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Archive for March, 2003

Our favorite DVR

March 30th, 2003, 5:59pm by Jake

Robert X. Cringley (the PBS version) has an article on TiVo. “TiVo is our friend.” Basically, he predicts that network programming will get crappier and crappier, sitcom stars will stop making $1 million/ episode, and TiVo will rule the world. I may be paraphrasing.

San Diego pictures are up!

March 28th, 2003, 8:28pm by Jake

Hey, I’ve posted pictures from Kelvin & Serena’s engagement celebration in San Diego. Just click on my link to the left.

Mobile Web saves the day

March 24th, 2003, 11:45pm by Jake

The wireless internet IS useful. I’ll explain. So I’m walking to the Air Force from Aerospace, which is really close. As I’m waiting to cross the street, this guy asks me if I know where the nearest gas station is. I have a pretty good idea, but I’m not certain. So I pull out my fine, go to the Yahoo! Yellow Pages, and find the nearest gas station, in less than 2 minutes. I found him a station about a mile away, instead of the miles he would have faced if he kept walking down aviation.

New Zealand Pics

March 24th, 2003, 2:59am by Derrick

OK, so I’ve got highlights from our NZ trip up on the web. Check it out at:
http://mywebpages.comcast.net/derricksung/
We got a chance to visit a couple of the Lord of the Ring sites. See if you can recognize any of them…(I think I need to go back to the movie and verify myself). Take a close look at the bungy jump pictures – the bridge that I jumped from is over the River Anduin, a few hundred meters up from the “Pillars of the King”. I managed to just barely dip my wrists into the water during the jump.
Anyhow, let me know if the site works. I couldn’t ftp onto the Pyslent site – I assume it’s because I’m using a really old FTP client (FTP explorer) which I haven’t updated for a couple years….I’ll try again later.

Phone unlocked!

March 17th, 2003, 2:09pm by Mike

At least with T-Mobile, it’s as easy as they say. I sent an e-mail at 10:00 AM, and by 1:30 I had my unlock code — I just told them I was planning on traveling overseas, and they wrote back with the code and complete instructions!
I just checked on prepaid SIM cards, though, and found out that they seem to mainly be for people who are going to be there for a while — longer than a 1-week vacation, anyway. Looks like the ones for France cost around $60 or so — what I’d want is one that’s free, and you just charge it up with some money.

Phone Surgery

March 15th, 2003, 6:57pm by Mike

(Mostly for Kelvin) — Ever notice the build-up of dust inside the T68i’s screen? The dust can get caught between the faceplate and the actual LCD inside the phone — not sure how it gets there, but if you carry the phone in your pocket, it will.
Anyway, I decided to take the bull by the horns and disassemble the phone to clean the screen. I had to buy a T6 torx driver (I’m getting quite a collection between this and the TiVo!), and found a web site with illustrated instructions (http://www.burrillj.fsnet.co.uk/maineric_t68.htm). I followed them, and no problems. The only other tool you’ll need is a little flathead screwdriver of the eyeglass-repair variety. Pretty harrowing, but it actually seems to work, and is much cleaner!

Symbol

March 13th, 2003, 10:49pm by Jake

A story about Symbol on the front page of News.com. A rollercoaster market day for our favorite bar-code company.

Solicitation

March 13th, 2003, 10:43pm by Mike

I was thinking of putting some links on the sidebar of the board here. Any suggestions? What’s new in your bookmarks?

I fought DSL and I won

March 13th, 2003, 2:26pm by Jake

Well, my 4th attempt at ordering DSL took. I originally ordered Verizon DSL, but they were kinda pricey and were slow with my order, so I cancelled that and went with Earthlink. Who never installed my service in 2+ months and who charged me a $400 cancellation fee (charge back took care of that). Had a cable modem for a while, but it was pricey after the promo period ($57/month). Ordered DirecTV DSL in November, about 1 week before they went belly-up. Finally ordered Covad in late December. $39.95/month, but $21.95 for the 1st four.
It took over 6 weeks to get my line installed (a day before ‘nawlins); by that time, the deadline to mail in the rebate had passed. In addition, they overcharged me by $18. Covad promised to credit my account and told me to send in the rebate. 3 weeks later, they had not credited my account, and overcharged me again (direct-billed to my credit card). They refused to help me get the rebate, and the best they could offer was a $72 credit after I had paid for 4 months. So I cancelled the service.
The same day (coincidence?), they respond to one of my emails and tell me that a “level 3” person is investigating. The day after, they called me. I finally talked to them this morning. The woman agreed to 1) immediately credit my account for $72 (the total overcharge), 2) immediately credit me an additional $39.95 for a month of servce, and 3) access my rebate form and have the check sent out with a week or two. They stopped the cancellation order and I’m still a Covad customer. I’ll have to update my dslreports.com review now.

Knockoffs 1: Bad

March 12th, 2003, 11:51am by Mike

AOL Time Warner has announced its TiVo knockoff, MystroTV. Sounds like a piece of crap. From the NY Times:
But the demonstration also stresses that the Mystro TV system offers networks and studios considerable advantages over in-home personal video recorders such as TiVo or ReplayTV, which is made by Sonicblue. Not only can networks determine the availability of their shows, but Mystro TV prevents consumers from making, storing or sharing copies (something ReplayTV allows). Mystro also does not automatically skip commercials or even include a fast-forward button that leaps past one 30-second commercial at a time (another feature of ReplayTV.)
While a program is paused or rewinding, networks can insert new commercials during the process or display them around the periphery of the screen. On the CD-ROM demo, for example, a viewer pausing “Charmed” might see a commercial for Special K or Pizza Hut.


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