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Almost time again...

If you wish to send me mail, you can do so, yet I would advise sending it THIS WEEK.

Twisty DoerofThings
Otis Spankmore, part of Silicon Village
6:00 & Freak
Burning Man
Gerlach, NV 89412

Burning Man List Time

First, if you want to send me some mail at #TTITD, here is my address:

Twisty DoerofThings
Otis Spankmore, part of Silicon Village
Gold & 6:01, Man Side
Burning Man
Gerlach, NV 89412

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Posts from June 2004

It's very weird to go back and read the posts from June 2004, ten years ago. So much has happened since then. So much has happened in just the last year.

I was planning "Burning Rex" as I was not able to attend Burning Man itself. Posts from Pink Night in the Castro. Posts of taking Max and Scout to Half Moon Bay with Marie. Swimming at my Grandmothers house with friends and family.

The scary part of things... I have gone to Burning Man every year since. 2005 forward and I now prepare to go again for my tenth year. Max, Scout, and Richard are no longer with us.

There was no Facebook. Just a very weird look back.


Stream Tivo shows to XBMC - Assembly Test

This is my first attempt at creating a way to play Tivo shows through XBMC. In a previous post, I lamented about this not already being an Add-On and did some basic research into this. The holidays have provided a lot more free time to investigate this. I started by looking at the notes on from the XBMC Development website. It's not super friendly, yet there is a lot of details on how to get started there. I will not go into it, as that's not the point of this post.

XBMC uses Python for it's scripts. I have very little, next to none, experience using Python. I have programming and scripting experience and I was not afraid, I jumped in. I started building the basics for the XBMC Plugin and felt I need to just address the code outside of XBMC first. So I started building a test Python script. A sort of CLI version or mock up of the code that I will later use in XBMC. This code has a few different elements.

  1. Must be able to make HTTP Requests

  2. Must be able to parse XML

  3. Should have the ability to navigate Tivo folders and shows from Now Playing

  4. Should be able to play a selection directly through a video player (passing through TivoDecode)

So in my last post, I used wget to retrieve the files and also was looking into TivoRoll, which I don't think really worked for me. So I looked into seeing if I could use wget to stream the Tivo file, via pipe, into TivoDecode, that would then stream the decoded video to mPlayer, again via pipe. Something like this:

wget --no-check-certificate --http-user=tivo --http-password=4155552222 -O - "" | tivodecode -m 4155552222 - | mplayer -vf pp=lb -cache 32768 -

tivodecode did not seem to like the lack of file path. Will research that more, yet there was an easier way around this, buffer some of the file before sending it to TivoDecode. So this is still a work in progress and is not tested yet. I just wanted to get the code out there. If there are any Python savy folks out there, please let me know if I am doing something horribly wrong or if I can optimize the code any way.

This script uses Requests: HTTP for Humans, It's not a regular Python library and you need to install it. You can do so using:

      pip install requests

Tivo uses HTTP Digest Authentication, so that is also needed for proper authentication. I use DateTime to format the Hex time stamps from Tivo. Also found that Duration is in Milliseconds. I modeled the prompts and the interaction on the same actions you would take on your Tivo. I choose ElementTree over some of the other XML parsers out there. I found more details on it and most threads on StackOverflow suggest it. There are lots of details in the XML for Folders and Videos. I grab just the basics I needed so I could determine which show is which.

Python Query Tivo Now Playing, display list, and pass buffered tivo file to TivoDecode/mPlayer for viewing.

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Stream Tivo programs to XBMC project

Having list a hard drive last week, I rebuilt my Lubuntu desktop. In an effort to get the sound working properly, I followed a very good article for XBMC Install and Config HOWTO for Linux on AMD Graphic Based Systems (FUSION) - XBMC XVBA. I have never checked out XBMC, so I thought why not. So far it's pretty cool.

If you know me, I am a long time Tivo user and really like it. I am glad my Cable provider has offered up a CableCard so I can enjoy all the features of their service and my Tivo verssus being forced to a use a DVR that does not have all the same features.

Knowing a little about tivodecode and very little about XBMC, I felt, like others have, that I should be able to watch or stream the recordings I have on my Tivo through XBMC.

Goal: Using XBMC, view a listing of programs that have been recorded to my Tivo. Upon selecting a program, watch it like any other video or movie in XBMC.

- Tivo
- tivodecode
- Media Access Key (MAK)
- URL for Now Playing XML
- cURL or wget
- mPlayer

So to start off with, I know I can navigate to the IP addres of my Tivo using HTTPS and can browse the Now Playing list and download Tivo files. I also know I can call upon a URL and get an XML version of this as well. For this example, lets say the Tivo has an IP address of and the MAK is 4155552222

wget --no-check-certificate --http-user=tivo --http-password=4155552222 -O tivo_now_playing.xml "\&Container=%2FNowPlaying&Recurse=Yes"

So that gives us a list we can manipulate and download links. Downloading the Tivo file to your computer, you can play it through mPlayer by streaming it out of tivodecode. Here is an example command:

tivodecode -m 4155552222 /media/DroboOne/Tivo/American\ Horror\ Story\ -\ Afterbirth\ \(Recorded\ Thu\ Oct\ 11\ 2012\ 03\ 00AM\ FXP\).TiVo | mplayer -vf pp=lb -cache 32768 -

So this will decode the Tivo file and stream it right to mplayer. There are example curl calls to grab the Tivo file, stream it to tivodecode, and then stream that to mplayer. So the next steps is to figure out how to get XBMC to perform all this for me.


I C U by ctuck
I C U, a photo by ctuck on Flickr.

Thug Life

Thug Life by ctuck
Thug Life, a photo by ctuck on Flickr.

New ZBox Computer

New ZBox Computer by ctuck
New ZBox Computer, a photo by ctuck on Flickr.

Still cold in CA

It was wet and rainy over the weekend during SF SantaCon, yet it wasn't too cold. This week, it's freezing, literally!

Currently bouncing between Instagram and Flickr. I really did not like the idea of my photos being sold and profited from and me not getting any of the profit! If someone wants to pay to use one of my photos, that's fine by me, I just want to get paid. It's my intellectual property! So the Flickr app on Android is pretty nice. I wish it would do cropping too. I can do that before I pull the photo into the app.

I got lots of compliments on my Mad Scientist Santa outfit. A lot of people did not know what to make of it, I got people asking if I was Russian Santa, Steam Punk Santa, Silent Santa, and a lot of others. I was pretty unique too. I had a lot of fun, yet not a lot pictures this year. I guess without Roy, I am not as picture worthy.

Burning Man List time

It's that time again. As I prepare and pack, I am making my lists. Breaking it into two this year.

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End Up
Chris, Doer of Things
Plays Well with Fire!

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