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Thread: Interfacing with my HTPC

  1. #1
    Join Date
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    Interfacing with my HTPC

    I built an HTPC some months ago, and I have really liked it. However, I need a new way to control it. The generic USB keyboard and Optical mouse are really annoying since I have rearranged my furniture. I'm looking for suggestions on what I can use. Here are my needs and then a couple of thoughts that I had. Please feel free to suggest other products and/or possible problems with my proposed setup.

    What I need:
    I have encrypted volumes that I typically leave locked when not in use, so I would need to have a keyboard to unlock them, although I could potentially use SSH with my laptop.

    Some type of pointer device. I would rather use keyboard shortcuts all the time (such as Alt+F2), but there are quite a few things that too difficult to control (changing volume and aspect-ratio in VLC just to name a couple).

    Wireless. I would like to be even more lazy and not have to get up to change videos.

    My Ideas:
    I can't stand desktop keyboards. I really like the laptop-style ones that have the low-profile keys. I was thinking about the Mac chicklet keyboards. They seem to be solid (good for carrying, especially with one hand) and are fairly resistant to accident keystrokes. However, they are very expensive. Any experience with generic Bluetooth dongles and Ubuntu??

    Wii or PS3 controller. I think this idea would be super-cool. However, I have a PS3, so there may not be any way to connect the controller to my computer without pairing it to the PS3 first. I've heard about Gyro mice, but I'm not sure what they do. Are they like a Wii controller?

    Keyboard with trackpad. This would be a good implementation as well; plus everything is contained on the same device. It would need to have the low-profile keys though.

    Thanks for the suggestions

    On an unrelated note. Does anyone know of a video library manager? Nautilus is nice, but is a little much. I would like something that would hold all my videos, and I could open them from VLC.

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Ubuntu 13.04 Raring Ringtail

    Re: Interfacing with my HTPC

    Quote Originally Posted by jbrown96 View Post
    Keyboard with trackpad. This would be a good implementation as well; plus everything is contained on the same device. It would need to have the low-profile keys though.
    I use one of these. Integrated trackpad, low profile, wireless with a USB dongle so works without any hassle. Makes driving the PC from the sofa dead simple.

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    Xubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat

    Re: Interfacing with my HTPC

    I'm waiting on a non-HID Bluetooth stowaway keyboard to arrive from an eBay auction. It's a "Think Outside Shasta." I found a forum that I expect will help me to get the keyboard working on my HTPC.

    The instructions for running kbdd indicate that I need to modprobe keybdev, which I am unable to locate (either by modprobe -l or by apt-file search). However, it does appear that there's a "stowaway" keyboard module. Maybe it'll just magically work if I modprobe stowaway, enable "Serial" in the Bluetooth connections, and pair it?

    The keyboard is on the truck for delivery today. I'll post a little sumn sumn about it if I get it working. Wish me luck!
    Q: How many ADD kids does it take to screw in a lightbulb?
    A: Hey! Let's go ride bikes!

  4. #4
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    Re: Interfacing with my HTPC

    What HTPC software are you running? Ideally your htpc shouldn't need a keyboard and mouse at all while using it for viewing media.

  5. #5
    Join Date
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    Re: Interfacing with my HTPC

    Quote Originally Posted by geoken View Post
    What HTPC software are you running? Ideally your htpc shouldn't need a keyboard and mouse at all while using it for viewing media.
    How else would you surf porn in high def? I use MythTV, but I only launch the frontend when I'm getting ready to watch TV. I also play on the web and do other crap. Granted, I haven't explored the plugins that are available in MythTV yet.
    Q: How many ADD kids does it take to screw in a lightbulb?
    A: Hey! Let's go ride bikes!

  6. #6
    Join Date
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    Re: Interfacing with my HTPC

    Update: I've been playing with my keyboard. It works!... sort of. See http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?p=6402810 for details.
    Q: How many ADD kids does it take to screw in a lightbulb?
    A: Hey! Let's go ride bikes!

  7. #7
    fedex1993 is offline Grande Half-n-Half Cinnamon Ubuntu
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    Re: Interfacing with my HTPC

    For keyboards check out logitech illumanted one its corderd but you can get a wireless version now its almost exactly built like a laptop keyboard but better and more responsive.

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