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Broadcast Music Around Your House - Apple Airport Express? Roku? Squeezebox?

Here's the scenario: all of our music is stored as mp3s. We want to be able to control music from a laptop as we sit in our kitchen or back room and have that music broadcast to speakers all over the house and back yard patio. Ideally we'd rather not have to run speaker wires from a central amplifier to the rest of the house. There seem to be 3 or four solutions to this problem.

Apple Airport Express and iTunes

Now that we're a family of Mac users, this seems like a decent solution. We buy a handful of Airport Express units ($100 new or as low as $60 used/refurbished) and install them in a power outlet near the speakers. The speakers have to have their own amplifier and accept a headphone mini-jack input for this to work. I'm also not 100% sure that the airports would all be synchronized in terms of what they play at the same time, though there are multiple articles which claim that it is possible. So, it probably works ;)

Bonus: Each of the airport express units expands the coverage of the WiFi network as well which will make our house super strong...and perhaps we could sell access to that to neighbors...

Drawbacks: iTunes only.

A Dedicated Device like Roku or Squeezebox

Roku and Squeezebox are two alternatives focused specifically on music. Roku is more focused on using the Roku to control the music, costs $200, and doesn't act as a WiFi repeater. The Squeezebox Receiver or Transporter could also do this but, like Roku, are way more expensive at $150 or $2,000 respectively and don't act as WiFi repeaters.

Drawbacks: Still requires some client software on the laptops that is Windows/Mac only :(

Remote Wireless Speakers - Audio Unlimited

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Unfinished Drupal Limerick

I was just cleaning out my computer and found this little Limerick:

Greg's Unifnished Drupal Limerick

There once was a CMS named Drupal
With code, the developers were frugal
It's only 2megs
Taxonomy means tags
I like to play the bugle

I think I wrote this 2 years ago.

As you can see, the last line is pretty weak. I think the basic flaw is that I ended the first line with Drupal and then had to try to rhyme something close to it which is kind of hard.

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Summer Concerts in Denver 2008

Ah, it's that time again. Time to plan for summer concerts. A quick review of all the craptastic concert calendar sites shows me too many artists coming to town this summer. Who should I see?

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Book Recommendations for our new Christmas Gift?

As we're on our year long trip Nikki and I have read a lot of books. We find that without as many friends, family, and normal recreational activities there's a lot more time for touristing but also more time for reading. This has been great. The last 5 months I've read more non-technical books than the past 5 years (seriously).

At that same time - we're fresh out of reading material! I (Greg) will be coming back to the states for a usability work session at the University of Minnesota and then for Drupalcon Boston. It's going to be great.

While I'm home I'll be bringing back books we finished down here (and some wine) and hope to make a big purchase of books to bring back down.

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