Category: Digital Lifestyle

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Movie Time

About a month ago, we switched out the Windows Media Center PC for a TiVo. Of course, what good is a TiVo without a TV to connect to? Quite good, it turns out. Rather than go back to a PC, we returned to a projector.

I shopped around before buying the projector, for which the sale of the Dell Media Center PC paid. Choice—and not the best, but appropriate for the family’s budget: Optoma MovieTime DV10. The picture quality isn’t nearly as wow as I expected, but the overall big-screen experience is more than good enough. No means is it perfect, but perfection we demand spending heaps more money. MovieTime sells for $999. 

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Mac’s Back

The New Year started with my full-time return to Windows, so that I could test Windows Vista and Office 2007. This evening, after many days’ deliberations, I picked up a MacBook Pro from my local Apple Store. I will continue Windows Vista and Office 2007 testing, but no longer use Microsoft’s operating system on a full-time basis.

In typical fashion, I managed about two months on Windows before retreating back to the Mac. Reasons are same as always. My resolution to go back to Windows and stay there is a shambles. But that’s a good resolution to have broken. 

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Going Old World, Sigh

During the last seven months, I’ve taken some mighty big steps backward—and I’m none too happy about it. In early August 2005, I started using Vonage voice over IP (VoIP) service, putting a tethered phone back in the house. More than two years earlier, I pulled the landline, and we became an all-mobile family. Three cell phones.

But following carrier consolidation, I no longer could affordably purchase enough minutes for work and home needs; hence, the VoIP service. I would have expected service providers to encourage people to go only-cellular. But, NO-o-o-o. 

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How Rude!

I get so steamed sometimes by some people’s rude behavior. My daughter and I stopped into the local 7-Eleven this morning for a quick burrito. While we were standing in line, this lady jabbering Spanish over a cell phone made a huge mess at the cappuccino machine (I use lower-case “c” because 7-Eleven Cappuccino isn’t).

She used the wrong size cup, which overflowed all over the machine and made a huge puddle of milky gunk on the floor. And she didn’t care! She continued talking on the cell phone! 

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Throttle Me, I Throttle You

Uh-oh. Netflix throttling is in the news this week, and I’m steamed about the tactic. I am so mad that service cancellation is one option. More likely, I will, eh, throttle down my number of rentals.

Throttling is a strategy whereby heavy users are penalized for using the service. Netflix reasons it loses money on these customers, so they get lower shipping priority. 

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The Five-Year Plan

Lots of people are probably digging under rocks trying to uncover what will be the next, big, earthshaking technology trend. I won’t say, but I will offer an observation about reading the signs.

The first CD players started selling in the United States in 1983. By 1988, CDs surpassed vinyl records’ popularity (See Wikipedia, Gramaphone Record). Another two or three years would pass before music CDs reached mass-market dominance.

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Because I’m a Risk Taker

I feel more comfortable hanging myself out in the wind over here on my personal site than my work blogsite. Normally, that’s where I’d put a post like this one, but there is just too much chance my speculation is wrong. So…regarding Apple’s mystery announcement planned for tomorrow, I’m ready to make a prediction.

For some time, I’ve suspected that Apple might have a an iTunes-like video service in the works. And that’s where I’ll place my bet on tomorrow’s announcement, a video service, perhaps with music videos, TV content, and video podcasts. I’ll go further and predict a video-capable iPod and (if Apple is smart) Mac repositioning around digital entertainment. 

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It’s Not Your Spam, Ma`am, But His

Reducing spam is painful. I sent a friend e-mail at the domain she owns. She didn’t get the message, because she changed her e-mail handle off her domain. The reason isn’t rocket science: spam.

I feel her pain. I recently sold a domain I owned since 1995. In parting with the domain, I relinquished an e-mail addressed used for almost nine years. The e-mail change is liberating, because of the greatly diminished amount of spam.