Archive for September, 2008

Personal accountability

Tuesday, September 30th, 2008

This is a philosophical post that pretty much explains where I stand on the economic crisis. I believe that while in many scenarios more than one person is truly responsible, ultimately we are all responsible for our own actions.

So for example, a drug addict is to blame for their drug problem and not the dealer. A student is usually to blame for bad grades and not the teacher. The person who pulled the trigger is guilty of murder, not the seller of the weapon or ammo.

So understanding this about me, it should make it obvious that I blame we Americans for the mortgage crisis in our country right now. I blame myself because too, I have an ARM on my rental property and I didn’t put down 20% on my home.

I am part of the problem, and refuse to blame Wall Street — or Washington for that matter. Sure, without the banks willing to give us bad loans, it couldn’t have ever happened; but ultimately it is our crisis to bail ourselves out of and in a way the biggest mistake Wall Street made was to trust that we would all pay our loans back. Now personally I’ve never missed a payment on any of my mortgages, but I made the same mistakes that others have, it’s just that up until now, my mistakes haven’t caught up with me. The good news is that like many others, I learn from my mistakes and honestly believe that while this important lesson is going to hurt for now, in the long run it is going help us.

Anyone know what this blue bar is, on Vista Media Center?

Thursday, September 18th, 2008

Vista Media Center Blu-ray

About two times since I’ve installed the TV Pack, this blue bar has showed up on every TV (including extenders) and causes weird issues. For one, I can’t figure out how to get it to go away without restarting VMC and it seems to make the extenders lock up all together. Unfortunately it has never showed up while I was using my media center, only while others have used it, so I have no idea if anything was accidentally selected or a button hit to bring it up.

HDMI: it just doesn’t work

Monday, September 15th, 2008

It’s no secret that I don’t like HDMI, and my most recent experience is yet another great example of why. When I switched from two Series3 TiVos to Vista Media Center a few months back, I made the mistake of ordering a Dell with a video card that didn’t support component out. So rather than switch out the video card, I’ve spent way too many hours trying to get the kinks worked out. Then, last week when I saw the latest budget Nvidia 9400GT was released for $59, I picked one up from Newegg and had high hopes that it would solve all my HDMI woes. Now let me tell you, this is the best $60 I ever spent – well maybe — not only do I no longer have any HDCP handshake issues, or the black screens that go with ’em, but I no longer get juddder on some channels. Then, to tip it all off, the channels change sooo much faster than before. I mean, what a joke HDMI is — with Media Center at least — I only wish I wouldn’t have waited so long to swap it out. Oh, and if you were wondering, the picture quality still looks great, and there is no doubt it looks as good as HDMI on my kuro.

I suppose I should also mention that I don’t know for 100% that the fixes are all due to HDMI vs component, as it is entirely possible that the Nvidia card could’ve fixed all that via HDMI. Maybe down the road if I get curious I’ll try to confirm it, but for now I’m going to enjoy some football in HD.