Archive for the ‘Linux’ Category

TiVo = Boat Anchor

Wednesday, February 16th, 2011

Very sad and frustrating news today that the UK Series 1 TiVO users are to lose their program guide service later this year. For those of us that shelled out nearly four hundred quid for the box and another £200 for a lifetime subscription it really does feel like we’ve been shafted somewhat. I know a service can’t go on for ever, but I thought a lifetime might be more than nine years.

Although we’re being offered a replacement via Virginmedia, it’s not only wildly expensive, but you have to be in a VM Cable area. Where I am, in a prosperous town in the South East of the UK even that’s not possible to take advantage of (even if it had been financially attractive, which it isn’t).

I’m certainly not the only one who’s feeling aggrieved. Here’s hoping a roll-you-own service can be rigged up by the community – something that was always frowned on in the UK (understandably and rather gentlemanly not wanting to poach TiVo’s revenue stream) but has been seen in other territories. Time to get tougher, I guess.

Work on Movable Type

Wednesday, April 14th, 2010

Having spent the best part of a couple of days this week working on a Movable Type installation that needs to be migrated for a business RBI sold recently, I’m getting more than a little frustrated. Months ago I specified the MT version they needed, and then about 5 weeks ago provided them with a back-up file to test with. Looks like they did nothing with all that – until this week – and now it’s absolutely crucial that they get this productionised NOW!! I’ve almost completely rebuilt their installation to something a little bit sane, but they still have problems with imports – I did two just fine today – and there are some horrible problems with the content which looks like it’s been badly constructed with absolute links for pictures and other assets. It’s enough to make one weep! I’m wondering if I should offer to do this freelance for them at the weekend – a good rate to charge might be what the Landrover garage charge for working on the car. Might make them think, though. Perhaps I should sell them hosting as well!

Linuxy Things

Tuesday, March 2nd, 2010

A couple of Linux related activities in the first part of this week. Firstly, I’ve got my web->SMS page back up and working, so I can now send SMS messages from anywhere with web access. Hardly novel, these days, but when I first built a system like this for the bank I worked at then, it was one of those little occasions where Linux wormed its way into an organisation. That must have been in about 1997 or ’98 I guess. (It was also about the same time I created the first effective search engine for the organisation using HTDig on Linux as well.)

All went well re-creating the set-up, except I wanted to use a GSM modem that actually had an FXO port on so I could tie it up to my Asterisk PABX as well for voice calls direct into a mobile network. Despite much fiddling, the Psitek modem was so old as to have an antiquated subset of the AT command set and it was too much effort to make it work SMSTools (although, having the source, I did recompile it a few times with some commands adjusted) – and which, by he way, is now at version 3.x under a new maintainer. Once I used the more modern (only just, though!) reliable Falcom GSM modem it worked a treat.

I’ve also updated and added to my entries in the Linux Counter, having been reminded of it by a thread in the Surrey Linux User Group mailing list. First registered there in about 2002.

Lastly, I’ve transplanted my eight port video card (only four ports of it though) into one of the Mini-ITX workstations, so perhaps later this week I’ll see if I can resurrect ZoneMinder and get the NestCam back in operation soon.