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Christmas Gift Guide



PCDuino Media Player

Plug the USB cable into the USB Power supply and the PCDuino micro USB port on the opposite end to the HDMI connector, and also connect your HDMI cable from the PCDuino to the TV.

Now power on the USB Power supply. The PCDuino comes with 4GB on flash on the board, so there is no need for complicated card imaging to get up and going. After a few minutes, you should see the desktop appear. It’s not quite the same as Windows, but many things are laid out similarly, so feel free to explore.

The XBMC media player is installed by default, and can be started by clicking on the Application menu, Sound & Video, XBMC Media Center. This can be used to browse local files.

To download other media and apps, an internet connection is needed, using either WiFi or Ethernet. If you use Ethernet and find that you do not get connectivity (test with the Chromium Web Browser), then try rebooting the PCDuino with the Ethernet cable attached (Menu>Logout>Reboot).

To set up WiFi, Click Menu>Preferences>Network Connections, click on Wireless, and fill in the detail on the Wireless and Wireless Security tabs, and save, making sure the 'Connect automatically' option is set. If the wireless icon in the bottom right hand corner does not indicate that WiFi is working, reboot as per above.

The PCDuino gets it time from an NTP server, but it needs to know the correct time zone to do this. Open a terminal window (the LXTerminal app), and run the command

sudo board-config.sh

Using the arrow keys, select your region and city, and then use the right arrow key to move to ‘Done’ and press enter to exit. You might need to reboot again for the changes to take effect.

Another useful thing to set up is to output audio via HDMI (by default it is sent to the 3.5mm jack). Open a terminal window and type the command:

sudo leafpad /home/ubuntu/.asoundrc

Into the Leafpad window that opens, type or paste the following:

pcm.!default {
  type hw
  card 1 #change to 0 to use HP, 1 HDMI
}

ctl.!default {
  type hw
  card 1 #change to 0 to use HP, 1 HDMI
}

Then save and exit (Ctrl-S, Ctrl-Q). Reboot the PCDuino to make the changes effective.

The Synaptic Package Manager handles installing features and apps, and requires the root password 'ubuntu'. The package list will probably need updating, so click on Edit>Reload Package Information to do this. If you get an error message, click close to continue- this is due to some packages no longer being supported.

To download packages, click 'Search'. Click on the package you wish to install, then click 'Mark for installation'. If it asks to Mark Additional Required Changes, click Mark to do so (these are other features that need to be installed for a package to work). Then click 'Apply' to install the features. Because some programs and features may not be supported any more, they may not install correctly.

We recommend adding the VLC media player- this can be handy if you are comfortable using the Windows version of VLC. Tunapie is an indexing service for internet radio streams. If you have installed it, go into preferences and set 'vlc' as audio player and select 'Icecast' as server, then it can be set to play through VLC.

These newly installed files will automatically appear in the menu at bottom left- try looking in 'Sound and Video'.

Other installed programs that are handy to know are the 'Leafpad' text editor and 'File Manager', which is handy for copying media too and from the PCDuino. The PCDuino has also been designed as a way to learn programming, so Scratch and the Arduino IDE are included too.

Using the PCDuino Media Player is a cost-effective and interesting way to get used to using the Linux operating system, and enjoy your media as well.