reverse engineered

DVB-T on Linux using DVBStreamer

I’ve tried most of the DVB streaming solutions for Linux, including VDR, MuMuDVB, DVBBlast, dvbstream, DVBStreamer, GNOME DVB Daemon. I’ve only managed to find one that does this well though, which is DVBStreamer. Getting started with DVBStreamer is pretty easy. First of all you need a DVB adapter that works with Linux. I use a USB ITE IT913x-based adapter, which works well for me. Once you have a compatible package, you need to install necessary (Debian/Ubuntu) packages: Read more →

Dual Boot, Dual MAC

My desktop machine runs a Linux/Windows dual boot. It runs Linux 90% of the time, with Windows only used for playing games. Rather than have to remember which operating system is running at the time, I decided to forcibly make Windows use a different MAC address. This means that I can now assign each machine a different hostname in DNS. Checking which operating system is running is now as simple as pinging the hostname corresponding to the operating system. Read more →

4k Drive Alignment

With 4k advanced format drives becoming more and more popular, it is important that users understand the differences that the move from a 512 to 4k sector size brings about. During this transitional phase, the majority of larger drives are using 4k sectors internally, but exposing a 512 byte section externally for compatibility reasons. See for yourself using fdisk. Below is the output of a Samsung HD204UI 2 TB drive: Read more →

Debian Print to PDF

Having used PDFcreator on Windows for many years, a PDF printer is something that you miss very quickly on a fresh install operating system. Linux is no exception, and cups-pdf provides a PDF printer for the most excellent CUPS. (I normally despise Apple software, but I have to give them credit for CUPS. :)) To install on a Debian/Ubuntu machine: apt-get install cups-pdf Once installed, you should now have a new PDF printer showing up in CUPS. Read more →

Mirror FTP

I recently decided to take mirror an old website that I had running. The hosting plan only offered ftp, and so, I couldn’t get shell access to tar and scp it. Next best thing was to mirror it using lftp. The following command logs into the root FTP directory and mirrors every file recursively. lftp -e mirror -u username,password Read more →

AppleTV Linux Broadcom BCM4328 Wireless

I have an AppleTV 1.0 running Ubuntu 8.04 Server with an XBMC front end as a HTPC/media streamer. The Broadcom BCM4328 wireless card in the AppleTV is not supported according to the supported devices list of the Broadcom propriety driver, but I’ve managed to get it to work. SSH to your AppleTV and download the 32-bit driver from Broadcom: wget Extract that tarball to the current directory: tar -xvzf hybrid-portsrc*. Read more →

sudo !!

sudo is a method of executing programs on a Linux/Unix machine with the permissions of a different user (usually root). sudo enabled systems generally have the root account disabled, which means it is easy to forget to elevate the privileges of root programs. sudo !! solves this by executing the previous command with root privileges. This doesn’t make much difference for short commands such as shutdown, but for longer commands, this can save a few seconds. Read more →

Rsync USB backup

Rsync is a simple tool for synchronizing two directories while minimising data transfer by only transferring the differences. I use the following script to automatically sync the files on my USB drive to my home directory on a remote server and then safely remove the drive. The files are transferred over SSH, and so the entire transfer is secure. I also use public key authentication to ensure I do not require a password to log into remotehost. Read more →

Linux NetBIOS Lookup

To enable NetBIOS name lookup in Linux, simply edit /etc/nsswitch.conf and add wins to the hosts line. Before: hosts: files dns After: hosts: files dns wins Then install the winbind package. sudo apt-get install winbind You should now be able to address other machines on your LAN by their hostnames. Before: user@host:$ ping otherhost ping: unknown host otherhost After: user@host:$ ping otherhost PING otherhost ( 56(84) bytes of data. 64 bytes from otherhost. Read more →

Pipe Viewer

If you have ever copied data from one disk to another using dd, you will have noticed that dd has no progress bar, no ETA, no information at all until the process has completed. This can be troublesome if you are copying large partitions that are likely to take a few hours. I found a little program called pv that solves that problem. pv allows you to see into the pipe and see what is going on with your copy process. Read more →