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Thread: Newbie mini-FAQ

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2002

    Q: What should I do/know before I ask a question here, to maximize the likelihood that somebody will be able to answer my question? (A1)



    All the sticky threads in all applicable forums


    keeping in mind: hints on getting better search results

    Use for: general info / general Linux info, or append "" to your query to use it to search DDB. Also try: for Linux specific queries, especially hardware (e.g. USB network adapter) compatibility information.

    If you still don't know the answer, post:

    Model, series, details of what you did to the machine.

    Logs: kernel logs, tvlog, tverr, anything unusual. Look in /var/log on the TiVo.

    Anything interesting you see on the serial console. If you don't have a "bash cable," make one. Troubleshooting blindfolded sucks.

    What you tried and what you found when you read and searched. And the search terms you used.

    It is critical that you make your thread title as descriptive and accurate as possible.

    As a general rule, you should use an existing support thread if your question is on-topic, rather than starting a new thread.

    Q: I posted my question in the {development forums,sticky reference threads,files section} three times!! Why does it keep getting deleted? (A2)

    A: Support requests are not permitted in the development forums, sticky reference threads, or files section. Post them in the Newbie forum.

    Q: Where can I find a guide that will make everything easy for me? (A3)

    A: Nowhere. Guides suck. You will have to learn a lot to get started. If you don't have time for it, you've picked the wrong hobby.

    You can find a list of guides in a sticky in the Newbie forum. Treat them as a potentially out of date reference, not as gospel.

    Q: If I break something, my wife/family/parents will yell at me. Should I try to hack the box anyway? (A4)

    A: No. Buy a separate test machine. Do you drop your car's transmission an hour before you need to commute to work?


    Q: Is there a software hack for the TCD5400xx nightlight boxes? How about the Humax boxes or the DirecTV R10? (A5)

    A: No. Read this thread for more information.

    Q: Can I hack <insert model here> (A6)

    A: Most likely. Do a search to figure out what board it uses. There are only a few different board versions, so many "different" models are identical internally.

    Q: I want folders or HMO. Is there a way to run the SA 4.x software on a Uma6/"RID" DTiVo? (A7)


    Q: What's the deal with software version 6.1? What about 7.1? (A8)


    Q: Are the BASH_ENV hack and the Sleeper ISO obsolete? (Series2 only) (A9)

    A: Yes, they have been superceded by killhdinitrd, a much easier and more reliable method of breaking the unit's security. New threads regarding either topic may be closed without notice; post your questions in the Sleeper thread.

    Q: How do I set up my unit so I can extract video to MPEG or VOB (DVD)? (A10)

    A: First, compromise the box, get a shell, and enable network access. Then, read all of the sticky threads in the extraction forum. Expect to spend 1-2+ weeks reading and experimenting. Basic steps: disable tystream encryption (scrambling), install software on the TiVo to facilitate networked extraction (mfs_ftp, tserver, or something else), and install software on the PC to mux the streams (tystudio, tytool, or hdemux).

    Q: I just want to add a bigger drive. Who can walk me through this process? (A11)


    Q: I don't feel like paying any fees. How do I get free service / use it as a vcr / make my own listings? (A12)

    A: You don't. Find a legal way to save money, like clipping coupons. 1 2

    Q: Should I make a backup of my original drive before I start making changes? (A13)

    A: What do you think?!

    Q: Do you support the Fortec, Pansat, or other pirate DVB receivers? (A14)

    A: No - this is not a "testing" site. Do what you want with your equipment, but don't expect us to help you steal.
    Last edited by alldeadhomiez; 04-01-2005 at 11:35 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2002

    Question continued...

    Q: How do I use WinZIP to unpack the files I find posted here? (B1)

    A: You must turn off "smart CR/LF conversion" to keep WinZIP from corrupting files. Other Windows archivers may have a similar bug. link If you get bit, complain to your vendor and ask for a refund - this is a FLAW and it should be fixed. Also, avoid unpacking any archive that contains symlinks on Windows.

    Q: Is the "-f" flag on mfstools safe to use? (B2)

    A: Probably not. link

    Q: How do I apply a binary patch? (B3)

    A: Use a hex editor, and check the "expected" value first. DO NOT use "echo ... | dd" unless you know what all of the implications are. Hint: if you've never used a hex editor before, you're probably in the wrong place.

    Q: Why is everyone here so rude? Why can't you just answer my simple question instead of telling me to search? (B4)

    A: Because this is a technical forum, not a 1-900 support line. Love it, leave it, and/or change it. Note that "change it" involves a lot of research and writing, NOT complaining. Yelling at the senior members when they tell you how to find an answer will win you few friends here. Don't take criticism personally; it happens to everyone sooner or later.

    Q: What does RTFS mean? (B5)

    A: Read the stickies (especially the ones in the Newbie forum).

    Hints for getting better search results: (S1)

    When searching for information about a specific problem, view results by post, and tweak your choice of keywords until you get a reasonable number of results. If you still get too many redundant posts, consider excluding the Newbie forum. I found "view results by post" very useful, so I clicked on "save search preferences" on the Search page so that it is set by default on my account.

    When searching for "official" information or releases of a specific project, use one or more of the following options: search thread titles only, view results by thread, or limit search to the files, support, and development forums (exclude the Newbie forum). Ignore the results that don't look "official," and aim for threads that say: RELEASE, SUPPORT, DEVELOPMENT, etc.

    Example: searching for "superpatch" shows you 175 threads. Searching thread titles only outside the Newbie forum produces only 9 threads, many of which are relevant.

    Also, sorting by date, ascending, helps you pinpoint the first mention of a topic (and thus the early/release information, when appropriate). This is especially useful when dealing with topics or projects that originated on DDB. Example: searching for "mfs_ftp" with the default settings will yield hundreds of results. Searching for "mfs_ftp", by posts, sorted by date in ascending order, leads you directly to the thread in which it was announced and is supported. The search facility isn't perfect, but it IS quite powerful (especially in comparison to, say, the search engine on TCF). Use it to your advantage.

    The forum software offers a "search this thread" option above the first post on the page. Use it. Complaining that the answer to your question is buried deep within a long thread will win you no sympathy.

    Search caveats: some words are not accepted by the search engine. Examples: very short (1 character) words, long words, words with asterisks, and common words. This can be worked around by searching with google, Unlike many search engines, most punctuation characters are not interpreted as separators by the indexing code; therefore, "Class::method" is indexed as one word, not two.

    Wildcard searches, such as "fakecall*", are supported. This is especially useful when searching for scripts that can be referred to as, say, foo or foo.tcl.
    Last edited by alldeadhomiez; 04-04-2005 at 01:42 PM.

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