 universal remote, there are online instructions how to set it up. If I really wanted to get fancy I could even allow the remote to power the XBox on and off using the XIR mod which is compatible with the SmartXX mod chip. Even more fancy would be to add an LCD screen, but I think that that would be an overkill.

Although, I'm not really interested in playing XBox native games it is worth noting that if I ever did feel the desire to I could play online for free, not using XBox Live but rather XLink Kai instead as Kai has a Linux version of their tunnel allowing you to connect LAN players together through the Kai internet proxy/tunnel/thingamajig. If I ever did want to play XBox native games, online or otherwise, I would probably want to get a wireless RF controller since I'd prefer to be able to sit on the couch rather than the floor and the couch is beyond the reach of the standard controller cable. Maybe even get a wireless headset, but I very much doubt that I'd get that serious.