Debian Lenny 5.0

Installed Debian Lenny 5.0 onto my AMD64 machine. Seems to run alright. I immediately got VMware Workstation installed and this operates nicely too.

Operating system managed to pickup my native resolution correctly, of course currently only using an unaccelerated video driver, which will be an ongoing issue. My system has an onboard ATI 3200 HD video adapter I think. I think the only accelerated video driver is the non open source one, which from last use sucked. I’ll install the version that ships with Lenny to see how I go. Hope it doesn’t generate core files like the one on 4.0 produced. I’d really hope an open source accelerated video drivers is available eventually.

The other issue I have currently is no audio working. Which is a problem, as any virtual machines will then have no audio working either. Will work on getting the audio working tonight, think I will need to do a reboot or two with changes made. I know audio works on ubuntu, so it should work on Debian too. Just a matter of getting things right.

Doesn’t look like the default apt sources has any mythtv packages, I guess I am missing something. Will have to explore this too, as I wouldn’t mind having a backend/frontend on the host too (so I can then use the HDHomeRun network tuner, that I am interested in purchasing).

Mythtv and PS3

As per Simon Rumble I found the PS3 to have a reasonable good UPnP client too. Although the PS3 wouldn’t play back recordings that had obivously had some modifications done. ie. cutlist changes etc.

Once the recording goes into nuv format, the PS3 won’t have a chance in hell to play it. I did some tinkering and managed to setup a custom job to honour the cutlist and maintain the mpg file format. However once the 2nd install of the configuration this failed to work. 1st time I did it on a setup it worked fine. I never did get around to working it out, maybe I might again in due time.

I just noticed that the HDHomeRun units are now available in Australia. HDHomeRun is a dual DVBT tuner that connects onto your ethernet and of course MythTv can then be configured to use the unit, or multiple units. Other software on other operating systems also support it. ie. EyeTV on MacOS X etc.

Having just seen these units now available, I am pretty keen to pick up one in the near future. I have a bit of funds to use on computer items, so I think I will get one once the funds in question are available for my use again.

Of course this means setting up a virtual machine to run mythtv is very possible, as the tuner is accessed via ethernet, so no fancy pci or usb hardware to consider under the guest itself.

Lack of customer service

Let me set the scene. My wife and I have owned a Topfield PVR for a number of years, so of course we recommended it to family and friends.

Unfortunately the unit my mother purchased suffered a hardware failure within the first 10 months or so. Believe it was a hard drive that died. So the unit was sent back via the retailer. It took over a month for a unit to come back, which I believe was a reworked one. The replacement unit seemed to work fine, or did so for a little while.

Unit ended up unable to get an signal locks. I factory reset the unit, and it came good (or so I thought). It would then lock on channels, but soon as I attempt to record anything it would immediately loose the ability to lock channels and the recorded program would have a filesize of zero. The only thing I can think of is that maybe 1 of the 2 tuners is having issues. Would explain that you can factory reset, scan, and lock a channel. In any case the unit seems to be fubar.

Not sure what sort of warranty is provided for reworked units, but my wife decided to give Topfield Australia a call, and was surprised just as I with the response. First off it took my over 21mins of being hold to speak with someone, who said only that it wouldn’t be much longer. At the 30 min mark someone finally come on and this is what they suggested;

Firmware update should fix it, or it could be the leads

What a complete generic response. Sounds like they were reading a scripted procedure. Of course neither suggestion is relevant in my opinion, as the unit has worked (and both suggestions would be suitable if the problem existed from day one).

I am shocked by the customer service, and even more shocked by the product having 2 serious issues. Of course now the unit is as useful as a brick or door stop.

Ironically enough our unit we own is at least 4 years old and still going strong. Although is due for replacement, had considered another Topfield unit, however in light of the above, we won’t be considering another Topfield unit based on this terrible customer support.

New car arrives

Saturday was the big day, the new car after arriving a week earlier, was finally available for pickup. So my wife and I managed to get everything sorted so that we could go pick it up. Snap below from iPhone.


Was happy to see they have the cars in the showroom awaiting pickup. Would be nice if other dealerships would do a similar thing.

Unfortunately we haven’t had much time to go for a drive, so the car was taken for a quick spin then put in garage. Hope to have time next weekend for a drive.

Will be advertising the 1999 Mitsubishi Lancer Coupe early April. Wife decided to hang onto it until then so she can use it until her Maternity leave starts.

Bit of a warm one.

Well the weekend was certainly a warm one. No doubt about that.

It was too hot to really do anything, so spent both days inside with the A/C on. Looking forward to some cooler weather, especially since I plan on trying to do a bit of cycling.

My wife got a call Friday afternoon, apparently her new car got delivered to the dealer, so they said to her what day she hoped to pick it up. They were happy to hear she wouldn’t be in until Saturday, which gives me the whole week to do what they need to do for pre-delivery. Will photos of the car hopefully next weekend. Although might not get time, as I have my car getting serviced (and we also have 20/20 match to attend on Sunday).

The joke that is Bigpond Tech Support Email

Back in December, when I was having issues with connectivity. Which oddly enough was a problem for most ISP’s, although everyone else had routed traffic over alternate links. Bigpond on the other hand made uses suffer for some 2-3 days before they made any routing changes.

Any attempts to speak with support to follow the lead that other ISP’s had already provided was like yelling down a well. One fellow I spoke with suggested I send an email with all the ping and traceroute examples. Sure enough I did.

Below is the result of that email. Notice the date it was sent, and the date in which I got a reply.


This is now the joke that is Bigpond Tech Support Email.

Interesting iPhone Applications

In the last few days I came across the following two iPhone Applications, which I must say are pretty cool. I actually bought both of them too.



The second application can be downloaded as a Lite version for free, however I think it’s worth the purchase, especially if you loved games such as Scorched Earth.