24 Jul

Safeguarding Family Internet – Firewalls

firewall

Yep.  Jack Bauer uses them all the time.  Every movie, TV show, novel, and newspaper article talks about them.  Apparently, they exist as some magical device that at one time both renders a “server” impenetrable and throws open secret files to terrorists.  Depending on the character in our little drama, there seems to always hide some trick or pathway around this “firewall” thing, and the description usually relies on pseudo-technical jargon to explain it away.

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09 Mar

Safeguarding Family Internet – Overview

firewall

My wife and I home school our children using excellent videos from Abeka, and it works out very well.  They can travel with me when the opportunity arises, work from the dentist’s waiting room, or whatever.  Except for the problem of how to let the kids get to the Internet safely.  Well, there’s all kinds of thoughts out there on the subject.  Everything from “Don’t” (absolutist) to the school of thought that says “They’re Going to See It Anyway” (defeatist).  Then there are the people who say, “My kids would never do anything like that…”

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19 May

Use Google SketchUp for 3D Drawings

sketchup-logo

I’ve never claimed to be an architect, but I love great tools that work well.  One such tool belonging to that category is Google SketchUp.  In the past, I’ve fiddled with 3D software before.  I think that Blender is awesome…but it also has a steep learning curve.  Almost a learning cliff.

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14 Jul

MySQL Authentication Woes – MythTVDB and XBMC

mysql-logo-1000x400

Well, this little issue hit me with a brief feeling of deja-vu.  It is the exact same trouble that I faced trying to get Nessus security scanner frontend to write data to a MySQL database.  I don’t know when exactly it changed, but new versions of MySQL writes passwords in a hashed table (and perhaps a new location, too) so that older apps trying to connect simply cannot read (or find) the password to authenticate the transaction.  In other words, the biggest issue I was having with the XBMCMythTV script was this authentication issue.

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02 Jul

Smart Home Media Project – Phase II – Hack That Xbox

xbmc

Yes, I will now be referring to these efforts as the Joseph Baxter’s Smart Home Media Project ™.  There’s no way I’ll be able to resist coming up with some sort of logo for that, I’m sure. 🙂

So, now to the part that, quite frankly, spooked me a little.  Yeah, the Myth stuff was fairly hard, and my Linux knowledge is somewhat lacking, but it was just computer stuff.  Nothing really too far outside of my comfort level.  But this – hacking an xbox?  That’s something only DJ Micro can do!

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01 Jul

MythTV – Final Wrap Up

apc_ups

I’m very happy with MythTV up to this point. It is no where near as fragile as I feared it might be–in fact, it seems to be quite robust. A recent power outage knocked its pins out from under it, but by the time I checked, the machine was already back up and running. Part of that is the BIOS setting “Last State on Power Restore,” but if the software wasn’t up to the task no hardware setting is going to help.

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