Tuesday 18 October 2005


I've ordered a DVB card. It's the Hauppauge WinTV-Nova-t PCI. Hopefully I'll be able to set it up on Linux and integrate it with the MythTV setup.

It'll hopefully allow me to record MPEG2 streams without recompressing, as well as allow me to record two things at once in MythTV.

I'll post my progress with this card as I try to get it to work.

Monday 17 October 2005


It was inevitable really. Having climbed the large cherry tree and cut off five or six large branches with a hand saw, some chopping and cutting would ensue.

The first tool I chose for the job - the Black & Decker Scorpion electric saw - endured two branches of defoliating before falling to bits.

So, off to the the DIY store I went, planning to buy a replacement Scorpion. Then I noticed the garden tools section and within about two minutes went from looking at 50 quid electric toys to this...

McCulloch Mac 438 petrol driven 14 inch chainsaw.

I had no idea how much fun these things could be. It's like an extreme sport, dangerous and adrenalin pumping. Obviously real-man, phallic-symbol stuff, but all stereotypes have their basis in reality.

From the moment you open the packaging and fill up the petrol tank, you know you're dealing with a proper grown-up tool.

I wholeheartedly recommend this to anyone with a lust for life - and who can read and follow the frightening instruction book.

Wednesday 5 October 2005

Downtime on the Family TV

It's always tricky performing maintenance on hardware that is central to the family's computing/entertainment life, but this change could take out all the TV's in the house for days or even weeks.

I have a projector in the living room, attached to a Linux PC running MythTV, an open source personal video recorder project similar to Sky+ or TiVo.

At the moment it can only record one channel at a time from an NTL digital cable tuner and the big plan is to add a Freeview DTV card to it so that we can watch one live channel while recording another (or record two channels simultaneously).

It's a bit scary though, as these things have a habit of needing a fair amount of Linux hacking to get working correctly and that could knock out the entire house (6 people)'s TV and video.

Wish me luck ;)

New Processor Woes

Windoze just doesn't seem to be capable of it.

You want to upgrade a PC's processor; so inevitably, the motherboard and memory have to follow suite. You try to boot the PC and it goes into a reboot-loop.

This has happened a few times recently and each time I end up reinstalling Windows. Not that I mind too much, Windows seems to need regular reinstalls to stop it from seizing up altogether.

Linux seems to handle new hardware a lot better, although it's always possible to boot into a low run level (a rather extreme equivalent of Windows Safe Mode!). You just don't get the Windows clog-up problems with Linux, as applications' settings aren't all installed into one bloated registry file.

Tuesday 4 October 2005

43 Things and Places

I found the option in Typo to enable 43 Things and 43 Places (no longer running) to my blog. Nice idea as it ties two Web2.0 technologies together.

Should help to give a better idea of what I'm about, although I'm some way off the number 43 (or 86) just yet, clearly need to be more interesting and make some more plans ;)

Would be nice if there was an option to show 43 posts on your Typo blog.

Monday 3 October 2005


Much as I love MythTV, it's web interface for anything other than TV recordings leaves a little to be desired.

So, I'm considering writing an interface to MythMusic in Ruby-on-Rails.

It should be ajax enabled so that you can do iTunes style search constraining and it should have a decent artist/album/song type browser.

I think I'll add this to the end of the project list after Mad Margaret's e-commerce.

If anyone else thinks this is a good idea, reply to this post.

Sunday 2 October 2005

It Begins

Well, the start of October seems like the right time to start a proper blog. A bit late for the term-start, but it's been a fair few years since I had a decent length summer holiday anyway.

I've had a news/diary section on klaws.org for a while, but I just never quite got around to updating it. Hopefully being able to edit on line will help.

What's this all going to be about then? Current projects include...

  • Ruby-on-rails (web framework behind this site)
  • MythTV (Linux based PVR)
  • Extreme Programming
  • Sorting out home bandwidth contention with a Linux firewall
  • Getting my loft converted
  • Writing and recording some music

So, glad you could make the grand opening. Hang around for a while, and help yourself to a cocktail and some canapés.

God bless this blog and all who sail in her!