In the house we’re using a first gen AppleTv set to boot Crystalbuntu from USB to run XBMC. At the other end of the chain we have a Windows 7 netbook file sharing the Drobo under the network name DROBOSHARE (this netbook recently replacing the hardware droboshare).
The two were never able to talk properly without forcing the AppleTv to remember the Drobo’s IP address (through a mix of host file hackery and reserved DHCP by mac address). I always just put this down to my router which has appeared to be slowly dying.
So virgin came to fit a SuperHub Modem/Router today which resulted in a change of IP address for everything, and the problem to show up again. In the midst of trying to debug the issue I found the mac was also having some difficulties. This vindicated the poor little AppleTv which up until now had taken most of the blame.
Behind the scenes windows does some network jiggery-pokery (NetBios) which turns a name like DROBOSHARE to an address like 192.168.0.1. Out on the internet you would use DNS to do this, but a DNS server in the home is a bit overkill. Macs (and other nix based devices) have their own systems for doing this also, sometimes very easily out the box. Truthfully the mac one is probably better, but could result in DROBOSHARE becoming DROBOSHARE.LOCAL which would have killed my XBMC library.
Once the problem was indentified then the solution could be found !
`sudo apt-get install winbind`
This lets the AppleTv understand the windows way of naming.
Thanks to http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=88206 for the solution