1.21.2007

Oh well.

I have to admit that I did have my doubts that the Saints could beat the Bears, but it turns out that they really could play with them. The proved to the Bears that they could move the ball against their offense, and they stopped their offense many times, holding them to a field goal 3 times after they were handed the ball in Saints territory due to a turnover.

So, they played with more potential than I thought, and the weather wasn't really an issue like I thought. But still, for some reason, after the safety in the 3rd quarter, they fell apart. I'm not sure why, and I can honestly say that it didn't look characteristic of they way they have played this year. It looked much more like an inexperienced team playing in the NFC championship type issue.

But... it's over. And there is always next year. Us Saints fans are no strangers to waiting for next year :)

Who Dat!

1.20.2007

ok, i fixed the clock problem... turns out I had to run tzconfig as root instead of running tzselect.
I have been building/tinkering with a HTPC in my house for a few months now. My initial goal was to get a really nice mythTV setup in the house, but I have come to realize how young mythTV and linux drivers are (when it comes to HDTV that is... many of the regular tuners work much better since you can actually do decoding on the card and the hardware issues are much more familiar to developers).

After trying a few different mythTV setups on various OSes, I ran with mythTV on a xubuntu install for a while. I eventually punted, installed windows XP, and tried out the new open source contender for windows, Media Portal. I believe this project is from the same guy who started the XBMC (Xbox Media Center) project, which I absolutely love.

I tried Media Portal for a while, but it only detected one of my tuners (I am using a Kworld ATSC 110 and an Avermedia a180 - both HDTV tuners). Also, after watching TV playback for a while, it would freeze. The advantages of having windows drivers was obvious though: the performance was much better and CPU usage much lower. I wish it would have worked better.

My next thought was to buy an OEM copy of Windows Media Center Edition. I have heard good things about it and it would be nice to have this integrate seamlessly with other computers in the house, especially once Vista rolls around. But, then something changed my short-term plans... the Saints are playing in the NFC championship!!! The friggin' Saints!!! I needed something ready so I can watch the game on my big screen, and since Media Portal had the lockup issues, that was out of the question. The game will be played on Fox, which is one of the channels that the mythTV setup played well, so I decided to go back to the mythTV setup temporarily so I could watch the game.

I decided to try KnoppMyth for the second time. I had tried it once in the past and it was a nightmare for me. Of course, at that time, I knew nothing about the driver support for my tuners and nothing about mythTV. This time around, things were different. I managed to get things working pretty well and now some of my previous mythTV issues are gone as well!!! Maybe I will stick with mythTV a little longer.

To get things working in KnoppMyth (I am using the R5E50 release), I did have to do some work. First off, my first tuner was getting detected as a "V-Stream Studio TV Terminator"!!!

dmesg output:
saa7133[0]: subsystem: 1461:1044, board: V-Stream Studio TV Terminator [card=65,insmod option]


After quite a bit of digging, I noticed that one of the init scripts, /etc/init.d/KnoppMyth-tv, was calling a script way down at the bottom called "/usr/local/bin/tvterm.sh". Looking at that script, I saw:

/usr/local/bin/tvterm.sh:



Well, duh! The script greps lspci output for 7133/7135 chipsets and then assumes it is a Studio TV Terminator card!! At least I guess you could say the script is appropriately named though, as it did terminate my tv experience. :)

To fix, I simply commented out the call to tvterm in the KnoppMyth-tv init script. Then, I set up an init script to call "modprobe saa7134-dvb". I did some other stuff in there that is probably unnecessary, but here it is (I put it in /etc/init.d, then ran update-rc.d to include it as an init script):

/etc/init.d/saa7134-dvb-install.sh:



Next, I had to get my xorg.conf set up for my projector. I got the modeline setting for my InFocus SP-4805 projector off the web, but after putting it in, I was getting the wrong screensize even though the projector was reporting an 854x480 resolution. Finally, I fixed it by removing 800x600 as an option in the screen section. Now, my "Monitor" and "Screen" sections in my xorg.conf look like this:

/etc/X11/xorg.conf:



After that, things are working pretty well. I believe I am all set up for the big Saints game at least. I still have a problem with my clock setting. I cannot understand why after all these years it is still as hard and complicated as it is to set the darned time on a linux box.

If anyone is having any problems with their KWorld ATSC 110 or the AverMedia a180, let me know and I can see if I can help. Also, if anyone has gotten their Kworld remote to work, please pass the info along. I hear there is a kernel patch floating around to enable support for it, but I am hesitant to try patching the kernel right now since things are working.

1.19.2007

So, about this new diet...

As some of you know, around this time in 2005, I weighed about 195 pounds. I was very unhappy with my weight, and I started dieting aggressively. By November of that year, I was able to reach my goal of weighing less than 160 pounds. I was able to average about 1.5 pounds lost each week, mainly cutting calories only. Since I do very little to no exercise, and work behind a computer all day, calorie cutting is of extreme importance. Much of the calorie loss came from cutting 2 things: soft-drinks and sweets.

I charted most of my progress via an excel spreadsheet. Here you can see a chart from February to November of 2005:



That was great. I felt much better physically and much better about myself. Unfortunately, I slowly let things slide, and I have inched all the way back up to 180 pounds. I feel bad. I'm ready to take on the diet head-first again, hence the blog.

As I said, I'm starting off at 180 pounds. My goal is to average about 1 pound loss per week. That may be easier at the beginning than at the end, but ultimately, I would like to be between 150-160 pounds (as long as I'm not lifting weights... if I start lifting weights, I would love for that weight to climb due to muscle mass, but for now, I'm just going to concentrate on the diet and add exercise slowly).

Advice?? Words of inspiration?? Use the comments to let me know what you think.

1.18.2007

I needed a personal blog.

Many times I write scripts or programs at home, or at work, that I want to share with people. Sometimes I have experiences with different software packages, linux utilities, etc. that are too technical to post on the family website. This blog will give me a place to write about that stuff.

Today is also the first day of my new diet, so this blog will also give me a place to record progress, successes, and failures with my diet. Knowing that people might be reading it will give me a bit more motivation to keep my willpower up :)

So, there are rss and atom feeds of the blog if you would like to subscribe. Comments are welcome!