Torchwood: Children of Earth started in the US on BBC America last night and runs for the next four nights, kind of a mini-series of a season. You can already get Torchwood: Children of Earth at iTunes for $2.99 per episode in HD (or $1.99 for standard). Not bad if you don’t have BBC America in your cable package. Generally, iTunes has been that fast for US shows, but I don’t think they’ve been that fast with the BBC shows (or maybe it just seems longer since the BBC airs them so much earlier in the UK). I’m not sure what they’ll charge for the whole season once it’s available later this week (Torchwood seasons Season’s One and Two episodes are only $1.99 for HD and $0.99 for standard definition and you don’t even have to buy the whole season).
Articles tagged with: DVD
DVD stands for Digital Versatile Disc (I bet you thought the V was for Video?). Probably about a movie / video I watched, this would include Blu-Ray DVDs these days. I might be talking about using them for computer backups or something else geeky (they are versatile you know!).
So the new 13-inch MacBooks look nice, but nothing to run out and ditch your current model unless you’ve been waiting for a new one. They have two new metal models and the lower-end white plastic model but still really nice white-plastic model for $999. The processor still tops out at 2.4 GHz on the fastest model (but they upped the bus speed about 33% so that’ll help). The important parts (IMHO) are:
All in all, nice new machines. I’d probably wait until the next speed refresh when they might have some of the bugs out (as many new models have). $1599 for the high end model (plus $150 for a total of 4 GB of memory and $100 for a 320 GB hard drive).
I’d really like the LED display, the backlit keyboard and the metal case (if it is stronger); I’m pretty rough on my machine and my current plastic MacBook just isn’t holding up as well as my old 12 inch iBook.
I’m assuming when they run out of old parts the plastic version will get the same display, new trackpad and same graphic chips (and lose the firewire); or possibly become a metal model, it’s gotta cost them a lot to tool the low end machine completely differently.Later:
Looking at the MacWorld speed tests, comparing 2.4 GHz models (13 inch new, 13 inch last Feb. (mine), and 15 inch), the speed differences are negligible when it comes to plan old processing (even with the 33% bus increase) it’s the PhotoShop (still minor) and Quake (WOW!) where the differences are. Similar results were found by Primate Labs with a 3% overall difference in the 2.4 GHz machines.
I really don’t care what my laptop physically looks like (I want my display to look nice though). I want it functional and preferably small, light and durable. I want features at a good price. If it’s sexy too, that’s a bonus.
I’m dying to see the specs on the new Apple MacBooks next Tuesday (Oct. 14, 2008) but I’m really hoping for more features at a great price (we need more converts). I’m not even in the market for a new laptop but I can’t wait to see. A twelve or eleven inch MacBook might change my mind though; the same goes for a touchscreen (but I’m not expecting that).Personally I like the plastic cases better than the metal, the metal slips out of my hands plus it dents more easily…
Here’s My Dream MacLaptop:
Or for something way smaller: Take a current Macbook, chop off everything below the keyboard (the trackpad area) and shrink the screen to be the same size. Somehow a track pad would have to pop out or something would visually watch your fingers gesture on the table where the trackpad would be. Obviously a DVD drive would not fit in such a machine.
I hadn’t really thought much about it but I see they’ve been releasing TV shows on DVD Blu-Ray, that’ll be nice when the prices go down. I think “they” need to announce when they plan to discontinue regular DVDs. I think they sooner they do this it’ll drive down the cost of Blu-Ray discs and Blu-Ray players and we can all be happier. With the TV format change next year, it seems like this couldn’t be done in the next few years, as long as someone would make an announcement. There has got to be some people holding back because of this!
Speaking of Blu-Ray, Iron Man might be the one to get me to finally take the leap. The effects were so excellent, it’d be a great first one to watch on (my theoretical) new player.
I have purchased a few Blu-Ray DVDs when they’ve been way on sale but still no player for me…
I’ve got a very strict process I follow when copying photos from a camera:
I was in a hurry I wanted to get that stuff done before the train took off, I figured someone would sit next to me since the train is sold out and I wanted to get all the USB SD adaptor and cameras put away.
The first thing I did was that I moved them to a new folder and then something bad happened. I’m not sure if I tried to drag the new folder to my computer too soon or what but I had to force a reboot and they chip is now goofed. I will be using some recovery software on this. I had just quick reformatted the chip so all the files should be sequential so I’m hopeful.
I took lots of photos and video while testing this new camera out with the bloggers and while running around Chicago. I’m so bummed. I guess I’ve got 5 hours on the train to see if I can find some software to download to fix it. I do have a few photos I took on my other camera, but none of the DaveCago people are on it and neither are any of the night shots I was taking (after a second look, other than out my hotel room window, I really didn’t take any with the other camera).
Any Macintosh software suggestions? I have a Windows machine if you have a Windows only suggestion.
As I mentioned last week I was going to watch Stealing Beauty with Liv Tyler. I’m pretty sure that was the first thing I ever saw her in and she was so enchanting in it. She’s plays this sweet 19 year-old name Lucy (and Liv was 19 at the time) who goes to visit close family friends in an isolated mini-artians community in Italy. Most everyone there is older and they’re all interested in every little thing about her.
Jeremy Irons plays another friend of the community who is ill and just staying there to live out his last days. Lucy and Alex get to be close friends and being with her just adds new energy to his life. It’s almost as if these older characters are psychic vampires and are just absorbing whatever than can from her (it’s a strange analogy but I thought it more than once), it’s kind of funny in their limited gossipy community that she just brings a new energy to their little community.
I was disappointed in the quality of the DVD, I really expected more from the wonderful scenery in the movie. It was something that I originally at the “arts theatre” and it had some great scenery and it just didn’t transfer very well.
It’s a strange movie with some odd little sub-plots that I had forgotten about (it was 16 years ago) but like I said it was at the arts theatre and I don’t remember it getting released in the major markets (at least in Michigan).
So I watched the 1951 version of The Day The Earth Stood Still last night and as I said last week it is still an amazing science fiction movie. I made Kelly sit through it so I was hoping it was as good as I remembered, it was (and she seemed to think so too).
The line this movie is the most famous for is
“Klaatu barada nikto”
It’s certainly not as mainstream as “these aren’t the droids you’re looking for”, but…
This was one of the first movie DVDs I ever purchased (maybe the first), it hit a good price on-line so I picked it up (I never bought movies for VHS but that’s about the time when I started for DVDs). I never watched it until now. THe sound was THX remastered and was very clear but the voices just weren’t as loud as the sound effects so if you turned it up to hear the next time the sound effects came on it was blaring. The good part was there wasn’t a lot where people were talking and there were effects.
One of my favorite quotes from the movie was
“I am fearful when I see people substituting fear for reason.”
It was definitely a thinking sci-fi movie…
So I’ve really been liking the BBC’s SciFi shows the last few years and this weekend was a Doctor Who related weekend. I’ve never liked Doctor Who until the last few years (I’ll lean more towards I disliked it).
So it was a good weekend of entertainment. And I got lot’s of non-Doctor Who stuff done too…As other shows go, the BBC has had Jekyll as a short series, is testing out Being Human and I hoe they keep trying out more!
Over the last 24 hours:
- I’ve been watching live video from DeLoach winery (in Napa Valley?) watching Kevin Rose, Robert Scoble, Gary Vaynerchuk (wine guy) and Tim Ferris ( The 4 hour work week ). And typing questions and getting answers from the live video! Plus we all got an invite to a wine party tonight, but I didn’t get on a plane and go, I really really should have. I think they’ve gone to several vineyards actually.
- I’ve also sent comments to Alison Sudol of A Fine Frenzy and gotten responses.
- I’ve also provided some tech support to a MySpace musician in Kentucky, I’m not yet sure if that solved her problem.
- Ordered some Blu-Ray DVDs for only $7.99 each: Stargate, Terminator 2 and Total Recall. Now I need a Blu-Ray player…
- Ordered a (probably mismarked) outdoor George Foreman grill that I probably don’t need for $45 shipped. Deal appears dead or I’d link it.
And that’s just the out-of-the-ordinary stuff.
So I went to the Apple Store today to take a peek at the MacBook Air. Honestly, I had pretty low expectations so I thought I’d get my socks knocked off, but it was just okay. It’s more beautiful than my 12 inch PowerBook, but just by a small margin. It’s light and thin seems pretty durable, and has the beautiful LED display (but a bit of glare). But I thought I’d leave and say “I have to have one”, but it didn’t happen. If I had the extra bucks to spend it on I’d certainly get one, but I think I’d still need a more powerful laptop.
Pluses: 3 lbs., 13.3 inch low power LED display, small, new track-pad, backlit keyboard. Please note, some of these are huge pluses.
Minuses: External DVD drive (which I could live with), special MagSafe power adaptor, slow hard drive, lacking ports, 80 GB, maximum HD, no option for a spare battery and (of course) the price. Note that while it’s a metal MacBook it has a shared memory video card like a MacBook, not a MacBook Pro.
The solid-state 64 GB drive is a plus, but the $1000 price tag is certainly a minus…
If I had a 17 inch PowerBook, the MacBook Air would make a great addition as a “day” computer, when I don’t need the power or DVD drive and didn’t want the 6.8 pounds to lug around. If I could only have one machine I’d probably take a loaded MacBook 13.3 inch (5 pounds). If I could “create” an ultimate machine it would be a 12 (or 13.3) inch MacBook Pro; I could even live with an external DVD drive it it could lower the size and weight…
My Apple TV has been one of my favorite technology purchases and I never expected that I’d like it that much. Actually, I’d been interested in it but it took a visit to Best Buy, after happy hour, for me to finally commit to the 40 GB version. I took it back a few days later but only because I knew I needed the 160 GB version, bigger is better after all…
Apple TV is pretty much an ‘iPod for your television’ and iPods are pretty much the standard to beat for portable media players (at least the standard for handheld audio players) so these should be selling much better. I’ve always been impressed with my Apple TV and had been surprised they hadn’t really caught on more than they have. The Apple TV interface is excellent, it’s as good as the TiVo (except it doesn’t record), you can buy videos (and music) on your computer to load it up, but that is a little inconvenient for some people. You can convert videos for it, but that’s not for the average user. I knew it was close to what people want but it wasn’t exactly there yet.
A few weeks ago at MacWorld they announced movie rentals for the Apple TV. $2.99 for old movies, $3.99 for new ones and $1 more for HD quality. Plus, you can buy music (and music videos) on-line and view/subscribe to podcasts (for free). They changed the interface, I personally think it’s a little more complicated, but since you need to be able to browse an infinite number of music and movies I can understand it (and maybe I’ll like it too). This new interface is free to original Apple TV owners and should show up in a few weeks (I keep checking).
I heard all this when they announced it and I’ve been mulling it around in my head, but I finally just watched that part of the keynote from MacWorld (on my Apple TV, of course) and now I really think this is getting even closer to being the media box for your TV.
But TiVo has had these features for a while now: music and photo streaming from your computer for years now, podcasts (very limited menu selection) for a few years too and recently they’ve added movie / TV rentals from Amazon Unbox (but you wait hours for it to download). I wonder if there are more TiVos than Apple TVs out there??
I’m confused about a few things:
Things I’m not confused about, but I’m wondering:
Complaints about the Apple TV:
Also, they announced a price drop of $70 for the Apple TV.
So I like the new MacBook Air. But while it’s smaller and lighter than all the current MacBooks, and it’s one-third lighter than the 12 inch PowerBook, you give up a bit. You can’t have a spare battery, as a matter of fact you can’t even change the battery yourself. The hard drive space is limited, an (iPod?) 80GB hard drive that runs at 4200 RPM, or a pricey 64GB flash drive. It does have the cool new multi-touch-pad and the built-in camera. No internal DVD drive, mono-speaker, only one USB port and a few other things I’m sure I’m not thinking of. If you haven’t seen it, go watch the ad….
It’s got these minuses (but it’s been a looonnnggg time since they refreshed a 12 inch PowerBook and and I’m definitely having “Air Envy”) I think if they take apart, slap it in a regular (or slightly smaller than regular) case with a changeable battery and a real hard drive (and maybe DVD drive) they’ve got what everyone has been waiting for.
I really thought I was going to want to snatch one up but it’s just not what I was expecting (and I’ve seen others say the same. Maybe if I actually see one, but I think until they do my (fictional) upgrades, I might just wait until the next refresh. I’m guessing the MacBook 13 inch will have the new multi-touch pad and LED screen. I can get an awful lot of power for the same price (if I buy my memory somewhere else).
Here’s an idea for something even smaller (no DVD though). Make ma a MacBook but chop the screen in half to the size of the keyboard and somehow have the trackpad slide out! It’s really be a “wide-screen” but it’d be tall enough for normal use.
I really miss my old Apple Duo (or was it a PowerBook Duo?)….
So Amazon Unbox is having their usual 99 cent sale again this weekend (six different movies). Usually the movies don’t show up cheap until Friday, but it seems to be working today (and there are a few reruns from last week).
This weekend they’ve got Superman: Doomsday, interesting movie it’s based on the whole Death of Superman story-line from 10+ years ago but it was an entertaining movie (I watched it last week on a day I was home sick). Voices by Adam Baldwin, Anne Heche respectively as Superman/Clark and Lois. It was odd though with the amount of death and violence in it, this isn’t a kid’s movie at all. Note the bloody Superman logo, it’s representative of the movie. Lex Luthor is ruthless and totally evil! At least Doomsday was an evil mutant from space!
So if you’re interested it’s worth the 99 cents (at least it entertained me while I was sick). You can download it to your TiVo (which rocks) or your Windows PC (which PC say is an okay process). I think you can even buy them straight from your TiVo menu now, but I haven’t tried that.
The movies change weekly so be sure to check back often; you have 30 days to start to watch them (but only 24 hours after you start watching to finish).
I just think this service to push movies down to your TiVo is totally cool. It’s NetFlix but without the mailing of the DVDs back and forth. If you use TiVo you need to try this.
(Later – I noticed this DVD at a store with a sticker on it: “The first Superman cartoon to be rated PG-13!!!”, like it was a bonus and not a warning)
I’ve mentioned Apple’s .Mac service before and I really like it. Apple has expanded their .Mac on-line backup/syncing to 10GB (from 1 GB). Apple has always been behind the curve in how much storage space for the cost ($99 a year) but they’ve made up for it. With the increased storage it really makes the family plan more practical and affordable too.
If you have a Macintosh, you’ll love this (especially if you have a laptop or more than one Mac). It’s a remote backup / synchronization / file sharing / training / web publishing software service rolled all-in-one! The biggest feature to me is that if you use your iDisk for all your documents, the next time you connect to the internet it seamlessly synchronizes this document to the server & all your other Macs and you can access the files from any web browser on any platform (it also keeps a copy of all your documents on your hard drive so you can see them if you aren’t on-line). It also synchronizes your bookmarks, e-mail, calendar, contacts data/settings across all your Macs. So if I drop my laptop (or have it stolen), I don’t lose any of my data (as long I’ve been on the internet recently).
With the extra storage I can save all my purchased iTunes to to my .Mac Music folder and it’ll be on all my computers and I don’t need to make a copy until I have a DVD’s worth of music. The same goes for my photos, I’m always worried about losing my irreplaceable photos.
For regular documents, you’ll never notice that it’s biggest downside, it’s slow. But if you drag a bunch of huge files in there it’ll take a while, but since it’s seamless you’ll probably never notice, if it doesn’t have enough time, it’ll just continue the next time you’re on the ‘net!To get more info you have to read my earlier post (I’m already repeating myself from that one).
So I’ve been very interested in the AppleTV and never got around to trying it. But I was feeling pretty happy after happy hour yeast and Best Buy has a good return policy so I’m now the proud owner of an AppleTV (40GB). It’s very cool. Very easy to install. Very easy to configure. Pure yummy Apple perfection. And there is no way I’m going to return it!
Two user-interface suggestions:
1) They need a better distinction between the computer you sync with and the computers you stream from. This needs to be better in the AppleTV and in iTunes.
2) The top menu item says AppleTV and it looks like it’s a title and not a menu item (it actually takes you back to the main menu) and it’s confusing. I’ve read about this but I forgot about it…
3) Put in a DVD player and a video/s-video port. (This doesn’t count since it’s not an interface issue).
3b) Safari would be cool too! This would just be for .Mac members so it would interface with your bookmarks!
If you think you’d like one of these, then run and go get one, it’s way cool.
I was pretty happy with Heroes – Season 1, a tale of life, sacrifice, hope and (of course) saving the world. It’s pretty hard to get a good super-hero show to stick on prime-time, so I can deal with the minuses. What I really liked about it was they ended the story and those that did save the world were really heros. I was surprised at all the death the last few episodes, but at least now you don’t have to worry too much about those story-lines…
And how about those previews!!!! Harry Potter, THe Fantastic Four, The Silver Surfer and (did you wait until the very end?) the Bionic Woman! And I’m kinda wondering what extras are going to be on the DVD…
So, possible mysteries for the future: (semi-spoliers below, if you haven’t watched it, don’t read them, although they don’t directly give anything away)
So I’ve gotten more than a few people hitting my site from search engines from the word “Comcast” and since I just adjusted my plan (again) I thought I’d mention my current Comcast plans and maybe save y’all a few bucks. First I’ll mention that I try to pay attention to recurring costs and utilities especially paying attention to my cable / internet bills since they are more of a luxury that heat or electricity.
If you don’t care about (possibly) saving money, don’t read the rest of this…Cable TV – I generally just get econo-basic, it’s generally available on most cable systems (I think many cities/townships require a cheap plan in the contract), it’s just generally the first 20-30 channels on the cable system, it’s on $12 (on my system) and usually doesn’t require a cable box (on most systems). I don’t want many more channels than that so it suites me fine. I think the next package up these days is $29.99 so that’s a big jump if I don’t want all those channels anyways. Here’s the thing if you want internet, the prices there quote for internet are $15 more if you don’t have cable so it’s really $3 cheaper to have cable TV with your cable internet.
Remember, just because one sales person doesn’t know about a service doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. If someone can’t help you, call back later and check with them.
HD TV – So on top of the econo-basic I pay $7 a month for an HD box (it just jumped up from $5), this gets me most of the major networks and a few more channels in HD. Please note, I do not have a HD TV, so I don’t get the full benefit, but it does look like it’s DVD quality (it’s definitely better than digital cable).
Cable Internet – Every 6 to 12 months I call and complain about the rates ($43 a month 6,000 down/384 up). I mention other offers (competing companies and DSL) and they usually drop my bill about $5-$15 a month for the next 6-12 months. Last time I called they offered me the deluxe service for $30 a month and this was 8,000 down/768 up so I took the offer. It’s normally $53 a month but it was a promotion and this expired this week so I canceled it. I do notice it’s a little slower (I actually think it’s the slower up speed that I’m noticing) but I’m debating if it’s worth $120 a year for the faster speed…
And don’t forget you can buy your own cable modem and save $3-$5 a month. If signing up for new service (via Best Buy, Circuit City, CompUSA, etc.) you can generally get these for free after rebate so it’s really worth doing…
Here’s the thing when I called yesterday to change the plan they said they didn’t have any other packages (besides these 6,000 and 8,000) but I just checked my bill to verify these costs for this post and I seen they have a 4,000 (4 meg) plan (the bill was clarifying the names of the new plans starting May 1). FYI, they usually offer a $25 service too that’s 384 down (I think it’s 384 up), that’s not too fast but it’s better than dial-up (and it’s always on).
UPDATE: Tonight, no one seemed to think the 384 down service still exists, which is very funny since they just renamed it to “Economy”. So I’ve had two people tell me the Performance Lite at 4,000 (4 Meg) is $25 ($24.95 actually) in my area so I switched to it (that would really be some savings from $43 a month). But when they switched me I’m just getting 384 up and down, I’ve had this happen before when they’ve offered plans to me. So, it turns out that he thought that it’s an either the Economy (384 down) or the Performance Lite (4,000 down); both are $25 a month, I will be calling back in a few weeks to double-check that is really the case. But they did give me $5 off a month for the next 12 months for the time it took (about 50 minutes) so that’s something; I’d rather have had 4,000 down for $25 a month…
So the end result of tonight’s call is that 4,000 down for $24.95 (performance lite from Comcast) is not an option in my area but it might be in yours (or a similar plan from your company). Just test it while you’re on the phone to make sure it’s really that fast before you hang up…
So I was watching television the other day and I knew the picture looked a little dim. I use a computer projector for my TV so I use the wall as my screen (it’s about 100 inches diagonally) and it’s great for movies and regular TV. So I checked the hours for the bulb and it was supposed to be good for another 350 hours but then it abruptly died that night.
My intent when I bought the projector a few years ago was to keep it until it died and replace it with a much brighter one with more features once I used up the bulb (bulbs are about $300). Projectors drop significantly in price all the time. For example, the cheapest Epson projector 5 years ago was in the $2200 range and now a significantly brighter model (possibly with a higher resolution) is now $675-ish (those are education prices and I’d have to pay more). But I don’t want the comparable model, I want the deluxe model!
So now I’ve got a dilemma, do I replace the bulb ($300) or buy the projector I want ($2000 that I wasn’t ready to spend) knowing the prices will keep dropping and features will keep growing?? The answer was the Black Friday ads, I saw multiple projectors for $400 (after rebate) and $500. I settled on the $500 Acer XD1150 DLP Digital Projector (from Staples), no rebate and it was available to ship. It looks like the one in the picture but the one in the picture is the next model up but still looks the same.
So, for spending $500 for the projector instead of $300 for the bulb, I got a new smaller, lighter (under 5 pounds) in-warranty projector a brighter bulb (1800 lumens vs. 1100 lumens) and it’s smaller. It’s got inputs for composite video (regular video), s-video (like from your DVD player) and SVGA (which doubles as a component video port which supports 480p). It doesn’t have any audio inputs but I run it through the stereo so that’s okay. It came with a remote and a great carrying bad too.
I like it a lot, even pulling it out of the box was nice. It was packaged excellent everything individually wrapped. It wasn’t the same experience of opening up an Apple product but it made me think of it. I came with a composite video cable, a 15 pin SVGA cable but no S-video cable. It came with a CD (which I haven’t looked at yet) and a 20 page manual. Actually it was a one page manual, the other 19 pages were the same page in 19 other languages. The zoom is limited but it got the picture where I needed it so I was okay with that. It’s also got a digital zoom which is great for watching non-HD shows on the HD channels. The focus was a bit touchy, I may need to look at another one later to see if it’s just mine or if they are all that way. All in all I’m very happy with my new TV!
I did just notice there is a 45 page on-line manual in English. I’d guess that’s on the CD if I had put it in…
So Amazon always makes suggestions when you buy something or even just look at something. For example, if you look at the Roswell Season 1 DVD set it says “Customers who bought items like this also bought” Roswell Season 2, Roswell Season 3, Angel Season 1 and 24 Season 1 (and stuff like that). I always like this feature, sometimes it points out other movies or musicians I might like.
So on one of the sale boards I read (SlickDeals.net) someone pointed when you look at a particular item you get a suggestion for a tripod and video tapes. Pretty simple, it’s probably a suggestion for a video camera or spare camera battery or something, right?
Wrong! It’s for a Condom Lover’s Variety Pack (with Condoms, Lubes, Lotions, Potions, Naughty Novelties, and MORE! 100 Count)!! Because let’s face it, if you need 100 condoms, there’s a pretty good chance you need some extra videotape and you’re gonna get tired of holding the camera.
So now that degraded to this level of humor, I’ll point out at Amazon in the ‘Health and Personal’ category they have 3,529 results when you search for condom.
Sorry, we now return to out regularly scheduled no-so-juvenile programming….
This is the story of how I saved $11.95 a month on my cable. I also mention how to get cable for about $12 a month (depeding on your company) and how I only pay $28.85 for cable internet. It’s kind of a long story, but you could save some bucks on your cable or internet so it’s worth the read if you want to try to save some money. If not, just be happy that I saved money :)
So while I like watching TV, movies and music in home theater style (105 inches baby!) I also try not to blow too much money doing it. It’s those recurring bills that kill your budget, that’s the stuf that people don’t notice (that and interest) but really adds up. I generally have econo-basic cable, it’s $12.00 a month it gets me the first 23(?) channels on my cable system and doesn’t require a cable box (which makes the integration with TiVo seamless). Generally when you get internet through your cable you end up getting a few extra channels since the filter that stops you from getting the other channels also stops the internet so they loosen it up a little.
So last year they were doing some promos and I saw I could try digital cable pretty cheap, well it turns out digital cable just gets me more stations (in the 100-199 range) but doesn’t make my other stations better so I returned that box. But while I was there I found out I could get a HD digital box for $5 plus $5.95 a month (and I know they promised this price for 2 years). This got me my normal networks, the above digital range, pbs, 2 espn channels, 2 inHD channels (which was a plus older movies, some documentaries and some IMAX movies in HD) and a science channel (maybe TNT too) in HD (my TV isn’t HD so this was more like DVD quality for these channels). The downside is the TiVo reacts a little slower when connected via a cable box.
Well, the two year promotion just ended (after 1 year) and now they want the $5 plus $11.95. So I call and give her the quiz (and I’m ruthless but not an ass) I finally determine the $11.95 is really for the 100-199 digital range (the only channel I even know was there was a weather station) and a few of the HD channels so I dumped it. It really amazes my how they can’t give you a definitive list of the channels that will go away (or are included). I just checked and I lost the 100-199 range, maybe one of the HD ESPN channels, the inHD channels, the science channel and that’s about it (mostly stuff I don’t watch). So it really turns out that I lost $75 last year since I didn’t need that part of the cable, but at least I now know I’m not missing out.
This goes with my money motto of “It never hurts to ask!”
My mother just told me a similar story when they raised her bill last month (I’ve been teaching her my motto) she found out she wasn’t watching some of the blocks of programming she was paying for. She dumped those and also got them to add a promo for her package for a year. I couldn’t get them to add me a promo but since I’ve got such a limited package it’s kinda hard (how do you promote your cheapest package).
Forgetting all of the above, I also get a $15 discount for the Internet for having the $12 cable package (since I’m a customer) so keep that in mind if you want satellite but still want internet cable, it’s cheaper to have the TV with the internet than not. Many cable companies are this way, they just don’t advertise the econo-limited-basic option (sometimes you really have to quiz and twist their arm for this limited option). Plus every so often I’ll call them and tell them I’ll leave if I don’t get a better price on the internet since I can get DSL cheaper, I know that cable internet is generally faster, but I can live without the speed. Right now I’m getting an extra $15 a month off my internet (usually I only get $10, I got lucky with that one) so I really only pay $28.95 for my high speed internet (which is really a lot when you look at all the $14-$20 DSL promotions out there).
It might sound cheap, but I like to think of it as frugal. We’re not talking about saving $10-$30 one time, we’re talking about saving this much money a month for the rest of your life! You can do similar bargaining with your phone and cell phone bills. If you can save $10-$15 a bill just by changing or updating your plan that’s $360-$540 a year (that’s an round trip-airline flight!).
Here’s more info from my other Comcast dealings from the past.
So I’ve replaced my old tables at my place. They were old ones when I moved in 8 years ago. It was about time and it was an item on my 101 in 1001 list. Here’s the smaller one, the other one is just longer. The glass top is interchangeable with the wood, which I’ll never do, but I like the feature :)
Plus I put in this looonnngg cabinet along the front of the room, it’s pretty much exactly what I’ve been looking for DVDs and CDs and “stuff”. It’s 77 inches long so it’s got room for a lots of items.
Also, I finally put some curtains up in the living room (this is also on my 101 in 1001 list)
It’s resulted in some movement and rearranging around the house. It’s never exactly what I want so I’m still thinking about the layout.
I’ll need to get some photos on-line.
Oh, and I got a hutch for the dining room. I’m trying to keep the laptop in there when I come home and I’m keeping the chargers for all my gadgets in there so that I’m not always digging them up and having them on the dining room table and then misplacing them :)
I need to add an item to my list: No more shopping at Ikea!!!
In case you missed it:
Paid incident support and critical security updates for Windows 98, Windows 98 Second Edition, and Windows Me will end on July 11, 2006. No other security updates will follow after this date.
– Microsoft Web Site
This is interesting and I’m wondering what kind of security risks will this lead to? Have all the security bugs been found in these versions of Windows? If people still have computers running this OS are those machines capable of running Windows XP? Or Vista? Probably not, so are they going to spend the money on a new OS just so they can run Windows 2000?
I knew this was coming and I was reminded today by a Linux magazine called Tux (Tux is the penguin mascot for Linux) their “selling point” is it’s “The First and Only Magazine for the New Linux User”. I say “selling point” because like the Linux operating system, it’s free also. Do you see where I’m going with this? If you’re thinking of erasing your system anyways, why not try Linux now?
Really the easiest way to try Linux is with some installation CDs or DVDs. Tux really likes the KDE environment but I don’t see downloadable disc images anywhere (that’s clear enough for me to make a recommendation for one distribution) but I do see them for Fedora so I’m going to recommend downloading RedHat Fedora which is what I use (when I use). But if you don’t know how to work with burning ISO images and such the easiest option is probably to just go buy a Linux magazine from some bookstore that comes with CDs/DVDs (but be sure if you don’t have a DVD play you get a magazine with CDs). Or you can pick up a book with a set of CDs or DVD so that you can try it out just make sure the copyright of the book is at least 2006 so you know you’re getting a recent version. Sure it’s different from Windows, but XP is pretty different from Windows 98…
If you aren’t aren’t familiar with the terms “Open Source” or “Linux” you probably don’t want to dabble with this. So skip this and just cough up that $100+ for a new version of Windows (and the $200 for the new version of Office to go with it). That is unless you’re familiar with the term “Free”.
So one of the things on my 101 in 1001 list is to make sure I own 50 excellent movies (if I don’t own then I need to buy them) watch them again and do a review on-line. By “excellent” it has to be something to have mostly wide appeal (I’m sure a few won’t) and I’m trying to have a range of the types of movies. I probably owned 15-20 I’d put in this category and I’ve probably already bought a dozen since.
Without question StarGate would be one of those movies. And since I’ve been thinking about it a lot since my trip to Egypt. The ultimate edition actually includes the original and the longer cut on two DVDs (and gobs of extras). It’s a great movie with Kurt Russel as the action hero and James Spader as the geeky egyptologist who thinks that aliens might have actually built the pyramids. The government has some items they dug up a few years back and are trying to decipher the writings on it and they bring in the ridiculed scientist to come help them make it work.
I can tell you why I was disappointed, I was hoping for more Egypt references but while I remember lots, this show did turn into seven seasons of StarGate SG-1 full of references so I guess that’s where I recall lots from, I just thought there were more in the original movie. There was a bit, I just hoped for more. Still a great flick, lots of action great scenery, some big explosions and some really great characters. And they really do have a good story tie into the creation of the pyramids. Plus he also finds what every geeky guy traveling across the universe needs, a beautiful woman who doesn’t realize what a geek he really is :)
With Yahoo’s new Yahoo! Go service you can watch previews, flickr feeds, yahoo photos, download music and burn it to a cd. Of course it’ll play any of those files from the hard drive (or CD/DVD) and with a supported video card you can record television in a TiVo like fashion.
Unfortunately, Yahoo! generally chokes with a good idea before they get it done, but this is a great one so let’s see how they do. Especially since they are doing this just after TiVo has canceled their lifetime subscription and is now charging monthly rates only….
So I got a new cool toy, it’s a TVisto Lite 2500. Think of it as a mini-hard drive that hooks up (and is powered) by your USB 2.0 port (Macintosh, Windows, probably anything), then you drag video, mp3 and photo files over to it. Then you go hook it up to your TV/stereo system (with the included cable and power adaptor) and a menu pops up and you can play the video, mp3 or photos on your TV and speakers. You can use the buttons on the box or the included remote control. It’s an easy way to get those files off your computer and play them on any other TV/stero at home or at a friend’s. It’s awesome!
It plays MPGs, AVIs, MP3s and PGs (it plays some DVD files semi-successfully). When it arrived I was confused since it was only 5.2“ x 3.1” x 0.7“ (13.2cm x 7.8cm x 1.8cm) big. I thought it took a full size drive (my mistake I confused it with a larger model) and wouldn’t have ordered it had I realized the size, but I’m so glad I did (plus you can use it as a portable hard drive). You have to put your own drive in it (I put in a 10GB I had lying around the house) by literally popping it in and putting in 4 screws to close the case. I’m picking up a 60 or 80 GB drive the next time I see one on sale.
This is the Official Site. They list some additional models that hold full size drives and some play some more file formats but this is great so far!
So I got my Canon Digital Rebel XT 8MP Digital SLR Camera (with an 18-55mm Lens) and I really like it! I’ve wanted it for a while but it’s the upcomming Egypt trip that inspired me to finally purchase it. (This was also one of the items on my 101 in 1001 items list so you can read a little more about the purchase itself in it’s completed entry over there.) So I got it with the 2GB card (and a spare 512MB) and the last few days I picked up a mini memory reader, a case, a filter (mostly to protect the lens) and one of those things with the rubber band around the lens to hang onto the lens cap so you don’t leave it anywhere.
I really like the fact when you “click” the button it instantly takes the picture. And I like the control it gives me over the pictures. I dislike the fact that the knob has confusing symbols and letters on it (I think I’ve got most of them figured out now). It’s got an LCD screen on the back, would it be so hard to have a mini manual built into the camera for review when you’re not so sure? I think any device should have this: iPod, camera, mp3 player, DVD player or anything with a display (it can’t take that much effort).
This is a little different it’s Tori Amos: Fade to Red a video collection and commentary from the Apple iTunes store. It looks good, I’m not just sure if I want to buy it and it’s not DVD quality. Most of it’s old stuff that I already have on video or DVD. I guess I should check to make sure, it’s possible I already have all of it…
(Later) And now I see that Amazon carries the Tori Amos – Video Collection: Fade to Red DVD. So I guess it’s not as different as I though (although, it did come out less than a month ago). But that’s full screen and it’s a few bucks cheaper too, but I’ll still need to see if I actually need any of the videos.
Oh, who am I kidding, it’s Tori, I need to have it…
I can’t remember if I mentioned this before, but my buddy who smashed his car decided not to replace it at this time and the other day we were talking about a scooter-type thing. Moments after having one of these discussions someone drove by in a Velux Diamo so we chased him down to get some info. So we went to look at one yesterday, and hours later walked out with one! It’s an electric start convertible 150cc motorcycle with CD/MP3 player (the things that look like armrests are speakers) a “trunk” and it gets 75-80 MPG and goes 65 MPH. There’s an optional LCD GPS/DVD you can get too! More photos of scooters here. I’ll get some photos of him on it later!
So the other night I saw they were running The Long Kiss Goodnight so I TiVo’d it. This is an excellent action film with Geena Davis (yes, I said Geena Davis and action film in the same sentence). She’s the school teacher that “private eye” (use that term loosely) Samuel Jackson refers to as “amnesia chick”. Turns out they found her on the beach eight years ago with no memory. A car crash, some strange dreams and a little bit of info dug up by the private eye and we on our way.
It’s a good chase from there to figure out who’s bad and who’s good and who’s really bad. It’s definitely a different movie for Geena so check it out on the late night movies, NetFlix it or (gasp) physically leave the couch and go to the video store. The picture on the cover of the DVD does nothing to promote the film, maybe it’s supposed to look like Lethal Weapon or something.
So this movie makes me think of an old friend from high school, Ken Christensen, I’m not sure if it’s the plot, Geena Davis or both. But this came out after the last time I’ve seen him so I know we never talked about it or saw it, but I can’t get that thought out of my head…
I wish TiVo made it possible to turn on Closed Captioned (which would make it have subtitles). I use a TiVo and a Data/Video Projector so I don’t have an actual television that I can turn the captioning on. This is annoying in that when I can’t hear something clearly (and “rewinding” doesn’t help) there’s nothing I can do. We really need this as a feature.
There’s other reasons to have this:
I can turn it on when watching a DVD but it might still be an issue when using the DVD Player in my TiVo, I may still have to go to the main menu of a movie (I’ll have to check that when I get home).
I’m sure there are some hacks to make this happen on the TiVo but it should easily do it. It really needs it since you can control the speed of the TiVo it can affect when the actual captions appear.
So I know you’re thinking the winter holidays when I say gift certificates but really that’s not it. I’m thinking of my birthday which was ten weeks ago and that I finally just ended up spending the last of my gift certificates. And yes, I know that was ten weeks ago, but I didn’t want to waste them.
Yesterday I spend the last few at Best Buy for memory for my computers. After moving some around between a few I ended up doubling the memory in the one and increasing the other by 50%. I thought it was going to work out a little better than that (I thought the one had more memory slots) but you can still tell the difference on both of them.
I think most of the gift cards were for Technology or Books or Target (plus I had a few duplicate items that needed to be exchanged). Things I bought with the gift cards were:
Except for the Firefly DVDs, I think everything I bought was on sale! I’m a good shopper. :)
Thank you everyone!
All are pretty mullti-functional devices that are converging. The Powerbook + TiVo have pretty similar capabilities and the phone + palm + camera + iPod are certainly sharing some capabilities too. Merge those in to two devices that let me doc them together and life would be good. The only thing missing is a real video recorder (and that’s probably coming soon).
I’m pretty covered, I’m not sure what else I need. Other than the newer / faster / smaller versions of these same gadgets, of course (I’d like the iPod video player). Maybe something to power/charge all these gizmos. Obviously I need a TV/projector for the TiVo (and speakers for the surround sound) but other than normal appliances these do pretty good for me.
From Top 5 Friday.