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PostPosted: Fri Jan 26, 2007 12:03 pm 
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It's been a few months now trying to find a free laptop for this project and nothing has turned up. Time to look at the other options. At this point I think it'd be perfectly reasonable to go with the original plan of buying an iPod. Consumerism, captive markets and digital restrictions management are not exactly my thing, but the project has been held up long enough.

Whatever we do, this project is going to require some cash. I think there's a few options that have been mentioned:

1. Buy a second-hand laptop.

2. Buy a second-hand iPod. This might be better than 1, common sense says that an iPod is smaller and simpler and therefore less likely to break. However I've heard that iPod batteries degrade over time and are extremely expensive and inconvenient to replace, the idea being that you buy another iPod. We should look into that maybe. Also using an iPod would sink any ideas of using free or lossless music formats on the jukebox, as the iPod will not play them. Everything would have to be done with mp3's, which are usable but crappy.

3. Buy a PC to replace the Mac, use the Mac as listening station.

4. Buy a PC to replace the Mac, it can double as jukebox and listening station. Something else could be done with the Mac, not sure what.

There is also the question of a second work computer for the office, that overlaps with this. i.e. Maybe we can buy one thing and shuffle stuff around so that both goals can be met. What do people think?


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 26, 2007 12:59 pm 
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1 or 2. battery life is not an issue, as it will always be plugged in at the wall (assuming that ipods can operate whilst charging - i dont know if they can...)

3 and 4 are no good, because a computer is too big and intrusive, and the user would not be able to control the listening post (which is the whole point) if it is shared with some other function, and it would need a second video card etc. it is too complicated....

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 26, 2007 2:10 pm 
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Okay. When an ipod is plugged in at the wall, does the charge go into the battery then into the ipod, meaning a working battery is needed regardless? Or can an ipod work with no battery at all as long as it's plugged in? Also keeping it plugged in all the time will likely destroy the battery life, as happens with a laptop. You have to charge the battery, as soon as it hits full let it run down to zero, charge it again. If we don't need the battery at all that won't matter.

Options 3 and 4: a user could control the listening post and it could be done without two video cards. We just run two music applications at once, perhaps putting them on two different desktops with a shortcut key to switch the display from one desktop to the other. I accept that it's still potentially more troublesome though.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 27, 2007 7:56 pm 
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Alright thought about it some more with Erik. I think we should buy a laptop instead of an iPod for the listening station. Reasons:

* The iPod restricts us to using mp3 format (which is crap) or Apple's proprietary formats (which are awful). We can't use Ogg Vorbis or FLAC etc.

* An iPod is at least as likely to break as a laptop. Apparently, iPods are made with pretty crappy hard drives that break frequently. A second-hand iPod is going to have been chucked around a fair bit already by the time it gets to us, because that's what people do with iPods. Also an iPod is not designed to be run all day plugged in... it's meant to be charged up then carried around and charged down. We don't know what the effect of plugging it in all day will be on the battery and power supply. Ofcourse there's a chance that a second hand laptop will break also...

* An iPod is less flexible than a laptop. If we have a laptop, then we can adapt it to do whatever we might want for future projects.

I'm thinking about setting up an Ubuntu media player on one of the old desktop PCs in Infoseed as a proof of concept, to see if it can be done.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 28, 2007 3:58 pm 
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fucking do it then!

:)

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 28, 2007 6:29 pm 
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i pods are for sashiopn victims.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 29, 2007 5:50 pm 
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Sigh. I posted a list of potential buys to this thread last night but it seems something went wrong or I am going nuts.

Anyway. Chris, just trying to find out if anyone agrees with my opinion before I do it!

In short:

* ipod = £100 (minimum) off ebay with video and 30GB
* laptop = £100-£200 either from a cheap refurb dealer or off ebay. Some guy offered me a really old one for £50 but I'm not quite sure it's up to the task.

What is the procedure? Do we have to ask the forest for a budget somehow? Do I just buy something and get the money back later?

And please if people would rather go with an ipod for this project say so and I'd be happy to go with it now. It would be simpler (laptop requires me and others to setup a customised OS), use less power and likely cost a little less. One day in the future we may be able to install Linux on it anyway. For my opinion, I still think laptop is maybe better if we're willing to spend a little more, both have pros and cons.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 29, 2007 7:15 pm 
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laptop is cool. i'd say there is a budget of £100 - £150??? maybe?

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 29, 2007 7:23 pm 
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I'm thinking we can get a good laptop for £200, such as this one:

http://www.bigpockets.co.uk/product.php ... 36d8fc35e7

1Ghz, 20GB hard drive, 512Mb ram, 30 day warranty and Windows XP.

It's annoying because if you subtract the cost of the Windows XP license that laptop should cost £120-£140 I'd say. It's a pretty good spec. More than we need really. They had a slightly lower spec one for £150 but it's sold out at the moment:

http://www.bigpockets.co.uk/product.php ... 36d8fc35e7

Those are the best deals I've found. Perhaps £150 would do better on ebay/gumtree. I will look.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 29, 2007 11:59 pm 
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Yes to laptop. Surely we are not going to pay for a windows license we don't even need?

I would think we could get one free if we wait a bit longer. But maybe we can't wait? How about waiting until we have our OGGs and FLACs sorted out?


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 30, 2007 11:36 am 
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I feel a bit bad because Chris came up with this listening station idea quite a while ago and it's been delayed for a few months by waiting for a free laptop. I don't think one is coming, unless someone knows something I don't.

Why would the listening station wait until the oggs and flacs were sorted? No reason to let one thing hold up another. Also I'm not sure the oggs and flacs are going to get sorted. All our music is in mp3 and m4a, it can't be converted to another format without losing quality. I agree with Duncan that we should leave what we have as it is and live with it. So the only thing to do about oggs and flacs would be to start ripping them from now on... I don't know how to get a mac to rip to ogg or flac (though it can probably be done) unless we install Ubuntu on it.

I think we should do it in the other order -- get the listening station up, then start using the file formats we prefer, which are not supported by ipods.

I agree that paying for a Windows license is ridiculous. But if the cheapest laptop we can find happens to come with one. But yes, it would be much better if we could buy a laptop without Windows. Hopefully something will turn up.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 30, 2007 12:37 pm 
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awesome.. buy it!

we have waited long enough!

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 30, 2007 2:34 pm 
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Okay so it seems there's no procedure for getting a budget for something like this? We just propose it and do it if no one objects?

The £200 Dell is more than we need. We can do without a battery or large hard drive (we can hook it up to a network drive on the mac) and we don't need to pay £60 for Windows. So we're looking on ebay and gumtree...

Me and Erik are assuming the right to spend up to £150 on this now if no one objects. We'll buy it with our own money then ask the forest to pay us. I told Erik to sign up to this board too.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 30, 2007 2:38 pm 
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Sounds ok. Get the money from me when you need it. I'll need a receipt. Thanks.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 30, 2007 3:07 pm 
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i think the machine should stand alone, and not be connected to the mac thing etc. less likelness for problems...

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 31, 2007 9:40 pm 
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We can get this:

Dell Latitude 1Ghz
30GB hard drive
512Mb memory
Refurbished and with warranty

for £155 incl. delivery but plus 17.5% VAT. A bit over our budget but perfect for the job. I believe we have until 3rd Feb (Saturday) to accept the offer.

Can the forest get VAT free for business purposes? Or should we buy it for £183 with VAT?

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 31, 2007 10:59 pm 
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We will have to deposit the full amount including VAT to the seller's PayPal account, but the tax can be reclaimed from HMRC provided the Forest is a VAT registered entity.

Is this the case?

I am happy to use my account to buy the machine and whatever the preferred method of reimbursing me with the dosh is cool.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 31, 2007 11:58 pm 
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We can't claim the VAT back because we're on a special flat-rate system that works in a slightly different way.

But I would think you can go ahead and buy the machine if you're sure it's the right one for us....


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 01, 2007 10:01 am 
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OK can I just make sure there is consensus that this price is OK? I'm sure the machine is fine for our needs.

The price is £158.63 incl. VAT and £20 delivery = £178.63 total.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 01, 2007 10:39 am 
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ok

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 01, 2007 12:49 pm 
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I rang the company and explained what the project was - the guy seemed quite interested in what we were doing and was sorry that he couldn't supply the box OS-free to relieve us of the license fee - however he agreed to knock down the price a little for us to £150 all in.

Result!

I paid for the machine on my VISA - it should arrive at my flat either tomorrow morning or Monday.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 01, 2007 12:55 pm 
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Awesome work Erik!

If it does arrive tomorrow, I am working on Saturday, but could meet at infoseed on Sunday to hack it together. Otherwise I guess we'll arrange an evening next week to meet at infoseed?

I guess since it's such a decent spec, we may as well try running GNOME and locking it down first.

P.S. pm beev about getting money from the forest.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 01, 2007 1:12 pm 
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cool,

so if u guys could set it up with the software and put all the music we will sell on it only, with cover artwork that would be awesome!

Chris

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 01, 2007 1:23 pm 
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We can do.

Who do we ask to find out exactly what music to put on it?

And where do we get the cover art?

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 01, 2007 1:42 pm 
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jane! she is the expert...

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 03, 2007 1:17 pm 
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Laptop has arrived at my flat - I am in London at the moment though so can't work on it Sunday unfortunately Sean - we'll get on the case next week though.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 05, 2007 12:42 pm 
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i'll put everything inside a folder on the desktop of the office computer, if you please?

also- this might be a nice time to rerecruit. should we be emailing anyone else to see if they want to be sold, such as some people who submitted things for the 7inch?

people i don;t have the cds for who might be good- team turnip, hermitage rising, conflict diamonds, chris - your brother's band, add more as you please.......................

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 05, 2007 12:46 pm 
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That'll do I suppose. We'll figure out some way to get it off there.

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Ha! I have a real laser absolutely positioned in my hand!


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 07, 2007 7:40 pm 
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Jane - please could you put the music for the listening station on the Ubuntu desktop rather than the Windows machine in the office, if you have not already done so? This will make it easier for us to transfer it to the laptop.

Also, please could you let us know when this is done as we will soon be ready to copy the music across.

Thank you!


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2007 8:53 am 
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yo!

wtf is going on with this project? 4 months have passed since i wanted to do this.. since then i have:

got a girlfriend
set up a bar and venue
qualified for the student national outdoor ultimate frisbee championships
had my haircut three times by myself
eaten a lot of sugar

come on people, if this doesnt happen soon i will cancel my involvement in this project.

it is not hard to transfer files from one computer to another.. use an external hard drive or a pen drive..

Chris

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2007 11:39 am 
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What is the status on getting the music files together?

Once they are all on one of the office computers ready to be transferred to the laptop, I will do it the very next time I'm at the forest.

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Ha! I have a real laser absolutely positioned in my hand!


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2007 1:38 pm 
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wasn't that guy doing something? i think the new lap top is set up, right?

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2007 1:42 pm 
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The laptop was setup a while ago. yes, it's in the cabinet in the office, except it still needs to have the music put onto it. We also backed up the jukebox music onto DVD. We thought the jukebox music was the music we wanted on the laptop, but that turns out not to be the case. Now we're waiting to be given the right music.

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I've had it with you. If I had an image of a laser gun I would absolutely position it right here in my hand...
Ha! I have a real laser absolutely positioned in my hand!


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2007 5:14 pm 
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i think gareth is your man. he is collecting the music and pictures. they are on his comp i believe.

chris, wasn't you going to build a safe laptop box too, along with getting sugared?

xxxx

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2007 9:52 am 
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yes, but i want it ready to go first.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2007 3:11 pm 
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the files are on the new office computer now in the forest records folder.
also they are on the old computer - there's a shortcut on the desktop.
please see the forest records section though for a list of what we've got and what's missing...

but we need to sort out a few things about who's officially on the list so look at the debate happening there.

i guess the listening post will be delayed til it's sorted.

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Last edited by Gaz on Wed Mar 14, 2007 3:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2007 3:44 pm 
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Right. Thanks for putting them on the new/Ubuntu computer, that makes it much easier for me to transfer them to the laptop. Let me know when the files are ready to be used and I'll get the laptop ready then Chris can make his box.


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