We’ve been hobbling along with a Mac Mini as our PleX server for the past few years. I’m becoming quite a data hoarder and the poor Mini can’t keep up with my appetite so it was time to move to something a little more serious. I built JDM_WAAAT’s “Thread-Runner” config and hope to migrate my data this weekend.
My config and cost:
As you can see, a lot of the major components were purchased used which I sourced primarily via eBay. There’s a lot of power (16 cores / 32 threads) and a bit of storage (9TB). It’s quite a build at a very reasonable cost. Assembly was easy. The Phentoo case is amazing. I really like the HDD cages (no screws required) and the cable management behind the motherboard. I encountered two minor hiccups and was able to resolve them quickly. The machine was booting to EFI and required disabling in BIOS to boot to USB and the NIC was not enabled, also resolved with a quick BIOS switch.
I’ll be running it headless and administering via Muximux and running PleX, SABnzbd+, Sonarr, and Radarr. I’m going to cheat and use AtoMic Toolkit to get it all done. The SSD will host the OS and metadata/thumbnails for speed and I’ll throw the data to the HDDs. The Western Digital HDDs are enterprise/data center certified and rated 1.2 million hours MTBF. Impressive!
After migrating data, I’ll be backing up using Duplicati to my unlimited Google Drive.
I’m really interested to see what else I do with this box. It should be all we need for several years (save for a few more HDDs)!
I’ll probably check out a lot of the new pilots from Amazon. My picks are below. View the new shows at amazon.com/pilotseason.
Based on Philip K. Dick’s award-winning novel, The Man in the High Castle explores what it would be like if the Allied Powers had lost WWII, and Japan and Germany ruled the United States.
America’s most award-winning magazine comes to life in this new docu-series.
When a group of underachieving 40-something friends gather in Belize to celebrate the early retirement of an old friend, a series of wild,comedic events unfold, exposing dark secrets and a web of lies, deception and murder.
After a decade in rehab, an abrasive former supermodel tries to recreate her success in a new world she barely recognizes, relying on the help of her browbeaten former assistant.
A handsome, carefree yoga instructor has breezed through life, women, and jobs, but when he breaks up with his girlfriend — who’s also his partner at their successful yoga studio — he’s forced to face reality for the first time.
– I got a new iPhone 6. Usually I opt for the least expensive model but, as I may not be renewing my Spotify (which has been free since Feb 2013 [Thanks, Sprite!]), I am likely going to be using iTunes again and opted for a 128GB to accommodate my massive music library. I was working on a lady’s computer the other day and she was missing some songs in iTunes. I asked her how many tracks she had and she said, “A lot! I had a huge Library. Like 500 songs!” My current Library, which has not grown much since I started using Spotify:
– I watched Amazon’s Transparent. Have you? It’s already been renewed for a second season and Jeffrey Tambor gave a great interview about his character. I watched Transparent. Have you?
– We head to Disney World in 19 days, 20 hours, and 10 minutes for our last trip of the year. We’re staying on property and secured 4-day park hopper passes. We’re hitting all of the parks and having FastPass lunch at Be Our Guest on Halloween. We also secured reservations for Parisian Breakfast at Chefs de France during EPCOT’s Food and Wine festival. I’m also looking forward to shopping at Memento Mori, the new Haunted Mansion gift shop in Magic Kingdom. Also, I cannot wait to hit up Earl of Sandwich at Downtown Disney for a Full Montagu.
I really hope Amazon’s Transparent gets the green light. The pilot sold me!
Written and directed by Emmy-nominee and 2013 Sundance Best Director winner Jill Soloway (“Afternoon Delight,”” Six Feet Under” and “United States of Tara”), “Transparent” is a darkly comedic story about an LA family with serious boundary issues. In this exploration of sex, memory, gender and legacy, the past and future unravel when a dramatic admission causes everyone’s secrets to spill out. Jeffrey Tambor, Judith Light, Gaby Hoffmann, Amy Landecker ,and Jay Duplass star in the pilot.
January has been a slow month for content as shows are on hiatus, and I’ve been planning vacations and working a lot of overtime. We recently dove in to HBO’s Big Love and are nearly through season 2. Bletchley Circle season 2 started, Call the Midwife season 3 is a go, and we are going to watch Broadchurch as it has rave reviews. I’ve realized that a lot of the “across the pond” shows I need to download in HD as the SD versions show too much pixelation for me. It’s a tad irritating as the US shows I can grab in SD, saving a lot of space and bandwidth, and not have issues.
I started doing Bing searches to get rewards and redeem them for months of Hulu Plus. It only saves me $8/mo, but I’m currently paid through March. What can I say? I’m cheap!
December has been a light watch month with holidays taking precedence over anything else. We have been on a documentary kick lately, watching flicks about orca whales making friends in the wild, broke athletes, and the fall from grace of a timeshare mogul. I recently started watching HBO’s new series Getting On. I love Niecy Nash and think she makes the show. We’ll likely check out HBO’s other new series, Looking, launching in January. I did nab the Call the Midwife Christmas special and the Downton Abbey Christmas special, but have yet to watch either. I also need to watch the IT Crowd Manual. Moving in to 2014, Sherlock returns so I’ll definitely been checking out the new season.
November has been a fulfilling month for this cordcutter. I even read a book this month via the Amazon Lending Library. I watched season 4 of Downton Abbey which will premiere in the States in January 2014. It’s been hard to not talk about it with my mom and sister. I also watched the first 3 episodes of Betas, an Amazon original series. It’s ok. It might turn in to one of those shows that I hatewatch. We recently started watching Game of Thrones and are well into season 2. Nobody will STFU about this show so I figured I’d better jump on board. Eastbound & Down is over and I am sad as fuck. Long live Kenny fucking Powers. I started Treme yesterday. It’s shot in New Orleans and takes place 3 months after hurricane Katrina hit. It’s a strong series. This evening I grabbed the first season of The Bletchley Circle, a period mystery drama set in 1952. It’s about four women that use their codebreaking skills from World War II to solve a serial killer crime. It sounds fascinating and is available on Netflix!
In other news I was really happy to hear that Netflix is picking up The Killing for its fourth and final season after being canceled by AMC. I believe The Killing was one of the best shows on TV. I was sad to hear it had been canceled and overjoyed to hear it was picked up by Netflix. I hope hope that Netflix will reconsider ending it and picking it up, but it sounds unlikely.
Also, hallelujah to Netflix profile support on the Roku. That means a lot more documentaries and series for me and a lot less Good Luck Charlie!
I finished the second season of Call the Midwife. It was, just like the first, superb. I managed to get current on FX’s The Bridge and it has been an exciting first season. I’m now enthralled with Sons of Anarchy and am 1/3 of the way through it. As the 6th season is coming to air next week I am trying to get current so I can catch up and watch it in real-time. Muscling through that much TV in a week will likely be a challenge, but I pace it at 2 or 3 episodes per day. I did watch a couple of episodes of Suits and have found that to be a good show, but mix it in very sparingly. I’ve still yet to watch more Under the Dome, but will make time for it after I am current on SoA.
Sprout complained for the first time this week. She said something like Hulu not keeping up with her shows. I don’t keep up with her shows and have no idea if they’re on hiatus or what. I will have to check that out this week so I can figure out how to keep her happy. I remember when I was ten my parents FINALLY got cable in the house and it was exciting to watch Nickelodeon as I’d heard people talking about it but had never really watched any of it, but I was much happier listening to music and solving puzzles in my room than watching TV. Sprout loves her shows, laughs at them, and just really enjoys vegging out in front of the TV so I have to get this researched and fixed! I did pick up a copy of Sims 3 for her to play so that has kept her occupied and not obsessing over TV.
The only snag I’ve hit thus far was trying to figure out the best/fastest way to get content. For example, I ascertained an episode of Suits via Sickbeard but then found out I could watch seasons 1 and 2 on Amazon Prime (in HD!) and if I get current I can watch the airing season on Hulu+. It is somewhat confusing having to hop around and I have really struggled working out a way to figure out the most ideal and efficient way. I’m still using Trakt, which is good for tracking what I’ve seen or missed, but it doesn’t guide me to find the content. I’ve even gone full nerd and created a spreadsheet.
Have moved on to a few new series since cordcutting.
I watched Season 1 of Ripper Street and enjoyed it. Currently, I’m watching the second season of Call the Midwife on the PBS Roku channel. Of course, I’m staying current on Breaking Bad, Dexter, and my guilty pleasure, MTV’s The Challenge. I also just started watching Veep and occasionally mix in a few episodes of Sons of Anarchy. It might sound like I am watching copious amounts of television, but it’s not true. I have never been a big TV watcher as it does not hold my attention and it has taken me almost two weeks to get through three episodes of the Midwives. I am really enjoying the setup in the house, Sprout has not complained once about it, and for the $7.99 + internet cost/per month I just can’t beat it.
I am going to try Suits, Defiance, Under the Dome, and The Bridge.
Still using the same kit I mentioned here and added Trakt to get recommendations of other shows and movies to watch. I’m also pretty hungry for dedicated profile support on the Roku as my queue is full of Disney’s Good Luck Charlie, Shake it Up, and Ant Farm.