Thursday, 28 August 2008

DreamBox DM600PVR

So after years of ignoring the compact pc I purchased to install MythTV on to use as a personal video recorded with added bonuses like network connectivity and ability to add modules to increase functionality I decided to leave it tasked as a email/web server and invest in a shiny new DreamBox. I have only seen dreamboxes in Egypt and most of those quite old models so I had a look to see what was on offer and found a number of interesting units. The daddy of them all the dm8000 has dual tuner internal hdd support and hd support but wasn't out yet so I turned my eyes to the dm800 its smaller brother who has the same features but with one tuner but sadly still a big price tag for someone like me who doesnt have a HD tv and isn't that interested in owning one in the near future. The next in the lineup to me seemed to be the new dm600pvr although often ignored due to lack of dual tuner like the 702x range it's small size and reasonable price made it very attractive to me.

The dreambox was simple to setup out of the box and occupied the same space under my tv that my sky digibox had done plus an extra cable to give an internet connection via my sky netgear router. Upon scanning for channels I realised I had an issue as by default it doesn't have any softcams which emulate provider encryption services so you can't use your sky card or someone else sky card id(not currently possible for NDS the system sky uses but possible for other providers) or share their sky card over the internet for example to decrypt the channels you usually get and some you don't usually get. I chose to go with the softcam CCcam but the Enigma image that comes on the dm600pvr is a little fiddly to add software and manage softcams with and turns it more into linux sysadmin work so to allow everyone in the house to have a play I replace it with the latest Gemini image which was 4.40.

Upgrading the image wasn't the simplest of process not having windows to hand or a working serial port and hearing tales of woe from people trying to use usb->serial cables I googled and found that if you fix your dreambox IP address on your DHCP server so it's now static then telnet to it and type the following:

mount /boot -o remount,rw
rm /boot/*

Once rebooted if you hit the web interface it gives you an option to re flash the unit with the image of your choice!

Now Its just a matter of using the blue menu / addons and download CCcam and a config file for it then select CCcam in the blue menu. Sky cards now work in the front slow and you have the ability to download the latest keys from satanddream ready for manual install in Gemini which is a user contributed source of keys for opening up more channels. There is much more you can install or addon but I recommend MultiView or MV for EPG which you can feed using xmltv project and their radio times script.

Wednesday, 13 August 2008

Man Page Bugs

Just noticed CentOS5 has a man page bug and may not be the only disto to have it as when I google for the same man page I get similar results.

Compare man mkfs.ext3 to

You will notice the following is missing:

-I inode-size

Specify the inode size. The default inode-size used by mke2fs is 128. inode-size can be 128, 256, 512 or

1024. This value generally shouldn't be changed!

It almost led me to recreate a filesystem with the wrong option as I did not believe GlusterFS docs would be more complete than my current distros.