August 16th, 2002


What is this world coming to?

I'm waiting on hold for Beaverton Honda's service center and their hold music is Labamba, but with lyrics like:

"You could be driving a Honda...
Beaaa, ver, ton Honda!
You... love... your Honda!
You could be driving a Honda....
Beeea, ver, ton, Honda!"

My god. Shoot. Me. Now.

I bought the extended warranty for my car way back when, and I believe it's still covered, but they can't look it up on their computers, of course.... I need to bring in some piece of paper that says I have it. Stupid. Now to find it.

As for the car problem: when it should be coasting, it decelerates for a second or two randomly sometimes, often right after letting off the gas. (yes, obviously the car is decelerating while coasting... but I mean sharply, quicker than normal). Nick noticed it a couple weeks ago coming back from Seattle, but I couldn't feel it until this last week, and it's still pretty subtle most the time.

Any ideas what the problem is? Oil and transmission fluid are fine. Clogged fuel injector? (I totally have no clue. :P)

Traffic, tivo.

Went to get a haircut, but traffic sucked. Forgot it's Friday, and people leave work early. Anyway, that made me late for catching Max to head downtown to meet somebody for pizza. And I still didn't get a haircut, since I turned around half-way and headed back.

Did more googling for Series2 hacking. Finally found the core problem:
You see, Tivo's run Linux, but the kernel is signed by Tivo's private key. The public key is hard-coded in the PROM, which verifies the integrity of the kernel and refuses to boot if the kernel has been modified. So, the kernel (which cannot be modified) in turn verifies checksums on all the startup scripts. If a script has been modified, it's replaced by an unaltered version. Bottom line: you can't get a fucking bash shell on a Series2 Tivo. I think I'm going to look at hacking the Series2 somehow, to enable modifying scripts. So I can show up some of those punks in the TivoCommunity underground. -- CaptainSuperBoy
I wonder how longer before some site starts selling Series2 modchips to replace the PROM, or to flash it. (can you?)

I understand why Tivo wants to lock down the boxes... they don't want people doing video extraction and then getting sued left & right by the industry. Okay, fine. We don't want Tivo shutting down either. But, geeks want other stuff that's perfectly legal, like updates over IP, which is in Version 3.0 now. But some API to the Tivo over IP would also be wonderful... so things like Tivoweb could work without hacking a shell.

Maybe my time would be well spent writing a nicely written proposal to Tivo. The staff seems involved in the Tivo community suggestion forums. I could detail everything from having to enable the interface in the Tivo menus, to the actual API calls that would be useful.

I just wonder how clean the internal Tivo code/API is and if there's a "middleware" layer (buzzword!) or not. I hope the scheduling logic that makes Tivo Tivo isn't all scattered about myworld's source.

iBox ITX-VIA Slim Box

I want: iBox ITX-VIA Slim Box. $197. No fan. Integrated Ethernet, S-Video and TV out. Comes in black. Can run Debian.

I think I just found my replacement mp3 device for the living room. (the Dell laptop is just way too loud & hot) With USB ports, I can plug it into my existing Stereo Link 1200.

Although, I just bought Mr. Tivo, so I'll delay this purchase for awhile.

Tomorrow I plan to drop Ethernet down from the attic to my Tivo. I got an extra switch around here, so if/when I do get the iBox above, I won't have to use wireless. (iBox doesn't have PCMCIA slots, after all.)