Two Towers

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Arcfire, Jun 18, 2017.

Two Towers

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Arcfire, Jun 18, 2017.

  1. Arcfire

    Arcfire Guild Admin Staff Member

    No, not LotR, but I see why you might think that...

    Long story short, I've cobbled enough old parts together from previous machines to make a media PC for the Living room, but since none of the housemates seem to have any interest in it, I have instead reclaimed it and taken it back to my cave.

    So the question became: How the hell do I lego all this shit together? Solution follows for anyone interested:

    1. Only have one ethernet connection and one port per tower?
    -- Grab this:
    -- use that for your input adapter on the master machine (my "master" is the Media PC now running Ubuntu 16.04 LTS)
    -- now you are free to use the remaining motherboard ports to share the master node's connection with a short cable

    2. Want to use only one set of peripherals without a hardware KVM toggle box?
    -- Grab this for ~$15: (linus tech tips has a %25 off promotion right now)
    -- install on both machines, configure screen layout, run the machine with peripherals connected as host, other as client

    3. Want to hear everything from both machines in one set of headphones?
    -- Grab this: micromix
    -- Has multiple inputs, one output. I currently have one of these for mixing my electric guitar/bass and mic into a single line input on my windows machine for Rocksmith, and I just ordered a second one to mix the outputs from both towers into a single set of headphones.
    -- Mix in, mix out
    EDIT: Just realized that mixer is mono, which is fine for mixing input, but no bueno for mixing outputs. Going to have to find a stereo solution.

    4. Want to send mic inputs into both towers, or have headphones AND speakers?
    -- Grab this:
    -- I've got one just in case I ever decide I need to have mic going to the Linux box as well, and I'm a headphones only kind of guy so I probably won't ever need two.

    There are probably better all-in-one audio solutions out there if you know ahead of time you are doing all that in one shot, but I have been working toward this setup bit by bit. Eventually I'll get all the boxes mounted together on one sound board.

    Also, after a recent wind storm that nearly fucked my power supply, I've finally picked up one of these: ups

    Both machines and two monitors are pulling a total of 198 watts currently, just browsing internet. Need to look into the setup needed to power both machines down in the event of battery discharge. Hopefully the business edition of powerpannel will have some sort of solution.

    But why the hell have I gone and done this? Mainly because I can, but also because I can't fucking trust Win10 to behave itself any more and I feel better having a Linux box to fall back on. From now on, the Windows rig is strictly gaming, and all document work, important backups, and prodding of questionable websites will be done on the Linux box.
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2017
  2. syberghost

    syberghost Guild Admin Staff Member

    I used Synergy and liked it, although some find it difficult to set up. My recommendation with it is that the machine you're going to game on needs to be the "master", I.E. the one into which things are plugged directly. This is true whether you're gaming on Windows or Linux; you don't want the availability of CPU cycles to determine your keyboard and mouse response.

    Personally I just game on Windows and my Linux box is pure server, so I don't need any of that stuff anymore, it goes into a secondary port on my monitor and only needs a keyboard to boot. I need to make you guys a new picture of my setup; it's very different now than it used to be. One keyboard, one mouse, one ultra wide screen monitor. Everything I used to do with a second monitor is now done with a TV and a Roku or not done at all.
  3. Arcfire

    Arcfire Guild Admin Staff Member

    Found myself a stereo mixer finally: . That plus a few L/R splitters should have me in business

    Mine setup seems to look like a streamer setup more and more every day, but I don't particularly want to jump into that pool...

    And yeah synergy is pretty slick so far, only gripe is they need an option to disable/rebind Scroll Lock = constrict cursor to screen, as I now need to look elsewhere for a push to talk button.
  4. Arcfire

    Arcfire Guild Admin Staff Member

    Think I am more or less in business hardware-wise. Still need to work on getting the Linux box suspending and resuming gracefully (re: network auto-connect and synergy client launch), and get it listening for shutdown signals from the battery backup.

    Camera garbled the mid-section of the panorama a bit, but meh. The quality is nothing to write home about anyway. You get the idea:

    Linux box on the left, Ubuntu 16.04 LTS
    Lose10 box on the right
    -on the left with the uprights is the stereo mixer, currently combining output from both machines to headphones
    -small box in the back-right is phantom power for the mic
    -small box in front-right is the micromix, combining guitar, bass and mic input into the windows machine.

    Turns out the case on the left (acquired from work leftovers) was all done up in red LEDs, so I get a nice Red vs Blue effect when all the lights go off at night.
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2017
    Rhyus likes this.
  5. Arcfire

    Arcfire Guild Admin Staff Member

    Favorite Thing #1 about this new setup: I can now play Rocksmith and watch youtube/twitch at the same time. Rocksmith is a bastard and takes full control of your audio devices while running (allegedly to improve input latency), but it can't touch my Linux box muahaha.
    Rhyus likes this.
  6. syberghost

    syberghost Guild Admin Staff Member

    I've got the same case on my Windows box. Planning to replace all the fans with red LED fans instead of blue, unless I just give up and get a new case.

    Unless I just give up and get a new PC entirely.
    --- Double Post Merged, Jun 23, 2017, Original Post Date: Jun 23, 2017 ---
    I don't put mine in the window though, that's tacky.
    Rhyus likes this.
  7. Fell

    Fell Guild Admin Staff Member

    I want to know more about the acoustic guitar case over in the corner....and,... is that an electric bass? my game room has a handful of guitars too.
  8. Arcfire

    Arcfire Guild Admin Staff Member

    Those are basement windows that never get opened and get watered by the sprinklers every night (basically just a fire exit), so nobody is going to judge besides you guys which is fine. They are saving me precious desk space, and I refuse to put my towers on the carpet with all the animal hair in this house. I tend to keep all surfaces to about 5 ft max because that's what fits in civic hatchback if I ever need to move. Been thinking about finding another table now that I have more space, but good finished tables are expensive yo.

    @Fell The guitars aren't anything crazy:

    Acoustic is an old steel string Ibanez inherited from older brother who didn't play it anymore. Mostly stays in it's case these days though I do have a cheap electric pickup for it if the mood takes me. I think it just has some run of the mill D'Addarios from a few years ago that have held up well and thus turned me on to the brand in general.

    Bass is also an Ibanez, which was aquired from a friend back in high school for ~$150 if memory serves. I had it adjusted way back and it plays pretty nice.
    - got some slippy strings recently and it plays 100% better:

    Electric (hidden in picture) is a Yamaha Pacifica 112j:
    - treated myself to it about a year ago, cheap enough to be entry level, expensive enough not to be glorified firewood.
    - again with the slipperiest (my preference), heaviest gauge strings I could find in order to build up hand strength:
    - downside of the heavier gauge was that I had to sproing the shit out of the floating bridge to get it to lay anywhere near flat, but I managed it by basically cutting all the springs in half. May add a couple more in the future (it has room for 5 total).
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2017
    syberghost likes this.

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