After we have shown you how to use the CuBox installer, and how to use the GEEXBOX XBMC running on the CuBox, we want to share with you yet another powerful use case of the CuBox Miniature Computer, and that is the feature rich rutorrent client that comes with the GEEXBOX XBMC package. The rutorrent client gives you access to a huge variety of public domain content (music, videos,etc…). Until now you had to search for such content and download it using your PC or Laptop and you had to stay chained to your PC or Laptop until the download is finished. When it was finally time to enjoy the content on your TV you had to deal with the annoying copy and setups... Now we say, no more, since now you can let the CuBox do all work under one roof, and all you have to do is to enjoy the content on your TV, how to do that? Just continue reading.
As I have mentioned before, the GEEXBOX XBMC package comes with rutorrent built in, and you can access the rutorrent client installed on the GEEXBOX XBMC from your PC or Laptop with a simple browser and there is no need to install any new software on your PC/Laptop... Through that browser window you can search for all content that interests you and start downloading it. The download will be performed by the CuBox Miniature Computer, now you can turn off your PC/Laptop and leave the CuBox to do all the work. After the CuBox is done downloading your interesting new content, it will be waiting for you to play it locally on the same CuBox machine. To see how to exactly do that just watch this video. We only ask that you refrain from the download of copyrighted materials. There are infinite amounts of public domain materials to enjoy.
Thank you all for your amazing and wonderful support! And don’t forget to tell us what you think about the rutorrent or the CuBox here in the comments.
Imagine a situation where you could use your smartphone to search for any content you wanted, start playing it on your smartphone, and then – with one touch – see it on the huge LCD screen in your living room. Well, all you need to do that is an internet connection, your CuBox and your smartphone – and it doesn’t matter whether it’s Android or IOS. So how do you do this, exactly?
First of all, you have to connect the CuBox to your television with an HDMI cable, and connect the CuBox to a power source, and to the Internet (with an Ethernet cable). As you know, the CuBox can run a number of interesting applications – you can install each of them in just a few minutes. Each of these applications has its own purpose, but today we’re going to talk about the application that will turn your CuBox into a media center with a large selection of high-quality content: XBMC. Most of you are already familiar with this application, but for those who aren’t, keep reading.
XBMC is a free and open-source media player application developed by the XBMC Foundation in 2003. The XBMC application offers its users a wide selection of add-ons, each of which gives you a vast selection of video or audio content. To enjoy HD quality video with XBMC, you need a computer with a 3D graphics processor. You can run XBMC on your home computer, but it would be a much more enjoyable experience if you run it on your living room television. And here enters the CuBox – the mini-computer with big graphics capabilities – a 2 inch cube that runs quietly with its noiseless, fan-less cooling mechanism, and it needs very little power. It can run XBMC and connect to your television screen through an HDMI cable, and for even higher quality sound you can connect it to your sound system with an SPDIF connector – and get professional-quality sound, for the ultimate viewing experience.
OK, so after our brief introduction to XBMC, now let’s talk about the possibility of even further expanding the world of content you can view right in your living room. In addition to the dozens of add-ons you can install on your XBMC, there’s an option to search for content on your smartphone and view it on your TV set. So how do you do it? By downloading one of the UPNP/DLNA applications onto your smartphone, which will bring you a large selection of content in the areas you’re interested in. The UPNP/DLNA applications allow you to watch content that you find with them on your TV, as long as you have a smart TV with an internet connection. But now, you can enjoy the same functionality without having to buy a smart TV – by using XBMC installed on your CuBox.
So, here’s the bottom line: you’re sitting in your living room, in front of the TV, which is connected to a CuBox running XBMC, and you’re searching with your smartphone UPNP/DLNA app, and you find an interesting movie you want to see now. All you have to do is play the movie on your smartphone and it will automatically be played on your TV set. So you can turn off your smartphone, turn down the lights, lean back, and enjoy the movie. You just need your smartphone to be connected to the same network as your CuBox.
Have you tried out this functionality? Are there UPNP/DLNA apps that you’ve used and would like to recommend? Share your thoughts with us by sending comments!
There are a tremendous amount of different Linux flavors, packages, and applications available these days. It is very easy to become lost in instructions on how to install and configure the CuBox minicomputer!
SolidRun has developed a small program that runs off a USB thumb drive: The CuBox Installer. With just a few clicks, you have quick access to different distributions and end use cases. Choose your favorite distribution or use case and install it!
The installation process is very easy: Download the CuBox Installer and save it to a USB thumb drive. Then insert the thumb drive into the CuBox, connect it to network and TV, then power the device on. While CuBox boots, it downloads a list of installations, and will prompt you to select one from a number of options.
Right now, the CuBox Installer can install the following distros: Arch, Debian, GeexBox (xbmc), ipfire, ubuntu-core, xubuntu, and XilkaX. We are adding more all the time!
Users can also use the Installer to reflash the SPI flash with latest u-boot release, either to upgrade u-boot, or to unbrick the CuBox.
For developers, adding an item to the CuBox installer is easy too! Just write a plug-in script and upload it online. Have SolidRun add that script to the latest distribution list and everyone can access your work through the CuBox Installer!
The plug-in script can be a script that downloads a ready-to-use image from a URL and flashes that image to the memory card. The script can instead provide you with a number of sub menus, if you'd prefer.
The CuBox community has been using the Installer for almost six months, and it is finally fully baked and ready to share with everybody!
Vily Lupo is the newest member of the SolidRun team, brought in to help manage the rowdy bunch of us working on CuBox. He will be managing the operation side of things at SolidRun HQ, helping to streamline just about everything behind the scenes, and letting other people get back to the development side of things (hello, Rabeeh!).
This means everything should run smoother, and that means fewer delays in getting your CuBox (or your CuBox Pro) sent out to you!
To celebrate the arrival of our new colleague, we stuck him under the microscope and asked him a few questions.
Looking to buy a CuBox? You now have more options open to you, as SolidRun announces a new UK distributor, NewIT!
The Norfolk-based business has already established itself as a busy retailer of all sorts of miniature computers and accessories including SDHC cards and readers, USB devices, and an assortment of cables and switches.
Getting anything sent to Australia always seems like really hard work, sometimes it feels like packages are swimming their way across the ocean to arrive at the land Down Under.
Luckily for Aussie developers (and Kiwi developers across the Tasman), SolidRun has partnered with Spinifex Computing, meaning you can buy your CuBox and accessories directly from a local, Victoria-based company, drastically cutting down on the time your device will spend in transit. (It's a long way from SolidRun HQ in Haifa to Spinifex in Melbourne - roughly 13760 km!)
In the news recently, we've spotted some interesting benchmarks comparing some of the big names in the micro PC market - CuBox being one of them! Our little computer that can fared relatively well, coming out top of the class when it comes to packing a lot of performance into one tiny package.
Gareth Halfacree is a UK-based tech journalist, currently writing for Linux User & Developer Magazine. He has a particular interest in the recent wave of miniature computers, and knows just which bits and pieces he should be comparing.
Specifically, Halfacree looked at performance per price, per power and per size, comparing a CuBox, a Raspberry Pi, a VIA APC, an A13-OLinuXino and the AMD A10-5800K out of his desktop machine. The results, once normalised out, might surprise you.
The CuBox is a great little device, but for some people, it can be a bit too small! A customer recently let us know that he'd had quite the conversation with a local Customs officer who simply did not believe that this tiny package could contain an entire computer!
He got the device in the end, but it's true - the miniature two-inch cube contains more computing grunt than most desktop PCs we were using just ten years ago! (...and it consumes far less power to do so!)
Perhaps the problem is that, with a sleek, sophisticated form factor like the CuBox, people just don't notice these tiny computers. They live tucked away in entertainment units, behind-the-scenes and hidden in other out-of-the-way places, where they happily run media centres, games machines and even security solutions for people around the world.
Even the most seasoned IT professionals, who have worked in this industry for decades, are amazed when they see a CuBox for the first time - and again when they see one in action. "All of that comes from this?"
In a male dominated industry like this one, it gives me great pleasure to introduce the second lady on the SolidRun team. Riki Vortman works on all sorts of things behind the scenes - including answering all of your customer relations emails - and yet she still finds time for artistic pursuits, like improv acting and playing sport.
Riki is the fourth member of the SolidRun team to be featured on the blog - earlier, we've featured bike-riding Waleed, boss man Kossay, and me, Jessica. There's still two more of us to go, stay tuned!
This week, we chat to a young man who does a little bit of just about everything behind the scenes, with a special preference for engineering tasks as well as occasionally sneaking out of the office to go ride his bike...
If you want to know who to thank for things running smoothly (or who to ask about good mountain biking spots), you want this guy: Waleed!