My Home Video Server & Alberti’s Window

Alberti's Window on display.
Alberti’s Window, by Adi Da, on display from DaPlastique.com.
The Ascent Of Orpheus, Bargello National Museum, Florence, from DaPlastique.com
The Ascent Of Orpheus, Bargello National Museum, Florence, from DaPlastique.com

Just because I live in the woods in one of the poorest counties in California, doesn’t mean I don’t have access to culture! The above pictures feature image-art by Adi Da, this particular sequence being titled “Alberti’s Window.”

In the essay, “Aesthetic Ecstasy,” from Transcendental Realism, by Adi Da, he writes:

Ecstasy is the primary and fundamental human motive and event. The transcending of “objectification”–whether of “self” or “world” or Reality Itself–is the primary and fundamental characteristic of right and human purpose. Therefore, the primary and fundamental purpose of right and true art is aesthetic ecstasy–wherein and whereby the human being is served toward the primary and fundamental human purpose and event that is ecstasy itself (or egoless participation in Reality itself).

So I used to use an open-source program, MythTV, to record and watch tv programs on cable. But it was a pain and I finally gave up after the amount of technical time I had to spend trying to keep it working grew just too much. Recently I found another promising open-source program, called Kodi, to replace it.

Kodi doesn’t take much in software resources to run–I have it running in linux with a first generation Intel Atom dual-processor (cheap 5 year old  hardware), using only about 40% cpu and 400 megs of ram while streaming video on a 32″ TV. And it’s much easier to use than MythTV!

So I’m now about to start organizing my media files so my roommates and I can easily select inspiring programs to watch, in addition to Netflix and sports. (I still have to work out an open-source solution for taking the media show on the road, since right now I’m using mp3 players and kindle fires and it’s a little tedious copying files using usb connections. Most likely I’ll wait til Nextcloud matures and gets the client apps  ownCloud has.)

Living by the Words of Bhagavan Book Review

Ramana Maharshi was a great 20th century Indian Sage. When I worked in the book business, I always stocked a number of titles about him because they sold very well; however, I never found the reading to be compelling. The books were mostly compilations of talks he gave–paraphrasing Maharshi: “Enquire: what is the source where thoughts arise? and: Be the Self.” Just sitting around all the time saying that seemed very dry to me.

This book is quite different and full of life stories, which is why I like it so much. It’s transcribed by David Godman, who put together stories by one of Ramana’s disciple’s, Annamalai Swami, who spent years serving the great Sage. The leelas, or stories about life in the ashram, show Ramana Maharshi’s more human side of interacting and serving the sadhana (spiritual practice) of his devotees.

The book is available at Avadhuta.com in America, for $18 + $6 shipping; otherwise it’s around $40 on Amazon or one can order it from India for less than Amazon as well.

 

The Decline of Interest in Drupal Versus Steady Interest in WordPress over 5 Years

drupal-interest-5years

The periodic dip in each chart is end of Dec. every year. Drupal is at 25% of where it started from 5 years ago, but WordPress is about the same. From the simple queries put into Google Trends: drupal & wordpress.

“WordPress is used by 58.5% of all the websites whose content management system we know. This is 27.1% of all websites.” —from w3techs.com. (Drupal is used by 3% of websites.)

A couple interesting posts from a drupal / wordpress developer:

http://mikeschinkel.com/blog/17-reasons-wordpress-is-a-better-cms-than-drupal/

http://mikeschinkel.com/blog/the-decline-of-drupal-or-how-to-fix-drupal-8/

The second link talks about how the author thinks the Drupal collective is following the pattern of how Microsoft destroyed Visual Basic.

Someone asked me this week to talk tech about the CMS platform landscape so I did a little research about Drupal vs WordPress. About 3 years ago I did a demo, and another developer friend advocated Drupal over WordPress so I started working in Drupal. Unfortunately, the learning curve was way steeper than I thought it would be and I ended up coding the demo from scratch since learning Drupal was taking too long.

There’s something to be said for being able to get something working quickly–you can start working productively in WordPress in minutes, and I think that’s one reason why WordPress is so popular.