I usually yawn when the latest development “paradigm shift” rolls by. But there is a paradigm shift in source control software (software change management, software configuration management, source code management, version control system, revision control or whatever more “correct” term you want to use, geesh) with which I have fallen in love. In a word: distributed.

I am poking my toe in the ocean of mythtv development, and all I wanted to do was track my own changes along with the latest changes submitted by the main developers. Sounds totally basic, right? I traveled down a bit of a road though before I came to the best solution: git. Check out the git-for-open-source wiki article for the why and how. git fits like a glove.

Just as a teaser, here’s what you’ll end up with:

           /                 \
public repo                   svn repo
           \                 /

For some reason I haven’t seen this in the various MythTV HowTo’s:

mythfilldatabase --do-channel-updates

Note that this will wipe out any customizations you’ve done to channels. (continued…)

I have set a goal of importing all our home video (yes all the raw footage, hours of us staring at the camera :>) and incorporating it into the mythtv experience.

First step: get a clue. Looks like cinelerra is the FOSS advanced video editing software of choice, even though everyone seems to agree it’s been opened with a bad can opener and you’ll probably slice yourself on it now and then. The first hurdle: getting it installed. As always, gentoo makes things dead-easy, but there were a couple steps to get it to compile under AMD64, here they are so you don’t bang your head:

emacs /etc/portage/package.keywords
  media-video/cinelerra-cvs ~amd64
emacs /etc/portage/package.use
  media-video/cinelerra-cvs -mmx
emerge -DavuN cinelerra-cvs

Note that this is a package pulled from cvs, a first sign to proceed with caution. The date on the most recent package is 20070122 – apparently the developer of cinelerra doesn’t work too closely with the community, and the community developers have to occasionally take a snapshot and clean the hell up out of it – so you don’t want it to happen too often. The gentoo package compiles fine on AMD64, but only if you specifically disable mmx support (weird, eh?). Anyway, as always, upwards and onwards…

I continue my love affair with Gentoo by moving to the latest profile, 2007.0. Profiles are sort of watermarks that are released every 6 months or so. They prevent major upgrades to your system, until you’re ready to make the leap to a new profile. Once again, very well done, Gentoo dudes. I’ve got three Gentoo machines at this point, and I’ve migrated two with zero problems. The only real change for me was that I learned to use dispatch-conf with rcs (which gives you version-controlled automated configuration updates, whoop!) instead of the more clumsy etc-update. Oh, and it looks like the gnome terminal configuration file format changed, as my settings are no longer valid. But mythtv is rocking along, no problems. I even managed to upgrade the TV recordings drive from a 250GB to a 400GB sata drive along the way. Party on.

UPDATE: I had the gnome-terminal problem on two different machines. A re-emerge fixed it up:

emerge -av gnome-terminal

I took my time and tried to pick the best case I could for my MythTV box. I ended up picking an Antec case that included a beautiful chassis, great cooling features including separate airflow chambers and two large silent sidepanel fans, a generous mini-ATX form factor with just enough room for all the gear, silicone-cushioned drive mountings, and a couple cool bells and whistles – a large volume knob and LCD display panel.

I have loved everything about the case, but I always figured it was going to take some serious hacking to get the volume knob and LCD panel to ever work under linux. When I finally sat down today to tackle the job, I found out there was lots of support! Apparently the knob/LCD/infrared port combination are a packaged product called the Soundgraph iMon, and they have become a popular addition to many media center cases.

With a little guidance, I have the front panel totally hooked up to MythTV now, which does a great job of filling the display with all kinds of juicy information: the currently playing song, the currently playing TV show or movie, the current recording, the time (when otherwise idle), etc. To get the volume knob working, looks like I’ll need to rig up lirc mo betta…