Archive for July 7th, 2004

Build your own TiVo!

Jul 07, 2004 in Tech

I’m planning to upgrade my PC soon, and have been pondering the possibility of using a PC as a personal digital video recorder (ala TiVo). Ostensibly, there is a growing movement of computer geeks who are documenting their own attempts to built a PVR (personal video recorder) from PC parts.

The basic, essential step to convert a PC to a PVR is installing a quality TV capture card. The current standard is the Hauppage PVR-350 ($160-180, with hardware decoder, TV-out and FM tuner) or the PVR-250 ($120, needs a seperate video card/mobo with TV-out). The Hauppage comes with a remote control and some PVR software that emulates the basic functions of a digital video recorder . For advanced, TiVo-like functionality, a number of free and commercial software packages are available to make the PVR conversion complete.

You can use your existing PC, provided the hardware is beefy enough, though many prefer to build a standalone PVR unit. Building a full-blown PVR could be an interesting project to pursue if you have the computing power to spare, but you’ll have to do a bit of research and troubleshooting. Building a sleek, top-of-the-line custom PVR can cost much more (in money and time) than a commercial PVR, but the upside is that you won’t have to shell out $12 or more each month for the programming service.

It’s official: Kerry/Edwards 2004!

Jul 07, 2004 in Current Events

As you already know by now, John Kerry has picked North Carolina senator John Edwards as his running mate for president. I, for one, am quite pleased, and feel that Kerry made the right choice. Just about everyone knows who Edwards is by now; He came second in the primaries, he’s a charismatic populist, and a great campaigner. Plus, he’s got a good shot at attracting the rural, Southern, blue collar voters that are still on the fence.

Talking heads have been pontificating on exactly why Edwards was chosen, and the effect he will have on the campaign. Slate’s William Saletan sums it up best in the first two paragraphs of this article:

‘Think about this for a minute: He left college, and he volunteered three different ways. First he volunteered for military service. Then he volunteered to serve in Vietnam. And then he volunteered for some of the most dangerous, hazardous duty you could possibly have in Vietnam. As a result, he was wounded multiple times. He won a whole series of medals while he was there. And now?this is an amazing thing?a vice president of the United States who avoided service four, five, six times?I’ve lost count?[and] a president of the United States who can’t account for a year of his national guard service are attacking John Kerry for the medals he won in Vietnam? You have got to be kidding me.’

That’s John Edwards talking about John Kerry at a Florida Democratic Party fund-raiser three weeks ago. This is why Kerry had to pick Edwards: Kerry sounds so much more attractive when Edwards is doing the talking.”

To put it bluntly, for those of you who are anti-Bush but were less than enthusiastic about Kerry, Edwards promises to alleviate some of the douchebaggery of Kerry’s campaign.