i am huge in japan

Monday, January 29, 2007

PVR tinkering

I decided to give the GB-PVR software a try. The installation was fairly straight forward but overly complex. Once the program was up and running I found most of the buttons on the remote control didn't work or they were doing the wrong things. I wont blame the program for that though, it was probably me not selecting a remote control to use in the configurator. Remote control issues aside, the real kicker was nearly everything I tried to do resulted in a memory exception error so I gave up and uninstalled.

I tried out some AutoGK for video compression too. I tried it out on an existing xvid that was bigger than I wanted. AutoGK has preset file sizes you can aim for. I chose 350 MB (original was 995 MB), but it just spent the day going in loops because it couldn't get the file small enough, so it kept lowering the resolution until it was finally unviewable. Recompressing an already compressed file might not be a fair test so I will give it another go on a raw mpeg2 file soon. On the plus side it does give good feedback about what it is doing and how long it expects things to take.

I also finally got around to installing UltraVNC on the pvr so I can check on video compression progress from the other room. Don't know why I didn't do it earlier, just lazy I guess.

I've been using Media Portal's Video Editor plugin to remove ads from recordings. Somtimes it can be a bit buggy starting or it just drops out while you're marking the cut points and you have to start again. For the most part it works well though.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Cellphone modding

My Motorola E398 (MTV Hijacked version) has been a bit buggy lately. Sometimes the picture database seems to become corrupted and new pictures taken will not show up in it, only on the storage device.

As my phone is highly moddable, I decided to try flashing on a community built firmware package. After downloading the prerequisites I was ready to go.

I didn't have much to lose, but the only worry was the battery running out during the flashing process and leaving me with a brick I couldn't charge. For once, everything went right and I was soon enjoying the new interface. I haven't had a chance to explore extensively but it looks like things have changed for the better. I'm happy with the new skins too.

Time will tell if the bug has been resolved though.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

New year update

Sorry it has been so long since my last post. The new improved Blogger was refusing to let me log in!

I now have my new monitor and it is glorious. Above is a visual representation of my improved desktop area. It's really great having a proper brightness on images. Pictures that were previously big dark squares to me are now full of activity.

I had a bit of a problem getting the right screen resolution to stick at first but after moaning to the Mrs about the problem, she came to look at the error ridden screen and it suddenly worked. Now I know how people I support feel when their problem goes away as soon as I arrive.

I reinstalled Ubuntu Edgy a little while ago because things got a bit bogged down with my constant meddling. It's much better now and I am running Beryl with AiGLX instead of XGL. Visually it is no different but it does meant I get a smoother log on and a shutdown button when I go to log off!

On the PVR front, I have it hibernating from the remote control now. Previouly it put it in standby mode. Which made a bright blue light flash and kept the fans on. I'm still having some intermittant troubles with the hardware. When I first tested the hibernate, it started doing the power on power off loop. I left it for a while and tried again and it hasn't repeated. Then a couple of days ago I was 5 minutes into a show when I got a BSOD and a boot disk failure. The BIOS could no longer detect my IDE hard drive. Replugging it all solved that. Still a mystery why that happened though.