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02/25/06

  06:11:49 pm, by The Dreamer   , 81 words  
Categories: General

I survived the FCC Mathcounts 2006

....now to look to the Ohio State Mathcounts 2006 in two weeks. &#59;D

Getting up early to volunteer for this was strange...given that it has been a long time that I had gotten up that early....even though back when I was working it was considered a normal time.

I was really tired after the long day....that I think I'll turn in early after I have a quick feast (having skipped lunch....)

:yawn:

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02/19/06

  04:07:39 pm, by The Dreamer   , 691 words  
Categories: Hardware, Software, Computer, BOINC

Can never have enough memory

:`( or something like that.

Lately, things have been getting slower and slower on most of my machines. In part due to running more and newer applications.

So, I'm looking at buying more memory for the computers I have, that can be upgraded. And, looking at the upgrade plan to see where the other machines might fall.

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  12:26:31 am, by The Dreamer   , 67 words  
Categories: Digital Photography, Travel

360 Camera

Link: http://www.ubergizmo.com/15/archives/2006/02/360_camera_concept.html

I've been known to get the urge to take panaromic shots with my camera....

....sometimes to show of the mess that is home.

....or work.

....or when traveling....

Though it is a lot of work...so that cuts on the amount of playing around I do with picture taking.

But, perhaps a gadget like this would help me do it more often (and get better results &#59;D)

02/18/06

  04:12:02 pm, by The Dreamer   , 174 words  
Categories: Hardware, Software

Taking apart a Maxtor OneTouch II external hard drive

Link: http://www.pcdoctor-guide.com/wordpress/?p=574

I have been searching the Internet hoping to find the details on what opening up a Maxtor OneTouch II might entail. Not because the drive has failed or something, but because I'm getting annoyed that everytime I reboot my computer, the drives disappear and I need to 'update the driver' in order to get the computer to detect them correctly and make them available. :**:

While the one connected to a W2K Professional box has had no such issues, it is a WXP Professional box that another pair of these are connected to.

Today, I finally found a site that had information on it.

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  03:10:38 pm, by The Dreamer   , 300 words  
Categories: ReplayTV, Software, Computer

Interesting BASH quirk....

I had a fustrating experience....in making continued enhancements to my Personal ReplayGuide 'update' script, I added some handling for a missing map entry (Zap2It is not providing a map entry for UHD, even though the site knows that it should be at 715).

A simple thing that I've done hundreds of times on other platforms (at work in a file called nsconfigmod, apconfigmod, csconfigmod, or the like) that looks to see if a line is present or not (using grep) and adds lines as needed (using sed).

But, for some reason it just wouldn't work on the Linux box that is running PRG. I stared at it for a good long time, and then tried the script on my other Linux boxes....and it worked. So I started thinking maybe I need a newer version of 'sed'...that didn't help. Maybe a newer version of 'bash'. Well....really new versions have other dependencies that I didn't feel like tackling for this one seeming odd quirk. The PRG box is a RedHat 7.3-legacy box, while my other Linux boxes are more modern (though the other main Linux box will also be update frozen soon)....anyways...one is using bash-2.05a-xx and the other box has a bash-3.0-xx. Evidently the way the versions treat line continuation characters differs....which was what was tripping me up. :##

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02/17/06

  02:16:12 am, by The Dreamer   , 75 words  
Categories: ReplayTV, Digital Photography, Hardware

What are they?

02/15/06

  07:17:57 pm, by The Dreamer   , 273 words  
Categories: Software, Computer

Upgraded to Norton Antivirus 2006

Link: http://www.symantec.com/home_homeoffice/products/virus_protection/nav2006/index.html

I knew my Norton Antivirus subscription was about to run out for my laptop...but I was waiting for the start of a new billing cycle on my Discover card before doing the renewal. So, I tried to do it today.

Well, I found out that I can no longer get subscriptions for NAV2002 (OEM-Toshiba)...and I would have to upgrade to NAV2006. So, I bit the bullet and did the upgrade.

After numerous reboots, and some configuration tweaks...I think I have it working the way I want...on the most part. The main annoyance was the "Norton Protection Center"....telling me that my update policy needed to be changed. Its a laptop, I would rather be informed that there is an update than have it automatically download and install them while I'm trying to use my laptop...potentially from an unknown Internet connection (rather than safely at home behind my firewall, etc.)

Hopefully just disabling the service is all that it'll take to silence the annoyance.

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  12:23:55 pm, by The Dreamer   , 179 words  
Categories: ReplayTV, Software

More WiRNS Updates

Well, this morning I found that my update hadn't happened. Turns out the dependence of getting the last update time for 'GuideUpdated' was flawed...because the string is set to "Failed" if the last update failed....probably results in an ignored exception that means no GuideUpdateTimer is created.

So, I updated it to handle "Failed". Which seems to work for my case, though I can't help wonder if there's a case where it wouldn't work....wonder what kind of timer gets created immediately after an update failure.... U-(

Next on the list was to see about reducing the calls to 'acknowledge', to just being down when a 'download' was done and successful. But, Ryan beat me to the punch with getting that in. Though I had a set of changes...to store blockedTime and suggestedTime....and check blockedTime when doing Manual Guide Updates, even though it currently isn't being used or enforced.... &#59;D

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  01:38:16 am, by The Dreamer   , 495 words  
Categories: ReplayTV, Software

Need to get back on local time....

....for getting to sleep, I think. :yawn:

I've been trying, but it is hard to go to bed when I'm not tired...and then I somehow manage to get busy that I forget that I should.

Today, it was yet another Zap2it related code change....this time in WiRNS. To tweak the GuideUpdateTimer scheduling to use suggestedTime, in a better fashion.

The old code, just has HH:mm for when to do an update...and the quick change was to hack this portion out of suggestedTime and set the next update time to this.

The problem is that if it does an update at say: "2006-02-14 13:34:30" and after 'acknowledge'ng the 'download' it suggests "2006-02-15 18:09:08"...WiRNS would just take the "18:09" and try to update this this time rolls around....less than 5 hours after the last update :!:

I know Zap2it returns Zulu time, but I made an adjustment, yesterday, to convert this to local time. I also made a change so that it gets both blockedTime and suggestedTime from the response to 'acknowledge', but blockedTime isn't being used anywhere...though if it was, it would probably be applied as a constraint to using the manual guide update.

So without making too extensive of a change to the code...I added a check that if what GuideUpdateTime thinks should be the next update time is on the same day as the last update, then it should really be looking for that time the day after the last update.

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02/14/06

  12:46:31 am, by The Dreamer   , 367 words  
Categories: ReplayTV, Cable HD DVR, Software

Personal ReplayGuide Lives!

A few days ago, Zap2it reduced the amount of data available by DataDirect to 3 days. (they have since removed the restriction, without solving the actual issues that prompted them to do this....)

This reduction of data was kind of bad, because I've been using the extended range of data to map out the recording of the Winter Olympics (though though I'll probably limit my viewing to finals in events of interest, which I haven't decided what they are yet). Though it wasn't the end of the world, because the ReplayTVs can still get the full data from DNNA. Though I do use PRG to help catch shows that I might want to record on my HD-DVR.....)-o

The issue is the stress other people are putting on their servers. Namely the large cluster of people that do requests in the early morning (about midnight to 3am). I had long ago changed my polling to be somewhat random at later times....though since my updates are scheduled by cron. For a given day of the week, the download is done at the same time each week.

Zap2It had added an acknowledge function, which returns two times...one for which downloads are blocked 'til and one for a suggested time to hit them again. It doesn't currently impose a blocked constraint (since it returns the time of the request for 'blockedTime').

And, without resorting to a rescheduling 'at' job or something (which I'm too tired to investigate doing, now that I've thought about it :yawn:) based on 'suggestedTime'. I updated the datadirect_client.pl to require next run to be sometime on the next day after 'blockedTime' and/or 'suggestedTime'.

There's a couple lines in the script that can be commented out, so that it ignores 'suggestedTime'....I had thought about releasing it this way, but opted not to. It was more to test my changes (which kept pushing 'suggestedTime' further and further into the future....:oops:)

So, here's the file: datadirect_client.zip

Now to see about catching some zzz's :zz:

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Now instead of subjecting some poor random forum to a long rambling thought, I will try to consolidate those things into this blog where they can be more easily ignored profess to be collected thoughts from my mind.

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