Tony's ramblings on Open Source Software, Life and Photography

Copyright Royalty Board claims Kurt Hanson approves

This is strange. Senator Byrd forwarded me the letter that the CRB sent him regarding the ruling over Internet radio station royalties.

In the letter they state:

'Mr. Maro's Correspondence appears to be based on an article written by Mr. Kurt Hanson a few hours after our decision was distributed. A few days later, Mr. Hanson read the decision and wrote another article. Then he said the decision is a fair analysis...'

(emphasis mine.)

Tuning MythTV playback

The system I run Myth on is not a powerhouse but it's not a turtle either. With an AMD 2000+ and 768 MB of RAM, it's probably slower than your desktop but it suffices for video recording and playback quite well.

Unfortunately after reinstalling Myth I had some audio sync issues and staccato video. I finally realized what the problem was.I had compiled MythTV with every video playback method known to man, thinking this would give me the most options. The downside is that certain things like OpenGL sync are always on when compiled in.

I ended up recompiling MythTV and only enabled XvMC playback support while disabling all other video modes. Playback is fast and smooth now, and the quality is high. I'm recording at 720x480 at a minimum of 4800 Kbps. It's generating around 1.5 GB of data for every hour recorded.


A great war time quote

Think about this. Really.

This is from 'Becket' a 1964 movie starting Tim Burton:

King Henry II: Am I the strongest or am I not?
Thomas a Becket: You are today, but one must never drive one's enemy to despair; it makes him strong. Gentleness is better politics, it saps virility. A good occupational force must never crush. It must corrupt.

Fetchmail POP sucks

I had problems in the past trying to run Fetchmail to retrieve e-mails from POP accounts. At that time I switched to a Windows based solution and ran it directly on my Exchange server.

Well I've phased out Exchange so I went back to Fetchmail on my cyrus server. Still problems.
It's the latest version of Ubuntu, and it still has the same bug that I experienced two years ago. Sometimes it just decides there's something in the POP3 box that it doesn't like and ends up dying. It stops retrieving mail entirely.

That's a loss for Microsoft

Some of you may recall my excitement when I found eGroupWare.

I just finished migrating our entire company off of Microsoft Exchange and onto Cyrus IMAP with eGroupWare.

Yeah. I did it. You always wished you did, but I actually did it.

eGroupWare seems to be a very mature product. It still lacks some polish you might expect of a $500 or more groupware server, but considering I was looking for FREE, you can't beat it. I'm using the Ubuntu 7.04 packages.The hardest part of the entire conversion was configuring Cyrus IMAP server the way I needed. The configs for Cyrus are still pretty detailed and cryptic so there was a bit of trial and error on my part. I went with Cyrus because I wanted to give the user's server-side mail filters using sieve. I also went for broke and used my NIS server to authenticate user accounts. Yes, I know, the wave of the future is using LDAP, but I already had the NIS server in place and my NFS shares authenticate with it.


MythTV Part 3 - The remote

Suddenlink installed the HDTV Cable box today. Before I get to that, I'll cover the remote control setup for my MythTV:

MythTV Fresh Build Part 2

So the saga continues into the early morning...

Everything compiled rather easily, but to get the plugins to all work the way I wanted I had to add the following packages using apt-get:

Some of this would likely have been installed had I used 'apt-get build-dep mythtv-plugins' but I didn't think that far ahead.

I also had to download and compile taglib.

MythTV wouldn't start the setup process until I added libqt3-mt-sql.

After that, I was able to setup my zap2it subscription inside MythTV (see the MythTV HOWTO for details) so it will download the TV listings for me.


The Quest for the Perfect PVR

I've been running MythTV for years. Typically I just let it do it's thing, and I don't often update the box.

Lately I've had issues with the DVD info downloader and the weather modules. I also haven't had cable in a few months for various reasons and just ordered a digital HD package to be installed this weekend.

All seemed like a good opportunity to start the machine from scratch.


Postfix aliases don't work sometimes.

It took me several hours, but I finally figured out why.

I had configured Postfix to deliver mail into my Cyrus IMAP server. The local accounts are all first name only such as 'tony' but our e-mail addresses use first name and first initial of the last name such as 'tonym@'. Since I'm now using NIS to authenticate users on the network and use just first name, I thought it would be trivial to just set an alias in Postfix to deliver them to the right Cyrus mailboxes.

Boy was I wrong.After turning on debug logging, I was seeing the following:

NIS + Cyrus IMAP authentication

What a long day it's been. I just finished configuring NIS authentication on a server and Cyrus imapd server for handling e-mail authenticating against NIS. All this so I could get eGroupWare to authenticate and only manage passwords in one location.

This is of course running on Ubuntu 7.04.

I won't go into too much detail but here's a few tips...First, make sure your NIS authentication is working for the workstation.

That means, setup the following files properly:


I missed the last one, and it caused me great stress later.

Next, configure imapd.conf like so:

sasl_mech_list: PLAIN
sasl_pwcheck_method: saslauthd

make sure that /etc/default/saslauthd has the following line:

And of course make sure all your accounts are created on the master NIS server and that the NIS maps are updated.

Please realize, that using PLAIN as the only method of accepting passwords (which is necessary for NIS auth through PAM) puts you at some risk.