First off, thanks for the emails you have sent me the last months, I love to hear about whats going on in your part of the world. That being said, the contact form is not a support line.. I fully understand how frustrating many of the ins & outs might be, hey, my blog is called rantville for a reason. If you come with relevant info to a thread, I’ll help out as best I can. Sharing the knowledge goes both way, and that would be lost in an email.. mkay?

With any MythTV setup utilizing more than a couple of tuners you are faced with a few things to consider. New motherboards rarely come with more than 2-3 PCI slots, and 1-2 PCI-E slots. Now, lets make matters worse, say you need to extend your raid array and are all out of PATA/SATA ports.. And.. we all know how rubbish onboard NIC’s can be. Unless you suck at math, or are so unfortunate that you have cut off half your fingers, you are all out of PCI slots by a good margin.

So, what do you do? Up till now, Ive been using somewhat older hardware, where PCI slots still are in majority. And, if I ran out, I setup a slave BE.. Fair enough, good heating, and the electricity company loves me(I better get a golden xmas card from them this year!).

Thats about to change now tho, Im going to try and become more ‘green’ with my computing this year. It wont be a major cut, but anything helps, no?

First step is to cut down on the number of servers thats running 24/7, thats currently 5;
2x OpenVZ servers(1x Quad ,1x Dual)
1x Fileserver(amd64 with a variation of PATA drives & a 4xSATA array)
2x Myth servers(one amd64x2 with 3xSATA array, other amd64 slave BE with nfs mounted array from Master)

The 2 OpenVZ servers got NFS mounted VZ storage from the fileserver, and run a vast variation of services. They are by no means utilized to its fullest extent, so this is where Im gonna make the first change.
The main servers(OpenVZ) are located in a different house on the farm than where my MythTV BE’s are. They will be split up in the coming revamp, Ive changed switches on all main exchange points to HP Procurve Gbit, this makes it all alot leaner.

I got ahold of a new(older) LGA775 mobo; Asus P5GC, which will be placed in the OpenVZ server with the Intel D940 CPU(Dual 3.2Ghz). All the tuners from the 2 Myth BE will be moved to this box, since it has 6 pci slots, I’ll also move over 2 of the SATA arrays(Chieftec backplane) to this maxi tower.

This will make both the old Myth BE redundant, and the old file-server will only hold the PATA drives thats done their duty well. I’ll shut it down when the majority of the drives have died, only right that they are given a proper retirement plan. They dont hold any data of value, all such is properly raided on new SATA drives.

The new MythTV BE currently got 3x DVB-S tuners(2xSkystar2 & Cinergy 1200-S) and one PVR-350, the latter is used with Zoneminder and the odd analogue captures I do of old VHS/other sources.

The hdd was allready setup with Hardy, and I see no reason to go with Intrepid here, Hardy got 2.6.24 OpenVZ kernel, thats not tagged as “stable” yet by the moderate OpenVZ devs. I had a few kinks with migrating VE’s from my Gentoo OpenVZ server(2.6.18), the ‘in-famous’ udev issues re-emerged. Ironic that it works flawlessly on Gentoo(Ubuntu VE), but not Ubuntu on Ubuntu? Easy fix, but I had to shake my head at that one..

8 hours in, and I got the best of all worlds, -2 servers sucking the wall socket, better utilization of the 24/7 servers. And still 2 PCI slots to spare in the new MythTV BE(ok, 1 really, Im still waiting for the pci sata card I ordered before xmas).

In case I dont post anything the coming week, I will be gone(from the 8th) till first week of february. So no respons from me before Im back, enjoy my absence. 😉

Soave (Eat Parade)

| October 12th, 2008

Chiara got a visit from Rai2 this summer, the program; “Eat Parade” did a segment about Soave.

It was aired today, so now, you too can have a look at this wonderful place in the Veneto region.

Alot of the footage where done on Coffele’s Winery in; Castelcerino.
The scenery there is nothing but breathtaking, visit their Bed & Breakfast the next time you take a trip to the region, trust me, you wont regret it!

A couple of tiny glitches in the video stream, sorry about that..

View Larger Map

Only 13 or so hours till the first night round in F1 begins, till then, enjoy the round that earned Massa Pole Position.

MythTV @revision3

| September 1st, 2008

Systm, the DYI show on Revision3 covered MythTV last week. For those looking to refurbish some older hardware into a superb PVR/Multimedia PC, have look, you might very well get some inspiration..

Yep, to be spesific, feel free to join in on the fun.

Had alot of grief over the last 6 or so hours, and what do ya know, it was all due to running a 64bit VE. I had flipped upside down & inside out so many obscurities during the night..
Mind you, it wasnt “directly” related to Laconica, the basic functionality were working as expected within 30min, it was the integration to xmpp(Jabber). More spesifically, my own ejabberd running in one of the VE’s on this server( for those interrested in such). No matter my attempts it was stuck at connecting.. Just imagine my relief and to quote a friendly cartoon fella ‘DOH!’ as I fired up xmppdaemon in its newly setup 32bit enviroment only to see debug info being spit out in the terminal. Ahhh funfun despite the hours wasted.

If you dont know what twitter is, or the so-called Microblogging phenomena, I suggest you read up! Laconica( is as mentioned in the title, a new(‘ish) contender, and an open-source one at that, its quickly been embraced by many people world-wide.

Their main site is run at

I first heard about it a couple of weeks ago, but it really started to spark my geek-plugs when I heard a interview with creator Evan Prodromou (Evan in this weeks FLOSS podcast over at TWIT / FLOSS
The main man over at TWIT, Leo Laporte were so impressed that he started to set up his own instance of Laconica during the podcast. Its hosted under the ohh so fitting vhost Both Leo and his “co-“host in FLOSS, Randal L. Schwartz can be found happily ranting there..

Evan Prodromou is by no means a new name to the world of open-source and world travellers, not only does he spend a fair share of dev time on the Debian distro, he is also co-founder(with his wife) of the fantastic resource Wikitravel.

Anywhooo, enough lenghty rants from me for a while, I’ll keep it short from now on, so to keep up to date with whatever I should stick my nose into, do the click’e’ti’click into Laconica does of course give you all the RSS feeds you could possibly urge. Expect integration here…