My Pi is up with Raspbmc and communicate with my SMA inverter and update data to pvoutput.org. But I still lack of something, an USB hub, an external powered USB hub.
Initially, I went to the IT shop to seek for a cheap solution, but the price just stop me. A 4-port powered USB hub from Belkin is selling about RM70. If a Pi only cost RM111, how unreasonable if I get a hub for RM70. So, I make up my mind to do it one for myself.
The idea is very simple, you get an old USB hub that can be powered by external power supply, then you cut the power terminal that connected to the Pi, left only data line. This is to prevent unbalance voltage that might causing the Pi malfunction.
Once you have cut the power supply connection, it is safe to connect the hub to Pi. I found a 5V, 3A adaptor from my store, so it is just nice to use it, lucky :)
Now the external powered hub is ready to use. I connect back the external HDD, and I can continue enjoy the movie. Too bad that Raspbmc does not support rm/rmvb file. But that is not a major problem, just get a converter and convert it to other format will do. With the current CPU power and GPU power, it is just a few seconds job to convert rm/rmvb to avi.
Then the next task will be the remote for my Pi. I order a TSOP34138 infrared receiver from Farnell with cost of about RM5. Then I found an old VCD player remote and use it to become the remote for my Pi. STM Labs has a very detail instruction of how to use GPIO of Raspberry Pi to become IR receiver. For those that can't afford to buy a nice IR from Logitech, this is the cheapest solution that you can use.
Basically, I have done most of my tasks, but I still have more challenging task to do with my Pi. Will update once I have more detail to share.