HDTV PVR for ExpressVu

Today’s National Post has an insert called “marketnews Here’s How” with all kinds of HDTV news including the ExpressVu HDTV PVR announcement. In addition ExpressVu added several HDTV stations yesterday. I recommend a close look at a Yamaha Amp (with component video switching and S-video up-conversion) when getting in the home theatre system.

Azureus – way cool BitTorrent client

I kept hearing about
in various places,
but I dismissed it because I thought it was a Windows client for BitTorrent,
and I use my Mac to do BitTorrent downloads.

Well, I was wrong.
It turns out that Azureus is written in Java.
Normally, this is not enough to ensure that it will run smoothly on a Mac,
however, there is a Mac-specific download which has been tweaked to run well.
So I tried it, and everything was most excellent.
There were options I have been pining for like:

  • max global upload speed
  • max global download speed
  • prioritization of downloads with a small number of peers

I got it running and everything was going swell.
Then suddenly I got the dreaded Translucent Message of Death,
or to be more precise, a kernel panic.

It turns out that
this bug
well known,
and has been tracked down to Apple’s
lookupd” daemon.
It only affects dual-CPU systems, which is me, alas.
The workaround is to set up your Mac as a caching name server, so that named is used instead of lookupd.

There is a
long and laborious description
aimed at People Who Never Use the Command Line, but I can sum it up in just a few steps for you here.
Remember, this only applies if you have a dual-CPU Mac.

  1. Edit /etc/hostconfig, and change “DNSSERVER=-NO-” to “DNSSERVER=-YES-“. This will cause the name server daemon (/usr/sbin/named) to be started automatically the next time you reboot.
  2. Edit /etc/named.conf, and un-comment the line “// query-source address * port 53;” by removing the two slashed from the front.
  3. Start named by typing /usr/sbin/named in a Terminal window as root
  4. Change your primary DNS server under Network Preferences to be (i.e. your own machine) and click “Apply Now”.
  5. In Azureus, in Preferences->Transfer, make sure that “[x] Slowly connect new peer connections” is enabled. This may be optional, I’m not sure.