CAPWAP, where is it?

I’m experienced with Cisco LWAPP enough to know it works pretty nicely.  There are some quirks to be sure but for almost every wireless implementation it’s the preferred solution.  It’s unfortunate then that both Cisco’s LWAPP and Aruba’s protocol (whatever that’s called) are closed protocols.  CAPWAP’s in the works and does seem to be making some progress as an open standard, despite some concerns about hidden patent coverage in some of the standard.

Still, you’d think the standard had progressed enough to start seeing some products.  Nope.  I just read that Cisco’s new Mobility product supports some portion of CAPWAP, which is interesting by itself.  But where are the open source controllers?  Controllers are really expensive!  It sure would be nice to have a cheaper solution for home, for instance.  This is one of those times I wish I was more of a programmer so I could just build it for myself.

RaqBuntu?

Maybe not.  After poking around to find a way to recompile the AsteriskNow kernel I gave up.  rPath has a rather convoluted way (to the neophyte) of managing kernels.  So, I figured, let’s try Ubuntu following the instructions for getting Debian 3.1 to work.  I’m able to get it to Boot From Network and I can see it mounting the NFSRoot.  However, it always fails immediately with:

FATAL: kernel toKernel panic: Attempted to kill init!
o old

I’ve been looking around and haven’t found an answer to that yet.  Something would seem to be buggered in the server side nfsroot.  I did find a french page that had the exact same problem and the guy punted and installed Debian 3.1 instead.  I might fiddle with this some more but that’s probably what I’ll do too.

I knew this would be a bit of a challenge but I wasn’t expecting it to be this hard.

Pirelli blows

The Audi A3 came with Pirelli P-Zero tires.  Let me just say, they sucked.  They were always pretty bad but the last couple of months they had become very loud.  Recently the threads(!) started showing in the middle ridge.  So, looked for a deal and got a reasonable but not great one at Costco.

I’ve now had some Michelin Pilot Sport A/S’s on for a couple of weeks and I love them!  Very quiet and sticky.  I just hope they last.  They are considered “Ultra high performance all season”.  According to Tirerack the ratings for all conditions, including wet, are pretty good.  I’ve had the chance to take a couple of quick curves in the dry and they feel so much tighter than the Pirelli’s.  Not a hint of squeal yet either.  I don’t know if or when I’ll have a chance to autocross them but if I do I’ll try to report back on the results.

SageTV and Components

Not ready to take the plunge just yet but I’m really close to going with Sage.  The primary reason is that there will finally be a method of capturing Component video.  Specifically, the HD channels we get on DirecTV!  Hauppauge is coming out with this device in about 2 months.  In the meantime I’m driven to find a solution to our DVD collection.  The kids have a habit of pulling everything out and not putting it away.  Go figure.  Sure would be nice to have it all digitized so we’re not destroying DVD’s.

Right now I’m mainly waiting for Sage’s HD Extender to come available again and then I think it’s time.

Don’t yell at me Ang!  🙂

’tis the season

I guess at the end of it I enjoy this time of year.  There’s one unchanging reality though.  After Thanksgiving there’s just no getting anything done that’s not related to preparing for Christmas.

I’ve been noodling switching to SageTV for our PVR needs.  In the meantime I’ve been researching the details and trying to make sure it’ll actually do what we want it to.  I’d be annoyed if we spent money on gear and didn’t end up with a good solution.  It’s looking pretty good though.  I think after the 25th I’ll try the demo version of SageMC and try to get a sense for the flow of using it.

Related to that, if I go with SageTV part of my criteria is backing up all of our DVD’s.  I haven’t decided if I just want to rip them to h.264 or if I want to preserve the extras.  The argument against preserving the extras is that we  can simply pop in the DVD if we want to get to that and raw ISO’s of the DVD’s would take up a LOT more space than compressed h.264.  DVD management has become a real problem with the kids though and it sure would be nice to have all of that digitized.  Either way, DVD’s will require a lot more storage space than I already have.

I’m probably going to head in the direction of a Linux based software RAID using LVM.  Sounds really cool from what I’ve been reading.  I should be able to add disks and arrays and expand the volume dynamically through LVM.  No more shifting of content around when an array gets too small.  I should also see a performance boost as I’m using windows software RAID 5 currently.  It’s been working fine for me but I’ve also been reading horror stories.  Not to mention the performance is rotten compared to Linux.

Look for posts regarding all of this after the 25th.

PVR woes

We’ve been Tivo owners for some years now.  We used to use it constantly, now we just use it often.  The sole reason is HD.  Or rather, lack of a good way to record HD.  Yes, we can get the HR20 from DirecTV but I don’t believe there’s any ability to move content between devices.  Plus, that’s another closed system.  No, what I really want now is an HD MythTV setup.  I could have that today, no problem.  Except, how would I then go about getting HD content?

You see, the only way to legitimately record HD content into MythTV or any similar PVR is to pull it over the airwaves.  Two problems with that.  It’s only the local broadcast channels and we’re so far out in the country I’m not sure we can get a signal anyway.

I know, we can do RSS subscriptions and suck it down over Bittorrent.  Aside from the illegal aspect of that Comcast has noticeably affected Bittorrent speeds of late.  It simply wouldn’t be practical.

No, what we need is a Component recording card.  There’s one on the market that I’ve found.  It’s made by Blackmagic, costs >$1k and isn’t supported in MythTV or any other open source system.  Yippee.

Someone help me.  Tell me how to fix this.

The energizer bunny…

…should be the only electric rabbit.

I like to keep up with the goings on in the DIY electric car world.  Some day I hope to build one.  I’m waiting on a couple of things first though.  Mostly just trying to get through the multitudes of projects I’ve taken on at home but also so I stop spending money on those same projects.  The other thing is the hope of an Ultra-Cap from someone like EEStor.

In the meantime I read and try to understand the mechanics of motors, controllers and batteries.  There are pretty good strides being made in the power and longevity of modern EV systems.

Here’s the problem I see with the state of things.  The Electrified Rabbit.  Or Jetta.  Or CRX.  Or insert any other non-sexy 20 year old beater.  If you can think of a car like that I can guarantee someone has done an EV conversion for it.  What’s so difficult about picking an exciting car?  Something that stirs the imagination and fires the senses.  I know there area few of them out there.  The FFR Daytona EV conversion is a good example of a cool way to do and EV.  But I’m so sick of seeing cars that shouldn’t be on the road to begin with being elevated to something special just because they have a bunch of batteries.

Really guys!  Make it sexy!

9/11 and Jacob

Haven’t updated in quite a while.  We had a baby!  Jacob Paul Brooke was born July 22nd.  Check the main page for all of the details.  The fact of the matter is that I have done virtually nothing with the kit in the last couple of months.  I have spent quite a bit of time looking for a donor but that’s about it.  Sometimes it’s difficult walking past it in the garage but I know it’ll get done when it gets done.  There have been more important things keeping me busy! )

Last Tuesday, Sept 11th, terrorists crashed airliners into the World Trade Center buildings in NY and the Pentagon in DC.  I’m sure anyone who is reading this knows the details, the excruciating details, of what happened.  I won’t rehash that here.  Suffice it to say, the incident has weighed heavily on me.  Sometimes feeling helpless to do anything, other times being proud to be an American.  As with most everyone I was riveted to the news.  After a couple of days I’ve found myself having to find other things to do in order to get my mind off of it.  I can’t imagine what it must be like for the people who are directly involved either through loss of a family member or in the ongoing rescue efforts. They don’t have the luxury of turning it off.  I truly hope that the citizens of the US will remember that as they get back to their lives.  For those of us that were not directly affected it will be easy to lose focus on what happened.  As good citizens we cannot allow that to happen.  I’ll be doing everything I can to keep the memory alive.  I hope everyone else can do the same.

On a happier note, the Capital Area Cobra Club is really starting to get active.  We’ve got quite a few people who are showing up at events and being active in the email list.  We had a gathering scheduled for today at Lee and Fritzi Tilton’s house down on the bay.  It was briefly considered that it be cancelled.  I think everyone agrees that it was a good idea to move forward with it.  I took a number of pictures and you can find them under the “Pictures” button on the left.  We started by spending some time at Lee and Fritzi’s house.  We then went to a local seafood joint, where the Tilton’s know the chef, for some delicious Chesapeake Bay crabs.  While we were there a kid, might have been the son of the owner, sang the Star Spangled Banner.  Nearly brought tears to my eyes.

If you are actually bothering to read this stuff, thanks!  Take a moment tonight and tell your family how much you love them.  Then consider doing something to support the real heroes of this country, the firefighters, police and EMS.  Remember that they were the ones that rushed into dangerous buildings and rubble to try to save people while other “heroes” were scared to get on airplanes.  I know I’ve been negligent in that regard.  I will be no longer.