Let the price gouges commence!

If the PS3 wasn't expensive/crappy enough as it is, leave it to Fry's to force customers to buy a bundle (no other option!) with all of the nasty games that they can't sell!

Do I hear another nail being driven in the PS3 coffin?


XBox Stuff

Holy crap- I just saw they made a port of XBox Media Center for the PC... Makes sense as the XBox is basically a PC (Celeron 733, 64MB RAM, 9GB HD, nVidia video, USB, etc)- but this makes me question the need for Windows XP Media Center Edition now- The only thing that seems missing is TV Tuner support.

On another note- I saw that there was a MythTV script in the last version of XBMC (for the xBox classic) that I installed- I will have to see if the PC version supports Hauppauge PCI video cards...

XMas Holidays

333595123Just fininishing up my XMas vacation- I go back to work tomorrow... This has been one of the most stress free vacations that I have ever taken- nothing really to do and nothing to worry about.  i.e. it was fraking wonderful!

I got exactly what I wanted for XMas from Diana and Tracy- an XBox 360!  :) 

It ties into Windows XP MCE edition fairly well, and there is a Zune plugin that allows other PCs to stream music/pictures/videos to the xBox- almost as well as my old xBox did with XBox Media Player- but the games on this one look a little better...  :o)

Diana and Tracy both enjoyed their presents- which was the main thing.  We finally got a tree up on Thursday before the weekend (artificial with white lights and all silver ornaments).  Tracy and Diana are now downstairs cooking up a (late) Christmas dinner- filet.

I am glad both of the girls are here for the holidays- it seems more like a home...


Mio DigiWalker Hacking

I picked up a Mio Digiwalker C310x for about $200 at Frys on Tuesday- This thing is an awesome GPS tool! I think I like it better than TomTom 5 on my Palm.

On top of that, it is a PocketPC running Windows CE and with a few monifications, I can access the base operating system...

So far I have installed HPC Media Player and Solitare on it. alt.binaries.warez.pocketpc.movies has become my new favorite newsbin group!


Life, The Universe and What-Not..

(ok, that isn't the real title- how about 'So Long and Thanks for All the Bits?')

XMas time is so much fun- no, really. I am on vacation, I did 90% of my shopping beforehand and I have nothing to do but watch TV, play video games and go to the gym- this is what life is all about!!!

Highlights of the past week:

  • My MSN Direct watch is not broken (it wasn't recharging)- it just will not charge from the USB port on a computer (so I am not sure why they even broke the cable to put a USB A plug in-line).
  • The Wii Weather Channel is now online- that was interesting for about 4 minutes (no, really- check my Wii mail and it shows how long I was in the channel)
  • I got a Mio DigiWalker C310x for $198 at Fry's; It is awesome in the raw, and much more fun after it is hacked; now I have movies (alt.binaries.warez.pocketpc.movies) and a cheesy version of solitaire. MAME and NESTer may be soon, but no control pad?
  • I rebuilt my HTPC with some stuff on sale from Fry's

That is is for now; I need to get back to blogging...

Oh- lots of dreams of Dragon*Con last night- actually pretty weird; I dreamt I was hanging out with Sarah (The dancer from the Cruxshadows) and I woke up; I dreamt of D*C again, but I cannot remember the specifics; I awoke and went back to another dream of D*C- this was concerns about being late and problems with the hotel room...

Strange- three dreams in the same night of the same event...


Yet another Blog Test

So Microsoft OneNote 2007 (and Word) has a 'blog this' option; let's see how this works...


So far, so good- it appears to work with the new Blogger beta API- I guess this gives me one less excuse of why I do not blog- lol!


Ho Ho Ho!

Santa looks pretty damn jolly!


Wierd looking hall at the mall...

I wonder if this is what John Conner saw outside of the camera framing...

Need LOT of water to put out a fire?


Windows Vista - 1st, 2nd and 3rd Impressions

Windows Vista RTM (release to manufacturer) came out a few weeks ago; since we have a MSDN Universal account, we have access to download the software for testing (for development).  Since we really have no intention of ever doing this (moving to Linux for the production systems) I decided to try it out at home (a few of the other guys will as well).

I took the jump- I backed up my main system (Athlon 64 x2 3800, 3GB of RAM) and killed XP and installed Vista (I tried a different HD, but it appears to be a bad drive!).  Not too bad...


  • Nero Burning ROM causes some weird object errors; I thought Vista was completely hosed.  I found some posts commenting on Nero problems, so I uninstalled- and Vista was back to running smoothly.
  • ACDSee 9 has some compatibility issues; hard to put an exact cause, but there was a module that was flagged as incompatible with Vista' during install.  I am trying an older version to see if that works.
  • EnQueues doesn't work- but it looks like it was written specifically to use the Windows XP directory structure- i.e. c:\documents and settings\ path instead of the new c:\users\ configuration...

Everything else seems to work the same (or better) than before.  Programs I have extensively tested:

  • NewsLeacher 3.8b6 (works better)
  • Firefox 2.0
  • Flickr Uploader
  • Macromedia Dreamweaver
  • iTunes (some issues)
  • Harmony Remote Software
  • PalmOne Desktop/Hotsync
  • PrimoPDF
  • Poalr Weblink
  • Trilian
  • WinAmp
  • WinRAR
  • AVG 7.5

I have tried a few others, but that is the main list.  Final result- Vista will remain on my main PC.

Second Test: I installed on a laptop; the laptop is about a 1.2Ghz w/ 1GB of RAM.  It runs OK as to the applications.  It doesn't have a great video card so a lot of the video features are disabled; it runs Ok and seems to resume from standby much faster than XP- however it does seem to burn a little more battery on standby...

Third Test: I replaced the HD in my Windows XP MCE 2005 system (Athlon XP 2800, 2GB RAM)  to try out the new media center.  Vista runs fine in HD (720p) with my Radeon 9600 card; but there are a lot of Codec issues... I tried the FFDShow codec pack and DiVX and XViD seem to work, but not that well for thumbnails.  There were frequent freezes and lockups when changing video folders (hosted on another server via GB network).  The TV record schedule also seems to be a little flaky- skipped recordings, unscheduled recordings and wrong names displayed. 

After about two days I have swapped the HD back- Vista is not ready for a media center (or my system is not ready for Vista!).

Overall, Vista is very stable- and pretty fast.  Memory management seems to be better (i.e. programs that had memory errors before no longer do) and there is better security for installing/removing programs. 

Hardware support is excellent- I only had thee devices that needed additional drivers; my Canon Rebel XT, My Polar watch and my Logitech Webcam- Vista found and installed ALL other drivers (printers, sound card, Dell Axim, Treo, video, sound, USB, etc).

A few patches and vendors updates should have Vista running better than XP!  :o)


Awesome Retro Controller

This purchase was probably a little frivolous, but it is a very cool looking PS2 controller:


I thought I would get a PS2 to USB adaptor and use it on my desktop instead of the Logitech Precision Gamepad... (or maybe I should just drop $40 on the Cordless Rumblepad?)

Anyway- it looks very cool; like an old-school NES gamepad- but with small dual analog sticks and several other buttons...

Windows Live Writer (beta) Updated?

It looks like the latest version of Live Writer (beta) has found my blogger settings- even though it is the beta.blogger.com site (or is it still?)  This is a test post to see how it works!