tvordlj: (Default)
A few people on my flist are doing that 30 day meme. I don't think i'll do it because i know i won't keep it up the whole time but some of the topics do interest me. I've put the meme topics below at the end behind the cut in case anyone's interested. Besides i don't really think most people would want to know, in detail, things like what i ate today, or what i wore or my dreams in great details. I don't even remember most of my dreams and many of them that i do remember just after waking can be pretty bizarre. One of the topics i know i could write a lot about, though, is my parents. I won't, not now, but all i will say is that i know i've been very lucky to have the parents i have. My dad is gone but i still feel him with me and feel his influence every day, even if it's just a silly pun i might make or understanding when someone talks electrical stuff. (he was an electrician) My mom and i have always been close, a different kind of close than she and my sister have. They have motherhood in common which, of course, i wouldn't have, me not having any rugrats ;) My parents are very special and i count myself lucky. I know i said that already but it bears repeating. My whole family just rocks, anyway, but that's for another post another time :)

Continuing the dvr saga... it looks like it did record something last night and this morning i was able to set up some series programs to record and set a movie to record during today while i'm at work. The box had turned itself off overnight though i'd left it on with the tv off as is my habit from the old box but apparently that's normal according to someone at work that has the same one. I also found out that apparently i can actually hook up an external hard drive to this one (and maybe that also means a usb flash drive, too) which would be great for being able to keep a movie i will want to watch again once the movie channel isn't carrying it anymore or for recording something that Mom might want to watch. Gives you extra Hard drive space too, which is useful since if you record in high definition, it eats up a lot more space.

This new box has a 250 g. hard drive which is bigger than the old one which might have been a 160, not sure. He gave me a brochure on the hook up procedures but i haven't looked at it or the back of the box yet. If it can go to a usb flash drive as well as an external, i might run out and get a 4 or 8 gig usb key. I do have an external hard drive but would prefer to just leave that plugged into the computer but i could use that if i had to. It would save me downloading movies and risk dubious quality but if it doesn't actually work or i can't make it work, i'm no worse off than i am now.

meme me )
tvordlj: (Dime)
So i got off just before noon and was home by 12:30. Guess when the tech finally came? 7:15 tonight!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I called at 5, oh yes you're on the list, they're just running late. I called at 7 and she said i was the next stop. So he got there and said he was the evening shift, he reckons the day shift guy screwed up or something. Probably got late and he decided to go home for his supper. To quote [livejournal.com profile] gramie_dee "gobshite!" The guy that arrived finally brought a brand new box and when he looked at the old one he said he thought it might have been a refurbished one! I can't tell you how many ways that's just wrong. I know, i know, probably with most people they're ok but they're refurbished for a reason, because they broke!!! Anyway shiny new one in the house. It takes awhile for it to regenerate all the menus and functionality.

Mom had come over in the afternoon, and i was supposed to take her home and bring the car back for myself. She's away for a few days and i needed it for the weekend. Anyway, you just know if she'd not been waiting, the tech would have come early! She stayed, though, and I took her back while the box regenerated itself. On the way home, i decided i was quite hungry so i went to the grocery store and bought a pre-cooked chicken, some cole slaw and potato salad which isn't as good as my potato salad, btw. Too mushy and wet. And when i went to get back in the car.... shiny dime at my feet! Awwww!

The other thing the guy did was spruce up my cable coming into the house and the signal seems even better now. Cross your bits that it's all good. Onward and upward but i wish i hadn't wasted a half day vacation on it!

Grrrrr

Aug. 17th, 2010 09:00 am
tvordlj: (Fuckit)
Wouldn't you just know it? I finally get a dvr, something *everyone* says i'll absolutely *love* and i won't know how i got along with out it.... and the fucking thing seems to be a dud! It was installed on Saturday. It seemed to be ok, i recorded something, i set up a couple of series schedules. Then Saturday evening i had the sound muted for awhile and then it wouldn't un-mute. I thought i just had the wrong button pressed on the universal remote and changed that, even tried to power off and no joy. I actually had to unplug the thing to reset it. I may still have got my buttons all mixed up, i can't remember now so i'm tentatively putting that down to user error.

But Sunday evening i was working on something on the computer with the television on low. I realized it was awfully quiet and looked around to see a blank screen. Hmmm... I changed the channel.. oh good, there's picture and sound.. but wait... 30 seconds in and the screen went blank again. And continued to do that. Again i unplugged the machine and it reset itself. No more problems like that but now the dvr functionality seemed to be unavailable or disabled or something. I couldn't get through to the cable company, just sat on hold for so long that i gave up. First thing Monday morning, i tried the box again, and couldn't get into any dvr functions. I got through to the cable people straight away and she sent a reset signal to the box which usually takes 10 - 20 minutes to rebuilt the menus and things. by the time i went to work a half hour later, still no dvr functionality and no hd channels either. Rats....

I got home from work and tried it again. Same thing. After Corrie, i called up and first they restored the HD. Probably the morning reset didn't include that i guess. She sent another signal that resends the software down. Still no good. I called back an hour later and now they've set up a service call for me. Rather than wait days for an evening appointment or nearly 2 weeks for a saturday, i'll have to take this afternoon off and wait for the cable guy. Again.

This just pisses me off! Get a new "toy" and it doesn't work and it's so disappointing! Not a very good first impression, that's for sure. I'm sure i will love it once it's all sorted out. I hope they just put in a new box altogether rather than see if the current one needs adjusting because i don't really trust it now. I guess that's the beauty of renting it though, they have to fix it and i don't have to be worried about waranties or anything.
tvordlj: (Default)
The cable guy didn't get here until noon. Figures. I was up at 7:30 in case he came early. They never do, do they? Anyway now i will just get to grips with the new remote control and all the funcitonality of the dvr. I can actually use the old remote but the newer one has a few buttons that are easier to find and use. I'll keep the old one for a spare. I've got series recordings set up for Corrie and Young and Restless so Monday will tell the tale, watching one thing while another one tapes. you still have to leave the tuner on one of the two channels you are recording but the other tuner will find the other channel apparently. Gives a bit more flexibility. I recorded a movie this afternoon to try that out and it was good. I'm going to have to get used to saying "recorded" instead of taped! Almost 20 years of vcr terminology is a hard habit to break.

No usb input to the dvr though apparently there's a way somewhere to hook up the computer to it. I can't be bothered. If they're going to be like that, they're only encouraging "illegal" downloading, aren't they! I do still buy dvds if it's a movie i really like and want to have the extras as well.

2010 books

19. Paris in the Terror - Stanley Loomis
I found this book in a second hand bookstore and have been reading it on the bus. Because it's quite involved i never got more than a few pages read per commute so it took awhile longer to read than i usually take for a book. It's about the history behind the French Revolution focusing on Marat, Charlotte Corday who killed him, then Danton and Robespierre and their subsequent downfalls. It was quite interesting and i found out a lot about the revolution that i hadn't really known before. Some of it is speculation of course, where there was no documentation but it seems overall to be pretty accurate.

20. The Golden City - John Twelve Hawks
This is the third book of a trilogy he's written about psychic Travelers and the fight against the "Big Machine", sort of a Big Brother that increasingly controls the world. There are Harlequins who have made a life vow to protect the Travelers and this story is about Maya who keeps watch over a Traveler who's twin brother has gone over to the "dark" side. This book is the finale of the story which i've enjoyed though this book seemed less riveting than the other two for some reason. The story ends on a note of hope as they do when they're fighting the oppressors.

Am now reading an autobiography of one of the Corrie actors, Bev Callard. It's not bad, but she's not a writer, that's for sure. Some of the stars that have done autobiographies are pretty good, some are not good at all and some use ghost writers! Still, it's interesting enough. I got an autographed copy but i may just pass it on as a raffle prize to the next ping.
tvordlj: (Default)
I have succumbed to the inevitable. Using the vcr with the new tv really shows up how much the quality is lesser and i've decided to bite the bullet and pay for a dvr. Everyone says i'll wonder what i did without one and i know that's true but it still annoys me that i have to pay 15 dollars a month plus taxes for the machine rental. They are about $500 plus 15% tax to buy one and that is just as much of a rip off if you ask me. The cable companies have such a monopoly on it! You can't buy one online because it has to be programmed for the local cable company apparently. That sounds like bullshit but that is what they are telling us and the lads in the shop say the same thing. So i'm going digital finally. I also figured if i'm going that way i might as well pay a few dollars more and try the HD channel feeds as well. Both are on for a 6 month free trial so if i don't really find the HD does anything for me, i can get rid. I dropped one of my digital theme packs (4 or 5 channels) and that pretty much pays for the HD if i end up keeping that bit.

They're coming a week tomorrow to hook it up. They make sure it's hooked up and that it records properly. I can ask questions and get a quick demo. I like that i can finally tape one thing and watch another or tape two things at the same time (though not able to watch a third thing, but it could be useful if there are two movies i want to tape on at the same time as sometimes happens). The series set up is useful too as i tape a soap every day and can now tape a second that overlaps coronation Street. I always miss the second half of it because i change the channel. With the normal digital box you have to leave it tuned to the channel you are watching to tape something. (Or tune it to the channel you want to tape and turn off the telly as i do for daytime or overnight taping). Welcome to the 21st century!

It was a short week. We had Monday off for a holiday. From here to Christmas there is one holiday a month :) Next one is September 6 for Labour day. I'm still basking in the afterglow of the reunion last weekend. It was like one massive love-in. Woodstock or something. Everyone was so up, so happy. It didn't matter that i didn't know 95% of the over 700 people there. You'd see two people run squealing into big hugs and you'd just smile anyway. And that was just the men! ;) No, not really. lol But even men were hugging in a manly fashion or enthusiastically shaking hands. Everyone was smiling so much you'd think they were going to chew off their own ears! Wonderful! I think DHS really raised the bar for reunions! I almost don't want to go to another one because it just won't be as good.

The money raised is going to a scholarship fund and they're thinking of ways to add to that. Maybe making a dvd of the slideshows that would be nice to have as a souvenir or, for people that couldn't go, maybe a slide show of people's photos.

New toys

Dec. 5th, 2008 12:48 pm
tvordlj: (Geek)
Have changed my journal theme to one of those new "Minimalism" ones. A change is as good as a rest.

Am going to buy this little device at Staples, it's used to convert vcr tapes to dvd/digital. You plug the vcr into it and then usb it into the puter. The reviews sound like it's a fairly simple product to use. I have a bunch of old vcr tapes that have stuff recorded from television that i'd like to save to digital/dvd including video tapes that have been copied from another tape. Quality of those isn't so great but perhaps the editing software might be able to improve it a bit. I also have a couple of boxed tape sets that i'd like to digitize as well. This paves the way for me to eventually get a dvd recorder with hard drive so i can record my daily soaps that i don't want to keep, and record to keep movies and things. Staples has the box on sale for $79.99 so that's decent. The Source had been advertising what looked like a usb vcr for converting but that was over 200 dollars and once you were done converting your tapes, why would you need it? This device can capture video from other sources as well, apparently. Even if i don't need it again after converting my stuff, it's less than half the price of the other thing. The tapes aren't going to last forever. The dvds and digital files will last a bit longer at least. I have a couple of weeks off over Christmas so that will be a good little project.

I also have a video tape that was created by setting up a video camera on a tripod and aimed at a home movie screen and there are clips from all kinds of my Nan's home movies that she'd taken including footage of me and my sister when we were little and family from 30 to 40 years ago. That's another one i definitely want to preserve and will have to work it so that it copies it without sound. The only sound on the tape is that clicking of the movie projector which the video camera pickedup. The movies themselves never did have sound.

It got me thinking about what other "toys" i might like to get. Am starting to think about a digital SLR camera, to replace my old film camera. I'm still not sure though, since they are larger than the point and shoot and thus take up more room to carry around. However, the pictures would be soooo much better. I might like a new wider monitor, but that's not a "need to have" thing. I have to measure the area of my desk to see what would fit, too since i have a hutch type thing on the desk. Also, I'm thinking of getting an external hard drive sometime. That would be useful as a machine backup or if i get imaging software, a good place to store the machine image.

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