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Archive for March, 2007

MythTV with ALSA
Date: March 30th, 2007 by SiD3WiNDR
Categories: Software

This is one for googlability (yes, I just made that word up).

If you’re running MythTV and wonder about how to get it to correctly use ALSA (it’s not in the list of sound devices, so you think maybe your build was compiled without ALSA support?), here’s a big tip: the dropdown box for the sound device (showing /dev/dsp and /dev/adsp) isn’t really just a dropdown, but a combobox. You can just as well type stuff in there, and if you type ALSA:default and it’ll use your default ALSA device just fine. Reasoning behind this is they can’t/don’t want to enumerate all possible ALSA devices in a dropdown, so they just put the standard ones and let you type the rest yourself. I’d think ALSA has a way of detecting the present devices and just show those but anyway, this is how it should be done if you want to use ALSA.

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Making MS SQL Server 2005 remotely accessible
Date: March 30th, 2007 by SiD3WiNDR
Categories: Software

I recently installed SQL Server 2005 Express Edition (don’t ask) and wanted to get it to listen on a TCP/IP socket as well (this is by default off, go Microsoft!). I enabled TCP/IP sockets in the configuration editor, but it didn’t work. There was a listener on 1026/tcp (?) but not on 1433/tcp. Google’s first few hits only told me what I had already done, but the Microsoft Knowledge Base item on the second results page pointed me in the right direction: the "SQL Browser Service" must be enabled and running. It seems to be disabled in the default (Express Edition at least) install.

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<?php vs <?
Date: March 30th, 2007 by SiD3WiNDR
Categories: Computing, Rants, Software, Stupid

Time for another rant… when writing PHP code, PLEASE PRETTY PLEASE use <?php instead of the short-sucky <? tag to start your PHP code. This is disabled on many machines, including all of mine. This means whenever I find such an application I want to use, I install it on my server and it goes bork. Sometimes, everywhere <?php is used except in 1 or 2 places, making the thing fail when you’re least expecting it.

This  implies you have to use <?php echo instead of <?= too, and yes, that is more work, but it’s certainly much nicer, as I don’t have to open each and every .php and .inc and .whatever file, replacing <?= by <?php echo, <? by <?php and then <?phpphp by <?php, right?

Yes PowerAdmin , RackTables , ZenPhoto , I’m looking at you. 

Edit: Oh look, WordPress doesn’t make &lt; out of < in the post title – bug reported. I think.

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I hope you’re a good swimmer
Date: March 30th, 2007 by SiD3WiNDR
Categories: Fun, Interweb

Google’s mapping service produces… well, interesting results. Check step 20 🙂

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Date: March 22nd, 2007 by SiD3WiNDR
Categories: Computing, Linux, TV

Since today I have DVB-T working. I have a Pinnacle PCTV 300i PCI card, which is a Analog PAL + DVB-T tuner card. It is supported onder Linux, however I couldn’t get the DVT part to work.

Geert had a Hauppauge DVB-T USB stick since a few days which I could borrow, to make sure I had good reception with my old trusty analog UHF/VHF antenna. After some fumbling with the kernel modules and firmware his USB stick was up and running with reception, but my PCI card still didn’t want to budge. Armed with the knowledge that reception was good but the thing didn’t work, I asked the question in #linuxtv on freenode (again, I already tried a few times). Luckily, mkrufky/Michael Krufky was there to help me, but unfortunately his first few attempts I had already tried, modules already loaded etc. However, after I pasted something particular out of the dmesg output, bells started ringing…

[21|23:11:10] < sid3windr> tda9887 1-0043: tda988[5/6/7] found @ 0x43 (tuner)
[21|23:11:10] < sid3windr> tuner 1-0060: Chip ID is not zero. It is not a TEA5767
[21|23:11:16] < sid3windr> and then tuner 1-0060: microtune MT2050 found, OK
[21|23:11:28] < sid3windr> (this last one appears twice btw, perhaps that isn’t normal?)
[21|23:12:24] < mkrufky> it’s supposed to be a mt2032
[21|23:12:39] < sid3windr> oh?
[21|23:16:37] < sid3windr> HAHA
[21|23:16:38] < sid3windr> it works
[21|23:16:53] < sid3windr> mkrufky rocks. 

He already left the channel, but I’ll be sure to let him know. The module misdetected the tuner type, so here’s how to force it: 

modprobe saa7134 card=50 tuner=33

It’ll still say the same in dmesg, but! tuning will work. 

root@khalid:~# cat be-Veltem
# VRT Veltem
# T freq bw fec_hi fec_lo mod transmission-mode guard-interval hierarchy
T 482000000 8MHz 1/2 NONE QAM64 8k 1/4 NONE

-> scan be-Veltem (scan from dvb-utils), and you should find 11 channels provided by VRT. If you’re closer to another broadcasting station (check for the list), you can adjust the frequency there.

DVB under Linux still seems to be a bit quirky at times (and ick, tuning time is quite slow), but it works in MythTV. I’m watching remote, and the image stuff is rather slow at the moment. Have to figure out why, but my backend server is also resyncing one of its md arrays, so it’s a bit loaded… 

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Date: March 22nd, 2007 by SiD3WiNDR
Categories: Activities, Computing, Security

I’m going tomorrow. If you’re there, lemme know! I’ll probably be seeing nghtwsh, thevoke, daviper, wonko, geert, ghosty, and some others that may be there 🙂

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Works for me!
Date: March 22nd, 2007 by SiD3WiNDR
Categories: Development, Fun

Good news! When writing software you can now certify your software, like the "Works with Windows Vista" label, with a "Works on my machine" certification!

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WTF Public License
Date: March 22nd, 2007 by SiD3WiNDR
Categories: Fun

For some people, apparently the wealth of software licenses isn’t enough. Maybe for the next thing you create (program, art, image, …) you could use the Do What The Fuck You Want To Public License ! (Wikipedia link, author site temporarily erroring out – worked a few days ago)

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Glass Maserati
Date: March 22nd, 2007 by SiD3WiNDR
Categories: Car, Fun

Cute. Nice car, not so practical anymore. 🙂

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Date: March 20th, 2007 by SiD3WiNDR
Categories: Fun, Linux, Rants

From April’s Linux Format in the "Mailserver" column:

Reader’s letter:

I fail to understand why Linux Format keeps dismissing and talking down Gentoo Linux. I note that the latest issue has yet another dig at it [Gentwho?, Distrowatc, LXF89]. I have been using Gentoo for about two years, and my only regret is that I did not discover Gentoo earlier – there is no way I would go back to any other distros I’ve tried with the problems of finding compatible dependencies. You imply that it takes a long time to install Gentoo. That is true, but if one considers the time spent in uninstalling unwanted programs and finding dependencies for other distros, then that is a small consideration. As for the difficulty of installing… It couldn’t be simpler if one takes the time to read the manual carefully. One does wonder if your magazine’s reluctance to endorse the system is due to the fact that Gentoo users have little use for the software included on the discs you issue with the magazine and are less likely, therefore, to buy it?

 – Graham Young, Nottingham, England 

LXF reacts: 

How would we "endorse" Gentoo? By writing about it? Oh, we already do that… Er, by putting it on our (apparently redundant) coverdisc? No, we do that too. Hmm. I have an idea: we could print a massive poster extolling the virtues of the system. In fact, we just have – you are holding it right now. In the true spirit of the Gentoo build-it-yourself culture, you need to do a bit of work yourself, but it’s easy if you follow these simple instructions: 1) cut out all the individual words from any 20 pages of the magazine. 2) Boil down the spine binding to acquire some glue. 3) Lay the remaining pages flat and glue on the words in the correct order to make an inspiring message. (NB for a stage 3 poster only, you can simply take a big marker pen and draw on the pages yourself.) 

Standard Gentoo-fanboy post, thoroughly torn down by LXF.

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