OMG GRUB2 so doesn’t work with GRUB 1.5

I mentioned to both Aris and CC about not being able to get GRUB going, but as it turns out, OpenSUSE had overwritten my 1st 9.04 Xubuntu configuration’s GRUB with it’s own (I believe 1.5) but I’d installed OpenSUSE on a secondary 1.0 TB drive…. when I reformatted that 1.0 TB drive from within a Windows 7 boot cycle it decimated the MBR / GRUB setup.  I thought a fresh install of 9.10 Ubuntu 64 bit Desktop would cure the “Error 17” woes I was encountering.  It didn’t.  I thought, perhaps I needed to edit the file or the /boot/grub/menu.lst “list” file.  Nope.  None of this fixed the problem.  But you know what?  I kept going.  Because, like all things Linux, if you’re full of hate and things don’t work, that means it’s time to hunker down. FWIW there are 37 pages on the Ubuntu Forums discussing this error and that’s just one thread of many .  As it turns out 9.10 Karmic Koala runs a different version of GRUB (GRUB 2, specifically) and they are not compatible.  I found a utility called Super Grub Disk and booted it.  It was kind enough to give me more than an “Error 17” or an “Error 21”, it told me in fact explicitly that there was a GRUB versioning issue.

The problem was in the versioning and not where the files were pointing (hd0,0 or hd1,1 sda1, sdb6, etc).  Thankfully from within the Super Grub Disk utility I was able to revert the master boot record (MBR) back to native Windows 7 boot and then from there re-booting into Super Grub I was able to boot directly into 9.10.  Once in 9.10 (and not on a rescue/live CD) I was able to run Synaptic Package Managers’ update.  During the Synaptic Update (code: sudo apt-get install update) 9.10 re-overwrote the MBR with GRUB 2 and it worked.  I can now boot either Windows 7 or 9.10 no problem.

My hope is to try the .22 (near release) of MythTV and see if that helps me in my backend woes.  MCE & Win7 work fine but doesn’t have the scheduling or Apache features of MythTV.  Worst case scenario I need to make a friend at the hacker’s space in NYC ( who actually understands channel mapping tables in MYSQL for QAM ATSC (free and clear) digital cable tuning.  Currently the SliconDust HDHomeRun has each of its tuners plugged into the same QAM feed, which is good because now the antenna is gone, but bad as I’ve never gotten all the free digital cable channels to work reliably in MythTV.

Super Grub Disk

Super Grub Disk

Ubuntu Karmic Koala 9.10

Ubuntu Karmic Koala 9.10

WWDC no 802.11n in on the 3G S iPhone!? Drat!

So, with the new iPhone 3.x OS you will not be purchasing an 802.11N enabled wireless chipset.  Apparently the new 3G S model does support 4G HSDPA but not 5 GHz 802.11N wireless with the new lower powered Broadcom BCM4325. Apparently the 3G S model is a bit snappier. When is the 802.11n iPod Touch coming out? That’s what I’m waiting for. I saw that Garret had a very small LG phone that’s basically free from Verizon, if I could find that used/new and then go with a Touch remote… we’ll see how it goes…. Windows 7 RC is OK. It works, for what it’s worth.

I like Ubuntu 9.04 with MythTV…. I’m going to go back to that but probably do a dual boot leaving Win7 RC just in case…. Sadly, for Netflix playback due to Silverlight DRM a Windows XP/Vista/7 VM or even an OS X VM is necessary for Netflix streaming…. or buy a Roku box, unfortunately our TV doesn’t have 2 HDMI inputs… I’m surprised no one has been able to reverse engineer the Roku Box’s chipset and put the Silverlight DRM code out there…. Or even just have a “Roku Box VM”…. Why not, right? Seems possible, when you consider how almost all old video console games can now be played and fit on one flash drive.

I brewed with the Yama 5 Cup Vacuum brewer today. Thank you Conor and Leigh, awesome gift BTW; best of luck in your trip West. The coffee is very good, very clean, very smooth. I currently am grinding Gimme’ Coffee’s Picolo Mondo variety. Thank you Japanese vacuum brewing technology and to Chris for the awesome vintage German Peter Dienes grinder which does it job remarkably well for a hand grinder over twice as old as I am.

Yama Brewing

Yama Vaccuum Brewing by Digital Colony

My Vintage PeDe looks similar, all metal on top though

My Vintage PeDe looks similar, all metal on top though


Hackable? Image from blog

Linux is a temperamental mistress

There is not doubt that you get out of MythTV what you put into it.  I spent a good day, post system build, just getting things going.  I upgraded to the 180.51 stable NVIDIA driver for the 9400 GT card that I have, at first it presented some problems, but I used Synaptic upgrade manager with Jean-Yves’ optional kernel builds with VDPAU support and the machine seems to run pretty cool.  Yes that Antec 120mm fan is loud but I think I can run it on the low setting. Why Antec builds cases with fan holes that seem to be able to produce noise is beyond me.  Since it’s an exhaust you’d think they might as well make it a super open mesh or just an open circle.

The Apple “mini” Remote still doesn’t work.  I was able to get LIRC to recognize it via the HDHomeRun IR input, and it wrote to some .conf file somewhere, but it’s unclear exactly how to set it up from within Myth.  But Apache works, I need to install Avahi and Netatalk again so I can get access to all the recordings from the other computers on the LAN.  I still wouldn’t mind having a low powered server as a dedicated back-end, especially if I could run MT-DAAPD on that, ideally it’d be gigabit and something like an old Sempron 3000+ headless with say over 2 TB’s of free space.

I fixed a floor pump today that had a bad O ring using only teflon tape.  Science.  Also I had a double Americano using Stumptown beans at City Girl cafe on Thompson this morning.  So good… wicked Sláinte.

City Girl Cafe

City Girl Cafe via Noyda on Flickr

Say S for Stumptown Espresso

Hairbender via Lameen on Flickr

Awesome awesomeness

So things have been busy but going pretty well, in comparison to the Winter at least.  I’m having another go at MythBuntu 8.04 LTS on the old PIII as the Myth Back-End.  I built our Front-End this afternon.  It’s a E5200 Core Duo chip, the motherboard is based on Intel’s 4100 chipset and is made by Gigabyte. I ended up with an MSI made Nvidia GeForce 9400 GT PCI-Express x16 v2.0 video card which should be able to offload my the processing needed for HDTV and h.264 1080p video playback, from what I’ve read anyhow VDPAU and Linux have come along nicely especially in the 9.04 release which is what I’ll run on the Front-End.  The MSI supports two digital heads simultaneously over HDMI and DVI.  Unfortunately the one Antec 120mm fan is quite noisy while the other Enermax 120mm is dead quiet.  Lesson learned.  I was going to buy two of those but I cheapened out.

The case itself is pretty solid, it’s an Antec Sonata III and it came with a nice EarthWatts 500w power supply and originally I was considering trying to find a different case and keep the PSU, but I think it’ll work out.  I would say that you shouldn’t stuff like four 3.5″ SATA HDDs in this case, it’d be too hot and noisy.  I may need to buy some sound deadening padding for the walls of the case and do a little dremmel cutting to open up some grating that seems to be blocking airflow.  I was considering doing this at the Pratt metal shop but the prospect of dragging this case all the way down there was too daunting and besides, who doesn’t need a rotary cutting tool?

So yeah.  A bit of the ‘ole bike commuting across the Williamsburg bridge.  The weather has stayed pretty friendly and I’ve been taking sailing classes which have been a lot of fun.  That’s all.  Lets hope the new builds workout here so Zoe can start recording more model TV shows.




My goodness, that’s good coffee!

I’ve been drinking the Stumptown Hairbender blend, usually as a “tall black” AKA an Americano (with nearly equal amounts espresso to water) at Sweet Leaf down the street.  It’s really good.  Basically, it trumps most all the other coffee I’ve had in this city, which until lately has been chock full of not very good coffee.  In the past I’ve enjoyed both Grumpy and Gimme’.  Don’t get me wrong, they were good.  And maybe I’ll do some sort of coffee round up and see how the shots these shops pull compare, but for right now, it’s insane.  The level has been elevated that much higher now that Stumptown is in town.  I’m glad for it.

I had a MySQL database failure (thanks Dreamhost) but fortunately I backup daily.  Unfortunately my backup was Latin1 and not UTF-8, because I started using WordPress like 4 years ago.  Anyhow, it’s all converted now to UTF-8 and looks like things are OK.  Aris pointed out that perhaps my CAPCHA plugin is doing something funky, I’ll look into it.

The new SiliconDust HD HomeRun Tuner came in the mail.  Zoe is excited about MythTV recording her shows for her.  I am very sad that Terminator Sarah Connor Chronicles is ending this week, it’s like I’ve lost a child who’s going to war.  Only it’s a war in the future with evil robots.  And my son’s name is John.  John Connor.  Also I’m pretty stoked about JJ Abrams’ new Star Trek.  From the previews it appears ILM might’ve increased the SFX production values, though there probably won’t be any tribbles.  I love tribbles.  And Stumptown.