Archive for May, 2011

Uganda Telecom 3G Mobile Internet Down

As UTL 3G users in Uganda have noticed, Internet access via 3G has been down since 19 May 2011. While other clients on ADSL etc lines are active, the performance is really poor. If you have called the customer care center hotline (300), the best you will hear each time is ‘Our technicians are working on the problem …. blah blah blah’ Come on guys you can do better than this!

UPDATE: As of 6pm 24 May 2011, 3G service seems to have been restored. 5 days later . Wow…

Hauppauge WinTV MiniStick on Linux – Digital TV in Uganda

As Uganda prepares to migrate to digital TV broadcasts in 2012, I have been testing some of the pilot broadcasts out there. I’m using Linux i.e. Fedora 12 – Kernel version: 2.6.32.21-168.fc12.i686 and an off-the shelf USB Hauppauge WinTV MiniStick.

– The first major task is to get the DVB-T USB stick to be recognized.
– Open the terminal: run the command ‘tail -f /var/log/messages’

The first time you insert the USB Stick. It will not be recognized out of the box as shown in the following errors:

firmware: requesting sms1xxx-hcw-55xxx-dvbt-02.fw
firmware.sh[4212]: Cannot find firmware file ‘sms1xxx-hcw-55xxx-dvbt-02.fw

– Remove WinTV USB stick

– cd /lib/firmware/

– wget -c http://www.steventoth.net/linux/sms1xxx/sms1xxx-hcw-55xxx-dvbt-02.fw

– Plug in Stick again

– This time it is recognized and you’ll see the following in the log:

kernel: DVB: registering new adapter (Hauppauge WinTV MiniStick)
kernel: DVB: registering adapter 0 frontend 0 (Siano Mobile Digital MDTV Receiver)…

– OK, time to scan for some channels. I have whipped up a quick and dirty script that will allow you to scan for free view channels in your area.

– Download the script at: My DVB-T Scan Script
NOTE: For this script you need to first install w_scan utility i.e. In Fedora, yum -vy install w_scan

– Run the script i.e. sh vb_scan_ug.sh (You may need to first make it executable – chmod 755 vb_scan_ug.sh)

– After a successful run, the script will place your channels file to the appropriate location.

– Time to play. Open your favorite media application. I am using xine.
Run the command: xine dvb:// (You can also use the GUI – click on DVB)

Enjoy