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29 December 08 - 13:45Irregularly stuttering MythTV

My MythTV setup had been stuttering at very irregular intervals. It was very strange. I would watch a recorded show and at any time the screen would freeze and the debugging output would fall into a "prebuffering pause" loop and then after a few seconds fall back to mythfrontend. Just on a hunch I checked the main linux logs at /var/log/messages and found that my new 1.5 Terrabyte sata hard drive was being reset while the skipping happened. I changed the power cable and the ports of the hard drive, having read, that my trusty GigaByte motherboard hat issues with some ports. Nothing changed. I thought about sending the harddrive back, but then found a forum that had hundreds of posts describing similar problems under Windows XP. Some claimed that a new firmware by Seagate fixed the problem. I downloaded the CD-ROM image and after a reboot it was done. No more skipping.

The debugging output was as follows:

Dec 16 20:38:15 elkin kernel: [852826.062527]          res 40/00:00:00:00:00/00:00:00:00:00/00 Emask 0x4 (timeout)
Dec 16 20:38:20 elkin kernel: [852831.093086] ata5: port is slow to respond, please be patient (Status 0xd0)
Dec 16 20:38:25 elkin kernel: [852836.067813] ata5: device not ready (errno=-16), forcing hardreset
Dec 16 20:38:25 elkin kernel: [852836.067818] ata5: soft resetting link
Dec 16 20:38:26 elkin kernel: [852836.319820] ata5.00: configured for UDMA/133
Dec 16 20:38:26 elkin kernel: [852836.319831] ata5: EH complete
Dec 16 20:38:26 elkin kernel: [852836.320232] sd 4:0:0:0: [sdc] 2930275055 512-byte hardware sectors (1500301 MB)
Dec 16 20:38:26 elkin kernel: [852836.340362] sd 4:0:0:0: [sdc] Write Protect is off
Dec 16 20:38:26 elkin kernel: [852836.357920] sd 4:0:0:0: [sdc] Write cache: enabled, read cache: enabled, doesn't support DPO or FUA

Just in case you have similar issues with your drive, mine is called ST31500341AS. The required firmware file is called, search for it on google, as it is not officialy available from Seagate.

managementboy - Linux - No comments - §

02 December 08 - 15:58Zensur in der Türkei

Vor drei Monaten berichtete ich und auch die Süddeutsche, dass seit dem in der Türkei die Webseite vom prominenten Biologen Prof. Dr. Richard Dawkins nicht mehr erreichbar ist, da dort die religiösen Befindlichkeiten einiger Kreationisten die Meinungsfreiheit auf gerichtlichem Wege unterbinden. Nun habe ich, nach dem Sophie in 't Veld, Abgeordnete der Niederlande, das Thema aufgenommen hat, die Abgeordneten meiner Partei angeschrieben. Ich möchte damit bezwecken, dass dieses Thema in den Beitrittsverhandlungen behandelt wird. Den gesamten Brief habe ich diesem Post folgend beigefügt, mit der Bitte diesen frei zu nutzen um damit selbst an eure Abgeordnete heranzutreten. Dessen eMail-Adressen findet Ihr auf dieser Seite. (Das Foto rechts ist ein "Beweis für die kreation Gottes" von Okar aus dessen Buch)


managementboy - philosophy - No comments - §

11 November 08 - 17:14Proposition 8, bigotry in the 21st century

I was left speechless and very sad after a majority of voters in the state of California voted in the last elections YES to stripping a minority of their right to marry. I am at a lack of words of how wrong this is. What these voters just decided can only be described as bigotry. When you take a right away from a fellow citizen that you yourself would die for not to be taken away from you, that is just plain wicked. Shame on you, and if it was your God that told you to vote this way, shame on him, too!

Keith Olbermann has put my feelings in such perfect words that I hope you take the 6 minutes to listen to him.

Still not convinced: Do onto others as they would onto you.

managementboy - default - No comments - §

02 October 08 - 11:55Censorship on YouTube

Yesterday YouTube, a Google company, removed the latest video posted by Pat Condell. I got to see the video even before it got banned. All that Pat had argued about on his video, is that sharia law is now accepted practice in the UK and that this should be opposed by signing a petition. Check the video for yourself:

or just browse through all his videos on the FREE video site

I am all for freedom of religion. I do not always agree with what Pat says, I don't agree at all with sharia law. But when anyone starts censoring someone for their opinions my blood starts to boil. I will not tolerate this behavior by a company that brags that it "does no evil". Until the Pat Condell video is unblocked by YouTube I will not use ANY of the products provided by Google. I will not click on any advertisement provided by Google. I will stop using, Google News, Maps and Reader. I hope you follow me in this boycott.

And if that was all, it seems that the censorship is endemic, especially hitting atheists/agnostics. Please view the videos from TheAmazingAtheist on this topic:

Still undecided?  If a voice as humorous and high profile as Pat Condell's can be silenced when asking people to sign a legal petition, who's going to hear our voices, we little people?

Update: And after the outrage, YouTube unblocked Pat's video today (4th of october 2008). Thanks to everyone who wrote to YouTube and Google to complain.

managementboy - philosophy - No comments - §

01 October 08 - 11:24coreavc with mythbuntu 0.21-fixes

As I posted a few weeks ago, the maintainers of the Mythbuntu packages had added the alternative h.264 codec called coreavc as an alternative to the one provided within the MythTV package. After putting some fixes from the ffmpeg project into the core MythTV packages the support for coreavc was removed. If you have a slow system or need the extra 0mph for other stuff or some files still play wrongly coreavc might help you.

The files needed to get a current version of Mythbuntu to build the coreavc packages can be found here.

So, all you need to work this out is to follow the building instructions I gave in this post, but copy the following files into the debian directory:

  • libmyth-coreavc-0.21-0.install
  • libmyth-coreavc-0.21-0.postrm
  • libmyth-coreavc-0.21-0.preinst
  • rules
  • control

After building you will have a deb package for coreavc.

managementboy - elkin-wide, Linux - No comments - §

25 September 08 - 12:55Der Mentalist

Gestern habe ich die die erste Folge von "The Mentalist" gesehen. WOW! Ich kann es kaum glauben, denn jetzt habe ich zwei Serien die einen Skeptiker als Helden führen. Dr. House und The Mentalist. Für die, die noch keine Chance hatten die Serie zu sehen: Simon Baker spielt einen ehemaligen Gedankenleser/Parapsychologe Patrick Jane, der seine Quacksalberei aufgegeben hat und nun für die Polizei arbeitet. Im Gegensatz zu CSI, das auf pseudo Technik beruht um Lösungen für dessen Fälle zu finden, ist hier Logik, Aufmerksamkeit und geschicktes einsetzen von Menschenkenntnissen gefragt. Genau wie House, nervt Jane durch seine skeptische Ader, einige seiner Teamkollegen, die eher an Seelen und Gott glauben wollen, was mich sehr amüsiert. Jane wird von seinem ehemaligen Leben als Parapsychologe, der z.B. Verbindungen mit den Toten aufbauen kann, verfolgt und hat daher starke Schlafstörungen.

Nach dem das Fernsehen auch in Deutschland mit solchen Sendungen wie The next Uri Geller das Volk verblödet hat, freue ich mich schon darauf, dass sicherlich auch The Mentalist in den nächsten Jahren bei uns auftauchen wird. Bis dahin ist es schon mal genial, dass in der USA die Anzahl an skeptik geprägten Sendungen zunehmen. 

Am Ende noch ein Zitat von Jane aus der ersten Folge: there are no such things as psychics! (es gibt Parapsychologen nicht)

managementboy - default - No comments - §

19 September 08 - 12:27Türkei, was ist mit dir los?

Ich bin ein Befürworter dafür, dass die Türkei, wenn die üblichen Rahmenbedingungen erfüllt wurden, teil der Europäischen Union wird. Ich spreche mich auch lautstark für die Religionsfreiheit aus. Ich finde nicht, dass Europa ein christlicher Club ist, sondern geopolitisch gesteuert sein muss. Ob die Mehrheit eines Landes Religion X zugehören und in der jetzigen EU die Mehrheit einer anderen Religion Y zugehören ist einfach irrelevant. Aber klar ist, dass die Meinungsfreiheit und die freie Meinungsäußerung über der Religionsfreiheit stehen. Damit meine ich, dass Religionen scharf Kritisiert werden dürfen, können und sollten.

Heute lese ich, dass die Webseite von Richard Dawkins auf richterlichem Beschluss von der Türkei gesperrt wurde. Adnan Oktar fühlte sich persönlich angegriffen, als Prof. Dawkins sein Buch Atlas of Creation als absurd und grotesk abschmetterte. So klagte Herr Oktar in der Türkei und man gab ihm recht. Die Pressesprecherin von Oktar gab dem Guardian zu verstehen, man währe ja nicht gegen freie Meinungsäußerung, aber man dürfe ja Leute nicht beschimpfen. Wer da den Widerspruch nicht erkennt, hat den Sinn der freien Meinungsäußerung nicht verstanden. Ich möchte diesen Anlass nutzen um meine Meinung frei zu äußern. Solang man in der Türkei als Wissenschaftler nicht die eigenen Ansichten äußern darf, ohne darauf hin Zensiert zu werden, hat dieses Land noch nicht die demokratischen Werte verinnerlicht, die eine Aufnahme in die EU verlangen.

Liebe Türken, setzt Euch für eure Meinungsfreiheit ein, auch wenn ihr dadurch Sachen hört, die euch nicht gefallen! Lasst Euch nicht die Freiheit nehmen zu Lesen und Hören was ihr wollt. Denn wenn erstmal der Staat meint Zensieren zu dürfen, wird er bald auch das zensieren, was ihr für wichtig hält.

managementboy - philosophy - No comments - §

16 September 08 - 12:22MythNetTV a good way of getting video podcasts

I have been downloading my video podcasts using podracer and watching them using MythVideo. But the downside is that the directories get clogged after a while, not all videos are worth keeping, its difficult to add more information to each download, and many more.

Enter MythNetTV! This nifty tool downloads RSS video feeds and adds them to your normal MythTV recordings page for your entertainment. Mythbuntu even has packages for it.

managementboy - elkin-wide, Linux - No comments - §

25 August 08 - 15:31MythTV 0.21-fixes with ffmpeg backport for Ubuntu Hardy

The latest weekly packages provided by mythbuntu enable you to use coreav's binary implementation of their x264 codecs. Theoretically this means that any HD file/show that is encoded x264 can be watched with less strain on your CPU. I tried it and did not encounter much difference between the native libraries and this 15$ proprietary one. But I stumbled upon a backport of the ffmpeg libraries from the development MythTV to the 0.21-fixes branch. I tried patching the source packages from mythbuntu with this new patch but got a build error due to the rather old x264 libraries provided with Ubuntu Hardy. But using this patch I was finally able to compile it. As soon as I collect some performance data and it turns out to be worth the time I will post a how-to.

Well, now I found out that this patch crashes while watching AVI files. No-Go for me. Then again I found this repository that has a synced ffmpeg version of the Ubuntu Hardy packages available.

managementboy - elkin-wide, Linux - No comments - §

05 August 08 - 16:46opengl bug with nvidia 8600 GT and MythTV

I had bought a new Nvidia 8600 GT card for my MythTV server/player. As this card is not supported to do chromakey for the OSD I wanted to get OpenGL to do the same trick. But I ran into the infamous black screen bug which Mark fixed with his patches. After a steep learning curve I have finally written a tutorial to build your own Mythbuntu packages to fix the error. Aditionaly I had to remove "--enable-glx-procaddrarb" from the configuration as it keeps the error on 64bit systems. And don't forget to install the latest Nvidia drivers (177 or better). (more)

managementboy - elkin-wide, Linux - No comments - §

03 July 08 - 10:14Book recomendations

I have previously posted books that I read and liked. Its been a while, but again here comes a list of those I would suggest.

Stendahls The Red and the Black

Stendahl gets quoted everywhere. Love, love and passion summs up what he stands for. At times somewhat tedious, but the way he describes how people have mood swings is just great. Missunderstandings are comonplace and Stendahl shows acurately how people react to them.


In a world filled with professional parents who's goal is to have the best kids ever, this book is just an eye opener. I knew that mutations happen, but was not aware how often and how different they could be. The book is written nicely and does not dwell on curiosities. It describes a lot of interesting Mutations that happen to the human body. If you plan to have kids or are unsure why your hair is falling out, this book should be on your list.

The portable atheist

Christopher Hitchens has selected a wide array of essays and excerpts from many great thinkers and writers. If you thought that Richard Dawkins came up with most of his argument, this book will prove you wrong. Even the difference in writing style from one section to the other is worth the read. It is not a book that intends to convert any one to atheism. It is more of a book for atheist or for those who believe in a deity but would like to know how diverse the reasons for atheism can be. Can also be used as a nice introduction to the thoughts of Hume and Penn Jillette, Hobbes, Salman Rushdie and many more.

managementboy - philosophy - No comments - §

02 July 08 - 12:31Download Tedtalks via the RSS feed

I regularly watch the videos provided by Tedtalks. But this is only O.K. when you are using a browser. If you want to save the videos for later viewing you have to download them a second time. I stumbled upon a program called podracer. This little tool enables you to provide a list of RSS feeds that then read and all media that is provided in the feed gets downloaded. Ad a small cron job to the mix and you can use MythTV to watch all the latest Tedtalks.

RSS feed from Tedtalks:

To install podracer on Ubuntu just type: sudo apt-get install podracer

Then edit the .podcaste/subscriptions file by adding the above RSS feed link.

run podracer or add a cronjob. Enjoy.

managementboy - Linux - No comments - §

24 June 08 - 20:11C:31:23 Sony DC-HC39E Error

After having sent in my Sony DC-HC39E to be fixed during its warranty time, a few days ago it would load the tape and after a second print the error C:31:23 on screen. Now I am out of warranty so I searched online for a fix. It was easy. Realy easy. Load the tape, close the lid. Take the battery out. Smack the tape side with the palm of you had a few times, hard! Then put the battery on again and enjoy a functioning camcorder. One thing, I don't seem to be the only one with these issues with Sony Cams. I have decided that Sony is doing so little for quality control that I will not buy its products anymore.

managementboy - default - No comments - §

24 June 08 - 11:52no nvidia open source linux drivers

Well, it seems like Nvidia has put the cards on the table and will not provide open source drivers for Linux. It will continue to ship the pretty good but closed source binary drivers for the time being. ATI/AMD started a few months ago to provide the community with documentation on their hardware. I used to tell my friends/family that if they wanted good display drivers they should get a nvidia card. I am changing my advocacy to ATI/AMD as of today. I am not doing this for "religious" reasons, but with plain economics in mind. If I have the choice, and I do, between open source and closed source I choose open source, because my experience shows that binary drivers will get obsolete some day while open source rarely do.

My new endorcement: Buy ATI/AMD cards.

managementboy - Linux - No comments - §

02 June 08 - 15:12Switching form opensuse to mythbuntu

My first linux distribution was debian. Then I swiched to gentoo. Fed up with all the compiling stuff, I swiched to SuSE, mainly because back then the drivers for AVM cards where only supported by SuSE. A few weeks back I upgraded my Server at home from an old Athlon 1.6 Ghz with 700MB RAM to a DualCore 2.6 Ghz with 8 Gig RAM. And while at it I tried mythbuntu out. The reasoing behind it being, that the server, once being only a fileserver, today mainly does TV and music.

I did not need to back up anything, as I  was not going to use the old 80 Gig hard drive for the new system. All I did was pop in the mythbuntu Hardy (8.04) cd, klick 6 times on next and after about 25 minutes I had a working MythTV setup. WOW! I also have to say that the package manager from debian/ubuntu is just fast, I mean fast. What a joy to work with. Getting the cyrus mails to work on the new system took a few days of learing curve, but once I knew what to do it was a breeze. Using the mythbuntu control centre I upgraded the distribution from plain mythbuntu to kubuntu. Now my server is a full Desktop, too.

On the sad side, SuSE has with sax2 a great manager. The stuff available by Ubuntu just does not cut it. I had to go back to oldschool xorg.conf editing to get the dual displays I have to work at native screen size.

Right now my mood towards Ubuntu: Great!

managementboy - Linux - No comments - §

12 April 08 - 18:21Bill Maher and Richard Dawkins

The following video is an interview by my favorite comedian Bill Maher with my favorite Author Richard Dawkins. Hillarious!

managementboy - philosophy - No comments - §

12 April 08 - 15:01Xorg, DVI and the Belinea o.display 2_22" wide

Belinea MonitorI bought us a Belinea o.display 2_22" wide LCD Monitor a few weeks ago to replace a 15 inch LCD. We mainly use it to watch TV using MythTV. I chose this model as I could get it below 200,- Euro, it had both VGA and DVI inputs, it had a 1600x1050 resolution and 22 inches are a nice size to watch TV.

The VGA connection worked perfectly out of the box using Xorg 7.3 from openSuse 10.3. What did not work was the DVI connection. The maximum resolution I got out was 1280 and this looks awefull on LCD. I got discouraged by the few comments that floated arround in forums. All hinted that the problem seemed to be my nvidia 5100 based card or that I would need a dual link cable to get this setup working. But, as the Monitor came with a single link cable and it seemed to work on Windows XP I concluded that it had to be the drivers of the card.


managementboy - Linux - No comments - §

25 March 08 - 11:42MythTV does not schedule repeats using subtitles

I spent some hours trying to get my mythtv setup to schedule a few recordings that I had working using the subtitle matching feature to work again. Even tough the subtitles where exact matches it would not schedule any of them, and mark them as recorded. These showings where never recorded, so I got frustrated. What happens is, that if mythtv marks a showing wrong as Movie instead of TV Show and sets the ProgramID accordingly, then matching by subtitle never works. The only solution I could figure out was to reset the ProgramID for all the EPG data. This is done with the following SQL statement:

UPDATE `mythconverg`.`program` SET `programid` = '' 

Even Better:

I found the reason why the above problem existed in my system. The XMLTV grabber I use (tvm2xml) often returns shows as movies. Mythfilldatabase then adds a unique programID to each show. This in turn leads to the above problem of not being able to record correctly. After I commented out the part of the script that adds categories to the XMLTV file everything is back to normal and I don't need to run the above SQL statement.

managementboy - elkin-wide, Linux - No comments - §

08 January 08 - 09:26Uri Geller, hoffentlich gibt es keinen Nächsten

Ich muss mit erschrecken feststellen, dass jetzt im privaten deutschen Fernsehen (ProSieben) sogar schon bekannte Bühnenzauberer mit nachgewiesener maßen keinen übersinnlichen Kräften seine eigene Show erhält. Der Grund warum mich dies so trifft ist, dass wir es ehe schon so schwer haben die Wissenschaft vor Pseudowissenschaft zu schützen. Es gibt in Deutschland noch nicht mal mehr eine Krankenkasse die auf Homöopathie verzichtet! Aber ich will nicht abschweifen. Uri Geller wurde schon in den 70er Jahren von James Randy überführt und wer ihm oder Ähnlichen glauben schenkt, dem kann ich nicht mehr Vertrauen. Für die, die es noch nicht gesehen haben biete ich dieses Video als Beweis von Uri Gellers fehlenden übernatürlichen Kräften an. Die Welt hat einen Artikel bereitgestellt der meine Gefühlslage ganz gut beschreibt. 

Und James Randy prognostiziert das Uri Geller nie auf die Frage: Haben Sie, Herr Geller, schon mal ein Trick gemacht und diesen als PSI verkauft? mit JA oder NEIN antworten wird, sondern immer wischi, waschi Antworten geben wird.

managementboy - default - No comments - §

04 January 08 - 17:22TVWish critic lists of movies

I am using TVWish to schedule an array of movies that I have always wanted to see. The following lists can be used directly with TVWish:

managementboy - Linux - No comments - §