[WIP] XBMC Beginners Guide (PDF)

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gollumscave Offline
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Post: #1
Hi all....

I've recently started to work on a XBMC manual and soon discovered it is so rich in options that I had to write 2 manuals... A Beginners Guide, and an advanced guide...

I'm currently working on the beginners manual and would like your feedback.
I've just working on it 2 days ago, so it's far from complete.
I'm going to include how to install XBMC, install some skins (including aeon), some plugins like LLC Lyrics, subtitles, Home Theater Experience, etc...
So far, I'm almost done with the setup part..

Feedback please?

You can download it HERE. PDF File (hosted by RapidHost)
or here. PDF File (hosted by vanOert.)

*** UPDATE January 22nd ***
There will be one more update on monday night where i show you the latest progress... That will be version 0.4. After that it's gonna be quiet for a week or so because i have implemented all kinds of changes that you guys haven't seen yet and are still being suggested. That's my fault ofcourse, not yours..
Thanks for your incredible feedback, This project will not die, cross my heart... Just give me a week or two to finish it...
Like i said before, it's a VERY raw version, artwork will be redone as well as phrasing, grammar etc. etc.. I just want to write the context in its whole first before i start re-writing and move stuff around...

*** UPDATE January 28th ***
Been extremely busy last week and the free time I did have got lost on personal well being ;-)... I'm working on it again and have made some good progress. The earlier release date of 1st of February will not be met. New release date for Valentine's day?

*** UPDATE March 20th ***

My sincere apologees for keeping you guys waiting for so long... I've been extremely busy last few weeks. I live as a foreigner in Thailand and live isn't always as easy as you'd like it to be... On the other hand, sometimes it's pure heaven... I haven't worked on the manual for a while but to stop you guys from worrying I've uploaded the most recent changes.... I've also decided to make a Video Installation Guide and post them on You Tube. Nothing new will be revealed in those, but they are faster and easier to make. No hassling around with screenshots and placeholders and so on...
Anyway, I haven't read it, just posted it, so beware of lots of typo's. Next weekend another update will be posted...
(This post was last modified: 2011-03-20 11:52 by gollumscave.)
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ppic Offline
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Post: #2
good start.

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PatK Offline
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Post: #3
Nice.. clean and pretty easy to digest. You might want to include the word 'Windows' in the title.. and a short bit of information between the types of Windows... e.g. XP, Win7 and how they differentiate themselves in the versions as to how they interact with XBMC.. I look forward to your advanced version...
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jhsrennie Offline
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Post: #4
gollumscave Wrote:Hi all....

I've recently started to work on a XBMC manual and soon discovered it is so rich in options that I had to write 2 manuals... A Beginners Guide, and an advanced guide...

Have you considered writing it on the Wiki (wiki.xbmc.org)? The Wiki is supposed to be the definitive resource for XBMC, but it's always out of date because none of us have time to update it.

JR
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arildjensen Offline
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Post: #5
Thank you very much for doing this. Personally I do have a preference for PDFs so I appreciate that.

In my experience this types of "dummies" guides work best when you're very intentional on limiting that you put in there. Just enough to get them started and up to a level where they can more easily take advantage from more comprehensive wikis, forum posts, and other more advanced guides. Get the reader excited about XBMC is the goal.
(This post was last modified: 2011-01-18 19:41 by arildjensen.)
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gollumscave Offline
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Post: #6
jhsrennie Wrote:Have you considered writing it on the Wiki (wiki.xbmc.org)? The Wiki is supposed to be the definitive resource for XBMC, but it's always out of date because none of us have time to update it.

JR

Yes, I've thought about kinda re-doing the wi-ki because of the advantage of multiple users being able to update it. The big "but..." for me is... I hate reading wiki's... I've always loved having a book on my lap or next to my keyboard and reading up on how to get problems solved... I have printed the Windows Server 2008 R2 Bible, The Photoshop Bible, The Microsoft Exchange Bible, each over 1500 pages... Books just work better for me..

I'm kind of proud of work that I produce and try hard to keep things up-to-date. I don't fear the manual becoming out-of-date and will make regular updates. I'll also keep a changelog to the manual so that if people decide to print it, they can just print the pages that have changed and swap them out.

As I have hardly any coding skills and no ambition to be a coder I can dedicate myself to writing the manual and keeping it up to date. Maybe in a future state, when it's complete, i can port it to the wiki.

The beginners manual will be done end of this month I hope, but the advanced manual will take at least a month to produce.
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gollumscave Offline
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Post: #7
arildjensen Wrote:Thank you very much for doing this. Personally I do have a preference for PDFs so I appreciate that.

In my experience this types of "dummies" guides work best when you're very intentional on limiting that you put in there. Just enough to get you started and up to a level where you can more easily take advantage from more comprehensive wikis, forum posts, and other more advanced guides. Get the reader excited about XBMC is the goal.

YOU GOT IT! Finally someone who understands the power of XBMC!
I have used MEEDIO for and Media Portal for a long time until i read about XBMC. I installed it for fun and what blew me away was that i had it setup in under 10 minutes without major configurations. THIS IS THE POWER OF XBMC!

My goal indeed is to keep things simple. XBMC is incredibly powerful hence the growing interest it starts to get from for example Sigma. I think 90% of the users agrees that Aeon is one of the best, be it not THE BEST looking skin out there, but lots of users give up on it because they can't get it to work the way they want it. That's where they lose "members". I love aeon and got it to work perfectly. I'm having issues but deal with them. The true power of growing is ease of use and I have no doubt that XBMC will conquer the competition easily. In fact, XBMC is the one to beat at this moment already i think. Meedio died after yahoo bought it and put it in cold storage. Windows Media Center has a loyal group of fans but only because of the power of their ability to record tvshows. Media portal is WAY to complex for starting users.

In the future, what I would love to see, is people buying a set-top-box with XBMC running on it, and I think that isn't something that is far fetched, in fact, it's in the making...
What would give XBMC an even lower threshold for beginning users is a printed user manual to get things started.

I'm working on the manual everyday. If you have any ideas on its layout, background colors or can come up with a nice coverpage, i would be greatly thankful. Remember, it's just a rough draft. No spell/grammar checking yet, the pictures haven't been aligned, and it's far from complete... But it's getting there....
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natethomas Offline
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Post: #8
There was actually talk among the team of doing something like this. The fact that it didn't pick up a lot of steam was at least partially my fault. The link doesn't seem to be working at the moment, so I can't read and review, but my chief suggestion is to make it an XBMC Dharma manual. That way you don't have to worry about future and/or past compatibility with the guide.

Always read the XBMC online-manual, FAQ and search the forum before posting.
Do not e-mail XBMC-Team members directly asking for support. Read/follow the forum rules.
For troubleshooting and bug reporting please make sure you read this first.

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gollumscave Offline
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Post: #9
The link still works when I click on it.
It's hosted on windows skydrive... dunno what the bandwith limit is per day overthere...

The suggestion of making it a Dharma release is indeed a good idea. Haven't thought of that... I've send a notice to contact@xbmc.org a few days ago but i haven't had a reply yet. I just want to know if it is ok to actually do this because i am using screenshots, logo's etc from XBMC. I also want to know if I'm not wasting my time cause something like this is already in the making nearing completion?

I'd just like some feedback from the ones at helmcontrol....
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vanOert Offline
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Post: #10
Hey,

if you like, I can provide a free, fast mirror for the pdf without traffic limitations, just drop me a pn if you are interested.

katy: Silverstone LC19/AMD Zacate E350/4GB/7.5TB/Win 7 Pro 64/24/7/Shade (custom)
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gollumscave Offline
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Post: #11
Thanks for the offer! but at the moment i don't really want to actively spread it yet. I'm also not going to post any updates to the manual yet. I've set the deadline for February 1st and then is when hopefully version 1.0 of the manual will be released...

Now at that date, I would gladly take you up on your offer Smile
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steshell Offline
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Post: #12
This is just what is needed, the forum and wiki are both fantastic resources but there is far to much information there for a beginner.

Looking forward to seeing version 1.



Steve
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jmarshall Offline
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Post: #13
What are you using to write the PDF? If it is in a easily tracked file format (eg latex or similar) then we can host it in on our git repository and it can become the official one, assuming ofcourse that it's accurate.

Will check it out in a bit.

Cheers,
Jonathan

Always read the XBMC online-manual, FAQ and search the forum before posting.
Do not e-mail XBMC-Team members directly asking for support. Read/follow the forum rules.
For troubleshooting and bug reporting please make sure you read this first.


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gollumscave Offline
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Post: #14
Actually I'm writing it in Word 2007 and convert it with Nuance PDF Creater5
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jmarshall Offline
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Post: #15
Right. The link doesn't work, so I can't really comment on the content.

Try uploading it somewhere else.

Cheers,
Jonathan

Always read the XBMC online-manual, FAQ and search the forum before posting.
Do not e-mail XBMC-Team members directly asking for support. Read/follow the forum rules.
For troubleshooting and bug reporting please make sure you read this first.


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