DBSTalk Forum banner
Status
Not open for further replies.
1 - 20 of 65 Posts

· AllStar
Joined
·
88 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well, I got bored today and opened up my 721. I installed RedHat 7.3 onto a junker machine I had sitting around.

I didn't pull out the harddrive from the 721, as that would void my warranty because there is a sticker keeping you from removing the drive. So, I just set the 721 on top of my PC's open case and ran a power and IDE cable into it and onto the harddrive. I connected it as a second harddrive to my PC.

I booted up Linux from the primary drive and I ran fdisk on /dev/sdc, which is the 721's drive in this instance. It appears to be a Maxtor 4G120J6 ATA UDMA w/ 2048KB Cache drive.

"fdisk -l /dev/hdc" output shows the following:
Code:
Disk /dev/hdc: 255 heads, 63 sectors, 14946 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 bytes

   Device Boot    Start       End    Blocks   Id  System
/dev/hdc1             1        32    256000+  83  Linux
Partition 1 does not end on cylinder boundary:
     phys=(507, 15, 63) should be (507, 254, 63)
/dev/hdc2            32     14947 119804832    5  Extended
Partition 2 does not end on cylinder boundary:
     phys=(1023, 15, 63) should be (1023, 254, 63)
/dev/hdc5            32       163   1048792+  83  Linux
/dev/hdc6           163       294   1048792+  83  Linux
/dev/hdc7           294       310    131512+  82  Linux swap
/dev/hdc8           310     14947 117575608+  83  Linux
Unfortunately, it appears that these partitions are not ext2 or ext3, but xfs. XFS is a filesystem created by SGI for IRIX, to the best of my knolwedge after 3 minute search. I'm currently downloading an SGI installer for XFS for Redhat 7.3. Then I hope to be able to mount these partitions.

I might be able to get that done before stuff needs to record tonight, but I doubt it.. If not, I'll probably attempt again tomorrow during the morning/day.

Oh, the PCI looking slot on the main board of the 721 doesn't look like it'll fit a PCI card. It's much more similar to the VESA Localbus connector, but without the ISA part. Not sure what you'd put in there. It certainly won't be the size of a standard PC expansion board, though!

I'll have my digital camera tomorrow if you want zoomed in photos of something in particular.

Ciao!
-Kyoo
 

· Goblin the Pug
Joined
·
4,885 Posts
By itself, knowing the file format does nothing. Its just a first step. If the file format is simular to something already on the market, it just makes it all the easier to "hack" the device. The advantages of this are numerous. One could add a larger hard drive or second drive, increasing capacity. This has been done with Tivo's for some time now.

Also it may be possible to copy the video files off and store them elsewhere, freeing up capacity yet retaining the information.

And of course there are numerous other hacks one might want to make to increase functionallity, such as networking the units.
 

· Damn you woman!
Joined
·
5,205 Posts
I would assume its illegal to mess with the operating system of a 721. I know that Tivo frowns on it. They seem not to worry about upgrading hard drives as long as you don't change the operating system. Its also a violation of this site to talk about hacking the hardware/software.
 
G

·
I would hazard that "hacking" as the traditional definition defines it is well within the scope of this board as long as it does not allow illegal reception of programming.

"hacking" as the media defines it is really "cracking" and encompasses things like test cards, emulators, and other such nastiness.
 

· Damn you woman!
Joined
·
5,205 Posts
Well if Dish says you can't modify the software, then that would be hacking. If not then who cares... I don't have a 721 to look at the "fine print", but I would assume that messing with the OS would be a violation...
 

· AllStar
Joined
·
77 Posts
Hmm, so /dev/hdc1 is probably /boot, thought it is a little large for that so it might be the whole / partition. /dev/hdc5 and /dev/hdc6 might be / and /usr or /usr and /home, though i dunno what you'd need a /home for.

128 megs of swap.. anyone know how much ram the thing has?

/dev/hd8 is obviously the recording partition, and might not have any filesystem persay.

The cool thing to do would be to enable USB network adapters, plug one in, create a user account, turn on telnetd, and log into your 721.

Personally, being able to log onto a PVR and set a recording I forget from work would be a really cool feature =)
 
G

·
The GPL license of Linux overrides any superceding license Dish might want to try.

Of course the PVR app itself is most likely not GPL, so editing that could be a voilation of Dish's license, but I don't think they can legally stop you from mucking with the OS since it's GPL'd
 

· Damn you woman!
Joined
·
5,205 Posts
You can modify your syetem all you want, but Dish doesn't want people messing with the system and then calling them because the unit won't boot. I'm sure Chris doesn't want Dish to harp on him for letting people trade this kind of info on his board. There are plenty of other places that have this stuff. If its out of warranty, then go right ahead. I've modified my Tivo to display caller id, but if it breaks, then thats my problem.

A violation of Dish's agreement, not the Linux agreement. There a thousands of Tivo hack sites, but I don't think this board is the place to discuss hacking Tivos or 721s.
 
G

·
Originally posted by James_F
Well if Dish says you can't modify the software, then that would be hacking.
Who cares what they say? If Ford says that it is illegal for you to look under the hood of the car that you BOUGHT, does that mean anything in the court of law? Absolutely nothing. If you are not stealing TV programming or pirating their PVR software (not sure why or how you'd want to do that), they can scare you all they want but they don't have a legal leg to stand on.

As for using known formats. Perhaps they've just finally figured out that it's not worth to spend the time and $$$ reinventing the wheel and coming up with a new filesystem because it will be hacked eventually anyway (as Tivo, Dishplayer and 501 cases have shown). And if you use a well-known, tested and proven journaling file system like xfs, you are also likely to avoid a lot of the racing condition bugs that have plagued Dishplayer and 501
 
G

·
BTW, speaking of GPL - has anyone yet gotten them to release their modifications to the Linux kernel? If there indeed where any - it's very likely that they just took some existing kernel release, wrote a bunch of drivers for their own hardware for it (they aren't obligated to release source for that, since they are dynamically linked in and Linus's license excludes them from the GPL requirements) and their own user-level software... Anyway, someone (preferably a 721 user who actually has some rights because of his purchase) should ask them about that
 

· Hall Of Fame
Joined
·
7,657 Posts
I would think that if they sell whatever you are trying to accomplish and that it would cost the company money if you would do such hacking, then it would be illegal, but if it would not cost them anything, and would be like a hobby or to see what could be done, then I would think it would be legal.
 

· Damn you woman!
Joined
·
5,205 Posts
Originally posted by Guest


Who cares what they say? If Ford says that it is illegal for you to look under the hood of the car that you BOUGHT, does that mean anything in the court of law? Absolutely nothing. If you are not stealing TV programming or pirating their PVR software (not sure why or how you'd want to do that), they can scare you all they want but they don't have a legal leg to stand on.

As for using known formats. Perhaps they've just finally figured out that it's not worth to spend the time and $$$ reinventing the wheel and coming up with a new filesystem because it will be hacked eventually anyway (as Tivo, Dishplayer and 501 cases have shown). And if you use a well-known, tested and proven journaling file system like xfs, you are also likely to avoid a lot of the racing condition bugs that have plagued Dishplayer and 501
You are confusing two issues. Yes the operating system is governed by the GPL, but the software that runs the 721 isn't. This isn' t like a car where you can change the air filter and get better performance. The hardware and software is copyrighted by Dish. You cannot modify it. Therefore you are hacking the system by adding features. If you just want to load a chess game up, there there is no problem, but if you modify the system so that the game shows up on the menu, then you are hacking it.
 

· Damn you woman!
Joined
·
5,205 Posts
Originally posted by Guest
BTW, speaking of GPL - has anyone yet gotten them to release their modifications to the Linux kernel? If there indeed where any - it's very likely that they just took some existing kernel release, wrote a bunch of drivers for their own hardware for it (they aren't obligated to release source for that, since they are dynamically linked in and Linus's license excludes them from the GPL requirements) and their own user-level software... Anyway, someone (preferably a 721 user who actually has some rights because of his purchase) should ask them about that
I think you'd be surprised how little they modified the kernel. I had seen a post on TivoCommunity talking about the modifications to the Tivo Kernel and not much was changed. They removed much of the system so it would boot faster, but as far as them changing it, they didn't do much. I'll try and find the thread later tonight.
 

· Damn you woman!
Joined
·
5,205 Posts
Originally posted by bfennema
You own the hardware... As long as your not stealing content or violating someones copyright, your not breaking the law.

You might break your warranty though =)
I am sure they own the rights to the PVR software that allows the 721 to record, play and view the signal. You'd break the warranty and the law. :(
 
1 - 20 of 65 Posts
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top