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Articles tagged with: TiVo

The more popular DVD (digital video recorder) that really pushed these devices into the mainstream.

Written By: Gary on January 23, 2009 No Comment

So I just found a new video podcast called TMI Weekly, three women (life, tech, style) just doing a talk show type show. I watched about 5 episodes and I thought they were entertaining and informational. I actually found this because I saw it in the TiVo somewhere and all I had to do was click and I was subscribed on my TiVo.

I’m mentioning two non-similar episodes, both embedded below. One is the CES episode which held my interest and even the non-tech women seemed to have a blast.

Visit their site for the CES 2009 episode.

The other episode was dealing with drinking (eating?) a lot of juices. Way more than I think I could handle. But they made it sound appealing.


Visit their site for the Got Juice? episode.

I’ll check them out for a few more episodes. Or maybe dig through their past episodes. Their show is everywhere: iTunes, YouTube, MySpace, Twitter, etc…

On one episode they were wearing NonSociety T-shirts and when I went to that link the site (click on their personal blogs) it looked familiar, I know I’ve visited there at some time in the past, but I don’t remember when/what. It was before they started doing this show…

Written By: Gary on July 18, 2008 One Comment

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…

Instant gratification: You can rent it from Amazon for your TiVo or from iTunes (but it’s only $7.50 to buy it from Amazon).

Written By: Gary on February 15, 2008 2 Comments

For much not being on television I’ve been highly entertained by the tube this week…

  • Deal or No Deal – I haven’t been watching the show lately but they’ve added a new twist so I’ve been catching it this week. Every time someone does not win a million dollars they’re removing one of the other “cases” and adding a million dollar case. Stupid people who think they can beat the odds have thrown away many many hundreds of thousands dollars who don’t think $250,000 is enough money and draw another case. So sad. The banker is also making low offers to get them to continue to play, he lo balled an offer and was actually boo-ed by the audience (he offered $98,000 when it should have been closer to $200,000). The latest woman got so excited and emotional when she found out 1/2 the cases (13 of 26) had $1,000,000 in it there wasn’t a dry eye in the house. TiVo makes it possible for me to zip through the slow parts or I’d never make it…
  • Torchwood – I was wrong when I thought an episode was on the other night. There were two! After “Adam” I saw “Reboot” which was the first of three episodes with Martha Jones! I had forgotten she was going to be on it. She was a little cocky but it was a good episode and all the other characters were a little jealous that she had an unknown connection with Jack. “Adam”, of course, was brilliant, much too confusing to explain but another great episode by Catherine Tregenna.
  • Stargate Atlantis – Teal’c meets Ronin. And as when all heroes meet the first time, they clash before saving the world. A very fun episode!!!

    Fortunately, I’ve barely caught any news coverage, it’s just embarrassing the way that the networks turn tragedy into entertainment. Or maybe it’s that fact that people watch it like it’s entertainment that makes me feel that way.

    My heart and prayers go out to anyone with any connections to the tragedy at Northern Illinois University.

  • Written By: Gary on February 9, 2008 One Comment

    HowimetAt Amazon Unbox they have 4 FREE missing episode of ‘How I Met Your Mother’! At least I don’t think I’ve seen them before. You can download these to your Windows based computer or TiVo for free! The 4 missing episodes cover Marshal and Lily’s honeymoon…

    You can get the Infamous “Robin Sparkles” video too!

    UPDATE (Sunday evening): So I finally watched these “episodes”. They weren’t real episodes, they were just a few minutes long and they were “videos” of they’re honeymoon. They’re pretty bad too, but then again aren’t home movies supposed to be? I’m not sure what kind of promotion they shot these for, but they end with a still frame with an advertisement for the show. It was the fact that these appeared to be “lost” episodes that made me ask if the show was canceled, since these aren’t much more than some kind of odd promo/commercial I retract the original question.

    Written By: Gary on January 26, 2008 One Comment

    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.

  • If I can start watching a movie in about 30 seconds, why am I going to rent something from the store? (there is a 30 day wait after a DVD release)
  • Why am I going to subscribe to Netflix? (all the movie extras and plus for TV shows you I get multiple episodes on one DVD)
  • If I can purchase a song the instant I need it, why am I going to run out and buy the album? (at least I think I can purchase a song, I saw Steve purchase a music video).One of the biggest shortcomings of this (and all digital video rental systems out there) is that you only have 24 hours from start to finish. It’s just not long enough, if I start it at 8 tonight, I need the ability to finish it tomorrow at 8 or 9 in the evening. Because of that, I think 30 hours is the minimum I need to seriously consider this as a way to watch movies (at least for me). As you increase the time to 36, 48 or even 72 hours it makes this a much better option, especially for the impulse buy. I know “they” don’t want bunches of other people to borrow it and view it so they longer the time, the higher the chance of this. Maybe they can do something to cripple it, maybe after 24 hours any viewed portion is not viewable any more, that’s slightly complicated but it makes it a little more fair and might make the movie companies a little happier, IMHO…

    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:

  • Can you buy a movie from the Apple TV interface?
  • Can you push HD movie rentals down to your computer or iPod? (I don’t think they said that specifically for HD).

    Things I’m not confused about, but I’m wondering:

  • How long until I can access media from my Time Capsule?
  • How long until I can rent TV shows?
  • How long until I subscribe to TV shows at a reasonable rate?
  • How long until I can dump my cable package?
  • How long until the cable internet and DSL providers complain about the bandwidth that is being used up? FYI, where the Apple TV requirements list a “broadband connection” it also says “(fees may apply)”.
  • Is the hardware in the new Apple TV exactly the same? I know the software is going to be the same, but I don’t think they said it was exactly the same either.
  • How long until the 30 day wait before renting (after new releases) is removed and I can rent as soon as it’s out? (they don’t have a delay before music purchases).

    Complaints about the Apple TV:

  • I need a video playlist option. I want to have a way to link these video podcasts and music videos into my own personal non-stop “channel”.
  • I need a way to find this tiny remote when I misplace it. It’s so small and light.
  • It needs a regular video-out and S-video out for people who don’t yet have TVs with component video or HDMI.
  • They still don’t have a use for the included USB port.
  • I think I’m gonna need a bigger hard drive!

    Also, they announced a price drop of $70 for the Apple TV.

  • Written By: Gary on September 27, 2007 No Comment

    SupermandoomsdaySo 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.

    This weekend they also have:

  • Lonely Hearts
  • I Think I Love My Wife
  • Lucky You
  • Zodiac
  • The Contract
    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)

  • Written By: Gary on September 15, 2007 One Comment

    BigbangtheoryThe first episode of Big Bang Theory is now available as a free┬ádownload from Amazon Unbox. You can put it on your TiVo(!) or on your PC. Supposedly there are other CBS show for free but I can’t find them…

    This is an awesome show. It’s about a few geeks (science dorks) and the cute (but ditzy) girl next door. If you know any geeks you’ll love this show. It’s by the guy who did Two and a Half Men (and I think Dharma and Greg).

    I’m sure this is only free for a limited time….

    Written By: Gary on September 10, 2007 3 Comments

    ChuckjourneymanYou can see Journeyman, Chuck, Life and Bionic Woman for Free with Amazon UnBox. This means you can download them straight to your TiVo and watch them on the big screen (or you can download them to a PC, but I’ve never done that) for a limited time. I haven’t seen Life yet, but I’ve seen the other three: Chuck is awesome, Journeyman is excellent, Bionic Woman is luke-warm but I’ll give it a chance (and you can see for yourself!).

    On a side note, this ties to NBC cutting ties or getting pissed at the iTunes music store (I can’t remember why) and are now partnering with Amazon. I have no idea how long this offer might last or if the link will last but this is a permanent (I think) link to Amazon Unbox.Lifebionic

    Amazon Unbox is an interesting service, more so for your TiVo than your PC (IMHO). You can rent high-quality movies for about $3.99 each, but each weekend they offer a half-dozen 99 cent ones (some are new and some are old), so keep your eyes open for those. Rentals are on your machine for 30 days but once you start to watch you only have 24 hours to finish (or re-watch it). Personally, I think 24 hours is too short, it needs to be about 36 hours; if I start to watch a movie Sunday afternoon at 4 and don’t finish it, I’m probably not going to be home from work in time the next day to finish it. I really think they need to extend the 24 hours (which is starting to be an industry standard) to about 36 hours (48?) or figure out some way to get another $1 out of me so that I can keep it for another day). It’s just more consumer friendly, it’s not like I’ve got the media and they need it to rent to another person.So back to the free previews. It’s a very cool marketing idea. But here’s my question – why aren’t there any ads?!? They could be making money off of this (or at least advertising their fall line-up). They need to explore this so that they can explore this delivery medium and realize that free to the consumer is good. That’s the whole model of television, free with commercials. If they gave it away free they could probably even rig it to force you to watch the commercials (or just the first few seconds) so they know they are getting their money’s worth. But as always, I hope they figure out a way to target the commercials to me (I don’t need tampons or Cialis, I need Apple products and movie previews). Just a thought…

    Written By: Gary on September 2, 2007 One Comment

    So someone mentioned AdPerk as a way to get free magazines. As of today the only have Dwell and Popular Science. I sat down and watched a few videos (10-15 minutes?) while eating breakfast and earned a free subscription to Popular Science. If they had a little more selection of videos it’d be more interesting. They did make me answer a very easy CAPTCHA at the end of each one (no swirly colors, just tilted letters). It was really easy and painless and it worked on my Apple Macintosh with Safari (you can’t always count on that).

    The downside is the magazines they have (and plan to offer) aren’t particularly expensive or anything. I’m not interested in Dwell so I have no reason to go back to their site anytime soon. I don’t think I can earn and save points for the future or at least I could watch for now…

    I have a few suggestions for them:

  • Figure out a way so I don’t have to watch a bunch at once, e-mail me a link every few days to watch a video (with enough info in the link so I don’t have to log in) and just have it keep track of my points.
  • Store up my points for magazines that I can choose later (on non-magazine gifts too).
  • Figure out a way to let me watch them on my TiVo or my AppleTV or some other lazy interactive type device (where I can be lazy and sit on the couch)
  • Written By: Gary on August 22, 2007 No Comment

    I just finally got around to watching some David Letterman and Conan O”Brian episodes, I grab them if they have a guest I like and coincidentally Anne Hathaway was on the two I picked in the TiVo. She’s always fun (she was the one who made The Princess Diaries so fun) and has such an awesome smile in just about everything (movie or interview) that I’ve seen her in. She’s currently in Becoming Jane playing Jane Austin which I think is now on my list that I’ve seen a few more clips on it. She’s also in the new Get Smart film playing Barbara Feldman’s role as Agent 99.

    I usually think of her as beautiful but she was way more than that on Letterman (the stunning dress probably helped), Dave even asked her where she was going after the show, since she was clearly too much for his show (“It’s just for you Dave”). Here’s the clip.

    Usually on these interviews I never notice the guest drink out of the glass in front of them, but on both Letterman and Conan I noticed drinking out of her mug all the time. I’m not sure why that’s sticking with me so much but it really keeps popping back into my head.

    I think I’m off to see Becoming Jane this week…

    Written By: Gary on July 23, 2007 One Comment

    So the future of television is certainly changing. The networks haven’t completely caught on yet, but they will. In a day when users can download higher quality video than they currently receive, get shows from parts of the world that aren’t available and have the advantage of having no ads and are free (please note this means stolen). We can also buy many of these videos from the iTunes store or Amazon UnBox for $1.99 an episode (iTunes has some at 99 cents for an episode and sometimes get that cheap if you subscribe for season). I know “legal” is not what people think when they hear the word BitTorrent, but BitTorrent.com even sells shows legally these days.

    If I could subscribe to a lot of the shows I enjoy for 99 cents an episode and have them automatically download to my AppleTV, TiVo, iPod or other device I’d never have anything more than basic cable. I’m sure this goes for a lot of people. Everything needed (except the mentality) to do this currently exists. The networks and producers of these shows need to somehow start embracing this model before it gets even easier for people to get (steal) these shows for free.

    Or charge me significantly less and let me trade the produces some statistical information about myself and let them insert in advertising relevant to me. Give me geeky ads, movie and TV show previews that I like, music that I like. Advertise events and concerts that are taking place where I live. I don’t need diaper ads, tampons, bad credit information, refinancing, ads for cars that cost $50,000+, ways to give up smoking. With the right information instead of advertising a new bed which I may have just purchased, they can advertise new pillows or new sheets (and mark in their files to start giving me new bed advertisements in another 5 years) that I might actually purchase.

    Even better, let me give “them” lots of information about me, which I’ll update a few times a month with information about what I’ve purchased or I’m shopping for (who in my life has a birthday coming up) or where I’m traveling to. And they can actually pay me to watch television! I’m not looking for a lot of money but just something to make it worth giving them info (besides, think of how much you’d save on cable if it was free!). Maybe some hotel discount coupons when I mention a vacation, or a coupon for Best Buy when they know I’m looking for a new video camera.

    Written By: Gary on July 22, 2007 2 Comments

    My AppleTV is awesome! An “iPod for your TV” is a accurate description. I ran the software update (painless!) and it gave me YouTube videos and fixed “enhanced podcasts”.

    It mirrors one of your computer’s iTunes just like an iPod does (and allows you exceptions) and will stream from any other computers running iTunes (platform independent) and I don’t think there is a limit. I can’t believe how fast it pulls hi-res movie previews from Apple down to the unit, it’s very very fast. It’s actually much faster than pulling down YouTube videos (many which are low-res).

    It really streams full-scren video from other computers really efficiently. Very rarely does it need a moment to catch up. It has no problem with steaming audio. It almost makes no sense to download podcasts, I bet you could stream them live if you had a way to just get the RSS feeds onto the AppleTV.

    With “enhanced podcasts” it now properly advances the embedded images to follow along with the audio. The problem is that it just shows them to the side like the album artwork, some images are much larger so it really cheats you by scaling them down. Since you don’t use the up/down keys on the remote during this process “up” would be a great way to enlarge the images.

    I have the same image size concern when viewing slideshows with the “Ken Burns effect”, sometimes I want to view the whole image. Once again this would be another great use for the up button. The down button could be used for viewing filenames, date, time and other info about the images. Actually, this would be a good use for the down button while viewing videos or audio.

    A few more features (like on the TiVo) like weather, movie listings and maybe Flickr photo viewing and it’d be even better…What I don’t like is that it only lets you sync with one computer. I’d like to sync music with one, videos with another and podcasts with another (not so sure if I care about the latter).

    What I need:
    1) A way to automatically convert videos and stick them into iTunes for me (so when I drop/download a file to a folder, it starts processing for me). I could probably do this via Mac or Windows….

    2) A way to play other file formats on the AppleTV, such as AVI and DiVX files. I think I can hack it to do that but I’m not sure if I want to take it apart yet.

    Written By: Gary on April 12, 2007 No Comment

    KurtvonSince it’s Kurt Vonnegut who passed away yesterday we’ll link to his Wikipedia entry since there should be some content about him. He was an interesting and bizzaro author, you should try a few of his books if you haven’t. But what inspired this post is two things, both of them odd and very unrelated.

    I hadn’t realized he died yesterday until I got an ad from Border’s Books today trying to sell books in his memory (there was more but it had this at the top of the e-mail ad). I’m not sure if it’s in good taste or not and I remember them doing a few other things like this and while it might be good marketing I’m not sure about the taste part.

    Ardvil-22So I never (rarely) watch television previews for next week but last night I did watch them during Lost. As usual they jumped around a lot during the preview and I saw it something for an instant and something seemed off. So I rewound the TiVo, this took about 5 tries since it was only a few frames but I saw a cover of a book. The book was “Ardil-22” (which is Catch-22 in Portuguese) which was written by Kurt Vonnegut Joseph Heller. I’m not sure if this was a coincidence or someone had time to edit it in yesterday at ABC or what. But in hindsight it’s a pretty odd coincidence that it was just a few frames of the preview. I can’t recall if Lost has ever mentioned Kurt Vonnegut (or Joseph Heller) before…

    LATER – SO I TOTALLY SCREWED THIS UP: Since it turns out Joseph Heller wrote Catch-22 and not Kurt Vonnegut (Sorry Kurt) but while I’ve read several of Kurt’s books, I don’t think I ever read Catch-22. Plus it turns out that “Catch-22” is the title of the next episode of Lost so that’s the reasoning for that. So I’ve totally goofed up the second 1/2 of this message. There were no coincidences for me to see. And I thought I had tied this together all pretty good too :(

    Written By: Gary on April 6, 2007 No Comment

    So PC World has a story on the Best 50 Tech products. Considering a few of the items in the list, I think few things are missing: Skype, one of the early pieces of ZIP/StuffIt software, maybe a Palm (or even Windows) cell phone, a TRS-80, the Sony WalkMan set standards for portable (choose your own) music players and I’m sure I’ll think of a few more later. Half of the software “tools” seem to be things to fix parts/utilities missing from the Windows OS. And there isn’t any software for creating web pages / FTPing files (from the era of Netscape and Eudora) or blocking spam. Should flickr or Google be considered a product? Amazon or eBay? Okay, so I’m getting ahead of myself, lets show the list.

    Of the 50 I’ve bolded items owned/used (some were free or work owned for my use) and added comments to many items (even ones I don’t use):

    1. Netscape Navigator (1994) – Netscape and NCSA made the Internet (and Eudora), thanks!
    2. Apple II (1977) – I never owned one until years later when I got a deal on one.
    3. TiVo HDR110 (1999) – Early adoptor and I’ve added many converts
    4. Napster (1999)
    5. Lotus 1-2-3 for DOS (1983) – More of a VisaCalc/Excell user but they’re all great.
    6. Apple iPod (2001) – I waited for a color one with a big hard drive and spent the early adopter prices for it (now better ones are 1/2 the price).
    7. Hayes Smartmodem (1981) – I can’t be sure I actually had a Hayes, but I had one of the first generics if I didn’t (I’ve had so many modems, I can’t recall). Hayes changed computer communications IMHO.
    8. Motorola StarTAC (1996) – Several of these from several carriers and they were all awesome.
    9. WordPerfect 5.1 (1989) – I used it but I’m not proud, I think it’s awful
    10. Tetris (1985)
    11. Adobe Photoshop 3.0 (1994) – This has almost always been too complicated for any needs I’ve ever had.
    12. IBM ThinkPad 700C (1992)
    13. Atari VCS/2600 (1977) – I always wanted one of these (even years later) but I never had one.
    14. Apple Macintosh Plus (1986) – I was a late apple adaptor but I loved it. I still love Apple and I think I always will…
    15. RIM BlackBerry 857 (2000) – no interest in one of these ever
    16. 3dfx Voodoo3 (1999) – I don’t think I’ve ever had a machine with this card.
    17. Canon Digital Elph S100 (2000)
    18. Palm Pilot 1000 (1996) – I jumped on the palm bandwagon late but now I’m a fan
    19. id Software Doom (1993)
    20. Microsoft Windows 95 (1995) – I’m sure one of my work Machines ran this, I’m not sure if I ever owned a machine with it. I think I jumped from Windows 3.1 back to DOS and then to ME or 98 at home.
    21. Apple iTunes 4 (2003) – THE best/easiest way to shop for music on-line
    22. Nintendo Game Boy (1989)
    23. Iomega Zip Drive (1994) – These folks dominated the market. Everyone I know had one of these drives and then they just faded away…
    24. Spybot Search & Destroy (2000)
    25. Compaq Deskpro 386 (1986) – We sold these and I’ll always remember the customer that pronounced it Comp-A-Que and we had no idea what they were asking for.
    26. CompuServe (1982) – Had an account for a while, this was pre-Internet…
    27. Blizzard World of Warcraft (2004)
    28. Aldus PageMaker (1985) – I have never been a PageMaker fan.
    29. HP LaserJet 4L (1993)
    30. Apple Mac OS X (2001) – It just works! (generally)
    31. Nintendo Entertainment System (1985)
    32. Eudora (1988) – Probably one of the best e-mail clients ever, way way way before it’s time.
    33. Sony Handycam DCR-VX1000 (1995)
    34. Apple Airport Base Station (1999)
    35. Brøderbund The Print Shop (1984) – This was why people never wanted to get rid of their dot matrix printers (the pinfeed paper for banners).
    36. McAfee VirusScan (1990)
    37. Commodore Amiga 1000 (1985) – I always wanted one of these!
    38. ChipSoft TurboTax (1985) – I love tax software, it’s so worth the money
    39. Mirabilis ICQ (1996)
    40. Creative Labs Sound Blaster 16 (1992) – This was the standard for audio cards forever.
    41. Apple HyperCard (1987) – Best software ever! This was the premiere application using hyperlinks and (almost) had plug-ins and supported multimedia. Think linking and interactive pages (cards) of information and graphics all running on your computer (pre-internet)
    42. Epson MX-80 (1980) – These were one of the most durable dot matix printers ever.
    43. Central Point Software PC Tools (1985)
    44. Canon EOS Digital Rebel (2003) – I love this it feels like a real camera in my hands. It works like one too.
    45. Red Hat Linux (1994) – Awesome easy to use/maintain version of a free OS.
    46. Adaptec Easy CD Creator (1996) – I have/use various versions of it, but I’ll always love toast.
    47. PC-Talk (1982)
    48. Sony Mavica MVC-FD5 (1997) – The floppy disk cameras made it easy for everyone to get their photos off the camera. This was always my favorite camera to have schools use.
    49. Microsoft Excel (1985) – Excel is an awesome spreadsheet.
    50. Northgate OmniKey Ultra (1987)

    Here’s a complete list for “printing” but I’m not sure if it’ll link properly (at the bottom of the page are just the items).

    Written By: Gary on February 18, 2007 5 Comments

    Pringles Drivers.Freecarmedia.ComGet a free car or get $400 a month to drive yours. If you get a car from them it looks like it cover maintenance and tires too. I’m not sure how I feel about this but if it was a product I loved and I could make (up to) $400 a month, that doesn’t seem to bad.

    If you are chosen, you will receive a new car, wrapped in an attractive advertisement, to use for two years or you will be given the option to wrap the vehicle that you currently own and get paid up to $400 a month.

    I could drive something like a TiVo, Apple, SixApart, some musical performer I like or a travel costa rica wrapped car. I’ve said before I like my convertible because I can put the top down, not because it’s sporty and I could be happy driving a box. Well, it would definitely take away any considerations of being sporty and getting paid would be nice…I gotta figure if you get paid you have to claim it, if you’re just driving their car it might not count as income (plus you get service) so it just depends on what you’re looking for. I might fill out one of these profiles, it’s not like I have to take it if they offer me.

    They used to do with years ago with VolksWagon Beetles and Kool cigarettes, I’m not sure what the pay-out was then but they were always interesting to see (been googling for a few minutes now, can’t find an image of that to show).

    Written By: Gary on October 9, 2006 No Comment

    The TV industry needs to catch up with reality and the Internet (the ‘net is real). They’ve tried a few things like elling shows on iTunes (for $1.99 an episode!) and other sites and free downloads at their websites (really it’s sitting at your computer and watching).

    Here’s the thing, people (not me) can download it faster and cheaper from the ‘net. Oh yeah, it’s higher quality and there isn’t any ads (but illegal). Over at MiniNova they list an approximation of downloaders (there are dozens of sites like this, some are private). Here’s some numbers (and info):

  • 15,000 people are grabbing last nights “Desperate Housewives”. And let’s be clear that’s this particular copy, there are probably dozen’s of others (some ultra high-def and some iPod versions).
  • 5,000 are grabbing “Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip” which for some reason showed up around dinnertime instead of after the 10 PM (EST) showing.
  • This isn’t counting the people who are going on and off line (“leechers” who take and disconnect without “seeding”). I’m not going to get into a technical discussion on this, but it’s not that hard to set up something to grab your shows automatically every night (and it’s getting easier every day).

    If they supplied these shows with ads they could control what the people are seeing, many people will fast forward but at least the ads are in it. Currently people are using BitTorrent technology and supplying the bandwidth for them. Heck, if the cable companies would provide a seed, it wouldn’t even use up much internet bandwidth (which would be a complaint they’d make), they could get a cut of the money or insert in their own ads!


    I’d rather pay for a higher quality version directly from the studio networks than have to download it illegally. Think about it, what people pay for cable, for channels. I personally would pay (for no ads of course) $15 a year directly to the SciFi channel for shows (I’d probably do the same for USA). That’s got to be way more than the cable company is giving them for me. Maybe a sliding scale makes more sense $5 for one show (for a season) $10 for 3?

    But let’s pretend they give it to me for free with ads. They make a dozen different versions of the show laced with ads. One for sports fans, one for geeks, one for teenagers, etc. I might actually watch the ads! Imagine that, ads targeted for me! Do you think they could charge more for that? A box like the TiVo should just be pulling these down and storing them and pushing them down to whatever device you want to watch them on.

    When this many people are stealing shows that are on broadcast network television there is something wrong with the way the system is set up. They (the networks) are totally missing the ball on this.

  • Written By: Gary on August 30, 2006 No Comment

    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.

    Written By: Gary on May 6, 2006 2 Comments

    So I was playing with Yahoo! Photos and put up about 100 random Egypt photos of mine.

    You can view Yahoo! Photos on TiVo and I wanted to see how they worked out…

    Written By: Gary on May 2, 2006 No Comment

    So I had taken the day off to recover from the flight from Egypt, pick up my mail, go to two doctor’s appointments that would be needed after the trip (allergy shot and to get my neck/back worked on) and other stuff. Since I got trapped in NY I had to move the allergy appointment but the other was later so that was okay. So I set the alarm clock for three hours later and took a nap. I ended up sleeping 11 hours, missing the appointment and now I’ve been wide awake for the last three hours. Although I did get the laundry done and watched a little TiVo, I hadn’t turned a TV on in weeks…

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    Written By: Gary on April 28, 2006 No Comment

    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….

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    Written By: Gary on February 19, 2006 2 Comments

    I can’t even imagine winning this much money. 15, 17, 43, 44 and 48, with a Powerball number of 29,It’s the biggest pay-out ever, $363 million was the highest before but that was two winning tickets. According to CNN.com ‘the cash option is $177.8 million, or $124.46 million after taxes. On the installment plan, over 30 years, the first payment would be $6,507,986 after taxes.’

    As long as you you don’t blow it, it seems like you’d be better off taking the $124 million and earn the interest over the 30 years. Not even factoring in the compounding if you could get 5% a year return on $100 million you’d get $6 million a year, that’s pretty much the payment you’d be waiting for (if you did a little better on the interest it’d be a lot more). Over 30 years that’s $150 million more. Even if you didn’t get that interest rate you’d still get significantly more even at 3%.


    What to buy for family and friends:

  • Move all of them into new paid off homes.
  • Same for hybrid cars.
  • New Apple computers and iPods for everyone!
  • TiVo’s galore. (To go with new A/V systems)
  • College educations for the kids (single dorm rooms and new laptops when needed).
  • Big extended family vacations every few years (cruises, exotic locations, the olympics, etc.).
  • Mom would get to quit work.
  • I’d have a few vacation homes: London/Miami/Costa Rica. Or I guess I could just live in one of them.
  • Lots of new stuff at the places I volunteer (or have volunteered). New office stuff (tech), kids stuff and more. We always wanted a hot tub for the 24 hour crisis line in East Lansing…
  • A “LaPointe Computer Wing” for my old school might be nice too.
  • Some games/states put a cap on the prize the seller store can get. With this game it’s normally 1% but it’s a max of $50,000. So a nice kickback for them if there is a limit.
  • Found some foundation/fund for other school and computing scholarships.
  • I’d travel and compute for fun and relax.
  • I’m sure there’s more I haven’t thought of…

    I’d be reasonable in all this stuff, the new homes and cars wouldn’t exceed peoples ability to pay property taxes, insurance, utilities, maintenance and stuff like that (unless it was $300 million, then they wouldn’t have to worry about that…).

    I keep adding to this list but that’s ’cause it’s all they keep talking about it on CNN…

  • Written By: Gary on February 12, 2006 No Comment

    I was a little disappointed with the opening ceremonies with the olympics. A few neat things but I wasn’t enthralled, even with TiVo to get me through the slow spots. The fireworks and sparkler type things were awesome!


    And who’s this guy who’s doing some of the commentary for the skating? Dick Button? They act like he’s some hotshot but so far (IMHO) he’s just this dorky guy who’s annoying (seems kinda mean).

    Later: Okay, so I looked him up, he’s won a few gold in skating (over half a century ago), but he’s still kinda gruff for figure skating.

    Written By: Gary on January 22, 2006 2 Comments

    I got so much stuff done yesterday. Shopped for a new desk (which I never found). Ran countless errands on a beautiful day. Cleaned. Reorganized. Managed to get the last two done with out making the house a disaster. Got gas at a reasonable price. Ate delicious leftovers (my takeout Thai for the day before and some delicious BBQ chicken casadias from the day before.

    I’ve been on a cleaning/organizing spree lately. Got rid of a broken desk (it was supported by a file cabinet), moved a bookcase to where that was. Most of my books that are out are actually in bookcases (not in a stack somewhere). Set up a table for the computer I want to move upstairs (this is where I wanted a new desk for). I always want things more organized but I always keep so much crap. Crap is old bills, bank statements, article clippings, computer parts, magazines, software, books, monitors, TVs, electronics, etc. I’ve thrown out more the last few weeks (and most of it clearly trash).


    Free stuff: I’ve still got the Martha Stewart Christmas tree to give away for anyone who wants to come pick it up (this will not still be here in a few more weeks).
    THE TREE IS GONE.

    I’ve also got a few monitors if anyone local has some problems with their computer monitor (I think two 15 inch and one 17 inch). And two VCRs that only play.

    Cheap: I’ve also got a variety of stuff that I’ll probably be putting up for sale if you know anyone who needs stuff cheap (TiVos, stereo receivers, speakers, CD changers [5 and 200], 15 inch TV, etc.). It’s all great condition, but I tend to upgrade often. I’ve just got to recoup a little of the cost. So if you know someone moving out / off to college, etc. ask me before they buy new stuff.

    Written By: Gary on December 30, 2005 One Comment

    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…

    Written By: Gary on December 28, 2005 2 Comments

    So TiVo rolled out (started rolling out) their new features in the music, photos and more section. These new features I think will pave the way for what you have to look forward to from your home entertainment center. They now have (without you having to install anything on your home computer) movie listings, traffic, weather, photos (Yahoo!), streaming Internet audio (Live 365), games (yes, I said games) and you can listen to podcasts. This is very cool stuff! I especially like SameGame, it’s a fun game you’ll just have to try. This all assumes you have your TiVo hooked up to the network (and not the phone).


    So the weather and movies (you can purchase tickets on-line too). Are tied to your My Yahoo! account (or you can put in your zip manually). The photos are also tied to your Yahoo account. You can view photos of others on-line but you have to type in their Yahoo name. My Yahoo Photos name is “garylapointe”, try it if you get a chance I’ve got photos of a trip to Costa Rica and a few from when a family of ducks was wandering around the high school.

    Typing text for the with the remote is awful (can I hook up a USB keyboard yet?) they need to work on that, it always seems as if I need the farthest letter (and you can’t go off the right of the screen and come back on the left). Please fix this… :)

    The podcasts are cool but it just seems to be streaming it. No decent way to build a playlist. They only have a list of 30 or so podcasts that you can add to your favorites. You can specify any podcast but as I criticized “the typing” above it’s even more awful for the typing of podcast addresses.

    There’s a lot with the Live 365 streaming and you can subscribe to get more (not sure on the costs).

    Written By: Gary on December 27, 2005 No Comment
    Q1 – Co-Workers: Do the people you work with tend to be younger than you, the same age as you, or older than you? How do the differences in age or generations play themselves out in your work environment? In other words, are these sorts of differences good, bad, or not a factor in the work you do?
    Most of the people in my building are older than myself but district wide with all the teachers a lot of the staff is younger than me. Though in most of my previous jobs I used to be the baby where ever I worked.

    Q2 – Television: Last week, Kevin Martin, the relatively new chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, said he was in favor of an “a la carte” cable pricing plan that would allow consumers to choose to pay only for the individual cable channels they want. Do you like the idea of a la carte pricing for cable TV? If Martin is successful in getting the cable industry to offer it, how many channels do you think you’d choose to subscribe to a la carte?
    Yes!! Please yes! I’d do about nine channels: ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, UPN, WB, USA, SciFi and G4. There might be a few more but I’d have to check the TiVo to see what else. I do like a few of the HD channels out there (inHD, inHD2 and I think there are a few more from other networks I don’t get) so I might check into those depending on the price.
    Q3 – Eating Out: After receiving the bill for a great meal in a restaurant you’d been dying to try, you notice that your waiter neglected to charge for one of the items you ordered and happily devoured. Would you… tell the waiter, not tell the waiter but leave a larger tip than called for, or not do anything? Would your answer be different if the meal or service really sucked?
    I don’t think I’ve ever not been charged for en entree or anything big, generally a soda or a drink. Which would get the waiter a bigger tip. It’d depend on the service.
    Q4 – Business Cards: Do you have one? If so, how often do you hand yours out verses receiving them from others?
    I have business cards (but I need more). I hand them out occasionally, more people generally give them to me than the other way around.

    From an old Four For Friday

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    Written By: Gary on December 23, 2005 No Comment

    So I was watching “Coming Attractions” a weekly show on E! that shows six or eight movie previews in a half hour (I TiVo this every week). Three new ones (new to me at least) in particular caught my eye:

  • Take the Lead (March 24, 2006): A slightly new twist on the substitute teacher in the NY public schools detention room. Antonio Banderas is the former professional dancer (instructor?) who subs for the class during the day and brings ballroom to them. Based on the story of ballroom dancer Pierre Dulane. This looks really good.
  • Imagine Me And You (January 27, 2006 Limited Release): Another new twist on love, wanting what you can’t have and how to know if they’re “the One”. This looks great! It has a bunch of people I’ve never seen before (other than Giles from Buffy who plays the father of the possible bride to be). I’m looking forward to a trip to the Main or Maple in January (this would be the theaters most likely to get these limited release movies).
  • The DaVinci Code (May 2006): I’m only mentioning it because I was very interested in this movie. Tom Hanks with Ron Howard directing, it’s just got to be good. This preview was such a snoozer that I just had to mention it with my two good previews. Although I did like that Jean Reno was going to be in it, I’ve always liked min.
  • Written By: Gary on December 15, 2005 4 Comments

    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:

  • For your little kids to have the text while they watch TV to help with the connections between the audible and written words.
  • Language reinforcement for those with literacy issues. This was just covered by Google with the phrase of (SLS) Same-Language Subtitling (which I’ve never heard it referred to as that before).
  • And of course one of the main reasons (it’s original purpose, I believe) for the Hearing Impaired.
  • Having the TV on when there is company over (which I generally don’t do unless there is a holiday themed movie on) to mute it and just have the text. (It always suprises me how many people haven’t seen “A Christmas Story”.)


    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.

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    Written By: Gary on November 18, 2005 No Comment
  • Apple 12 inch Powerbook: Software, Internet, Music, Audio Books, Podcasts, eBooks, Movies and more. It’s got just about everything I need.
  • Palm OS Cell Phone (Samsung i500): Phone, Day Planner, Address/Phone Book, a few games, slow internet (but I can get info and check my mail), it’ll work as a modem for my computer in a pinch.
  • Digital Camera (Minolta Dimage Xt 3.2MP): Photos, short Movies, Audio recording and in a pinch it’ll work as a thumb drive (I think it’ll work as a webcam on a windows machine).
  • iPod 60GB color (no video): Music, Podcasts, eBooks, my (read only) calendar/addressbook, some eBook files and works as a really big thumb drive.
  • TiVo (250 GB DVD recorder): Plays TV (what I want when I want), Records what I want every week (and makes suggestions), plays CDs, DVDs, Video CDs, streams audio and photos from my computers. With the new (free) HME options I can check the weather, movie listings, RSS feeds, photo feeds, flickr streams, play games, play my iTunes, back up shows to my computer and more (people keep writing these modules).


    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.

  • Written By: Gary on November 18, 2005 4 Comments
    1. Do you like board games? If so what is your favorite?
    While not actually a board, my favorite is actually Dominoes, which (if you’ve never played) is like playing cards, they’re a million games you can play with one set. As actual board games go Scrabble is probably my favorite regular old board game.

    2. Do you like card games? if so what is your favorite?
    Euchre is probably the only regular card game that I really like. I like Sequence too, but that’s more of a board game.

    3. Do you like computer games? If so what is your favorite?
    Not a big computer gamer. I play Solitaire or Scrabble on my Palm Pilot. I play SameGame on my TiVo (it’s a new option they’re testing) but I can’t find a rendition that playes exactly the same on my computer or Palm.

    4. Do you play role playing games? (EverQuest, MUDs, SIMS, Etc) If so, tell us about the game you are addicted to.
    I used to play the Scott Addam’s text adventure games (not the cartoonist). And I used to play SimCity and get addicted every so often, but not in a long time.

    5. If you do not play games.. how do you pass the time?
    Well, I do. But when I’m not I read, see movies, bike, rollerblade and surf the ‘net.
    Six. Okay, so there wasn’t really a 6 but I didn’t have a category for one of my favorite games.
    It’s trivia, has a board and requires a DVD player: Scene It? It’s the best trivia game out there, games are fast and it’s easy to learn.

    From Tuesday’s Tales via The Daily Meme.

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    Written By: Gary on November 15, 2005 One Comment

    TiVo is giving away a free movie called Red Trousers. It’s only for Series 2 DVRs with broadband (but not the DirectTivo). This is just to test the new “TiVo Video Download” service. Here’s the thing, it’s downloading the movie via your high speed internet! It’ll be interesting to see.

    I’ve always thought there would be a market for showing the first 15 minutes of a movie (or even 30 minutes). Let me pick some movies I’m interested in from a list, it downloads the first fifteen minutes, in exchange I answer a few (5-8) multiple choice questions for them. (If you don’t answer all the questions, you can’t delete it, which means you can’t download another).


    They’re calling it an advanced screening, but it’s out on DVD (click the image), I think it’s more of an advanced preview of the new system.

    In this dazzling combination of documentary and short film directed by and starring Robin Shou, star of MORTAL KOMBAT, and which Los Angeles City Beat called “a must-see for Hong Kong action fans” and the LA Times called “pure delight,” the death-defying feats performed by the world’s greatest stuntmen (nicknamed “red trousers” for the pants they wear during their training at Chinese opera schools) are profiled through interviews and clips that showcase their work. Intercutting with the documentary footage is the short film LOST TIME, a futuristic martial arts adventure in the style of Alex Proyas’ DARK CITY, where one can appreciate the stuntmen’s extraordinary achievement in their final cinematic form.

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    Written By: Gary on November 10, 2005 One Comment

    TiVo added a new enhancement this week (or at least it showed up on my TiVo, it might not be on yours yet but it should download it soon) called “Overlap Protection”. Now it can help with goofy network show times, ome shows are scheduled from 9:00 to 10:01 or something similarly goofy, so now the 10 o’clock show previously wouldn’t record it due to the overlap (or depending on your “priority” settings, it might not record the other one). The enhancement is now it won’t skip the second show, it’ll just give priority to the hight priority show and chop the few minutes from the lower priority show! Yeah!


    You’ve been able to “pad” a show for a while now, which means you take a show that’s on from 8-8:30 and you know it always runs a little late so you pad two minutes at the end. Now it records from 8-8:32 (let’s assume it’s a season pass). So I’m assuming it protects and gets most of the show. We’ll have to see.

    I did see that manual individual recordings take priority.

    What’s the limit though? If it’s an hour overlap into a two hour show, does it still tape half of the two hour show? I now see there’s a five minute limit in this overlap. It’s too bad that’s not adjustable (5/10/15/30/60/120), I’d probably set it for ten or fifteen minutes. I’d only use the hour option around the olympics or something like that where it’s okay to miss the an hour of a four or six hour show.

    This is only for the series 2 recorders (the ones with USB ports on the back) but not DirecTiVo. If you don’t have 7.2.1 you can ask to get on the request list and they’ll bump you to the head of the line. It’s not that much of an upgrade but just in case you’re running a much older version (I don’t know what other versions are still out there) you might want to request it.

    [This post has been modified quite a bit from when I posted it earlier today]

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    Written By: Gary on October 16, 2005 6 Comments

    Vcr tivo tombstoneSo everyone everywhere has been saying the VCR is dead. TiVo sent out an e-mail last week, I’m sure you got it (you do have TiVo don’t you?). It said:

    Did you know…?
    • Many manufacturers have halted production on VCRs forever!
    • 2006 will be the last year for VHS movie releases.

    But here’s the thing, so many people still have VHS tapes, they won’t be going anywhere soon. Who has ditched their cassette players if you still have cassettes? CDs were clearly better and more convenient. But the problem was that you couldn’t record CD (way back when, we could only play CDS, not record) and it’s still pretty hard for many people to make mix CDs. And most people can’t record anything to CD for something casual (off the radio, a recital, etc). The same goes for DVDs.

    So they did a mock funeral in New York and if you brought a VHS tape you could trade it for a TiVo (as long as sign up for at least a year’s worth of service).


    There are a lot of CD and DVD recorders but they’re just not that for the normal consumer yet. Actually, it might be easier for most people to make DVDs of home videos than CDs of home audio. The software is out there for that and it’s semi-easy to use, the TiVo recorders (and I’m sure the competitors) will do that quite easily.

    Once TiVo and the other DVR companies get out there with more DVD recorders I think it’ll really end it. People will still have those old 8 track tapes, I mean VHS tapes, and need to play them but I can see them not making any more.

    95% of my VHS recording was generally TV shows that I taped over later or lent to friends who missed the show. Now I can just save a copy to DVD for me or them but it’s slightly pricier and I generally don’t get the DVD back or I can save a copy to watch at friends or on my laptop. I’ve been renting movies on DVD for years so that’s not an issue. I’m not even sure what the other 5% was: Duplicating home movies/parties/weddings? Taping friends/me/family on TV? Both of those were pretty rare.

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