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Thread: Newbie Guide From Newbie to Expert in 45 minutes!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Fantasy World

    17 Newbie Guide From Newbie to Expert in 45 minutes!

    OK, here is my new Newbie Guide.

    There may be a few "bugs" but I think it is going to help a bunch of folks who may need some basics answered.

    It has:

    >> the guide has now been Updated on 12/04/01 11:49 AM EST

    1. Unix Commands you need to know
    2. Detailed Commands
    3. Installing and accessing a Tivo drive on your PC
    4. Correctly mounting your Tivo drive
    5. Programs you need
    6. How to get "bash back" and how to correct the line errors in bash (when all lines seem spaced wrong)
    7. Installing / running a locals script
    8. Installing / running the 900s.tcl script

    Newbie to expert in 45 minutes flat!

    New HTML Version:

    there will be updates and changes.. I plan on making it an all-in-one. The FAQ section will be added as soon as I can get to it!

    If there are any mistakes.. please correct me immediately and receive a gold star!
    If you really like it and are a poor person, take it with my blessing..
    if you really like it and you are a rich person.. send me some money to buy a new DTivo !!

    Post your comments please!
    Last edited by drapatin; 12-07-2001 at 11:31 AM.
    A Toy! A New Toy! Thank the Lord UPS brought a New TOY!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    **rmdir .............. remove directory (rm -r to delete folders with files)
    example: rmdir /etc/rc.d
    ..<shudder>.. save keystrokes by using rm -r all the time..
    rm -r /etc/rc.d

    you also lose those annoying warnings.. of course, warnings, when heeded can sometimes be a good thing.. format /u c: <enter> <enter> ...

    chattr - the i flag refers to immutable, and has nothing to do with read/write.. it tells the filesystem that NOTHING about this file should change, this includes things like being able to move it or optimize location by repositioning its blocks..
    The read/write/executable flags are set by chmod and can be manipulated on a user, group, or world basis. These flags cannot be changed if the file is marked immutable.

    mount manipulates the virtual filesystem, in newer versions of linux it's functionality is such that it should really get a new name, except that would break posix compatability...

    gzip/zip - bz2 is actually a much better standard compression protocol than either of these, and I think that powerarchiver/rar/winzip understands it.. quite actually, there are considerably better compression protocols out there that are not in active use because it's considered bad form to release a new protocol that ONLY improves compression.. rar is accepted because it solves the 2GB file length problem in zip/gzip files. (bz2 solves this problem for unixes)

    cpio belongs on the list as it is the packager of choice for tivo.. its functionality is nearly identical to tar, and it is where the blowfish encryption is applied. (the .cpio files are encrypted using blowfish, it is not a function of cpio)

    bf also belongs on the list, bf is the blowfish encrypt/decrypt tool.

    I use ^k x to exit and save in joe.. never remember ^d (you're improperly capitalizing the K and D and you should lose the space between the ^ D)

    cat is intended to concatenate files. when it has no input and has its output redirected ( > ) it creates a new file.. (cat /etc/rc.d/* will list all of the files in rc.d in order to the screen, or you could redirect them to a file or pipe ( | ) them to grep, or any number of things.. When I want to look for interesting stuff in my logs, I use cat /var/log/* | grep <what I'm looking for> | less .. I don't use more as it does not support going back to the page you just accidentally skipped past..

    touch is intended to update a file as though it were just modified, touch on a non-existant file creates it.

    There are good tutorials on jumpers and what they do and how they are used.. do a quick look on Maxtors site, and you should find one.. It is quite possible to hack a tivo without ever messing with a jumper..

    make links to the files you refer to in their pure (unmolested by windows) form, and you don't need dos2unix. that tool should be used as little as possible, as it prevents the true understanding of the nature of the differences in the file types.

    the rc.sysinit~ is only the most recent backup made by joe, and may not even be that if you've made it immutable somehow (chattr +i *) .. a very good idea is to back up the original and modified rc.sysinit files (or any file you work on) seperately.. I have rc.base, rc.bash (a bash only rc.sysinit, it does nothing else), rc.boot (what I run when I want tivo functionality after booting rc.base)

    I'll read through your faq from time to time.. but I think it has a Looooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooong way to go before claiming to make someone an expert in 45 minutes...
    .. heck, I don't consider MYSELF an expert, and I have a certification in linux administration.. (just goes to show how useless those certifications really are, I can't get certified in VB for the life of me, but that's my full time paid job.. (probably because I only use the graphical interface for making the program pretty... )

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Fantasy World
    Well, that's exactly what I need.
    Positive feedback and corrections.

    But please keep in mind, this is for newbie users and definitions do not need to be exact..

    For instance chattr. I know what it does but for the purposes of this guide and what people will be doing with it "read only" is a good enough explaination. Getting overly complicated is the reason we need this kind of guide in the first place.

    One thing I WILL NOT do is get rid of any annoying warning.

    This is another reason we need a guide for newbies.. without a warning, they tend to do the wrong things, eiher by missing something, not reading entirely or by screwing up and/or typo. So annoying warnings are a MUST!
    It needs a "Do not type in the quotes" kind of statement.!!

    On commands:
    bf .. does not need to be on the list.. keep in mind this guide pertains to what we are doing here.. not linux in general.
    same for bz2, cpio, and gzip.

    my explaination of mount is sufficient for what they are doing I think.

    Thanks for the info about rc.sysinit~ I didnt know (I suspected)

    as far as jumpers go.. That is not relevant, if they dont know what a jumper is, they shouldn't be doing this and if they know what a jumper is, the rest should fall into place.

    Please understand I DO appreciate your comments. They are very helpful and some will make their way into the guide. But I need to make it simplistic a sort of "Dummies Guide to DTivo Hacks" So further explaination beyond what is needed is really overkill and brings up back to the need for a simple guide.

    Any more info than needed begets questions and screwups from newbies (like me).

    again, thanks a lot!
    A Toy! A New Toy! Thank the Lord UPS brought a New TOY!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Hey BubbaJ

    You the man!!

    Thanks for all the cool info.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2001

    Expert wanabe guide

    I think using the work expert in the your title give the wrong impression of what you are wanting it to be. I think it is a good idea though.

    BTW I belive bubba was refering to "anoying warnings" sarcasticly. Meaning that rm -r will try to warn you before doing something stupid like rm -r /. I'm not sure if rmdir does this.

    Are there any good learning guides to tivo hacking that would be more of a general guide than a how to. Something that explains how the tivo works, what it does during the boot sequence. Maybe a block diagram of the rc.sysinit. I'm sure I could do this given enough time, but by the time I get around to it, it would be outdated.

    It would be interesting to see information about things like why tivo uses byte swapping, or where the video is stored and how it is accessed, or how we suspect the next update will occur.

    I still have to get PPP working so I can access my tivo easier. A single bash prompt is a PITA.

    Thanks to everyone for their efforts.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    nope no sarcasm with the rm -r thing... I really DON'T like annoying warnings as they encourage me to be careless..

    rm -r / will faithfully attempt to wipe your filesystem clean.
    rmdir will not delete a non-empty directory.

    rc.sysinit is great reading material, and it won't be outdated by the time you write it if you get started (even if it WERE outdated, it'd still be a good reference)

    The tivo doesn't use byte swapping.. the PC/Humans do..
    The PowerPC was a 32 bit machine from its inception. When it reads a 32 bit memory location (the only kind it knows actually), it reads all 32 bits at once, the first bit goes into the highest position in the register, the last bit goes into the lowest position in the register. This solves a great deal of complexity in designing the cpu, this is also the reason you will never see a 32 bit compatable 64bit PPC cpu.

    Intel, in designing the fully 16 bit 286 had to maintain compatability with the 8086, which was 8 bit. programs written for the 8 bit macine would only be willing/able to load information into the 8 bit register, meaning that the first byte they read would need to go into the lowest byte in the register. When intel brought out the 386, they still needed to maintain compatability with the 8086 and the 286 to they again set things up in an akward manner, now loading each of the 4 bytes into its opposite position. The reason it is easy for us to read text stored in little-endian(intel) format is because ascii text is a stream of bytes, perfectly compatable with an 8bit machine.

    IDE is a 16 bit bus, and that means that the 32bit tivo must make 2 transfers over the bus in order to populate its 32 bit interface. First the high 16 bits then the low 16bits. the reason the kernel is swapped according to the tivo, is that the prom uses a different protocol for loading/storing the data than the kernel.

    blocks of video are stored as records in a database on the mfs partition. The database concept is very similar to a regular filesystem, but allows for a different perceptual ordering of the data.

    I would suspect, since everything is in place, that the next update will occur over the sat feed. If you don't want an update, rename the file /tvbin/crypto, as without it you will never get the keys needed to decrypt the update from the keyserver. of course, this opens you up to the possibility of some form of attack, though it would be a real hassle for them.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Fantasy World
    ^ Bump^

    the guide has a ton more info in it~!
    A Toy! A New Toy! Thank the Lord UPS brought a New TOY!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2001


    Hey folks...

    I am a newbie when it comes to TIVO and it's inner works , but I am having a bit of a problem. I have burned my boot disk which is extreme2.5 for my PhillipsDSR6000 and set the 40G drive up in my computer.
    Everything loads o.k and I hity enter twice once at the login screen and then at the next prompt. When i get the #/ prompt and type in 25xtreme, I get an error message saying that the command was not found. I have checked and the 25xtreme bin is in the live/bin directory on the CD.
    Can anyone aid me in the right direction so I can complete the image burn and learn from this error?.

    Any input is greatlt appreciated,


  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2001

    danger HQS

    Hey HQS,
    I think this post would be better placed under 2.5xtreme help or one of Surgeons link posts. But anyway, I had this same problem when I had my the following setup:
    hda = Windows HD
    hdb = CDRW
    hdc = Tivo A drive
    hdd = DVD drive

    After changing my configuration to the following, most of my problems went away...(I guess it just didn't like my DVD Player)
    hda = Windows HD
    hdb = CDRW
    hdc = Tivo A drive

    Another problem I encounter (just so people know) was the:
    Restore failed: Decompression error .. 99%) (1325.91% compression)

    The problem I found out was Nero Burning Rom v. 5.0....
    I downloaded Easy CDCreator 5.0 Basic (Free 90 day trial) and reburned the .ISO image to a cd with all the same hardware and configurations and son of a gun it actually worked!

    Hope this helped a few of you.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2001

    HQS I had the same problem

    According to the drapatin's guide the installation doesn't like 2 cdroms. I just put another copy of the 25extreme cd in the OTHER cdrom and reran rc.s. Don't know if this is your problem.

    Newbie question also:

    In my "infinite wisdom" I ordered a ppv before I cleared everything. Did any one else end up with their Purchases filled with "Title Unknown Purchased"? I can fix the ppvs, just wondering if this happened to anyone else(I did search for this info). There is a little more info on


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