Why I love my HP Media Server

I just can’t describe how much I am loving my new HP EX490 Media Server. I’ve had it running flawlessly for 2 weeks now. Everything just works, simples! It’s small dimension also means I am saving a lot of space. I’ve configured LightsOut to further conserve my electricity consumption.

Anyway, this post is to highlight the awesome (and what makes the EX490 stand out) feature of this Media Server – it’s built in interface system. Assuming that you enable Remote Access with the appropriate user settings, there’s endless possibilities to explore! If you go to the WHS console and go to Settings>Remote Access tab and change the website homepage to the HP Mediasmart Server homepage you will be greeted with this screen when you access your server’s https URL:

(Please click on each picture to get an enlarged version)


Now isn’t that just sexy! I personally feel it is miles better compared to the original WHS page. You can virtually do ANYTHING here, browse shared folder, stream videos, stream music, stream photos, remotely connect to your server (Remote Desktop) or other online computers in your network – the options are (virtually) endless here!

One of the features I love here is the HP Photo Publisher feature. It enables you to upload media (mainly photos) from your server to some of the popular media hosting sites as shown in the screenshot below:

However I think the icing on the cake is the Media streaming option. It has (in my honest opinion) the prettiest and most functional interface one can ever ask for. I’ve only enabled Music streaming but just check this out:

There is probably more to explore but for the mean time I’m sold. I think it’s just THE essential toy for any geek out there πŸ™‚

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Windows Home Server

After having some issues with my home built Home Server machine, I’ve decided to upgrade and go for the HP MediaSmart Server EX490.

I’ve been reading up on the HP Mediasmart server EX490 and it seems to be the right tool for my needs. I am so far very impressed by it. Very easy to setup and run anyone can do it!

Here’s a few pictures of my Home Server :

EX490 box

Front View
Rear View

I’ve also purchased 3 Seagate 2TBs Hard drives to boost the internal storage capacity up to the current possible maximum of 6TBs + 1TB from the system HDD.

Seagete 2TBs HDDs

I like how small and sleek the EX490 is compared to the machine I’ve built.

I felt a little bad for the old machine though so I did a clean reinstall of WHS on it with minimal addons. What I did next was to make it my “secondary” server. I use it with the sole purpose of making backups of important folders from my main server. This also means I can disable File Duplication completely on my main server.

I’ve foundΒ  Robocopy VERY useful in transferring files over from old to new server. Just write a simple batch script and just leave it running! No more stressful GUI stuff πŸ™‚

I’ve also setup the secondary server with SyncToy 2.1 and used the built in Windows Scheduler to automatically sync important folders every day. I have also used an addin called LightsOut to further manage when my server switches on and goes into hibernation/sleep. You got to think about the environment (and your wallet) too!

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Red Dead Redemption

Really looking forward to this game.Β  Made by Rockstar (the people who produced GTA series) I have a feeling that this is just going to be awesome.

I’ve always have fantasies of being a cowboy roughing it up in the wild wild west and this seems to be my chance to live it – albeit digitally. The graphics looks spot on – animation looks great, play environment is very realistic, models looks and behaves as they should (good ingame physics). Gameplay modes are also very varied although most of them are centred on online multiplayer (Which is not a bad thing!) Online multiplayer gameplay, in my opinion, is the future of gaming. I also like the fact how you can opt to play as a “posse” or even rough it out on your own.

The game is set in a big sandboxed world with wide open deserts, mesas, mountain tops and quiant western towns. Main mode of transport are on horsebacks. So far I can’t seem to find any information if there would be horse drawn carriages or wagons so you and your posse can all ride as one to ambush the opposition but that would be fun! I reckon a “train robbery” game mode would also be fun. Fighting it out on a moving train to gain domination and get away with the loot etc… haha endless possibilities!

The game is only available for Xbox 360 and PS3 although I sort of wished they would release a PC version too! It is going to be hard deciding which console will I play it on. I am leaning more to XBox at the moment as I prefer its controls (and also online play medium) better than PS3! Do comment though if you guys/gals disagree πŸ˜‰

The game is set to release on May 18, 2010 in North America and on May 21, 2010 in Europe and Australia. I can’t wait! Although I would actually HAVE to wait until my final exams are over πŸ™ Oh well, it looks like the summer is going to be a good ‘un. Who cares even if it pours everyday! πŸ˜€

Here’s a Youtube video to wet your appetites :

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