I’ve written a quick, basic Thunderbird LDAP address book howto, you can read it here

Despite reports of advanced wiki-links no longer working, after a site upgrade I can confirm that it is still working

The title says it all, Advanced Wiki-Links works fine with the new WordPress, no code updates needed

I’m going to update the version of WordPress that I’m using which from reports will break my Advanced Wiki-Links plugin. The upgrade will force my to work on the Wiki-Links code, so anyone out there thats uses it, hope fully there will be a new version soon.

A few weeks ago my media pc decided it has had enough of the hard life it was leading and died, rather quietly but with much annoyance to myself.

Instead of rushing and buying replacement motherboard and cpu I’ve taken the more economic response and a) done without the pc and b) investigate my options for fixing it. During this time I was offered an old celeron micro ATX that Dave (of Dave’s Occasional Brainfart) had lying around. It gave me the chance to at least have a second internet access point around the place (I’m down to 1 laptop and 3 carcasses lying in the corner).

The original pc use to run windows xp home (I know, I know….) purely because i used the awesome tv recorder DVB Web Scheduler. Web Scheduler was originally and open source application but it is now closed (as of version 5 i think). The news that someone ported the older version 4 code across to Linux means that if I did want to continue with Web Scheduler I wasn’t necessarily bound to windows, so I decided, while I’m looking at moving my media needs to Linux I may as well take another look at MythTV.

To be honest the last time I tried MythTV, the problems I had were with getting the DVB capture card up and running not MythTV itself. I have DVICO Fusion Pro, great card but at the time its Linux support was limited, now however the setup went very smoothly. The distribution I’m using is Ubuntu Gutsy and using the instructions here and here. The basic steps I took were:

1. Make sure required software was installed
sudo apt-get install mercurial linux-headers-generic build-essential
2. Obtain source code from Chris Pascoe’s branch of repository
hg clone http://linuxtv.org/hg/~pascoe/xc-test/
3. Compile and install driver
cd xc-test
make
sudo make install

4.  Download and install firmware
cd /lib/firmware
wget http://www.linuxtv.org/downloads/firmware/dvb-usb-bluebird-01.fw
wget http://www.itee.uq.edu.au/~chrisp/Linux-DVB/DVICO/xc3028-dvico-au-01.fw
wget http://www.itee.uq.edu.au/~chrisp/Linux-DVB/DVICO/dvb-usb-bluebird-02.fw

I then used the LinuxTV.org instructions for testing the card. All went smoothly and I could scan the channels.

Installing MythTV was a breeze, just use Ubuntu’s packages (instructions here), I had some trouble with setting up my xml electronic program guide. Even though xmltv was install, no xml grabbers whereappearing in MythTV for me to select. The problem ended up being that becasue the cpu was so slow the script to find all of the xml grabbers was taking too long and MythTV was discarding the process and continuing. My solution was to delete all of the xml grabbers except the one I wanted.

I did most of my playing with the myth-web plugin and basically it does everything I wanted, you can schedule recordings, apply jobs to the recordings (transcoding etc) and download the recording and its all password protected. The music interface didn’t impress me that much but I have yet to find a network music solution I’ve settled on yet (although now that its a Linux system I will play around with Xmms some more).

So bottom line, MythTV looks like my solution for a media pc with digital tv recording for now.

I was listening to a random playlist on my Ipod earlier and a remix of the Commodor 64 game Wizball came up, firstly if you love old games you have got to checkout sites like OverClocked ReMix, they hold user submitted remixes of game themes and some of them are just awesome. Secondly, I use to love Wizball, I’d spend hours playing a game and still play it every now and then using the emulator VICE (hey the title of this post did contain the word geek).

Anyway, I thought I’d search for a remake today, there are a few around for other favourite games of mine and lo and behold, not only is there a remake, but it has also just been finished, 5 minutes later its install and I’m bouncing around the screen chasing red droplets (play the game, you’ll get it).

What was the Wizball remake verdict? Well apart from the upfront “There is no momentum when rolling along and all bounces off curved objects are even” its pretty impressive. They done a great job on the artwork and the sound track keeps the awesome music of the original albiet remixed. It may replace my emulator for a while ….. well for Wizball anyhow.

For those interested in finding remakes, there are plenty of sites out there, here are a couple that I normally browse

  1. Retrospec
  2. Retro Remakes

Be sure to checkout Head Over Heels and Ghostbusters, another couple of C64 classics.

I’ve spent some time recently looking a building my very basic route builder (currently sitting in Planimate) into a dll. The route builder returns all possible results (at the moment) so its forcing me to look at improving the efficiency of the data structures used, as the solution space can be extremely large. Its also getting me into efficient memory management use, something I’ve never really had to bother with.

All in all when i finish it I’ll have another not entirely useless tool that will hardly be used :-)

For people who’ve never seen Planimate I highly recommend a look

Just a quick note that I’ve integrated my online gallery into the blog site so you can now access from the Page links.

Well for the last 5 days I’ve been camping on Hervey Bay.Hervey Bay sunrise thumbnail It was a bit of a trial run to give Tash her first camping experience that had the added bonus of some great weather and awesome whale watching. The weekend happened to coincide with the opening weekend of the whale watching season in Hervey Bay (Aug – Oct). For those who have never been whale watching, or have been somewhere else I highly recommend heading to Hervey Bay and especially early in the season when the humpback whales seem to be anything but shy. I have to mention the boat we were on for the whale watching, it and the wonderful crew made the day just about perfect. The boat was the Shayla (www.shaylacruises.com.au), a catamaran that runs all day whale watching crises during the season, I highly recommend it.A couple of whales at play thumb

I lost count of the number of humpback whales we saw during the day but we got the full experience of whale activity, breaches, tail and pectoral slapping and spy-hopping. There were also several curious whales taking an interest in the boat and getting up close and personal.

Managed to get some greats snaps too (whales and the bay) a couple of which you can see. I’ll be adding more to the gallery on chuckles34.net so keep an eye open.

All in all a Great way to waste some time :-)

Well i implemented the linking of categories and created a new plugin “Advanced Wiki Links”. Grab it if you want to take a look.

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