Apr 062006

Finally everything seems to be working. We’ll see if it lasts. The new DVR is all synched up and quite nice. The built-in games are pretty neat, if basic. The interface is slick. And it’s true — we can record two shows at once, while watching another. Amazing. Beats our old ReplayTV.

And our cable modem is doing all right. Uplink speed is still slower than I’d like, but that’s largely because Charter doesn’t really offer very good uplink speeds. But downlink is just shy of 3 Mbps. Woohoo!

 Posted by at 10:27 PM
Apr 062006

A guy from Charter called this morning to let me know they were on their way. “Great,” I think to myself, “they’re coming to finish repairing all the problems with our wiring.”

When they showed up, I opened the door, and there’s a guy with a DVR. He’s been told to install it. He was quite confused when I said that was done yesterday and that we were waiting for someone to finish other repairs.

Him and his partner putzed around the house for over an hour before my wife got fed up with them being completely clueless and threw them out. They were clearly in way over their heads.

The guy that was here yesterday called about half an hour ago and says he’s still coming today, although it might be late. Apparently all Charter’s techs have been called out to do a repair on a fiber conduit that some yahoo shot. With a gun.

Life in the South. Gotta love it.

 Posted by at 3:33 PM
Apr 062006

We watched last night’s episode of Lost fairly late last night. It was… interesting.

Not the best episode by a long shot. But very interesting to learn that Libby was in the same psych ward as Hurley. I wonder why. Was she ever a shrink, or did she just learn to fake it from being around them for a long time?

I was hoping for more new revelations about the hatch and Dharma than we got.

Something interesting my wife, Sarah, and I noticed, though. It’s a lot harder to get satisfaction from individual episodes than it is a number of them at once. We watched the first season and the first 17 episodes of the second season over the course of about a week and a half, so we were seeing something like three episodes every night for that time, more or less. You got a lot of information very fast that way.

Now it feels like it’s coming at a trickle, and it’s strangely unsatisfying.

We’ll get used to it.

 Posted by at 9:52 AM
Apr 052006

Cable guys left after a couple of hours. They’ve grounded our cable line now, but there’s still a resistance problem on the line, which is causing cable modem dropouts and serious problems with our digital channels.

That also means that our brand new Charter DVR can’t sync up to grab channel and program guides, so I’m steering the TV blind.

Anyway, the cable guys are coming back tomorrow to finish the job — they need to find and fix the resistance problem, then possibly install an amplifier. There’s so much cable draped around our house due to its layout and where all the boxes and whatnot are, that there may be some serious signal loss.

They seem pretty confident that they’ll be able to get everything fixed tomorrow. I’m not holding my breath; I’ve had pretty much nothing but trouble with Charter. For example, about two years ago, I called them to get a billing adjustment because we had been getting the wrong cable modem speed for the amount we were paying. Derek, the support goon of the day, told me that it was obvious I was using multiple computers on the line, that nobody has more than one computer in their home, and therefore I was running a business on the cable modem connection, and he started spewing quite a number of threats about cutting me off or charging me hundreds of dollars.

Man, that really got me angry. I explained that I was paying for a DSL line at another location to run my servers off of, paying $175/mo for them, because I didn’t want to violate the terms of use of my home connection, and that he could basically stuff it. In the end, I had to fax them a copy of my latest invoice for that service. Never heard from Derek again. But my friends and I still wonder, any time any of us have any kind of problem with customer service, if Derek’s on the job.

Also discovered today that ReplayTV doesn’t support the serial connection to our cable box — I’d hoped to sling the Replay to another TV with that instead of having to use the IR blaster, which only marginally works. So I guess if we’re going to use the old ReplayTV still, it’s back to infrared. OTOH, this makes me more inclined to sell off the ReplayTV box. Assuming of course that the Charter DVR works out.

Twiddled the old ReplayTV so I could record Lost tonight. My wife’s out for a while tonight, so we’ll watch it when she gets home. Can’t wait to see what happens next!

 Posted by at 11:09 PM
Apr 032006

Just finished watching tonight’s episode of “24.” What the heck?

Has that loser wimp of a president been faking it all this time? Suddenly he’s the mastermind of this whole conspiracy? Is it just me or is that really, really hard to believe?

“Next week on 24: Jack jumps a shark on the way to kill more terrorists.” Woohoo!

 Posted by at 11:48 PM
Apr 022006

I made good use of my last week of being out of work by watching the entire second season of Lost up to present. I’m finally all caught up with the mysteries of the island.

A month out of work was plenty for me, thank you very much. I start at Mozilla tomorrow, doing some much-needed technical writing. Be nice to be doing that again. Hopefully I can climb the learning curve fast and start being productive.

 Posted by at 7:47 PM