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The Web is a Small Place
2003-12-25

So, while writing the last article on junk science, I did some searching on second hand smoke, and the first Google hit was this site. A couple minutes later, I'm looking for information about the dishnetwork DVR, specifically how it compares to the TiVo, and I get this site which leads me to this rant against the TimeWarner Cable DVR... which just happens to be by the same person as the second hand smoke site. Its a small internet. The first time I got that impression was about 7-8 years ago, when I was reading the newspaper (probably the Chicago Tribune) and some opinion piece on the editorial pages pointed to a website of an organization I didn't think would have a web presence, so I said something about the Quakers probably having a website, and sure enough they did. More bizarre was that that website was run by Russell Nelson, recognizable to me at the time as the guy who wrote the Crynwr packet drivers, ethernet (and SLIP/PPP) drivers for DOS that one used with NCSA Telnet and other programs (including some early versions of Winsock, the Windows Socket interface).

If you were wondering, both of these topics were actually inspired by reading Slashdot. And the rant against the TW DVR mirrors both some of my own issues with being an un-witting beta tester of the AT&T Digital Cable box, and some of the problems I have with my ReplayTV. As for the actual dish network dvr 921, it seems primitive as well, albeit way more geeky for HDTV nuts. Though, reading the lastest replay vs tivo comparison, it sounds like the latest replaytv software is getting better, though I'll never see it on my 4500. I'd love to get a second TiVo and be able to transfer recordings between the two, but since that requires the home media option, that would mean I'd have to buy two tivos, and two home media kits, and pay the monthly service for both, so instead of paying just $10/month for my replay, I'd have to drop $600 on new tivos and pay $24/month... not going to happen. Methinks this is part of TiVo's problem. They should be encouraging me to spend more money with them, but that's a huge incremental cost. There was a deal to upgrade your TiVo, but it just wasn't cost effective: they should give free upgrades, though given the number of TiVo failure stories I've heard, maybe its a surprise that I still have a flawlessly working one after 4 years, since when it dies I'm going to have to replace it. If I get rid of my old Thinkpad 560, the TiVo will be the oldest computer in the apartment...

P.S. Merry Christmas.


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