June 12, 2014

HP's Memristor-Based Computer

Memristor

Memristor (Photo credit: mtlin)

Almost two years ago, I wrote an article for Linux Journal, The Radical Future of Non-Volatile Memory, that talked about how RAM-fast persistent solid-state memory should bring about changes to almost all aspects of computing technology, from hardware, to operating systems, and languages. Today, there's news that HP is building such a system using their "memristor" NVM as well as photonic interconnects. As I've said, I don't know which NVM technology will win the market - memristor, spin-torque-transfer, phase-change or others. But the new technology will not only produce drastic improvements in system performance, it will help spark some fundamental changes in architecture and software. See Ars Technica and Business Week . Update: More news - Toshiba announces new STT-MRAM memory
Posted by netrc at 01:10 PM

February 05, 2014

Software Release

IMDB on the iPhone - Top 250 Movies list

IMDB on the iPhone - Top 250 Movies list (Photo credit: DanieVDM)

I'm a big fan of the Internet Movie Database. As you know, they tabulate ratings and publish the top 250. While the ratings are of course subjective, it's a fun list. I've put up a web site that digs in to this data a different way, finding out the directors with the highest average movie rating. To make sense of this, you get to input a minimum number of movies and also a minumum number of votes per movie, so as to (if you care to) weed out someone who made a film that only got rated by their friends. Anyway, the site is up, at http://bestdirectors.netrc.com/. (If you care, it's node.js running on heroku for now. I'm working on adding some additional text and graphs to show more info about the data).

And, one more: I've written a little chrome extension to help navigate web sites. If you can't find a button or nav-bar to work your way up a level or two or more in the URL pathname, this extension provides a button in your Chrome browser and pops up a list of all possible upward paths. Hope you find it useful. See "Up Url" in the Chrome extension store.

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Posted by netrc at 06:44 PM

January 08, 2014

Another tech rant

It's not just that we don't yet have flying cars or even perfect non-stick pans, it's that after being in the software industry for about thirty years I still get peeved that software is still stupid. More accurately, its just that software programmers are stupid. Or more accurately, that with multi-core three gigahertz processors, 16 gigabyte main memory, and 10 megabit networking, no one seems to care about software. Or that you can be knighted and even get a spot in the OlympicsT opening ceremonies for putting together a meager application protocol that does very little itself leaving it up to others to fill in the blanks. Or that arguably the coolest software company on the planet and the best implementation of that protocol's client just doesn't work. Or that as hip and trendy and buzzwordy and venture-capital-impressing as we are, we're still only at the point of hand-cranked automobiles in terms of software evolution.

Here's what set me off: From a banal article about Google's new favicon (http://googlesystem.blogspot.com/2012/08/googles-new-favicon.html): "If you don't see the new favicon when you visit google.com, try clearing your browser's cache."

Translation: If there's some sort of bug, you're on your own. "try" means no one knows if this will work, it may well not work, ever. And if it doesn't work, don't complain: we don't have any support available anyway. "clear your browser's cache" means that if you are a civilian (grandmother, businessman trying to make a real product) you aren't expected to understand this; it means that the only way we know of to help fix a hundred-some bytes of outdated data is to arbitrarily throw out millions of times more data; it means that after 20 years of playing around with this protocol, no one ever cared to try and get it right. It means we're all just cool hackers here, so who cares. Pull over to the side, open the hood, get out the crank, stick it in and give it a whirl.

Posted by netrc at 01:19 PM

September 07, 2013

Type-Woe

Unless you're a brilliant medieval scribe, initial capital letters are usually a bad idea. If you happen to be IEEE's Spectrum and have just put in a new design style for your magazine, they are ugly incarnate.

Init caps - q.v. Initials - were an artistic flourish used by scribes to enliven and ease the reading of their religious texts. In their hands, the hand-drawn script of the text was embellished with unique, specific, glorified initial letters, drawing attention to the beginning of chapters, and marking the entire book as valued.

In the modern era, when a magazine, newspaper, or online article, uses init caps, the results are usually humorous. While biblical texts are uniformly composed of an alphabet's letters, modern texts (and the desire for authors to have 'punchy' opening sentences), often begin with numbers, acronyms, punctuated abbreviations or even an emoticon. Any new style guide that mandates init caps will inevitably stumble on copy that just shouldn't use it.

Which brings us to IEEE Spectrum, the flagship (dead-tree) magazine of the international engineering society. In their quest to produce a novel and edgy (and expensive) design, the publishers got a designer to retool all aspects of the magazine style. I'm not going to go over everything, but just talk about the init caps choice. That does mean, though, I've got to talk about their display font.

IEEE Spectrum seems to have also paid for a new font to be used for various title sections. And apparently the font designer decided that for a 21st-century electronic engineering magazine, the font of choice would need to have the look and feel of electronics. What does that mean? Think bad 1970s Hollywood computer effects: What it means is low-resolution, badly pixilated retro-crap lettering. Doesn't this just scream non-artsy, nerd engineer?

This of course, totally ignores the work of real engineers and computer scientists. From the days of UNIX troff, and Donald Knuth's tex, and others in the '70s, to Jobs' Macintosh, and indeed year after year for the past 40 years, engineering technologists have worked long days and nights to produce better and better fonts. Both for printing and monitor display, there's been astounding advances in understanding what it takes for to produce beautiful and readable fonts.

And all this toil done specifically to get rid of the vestigial pixilation's and crude results of the earliest beta versions.

OK. So Spectrum has an insulting font choice. But when you compound that choice with the equally bad style choice of init caps you come up with the perfect storm of ugly text display. Here's the lead paragraph from the Aug 2013 edition page 23:

  • The pixilated "Y" is not merely rasterized, it is barely recognizable.
  • The init cap is set off in a simple blue square, with a strange amount of white space around it. An init cap is one thing - an init cap floating off the text is another.
  • So, finally, the capital "Y" and the rest of the word "ou" are barely readable as a single unit.

If the goal was to produce unreadable, ugly text, they succeeded. I would rather their goal was to use the latest technology to produce a beautiful magazine. And as Knuth points out the root "tech" comes from the Greek, meaning art and skill. A technical magazine should strive to be both skillful and artful

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Posted by netrc at 01:18 PM

August 09, 2013

web tv

Google Chromecast

Google Chromecast (Photo credit: John Biehler)

I just got my Google Chromecast dongle; plugged it in and it's working fine. No idea if it is the wave of the future or another DOA-gadget, but it is intriguing. Here's my take on it and some of the previous technologies:

Chromecast - Enables you to share video, audio, and (chrome) browser tabs on an HDMI-capable TV set. Could be a likely next-gen use case. Get rid of the TV remote, never use the painful on-screen guide or the even worse user experience of Verizon/Comcast "on-demand" apps, and just navigate, etc using your personal tablet, phone, whatever.

The tablet interface is of course much nicer than any TV-remote, easy to look for shows, movies, esp from multiple conglomerates, independents, etc. Could well be that the TV becomes just an output device, like a printer. Will be even more fun when more Android apps turn on this functionality: One use case would be for family game nights, with the board/scores being displayed on the big screen. And being the geek that I am, I'd rather pop-up a map on the TV than insist people huddle over my notebook, or bring up a presentation or web page when chatting with friends about a topic.

Nexus Q - Interesting that this "cast"-ability was first available on the abandoned Google Nexus Q device from last year. Luckily I got it for free. Never understood why Google abandoned it; perfectly good Android device, with Google TV capabilities. It never had the apps that Google TV had, but it did have the "cast" feature where YouTube videos could be thrown on to the TV. Perhaps once they built this, Google realized that they didn't need the Q sphere, but just a dongle would do. Presumably some of the rendering of the apps/pages is done inside the google cloud data center and then just streamed to the Q and now the dongle. (Sort of like having Amazon's Kindle cloud-cache/renderer tee the output somewhere else).

Vizio Co-Star - I did buy a Vizio Co-Star for $100 for a better Google TV experience. That works pretty good, no need to "cast" stuff to the TV, the apps themselves run on the little box and display directly. Not all Android apps work, but many do. And, for example, there's an optimized Google TV Picasa app, somewhat better than casting the Picasa web page onto the screen. The remote control is bulky but one of the best devices that integrates an alphanumeric keypad (on the back) and a small trackpad (on the front). One good feature is that the remote control and the Co-Star integrate with your cable box, so you can pretty much run everything from one remote, and switch back and forth from normal TV to Android easily. (For those of us that haven't quite given up normal cable watching.)

Mac Mini

About eight years ago, with nothing like these devices available, I got myself a low-end Mac Mini to use as my dedicated computer/web interface for the TV. With a bluetooth keyboard and mouse, this worked pretty well, though the interface, of course, was mostly classic "PC" desktop. And having one more PC around the house to administer.

WebTV

But for the original web tv interface, way back in the '90s, I purchased a real "WebTV" device. That wasn't too bad at all - pardoning the 2400 baud phone bandwidth available at the time. But I could certainly email, get news, and browse the web. There was even an app for reading Usenet, the original global social and technical media site.

Amazing - in a little under 20 years, I've gone from browsing the web on my TV to browsing the web on my TV. How things have changed!

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Posted by netrc at 03:33 PM

September 02, 2012

Memories...

The 536,870,912 byte (512×2 20 ) capacity of t...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I've written an article for Linux Journal on the coming revolution in hardware/software due to the introduction of *fast* large-scale non-volatile memory. This isn't slow Flash NAND gates with limited write cycles - we're talking DRAM-speed writes and read. You can read the article in the September edititon, available (I think) only to subscribers or, of course, if you buy the hardcopy edition. I certainly don't have answers to the ultimate effect of this technology, but it's clear to me (and others) that it can well signal a big change in systems architecture and software design. Latest info, more links, at netrc.com/nvm

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Posted by netrc at 02:53 PM

August 03, 2012

Q Day

Just got my Nexus Q. Bottom line: works fine out of the box, now waiting for innovative functionality. I've been trying out various ways to get my TV jacked-in to the interweb for about a decade. In fact, about 20 years ago, I was a WebTV user - not bad if you could suffer through pre-DSL dialup speeds. Anyway, I've had a MacMini attached to the basement TV, that allows me to watch the kids, and show off web-based videos, and my ripped CD library. And, of course, any other application/internet thing available, as it is a general purpose computer. But the interface is, well, very computerish.

There are a bunch of new devices around, and when Google announced the Nexus Q, I jumped at it. Once the initial fanboy in me had cooled down a bit, it seemed like not the next best thing. Happily, over-capitalized Google Inc has seen fit to drop the price for early adopters, so right now, no harm no foul.

The device is elegantly packaged, plugs in and works nicely. You actually perform the initial connection from your tablet or phone (with the needed Q app) via bluetooth. That's probably a nicer way for your handheld device to scan for a local Q sphere. Once you've found it, you give it your Wifi password, and you're set.

The interface takes a bit of getting used to, as in, there's no particular interface. How do you play YouTube, Music, or Google Play TV/Movies? Simply go to the normal (as long as you've got a recent update) YouTube/Music/Play app, find what you want to play, and play it. You'll see a new little "broadcast" blueish icon at the top; you can use that to turn off and on sending the output to the Q.

There's a noticeable delay when sending, say, a music selection of video to the device. This is likely due to the architecture, as I understand it: You don't actually send the data from your tablet to the Q, you simply tell Q and/or Google datacenter to stream from the cloud to the Q directly. OK; works fine. I even purchased an episode of Community - after about 15 seconds, it started up in HD and looked great.

And that's it. Right now, for the price I paid :-), it's fine. But obviously, Google needs to work on the functionality and interface a bit. Right now, I can't throw up a random Web page. And does Google plan on adding the "send to Q" button to all their apps? I sure hope so; I'd love to use it for Picasa pics, my Google Docs, Maps, Google Plus (!). And of course, how do 3rd-party developers get in on the fun?

The kids like it: Dancing to YouTube "I've Been Working On The Railroad"

Posted by netrc at 09:01 AM

December 29, 2011

A/C, D/C, and USB

I've been arguing for years that DC power distrubution in data centers, trading floors, and homes should be the new standard. As the argument usually falls on inebriated ears who'd rather be watching the baseball game, I can't claim to be much of an influence. But there's been more discussion amongst people who actually know what they are talking about, see Wired's article, and from the Data Center Knowledge cite. Some reasons: up to 15% energy saving, fewer points of failure, less cooling.

Meanwhile, at the home and desktop level, rather than have myriad bulky ac-to-dc converter bricks stuck on to your power outlets, why not just have DC power distributed to USB outlets? Right now, there are multiple manufacturers that provide outlets with built-in converters: CurrentWerks, NewerTechnology, Fastmac, and Rolodex. Not a bad answer, certainly an interesting option for new building or renovations.

Posted by netrc at 12:09 PM

October 14, 2011

RIPs

Allow me to get on the brush-with-late-greatness bandwagon. One thing I found interesting about Dennis Ritchie was that he actually attended the old Usenix conferences (which I understand is actually still in business). Just odd, because few of the original Bell Labs guys attended. And, I mingled with him at an open-bar. No recollection of the conversation.

Meanwhile, while working at CITI, we had an infatuation with Apple Computer, Inc. I actually went out for a couple days team discussion to talk about A/UX. That was an aborted attempt to port the original MacOS to a UNIX platform (about 1988/9, whilst Steve Jobs was not at Apple). But I was at the unveiling of the NeXT computer, where one of the hightlights was that the cable connecting the monitor carried both the video and power supply (hence only one cable). And then, I was in the front row of the luncheon the next day, where Jobs was again extolling the virtues of the writeable CD caddy that was, for him, a big selling point of the system. Students could carry their data around in their shirt pocket. Except that I was close enough to see that Jobs' shirts (he had not yet switched to turtlenecks) had been custom tailored with extra-large pockets big enough to hold that CD caddy. One insight into his fetish for fashion over technology, and sometimes, over useability.

Posted by netrc at 03:11 PM

May 29, 2011

UpUrl - chrome extension

I've written a small Google chrome extension - "upurl". The idea is that often after getting in to the depths of some website, or after using a search engine, it is not always trivial to navigate back up the URL path. It's often hard just to find the homepage link for some sites. This extension puts up a little icon that when clicked shows the hierarchy of slash-separated URLs based on the current tab. It's not on the official extension page yet, it's only is double secret stealth beta release (and Chrome only) at http://www.netrc.com/upurl.crx
Posted by netrc at 03:02 PM

May 01, 2011

Just a small item

A small item, which begging your pardon, concerns me and Managing AFS: The Andrew File System. Regarding the origins of the term "cloud" computing, if I wrote this in 1996 (and finally got the book out in 1998), the terms were certainly in common use by (at least) the AFS community:
Depicting AFS as a file system cloud demonstrates the ubiquity of the system and the simplicity of connecting to the service. Perhaps a better analogy would be to a consumer utility provider - the water supply or the electric company. After a single hookup is made, services are constant, reliable, and affordable. As with telephone services, you simply expect that a single phone line will be able to connect you to any other phone in the world. AFS is like that; the worldwide community of AFS sites shares files without any special browsers or other applications. As far as they are concerned, "No matter where you go, there you are."
Posted by netrc at 09:19 AM

March 02, 2011

why five

Back at the 1990 Winter Usenix conference (so long ago there are only a few traces of it on the web) a fellow from NASA talked about their uses of computers over the years. One war story told of how the "5" button in the middle of the main controller(a numeric keypad) got worn off due to hitting it so many times during the Apollo missions -it was the 'reset' button to clear out buggy software.

Another story I've always remembered explained why there are five flight control computers on the U.S. Space Shuttle. Basically, you need a computer to fly the spaceship due to hypersinic aerodynamics. But...

...you can't have one computer, because it could fail

...you can't have two, because they may give different results

...you need three to be able to break a tie, but if one failed you'd have two which is no good

...so you need four computers to be doubly redundant against failures and still have a quorum for voting.

...So why five? Well, what if all four fail? You have to pre-load one more computer with the software to land the shuttle, and then you keep it frozen, turned off until an emergency forces you to use it.

And that's why the shuttle has five flight control computers.

I found a link the other day, related to the last voyage of Discovery, which pretty much backs up my recollection of the story: http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/shuttle/flyout/flyfeature_shuttlecomputers.html . Note this quote from the article: it has been 24 years since the last time a software problem required an on-orbit fix during a mission . !

Posted by netrc at 05:05 PM

February 04, 2011

4A

Knuth alla Open Content Alliance

Image via Wikipedia

My brand new copy of Donald Knuth's The Art of Computer Programming, Volume 4A, "Combinatorial Algorithms, Part1" just arrived. Wow. As with 1, 2, and 3, way too much information. And, as always, a fantastic layout. I recall going to one of his lectures back in Ann Arbor, where he rambled on about a visualprocessing algorithm he was working on. Fascinating, arcane, and good humored. Thanks Don!

and don't forget, most books, films, music mentioned in this blog can be accessed through my amazon web store shown in the left nav column

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Posted by netrc at 10:05 AM

February 21, 2010

Blockheads

Finally figured out that Adblock is blocking my Amazon bookstore and in-line ads. Just FYI.... You can of course do your own surfing to any bookstore you like, but there are links here that work in all the browsers. If you don't seem them, check out your ad blocking plugins.
Posted by netrc at 12:51 PM

March 21, 2008

Nanotech

I would assume that we're all hip to the nanotech future? There's still a big gap between now and this, but even the intermediate future will be very, very cool. Talk about "change"!
Posted by netrc at 09:18 AM

February 06, 2008

New Tech News

Some news: I've been trying to get some sort of media server set up to our living room interfaces (the big TV/home-theater thing) but having little luck in finding a reasonably priced general server. It's pretty easy getting music over to the receiver, but what about Picasa images? What about podcasts of various formats? What about youtube? Hulu video/movies? What about the web? Yes, the web - why can't I display my calendar or travel info without crowding people into the small office?

Of course, my Time-Warner cable box is Linux-based, but closed to hacks. My answer to all this was to get a Mac Mini. It's now setup, wirelessly connected to the office server, etc. While the user interface is confusing :-), the functionality is all there. I've even programmed the new remote control to manage the Mac iLife application.

In other news, I've upgraded to the Treo 755p with EV-DO access. I'm still impressed at the Palm interface (even more so than the Mac). I've had an ever expanding Palm contact list and calendar from about 1996, and every new Palm I've moved to has just sync'd and managed that data transfer and application re-installs seamlessly.

Posted by netrc at 09:47 AM

November 16, 2007

A/C-D/C-A/C-D/C

letter to the editors of the IEEE Spectrum...

Can there be any more absurd idea to be displayed in IEEE Spectrum than the Coleman "Powerworks" power inverter for cars (Resources, Nov 2007)?? Granted, there are by now myriad devices accompanying our auto trips which require electrical support. But there's something drastically wrong with this picture - the engine's alternator generates A/C, that's converted to DC to recharge the battery and is distributed to a cigarette lighter -- a cigarette lighter -- into which we're supposed to insert a cigar-shaped plug to send DC power to an A/C inverter into which we plug our laptops DC power converter. That doesn't seem like sound engineering - it's more like Edison and Tesla are still fighting it out in the backseat of my car.

What's wrong with a simple DC distribution network in our cars, with standard, simple, small, purpose-built DC plugs, into which we can directly plug laptops, music players, GPS units, cell phones, DVD players, tablet PCs, and PDAs?

We've pretty much banned cigarette smoking in cars anyway; why not get rid of this vestigal infernal hack and put in place a professionally engineered electical system? That sounds like a job for the IEEE.


(and then we can put the same thing under my desk!)

Posted by netrc at 02:01 PM

March 22, 2007

Computer Humor

Herewith, a short overview of the olden days in computer industry advertising. Compu-Promo from James Lileks....And yes, it does occur to me that I find this all more amusing than most civilians.
Posted by netrc at 02:00 PM

December 14, 2006

Literature(?)

I've written a book, have you? Now you can, and you can even get a far better royalty than most published authors - See Lulu to publish your book yourself. Looks like a great way to see your prose (or poetry) in polished, printed form.

And for UNIX-philes, they even have the Lions' Commentary on UNIX book available.

Posted by netrc at 03:11 PM

October 31, 2006

toodledo

Still trying to keep track of things todo. I use ListPro on my Palm, which is nice for general lists as well as important stats (e.g. WorldSeries). Each list can have lots of fields, and it has a good PC interface which, of course, syncs betwixt the Palm<->PC. But there's no online-web-AJAXy thing. For the web version, I've stumbled on ToodleDo . Very nice, modern interface, easy to use. Etc. Conceivably I could use my Palm to browse/edit this. Let me know what you think.
Posted by netrc at 11:02 AM

August 14, 2006

Windows Live?

Microsoft announces a new product, and, like an idiot, I run off and install it. Windows Live is a local app designed to make publishing easier. We'll see....it seems to have discovered automagically that I'm using MovableType; ahhh, and it even found the 'categories' I've set up. Next stop, reviews on my todo list: Superman Returns (thumbs up), The Breakup (thumbs horizontal), and others.

update: wow, when software works, it's neato.

Posted by netrc at 11:13 AM

August 10, 2006

Why We Like SUNW

Radia Perlman, "mother-of-the-internet", works there:

Radia: Mother of the Internet. That’s kind of a strange marketing sound bite. I cringe when people emphasize my gender, because it's really a very small part of my life, especially my professional life. Recently a recruiter for a company sent me e-mail saying "We are particularly interested in you as a female thought leader." I didn't reply, because I wasn't interested in a job, but I fantasized replying: "Thank you for your interest. Although my credentials as a thought leader are impeccable, I must warn you that I am not that qualified as a female. I can't walk in heels, I have no clothing sense, and I'm not particularly decorative. What aspects of being female are important for this position?"


A neat interview. Read through to the end -- e.g., she knows that TCP/IP isn't the be-all of protocols.....
Posted by netrc at 07:01 PM

February 16, 2006

VoIP

My home phone has been ported to VoIP. We beta-tested Voicepulse for about three months; everything went fine, so we put in to have the port done. Any calls to our home number will now be digitized, packetized, fragmented, routed, and then reassembled automagically. Or so they say.

Let me know if you sense any problems with your calls. Of course, if IP traffic is really broken, you better send complaints via snail-mail.

Update:

20 Feb 2006 - a few hour outage for incoming calls. Outgoing calls unaffected. Customer support was pretty quick about this, buy saying only that the problem was with their "upstream service provider".

Posted by netrc at 03:22 PM

November 09, 2004

Apologies...hard drive failure

Sorry about the absence. My hard drive failed and needed a complete reinstall. The important application data I had saved to CD, but I never made a system backup and, after the renovation, I had mislaid my system disks. However, the whole refit was pretty simple -- I had the help of Brian from PC Joe who diagnosed the problem, determined that the disk drive would require a clean-room operation costing $1000s, and instead just put a new system disk together.

(Actually, the reason I haven't posted is that I've just been lazy)

Posted by netrc at 10:06 AM

May 04, 2004

Attacked!

Over the past week my PC has been hit hard by spyware and the Sasser virus.

Spyware is either cookies or executable code which "enhances" ones browsing experience. In my case, this included changing my toolbars, intercepting Google queries, and adding extra links to pages (e.g. "car" and "loan" linked to advertisers).

Some of this spyware was particularly vicious. Certain executables really messed up accessing the net -- even trying to find spyware antidotes. I finally picked up Spy Sweeper and that was able to fix most of the damage. Even so, registry keys from ipend have been difficult to get rid of.

Among the nasty stuff was adware from:

  • Lycos Sidesearch
  • ClientMan - odysseusmarketing

Then, Monday evening, I was hit with the Sasser virus. Windows unhelpfully kept informing me that the lsass.exe exited and that therefore a reboot was necessary. Luckily, after a few reboots I was able to get the antidote.

Useful tools:

  • Spy Sweeper, a couple bucks but nice interface.....
  • Hijack This, very fast, displays odd registry/misc entries. You decide what to keep/delete. free. Web site has good info
  • Eric Howe's Privacy Info , good treatment of issues, software, etc.
Posted by netrc at 06:36 PM

December 21, 2003

DVR != HDTV

A quick note: I'm told that the new Time-Warner DVR is not capable of delivering HDTV output, for those few channels which have that today. Seems like quite an oversight. I'll have to decide which is more important, time-shifting Letterman, HDTV Leno, or several more set-top boxes to do both.
Posted by netrc at 04:19 PM

December 13, 2003

Icons

I've finally fixed the icons. If you're interested, some were found at Icon Archive

Icons Tree looks good too.

And Icon Town is over the top.

Posted by netrc at 11:23 AM

December 03, 2003

DVR

Just replace my old-fashioned digital cable box with a DVR - a tivo-like recordable cable box. Has all the old functions (video-on-demand, etc) plus the ability to record up to 30 hours of video on an internal hard-drive.

So far, thumbs up. I got home with it, plugged it in, turned it on, started
watching "A Charlie Brown Christmas" -- and hit the record button.
No troubles, I can now watch that classic cartoon as much as I want.

Next, I went to the normal on-screen program guide, scrolled over to 11:30pm, selected "Late Night With David Letterman", and hit the record button. Up pops a window to ask if I want to record the one show or, the option I was looking for, the entire series. Next morning, the show is there for me to watch.

Watching is easy: Hit the "List" button and up pops a menu of all the recorded shows. Select one and watch.

Downside: the response time from the cable box is quite a bit slower than with the previous digital cable box (which was slower than the previous analog box).
As the system is (I think) constantly decoding the video stream and preparing to write the stream to disk in case you want to "pause" live TV, then switching channels takes more time. Must learn to be more patient....

more to come.

Posted by netrc at 02:24 PM