Archive for January, 2006

ModernBill Coupon Code

January 17, 2006

I am trying out ModernBill for a project I am working on, but the demo version encrypts all the files which prevents me from doing much customization. I decided to try out the leased license for a while. I came across this coupon code and suprisingly it is still valid. Get your first month (leased license) for only $0.50.



eBay, Seller Beware

January 12, 2006

I decided to put my Tablet PC on eBay a few days ago and am shocked at the number of people trying to scam me. Let me recount the last few days:

  1. Jan-09-06 18:57:08 PSTInitial listing. Buy It Now price of $800.
  2. Jan-10-06 00:05:25 PST– Auction ended via Buy It Now by gretdson25.
  3. Jan-10-06 00:09 PST– Received this message from


    Season’s Greetings to you.I am Garret Hudson from Newellton,Louisana,US.I’m
    contacting you concerning your item on Ebay which i eventually became the winning
    bidder for your item.Morever i’m presently serving our beloved nation here in Iraq
    with the United Nation and i intend sending this item to my wife who works with the
    American Embassy in Nigeria as a visa Officer.You shouldn’t worry about the shipping fees to her okay?.I’ll take care of it with my Personal FedEx Account # after payment so you won’t need to pay any money when mailing it to her over there.I will be making my payment to you via PayPal,So get the package ready for immediate or next day shipment okay.Make sure you send me your PayPal Email Address so i can
    immediately make out my payment to you for this item purchase.You are to mail it out immediately you get the confirmation mail from PayPal.Mail me back it’s urgent.


    Total scam and user is no longer registered. Report scam to eBay and relist item.

  4. Jan-10-06 07:23:31 PSTSecond listing. Buy It Now price of $800.
  5. Jan-10-06 14:38:47 PST – Second auction ended via Buy It Now by raba_wibuy1catq.
  6. Jan-10-06 17:10 PST – Received this message from

    Hello,i want you to know that i will pay you through western union money order,stating that funds has been approved and confirmation will be send to you,Basically i ‘ll be handling the shipment with my personal accout with fedex courier kindly provide me your valid contact name and address and your valid phone number so that i can forward it to western union so that theycan proceed on the payment confirmation right away,so i want you to get back to me on time beforei can made the payment…Thanks

    Sign up for FREE email from at

    Looks like another scam. The users registered address in “Washington, NC” does not exist according to Google or Mapquest. Just in case, I remind the user that only PayPal payments are accepted as specified in the auction. No response. I try to notify eBay of an unpaid item, but have to wait 7 days.

  7. Jan-11-06 12:43:13 PSTThird listing. I’ve learned my lesson. Don’t use Buy It Now. Added disclaimer about bid retractions at the bottom of the listing. My eBay bill is approaching $40. I hope they refund me for the two previous listings.
  8. Jan-11-06 16:14 PST – Received this message from philip_s28 (no longer a registered eBay user).

    Dear Seller,
    I am a medical Doctor from Randallstown, Md in the US.I am a medical research program in West Africa in connection with the World Health Organization(WHO). I would need your item for my private usage here.I will like to know the present working conditions of the item.Does it have it’s accessories and it’s box.
    I will be offering US$1,500 dollars for the item including shipping via USPS down here. I will be making payment via (United State Postal Service Money Order).I can increase my offer if the offer is not enough.I need this
    item urgently so i would be expecting a quick respose from you.
    Please reply with your email address where i could contact you to.


    Dr smith…..

    Man, for being a “medical doctor” (or “medical research program”, I’m not sure) from Maryland, his English sure is poor.

  9. Jan-11-06 16:31 PST – Received this message from goke42tt-goke10 (no longer a registered eBay user).

    Am highly interested in your item placed on EBAY. Am willing to offer you US$3,700 for this item and I want the Laptop to ship to Nigeria, Please make enquiry about the shipping cost to Nigeria by [USPS Global Express EMS 3-5 Days Delivery Service] and get back to me with the shipping cost as soon as possible.
    Am willing to make the payment by International MoneyGram,which is a Money Order that will be issue on your name and be send to your given address.
    Please reply me with your personal E-mail Address.

    Best Regards
    Goke Adedoja.

    Wow, Goke’s willing to buy my tablet for a lot of money! He could buy two new ones for that price. Oh… wait, its a scam. He doesn’t plan on paying me.

  10. Jan-11-06 19:19 PST – 3 hours later, I get an email from eBay’s Trust & Safety Department

    Dear peter.m.b.:

    Our records indicate that you recently sent an email to or received an email from philip_s28 through the eBay email system (for example, you may have sent an email to this member through Ask Seller a Question or received an email from this member through Contact eBay Member).

    Sometimes eBay accounts are used to send email solicitations for transactions outside of eBay, or to send unrelated questions in hopes that you will respond so that the other party can obtain your email address. We wanted you to be aware of the potential fraud risk these solicitations pose and encourage you to be cautious about the email you received from this member.

    Please keep in mind, sales that take place outside of eBay are not eligible for any eBay or PayPal protective services and you run the risk of losing your money or your item if you complete these transactions. We would encourage you to review the eBay pages related to Fraud Protection at the address provided below for information on steps you can take to ensure that your transactions are successful:

    If you have already sent the item or sent payment for the item, please reply to this email and we will send you additional information about how to protect yourself.


    Trust & Safety Department

  11. Jan-11-06 19:24 PST – Another email from eBay’s Trust & Safety Department, this time warning me about goke42tt-goke10 .
  12. Jan-11-06 21:55 PST – Received a message from thebestbstontheworld

    is there a buyit now price or best offer thanks nice tablet by the way

    Surprisingly, contact from a reputable eBay user. I’ll send this link to him to explain why there is no Buy It Now price.

It’s a bummer these people are ruining a great service. Let me know if you have had a similar experience.
I’ll keep this updated as I imagine the scammers are not done yet.

Digg This

Looks like philip_s28 is either back at it again or he used a form letter. See here.

I can’t believe somebody is willing to risk $400 (the current bid on this tablet) on a seller with no feedback! I guess that is the reason there are so many of these con-artists out there, occasionally it does work. Same goes with spam. The worst thing that could happen to spammers would be for people to stop responding to it.

MythTV on CentOS part 2

January 3, 2006

I finally got around to rebuilding my FC2 MythTV box with CentOS 4. For the most part, I followed Jarod’s Guide, but I did need to make some adjustments. This is mostly from memory, so let me know if you catch any mistakes.

I’ll follow Jarod’s numbering scheme:

6. Configure 3rd-party package repositories
Your /etc/yum.repos.d/apt.repo should look like this:
name=ATrpms for Enterprise Linux $releasever - $basearch
name=ATrpms for Enterprise Linux $releasever - $basearch
name=ATrpms for Enterprise Linux $releasever - $basearch

freshrpms does not have a EL4 repo so I went with Dag instead. /etc/yum.repos.d/apt.repo should look like this:
name = Dag
enabled = 0
baseurl =$basearch/dag/
gpgcheck = 1

I chose not to enable it and only use it when a package was missing, but you would probably be ok to just enable it. If you want to turn it on temporarily, you can use it like this:
# yum --enablerepo=dag install xine

7. Get and install video card drivers
nVidia drivers worked fine. (current version is 8178)

8. Audio setup
Haven’t gone there yet. OSS works out of the box.

9. Get and install MythTV
No problems.

10. Get and install capture card driver(s)
For ivtv-based cards (PVR-250/350, M179, MPG600, etc):
Atrpms install of IVTV failed for me. Fortunately, installing it from source was a snap.
# yum install kernel-devel ivtv-firmware
$ wget
$ tar xvzf ivtv-0.4.1.tar.gz
$ cd ivtv-0.4.1
$ ./configue --prefix=/usr
$ make
# make install
# cp driver/*.ko /lib/modules/`uname -r`/kernel/drivers/media/video/

Now you should be able to use Jarod’s Guide staring at “Now, edit /etc/modprobe.conf to add ivtv-specific configuration info.”
Note: I did not need the tveeprom or msp3400 lines.

FireWire capture from a supported cable box:
I don’t have a firewire cable box, but I did want firewire support for my dv camcorder. The stock el4 kernel does not have the raw1394 module in it. You can install it with this line:
rpm -ivh

11. Get and install lirc
Haven’t gone there yet.

The rest should be by the book. One other note, el4 suffers from the same faulty urw-fonts package as FC3. This will fix it:
rpm -Uvh --oldpackage

I am testing running an Asterisk@Home install on the same box. I’ll let you know how it goes.