Monday, November 29, 2010

A sister site :

I/we have just launched a sister site to this blog, namely the site, which will be featuring the same articles and snippets as this blog, albeit maybe in a more structured form. Please visit the site and support it. And... share with friends.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Mediaportal: How to install mediaportal

If you (like i did) have an old PC which you do not use and at the same time need a mediacentre, why dont you give mediaportal a shot? It is open source, free and for windows.
Here goes:
  1. Download the latest version here .
  2. Launch the installer file.
  3. Choose your country.
  4. Choose "Start installation now".
  5. If there is ANY chance that you will be using mediaportal to either watch or record TV, answer yes to the question of whether you are going to use mediaportal to watch TV.
  6. Unless you know very well what you are doing (and if you are, you not reading this), choose install all in one click.
  7. If you are installing under Windows Vista or Windows 7, you will be asked which network the TV-server may communicate on. I have chosen only private networks and would recommend this setting.
  8. The setup is now done installing and you will be shown the MediaPortal Manual Documentation .
  9. You are now done installing MediaPortal - Have fun! (I will continue posting articles on how to setup things and features on this blog...)

Mediaportal: Choosing and setting up a remote control

I found and ordered a nice looking (and very cheap) remote control from the Hong Kong based store : .

Conclusion: It works just fine! However there are quite a few keys that don't have the function that was intended (some take mediaportal out of full screen mode, some launch other applications, etc.) and some keys do nothing at all.
However the volume, channel, number, arrow, PC off, close program and mouse keys work fine, which is the most important.
In mediaportal you also have to make some customization in setup. Lauch "MediaPortal Configuration", and go to "Remote" and choose "Microsoft MCE" and "Use Microsoft MCE remote or keyboard".

Conclusion: This remote is so cheap that you can not afford to buy if you are missing a remote for your mediaportal PC. It's only approximately $10.

Hint: You probably can remap some of the key strokes from the remote using the program AutoHotkey.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Firefox: Unblock a nonstandard port in Firefox3

If you try to browse a non-standard (a non-port-80 port) using Firefox 3, you will get he common Firefox can't-do-this-Try-Again error.
This is because Firtefox tries to protect you from evil-men-on-the-net, or yourself by blocking all ports but port 80. You need to unblock using a nonstandard port such as 81, 28 8888, 8971in Firefox3 by following the directions on this page: [ ]
I've test this and it works just fine!

Debian NSLU2: Installing packages 1

Initial setup

After the installation of the Debian OS is finished it is time to start installing the packages containing the services/servers/programs/utiliies that you need on the nslu2. It is of course the packages that was the initial reason that we started this installation adventure.

Furthermore some packages need to be removed.

Some have been tested and the removed again.

Installed packages

  • thttpd
  • vsftpd
  • samba
  • emacs
  • mc
  • screen
  • ddclient
  • rsync

Removed packages

I have removed the following packages which were installed by defaul. I must confess that the net"-something" is a package that a friend of mine removed and which he neglected to tell me the full name of.
  • nfs
  • net"-something"

Installed and removed packages

  • sg3-utils
  • atop
  • gdb
atop is quite usefull for discovering what is going on on the slug regarding network, hdd, memory usage etc.

How to install the packages
How to install the packages?  Start by logging in as root:
$ su
and supply the password that you set during the Debian OS install procedure. Then install sudo and emacs:
$ apt-get update; apt-get install sudo emacs

Add yourself to the sudoers group
Now you need to add yourself to the sudoers group. Run

$ visudo

and find the line
root     ALL=(ALL) ALL

and add the line 
"username"     ALL=(ALL) ALL
replacing "username" with your own chosen username. Then hit Ctrl+X to exit and answer Yes to the question of whether you want to save the file.

Remaining packages

Now it is time to install the remaining packages

$ sudo apt-get update; sudo apt-get install ntpdate vsftpd samba mc screen ddclient rsync sudo

How to continue
In the following blog-articles I will show how these packages are configured.