Monthly Archives: December 2008

Automatical updating OpenDNS using DNS-O-Matic from a script

Recently I have started using OpenDNS for my DNS needs, as well as their security tools for providing some simple protection for my home network. However, that also hit my with a problem that I still operate  my home network based off a dynamic IP service from my ADSL provider. My Netgear router comes with a handy tool which can update a DynDNS ( however I was struggling with a solution to keep my OpenDNS records updated with my current IP. This wouldn’t have of been a problem had I been using a PC or MAC (as OpenDNS have tools for that) – however all my clients are Linux, so I was stuck. I did find a part solution in that DNS-O-Matic ( provides a free service for updating other DNS records, and provides a simple API. So a small script was hacked together to check and update the DNS-O-Matic records.  #!/bin/bash  USER=”Username”  PASS=”Password”  IP=$(curl -s | egrep -m1 -o ‘{1,3}.{1,3}.{1,3}.{1,3}’)  if [ -r “/home/david/.dnsomatic.txt” ]; then     OLDIP=`cat /home/david/.dnsomatic.txt`     if ; then         echo “$OLDIP is currently up-to-date”         exit 0     else         echo $IP > /home/david/.dnsomatic.txt         RETURN=$(curl -s https://${USER}:${PASS}         echo “Return message from DNS-O-Matic : ” $RETURN     fi  fi  After that a small entry into the crontab to schedule the script to run several times a day – and again I am a happy man.

By |December 22nd, 2008|General|3 Comments

XMPie IT Skills are ‘officially’ needed!

Here something that surprised me today – realising that ‘XMPie’ has made it into the listing of wanted IT Skills, as posted by IT Job Market ( Commercial jobs posted asking for XMPie skills are up 181 positions in the rankings. Some of XMPie’s competitive products are not listed in the same sense – which is also surprising. Just goes to prove that there is some serious money to be earned both by customer using XMPie as a technology; as well as those looking to skill-up.
Full disclosure: At the time of writing this article the author was employed by XMPie, a Xerox Company.

By |December 18th, 2008|XMPie|1 Comment

Come on Lexmark support Linux a bit more please!

Why is it in today’s open market that some suppliers seem to ignore major trends in the market? Take Lexmark and their support of Linux…A while ago, I purchased an all-in-one Lexmark x4550 printer; it was cheapish, and more importantly wireless so I could plug it in anywhere. Getting it working wirelessly under Windows wasn’t to bad, although scanning back wirelessly is still a bit hit and miss. However recently I tried to install it under ubuntu … and then things got annoying. No driver, no PPD and no support – there seems to be people screaming all over the Internet that there is no driver and no support from Lexmark. I’m quite happy to install a virtual XP box, and share the printer from that – however I still need a PPD to configure it correctly. I’m not even asking for full support – just the ability to print a sodding page would be nice! A Page in colour would be even better. But no, the best that I have managed to date is to get a blank piece of paper pushed through. “ohhhh” I hear you shout!I have to admit that this was one of those impluse purchases that I should’ve checked more on!Won’t be buying another Lexmark printer any time soon though!

By |December 16th, 2008|General|0 Comments

Parental control across a home network – made easy!

My son is now starting to independently surf the Internet on his own (admitted on a PC in a public place) but knowing the Internet like I do, I still worry. Having turned on Parental Control in Vista – I am consisently regretting it as it now asks to authorise every page and turn – which is madness. So whilst I continue in removing Vista from my Home network – I explored a few ideas about how to make the place safer – and I stumbled across which is a simple solution to what could be a huge problem.With roughly 5 computers, wireless links, and internet enabled games console securing the lot was a snip – quite simply reconfigure your ADSL router to use OpenDNS’s DNS servers, and then create an account at OpenDNS and turn on the filtering option!Now, as all the devices on my network route traffic and requests through my ADSL router (as they should) my router is now using OpenDNS to resolve and check the domain names against a set of criteria. So now purposely attempting to visit returns an OpenDNS blocking page any any device. Beautiful and yet simple!Well done OpenDNS!

By |December 15th, 2008|General|1 Comment

Finally: Managed HDMI support in ubuntu 8.10 with MythTV

Well, it took me some time – so I figured that I would write up the details; so that when I rebuild my HTPC or just in case anyone else is having the same issues!Firstly; I have MythTV 0.21 running on a Shuttle XPS SG33G5M with Ubuntu 8.10I have my TV connected by HDMI from the Shuttle – however never been able to get my audio through the HDMI, so always had to run a phono cable from the rear of the Shuttle to separate speakers.My devices were reported as:david@Rosy:~$ aplay -l**** List of PLAYBACK Hardware Devices ****card 0: Intel , device 0: ALC888 Analog Subdevices: 1/1Subdevice #0: subdevice #0card 0: Intel , device 1: ALC888 Digital Subdevices: 1/1Subdevice #0: subdevice #0card 0: Intel , device 3: ATI HDMI Subdevices: 0/1Subdevice #0: subdevice #0… and my outputs shown as … david@Rosy:~$ aplay -Ldefault:CARD=IntelHDA Intel, ALC888 AnalogDefault Audio Devicefront:CARD=Intel,DEV=0HDA Intel, ALC888 AnalogFront speakerssurround40:CARD=Intel,DEV=0HDA Intel, ALC888 Analog4.0 Surround output to Front and Rear speakerssurround41:CARD=Intel,DEV=0HDA Intel, ALC888 Analog4.1 Surround output to Front, Rear and Subwoofer speakerssurround50:CARD=Intel,DEV=0HDA Intel, ALC888 Analog5.0 Surround output to Front, Center and Rear speakerssurround51:CARD=Intel,DEV=0HDA Intel, ALC888 Analog5.1 Surround output to Front, Center, Rear and Subwoofer speakerssurround71:CARD=Intel,DEV=0HDA Intel, ALC888 Analog7.1 Surround output to Front, Center, Side, Rear and Woofer speakersiec958:CARD=Intel,DEV=0HDA Intel, ALC888 DigitalIEC958 (S/PDIF) Digital Audio OutputnullDiscard all samples (playback) or generate zero samples (capture)Firstly my version of ALSA was not the latest …david@Rosy:~$ cat /proc/asound/versionAdvanced Linux Sound Architecture Driver Version 1.0.17a.After failing to download and install the latest ALSA drivers from I stubbled across a fantastic script which did it all for me. This Alsa 1.0.18 Installation Script ( automatically download, compiles, installs and configures ALSA 1.0.18a for you. God bless […]

By |December 9th, 2008|MythTV|0 Comments