./Software - The Soft Bits\.

So PVR software. Spend a bit of time on Google and you'll find there is quite a lot of this stuff out there. Some of it is expensive, some is free. The main ones I've looked at so far are detailed below.

Beyond TV From Snapstream. This was the first PVR software I looked at. I liked it a lot because it pretty much just worked. However, there were a few issues with it. The EPG (electronic program data - ie WHATS ON) was a link to an external website run by someone else. The website was supposedly linked in to the software, but in fact it was linked to a previous version and didn't work very well with the one I had. This meant you had to be connected to the internet, look up the data (which in itself is a pain in the arse), then set the recording manually. For me this defeats a number of objectives. However, the main ruling factor for me was the hardware support. Beyond TV requires a Dx9 graphics card to work. The machine I am hoping to use for my PVR has no AGP slot, and getting hold of a Dx9 PCI card with TV-Out without spending a fortune is hard work.

Sage TV SageTV was my second investigation. It worked, after a fashion. With a bit of fiddling, I even got my remote control working with it. However, the menu was nasty nasty nasty. Fiddly to use. Apparently you can customise this, if you are willing to fork out for another piece of software. Although Sage did what I was looking for, the user interface was enough to put me off.

MythTV What's that? It's free? Now we're talking. Or not. MythTV is raved over by linux buffs everywhere. I hate Linux. Mainly cos it confuses the hell out of me. I tried using something called KnoppMyth which is a ready-to-go version of Linux with Myth pre-installed and setup. You supposedly just whack in the CD, answer a few questions, and off you go. Yeah right. Got the software up and running eventually, but couldn't get any picture up. So I eventually thought sod it and tried something else!

GB-PVR This is my latest attempt. Latest in that I downloaded it 24 hours previously to writing this. Thoughts so far - wow! GB-PVR is free. Good. It works on Windows (XP/2k). Good. It's simple... Good! So am I. The setup is realtively simple. The EPG can come from one of a number of places, one being an XML plugin that downloads it from the radio times website (at whatever interval you decide to setup), but plonks it into the system where it's easy to record whatever you wish. The recording worked fine, though I did find a strange bug in that the file became locked and couldn't delete. I tried again today and it deleted fine, so we're putting this one down to experience. I haven't actually managed to get a live TV image up yet. I'm thinking this is due to needing to choose a renderer, but as I'm currently logged in via remote desktop, I can't test it until I get home! But apart from that, the software is cool, and has lots of third party plugins available.

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Back Up! ./28 Sep 2008 22:58\.
Well, after a period of nigh on a year, my website is back online. I'll try and leave more details on my life shortly, but to summarise, I'm on a new host, the gallery is now based on flickr, and that's about it for the site! More to come in the future (including an easier to use colour scheme, some people don't like grey!)
Website Issues ./28 Oct 2007 13:37\.
I've just moved the site over to a new host, which (I hope) is substantially more reliable, and which definately gives me a lot more space! However, until I get the sub-domains moved over, and the database sorted, there may be a few issues. Deal with it :)
Website Issues ./28 Oct 2007 12:50\.
I've just moved the site over to a new host, which (I hope) is substantially more reliable, and which definately gives me a lot more space! However, until I get the sub-domains moved over, and the database sorted, there may be a few issues. Deal with it :)
PGCE ./09 Oct 2007 07:28\.
As most people now know, I am currently studying for a PGCE. This is a Post Graduate Certificate of Education. Yes, I'm learning to become a teacher! Specifically, a secondary AICT teacher. It's good, I'm really enjoying the course, but as you may have noticed by the lack of recent posts, I'm very busy. More information will be forthcoming!
Digital Photoframes ./09 Oct 2007 07:24\.
My digital photo frame project is now defunct. Partly 'cos I broke the laptop I was using, but mainly because I have received two digital photo frames as presents. They're very pretty!
Digital Photoframe ./18 Jun 2007 04:25\.
I've always liked the idea of them, but (a) I resent paying for ANYTHING, and (b) the ones available commercially just don't seem to hit the spot. Read how I made my own here
Timelines ./15 Jun 2007 05:42\.
I've been playing with timelines recently, and have got SIMILE's timeline working. It's FUN! Check through my links to have a look at the timelines I'm creating at the moment!
New CMS ./01 May 2007 03:43\.
I've been working on my content management system a lot recently. I've adjusted the way a document set is saved on the server. They're now stored as what I refer to as stories, and the content is kept completely seperate to the display. This enables me to use a the in-built editor in the CMS to edit stories really easily. Good innit? You guys don't care, and probably won't see any difference, but I'm chuffed :)
XJ600 ./06 Mar 2007 01:24\.
I've acquired a new bike! A 1984 model Yamaha XJ600 Japanese import. The first Japanese 600s to come onto the market. Read the restoration story here.
Books books books ./16 Jan 2007 06:17\.
I've got a lot of books. I do mean a lot. So I'm selling loads off as most of them are stuff I never read/wanted/understood. And what better way to do this than to have a bit of interweb fun? So the cataloguing system uses a barcode reader and a lookup on both isbndb.org and amazon. This captures maybe 75% of the books (many are bizarre ones!). This is then going into a database, and I am working on an automatic script to post to gumtree. Also thinking about getting together with some friends who've purchased a large number of surplus books, and using something like abe to sell them in a more formal manner. I will of course also be setting up a website of my own for direct sales, as all the major ones (ebay, abe, amazon) charge a flippin' fortune! The website will be up at books.londonis.co.uk once it's ready.