Free HD With DVR Capability

I bought a PCTV 800e HD TV tuner card from Woot! some time ago, but never really used it. While watching The Office last night in high definition (using a cheap HD antenna, not a cable or satellite subscription), we were wishing that we could pause the show as we do with our DirecTV service. That’s when I remembered my tuner card purchase and decided to get that set up with our media PC today. The plan was to hook it up to the media PC that is connected to our LCD television and then use Windows Media Center as a DVR. It was amazingly simple! I plugged in the USB tuner, installed the driver, started up WMC and ran through the TV setup wizard. We can now DVR HD television, and we get better sound because the media PC has an optical audio connect to our high end receiver. We also get program listings, which we didn’t get with just an antenna and TV. Yummy screenshots…

live hd live hd

Network Attached Storage

I just bought a Netgear RND2175 ReadyNAS Duo 750 GB Desktop Network Attached Storage from Amazon.com. I’ve been looking at these for a while, and finally decided on this one. The device holds 2 750gb drives which are mirrored for constant data redundancy. In addition, it runs an embedded version of Linux and can do pretty much anything a Linux computer can do. There’s an active user and developer community for help with every aspect of the system, including extending it and customizing it. Very exciting stuff!

More Buying News

I’ve put my big buys on hold for now. I can’t decide what kind of car I want. I test drove the MINI Cooper and did not like it. It was too small, too noisy, and although the interior was pretty fancy, it felt cheap. As for the BMW and Audi, I can’t see spending $40k on a car when I can get one that works just as well for $20k. Needless to say, I have a lot of research left to do before I buy anything. The Honda Fit is now on my list.

Speaking of buying things, I just read about a new Dell mini PC (Dell Studio Hybrid), which would be great as a nice looking media PC connected to a television. It starts at $499, but by the time I added what I deemed to be necessary options, it was $1600. Anyway, I’ve already got a good media PC, but I’m always prepared to upgrade.

Seniors Love the WII

I bet Nintendo had no idea that their WII gaming console would make such a splash in nursing homes. Apprently, the WII is all the rage in the elderly world. Some homes have regular tournaments with the sports games. For example, here is an article about a recent bowling tournament.

When asked to comment on the 202 to 182 stunner, the few other residents who were both awake at the time and able to remember the action agreed that the match was surely one for the record books.

Fun with the Nokia n800

The more I use my Nokia n800 internet tablet, the more I like it. I recently upgraded the OS to Nokia’s latest release (which was developed for the follow up model, the n810). Today I discovered that I can use the n800’s bluetooth to connect to my cell phone and transfer files back and forth. I could also use my cell phone for internet connectivity, but I don’t have the network plan from AT&T. That’s too bad since Portland’s free wifi near downtown, which was all the rage, barely works. Anyway, I use the n800 for browsing the web, reading email, IM chatting, reading RSS feeds, music, video, and more. It’s great for when I’m laying in bed wondering what a “dreidel” is – I can just grab my n800 and look it up instantly without leaving the bed. The bad news is that I paid $400 for it and they are now on sale just about everywhere for $200+. Doh!

n800