Thursday, 11 January 2018

The Table, the Bread and the TV

Jan very kindly assisted me move the heavy Jarrah BBQ table to the back of the house and place it upside down on the assembly table.  I’m probably asking too much of a great grandmother, however I know the exercise will be good for her.  Once it was on the assembly table I disassembled and sanded the timber back.  This is the first time its been sanded since we bought the table 20 years ago.  With a little luck it will also be the last time for me!

Fortunately there were no ‘tricky’ sections requiring hand sanding which enabled me to complete the task in a day.  Then it was reassembled and given two coats of oil.


Meanwhile Jan had gone back inside (and away from the stifling heat) where she dragged the Aldi bread maker kicking and screaming into the galley kitchen.  Jan only uses the bread maker to kneed the dough.  If it’s used to bake bread the machine leaves a hole from the mixing paddle.  We’re having 'Lidl Scottish Baps’ for lunch.


I’ve been spending hours most evening attempting to get MythTV working on an old 386 pc.  I must have reinstalled the operating system two or three dozen times before realising the latest version of Linux wouldn’t recognise the TV capture cards, or if the pc did, it was intermittent.  Eventually I rolled back to an earlier version of Linux and the three capture cards were successfully recognised. BUT the cards would either report they had failed to record TV programs or simply not record.   After a week of pulling out my hair I realised the old 250GB hard drive I’d been using had an intermittent fault.  When I pulled it out of the computer I discovered there was a label on it with the word “Defective???” in my handwriting <Duh>.

Fitting another drive fixed that problem only for me to discover the capture cards were unable to obtain a signal for all the TV channels.  Being lazy, I first attempted to solve the problem by cutting 6 inches off the coaxial at the socket in the lounge room and refitting the plug.  That didn’t work, so I went up onto the roof and did the same at the antenna.  Actually the antenna looks like an old analogue aerial rather than digital.  Well that didn’t solve the problem either, so we’re stuck with a limited number of available channels.

However at least I have a working computer running MythTV which is able to simultaneously record six separate channels. 

The next step was configuring the electronic program guide (EPG).  Stralia is one of the few countries in the world where it’s difficult to obtain an electronic copy of the program guide.  Most providers broadcast it as part of their signal and it’s free.  To overcome this problem some clever people in Stralia have written a program that grabs and sorts the data from various sources before making it freely available over the internet.  It’s a separate program which the user needs to integrate with MythTV.  Well I managed to complete that yesterday.

Now I don’t want a second pc with it’s own screen, keyboard and mouse.  I want to be able to remotely access our new “MythTV box” from the main laptop.  I managed to do that today by installing and configuring “MythWeb”.  This gives me access to the TV box through the web browser.


All that is left is the problem of the missing TV channels and as we are NOT going to buy a new TV antenna for this house it will have to wait.  


Marilyn McDonald said...

Hi Tom,
I think your spelling of the country you are living in is incorrect - according to sports broadcasters here in NZ it should be spelled as it sounds when pronounced by Ockers. More properly it should be spelled Straya...
Glad to see you are keeping very busy in the heat!
Cheers, Marilyn

Tom and Jan said...

Hi Marilyn, I shall endeavour to improve. Actually Jan now refuses to proof-read. Would you like a job? :-)

37C here today :-(