[conspire] New guest at CABAL, this Saturday: MythTV, Bluetooth, video, TV
mark at weisler-saratoga-ca.us
Sat Aug 25 10:05:19 PDT 2007
On Friday 24 August 2007 22:53:21 Rick Moen wrote:
> ----- Forwarded message from Alon Gotesman <gotesman at gmail.com> -----
> Date: Fri, 24 Aug 2007 19:02:07 -0700
> From: Alon Gotesman <gotesman at gmail.com>
> To: installers at linuxmafia.com
> Subject: InstallFest on Saturday?
> Your site was linked from the BALUG site, and I wanted to contact you
> about possibly getting your guys' help with configuring my
> partially-working Ubuntu box as part of an InstallFest (which I hope
> are still going on!)
> As for some background: I'm fairly new to Linux, although I've been
> hoping to try it for years now. Ultimately I want to get MythTV
> working, but for right now I'm just trying to get the machine to do
> all the basic things really well. I have a list of issues that I
> haven't been able to resolve, including: connecting to WEP encrypted
> networks, getting the machine to work on my monitor's native
> resolution (1680 x 1050) using my on-board graphics (right now I'm
> limited to 1024x768), getting an AGP card recognized by the OS,
> getting Bluetooth to work, and getting a TV tuner card to work (for
> I've been to one InstallFest like five years ago while studying at UC
> Santa Cruz.
> My box is modestly equipped:
> Sempron 3100+
> 256 MB DDR SDRAM
> Integrate S3 Unichrome Graphics
> Dual Layer DVD-RW
> Available AGP slot
> Anyhow, I'd love to meet a group of people who know Linux and could
> point me in the right direction on some of this stuff. At this point
> in the learning curve, I just need to get hands on experience with
> someone who knows what they're doing!
> Thanks for reading and I hope to hear from you.
> ----- End forwarded message -----
> ----- Forwarded message from Rick Moen <rick at linuxmafia.com> -----
> Date: Fri, 24 Aug 2007 21:53:28 -0700
> To: Alon Gotesman <gotesman at gmail.com>
> Cc: installers at linuxmafia.com
> Subject: Re: InstallFest on Saturday!
> Reply-To: installers at linuxmafia.com
> From: Rick Moen <rick at linuxmafia.com>
> Quoting Alon Gotesman (gotesman at gmail.com):
> > Your site was linked from the BALUG site, and I wanted to contact you
> > about possibly getting your guys' help with configuring my
> > partially-working Ubuntu box as part of an InstallFest (which I hope
> > are still going on!)
> Yes, of course!
> > As for some background: I'm fairly new to Linux, although I've been
> > hoping to try it for years now. Ultimately I want to get MythTV
> > working, but for right now I'm just trying to get the machine to do
> > all the basic things really well.
> Just so you know, what is said to be by far the easiest path to a good
> MythTV installation is to start with the KnoppMyth "live CD"
> distribution, and go from there.
> > I have a list of issues that I haven't been able to resolve,
> > including: connecting to WEP encrypted networks,
> May or may not be something you'll get effective help with at tomorrow's
> event, depending on whom you get to help you. (One common mistake is to
> seek help from _me_ personally for anything that takes longer than
> around 5 minutes; the problem is that, as host, I'm the one most
> interruptable person.) We don't happen to have a WEP-using wireless
> network on-premises; the ones we have here happen to be open.
> > getting the machine to work on my monitor's native resolution (1680 x
> > 1050) using my on-board graphics (right now I'm limited to 1024x768),
> Now, _that_ is no sweat.
> > getting an AGP card recognized by the OS,
> Er, you didn't say what _sort_ of AGP card. AGP is just a system bus
> (of sorts). Ordinarily, I'd guess a video card, but then the
> particulars would still depend on what specific video chipset.
> > getting Bluetooth to work,
> Never personally done that, but I've heard it's not difficult in
> principle. You might want to read, _in advance_, some of the primary
> documentation on Bluetooth for Linux, which appears to be still linked
> from or on this page: http://www.holtmann.org/linux/bluetooth/
> > and getting a TV tuner card to work (for MythTV).
> And _that_ depends, of course, entirely on the chipset (as usual).
> Assuming the card is based on a Brooktree Bt848/849 or Bt878/879
> chipset, here's your information page:
> Plus, I have a little bit extra here:
> > Anyhow, I'd love to meet a group of people who know Linux and could
> > point me in the right direction on some of this stuff. At this point
> > in the learning curve, I just need to get hands on experience with
> > someone who knows what they're doing!
> You're very welcome to attend. It's partially a social event and partly
> technical with an emphasis on installing and debugging Linux & related
> software. Nobody is obliged to bring food (you're perfectly welcome to
> bring just yourself and stuff to work on), though many entirely on their
> own initiative bring things to eat. I'll be providing (at minimum) a
> fair amount of marinated beef to cook for the crowd, on my barbecue,
> plus some garlic bread.
> Afternoons and evenings in Menlo Park have been quite lovely, of late.
> We get started at 4 PM, and meander amiably until midnight, when people
> are expected to leave. (You don't have to go home, but you can't stay
> Rick M.
> ----- End forwarded message -----
> conspire mailing list
> conspire at linuxmafia.com
I want to chime in here with a few ideas.
Rick is quite right about most people finding a PVR-specific distro helpful in
getting going with personal TV and knoppmyth seems to be at the top of the
usability list. (I realize that usability is a potentially debatable term in
the MythTV context, sorry.)
I have been following the PVR topic on Linux for a while but not actually yet
taken the plunge so my advice needs to be taken with caution.
If you were to go with knoppmyth I believe the advantage is ease of
installation and integration. You pretty much wind up with an appliance
dedicated to managing TV and other media. Which sort of means foregoing other
uses of that computer like word processing. (Well, on second thought, one can
separate this into viewing [on a client] and tuning, capturing, and recording
[on a server] and these can be different machines.)
You might consider burning a DVD or CD of knoppmyth and bringing it to the
CABAL or other installfest. Here's a potentially useful site.
http://mysettopbox.tv/ is a site operated by Cecil Wilson and Dale Thomas who
have evolved the PVR scene considerably. I spent a day earlier this year
learning about knoppmyth from them.
http://mysettopbox.tv/KRP.html is part of the site where a Knoppmyth Reference
Platform is described where you can obtain details about making a hardware
platform that "just works". (I've seen it "just work" several times now.)
The Dragon is a knoppmyth platform that can be purchased or one can make the
platform from the hardware specified on the site. I think it's laudable that
people have created a reference platform. That has advanced the project
considerably. (I wish other projects would establish reference hardware
platforms.) And there is an active forum at mysettopbox. But it seems to me
the KRP has not advanced much in a couple of years. People contribute to the
forum with details about how well their own hardware platform works with myth
and there are many fresh, current ideas there.
http://mythic.tv is another resource and place to buy equipment like the
apparently wonderful HDHomeRun external ATSC tuner from these folk...
There are people around using mythtv (and other concoctions) who somewhat
regularly visit CABAL, PenLug, and SVLUG and may be able to offer helpful
One slight note of caution is that that the free TV listing information that
has existed for years will stop on September 1, 2007. The free TV community
is scrambling to figure out how to provide listing information as this makes
PVR's much more useful. A discussion of this topic is here:
It's almost certain that a reasonable solution for providing listings will be
available soon but, for the next few weeks, I'll watch from the sidelines to
see how the listings issue works out.
I keep thinking about organizing some sort of "TV Day"-a chalktalk and
installfest oriented toward PVR.
"Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our
people need it sorely on these accounts." ---Mark Twain---
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