another mega-update

April 21, 2003 at 12:00 am

Well, it’s been over a month since my last update, and a decent amount of stuff has
happened since then, I just haven’t gotten around to updating this page yet. So, in
a pseudo-random order, here’s my recent history.

car alarm
While my dad was here, he also put in my car alarm for me since I’m not very good at wiring
things, not to mention my innate fear of getting electromocuted. I managed to be little more
than a peanut gallery while he was hooking up all the stuff. We still need to buy some relays
so that I can have it trip my door-locks remotely too, but my dad is convinced that the simple
solution for attaching the relays to the circuit won’t work, so I’m not going to doubt him.
I’ve scanned the picture of the circuit so if anyone has any ideas on how to hook it up,
let me know. Here is the picture. Thanks in advance :).
It’s also the first time that my new car has been apart, so it was neat looking the way it
was made.

new shelf
Also while he was here, he put a shelf up for my computer. It makes it much more convenient
for my desk situation because it literally doubles the space I have. Now I can put my laptop
on the desk as well as my monitor and mouse for my desktop. Too bad the only linux drivers for
my 802.11b card
are Red Hat only binaries and I’ve got
Slackware on the router box I’d put it in. No amount of
fidgiting would make that one work.

update: pictures
1
2
3

custom pvr box
I’ve wanted to get a Tivo for a long time, but I’ve never really wanted to pay so much to
buy one and then have to pay a monthly subscription. At $250 for the 40 hour one, plus $250
more for a lifetime (for the box) subscription, it’s much more economical to build a computer
myself and run my own software on it. Not to mention it will have a lot more features like
net connectivity, and not having to plug the phone line into it. The only thing it wouldn’t
have is the ability to tune two channels at once with directv like the directivo can.
I browsed the net for software that I could use, and I’ve settled on running
mythtv. So last Monday (April 14th),
I got a 200 gig hard drive from fry’s electronics (I had the
name before they bought out Incredible Universe!) and put it in my current 1.333ghz desktop,
removed unplugged the other hard drives, and then installed Debian
on it. It took me a while to get the graphic drivers working for my geforce4 ti4200 after
finally downloading the kernel source and recompiling since Debian Woody ships with a
kernel compiled by an old version of gcc. Then it’s a long time getting the sound drivers
working for the onboard sound on my ASUS A7M266. In the meantime I went to Best Buy and got
a tuner card
(coincidentally enough it’s the same one the author of mythtv got) and managed to get the
drivers working for that thing. Finally, after turning off the KDE sound manager server,
I was able to get the sound recording working through the program. So now it’s a week later,
and I let it run and had it record a bunch of shows while I went to school+work. I plan on
reinstalling linux when I get the final box since I only partitioned it with 137 gigs since
that’s how much it recognized without the ATA100 drivers. I don’t think I like Debian that
much, so I’m probably going to put Slackware on it instead, although one of my co-workers says
I should put a “real” operating system on it like Red Hat or SuSe. I might contemplate Red
Hat, to get the wireless card working in it, although I’ve heard lots of bad things about it.

Anyways, that should be everything important that I’m willing to spill on this web page.
Hopefully I won’t forget to update (or be lazy and just not do it) so much and maybe more
frequent updates in the future :).

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