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Building a new HTPC/Web server

The stars have finally aligned such that I’ve been able to put together my dream Home Theatre PC / personal server. Over the past 3 weeks, I’ve gotten the individual pieces ordered, installed, and integrated across several platforms. The result is a centralized server for media and hosting, which (through the miracle of SSH, DAAP and UPnP), I’m able to stream and control across a variety of mobile/remote devices. The setup is mostly complete, the pieces are below, with some commentary).




  • Samsung-LN46A650 46″ HDTV
  • PS3 (stock)
    • MLB.TV (for watching the Twins and not the Giants (damn blackouts))
    • Netflix (watching not-downloaded movies/etc)
  • Motorola Droid (Android 2.2 “Froyo”)
  • Nexus One (Android 2.2 “Froyo”)
    • *Root to CyanogenMod 6 for OpenVPN?
    • Android DAAP (plays DAAP-served music across network, provides access to media library from phone, nice)
    • AndroMote (provides full access to UPnP media (from Meditomb) on phone)
    • RemoteDroid (allows for mouse/keyboard control of remote machine via wif

^Not stock
*Not started completed

See Also

RemoteDroid demo from Joshua Sera on Vimeo.

July 11, 2010

Mapping for Haiti

My heretofore unexplained absence from the internet is related to the volunteering work I’ve been doing for the Haiti earthquake. It’s been a lot of hard work, but it’s also been a great learning experience. One of the tangible outcomes from this is a map I’ve developed with another Googler, which plots out hospitals and showcases recent aerial and satellite imagery for the affected areas. Find it here:

January 21, 2010!

I am now the proud owner of the domain, Tecmo Sports being the producer of some especially great sports video games back in the 1980s/90s (think: Super Tecmo Bowl). So now the challenge is to come up with something cool to do with the site. I’m torn between making it an actual sports news page, or just showing sweet Bo Jackson touchdown runs…


Replaying painful Vikings moments from my childhood

1 Comment January 3, 2010

Another FF Season in the Books

Congrats to Tom on winning the 2009 fantasy football league championship, beating yours truly in a pretty (read: painfully) close week 16 game.

Update: Thanks to the Dallas Cowboys getting credited with an additional sack last night, I’m now the league champion, beating Tom by a grand total of 0.12 points. Wow.

Relevant links:
Championship matchup
League Chatter
Week 16 Sunday scene
League link
Manager of the Year (MOTY) voting

December 27, 2009 Analytics Woes or Experimenting with SEO

Having spent some time going through the web stats (courtesy of Google Analytics) for the WordPress-powered blog this weekend, I’m pretty bummed. The facts at hand:

  • has a bounce rate of ~75%, meaning 3/4 people look at one page, and then go elsewhere.
  • 86% of traffic is direct, meaning only 14% of traffic is new users.
  • received 14 unique visitors today, 58 unique visitors being the high water mark for the past week (ouch).
  • Users do spend an average of about 5 minutes on the site, so if they find the archived content, they look at it.

Armed with that sobering knowledge, I’m bound and determined to do better. The site has 6 years of posts, and although it’s mostly fluff, the content still might be interesting/funny. So, here’s my game plan for doubling visitors, halving bounce rate, and adding new eyeballs in 2010 (disclaimer: I work for a search company, but know nothing about SEO outside of what I’ve read on the web, which follows):

  • All links will hereafter become canonical, and descriptive, e.g.
  • Generate a sitemap,, with added weight to homepage and recent posts
  • Add visible links back to content (e.g. RSS), specifically, using the sidebar to add links to recent posts, and a calendar for archived content
  • Use as my own personal twitpic (but in reverse). This entails uploading a pic to the blog, and having some code automatically send out a tweet once the post is published (using wpToGo, for example). This strategy can be applied to advertising more general interest posts as well.
  • Increase post frequency (from once per month, to at least once per week).
  • Decreasing the page load time (which may mean moving towards actual self-hosting).
  • Providing links to high quality, highly-ranked content
  • Removing the wiki, which was serving out porn (WTH) and undoubtedly hurting my page rank.
  • Adding additional rich content to posts (maps, photos, videos, etc)
  • Posting more broadly interesting content to blog (howtos, etc).

Anything I’m missing?

2 Comments December 21, 2009

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