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geek troika podcast mention

I have to thank the geeks over at Geek Troika and their guest Josh Haley (of ffundercats fame) for their mention of myself and my blog.

Check out episode 22: "Boom Tish" via their blog or iTunes.

I have since added an avatar to my friendfeed account. :-)

Geek Troika Geek Troika


Minneapolis / St. Paul International Film Festival April 16-30th 2009

The MSP International Film Festival starts today! Running April 16 - 30th. Films from around the world including a number of Minnesota made films. I'll be seeing a few films this weekend and some scattered throughout the week. Check out some of the buzz and find the parties on, twitter. Google News.


Check Out : Feed My Torrents

UPDATED** Due to legal issues FeedMyTorrents is no longer an active project. Check out my post on ShowRSS to find a better alternative. Looking for a place to get RSS Feeds for your Torrenting needs Check out You can create custom feeds or use the existing clean feeds. Alternatively RSS torrent feeds can be found from most of the trackers. Including

BitTorrent Download Speed 900k Creative Commons License photo credit: veganstraightedge


Scripting RSS Torrent Downloads

the brazilian article that used the RH pix Creative Commons License photo credit: irina slutsky

I had some interesting requirements for my Bittorrent needs. First I wanted to move everything to my linux mediaserver/fileserver. So I needed a way to work with bittorrent files without traditional access to the machine. eg. No screen or windowing system. This led me to TorrentFlux-b4rt, which is a php based web interface to Transmission client meant to be run on apache servers. Second I wanted to ability to download torrents automatically from RSS sources using scripting. This is where the original TorrentFlux had failed me and I went searching. The following is a gathering of scripts I have found and tested. Most scripts require that you have access to Cron scheduling and the python scripting language. And, of course, a bittorrent client that scans a directory looking for torrent files. I am using these scripts in conjunction with rTorrent (a commandline bittorrent client) as well as TorrentFlux-b4rt on various servers.


FlexGet is a program aimed to automate downloading content (torrents, podcasts, etc.) from various sources like RSS-feeds, html-pages, various sites and more. It's most often used to download torrent-files from RSS-feeds and works very well in that environment, but there are additional modules for other kind of situations as well. FlexGet is extremely useful in conjunction with applications and clients which have watch directory support. -

I've been using flexget over the last few weeks and it is my top pick for script to use.


rsstorrent is a very simple RSS torrent downloading script. It does as advertised and is still being developed. Though it lacks the nice documentation of FlexGet.

tvrss member script

This is the script that I had been using for about a year to automate the torrent downloading. It scans the website using an easy to understand configuration file. It worked like a charm for me but I found a new charm with more sparkle.

TED - Torrent Episode Downloader

This is a different way to download torrent episodes. This is not a script. It is a fully functional cross-platform program dedicated RSS Torrents. It is way to heavy for my use. But interesting none the less.

ted can find episodes of any TV show you like to watch. Just add your favorite shows to ted and he will search for the newest episodes and downloads them for you. ted uses bittorrent and RSS technology to get you the newest episodes as fast as possible!

Howto install Torrentflux-b4rt on Ubuntu

What is Torrentflux-b4rt?

What is Torrentflux-b4rt you say? Torrentflux-b4rt is a sophisticated web-based PHP BitTorrent client based off the original Torrentflux. It allows you to use an old linux server as your happily obedient bittorrent client , while you gallivant around town feeding it torrents. Its greatest feature is freeing you from being constantly connected to the internet while downloading.

This guide is intended to be followed by a linux user confident with the command line and in full control of a server they wish to employ the use of TorrentFlux with. Good luck.

Base System

I am going to describe how to setup a basic server with these sources:

  • Ubuntu Server 8.04 LTS (hardy)
  • basic apt sources. (hardy main, hardy-updates main, hardy-securrity main)


Basic Requirements

  • LAMP Stack
  • Python
  • Perl
  • A custom transmission-cli bittorrent client interface

LAMP ( Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP )

A cleaver guide has already been written Installing LAMP On Ubuntu For Newbies.


This gives you a web interface into the MySql server. Greatly simplifies life with MySql.

sudo apt-get install phpmyadmin

Install extra packaged needed for Torrentflux

sudo apt-get install zip unzip unrar php5-cli php5-gd perl python libxml-dom-perl libxml-simple-perl libthreads-shared-perl libdigest-sha1-perl libhtml-parser-perl transmission-cli
These are what I found missing from my install. You may come up with some missing packages 'apt-get' to install packages and google to find the package names.

Install Torrentflux-b4rt

Download the latest package Torrentflux-b4rt package

From your home directory:

cd ~
tar xjvf torrentflux-b4rt_1.0-beta2.tar.bz2

Create the custom Transmission-cli client

Download the Transmission 1.06 Source

cd ~/torrentflux-b4rt_1.0-beta2/clients
tar jxvf transmission-1.06.tar.bz2
tar jxvf transmission-1.06.tar.bz2
tar jxvf Transmission-1.06_tfCLI-svn3356.tar.bz2
cp Transmission-1.06_tfCLI-svn3356/cli/transmissioncli.c transmission-1.06/cli/transmissioncli.c
This overwrites the original source code for the Transmission-cli a new version extended for the Torrentflux-b4rt interface.

Install from Transmission from source

make install
This should install the transmission-cli binary in /usr/local/bin/transmission-cli

Copy the Torrentflux-b4rt html directory to a web visible location

cp ~/torrentflux-b4rt_1.0-beta2/html/ /var/www/torrentflux -R

Create the Torrentflux database and user using PHPMyAdmin

Log Into PHPMyAdmin

Log into your phpmyadmin interface using your MySQL root user/password by going to:


Create the User and Database

Steps to follow from the phpmyadmin frontpage:

  • Click the 'Privileges' link from the home page.
  • Then click on the "Add a new User" link.
  • Create a new user named 'torrentflux', set a strong password, select "Create database with same name and grant all privileges", click go.

Run the TorrentFlux-b4rt setup.php script

Point your browser to:

Follow the directions onscreen to finish the setup. Give it your MySQL username, password, and database name. It should solve the rest.

Additional Resources

In case you get stuck or would like to more information check out these pages: