Boxee and AppleTV

by Patrick Connelly posted on March 10, 2009

  1. Prior to starting up the AppleTV or even unboxing it, get your patchstick ready by following these instructions
  2. Unbox and setup the AppleTV to your LAN.
  3. Then, navigate to the setup->general->updates and make sure you STOP the update if you can. The update won’t technically break anything, but there are some problems with the newest firmware. If you can stop it it’s better
  4. Insert your patchstick, and reboot the AppleTV Linux loader
  5. Once it’s done open up your favorite terminal, and get ready to ssh to make sure that AppleTV can run any updates. The password is **frontrow
      ssh frontrow@appletv
      sudo bash -c ‘echo "127.0.0.1 mesu.apple.com" >> /etc/hosts'
    
  6. From the menu select ‘XBMC/Boxee’ → Updates and select the non-alpha boxee
  7. Wait and wait some more
  8. Download the darwinx86 iso from here you can get a free login for this by following the links
  9. Mount it up on the loop back and scp the /usr/bin/vim and /sbin/mount_nfs to the AppleTV
  10. You will need to make sure you nfs export has the option insecure or the AppleTV won’t be able to mount it
  11. Reboot one last time. You can do this with sudo /sbin/reboot now
  12. Choose boxee from the menu and launch it. There are a couple of known bugs with the latest firmware and boxee version.
  • Boxee starts with a black screen. The only real ‘fix’ for that is to restart it a bunch until it starts up right.
  • Boxee freezes on the menu. Remove the /Users/frontrow/Library/Application Support/BOXEE/UserData/ folder.

Boxee running


Reverse Alias in mutt

by Patrick Connelly posted on February 23, 2009

A need has arisen here recently for me to need to “change” the headers on an email, so I can tell two people at work apart. Both have their name in the email header the same. Let’s call them “John Doe.” So in order to tell them apart, I’ve added a reverse alias rule to mutt to handle this. First enable the use of them by using

set reverse_alias

Then set up the alias. This can be added to your alias file, or straight into your .muttrc

alias fake_john john_doe2@example.com (Fake John Doe)

Now all mail that comes in from john_doe2@example.com will show up as from “Fake John Doe” but the headers will remain the same, and no one is the wiser.


Web Apps to Desktop Apps

by Patrick Connelly posted on February 18, 2009

Something I’ve found very interesting, is the recent trend to move apps away from the desktop, and out into the “cloud.” Now, for the most part I agree with this. I rejoiced the day I moved from a pop3 account to an imap account. And then rejoiced again, when I moved my mail hosting to Google Apps. This is just the way most things are moving. Most people don’t need apps outside of email and word processing. And if that information can be stored in the cloud then that means I don’t have to be without my documents.

That brings me to the real point. If you haven’t gotten a chance to check out some of the apps that make desktop apps out of web apps, try them.

  • I like fluid for OSX, it seems a little more full featured
  • Then Prism is looking really promising for all platforms (yes, even linux)

Perpetual Screen Part Deux

by Patrick Connelly posted on February 02, 2009

So, I’ve figured out how to add in a “fail-safe” to the perpetual screen, so that if you want to ssh without starting screen you can. And it’s pretty easy. First add the following to your sshd_config and restart ssh

AcceptEnv NO_SCREEN

Then add the following to the bottom of you .bashrc: (Note: I named my screen ‘main’ you can name yours whatever you want)

NO_SCREEN=`echo "."$NO_SCREEN`
# Hack to get around if the variable is not set

if [ $TERM = "screen" ]
# If we are already in a screen do nothing
then
     echo -n ""
elif [ $TERM = "dumb" ]
# If we are using scp do nothing
then
     echo -n ""
elif [ $NO_SCREEN = ".true" ]
# Our fail safe to ssh w/o screen
then
     echo -n ""
else
# Startup screen
     screen -Rd main && exit
fi

Then, you can either ssh like normal to start the screen, or do the following to login without screen starting

export NO_SCREEN="true"

ssh -o "SendEnv NO_SCREEN" user@host

Works like a champ.


Combining pdf with linux via the command-line

by Patrick Connelly posted on January 06, 2009

I’ve always found a need for this, and with some digging, I’ve found a couple of ways to do this. The simplist is with ImageMagik, but I’ve found the default values leave the quality a little lacking. However, I’ve found an article that uses GhostScript to do it, and it does a wonderful job.

gs -dBATCH -dNOPAUSE -q -sDEVICE=pdfwrite -sOutputFile=output.pdf input1.pdf input2.pdf

Perpetual Screen

by Patrick Connelly posted on December 29, 2008

This article has been updated

So, I’ve been tossing around the idea for the past while to make is so that screen starts up every time I ssh into my box at the house. Well, I finally broke down and did it, and it wasn’t that bad at all. I’ve named my screen session main you can call it whatever you want. Just add the following to the end or your .bashrc If you don’t put it at the end, you the rest of your .bashrc won’t get evaluated.


Running Boxee on Ubuntu

by Patrick Connelly posted on December 07, 2008

First, I know I’m going to hell for using Ubuntu. But, I’m too lazy to compile xbmc and boxee on Fedora. So, now that it’s out of the way. Here’s the step-by-step:

  1. Install Ubuntu 10.4
  2. Add the extra boxee repo based on the instructions on boxee.tv
  3. Install mingetty and rcconf
      apt-get install mingetty rcconf
    
  4. Disable gdm with rcconf
  5. Add a boxee user with and add them to the “admin” and “audio” group
      useradd -G admin,audio -d /home/boxee boxee
    
  6. Add a .bashrc to /home/boxee
      case "`tty`" in
     /dev/tty1) startx
      esac
    
  7. Add .xinitrc to /home/boxee
      #!/bin/bash
      while [ 1 ]
      do
     exec /opt/boxee/Boxee --standalone
      done
    
  8. Make it executable
      chmod a+x .xinitrc
    
  9. Edit line in /etc/event.d/tty1
      #exec /sbin/getty 38400 tty1
      exec /sbin/mingetty --autologin boxee tty1
    
  10. Reboot and pray

Custom boot isos and imgs

by Patrick Connelly posted on June 06, 2008

I’ve spent the past couple of days banging my head against the desk trying to get this to work out correctly. And now it finally does. Just as a note, I’ve tested that the general steps work. I have not verified that I haven’t skipped a step. So if anything’s missing let me know.

This has only been tested with RHEL and nothing else, but there is no reason why it won't work. And if you don't have a satellite you can use this with any old kickstart. Assuming you have the tree setup correctly. Please test your kickstart tree first.