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

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.

Water must be golden here

I'm paying $5.72 per 1000 gallons of water, and $5.97 for sewer. Compare that to Los Angeles, CA for the cost for both together is $1 or ONE TENTH of what I'm paying. Average US cities pay $1.75 per 1000 gallons of water and $2.75 for sewer. And it's not like water is scarce here.

The real travesty is you can't even drink it. There's so much lime in it that your water fixtures need replaced every other year and water heaters need replaced every 5 years.

Then, tag on my city fees. Yes, there's more.

Read on...Utility Tax: $2.23 / month

RIAA: Can we get a colective WTF?

Let's say I decide to record my own electronica music. Let's say I'm just a geek liking to give away what I made because it makes me feel good. Let's say I let it be downloaded online for free.

Let's say I let a few Internet radio stations play it for free...

Whoops - the RIAA via their royalty collections body, has the legal obligation to collect royalties for me.

Yet another Wal-Mart rant

Those yuppie (yes, I said YUPPIE!) brats from Southern California and other well-to-do neighborhoods just don't get it. Businessweek has an article on how Wal Mart destroyed the big electronics retailers in the past few months, and effectively eliminated KB Toys and FAO Schwartz.

If Operating Systems were run like 1980's action movies

I stumbled on this article at The Inquirer about how Microsoft admits Vista is a failure, and followed the trail to another article at the same site in 2003 about the history of Microsoft and it's dark future.

Both articles are a very good read, and though they both stink of anti-Microsoft rhetoric, both are at least historically accurate if not twinged by sloping interpretations.

Ubuntu 7.04 Server is LIGHT!

I just checked how much of my hard drives my new Ubuntu install takes.

I installed the base Apache web server, MySQL and PHP5. I then added xinetd, sshd, proftpd, postfix mail server and eGroupWare.

Total install: 711 MB.

Total RAM used of my 3 GB: 605 MB. With MySQL running and eGroupWare working, that's all it's using.

eGroupWare. Exchange is dead.

Well well well... Buh-Bye Exchange.

I've finally found the answer to my prayers. eGroupWare has become somewhat mature and I think I'll be replacing Exchange with it in the next few weeks.

And before you scream 'Hey, what about my Outlook???' let me mention Funambol's free sync utility. Yeah. It actually works. For Outlook sync, I recommend the 'stable' version, as the beta 6.0 had some issues for me. I haven't tried PocketPC syncing yet, but that's my next step.

What is eGroupWare? Think Microsoft Exchange, Microsoft Project, Sharepoint and several other programs all wrapped into one. Installing was easy using Ubuntu 7.04 - I just installed the packages, created a database in MySQL and then went to the configuration page on my server at

So far I've made it pull e-mail from my exchange server when you use the web interface, and I used Funambol's sync utility to get all my calendar, contacts, notes and todo's into eGroupWare. All that's left to do is move the mail over to the new server and sync all the individual user's data. Thankfully I only have a handful of users.