Basic Slicer and firmware upgrade questions
First of all, let me apologize for my basic questions, but I'm a little confused about Slicer's usage model (among other things).
The Slicer release notes state:
The Slicer is a tool designed to allow your modified TiVo to accept and install a software update ...
It's the word "accept" that I'm a little confused about. Slicer has nothing to do with the process of receiving an update (thereby "accepting" it), right? Instead, Slicer can process an update that has already been downloaded and install it while preserving utilities such as ftp, telnet, etc. Correct?
So the upgrade process is that my DirecTiVo with a PTVnet HDD will automatically download the update from DirecTV but due to some magic tweak it will not be allowed to install it. Once I notice an updated has been downloaded, I can run 'slicer' to install it. Am I close?
But if my DirecTiVo disables the automatic installation of firmware updates that have been downloaded, why can't I connect the phone line and allow daily calls to occur?
Thanks in advance; and again, sorry for the basic questions.
Last edited by Lou Jacob; 09-13-2007 at 07:27 AM.
Reason: formatting issues
First off, let me provide this link, so that folks understand the references you are making. Secondly, as a reminder, The Slicer is a tool intended for advanced users, so if everything doesn't make sense, that is OK; you may need to further your experience and skills in some other basic areas before something like The Slicer makes sense to you and would actually be considered a benefit.
Originally Posted by mj1
In reviewing your question, I think you have a general idea of what the tool is intended to do. But just to clear a few things up:
We are talking about software here (what is installed on the hard drive) not firmware; there have been no firmware updates to these units and to my knowledge, a firmware update can't happen (unless you remove a particular chip and replace it with a programmable one), so that is not an issue.
The point of The Slicer is that many people will hack their units (or use PTVnet) for networking and disable the "automatic update" feature so that their modifications are not accidentally overwritten by a new version of the software.
The Slicer is intended to give people a way to migrate to a later release of the software, and copy over basic networking hacks to the new version so that the system can be updated without losing basic network connectivity.
The process for units to upgrade on their own is different depending upon the type of unit. With DirecTV TiVo units, the new software versions are often downloaded "passively" via the satellite and placed into a database, but not actually installed; The Slicer can invoke the installation process (or you can do it manually) provided those "slices" are present. In some cases, The Slicer can "pull" those slices from our server, if we have them, but that is not always the case.
Now, to answer your direct question about the phone line... The reason we recommend you don't plug in the phone line is because we've ATTEMPTED to suppress the automatic installation of any newer software; but since that process is invoked by making a daily call (either by phone OR by Internet, if you've configured it that way), we don't think its a good idea to tempt fate.
Specifically, using the UPGRADESOFTWARE=FALSE command on the bootpage seems to suppress the installation of new versions of the software (which will overwrite PTVnet changes), however making the daily phone call will tell the unit to TRY to install it every night at 2am after rebooting your system. We don't want to see your unit rebooting every day and attempting to install the software, even though there is probably not harm in it, there is nothing good that can come from it.
So, the bottom line, if you have a PTVnet kit from us, is this:
- keep your phone line unplugged
- use directv.com (or call them) if you want to purchase PPV
- if there is a later version of the software for your unit and you think it offers features that you want, consider the use of The Slicer, but also check to ensure it is supported for that version and that people are using it successfully
- if you decide to use The Slicer, ensure you have serial cable, in case you lose network connectivity
- make a backup of your drive before you use The Slicer in case you screw up and need to start all over again - especially if you are unsure of the outcome; advanced users tend to fly by the seat of their pants when they are more comfortable with things...
Hope that helps!!!
Thanks for your reply, Lou. That helped clear things up for me.