How to spindown(sleep) a SATA hard disk drive after being idle (Linux)

[UPDATE] If your BIOS supports the AHCI standard,  you may try to turn it on, and try to use the ‘hdparm -S1 /dev/sdn’ command again, or all the variants your distro suggests for powering down your hard disk.

BUT! Read here carefully about possible complications: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Advanced_Host_Controller_Interface. If you don’t have such an BIOS switch or it doesn’t work for you for other reasons, you may read ahead.[/UPDATE] Continue reading “How to spindown(sleep) a SATA hard disk drive after being idle (Linux)”

Panasonic HDC-SD100 vs. Canon HF100

Panasonic HDC-SD100
This is a short story about my experience with these two cams. The Panasonic HDC-SD100 and the Canon HF100.
I had them two weeks for a thorough comparison. Well – I’m talking about a comparison for me, not the full blown comparisons and reviews like this one. I’ve studied the Internet article coming those days, but they all have been not really satisfying to my. I’m not that much of a pro regarding camcorders. But I know what I wanted. Continue reading “Panasonic HDC-SD100 vs. Canon HF100”

HOWTO install My Media System 1.1.0 (MMS) on Fedora9

My Media System (MMS) is a slim, easy and free Media Center for Linux. After a very long release candidate phase (RC1-9), is MMS 1.1.0 about raring to go. I’m personally running my MMS 1.1.0 on a Fedora8, what hasn’t been easy in the past, since the main focus seems to be on Debian, or Debian based systems like Ubuntu. I’ve been told recently, that there is also a binary package in the Mandriva repository. Well – didn’t know that.
Anyway – this HOWTO describes how you can install MMS 1.1.0 on a freshly installed and updated Fedora9 (32bit). As soon as Fedora10 is stable, I’ll report back about it, too. But first here’s my system, I’ve used for this article: Continue reading “HOWTO install My Media System 1.1.0 (MMS) on Fedora9”

HDTV (DVB-S2) with VDR 1.7.0 and a SkyStar HD on Ubuntu 8.10 x86_64 and CoreAVC (Intrepid Ibex)

First of all, there are good installation HOWTOs for Linux out there, which describe the set up of a HDTV capable VDR.
I used this installation HOWTO and a satellite dish with the appropriate feeds. (look for HDTV channels here).
I’ve played with VDR more than a half a year ago, and all was fine, but I’ve been on 32-bit environment (Ubuntu 7.10). Now I’ve tried to realize the same with Ubuntu 8.10 (Intrepid Ibex) few days ago and basically failed, because no matter what I’ve tried, only one core of my four CPU cores have been used by xine. Ergo the the rate of the dropped frames was quite high. My CPU btw is: Intel(R) Core(TM)2 Quad CPU Q6600 @ 2.40GHz Continue reading “HDTV (DVB-S2) with VDR 1.7.0 and a SkyStar HD on Ubuntu 8.10 x86_64 and CoreAVC (Intrepid Ibex)”

Poor man's workaround for Cheese zero byte problem on Ubuntu 8.10 (Intrepid Ibex)

cheese webcam application
cheese webcam application

I’m checking cyclic if the zero byte problem with the webcam application cheese is gone meanwhile.
So happened today, and no – it’s not. Since I really needed a stream badly today, I’ve looked again for a fix or workaround. But looking on the Internet for this bug reveals that this bug used to happen more often than one time. It’s sad, because I like this little nifty application.
And found only poor man’s workaround. Well, better then nothing. Continue reading “Poor man's workaround for Cheese zero byte problem on Ubuntu 8.10 (Intrepid Ibex)”

XBMC installation on Ubuntu 8.10 (Intrepid Ibex) x86_64 + short review

[UPDATE] XMBC is now available as binary package for Ubuntu 8.10 (Intrepid Ibex). Add these lines to your /etc/apt/sources.list:

deb http://ppa.launchpad.net/team-xbmc-intrepid/ubuntu intrepid main
deb-src http://ppa.launchpad.net/team-xbmc-intrepid/ubuntu intrepid main

Perform an ‘apt-get update‘ before you install it via ‘apt-get install xbmc‘. If you intend to install XBMC manually (e.g. for development supporting reasons), go ahead reading. Continue reading “XBMC installation on Ubuntu 8.10 (Intrepid Ibex) x86_64 + short review”

A simple Linux DVD HOWTO in a command line

The Problem

You’ve got two .avi video files, and tovid didn’t work for you, but you need a DVD, because the person who wants to play this back only got an DVD-player.
Note:All the commands mentioned below are in the default Ubuntu Repo. I’m using Kubuntu 8.10 Intrepid Ibex right now, but it should work for every other Distro, too. If a command does not work for you, because it’s not installed, use on Debian-systems apt-get search application-name ( aka aptitude search application-name ) to install the missing application. Continue reading “A simple Linux DVD HOWTO in a command line”

GPS Bicycle Navigation with free Software

More than I year ago I’ve started to cycle for the first time after a very long period of time (decades 😉 ). Those days I didn’t know my surrounding area very well, because I was pretty new to it. But I had a Pocket PC, an XDA mini and I had already a GPS Bluetooth mouse. The XDA mini is a Windows Mobile 2003SE device, and there are already many open source, or just free to use tools out there. I’ve started to look for GPS navigation software, but didn’t find anything free, that had movable maps, or it was free but the maps weren’t included. A movable map is scrolling accordingly, while you are moving. Almost all car navigation systems like TomTom or Navigon aren’t using movable maps, the maps they are using for sure moves, but they are vector maps, not bitmaps. Continue reading “GPS Bicycle Navigation with free Software”

Setting up a serial LIRC receiver at COM2

Serial LIRC receiver diode with an D-Sub 9 connector
Serial LIRC receiver diode with an D-Sub 9 connector

This is a little HOWTO about setting up LIRC at another port than usual.


Nowadays most boards coming to market do only posses one serial port. Unfortunately it’s a common habit leaving away the D-Sub 9 back-panel mount. Actually there’s only a pin array on the motherboard itself.
If you only have a serial LIRC receiver you want to connect, and nothing else, like a UPS or stuff, you can just buy such a cable for a few cent. See pic: Continue reading “Setting up a serial LIRC receiver at COM2”