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Messages - Monkgs

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Installation issues / Re: Fiire experience
« on: August 15, 2008, 02:26:31 am »
LOL. Still not shipped by the end of business today. How do these guys stay in business?
Well, apparently some people keep sending them money. :P

LOL. Touche. Still nothing as of today.

Installation issues / Re: Fiire experience
« on: August 14, 2008, 01:33:59 am »
LOL. Still not shipped by the end of business today. How do these guys stay in business?

Installation issues / Re: Fiire Chief drifting issues
« on: August 13, 2008, 05:15:45 pm »
I submitted this issue to Gyration to see what they would say.

Here is the response:
The gyro inside may have deteriorated, so even recalibration doesn't work anymore. There's no fix for that, because it's a hardware failure. Your option is to get another, unfortunately that model is not available from us anymore. You can purchase that from our reseller Cumming & Associates by calling 858-503-1227."

Feature requests & roadmap / Re: OpenVPN
« on: August 13, 2008, 04:09:15 pm »
Hrm. The point of distributions like smoothwall, m0n0wall and ipcop is that all the extra kernel and userspace features are ripped out, leaving a significantly smaller attack surface. Furthermore, the remaining software is configured in a secure fashion and chroot jailed when applicable.

It would be impossible to integrate these principles in LinuxMCE because LinuxMCE is designed to work with as many devices as possible, which is the complete opposite of smoothwall and ipcop. Comparatively, due to the number of services LinuxMCE runs, it will NEVER be a good choice for a firewall (from a security standpoint).

However, a strong ruleset on LinuxMCE should be more than enough security for anyone not wearing a tinfoil hat. Ultimately a strong iptables ruleset, that opens no services to the external world will be as secure as any other Linux firewall. The real advantage to distributions like smoothwall is that you don't have to be a linux guru to configure the ruleset in a secure fashion.

As for openvpn, build it yourself or install a binary package. There's no reason why it needs any sort of special integration.

Installation issues / Re: Fiire experience
« on: August 13, 2008, 11:30:32 am »
Like I said before, they haven't actually shipped anything yet. I've already bought into their empty promises once before. So far it is not looking good for them. This could just be more lip service.

My e-mail reads:

My colleague confirmed that your order will be shipped today. Sorry again for the delay.

Best Regards,

The google checkout applet sent me the tracking number. USPS reports "The U.S. Postal Service was electronically notified by the shipper on August 12, 2008 to expect your package for mailing. This does not indicate receipt by the USPS or the actual mailing date."

Installation issues / Re: Fiire experience
« on: August 13, 2008, 01:05:28 am »
I too received e-mails back finally, along with a tracking number. Although the tracking number indicates that the item has not been dropped off yet. At least there is consolation that my e-mails were not going to some black hole. I reserve my comments until I have the package in my hands.

Installation issues / Re: Fiire experience
« on: August 12, 2008, 04:48:29 am »
Yea, so no e-mail back on my stuff today, like I was promised by Adrian. I filed a report with Google's fraud division. They attempted to call Fiire, but could only get the voicemail, surprise surprise. I directed the google rep to this thread (and other Fiire threads). They made an official (??) report, and Fiire has a few business days to respond. If its not handled satisfactorily they will lose their merchant account. Although the Google guy did point out that this does not mean they have to resolve my situation in particular.

I'm just gonna let it be for a few days and see what happens. If nothing comes of it by then I'll just wash my hands of it all and have Visa do a chargeback.

Installation issues / Re: Fiire experience
« on: August 11, 2008, 06:47:31 pm »
Ok. After trying to deal with Fiire over the past week I'm at my wit's end.

I knew something was up from the moment I first hit the Fiire homepage. No reputable business would let their website fall into such disrepair. From broken links, PHP errors, spelling mistakes and grammatical errors, it was clear that this was not a reputable business. Alas, they were the only ones producing the famed LinuxMCE remote. I bought several of them over a week ago, and paid using Google Checkout.

Some sort of error occurred with the checkout process, yet my credit card was charged in full (total order just over $500). Not surprising given the number of PHP errors their website generates. A week after the purchase, the online Fiire store still reports "Google Processing" as a status. Clearly something has gone wrong.

I spent the last week pounding their phone lines, e-mail accounts and online chat applet. Their phone line is an automated attendant, which isn't setup properly. The tech support option just redirects you back to the main menu. If you hit the sales line it rings, but usually goes to voicemail anyway. Of the 20+ times I've called I had "Adrian" pickup once. See details below in the chat log. From his accent on the phone and poor English skills I would presume that Fiire outsources their support to India. Although he claimed to be in San Jose with the rest of the company. He also couldn't help me at all, and had to "e-mail his colleagues" to track my order.

After the aforementioned week of pounding their phone lines, e-mail accounts and online chat applet I finally got through to "Adrian" with the online chat. Here's a copy of our chat conversation. Some interesting points, he identifies Blake Tablak as a sales guy and not the GM he has made himself out to be in the posts in this thread. More dishonesty from Fiire, what a joke. A sales guy comes on here, pretends to be the head honcho, promises big change, and it turns out he's just the salesman trying to get more suckers to invest in a Fiire system.

   Matt: Question: I would like to know why my order has not shipped yet. Order number 104.
   adrian: How May I help You?
   Matt: Could you please look into the status of my order.
   adrian: what is your full name?
   Matt: ****** ********
   adrian: ok, I'll ask one of my colleagues to see if it's shipped or not
   Matt: thanks
   adrian: please, tell me your email
   Matt: *******@*******.***
   adrian: thx
   Matt: are you still there?
   adrian: yes
   Matt: have you determined if my package has shipped?
   adrian: i sent an email to my colleague beacuse he's right now in another location
   Matt: are you outsourced by fiire?
   adrian: nope, i am in san jose with the company
   Matt: the company is in los angeles
   adrian: it's registered there
   Matt: don't you guys have a tracking system for orders?
   adrian: there is one but it's optional
   Matt: so everything is done by hand?
   adrian: not quite, google checkpout has a tracking system but we don't use it
   Matt: don't you guys stock these remotes? shouldn't it have been shipped last week when I made the order?
   adrian: we have stocks of them of course
   adrian: but our sales man is handling them, i know few things about it, i am only the support guy here
   Matt: can you give me his phone number?
   adrian: yes, but from the bureau
   adrian: the personal number i can't give it to you
   Matt: ok what is his work number?
   adrian: 408.627.4806
   Matt: that is his cell?
   adrian: the office number
   Matt: what is his name?
   adrian: Blake Tablak
   Matt: I called it, but it was not the Fiire office. It was a voice recording.
   adrian: yes, I know
   Matt: you told me it was the office number
   adrian: his office
   adrian: e has his own office
   adrian: i treid 2 times to call him on his cell but nothing till now
   Matt: I thought blake was the GM of Fiire?
   adrian: GM=general manager?
   Matt: yes
   adrian: no, it's not him
   Matt: who is the GM?
   adrian: Jeff Laughlin
   Matt: I thought he was the owner
   adrian: oh no
   adrian: anyway, during this day he will tell me an answer
   Matt: please forward the info to my e-mail *****@*********.***
   adrian: no problem sir

There was literally a 5 minute delay between each response. That conversation lasted a very long time. The whole conversation reeked of outsourced phone support. Which seems pretty par for the course given the other crap that has been misleading and dishonest. Even giving them the benefit of the doubt in that regard, it seems this company is a mickey mouse little outfit. Apparently their sales guy doesn't even hold an office at the head quarters. Do they even have an office? Their website says they are based out of Los Angelas, but this guy says everyone is in San Jose. It all seems so shady to me that I see no valid reason to give them anymore of my business in the future. And if my order's not filled and shipped soon my comments are going straight to the securities and fraud division at Google checkout.

Developers / Re: UniChrome Pro II & UI2
« on: August 07, 2008, 10:38:18 am »
Has anyone attempted the openChrome drivers in conjunction with the steps from this wiki howto

Allegedly openChrome has accelerated composite mode. According to the wiki there are some hoops to jump through, but it should work, should it not?

Developers / UniChrome Pro II & UI2
« on: August 06, 2008, 01:50:23 pm »
I have been searching the forums, and the wiki for information on the UniChrome chipsets. The forums all indicate that they work, but not with UI2. The wiki's indicate that UI2 works flawlessly and that VIA has recently open sourced their drivers. What exactly is the status of this chipset without using the licensed drivers from Fiire?

Users / Cheaper Orbiters?
« on: August 04, 2008, 11:59:22 am »
Are there any cheap orbiters available new around the $200 range?

All the orbiters I see people using are discontinued (Nokia N800, WebDT375).

Developers / HDMI /w HDCP bounce solution
« on: July 24, 2008, 07:59:32 am »
I wanted to start a discussion on the feasibility of manufacturing a device capable of splitting and distributing HDMI signals.

As I understand it right now (and correct me if I am wrong), HDMI output from a STB must be directly connected to the output device to view the HI-DEF content. Cable and satellite providers will not provide unencrypted MPEG2 streams for premium channels from these devices, and probably never will. This unfortunately makes it infeasible to share this media in the traditional way that Linux MCE/MythTV shares standard definition content.

After watching the LinuxMCE demo with the HD STB (and the direct input feature) it occurred to me that this functionality could be expanded through a separate hardware device. This hardware device could take an arbitrary number of input HDMI signals, and distribute them to an arbitrary number of HDMI outputs. Splitting and or copying the content as directed by a RS-232 control connection to the Linux MCE core system.

This device is really an amalgamation of existing devices already on the market:
A) RS-232 Link or IR
B) HDMI splitters (decrypts 1 HDMI signal, copies signal to all outputs, re-encrypts signal)
C) HDMI distribution amplifiers
D) HDMI extender over 2x Cat6 lines

With a combination of these parts, it's possible to then bounce HDMI input signals to numerous output displays as long as there are two free Cat5/6 lines running to the display. The source and destination all controlled by the RS-232 control port.

After I began thinking about this some more it occurred to me that it might be possible to make a home brew device that is capable of such a feat, using existing HDMI splitters.

Say for example you had two HD-capable displays in your house, and two HDMI only output devices (STB, Blu Ray player). Therefor the system has 2-inputs (I1,I2), 2-outputs (O1,O2). The system would then have 4 possible states:
Code: [Select]
{ (O1=I1, O2=I2), (O1=I2, O2=I1), (O1=I1,O2=I1), (O1=I2,O2=I3) }.

The first two states can be achieved by simply "connecting" the HDMI inputs to the correct HDMI outputs in a passive fashion (no processing is required). The last two states are achieved by "connecting" the correct HDMI input to a pre-purchased HDMI splitter device, and "connecting" the two HDMI outputs to the respective output ports.

By utilizing an already existing HDMI splitter device, and HDMI extender devices this project could be completed without the need for a complicated design or expensive processors. Additionally the HDCP compatibility would be preserved assuming the HDMI splitter/extenders are HDCP compatible. Obviously the complexity of the project increases with the number of inputs and outputs.

Does this idea seem possible? Am I overlooking some major issue somewhere? Is there a better way to do this? Has this already been done?

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