mythtv, linux, hardware, electric, software

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Mythbuntu 9.10 and technisat multytenne

I guess it is finally time to have the diseqc switch of my technisat multytenne working properly.

However it did not at first. After much googling I found the solution.

Finally all is well.

Ubuntu karmic 9.10 and very slow xorg

My Acer Travelmate 800 with its ATI Radeon mobility 9000 is quite old but still pretty decent.

Unfortunately the latest ubuntu 9.10 rendered it unusable due to very slow graphics rendering.

Turns out my xorg configuration is missing some important option.

Ekiga softphone and Asterisk

We are using Ekiga as a softphone under linux and experienced a very annoying 2 second delay.

Turns out the ulaw/alaw audio codec used by Ekiga is flawed. Switching to the gsm codec fixed the problem.

The sip entry in the sip.conf file of Asterisk looks like this now:


Meeting calculator

Python GUI for a meeting calculator.

Calculate your meeting costs on the fly. :-)

For the attachment, you need to install python and possibly wxpython for this to work.
The Windows version (converted with py2exe) can be downloaded here.

Tested with python v2.6.2 and Windows XP SP3.

Color laser printer

We bought a Brother color laser printer for our business.

After a lot of research and deliberation opted for the HL-4050CDN printer (the C stand for color and the N for network).

The openprinting database mentions that it _mostly_ works but I took the chance anyway because I knew brother itself issued a cupswrapper for their own linux lp driver.

You can download the wrapper and driver here.

FAT32 FS and file limits

My newly edited backup script has a tar command that bailed out after a certain point.

I bought an external HD with a USB interface and it turns out the single parition is in the FAT32 format which does not allow file sizes over 4GB.

So reformat it to f.e. ext3 and be on your merry way.

Record playback with Pulse Audio

Suppose you play a music stream through firefox and you want an easy way to record this.

Do the following steps

  • Install Pulse Audio Device chooser
  • Start it and choose Volume Control from the menu
  • Select the 'Input Devices' tab and select 'Monitors' (bottom right)
  • Set this device as default
  • Start the Sound Recorder application
  • Select the Recording tab
  • Select Application (bottom right)
  • Go to Sound Recorder and start recording, the application should appear in the Recording tab

Rescale 1080p to 720p with ffmpeg

I use the ubuntu v8.10 (intrepid ibex) distribution.

At first I could not tell ffmpeg to use the h264 codec no matter what I tried. It seems ubuntu comes with a stripped version.
Then I realised my only other option was to build it from source.
Fortunately there is great howto detailing the exact steps for my linux distribution.

Follow the instructions to the letter and you should have no problem. At this time I use r17987 (from the trunk).

To rescale a movie to 720p in one pass:

MythTV and DVB-S2 card with a Technisat Multytenne dish

My Hauppage HVR-4000 arrived just before the weekend.
The online store,, I bought it from has been really punctual in the follow-up and delivery so kudos to them!
I suspected this weekend will not get me much sunlight...

Anyway saturday morning I launched myself in the installation of the HVR-4000.

Before the actual insertion of the card Mythbuntu needs to be upgraded.
Upgrade mythbuntu 8.10: 'update-manager -d' should offer you an upgrade path to 'jaunty'. This is necessary since we want to use the new S2API in the 2.6.28 kernel to enable DVB-S2.


Automount usb storage

Being fed up with using pmount and editing /etc/fstab to mount usb devices?

Then apt-get usbmount!

Edit /etc/usbmount/usbmount.conf to add the 'vfat' filetype.

EDIT: No, usbmount is obsolete compared to pmount. This has been a long-running PITA and I finally found the problem. If your gnome-volume-manager refuses to automount you should probably check your /etc/fstab for errors. Mine had an uncommented comment.

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