LogWatch SMART monitoring

Why is one of my boxes reporting SMART data in the LogWatch and the others not?

I’d installed smartmontools but it just doesn’t seem to be working.

Finally sussed it. Have a look at /etc/default/smartmontools and enable deamon

Hauppauge WinTV Nova-S Plus on Linux

The Nova-S Plus is a  good card.  http://www.hauppauge.co.uk/site/products/data_novasplus.html

But, it would appear there is a defect in these boards, or at least a strange design, which means that they won’t lock on to some frequencies which require the 22kHz tone sending to the LNB with new drivers because there’s no link between the flange and dolphin-points.  There’s plenty to read about here:


And there’s a patch which fixes the problem by controlling the tone generator directly but it’ll never get in to the main kernel.  For your convenience here is a link to a binary driver built for Ubuntu Lucid kernel version 2.6.32-23-generic:


Replace the current isl6421.ko from /lib/modules/2.6.32-23-generic/kernel/drivers/media/dvb/frontends/isl6421.ko with this one.  It might also work for newer kernel versions, or not.  Who knows?  Not me.

I’ve also got a Hauppauge S2 HD and this patched driver doesn’t seem to effect it.

Search hints:

Hauppauge Nova S plus linux won’t lock horizontal 22khz tone can’t pick up some channels. You can also check out my guide on Everything You Need to Set Up a Backyard Cinema.

A more resilient DNS set up

ZonEdit are suffering from a DDOS attack or something and their default free servers have stopped responding. (See: http://www.zoneedit.com/status.html?)

This has caused me a few problems, the main one being that my MX records are held at ZoneEdit and so my email has effectively stopped working.  Initially I was thinking of a quick workaround, but actually this is working rather nicely.

What I’ve done is:

  • Created an account at http://www.web-dns.co.uk and added similar entries as I did with ZoneEdit.  Namely, my MX records pointing back to Google, the A record for this site and a few others and some CNAME records for other Google services.
  • Updated the nameservers for the whizzy.org domain at my registrar to have ZoneEdit’s two free DNS servers as 1 and 2, and then the first web-dns server as number 3.

That’s it.  If ZoneEdit stop working, then once the old cached entries have expired new DNS requests start being serviced by web DNS while the ZoneEdit servers are down.   I could in theory have three different DNS services listed with my registrar but ZoneEdit have been really good, so I’m happy to stick with them for now.  If this sort of thing happens in the future then maybe I’ll host the DNS myself.

Web DNS gives you much rawer access to the zone file compared to ZoneEdit, but a bit of googling and you’ll be fine.  For example, for an MX record:

  1. Leave the first box (the name box) emtpy.
  2. Leave the TTL as 3600
  3. Change the IN to MX
  4. Set the number (auxiliary information)to zero for the first mail server, and 10 for the second, 20 for the third and so on.
  5. Set the data (the last box) to, in the case of Google Mail (e.g. Google Apps for Domains) to ASPMX.L.GOOGLE.COM.  (note the trailing dot, very important)
  6. Add the other mail servers in the same way

For a straight forward hostname resolution e.g. www.whizzy.org:

  1. Set the first box to WWW
  2. Leave the TTL as 3600
  3. Change the IN to A
  4. Set the number to zero
  5. Set the data to your server IP address, e.g.