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Modem instructions for using WiRNS and 3xxx/showstoppers?
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jonwz
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 09, 2007 3:25 pm    Post subject: Modem instructions for using WiRNS and 3xxx/showstoppers? Reply with quote

Can anyone point me to instructions for setting up dial from the non-ethernet models into WiRNS? I see it referenced as a "todo" in the FAQ.

I'm really just looking to replace the recently lost MyReplayTV web page functions.

Thanks, Jon
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hdonzis
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 09, 2007 10:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Googling, I find this discussion of setting it up (archived here). At the very bottom, j.m.'s instructions have been archived here with his home page being archived here...

Henry
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 10, 2007 6:13 am    Post subject: Anyone try native windows dialup support? Reply with quote

Thanks Henry, for the quick detailed reply.

I was hoping for a Windows solution that I could run on the same box with WiRNS, as both processes have to be running in the middle of the night for the calls from the replay units.

Also, I'm guessing I'd have to learn enough FREESCO to monkey with the DNS so that the replaytv sessions get routed to the WiRNS box (rather than to "replaytv central").
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 10, 2007 9:12 am    Post subject: Re: Anyone try native windows dialup support? Reply with quote

jonwz wrote:
I was hoping for a Windows solution that I could run on the same box with WiRNS, as both processes have to be running in the middle of the night for the calls from the replay units.


You could simply run a virtual machine software which would allow you to run both SCO and Windows on the same box. VMWare might do the job just fine, as would several other solutions...

Henry
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 18, 2007 5:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

FWIW, I'm running FREESCO as a VMware virtual machine on the same system as WiRNS. (You should be able to use VMware Server, which is a free download.)
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 02, 2008 11:36 am    Post subject: Wirns from 3xxx again. Reply with quote

Hi, it's been a year since I asked about dial into WiRNS. Was always leery about trying to do "hokey dial" from my beloved 3xxx systems. But I've had a different idea.... I just ran across Ian's RNS document and see the "Get RNS server name" http request. I wonder if I could use a single freesco dial (or possible an httpget through the shell interface described at
http://members.cox.net/seanriddle/replayshell.html) to point my replay units at a WiRNS server. After that initialization, the replaytv units would do their normal dial, but then connect to my WiRNS server.

Any thoughts from the experts?

Questions that come to my mind are:
1) Does the replaytv always send the Get RNS Server names request?
2) Can WIRNS respond to that request with a custom name (I'd probably set up an Internet based http forward to the IP address of my WIRNS server)?

I prefer this over the hardwired freesco approach as I have a replaytv at my parents house that I used to control with the myreplay web page and this way it could use a WiRNS server. Also, as mentioned before, I do worry that hokey dial (no telco simulator) might be harder on the replaytv internal modem.
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 02, 2008 12:48 pm    Post subject: Re: Wirns from 3xxx again. Reply with quote

jonwz wrote:
Questions that come to my mind are:
1) Does the replaytv always send the Get RNS Server names request?


Don't know about "always", but certainly seems to do it all the time as part of the net connect. You only need it to do it once, however, if it mattered (see below)...

jonwz wrote:
2) Can WIRNS respond to that request with a custom name (I'd probably set up an Internet based http forward to the IP address of my WIRNS server)?


WiRNS sends the normal list of host names. However, the way that WiRNS takes care of forwarding is that it assumes it is in the path and will receive the host name query requests. So, instead of it changing the host names, it simply responds to those host name queries with the IP address of the WiRNS server. I don't know with your scheme who would be accepting the host name queries. But, assuming the queries are going to have to be going somewhere, if it isn't the WiRNS server, then you can probably setup the hosts file to redirect those names to the WiRNS server...

Henry
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 02, 2008 1:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the quick reply. In my scheme WiRNS wouldn't be in the path of the normal connect. The replaytv's would only dial WiRNS once (through freesco) to get the custom RNS server name, then they would dial the ISP's nightly as usual and hopefully use that custom RNS server name for all the downloads (except NTP for time).

I think what I would need is for Wirns to have the ability to return a custom primary RNS server name.

Any chance you could add that to the "things to do" list?

Thanks again, Jon
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 02, 2008 1:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

jonwz wrote:
Thanks for the quick reply. In my scheme WiRNS wouldn't be in the path of the normal connect. The replaytv's would only dial WiRNS once (through freesco) to get the custom RNS server name, then they would dial the ISP's nightly as usual and hopefully use that custom RNS server name for all the downloads (except NTP for time).

I think what I would need is for Wirns to have the ability to return a custom primary RNS server name.

Any chance you could add that to the "things to do" list?

Thanks again, Jon


I think you should just do that in the hosts file on the Replay connecting machine. I've got my machine with my hosts file doing it currently:

#a.b.c.d rddns-rns.replaytv.net
a.b.c.d rddns-production.replaytv.net

Since you probably won't need that machine being able to resolve those host names for real, it seems like the simplest way to go...

Henry
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 02, 2008 1:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"I think you should just that in the hosts file on the Replay connecting machine. I've got my machine with my hosts file doing it currently:

#a.b.c.d rddns-rns.replaytv.net
a.b.c.d rddns-production.replaytv.net "

How do I make that modification on a showstopper or replaytv 3xxx? I think I would have to remove the hard drives, connect to a linux machine and directly modify a file?

I was hoping I could accomplish that "modification" though information acquired in the "connect to network" process.
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 02, 2008 3:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The hosts file is on the machine that's doing the query resolution. That's the other end of the Replay connection, the machine that you're going to be "dailing into". Windows has a hosts file, your router probably has a hosts file, and the Freesco machine would have a hosts file on it. I suppose the the SS might have a hosts file on it as well, but that's not really important. The important thing is that the SS is going to be asking "something" to resolve the Replay host names, and whatever that "something" is, you just want it to send the SS to WiRNS. That's what I've done with my hosts file above. The Replay's ask to resolve the ISN update server, and I send the Replay to WiRNS...

So, basically, unless it was going to interfere with that machine's operation, it's a harmless change. If you had to redirect something important, like maybe google.com, then it might impact being able to use that machine. But, since that machine isn't likely to be accessing production.replaytv.net, it won't interfere if you tell that machine to send requests for production.replaytv.net to WiRNS instead...

Basically, it's all in how you look at name resolution. Having production.replaytv.net resolve to the WiRNS IP address, or having <hostname> resolve to the WiRNS IP address doesn't really matter. You could change the name inside the Replay using the mechanism you are talking about, but the end result is that the Replay is going to ask "something" to resolve the name and you want it to resolve to the WiRNS IP address. In this case, it doesn't make it any simpler to accomplish by changing the name that the SS asks for. And, because the way the list of names works in the SS, it really makes it harder and implementing the feature won't be very simple. However, editing the hosts file on the machine that is accepting the telephone connection is extremely easy (how easy is it to edit a text file?). As I have posted above, all you have to do is type in the different names that you want to change with the WiRNS IP address, and you're done! Pretty simple!

Henry
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 03, 2008 4:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Henry, I guess I'm not doing a good job explaining what I want to do.

I understand your point that IF I HAD CONTROL over the "Replay connecting machine", that would be the place to modify name resolution.

But, under normal operation, my showstopper and replaytv's dial a public network (Earthlink, for example). I have no control over how Earthlink handles name resolution. And I don't want to build my own personal Earthlink.

What I can do is create a "temporary Earthlink" so that I can temporarily route the replaytv connection to my own WiRNS. I was hoping WiRNS could be configured to send a custom RNS host response as documented in Ian's Network Specification.

After that custom RNS host response, subsequent dial connects could go over "an Earthink" and my replaytvs would be http connected to the custom RNS host (a proxy for my personal WiRNS) that was sent in that temporary configuration.

To use your words: "but the end result is that the Replay is going to ask "something" to resolve the name and you want it to resolve to the WiRNS IP address." Again, I point out that the "something" is not in my control, so what I need to do is ask that "something" for a valid Internet IP name resolution. That IP name will resolve to a simple Internet hosted redirection script that will point at my "stuff" (a firewall that will route to my WiRNS).

OK, if nothing else, have I explained what I'm trying to do?

Thanks for reading - Jon
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 03, 2008 11:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

OK, I get it now. You said "Freesco dial", and I didn't see the "single" part. It wasn't clear that you wanted to try to reconfigure the SS in some way and then use the regular dial up (even though you said that as well at the end of the first paragraph). What you'd really like to do is to be able to use the dial up in the SS BUT be able to configure the DNS addresses as you can do with a 4xxx/5xxx. I'm not sure I understand the point of a one-shot setup and not being able to use it all the time...

However, if you could get the SS to contact WiRNS "once", then it certainly will respond with the RNS servers. HOWEVER, making that server string configurable won't be very easy. But, I suppose if you get to the point that you think you can get it working I can throw in a registry setting to allow you to modify the server string...

In addition, I'm not sure how you're going to be able to make the SS work with WiRNS the way you want to. WiRNS can provide the channel guide and such, but it depends on the connecting Replay be a network model (4xxx/5xxx) in order to obtain the recording schedule information and recorded show information. It may be possible for you to schedule new recordings through WiRNS, but since it won't know existing recording schedules, you won't be able to edit recording schedules. Again, this will have to be some more "try it an see" stuff. And, actually, I don't think you're going to be able to get WiRNS to do anything with the SS because it has to be able to "see" it in order to configure it to do anything with the SS. I don't know if the SS will respond to the network discovery or not, but I wouldn't think likely not since I would assume that was something added to the 4xxx/5xxx protocol...

So, I suggest since you have to be able to perform the "one time" connection, anyways, that you get it all set up talking to WiRNS by modifying the hosts file on the Freesco machine (which is the only way you're going to get the "one time" connection to transfer control to WiRNS in the first place), and see what all you can do via WiRNS. It may be that the whole process is pointless if you can't accomplish what you are hoping to...

Henry
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 03, 2008 12:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks again for the quick reply. I see I made bad assumption. You said:
"WiRNS can provide the channel guide and such, but it depends on the connecting Replay be a network model (4xxx/5xxx) in order to obtain the recording schedule information and recorded show information."

I made the simplistic assumption that WiRNS could do what the my.replaytv.com pages used to do. There seemed to be two way communication between the replaytv's and my.replaytv.com in that locally scheduled recordings would show up on the website after the nightly dial connection.

I wonder why Ian is running the configuration he mentioned above - that is freesco and WiRNS?

In any event, thanks again for your time Henry!
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 03, 2008 12:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

WiRNS DOES capture the my.replaytv.com connection, which is why it can schedule recordings. However, it doesn't monitor the upstream communication and just passes it though because it uses the 4xxx/5xxx networking method to acquire that information, which it does on a regular basis, not just on net connects...

Remember that ReplayPC, DVArchive, WiRNS, etc. were all developed AFTER the 4000 series came out which provides networking capability. However, the 4000 does NOT have remote Replay scheduling, only my.replaytv.com scheduling, so that is why WiRNS even bothers to watch the my.replaytv.com communications at all...

You're not really going to find applications for operating with a non-networking SS made to network. The networking applications assume that the unit is network capable. Obviously, getting your SS on a network certainly isn't going to make it possible to use with DVArchive (although, you might be able to do some things with ReplayPC)...

Anyway, sorry to report that WiRNS has no reason to be getting the show recording information via the net connect to my.replaytv.com, so it just doesn't work that way...

Henry
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 03, 2008 2:03 pm    Post subject: Re: Wirns from 3xxx again. Reply with quote

jonwz wrote:
I just ran across Ian's RNS document and see the "Get RNS server name" http request.


Just out of curiosity, where did you find this?

Henry
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 03, 2008 2:13 pm    Post subject: Re: Wirns from 3xxx again. Reply with quote

http://www.darkwoods.com/mirrors/replaytv/rns014.pdf
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 03, 2008 2:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks! Since his pages seem to be nonfunctional, I was having a hard time finding where the information was archived. I'm trying to maintain my own archive of these types of things...

Henry
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 03, 2008 2:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

By the way, did you read this documentation on setting up your own RNS server and changing the server names?

Henry
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 03, 2008 2:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

jonwz wrote:
I wonder why Ian is running the configuration he mentioned above - that is freesco and WiRNS?


Where did you find mention of the combination of Freesco and WiRNS?

By the way, I am just thinking of another stumbling block. The way WiRNS works, you configure the Replay to "talk" to WiRNS so that it intercepts all the traffic and you DON'T change the names of the servers the Replay wants to talk to. WiRNS can then pick and choose which messages it wants to do anything with and which ones to just send through. If you change the name of the server that the Replay sends the requests for, then WiRNS will receive the requests with that server name in them, and will try to pass many of them through. Except, that since you've changed the names of the servers, they won't go through! They will go right back to WiRNS and it will try to send them on again (likely). So, part of the operation is that the requests have the correct server name in them so they can be passed on. You may be able to change the hosts file in Windows that WiRNS is using (or, maybe even use wirns.hosts) to get the server name to go back to Replay instead. But, it is going to take a lot of experimenting to see what works and what doesn't, and how to get around what doesn't...

Henry
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 04, 2008 7:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Henry, from the start of this thread:
ijprest wrote:
FWIW, I'm running FREESCO as a VMware virtual machine on the same system as WiRNS. (You should be able to use VMware Server, which is a free download.)


hdonzis wrote:
By the way, did you read this documentation on setting up your own RNS server and changing the server names?
Henry

I was hoping to hear from the experts on the work that's already been done before poking around too much myself. OK, I did read through that document, this section sounds promising:
Quote:
Finally the "MyReplayTV" link shows a listing of all your units. (Obviously, the list will be empty until such time as you've made a successful connection.) Clicking the link for each unit will display a list of the ReplayChannels and recorded programs on that unit (akin to the ReplayGuide). It is not yet possible to create new channels, or delete shows or channels, but this functionality is planned for the future.

But I don't have the skills to dig through code and make modifications. I guess Ian no longer participates here?

Then again, maybe no modifications of his replacement RNS host are mandatory if he's already coded in the "proper" reply to the get RNS Server names.
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 04, 2008 7:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

jonwz wrote:
Henry, from the start of this thread:
ijprest wrote:
FWIW, I'm running FREESCO as a VMware virtual machine on the same system as WiRNS. (You should be able to use VMware Server, which is a free download.)


Oh! I believe you read more into that than what he intended. I think he was just pointing out that he is using VMWare to allow running multiple things on a single computer. I would suspect he is using WiRNS for maybe a 55xx ReplayTV or something like that. Since he is a developer, he probably was just explaining that he has a single machine set up to allow him to run multiple things on it. I certainly wouldn't have read into it that he was specifically running both things because he was using them in conjunction. Lots of people run WiRNS on a VMWare machine, and I think Ian is just one of them, which makes "playing around" easier. I certainly haven't seen anything in any of his documents which say anything about being able to use the two softwares together in conjunction...

jonwz wrote:
hdonzis wrote:
By the way, did you read this documentation on setting up your own RNS server and changing the server names?
Henry

I was hoping to hear from the experts on the work that's already been done before poking around too much myself. OK, I did read through that document, this section sounds promising:
Quote:
Finally the "MyReplayTV" link shows a listing of all your units. (Obviously, the list will be empty until such time as you've made a successful connection.) Clicking the link for each unit will display a list of the ReplayChannels and recorded programs on that unit (akin to the ReplayGuide). It is not yet possible to create new channels, or delete shows or channels, but this functionality is planned for the future.

But I don't have the skills to dig through code and make modifications. I guess Ian no longer participates here?

Then again, maybe no modifications of his replacement RNS host are mandatory if he's already coded in the "proper" reply to the get RNS Server names.


Well, since Ian might be getting email notices of the postings in this forum, maybe he will pop in and clarify...

However, playing with Ian's scripts certainly might be very, very interesting. If it DOES parse the my.replaytv.com connection from the SS, it is possible that something could be made from that. I guess what he is missing is the component that WiRNS fills in, namely the show scheduling. Maybe a possible solution would be to either write a program to translate the output of Ian's script into a snapshot file that WiRNS could understand, or to have Ian's script be able to use the scheduling file generated by WiRNS to send to the SS. In order to remote schedule, WiRNS simply builds a file on the local drive with the my.replaytv.com messages to request the scheduling. When the Replay net connects, WiRNS simply inserts the contents of the file into the stream communication. That file is already formatted to simply send to the Replay to request the scheduling changes...

I'm not sure what all it would take to get schedule editing to work. Either Ian's script or WiRNS would have to know about BOTH scheduled recordings and making schedule changes. Since Ian's script already takes care of so much since it was for SS control in the first place, finishing it up to make scheduling changes would be really cool! However, it might be possible that if you could at least provide WiRNS with the snapshot information that it needs to get the Replay information, maybe it could be made to work that way...

Either way, it's going to take some more hacking and a lot of experiments!

Henry
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 04, 2008 8:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Henry, there was thread called "Newbie question about WiRNS-like function for 2000 series" that ended in 2005.

Things ended up here:
ijprest wrote:
Well, I got it working by adding the DNS server to FREESCO.

It would have been a lot easier, if I had noticed that the real RNS server went and changed the server name to production.replaytv.net (from the old one: rns.replaytv.net). I spent sever hours trying to figure out why my DNS wasn't working, only to discover that it was.

Now that I've got it working, I'll port my setup over to WiRNS in the next few days. No doubt I'll have lots of questions!


The whole thread is interesting. Glenn1963 said he was using WiRNS with his Showstopper.

http://planetreplay.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?p=38899&highlight=#38899
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 04, 2008 8:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yep, that's some interesting reading!

You can see that he had to change how the DNS worked to get it all working (which is what I was explaining from the start).

The question is, what did this all accomplish and what was the point of getting WiRNS involved? Glenn is still around but I don't know if he has a SS any longer. You could certainly PM him or maybe he will jump into this conversation to see what he was able to get working way back when...

HOWEVER, all of this is about using a dedicated dial in system, not trying to fool the SS into connecting into WiRNS instead. No mention of needing to change the RNS server names and things like that...

So, I don't know what the purpose of this all was, and I'm not sure how far they got with it all working. You could certainly try PM'ing Ian as well to see if he can recollect what he got working. With the way things currently are, I'm not sure how WiRNS even got configured to communicate with the SS in the first place. There are lots of "special" tests in WiRNS to skip doing certain things. But, without the instructions that never got posted, I have no idea how things were setup. You could certainly try asking Glenn if he remembers how he configured things. WiRNS version 0.6 is a really, really long time ago!

Henry
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 04, 2008 12:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ah, the good old days

This is the Avs forum thread that started me down that path.

I had WiRNS serving the channel guide to my 2000 through a linux box that basically acted as a replacement for the Replay ISP. It just accepts an noauth dialup connection and becomes a ppp server.

I believe it gets set up to use the WiRNS server as a gateway, so WiRNS can intercept what it needs to and provide the channel guide, just as it does directly with a networked Replay.

The Freesco solution was just easier since it could be done on a floppy. I never tried it.

In theory the same thing could be done with Windows, except the Replay user id (the Replay sends a user id / password to connect) is one character longer than what Windows will accept for a dialup connection, and Windows will not accept an unauthenticated dialup connection. It is possible to hack the id in the Replay to make it one character shorter, but that's a bit of fun also.
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hdonzis
Planet Overlord


Joined: 05 Jan 2005
Posts: 9021
Location: San Antonio, TX

PostPosted: Thu Dec 04, 2008 1:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ah, but you had a real need because you are outside the US and couldn't get a reasonable channel guide listing without using WiRNS (which was the original purpose of WiRNS before the 5500 came out). And, you were only trying to get a channel guide out of your setup...

So, what did you do for scheduling and such? I guess that WiRNS wasn't very useful for making a web interface of your 2K, huh?

Henry

P.S. I was going to IM you this morning to ask you what you got out of using WiRNS, but you weren't online... cry baby
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Glenn1963
Planet Master
Planet Master


Joined: 26 Nov 2004
Posts: 1175
Location: Castlegar, BC

PostPosted: Thu Dec 04, 2008 1:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yep, just channel guide. Scheduling was done the usual way, like barbarians
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hdonzis
Planet Overlord


Joined: 05 Jan 2005
Posts: 9021
Location: San Antonio, TX

PostPosted: Thu Dec 04, 2008 3:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the link to the very old discussion! From it I can ascertain that Ian was also trying to make his SS work in Canada and that was his need for WiRNS. It's kind of a shame, then, because he had done all that proxy work to be able to provide a channel guide to his SS without using WiRNS. There could have been some collaboration at the time to see about integrating the my.replaytv.com (xact) so that full program scheduling would have been available...

Back to Jon, I think that the scheduling will be a problem. You can only schedule a recording for a Replay that is known to WiRNS. Getting WiRNS to know your SS is going to be difficult. If all you wanted to accomplish was getting a channel guide into your SS, then using either Ian's scripts or WiRNS would definitely be the answer. But, as far as replacing my.replaytv.com, that's going to be something else...

Henry
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jonwz
Replay user
Replay user


Joined: 05 Nov 2007
Posts: 69

PostPosted: Fri Dec 05, 2008 5:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the discussion. At this point, I think I'd get most value from Ian's scripts as they supposedly allow display of the myreplay data. That's probably my biggest annoyance with multiple units - I have no idea what's recorded where until I manually scroll through each one. Back in the good old myreplay days I'd keep an IE browser window up for one myreplay login, and a firefox for another.

I tried PM'ing Ian. No reply. Would be great if anyone could share some experience with Ian's work.
I have a linux hosting service that I'd love to use, but I think Ian's work relies on a proxy that needs a linux PC.

Can anybody help with all his great work?
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ijprest
Replay newbie
Replay newbie


Joined: 30 Dec 2001
Posts: 20

PostPosted: Fri Jan 30, 2009 7:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sheesh... disappear for a few years and all hell breaks loose.

As it seems you've already pieced together, I've got my Replay 3xxx dialing in (via a line simulator) to Freesco, which is VMware-hosted on a Windows PC.

Freesco is configured to accept the dial-up connection (which non-server versions of Windows can't handle, for reasons Glenn described above), and serve DNS to the Replay. Most DNS requests are transparent, but any requests for production.replaytv.net are redirected to the WindowsPC host, which is running WiRNS.

WiRNS is used to actually serve up guide data. (I wanted to switch to using WiRNS---after many years of using my own solution---because I was retiring the linux PC that was running my proxy server.) Because I didn't change any of the DNS entries on the Windows PC itself, WiRNS can request data from production.replaytv.net without any troubles.

Other than the guide-data stuff last year (labs.zap2it.com closing, etc.), the entire solution has been remarkably stable since I set it up. (In 2005?... wow.) I mostly ignore it, and only think about it when my server goes down and I suddenly run out of guide data a week later.

Anyway... as I recall (and it's been probably 2002 since I did any real work on it), I never got around to decoding the MyReplayTV entries. Well... I decoded enough of them so that I could completely take over the RNS server responsibilities, but not enough to actually recreate MyReplayTV.

If you were truly determined, I'm sure it would be possible to get working (though if the real RNS server no longer does it, it would probably require lots of extremely painful trial and error). But, frankly, since the 3xxx's only connect once a day, I never found MyReplayTV to be very useful anyway. (I've got a Slingbox in my current setup, so if I ever want to remotely schedule a recording, I just connect to the Replay and do it directly!)

Anyway... I've updated my profile's email address, so I'll actually get notifications now. If you've got specific questions, fire away and I'll try to answer them.
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