April 2012 Archives

comments open again

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It seems comments on my blog have been broken for a while. I think I've fixed it now though. For my future reference, I fixed it by 'refreshing' the mt.js template for the blog, using a new test blog I created as a source of the current mt.js.

I must have done some kind of package update at some point and updated the server side cgi scripts for movable type, which lead to some kind of incompatibility with my existing mt.js. To me it seems like a daft idea to have some of the code of a blog to be generated from a template that doesn't automatically get updated.

MythTV auto startup really working now

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I've previously posted about my mythtv box, and how I was struggling to get the auto power up features working. I can now say I've fixed it. But this time I've waiting a while to write a blog post saying that, so I can be sure it's really working.

And it turns out the instructions at http://www.mythtv.org/wiki/ACPI_Wakeup were on the money, but for whatever reason, I had some conceptual blocks that prevented me understanding them.

Firstly, those instructions tell you to set various mythtv-setup settings to call the mythshutdown binary, and to put configure other shutdown settings in the mythtvwelcome configuration. I now understand that the mythshutdown program ca be thought of as a helper for mythtvwelcome. The settings you configure in the mythtvwelcome screens are used to control how mythshutdown behaves.

My rebooting loop in my last blog post was because I hadn't set the mythwelcome settings to have the 'nvram-wakeup restart command' set to empty. If it's not empty mythshutdown assumes it needs to reboot (because prior to ACPI shutdown you had to do that to program the nvram bootup method).

I also found I had used an incorrect time format in various places. At one point I my script was trying to write a yyyy-MM-ddThh:ss style string to /sys/class/rtc/rtc0/wakealarm. That doesn't work, it needs the number of seconds since epoch. As well as that, at one point I was trying to pass the number of seconds since epoch to mythshutdown, which expects time in the yyyy-MM-ddThh:ss format.

In the last couple of weeks I've learned:
  • what to look for in /var/log/mythtv/mythbackend.log, 
  • that browsing the mythtv source code is helpful, 
  • it's good for my setwakeup script to log what it's doing,
  • that logging the output of 'cat /proc/driver/rtc' in my setwakeup script is really helpful to double check what's going on.
So now here I am, almost 12 months later and the problem is fixed. If only I'd paid more attention to Greg's comment last July about his nvram setting fixup.

Winter holiday to Canada

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In other news, I went to America and Canada last month. I went over to the 2012 US Pycon conference, then went upto Canada.

The conference was great and I met quite a few really interesting people. This year it was in Santa Clara, just south of San Francisco. Which was great, because it meant I got to visit my friend John in San Fran before the conference. John gave me a whirl wind tour of San Fran before I headed south for the conference.

In Canada I went to Canmore (in Alberta) to visit my friend Daniel and had 5 nights with him before Andrea joined us. Andrea and I did a special night at the Lake Louise Chateu and all 3 of us drove over to Kelowna for some road tripping and snowboarding. Andrea flew out of Kelowna, Daniel drove home and I went onto Whistler.

So while in Canada I got to
  • go classic cross country sking
  • learn skate cross country sking
  • do some target shooting with Daniels biathalon gun
  • see a herd of elk
  • go snowboarding at Sunshine, Big White and Whistler resorts
The best conditions I had were at Big White. Unfortunately I crashed while snowboarding at Whistler the day before I flew out. I crashed hard enough to get a concussion and to lose consciousness. So I was kept under observation at a hospital for a couple of nights and ended up arriving back home two days late.

But even considering that, it was a great holiday and I was really glad I went.

Hi Archie

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Welcome Archie Llewlyn Crompton to the world, and congratulations to Megan and Phill for the birth of their first son. I had no idea they were going to call him Archie, and I think it's a great name!

We've got to visit Archie twice now, and he's just as cute as a button. It's really fun and exciting to see how Phill and Meg are so happy with him, and showing him how much they love him.