August 31, 2010

Sony Bravia and Motorola DCX3400 (Comcast) DVR/Cable box

Visiting my aunt who is recuperating from a medical procedure. I noticed she'd gotten herself a nice Bravia flatscreen...but after dicking around with it for a few minutes, I also noticed that it wasn't displaying HD. Wha? I checked her cable box - it's a Motorola DCX3400 and claims to be displaying HDTV. It's connected to her TV by *both* coax and an HDMI cable, but the TV claims there's only signal on the 'TV' input (coax). Uh?

A few seconds dicking around and I figure out how to get the setup menu on the box (turn it on, then turn it off using the frontpanel power button and within a couple seconds hit the 'MENU' frontpanel button). The menu comes up as the manual describes, but says it's *not* connected via HDMI.

No matter what I do, I can't get it to sync HDMI. The DVD player, plugged into the same port on the TV, comes right up. Finally, after 30 minutes, I acknowledge Geek Fail and call Comcast. After navigating the phone tree, I get a tech who actually seems clueful. He asks what kind of TV. I tell him. He says 'What model number?' Uh-oh. I give it to him. He tappity-tappitys on the knowledge base, and says, "Yep, sorry, I thought so. There are known issues with using certain models of Sony Bravia flat panels with our cable boxes - the HDMI just won't sync."

Great.

So if you have a Sony Bravia and are trying to get a Motorola DCX3400 cable box to work properly with it, forget it.

On the plus side, since the cable box will only output 1080i (or maybe 720p) anyway, you can just use component video+RCA stereo and get the same resolution.

Posted by jbz at 7:31 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

August 5, 2010

Dealing with stale cached apt manifests in Chef-run apt transactions

I have a 'base' Chef recipe whose job is to do global basic bootstrapping tasks to EC2 slices. One of the first things that this recipe does on Ubuntu slices is update the apt caches using 'apt get update.' Without that step, it generally fails, because the AMIs I use don't have complete and up-to-date apt repo information in them.

Well, today, I ran the recipe on a new slice and it tanked. apt was exiting with status 100, and when I checked, it was producing the following error:

 IP ADDRESS apt-get update returned 100, expected 0

...and running apt-get update manually returned an error complaining that it couldn't update the repo information. It complained:

W: Failed to fetch  (the problem archive file): Hash Sum mismatch

The problem here, it turns out, is that the archive in question I was attempting to get updated manifests for had been updated - but the checksum (Hash Sum) for that archive had been *cached* by something in between my slice and the archive (likely some form of proxy). As a result, they didn't match, and bam.

The Fix: The fix came from here. Essentially, mod your apt-get command to include an option for 'no-cache', either during the call:

apt-get update -o Acquire::http::No-Cache

...or by putting the option into your apt config (see the post linked above for how-to).

Whew. Another day, another thing.

Posted by jbz at 2:40 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack