Posts Tagged ‘Gadgets’

Life up til now…

June 18th, 2007 Comments off

Not a bad week last week. I took Tuesday – Friday off, to spend with the Fam, and to help with the timing of going to VBS each night at our church. I taught the 4th grade class, using LifeWay’s Game Day Central curriculum. I had three awesome helpers, and a class of 8-10 each night. Pretty good week of getting to know some new kids, and enjoying time spent with the rest of the PCBC VBS team. The whole week was well planned, and also a lot of work.

Also got to do some vacationy things, Tuesday we went in the morning to a splash park in north Dallas. Then later swam at the pool. Then swam a couple more times during the week. Caught up on a lot of sleep, and then stayed up late to make net sleep deficit practically nil, but at least I’m caught up.

Yesterday was Father’s Day, and I got cool cards and drawings from my girls, and hugs from my boys. Then in the afternoon Dan and I went golfing with Bobby2, and the younger Bobby passed onto Danny his old clubs. So we got to play 9 holes (and it was free thanks to the rumbling stumbling rainstorms that deluged us the past few days … soggy course … free golf… bout evens out) of carefree golf with no one rushing us. If only I could hit a golf ball close to where I want it to land. I guess I need to practice more.

On the geek front, I’m evaluating the Microsoft Windows Home Server (RC1) on my old home built machine (800MHz PIII, 512 RAM, a few hundred gigs of hard disk space). For an RC this is fairly well polished. The jist of Home Server is to automate backups and provide a place to share files within a home network. The guts are Windows Server 2003, and it is designed to run headless (no attached monitor and keyboard). Cool concept, and the implementation is actually pretty good. After installing it Saturday, both of our laptops have been backed up twice, and I’m moving over files from the drive attached to my NSLU2 onto the server. The kids have given up their WinXP machine, but I’ve figured out how to give them console access to give them computer time (fyi, this isn’t what this is designed for, and really not a ‘best practice’ but until a new PC falls on my doorstep, I gotta do what I gotta do). Another post with a review is most likely forth coming.

Categories: /dev/null, Gadgets, Life Tags: ,

I’m too geeky for my shirt.

January 5th, 2007 Comments off

I’ve been busy, okay… So while my writing brain muscles get all warmed up, here is a commercial for ya! (yeah, been busy with that too… so deal.

(and I know this will break Blogospper’s browser at work,  but he’s too busy to watch this anyways.)

Categories: /dev/null, Blaaawg, Gadgets Tags: ,

New ViOSified TV service.

October 26th, 2006 Comments off

somewhere on misplacedkeys I detailed my Verizon FiOS Internet installation.  Still smoking along just fine and dandy.  Recently got a flyer in the mail that FiOS offers TV service now in my neighborhood.

Did the cost/benefit analysis, saved about $25 a month for basically what I had with TimeWarner (nee Comcast) so I booked and install, and today they came and installed.

The savings was enough that I put on some addons (the $25 savings is AFTER all the addons).  Added the HDTV DVR and the MultiRoom DVR, and two extra set-top boxes.  The MultiRoom allows the kids to watch recorded shows on their TV in the other room, while we watch what we want on our TV.  The other extra STB drives the ReplayTV that still is capturing away.

The HDTV DVR is a dual-tuner DVR that can record two shows at once.  It is a different dual-tuner setup, in that the TV actually either shows live TV or a recorded show, you can’t switch back and forth between the two tuners (if you are recording two shows, you can move back and forth between them)

So we can now record that third ‘must see’ show and catch up on somethings that we miss.  If we do that at all.  The things we lose, is mostly in usability.  The old DVR could use a reprogrammed remote to have a 30sec advance, as well as the quick 15-sec review.  That is gone on this system, FFW and REW, but no single button skip, and so moving through the commercials will be a skill building exercise.

The program package is fairly complete, with more HD channels that TimeWarner, and they are grouped ‘intelligently’ you want kids shows, 200-220, HD starts at 801, etc…  Picture quality is excellent.  Programming the DVR is a snap, and will basically record w single shows, or series, with a lot more options than the TimeWarner DVR.  Not as great as the ReplayTV, but very close.

Also the MultiRoom package enables a MediaManager that can serve up music and photos from a Windows Computer.   Which is gimmicky.. but kinda neat.

Video On Demand has some good choices, in both Free and PPV.  Bring on the television shows!

Categories: Gadgets, Life, Television Tags: , ,

Zowowie! – Creative Zen Vision:M

October 7th, 2006 Comments off

Creative Zen Vision: MLast night, we went to StuffMart and purchased for Angie a Creative Zen Vision:M.  She’s been wanting something that plays MP3s and that she can take with her (her laptop is a bit bulky) and play the songs she loves in the car, or around the town.  One of the requirements was that it can connect to her Rhapsody account, and be able to use their subscription service.  The sexy slick iPods are tied to the iTunes (I know they can play other normal MP3s, &c.) and isn’t compatible with the subscription service that Angie would like to use.  I had heard about the Zen Vision a few months back, and had a crush on it for a while, since it has some pretty cool video features (much more flexible than the iPod with codecs).  So we’ve had our eyes on this one for a while.  We bought an old style cassette tape adapter so she can listen to her music in the car as well. 

After we got home, it needed to charge up (via a USB connection, which is the way things seem to be going nowdays, and also handy as we both have our laptops) and so she left to go scrap/stamp with Natalie. *evil laugh* ITS MINE!!! *cough cough* at least for a few hours…

Time to put it through its paces, so follow the geekitude after the break.

Read more…

Categories: /dev/null, Gadgets, Life Tags: ,