Thursday, March 29, 2007

mythTV - it's all a myth

It's all a myth that I've been working on a myth box!

I see in my (now) penultimate posting that I promised I would "in my next post" talk about the joys (few of these) and hassles (many of these) in trying to get a myth box up.  As you may gather from the last post about musical pulpits, time hasn't been a luxury I have had very much of!

Maybe after Easter has been and gone.

No more musical pulpits!

After 5 Wednesday nights in Lent in different churches, I am rather glad that our  "musical pulpits" is at an end for this year.

In the Wimmera / Mallee zone of Victoria, there has been a tradition of each pastor writing one lenten sermon and giving that address 5 times in five congregations different from his own.  This introduces the pastor to other congregations and buildings, and the people get to meet the pastor for elsewhere in the zone.  It also brings a freshness in change of preaching style, for example.

The advantages are obvious, but the cost is also apparent: the pastors who need to travel some distances late in the evening.  After 5 weeks of it, the toll is starting to show.  Not that I've had great distances this year - with the exception of last night, all my journeys were at most 35 minutes long one-way, last night being about 60 minutes one-way.

I do wish to be able to do lent in the way I did in my previous parish:
*   Instead of 4 hymns and at least 45 minutes long (otherwise people felt cheated), 2 hymns and maybe 30 minutes
*   Instead of driving every which way, journey time is measured in walking from the manse to the church
*   Instead of delivering the same general message 5 times, getting to move through lent with my flock

Ah well, maybe next year!

Friday, March 09, 2007


Any spare time I've had to myself (generally late evening after the rest of the house is in bed) I have been using on my current hobby project - a MytHTV box.

MythTV is a software package that turns a PC with a TV tuner card into the mythical convergence box - TV, recorder, web browser, you name it.

The snag is, it's incredibly complex.  Many have written blogs of their experiences in trying to get it to work.

I picked up a cheap tuner card (analogue TV only) in January, and have installed it in a Pentium-III system @ 450 MHz with 256MB RAM - a fairly modest configuration.

I can tune in TV fine, now that I have crawled under floorboards to run coax antenna lead from the booster under th elounge to the other end of the house where my home office is.  Recording it and getting MythTV up is another matter.  And getting the remote control working is the hoped-for light at the end of a very long tunnel.

I'm off to another home now to bring a shut-in Holy Communion.  Next posting I'll mention some of the difficulties with MythTV.