Archive for January, 2007

A new job

Wednesday, January 31st, 2007

I have worked as a systems engineer for for the past two years and today is my last day. While I enjoyed working at DSM and certainly learned alot, I am looking forward to my new job at Talbots. Since they are a publicly traded company you will probably not hear about them again, but we will see how it goes. I am excited, but at the same time I don’t really know what to expect and will be happier once I get settled in. This shouldn’t impact my blogging on here or EHD.

Finally FIOS

Monday, January 29th, 2007

I am one of those people that feels like I have to have the fastest Internet access I can get and I have to have the every HD channel I can get my hand on. So last week I was very happy to see that Verizon was laying fiber optic cables in my neighborhood. While they have been laying fiber all over Tampa for the past 2 or 3 years, I didn’t expect them to come to my neighborhood so soon. You see I live in what some might call a “up and coming neighborhood”, others might call it the ghetto, you know the type and since my hood is 100 years old, I didn’t expect Verizon to pick it so soon. Sure they eventually would get around to us per an agreement with the City, so I guess they are through cherry picking the “nice” hoods.

Either way, I can’t wait to upgrade from 15Mbps to 30Mbps and pay $2 a CableCARD instead of $4, not to mention the extra HD channels. The guy laying the conduit said they would be done in a month or so, so I guess all I can do now is wait.

Bye bye for now DirecTV

Tuesday, January 23rd, 2007

My New and Old TiVo

I have been a DirecTV customers for some time now, originally it wasn’t for reasons I will publicly mention, but eventually it was because of the HD TiVo. Now that DirecTV has decided to go another route and the Series3 is everything I hoped it would be (assuming they add MRV and TTG), I am done with DirecTV; for now. I say for now, because they might just live up to their promisses and add 100 HD channels and although I love my TiVo I may pick up a H20 to watch the new channels till I can recored them with my Series3 (when BHN adds them) — I mean why not, I already have the AT9 dish on my roof?

It is really kind of sad for me, but what else can I do to get a HD TiVo? How much do I like TiVo/hate the SA8300/HR20? So much that I paid $800 for my first Series3, $300 for 3 years prepaid TiVo Service and $8/mo for 2 CableCARDs. We have been a 2 DVR family for some time now, so we had to buy a second Series3 for $611, as well as the service and the CableCARD rental. Wow $32/mo for TiVo service and CableCARD fees that shocks me, but it is what it is.

Now if TiVo would just enable MRV, and I would be all set.

Where are the fast and big Laptop Hard drives?

Saturday, January 20th, 2007

I never feel like I have enough hard drive space. My Mac Mini has a 100GB, my MCE has 160GB, (used to have another 250gb but it died) and my Mac Book Pro has 120GB. I also have a few external drives I am moving data around too.

The problem with my laptop hard drives is that they are too slow, man 5400rpm really feels like it is holding me back. Maybe it’s just in my head, but everytime there is a delay I can blame on my disc access speed, I do. I would love to buy a bigger/faster hard  drive for my MBP, but they don’t really make one. Every few months I look for say a 160gb 7200rpm 2.5 drive and no dice. Why is this? What does speed have to do with size, why can’t they make a 160gb 7200rpm laptop drive? You almost never see this in desktop drives, when the latest large capacity drive comes out it is almost always available in a 7200rpm variety. I guess the same can’t be said for 15000rpm, but still, I don’t get it.

Why I want an Apple TV

Sunday, January 14th, 2007

Apple TV

Everyone loves to hate on Apple as much as some love them. I love Apple products, but try to be impartial. The cliché “It just works” really does apply to most Apple products. TiVo is another company that I really like their products and in the world of getting content off my Mac onto my TV the TiVo lets me down as does MCE. The iTunes ecosystem has got me, no doubt about it and I like it. I like the way iPhoto and iTunes manages my music, videos and pictures and keeps them in sync with my iPod. The management of my content is my favorite part and up until the Apple TV I haven’t been able to easily get this content on my TV. Sure I have a dock that lets me output my iPod to my TV, but the interface on is pretty lame. I could also connect my Series3 to TiVoDesktop and stream them, but the interface is less than elegant and visualizations are a joke. (Not to mention TiVoDesktop doesn’t support Intel macs, where I store my photos). I could also somehow sync my iTunes from my Mac Mini to my MCE and use my Xbox360 to view my photos and pictures on my TV, but again, this is anything but elegant, more like a cluster.

The Apple TV solves all of this by linking iLife to my TV in a elegant way that my wife could use (after I program my Harmony 880 to control my ATV).

At this point you might be saying “But Ben you haven’t even mentioned Video isn’t that the whole point of ATV?”. My answer would be “not for me it isn’t”. I have my Series3 and my Blu-ray player for all my HD video needs and everyone who knows me knows that I only watch HD. Sure I could get HD content via torrents or off a capture card, but it just won’t work as well as my Series3 does and the movies won’t look or sound as good as my Blu-ray player so what is the point? Even if Apple does start to sell HD movies I doubt they will sound or look as good as Blu-ray so the only way I would buy them is if I really wanted to see a movie that wasn’t available for Blu-ray which doesn’t seem very luckily at this point since both Disney and Paramount make Blu-ray movies. Sure I may convert a movie or TV show at some point in time to watch via ATV, but for me it is all about my music and my photos on my HDTV in a brain dead way that “Just works”. again

Sunday, January 14th, 2007

The first time I decided to start a personal blog it didn’t go so well. One post and that was it. I know that is pretty lame, so here I go again and this time I plan to post atleast once per month. So stayed tuned for something worth reading.