Older blog entries for keverets (starting at number 20)

WinTV HVR-850 finally working in Linux

 That was more painful than it needed to be.

The key to getting the HVR-850 (or HVR-950q, seem to be the same hardware) to work moderately well was placing the following in /etc/modprobe.d/xc5000.conf :

options xc5000 no_poweroff=1

This seems to allow the HVR-850 to do work without reloading itself randomly.  I'm using a stock Debian 2.6.32-4 kernel (from unstable at the moment) and the dvb-fe-xc5000-1.6.114.fw firmware file.  This loads the "xc5000" kernel module at startup and picks up the firmware from /lib/firmware without issue.

Another useful bit of information is that MythTV won't scan the ATSC channels properly unless the timeout was set to be 6 seconds or so (where the DVB card is configured in MythTV there's 2 places enter these timeouts as 6000 ms... set them large or Myth won't work in the Scan step).

Now that this has been done, I'm pleasantly surprised at how much info comes over EIT (the list of upcoming programs) ... so much so that I may not bother with schedulesdirect.org (though CityTV and OMNI really should start putting some usable info in their streams; I'm curious why they wouldn't).  I'm unhappily surprised at how much worse the tuner is than the Digiwave/Electronic Master DTV-5000 set top box I have.  It doesn't bring in nearly as many channels and the weaker of those it does seem intermittent.  I've been considering using an HDHomeRun as an alternative.  Doing so would also likely avoid the hassles I had with USB (not every USB 2.0 card likes the HVR-850) and also allow me to pick up more channels (as it seems the tuner in the HDHomeRun is much better than the WinTV tuners), and more channels simultaneously (since it has two tuners built-in).

I'm watching the results of these recordings on an HDX-1000 (through component video to my older Toshiba 34" CRT which still works well) as none of the computers I have are fast enough to decode & display the HD mpg stream.  They do seem to display well, in the end.

Syndicated 2010-01-09 18:18:45 from keverets


Finally got around to hooking up the outdoor antenna. Without any adjustment, the following come in clear:

2.1 2.2 2.3
17.1 17.2 17.3
29.1 29.2
49.1 49.2

Channel 49 is actually a little flaky and drops out. Perhaps turning the antenna a bit (tricky in the current setup) would help with this.

Next step: attempt to get the WinTV HVR 850 working with the MythTV setup.

Syndicated 2009-10-18 20:36:54 from keverets

Playing with console LJ client

Playing with a new (to me) console based posting client: charm.

If this works out well, I may actually get back to posting on this blog.

One of the annoyances when setting this up was the hashing of the password required a manual python run, during which the ljcharm.py could not be found. This was fixed with a setting of PYTHONPATH before the invocation.

Syndicated 2009-04-22 20:31:44 from keverets


I'm now attempting to work more seriously with git. Unfortunately, I have to interact with a CVS server at the same time (for final commits, etc). I still haven't found a really good way of doing this (initially with ideas from a blog entry). git-cvsimport works fine for pulling things down from CVS into the local git repository, but going in the other direction seems to require a separately checked-out tree and some annoying steps. I also tried an alternate approach where it's all in one directory, but that makes the git history much less useful and there's still weird conflicts after committing.

If anyone has a good way of working with a remote CVS server and local git repositories, I'm all ears.

Syndicated 2007-09-14 16:16:26 from keverets

13 Sep 2007 (updated 13 Sep 2007 at 20:06 UTC) »

Linux Wireless

Saw reference to this page:


Which will come in handy the next time I need a wireless NIC that will be supported under Linux.

Syndicated 2007-09-13 14:44:43 (Updated 2007-09-13 19:23:45) from keverets

Banana Bread

This banana bread recipe worked well:


Uses a large portion of shortening, but is quite tasty.

Syndicated 2007-06-16 15:20:41 from keverets

Garmin Forerunner 301

I've got a Garmin Forerunner 301 that I use for running/biking/car trips. It sometimes takes a long time to pick up a signal which is kind of annoying, but otherwise seems to be a nice little unit with built-in heart-rate monitoring and the like. I wanted to use it on Linux as I don't use Windows. A quick search revealed this entry which gives a couple of command lines to grab data off the GPS. After a quick apt-get install, I tried them and they seem to work. The first just gives a long series of coordinates. The second gives a .kml file which I was able to import into Google Earth (though that's extremely slow on my hardware, so not very useful to me).

gpsbabel -t -i garmin -f /dev/ttyUSB0 -o gpsdrive -F tracks.gps

gpsbabel -t -i garmin -f /dev/ttyUSB0 -o kml,points=0,line_color=ff0000ff -F waypoints.kml

I'd really like to put some data into Open Street Map. It would be a fun project for the summer to bike around the neighbourhood and fill out their data.

Syndicated 2007-05-03 00:06:22 from keverets

New Bike

I was just given a new bike: a Specialized Hardrock Sport. It's my first new bike since 1992 (approximately). My old bike was starting to have more issues and was becoming increasingly frustrating, so this is a welcome change. I find myself becoming increasingly interested in alternative forms of transportation. Currently, I'm pondering the ability of a semi-enclosed recumbent trike to service the majority of my transportation needs. I'd really like a human-powered (or human/electric hybrid) version of the Volkswagen 1-litre Car. The 1-litre car itself would be great, but I doubt that will hit sufficiently mass production to make it affordable any time soon. With Ontario trying out new e-Bike legislation, this could lead to some interesting new vehicles.

Syndicated 2007-04-30 01:06:12 from keverets

27 Feb 2007 (updated 27 Feb 2007 at 23:06 UTC) »

Cell Phones

Thinking about the whole iPhone thing (had a few discussions at work about it). Will be interesting to see if it makes the difference (and convergence) that it promises. OpenMoko sounds like an interesting variant (cheaper, and out sooner).

I've been re-evaluating my mobile phone usage. I currently use very little time (normally less than 30 minutes per month), so the pay-as-you-go plans make perfect sense for me. I'm currently using an old Nokia phone with Virgin Mobile, but I don't like being tied to a particular phone model. Unlocked GSM phones seem like a good idea (as long as my assumption that they can be made to work with the carriers in Canada holds true). Unfortunately, there's only Fido and Rogers that support GSM phones in Canada (and they're even the same company now, from what I've read). Well, there's one other GSM carrier, but they only serve the northern territories. So, is that even an option for me?

Looking at my usage patterns, Virgin Mobile currently costs: $25+tax every 3 months ($9.50/month in Ontario with 6% GST, 8% PST)
and you get 33 minutes (anytime) with that. (33*0.25 = 8.33)

For Fido's cheapest pay-as-you-go plan it's: $10+tax+911 fee ($0.50) per month, so $11.90/month in Ontario, and you get 33 minutes (anytime) for that. Not too bad... only about $2.50 more per month.

Really surprising to me is Rogers. It's actually comparable (from the web page, anyway... Rogers has a way of adding unnamed "extra" charges, similar to Bell). Rogers' cheapest plan is: $10+tax+911 fee (doesn't say, but assume $0.50): again $11.90/month, this time getting 30 minutes for that.

It's starting to look like GSM might be a viable option for me.

One may wonder: is 30 minutes enough? I currently have $42.56 available on my phone, or 170 minutes of talk time, as the minutes roll forward (as long as you renew in time... which is easier to do every 3 months rather than every month). This just supplements my Primus TalkBroadband ($34.15 per month after taxes, with unlimited North American long distance) and my internet ($34.19 per month with Cogeco cable). So, for me, 30 minutes of portable talking is more than enough.

Syndicated 2007-01-19 02:32:26 (Updated 2007-01-20 00:54:11) from keverets

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