Categories: "Home Theatre" or "3DTV" or "AppleTV" or "Blu-Ray" or "Boxee" or "Cable HD DVR" or "DVDs / NetFlix" or "HD Movies" or "HDTV" or "Momitsu V880N" or "OTA HDTV" or "ReplayTV" or "Roku XDS" or "Samsung HLN4365W1" or "Samsung UN50ES6500F" or "Time Warner/Cox Cable" or "TiVo HD / Premiere / Elite"

Pages: 2 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 ... 49

10/27/11

  06:56:53 pm, by The Dreamer   , 420 words  
Categories: Stuff, Software, Computer, DVDs / NetFlix, Boxee

I closed my Stamps.com account

I decided today is the day to close my Stamps.com account. It was triggered by something unrelated....

I had pretty much decided that it I was going to close my Stamps.com account around mid-year, but I kept thinking that I might need it still and then I kept forgetting to do it (before the automatically monthly charge around the 20th takes place.)

When I called, they noted that I had had my account since 1999....guess that's about right...also the year that I started NetFlix (another thing that I'm starting to wonder about.) For a while before than, I had been paying for a postage meter.... Stamps.com used to be a lot cheaper by the month than the rental of a postage meter, by quite a bit...though sometime ago the edge closed, but there were other advantages to having Stamps.com then. I also lived closer to a post office, and was active selling on half.com and ebay. Though proximity to a post office was important to being a seller....

But, when I upgraded my computer back in December....the end for Stamps.com came up. The Stamps.com-branded labelwriter that I could print single stamps on demand with wasn't supported beyond Windows XP. (wasted a sheet of NetStamps somewhere years ago....printed a whole sheet of first class postage, but only used one....figured I'd use it while computer was packed up for move, etc. But, don't know where it went to.) I may someday buy a new labelwriter (been thinking of a new label maker...though perhaps I'll just buy new labels for my current ones), but to keep my stamps.com account useful wasn't enough of a reason to do it now. But, I'm just about at the point where I'm going to pull the plug on the old computer (TARDIS)...and use the space for something else. Providing it doesn't end itself for me first. I've already replaced a drive in it since 'retiring' it. And, its making drives noises again...

Pages: 1· 2

07/29/11

  09:06:15 pm, by The Dreamer   , 310 words  
Categories: ReplayTV

Just heard the news....ReplayTV Lives!

So, with July 31st just around the corner...I decided that its time I stop putting it off...and see about replacing the drive in Number 5 and see about setting up WiRNS again.

But, as I go to Number 6 to see about it picking up its new DHCP settings, it shows a message that they are continuing guide service. Though I guess how the monthly people continue with ReplayTV is open....but since I have 2 lifetime units, I guess I get to continue living a little while longer....

http://www.digitalnetworksna.com/replaytv/

Important Announcement!

After the announced shutdown of the ReplayTV programming guide service, we have had many positive, enthusiastic comments about the ReplayTV DVR products and services. In light of this response, ReplayTV and its parent company Digital Networks North America, Inc. have decided to continue the electronic programming guide service pursuant to the terms of your service activation agreement. We thank you very much for all of your support and enthusiasm over the many years these products have been sold.

As we have said previously, the analog programming that the ReplayTV units are capable of recording is in fact likely to be converted to digital signals in the very near future at which point the ReplayTV units will no longer be able to record such programming. We encourage our users to consider digital video recorders that have this digital recording capability as well as additional technological advances which are not a part of the ReplayTV units (all of which were end of lifed by 2006). For monthly subscribers of the ReplayTV service, we are exploring options by which you may continue paying for and receiving such service going forward. We apologize in advance should there be any minor disruptions in the ReplayTV service while we implement the continuation of the programming guide. Thank you. ReplayTV

The "My Accounts" button on the page don't work though....

07/24/11

  11:49:00 am, by The Dreamer   , 2214 words  
Categories: Digital Photography, Hardware, Software, Computer, DVDs / NetFlix, WiFi, Storage

Morning Orac outage

Well, Orac was being somewhat unresponsive this morning.... Looks like early this morning the system stopped answering to Cacti, with the temperature of the GPU rising to a new high. Don't know what the high would've been, because there was no snmp data for a while. GPU temp did recover, but the display did not.

Ended up rebooting, needed the excuse to see external journal work....

Once backup, I switched back to internal journal...but one of maximum size rather than default size. And, then shutdown the system to extract the PCI Compact Flash card. During the reboot to see external journal work...I realized that I wasn't likely to see much performance gain from getting faster compact flash since the card itself was only UDMA/66. So the 133x CF is already faster than the card?

Probably should've fsck'd manually after the switch back....some discussion thread suggested doing this after fiddling with journal settings. But, its fsck'ng now after the boot back up. Apparently superblock had invalid external journal superblock hint? And, auto fsck failed, requiring manual fsck.

Downside of internal journal is that it can only be a max of 400MB (an improvement from the 128MB default I had before)...but that's only like 0.01% of my total space. And, there was a discussion thread that seemed to suggest a journal size of 0.2% would yield better improvement....I didn't do the whole 16GB CF card...though wonder how much that would've helped.... But 0.2% would call for a journal of ~10.9GB. Suppose I could turn off data journaling, especially since there are files that backuppc puts down that are bigger than the 400MB journal. Though I think the ordered/writeback modes usually just do metadata journaling, while I had switched it to data journaling when I was playing with external journals...but I didn't switch it back.

Wonder which of writeback or ordered would be more optimal for this FS? :??:

Full story »

Pages: 1· 2· 3

07/07/11

  10:37:12 pm, by The Dreamer   , 1056 words  
Categories: General, Hardware, Computer, Home, TiVo HD / Premiere / Elite, Storage

I nearly died 3 times this week...so far....

First Tuesday's near death was caused by my TiVo Premiere.

I sat down to watch Combat Hospital first....on my 1st TiVo HD....but saw that the episode was split in two....a 30 minute and a 22 minute piece. Guess I'll have to find it elsewhere....checked Amazon, NetFlix....no luck. Guess iTunes....though I turned off the Apple TV, wonder if should set it back up. I'll just push it through TiVo Desktop or something...

While waiting for it to download and convert....I switched over to my TiVo Premiere....it gave a strange HDMI error. Probably rebooted recently, too...the TiVo's sometimes mess up the HDMI handshake on boot up, and I have switch input away and back to fix it.

It was busy recording two shows.... I looked to see what I would watch. Noticed that I was weird on how it recorded Outcasts....it recorded 3 of the same. Played one....it reported that it didn't record because there was no signal, same with the next and again with the 3rd. Hmm, I checked other shows....after that point....same message, this is getting annoying.

Things had recorded fine on my TiVo HD's...so a problem specific to my TiVo Premiere. I was deleting the bad shows as I was going and writing down the episode number to of the ones that weren't repeating in the coming week to track down later. But, not the missed episode of Outcasts, it recorded fine on my 1st TiVo HD. I started going backwards, and finding more and more unplayable shows. Wondered if the shows currently recording were working. One seemed okay (Covert Affairs), but the other one (HawthoRNe) was black at the beginning...guess the was a station outage...but the show was coming through fine now.

I then tried to plan an old show that I hadn't finished yet...it reported that it didn't record because.... hmmm, maybe it just needs a reboot. Since both shows will repeat again later in the week. I rebooted it (took me a while to track down the restart option

And, then I died a bunch of times.

I saw that the just a few more minutes....hmmm, its a different looking screen than before, wonder when it upgraded that. But, then it rebooted again.... And, another few more minutes....and this time...blank screen.

I tried pulling the plug....a few times....checked all the connections....then I checked google, seemed to suggest perhaps an HDMI problem. So, I switched component....no help. I wondered if my TiVo Premiere was still under warranty. Evidently, I activated it on July 12th. Just under the wire?

Meanwhile...it was still showing blank screen....and I was maybe hoping that it would just be taking really long or someting. When, suddenly "TiVo Central" appeared...and the later the discovery bar slowly filled in. So, no more intro video?

I looked around a bit...and the big change I saw was the Hulu Plus item. Guess it was just another painful software update....

I then checked the shows....everything seemed fine...I restored all the shows I had deleted and they seemed ok as well, and I've watched a few since then....only Outcasts and the two shows that were recording were lost. The two shows repeated later, and I got them then...other shows will repeat and I'll get them. Since Outcasts recorded fine on my other TiVo....nothing was missed in the end.

Pages: 1· 2· 3

06/20/11

  07:01:02 am, by The Dreamer   , 134 words  
Categories: ReplayTV

Just heard the news, ReplayTV is dead.

Important Announcement!

The ReplayTV Electronic Programming Guide (EPG) Service will be permanently discontinued on July 31, 2011. After this date, owners of ReplayTV DVR units will still be able to manually record analog TV programs, but will not have the benefit of access to the interactive program guide. Effective immediately, monthly billing for the ReplayTV service to remaining customers has been suspended.

The industry conversion to HDTV is complete and ReplayTV DVRs are unable to take advantage of the wealth of HDTV programming. Please contact your service provider for current offerings.

Guess my (2) lifetime(s) is about to end.... :..(

Wonder if its just guide data, or if the other services like time setting, activation, IVS are shutting down as well.

Guess I don't need to be looking to replace the drive in one of my lifetime units.

Tags: dnna, replaytv

05/30/11

  09:48:00 am, by The Dreamer   , 892 words  
Categories: Hardware, Computer, BOINC, Roku XDS, Ubuntu, Other Linux

LHAVEN is dead, long live LHAVEN?

Well, I was getting really annoyed with it complaining and kicking out the replaced disk in LHAVEN. So, I shutdown the system and took out the disk, figuring it should just continue to run fine degraded until I get around to replacing it.

Well, it wouldn't power on after that. I went through everything, no joy. It had done this a while back when I tried adding something to it. It could just be the power supply has flaked out, but I don't have a tester or multimeter handy...so I can't really test it. Could buy a new PS...and I may do that.

But, I kind of suspected the drive issues weren't actually the drive but possibly some deeper hardware problem. So, I had been planning to replace LHAVEN at some point. It has done quite well, being circa 2002. Started out as a 64MB Duron 800MHz machine, eventually peaked at 2GB Athlon XP 3000+. It had replaced a Cyrix PR233 box that had gone up in smoke during a hot summer day in 2002, when the transformer outside blew....the computer survived the brownout and then blackout, but the fans didn't spin back up when power returned...so it burned itself up. Later I found one problem with this new system. It wouldn't resume after losing power. No BIOS setting to alter this behavior and I did try to see if there was alternate BIOS updates for it. It was kind of a painful machine to manage, because for some time kernels didn't have built-in support for all the SIS chipset stuff in it....so an update would roll out, and NIC was usually one of the things to definitely go missing. Which made for fun to rebuild a custom kernel upgrade for it. Eventually it got stable.

But, needing essentials like DNS, DHCP to be available after an extended outage...I moved these to another server (originally an old Pentium 75, which has evolved into what is known as 'box' today). For the longest time it was RedHat 7.2, and then RedHat 7.3 when fedora legacy switched to only supporting 7.3 and 9 releases. It continued after fedoralegacy stopped supporting it, I was building some of the packages for it by hand...like bind (in response to the Kaminsky exploit). There were parts of my network that wouldn't function without LHAVEN...like an old Windows 2000 box that was barely functioning...(old Gumby).

I nearly lost it during the Icepocalyse....but I tracked down motherboard replacement for it from geeks.com. It was a slighty newer mobo, but equivalent chipset. It did have some things the old mobo didn't, like USB 2.0 support (I didn't use USB and still don't), support for 2GB of RAM instead of 1GB...so I upped it for better BOINC'ng. And, faster CPUs....so I upped from 2200 to 3000.

At one time, I had turned it off to do some upgrades...which didn't pan out. Tried to slap a gigabit card into it...didn't work. Wouldn't get along with the on board stuff, and the BIOS didn't have ways to get things out of the way enough. It also never fixed the resume after power loss issue. But, during this process it failed to power on....but after a couple days, it came back and I decided to upgrade its UPS and hopefully it would make one last outage. Well, there were several others since then where it came back afterwards. But, looks like this is the last time for it.

Pages: 1· 2

04/30/11

  07:44:41 pm, by The Dreamer   , 1325 words  
Categories: Hardware, Software, Computer, Networking, WiFi, Storage, Roku XDS

Getting local content to show on my Roku XDS

One of the things that helped me rationalize getting the Roku XDS, was the possibility of displaying media content on my HDTV. I used to be able to do this with my Momitsu V880N, but the mmc software doesn't work under Windows 7...and I guess I'm not ready to take the plunge on getting a Blu-Ray player....though it might happen later this year. And, when I do..the one I'm looking at would support DLNA sources on my home network.

Well, then I heard of Gabby, which will expose local content to my Roku...and I could access DLNA sources. And, that worked once. The software is currently beta, largely my experience is that it'll crash, or crash, or spin. Often I'd come home and find tons of error dialogs and its stuck, or it'll have gone away on its own, or my machine will be really slow and I'll find that the process is consuming all my memory (but there's 16G in there) or CPU....or both. But, it did work, so maybe someday it'll be usable.

And, then when it doesn't crash...its hit and miss on whether the selection will play completely or the Gabby software will crash at start or during play. But, I did play a few shows successfully.

But, last weekend, I got a file that I wanted to play on my Roku...and I could not get Gabby to work, even ran it through handbrake, even though it was already a format that would be playable via USB.

I ended up watching the file on my computer....

Pages: 1· 2· 3

03/28/11

03/27/11

  06:33:39 pm, by The Dreamer   , 817 words  
Categories: Hardware, Computer, Momitsu V880N, Networking, BOINC, Storage

worked on lhaven, kind of

It might be time I upgraded/replaced 'lhaven'.

This is the only computer in my home network that is only 10/100BaseT, everything else being gigabit. I did picked up a gigabit NIC, but couldn't get it to work in this computer. Seems to not get along with something integrated hardware-wise.

The other thing is there have been lots of errors coming from ata1.00 for sometime. This is also the remaining computer that uses PATA drives. 'lhaven' has 3 300GB PATA drives in it. The primary master (ST3300622A) and secondary master (6B300R0) were in RAID1 configuration, and the primary slave (WD3000JB) is just a single disk. secondary slave is the CD drive...forget what it is exactly.

It wasn't dire that I replace the failing primary master, though it had failed out once before....system booted off the secondary master and ran degraded. But, I added the disk back in and it quickly got happy again (have internal bitmaps enabled).

I had looked around and there isn't much in PATA drives available these days...and nothing in 300GB. Choices I found were 80, 320 or 500. I suppose I could've gone with a 320...but what I did instead of score a 300GB off of eBay.

Replacing it didn't go though. Failed out the disk, booted up on secondary, and tried to put in new disk. First cloning partition table over to new disk. Wouldn't work...new disk is smaller than the secondary master.

As it turned, out the two primary drives were the same size, but the secondary was slightly bigger. I had partitioned the drive using all the space, though it was never using all of it. Probably should've partitioned it the same size as the primary drives. But, I didn't recall this at midnight...figuring it was would go quick and let it resync while I slept....

So found details on shrinking things so that I could add the new disk. Then things got weird.

grub got messed up, and the new disk wouldn't come back correctly into raid. There seemed to be CHS issues, maybe the BIOS in 'lhaven' is too old for such a new drive (ST3300820A)...had seen messages about it, but was more stumped by why it kept changing the md1 slice from sda2 to sda...leading to nasty things as it tried to rebuild itself.

Also noticed that it did different things if it booted from the primary versus the secondary. Apparently the md0/md1 didn't show up soon enough so it used the partition directly.... and the sda1/sda2 paritions were kind of messed up. In fact the /home filesystem on one got seriously hosed, so I reformatted it. But, when I rebooted later..../home was back and working.

During this process grub got messed up, so I had to download a livecd to reinstall grub. Eventually, it all seemed to mostly be working. Except that I could only boot from the secondary master, it would come up wrong from the primary. And, the errors I was seeing that prompted this were still happening.

So, likely not a drive problem...but something else wrong with 'lhaven'. So, I decided to put the old primary drive back and resync that and put everything mostly back the way it was before.

It wasn't without some challenge...like how to make it not see the secondary master and get confused by it. I tried removing power to it, but computer wouldn't power up. I tried removing just IDE cable from it, BIOS halted because just a secondary slave wasn't kosher. It started things degraded, but used sdc1 as root (instead of md0 which should be sda1, with sdc1 out...zero'd it superblock) it was also weird on vg00. md1 wouldn't activate, but vg00 was using it some how. And, when I did activate it...I couldn't get sdc2 to add to it.

But, eventually it all got back to the way things were before.

So, I guess its time to see about replacing 'lhaven'. Its old enough. Though not sure what, besides case and powersupply are original from the computer I purchased in August 2002.

Hard to say what I'll replace it with though...since not much out there fits into where it is (perhaps its time to get a new KVM), and I'm going to want a pretty souped up system to speed up BOINC work....even though that's pretty much all it does these days. Since, everything is being handled on 'box'/'orac' now. And, the secondary services that do run on 'lhaven' don't call for anything beefy (DNS, NTP)....though I do want to redo my Linux media server setup.

My Momitsu V880N is probably going to get replaced sometime later this year... only had mmc running on 'tardis' and 'lhaven'. mmc doesn't work on vista/Win7, and 'tardis' is off in the corner to die. Could probably get mmc working on some other linux box if I needed, but its probably time to come up with something DLNA.... and have my Roku take over.

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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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