rfunk: (check this out)
posted by [personal profile] rfunk at 01:37pm on 09/10/2007 under , , , , , , , ,
It's been a while since I've done a real update, and now I have a collection of geeky stuff to share....

A couple weekends ago I went to the fifth Ohio LinuxFest. Read more... )

One of the booths at OLF was promoting Penguicon, a "Science Fiction and Open Source Software Convention" held every April in a suburb of Detroit. I've thought about going before, but next year Randall Munroe of XKCD fame will be there, so we might have to go.

By the way, I wore my XKCD regular expressions t-shirt to OLF, and got many approving comments. Then I wore it to a bellydance dinner performance that night and discovered one other person in the room who claimed to know regular expressions. (He said his name was Ken, but I neglected to ask him if his last name was Thompson.)

Today [livejournal.com profile] coding_horror talks about geek exercise, including gadgets for exercising while programming or gaming.

Also today, [livejournal.com profile] ah_graylensman points out that people are working on LOLCODE, a programming language in which you say things like "HAI" and "KTHXBYE" instead of "begin" and "end".

Finally, after growing up watching my dad build things with them all the time, I now have my own (power, compound) miter saw. And for geek points, apparently they all have laser targeting guides these days.

Now if only the motion-sensitive light switch we bought for the kitchen worked properly with the fluorescent lights in there.....
Mood:: 'geeky' geeky
rfunk: (check this out)
posted by [personal profile] rfunk at 03:25pm on 13/09/2007 under , , , , , ,
This week we heard the latest news in the digital TV saga: cable TV operators will allow customers to use analog TVs until at least 2012. Which basically means they'll continue having analog video outputs on their boxes; I figure those output will stick around quite a few years longer than that.

On the other hand, those of us in the U.S. who get TV the old-fashioned way, through the antenna, are currently scheduled to lose the old NTSC signal on February 17, 2009, about a year and a half from now. The federal government is supposed to provided $30 coupons for digital-TV (ATSC) converter boxes, but when I checked the Best Buy website today I found only one such box available, and that was $180. It's slightly tempting to run out to buy one to add to the entertainment center.

Then consider that, for anyone still recording shows with a VCR, the tuner in the VCR will also become obsolete, so the VCR will no longer be programmable to record the appropriate channel at the appropriate time. The solution for that, of course, is a DVR, preferably a dual-tuner one.

But the only DVR I've found so far that handles digital broadcast signals is the third-generation TiVo, and that currently costs $800, plus a monthly TiVo service fee. (Other TiVos are more like $250.)

So since digital-broadcast DVRs are so rare, the next thought is to build a super-DVR (plus other capabillities) out of computer parts, using MythTV or Freevo software. Lots of geeks are doing it these days, but that starts a big adventure of choosing the most-compatible tuner cards, video output cards, and fast-enough processors that are still quiet and cool. Who knows what the price would turn out to be. (Update: [livejournal.com profile] ah_graylensman says about $685.)

Maybe I should wait a bit to work on this one. There will, by the way, be a talk at the upcoming Ohio LinuxFest that seems tangentially related to this: "The Path to the $100 Linux Media Center"
Mood:: 'intimidated' intimidated


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