Know How...

Apr 26th 2018

Know How... 379

Feedback: Linux laptops, Disco lights & Next Gen Wireless!

Linux Laptops, video capture latency, Nanoleaf Light Panels, Ubiquity Wireless IP cameras, and Norshire Car Washer
Although the show is no longer in production, you can enjoy episodes from the TWiT Archives.
Category: Help & How To
It's a feedback episode of Know How! Megan and Padre take a look at Linux laptops and Ubiquity wireless gear, then Megan gets funky with Nanoleaf and Padre breaks out a battery bank...that can also wash your car!
- Aaron Smith (Crash)
"Hey KitAs,
I want my next laptop to be Linux only, but am trying to narrow down what I want beyond that.
In your opinions, would it be better to buy a laptop that comes with Linux pre-installed, or should I not worry about that since wiping out the existing OS and replacing it with Debian?Ubuntu/etc. is not that difficult to do? 
I want to play more with editing video and playing games in a Linux environment (Using a mix of WINE and native Linux apps like OpenShot) so I'm thinking of getting a laptop with at least 16GB of ram and a dedicated graphics card, but beyond that I haven't weighed my options between price and power.
This will NOT be my main computer as I have a desktop at home that's quite nice."
A few things to note:
1. He has prior Linux experience
2. He has created dual-boot machines in the past
3. He wants gaming and video editing (WINE and OpenShot)
4. He has a desktop as his primary computer
Now here are Padre's thoughts on Linux Computers:
1. You CAN install Linux on pretty much any modern computer (created after 2010)
2. Specialized hardware (touch screens, custom connectivity options, etc) can be a headache
3. If you're buying a laptop and you plan to use Linux... get one with Linxu preinstalled!
My Choices
* Ubuntu 16.04 LTS
* 7th Gen Intel i5
* 8GB Memory
* 256GB PCIe SSD
* 13.3" 1080p (Non Touch on the least-expensive models) - 4k touch screen on the more expensive models
* 22 hours of battery life (on the 1080p)
* 2 USB 3.0 // 1 USB C (Thunderbolt) // SD Card Reader // Combo audio
* 2.7 lbs
** Note: The windows versons have touch screens, 8th gen processors for just a little more
System 76 Serval WS ~$1900 up
* 8th Gen Intel i7
* NVIDIA GeForce GTX-10
* 15 & 17" options
* Up to 64GB Memory
* 3USB 3.0 // 1 USB 2.0 / 2 USB-C // HDMI // Ethernet / CD Card Reader // 2x Displayport
* 8-11lbs carrying weight (including power supply)
Closing Thoughts
* OpenShot is PASSABLE, but very basic.
* Gaming in Linux is much better than in years past
* All things being equal, I like a dual-boot machine


-- Ben Reese
"I enjoyed the last episode about live streaming, but am curious about the latency of the 3 different Elgato capture devices. Is there a difference in latency going from the Cam Link to HD60 S to HD60 Pro? I've read that the HD60 Pro has almost no latency, but was curious about your experience.
My use case isn't gaming, but live streaming the church service - and sometimes sending the video feed to a projector. For live streaming, I'd rather not have to mess with audio delay manually to get audio/video to match up.
And speaking of audio delay... If the HD60 S has a video delay but also has analog input for audio, does that audio match the same delay? I'd be fine with some delay for live streaming if the audio is automatically going to match up.
This is the first time I've seen the Stream Deck. Very cool! And the $150 price-tag isn't terrible for what it does. But I couldn't help but wonder if that could be made DIY. Hak5 has arcade buttons mounted in their table to change camera angles, so I know it's possible. There's also the possibility of using a Raspberry Pi Zero, which can emulate a HID for input and a USB network dongle for programming."
There are a few questions here:
1. What's the difference in lag between the three Elgato capture devices?
2. Does the HD60S need delay adjustment?
3. Can you DIY the Stream Deck?
1. What's the difference in lag between the three Elgato capture devices?
* For all intents and purposes, there is negligible lag in the HD60 Pro
* It's a PCIe device, which means it doesn't have to deal with the latency of the USB bus
* If you're going to use it with OBS, know that there is a persistent bug with audio sync over time (it desyncs audio and starts to stutter. Problem goes away if you disable audio monitoring.)
* The USB devices, in my experience have between 1/10th and 1/2 second latency, depending on the machine
2. Does the HD60S need delay adjustment?
* No. Audio and video are encoded at the same time. Not separate streams
3. Yes... but at what price/loss of functionality.
LED Flashy Things!
-- Brad Thornton, MA
I love your LED projects and I want to do something to add splash lights to my room at Boston College. Unfortunately I don't have access to a 3D printer, I can't solder in the residence halls, and I can't make any serious alterations to the walls without hefty fines. Is there something I can buy to get a controllable LED splash? I want something easy to setup and control.
- Control with the switch
- Control with Siri
- Control with Alexa
- Nolan T
"Have you had any experience with Ubiqiuti equipment?  I have been seeing several websites and Youtube videos about people using them for Home networking. What are your thoughts and what about all the Kitas out there.
* Their man products are web-managed, controller based APs
  -- Controller-based WiFi is something it gets from its Enterprise Heritage
  -- In a controller-based WiFi network, the APs are just relatively dumb transcievers.
  -- They get their smarts and SETTINGS (Provisioning) from a controller
  -- It used to be that you had to have a dedicated controller, but Ubiquity also has a cloud-based controller
** Why use a controller?
  -- It makes setup across large networks or even across multiple locations much easier
  -- It makes administration much easier (single pane of glass)
  -- It allows for things like auto level-setting
  -- It makes expanding the network much easier
  -- It make handoffs much more seamless
Show and Tell!
AmpliFi HD Router
* Gigabit Ethernet
* 4 x LAN, 1 x WAN
* Touchscreen
* 6 Radios
* 802.11AC
* USB Expansion Port
* Automatic Updates
* iOS & Android App that shows you performance, usage and allows you to activate/deactivate connections
* Uses and WiFi or Ethernet connection
* Automatically VPNs back to the Amplify HD Router, giving you access to your network and resources
* 802.11AC
* Dual, dual-band radios
* Uses same AmpliFi app as the Router
* Works with AmpliFy or any 3rd party Wireless Router/AP
- J Miller
"I am about to install up to 16 IP cameras in and around my home. These cameras are going to be throwing a lot of data around my network. This got me thinking how my network was set up and how I could improve it and keep it running fast. I am a gamer and use PLEX to stream video to the Roku's I have around the home so I have high demands on my network.
Since I know just enough to be dangerous, I would like to get a conversation going from the talented people here on the best way to go about setting up secure high speed Ethernet networks, securely connecting them to your ISP, what equipment will do the job for the least amount of money and of course, reliability."
** Pulled from Episode 297
Things to consider when choosing a Switch
1. Speed
2. Ports
3. Management
4. POE
5. Noise
* Gigabit is the standard (and will do 1000/100 when necessary)
* There are 10Gig switches, but they tend to be cost-prohibitive.  (Think 15-20x of a smart switch)
* Look for the bandwidth of the switching fabric.
  - If you have a 4-port Gigabit switch, you need 8Gbps of switching fabric. (2Gb/port (up/down) X Ports)
* 8 Port is a good starting point
* If possible, get one with a SFP, SFP+ GBIC port. (But this will add to the expense)
The Perils of Daisy-Chaining
** You CAN link switches together, but you'll be constrained by the throughput of the linking ports
* This is why we want "Home Runs" back to a centralized switch
* If you MUST daisy-chain, try to ensure that oft-requested and heavy-use devices are on the SAME switch, or at most 1-hop away.
* Managed switches let you enable some INCREDIBLE features, but tend to increase the price 2x-5x
* Unmanaged switches are "Dumb Switches": They frame-switch, but that's about it.
* "SMART" (semi-managed) switches don't give you the flexibility of Managed switches, but they WILL support things like QoS and VLANs.
* POE adds very little to the cost of a switch. Get one that has AT LEAST a few ports of POE enabled
* This will allow you to power certain network devices with the same cable that delivers network connectivity.
* Cameras and IoT devices FTW!
* AVOID switches with fans. Especially rack-mounted switches that tend to use small-bladed, high-speed fans.
* UNLESS you are dedicating a data center/data closet that can be acoustically isolated
My Choices
* 8 ports // 16Gb Fabric
* They call it managed, but it's really Smart (QoS, VLAN, Port Mirroring)
* 4-ports of PoE
* Fanless
* 16 ports // 32Gbps Fabric
* Smart Managed (Qos, VLAN, Port Mirroring)
* 8 ports of PoE
* Noisy Fan!
* 10 ports //
* Managed
* No PoE
1. Battery Bank
2. Jump Starter
3. Warning Sign
4. Car Washing Kit

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