ErikSlagter

Erik Slagter is one of the PLiŽ beta testers

I believe I don't have to tell what my name is ;-) The word "privacy" doesn't mean that much to me...

I was born in 1971 in Delft, The Netherlands. From 1988 I attended a study computer science in The Hague, which I graduaded from in 1995 as bachelor (B.Sc.)

From then I have had several jobs, a bit like ping-ponging between systems administration (always unix of course!) and software development (always C/C\+\+ and scripting). The problem with (commercial) software development is that you never get the chance to do it right, things like cleaning up code, education etc. cost money and thus are not allowed, which was a big disappointment to me. If I make software, I really like to do it right. On the other hand systems administration often is somewhat less intelligent work. At my current position (linux systems and network administration) I have the luxury to make up my own work, as long as the "customers" (collegues) benefit from it.

From the first time I saw a satellite-dish at the Amsterdam Firato, back in, ehrm... like 1984, I was sort of obsessed with it. The only problem was that I was a little too young back then ;-) I forgot a bit about it, spent more time on getting audio "right" (including DAT-recorders, connecting my PC's CD-ROM player with a separate led and homebrew fiber to my DAT-recorder ;-) and building + finetuning several semi-professional loudspeaker enclosures).

At my current position a collegue told me he had a Visiosat BiSat and dreambox 7000 and that it has linux command line access, in 2004. As at that time I had had numerous collisions with the "local" cable company, I decided that this was the perfect solution for me. I bought a dm7000 with three dual LNB's (quite standard that time, I guess). Actually, I wanted to buy a dm7000 but it wasn't available at that time (sounds familiar?). So I got me a dm500, which, from the specs would be able to do almost anything the dm7000 would do. I was wrong. As de dm500 cannot have a harddisk, the image builders at both dmm and alternatives did not enable harddisk recording. The forgot about me, I always record to a linux server using NFS. I tried programmed streaming, but that didn't work quite well. Later someone told me that the chipset of the dm500 lacks some functionality for easy streaming. And even later some seem to have worked around it ;-) In the meantime I already bought a dm7000 and after some time, I was able to also trade in my dm500 for a dm7000. This allowed me to watch one program and record another one on a different transponder.

So from somewhere end 2004 I have been using two dm7000's. I have a bit of mixed feelings about the dm7000's, on one hand they where really smart in their time, but more and more I ran into the limitations of the boxes. I still don't know exactly whether these are software (kernel driver) or hardware related problems, but after a few weeks "on"-time, they tend to start behaving strange and become very slow. A reboot fixes it. One of the dm7000's has a heatsink attached to the processor now and that does seem to make a difference! I also suspect a memory leak problem, but that should be cured by adding swap space, which I did and it didn't help. Maybe a memory leak in the closed source dmm drivers, who knows.

Also the platform has so little flash that the image needs to run from a compressed image makes it very hard (or even impossible) to make some "customisations". So I installed the enigma1 development and made an "image" of my own. Nothing fancy, just the dmm stuff + one single cam. Finally this worked (I guess you all know what a pain it is to set up the development environment and make it compile everything *successfully*). But I wanted even more flexibility and created a root-filesystem-on-NFS from my linux server. This allowed me to skip the "flash compression" step and to change every file I felt like. Nice advantage was that I could share several config files between the two dm7000's, so I had to change only one instance :-)

The disadvantage was that this setup needs more memory than a compresses image, which gives some problems of their own. This has been running this way until september 2008 when my dm800 arrived (repaired and now working). One of the dm7000 was shelved and the dm800 took it's place. I was very happy to find out that the dm800/oe does not use a compressed file system. So I didn't even bother to make my own image. Of course it always had PLi inside.

Since some weeks ago I have upgraded my system to a SMATV setup, using four quattro LNB's, a 17/6 multiswitch and some extra cables through the house and through the garden. This will allow me to hook up my dm8000, which is going to come sooner or later, with two extra DVB-S(2)-tuners, with all of it's four tuners, and also hook up the existing dm800 and one of the dm7000's.

In the meantime, I am using the dm800, and two dm7000's, and leave three outputs of the switch open.

As my own dm7000-"image" (on NFS) was completely obsolete, I radically replaced it with the newest PLi which I was very happy with.

I also installed an OE-developement environment to be able to compile a program of myself, which was very ehrm.. interesting (and even worked!). The documentation is really really sparse on this!

I guess I'm supposed to update my box (dm800 only, the dm7000's are being fased out soon!) more frequently now, using the test-repostory. I will have a look at that shortly.

Besides this, my hobbies are digital audio and video (mostly editing broadcast material and making it suitable for all of my multimedia-capable hosts, which can be quite tricky if you only use linux!). I am very fond of science fiction, e.g. Dr. Who, Star Trek, Star Wars and Stargate. I am very happy with the BBC which tends to rerun the Dr. Who series indefinately. Currently they have restarted right from the start and I am planning to save, edit and convert them all to generic multimedia format. Converting the subtitling is always difficult, my wife needs them when watching English programmes :-/

I guess that's more than you ever wanted to know!

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