Wednesday, September 07, 2005

My mate turned up this morning, and dropped off his tivo, and his digital stb, for me to image/configure for him.

My mate's tivo didn't come with an IR Blaster cable, so I told him I'd sort out getting one.

My mate mentioned getting ADSL filters cheap, and I told him that I needed one, he told me that he had one in the car, so I went down to get it.

When I went out, I noticed that a couple of large parcels had arrived for me, presumably my 3rd tivo, and the laptop backpack I won on eBay the other day.

I grabbed those in, checked the tivo I'd bought, it came with all the cables (more than I was expecting), and a series 2 remote, with a switch, to easily control 2 tivos.

The few issues were not really noticable, a little bit of plastic missing from the front, and one foot missing from the bottom.

The lid wasn't on it properly, so I was able to remove it (easily, unlike when they are on properly), and I could show my mate the internals.

He left, and I decided to start modding my 2nd tivo, adding the second audio input to it, so I could migrate to using a unit with more capacity, and with the other sat box running off it.

No great issues with this, I could find all my tools, and I had a fully charged battery for the drill, so I removed the motherboard and the disks, drilled the holes for the extra couple of RCAs, and mounted them.

The postmane turned up, parked his bike up the top of the driveway, and hung around for a minute, which I thought was strange. I went out, and he'd gone to the front door, there were a couple of small parcels, and one had to be signed for.

I signed for it, and the postie asked about my bike. I told him that I'd lost my license, and it was out of rego etc.

I finished signing for the parcel, and then he left.

I came back inside, and opened both of them. The one I didn't have to sign for was my USB hub I got the other day, the one I did have to sign for was the flash card I got.

Anyway, I unpacked the flash card, and shoved it in the pcmcia slot, and saw:

2.6. kernels use pcmciamtd instead of memory_cs.c and do not require special
MTD handling any more.

Now I need to work out how to access it.

A bit more info:

squigley@laptop:~$ sudo cardctl status
Socket 0:
5V 16-bit PC Card
function 0: [ready]
squigley@laptop:~$ sudo cardctl ident
Socket 0:
product info: "SMART Modular Technologies", " 4MB FLASH Card "


I did a bit of googling around, and found references to "mem0c" devices, but I didn't have "/dev/mem0c" or "/dev/mtd" anything. I found more references, to "MTD support".

I don't think I compiled support for that into the kernel.

I checked the kernel config, nup, I hadn't. I tried enabling all the stuff I needed as modules, built them (which looked to work), copied them in to /lib/modules etc, and did a "depmod -a", then I modprobed all of them.

Nothing much happened. I ejected and reinserted the card, but it didn't do anything.

Somehow I think I need to recomplile the kernel.

I don't know if I can even be bothered trying to put openAP on the old AP anyway now.

Anyway, I decided to finish hacking the tivo, and put it back together.

I lifted up the pins on the Micronas chip, superglued the capacitors to the top of it, and soldered the legs to the pins on the chip.

I remounted the motherboard, soldered the audio lead between the caps and the RCAs, and then I reinstalled the disks in the machine.

I booted it up, seemed to work, I went through the guided setup again, to add the extra signal source.

I reconfigured the PALmod, enabling the 2nd audio input, and found that the volume was really low for some reason.

I fiddled around with it for a bit, rebooted etc, but it was still quiet.

I worked out that it was a problem with the gnd of the RCAs, not being connected to the case properly, so I mucked around finding some wire to gnd them with, but it didn't fix it.

I eventually discovered that the RCA lead I was using between the sat decoder and the tivo was dodgy, and it was fixed when I used a different cable.

I let it sit and run for a while, didn't see any issues.

I packed it up, and went to work on my mate's tivo.

I installed his network card, and then I set the unit up. It's second hand, and has a disk in it already, and I found that it was configured.

Initially, upon booting, it came up and said that the account was closed, and it required a subscription.

I tried to watch live tv (not expecting it to work, since it was in NTSC mode), and found that you can't even browse the channels on screen, since that's part of the tivo functionality apparently.

I looked in "Now Showing", and found that it had a couple of recordings in there. Heh.

There's "Jaws" in there, "Devil's Advocate", "Rambo: First Blood, Part II", and a couple of suggestions, "Witchblade", and "Bill & Ted's Excellend Adventure".

I could watch Jaws, (recorded 12/8/01, from "TBS"), but when I tried to watch Devil's Advocate (11/8/01, TBS), it popped up and said that the "program exceeds the rating limits set [PG-13]", and asked for the parental code.

Hmm, no idea. I tried all the obvious ones, but nothing I put in there would work. I googled around for override codes, but couldn't find anything. I think I could modify the settings in MFS, but that means hacking the thing to a fair extent, and I don't really care all that much.

I looked in the IPCop logs, and saw that the machine had picked up an IP address. I tried port scanning it, but nothing was open, as I expected.

I went into the config, and added in the ,#401 prefix, for it to use the network adapter, instead of the modem. I tried doing a test call, and found I had to turn off the dialtone detection too.

Anyway, it connected, and said it was downloading some stuff, and then I got a notice that there were new dialin numbers.

I went back to the recordings and found I could watch "Witchblade", from "TNT" and "Bill & Ted..", from "Comedy", but both of them are blank, because they must have been pay per view or something.

The only thing on the screen (other than the initial OSD), is the text "for ordering information, please call customer service, ext 721".

Couldn't watch Rambo either, since it's R rated, (recorded 23/7/01, off "ENCACT").

I left the machine running for a while, didn't see any issues.

I decided to go through all the spare hard drives I've got hanging around, to find one to run in the new dev tivo.

I went through all the disks, found a couple that didn't seem to work, Fujitsus. One did, the other 2 didn't. I tried swapping the controller from the one that worked to one that didn't, but it didn't get it working.

I found a 245Mb disk, that still runs, it's like 12 years old, useless though. I found an only 2.1Gb disk, I attached that to my laptop, with the USB -> IDE adapter, to see what was on it.

I discovered it was an install of Debian, but it had a Mac partition table, then I remembered, it must have been the disk I was trying to get my PowerMac to run linux off, but could never get it to boot.

I grabbed the USB hub, and tested it, I plugged it my mouse, the floppy drive, a USB memory drive, and even the USB -> IDE adapter, and they all worked, that was pretty good.

I suppose I'll find some time to just reimage the disk already in the tivo, even though my mate bought himself a 160Gb disk for the unit today, but I won't get that from him for a week.

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