ProntoScript power state tracking

You (may) know the feeling: your AV equipment does not support discrete codes (to turn on/off, change input etc) which will make your install job a lot harder. It requires code to track the equipments states AND a decision table to specify in what state the devices need to be for a particular activity. This is cumbersome and error prone for large activity and/or equipment lists.

Fear no more !

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Debian chroot on Synology NAS

Last week I decided to by myself an early X-mas present: a Synology DS211 NAS to replace my power hungry desktop PC to share my data on the network.

The main reason I bought this NAS is the fact that it runs Linux, it is highly ‘customizable’ (you can install extra software packages) and it has a large community behind it.

Because after bootstrapping the device I found that too many applications were not available with the ipkg tool, I decided to create a chroot environment in which I could easily install apps without the need of compiling (or even cross compiling) them.
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VBL ical files, season 2009-2010

It took a while (VBL changed their site drastically), but here they are !
I even added the address to each game, which looks really nice in Google Calendar.

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XBMC script for Philips Pronto

Currenlty I’m working on a script to control my XBMC setup with a TSU9600. This is particularly usefull if you don’t want to turn on your TV every time you use XBMC to play some musc. At the moment, following features are implemented:

  • Browsing (and playing of course :-) ) albums by cover art
  • Add/remove songs from playlist
  • Add/view rating per song

Hit the read link to view the screenshots !

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XMLTV tv_grab_be fix/workaround

Last week, tv_grab_be suddenly stopped working. This script updates my MythTV TV guide. Because the grabber malfunctioned, I missed a few episodes of my favorite shows.

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By popular demand, I’ve re-run my scripts to parse the new basketball calendars available at

UPDATE: I’ve updated my scripts to be able to parse all flamish provincial and inter-provincial competitions.

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It’s been a while …

It’s been a while since my last post. I’ve been quite busy preparing for my first MCPD exam (which I passed :-) )¬† and doing a bunch of other stuff. In the meantime, my Freeduino has arrived, so expect to see some projects with it in the future.

Anyway, I’ve been working on following things:

  • Philips Pronto Picture Browser
    While I’m working for Philips RCS as a consultant, I have the opportunity to write some scripts for this fabulous remote. It features a touchscreen, WIFI and a scripting language called ProntoScript (actually JavaScript with some added classes). Using ProntoScript it is possible to create dynamic pages and interact with the Internet and/or other PC’s.
    Because it has a nice screen (640×480), I figured it would be nice to be able to view my pictures on it (which are stored on my server). Using ProntoScript and some server side scripting (PHP) on my server, I’m now able to create thumbnails on the fly and browse directories on my server. The server automatically resizes the pictures to the desired size and sends them back to the Pronto for displaying. Resized pictures can be saved, so the next time you re-request that image, your server won’t have to resize it again. It’s also possible to automagically rotate the image if the height of the picture is bigger than the width.
    Expect to see an alpha release published in the next couple of days/weeks.
  • MythSMS
    Actually, this project is kinda finished… It’s just that I’m not happy with the way I coded it. I’m refactoring it (it’s a Perl script) so that I can upload my MythTV module to CPAN so others can reuse it in their projects. diggs my WOW article …

The folks over at MythTV News have linked to my last article about extending Wake On Lan to the internet.

I can’t express how nice it is to see your article on the frontpage of a site you visit weekly !

Thanks for the publicity guys !

MythTV News

Wake On Wan

I’ve got a MythTV backend running for recording my favorite shows. This PC isn’t online for most of the time, as it automatically powers on when it has a show to record. Sometimes however I’m not at home and I want to schedule a recording. This can be fixed easily by installing mythweb on the backend, forwarding port 80 (TCP) to the box and let it stay on forever. Personally I don’t find this a good solution, because the backend would be mostly powered on for doing nothing.

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Debian on compact flash

Recently I bought myself a Thintune Micro-PC after my old download and backup server crashed (RIP rammelbak). I was searching for a low cost replacement which did not make as much noise as Rammelbak (that was the hostname of the old server) and was not as power hungry. All of a sudden there was an auction on and I managed to get one for 50 EUR. This system is completely fanless, and boots from a CF (compact flash) card which is put in a CF-To-IDE converter.

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