Categories: "Technorati"

Oh The Pain One DirecTiVo Down

02/07/07 | by JAdP | Categories: Entertainment

Sometime ago one of my DirecTiVo units died with the message "Can't load boot kernel". Well, they are a Linux box after all, and close to seven years old. I'm guessing the hard drive failed, or maybe a cable since there isn't any grinding or clunking noises. But I pay for premium service, and as the service rep put it "I'm a class A customer". And DirecTiVo [/sigh no more, just DirecTV] sent out a "comparable" replacement unit right away. I thought comparable meant a RCA rather than the Sony that I have. But nope... 'tis a DVR+ R-15.

So, I phoned the premium service line and was answered right away by Matt. Matt apologized that some service reps think a DVR+ is the same as a DirecTiVo [yes, he used that term], but being a DirecTiVo user himself, he knew better. He put me on hold while he went off to make things right. He came back sounding more devastated than I. DirecTV no longer sends out DirecTiVo units. XX( |-|

I know that DirecTV and TiVo had their problems awhile back, but I thought I had read that DirecTV eventually saw the folly of their ways, and paid for more TiVo licensing, though they had withdrawn from the TiVo board of directors. What happened? :crazy:

Oh well, Matt was quick to respond and sympathetic. I can't fault him, but I think DirecTV management needs to get back on the TiVo bandwagon.

No more seeing an ad for a movie, adding a wishlist, and seeing it pop up on the todo list, whenever it comes around. At least not on that TV. The other three Sony DirecTiVo units are still running. Hmm, where's that Hacking TiVo book that Bunkey gave to me a few years ago? Maybe I can put a new, bigger hard drive, clone one of the others, and be back to TiVo heaven.

That's a thought. :idea:

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Yes I am a cheese steak

01/21/07 | by JAdP | Categories: Personal

Wow, pegged. I was born about 30 miles west of Philadelphia, raised in that area through high school, and went to college about 200 miles to the north.

What American accent do you have?

Your Result:



Your accent is as Philadelphian as a cheesesteak! If you're not from Philadelphia, then you're from someplace near there like south Jersey, Baltimore, or Wilmington. if you've ever journeyed to some far off place where people don't know that Philly has an accent, someone may have thought you talked a little weird even though they didn't have a clue what accent it was they heard.

The South


The Northeast


The Inland North


The Midland




North Central


The West


What American accent do you have?

Quiz Created on GoToQuiz


Apple Future is iTunes not Computer

01/13/07 | by JAdP | Categories: Computers and Internet, Mobile, Computers and Internet, Mobile

MacWorld SF 2007 is now over, and my take away is that Apple is betting its future on iTunes becoming the center of your entertainment universe.

  1. The Apple iPhone is an iPod with a far better UI and screen than previous generation iPods. Oh, and by the way, it has a GSM phone as well as EDGE and WiFi networks so you can enhance your entertainment experience by communicating with your friends and researching what's entertaining you.
  2. The Apple TV is an iPod that gets your iTunes content to your home theater; especially video to your TV. And that is all it does.
  3. Like Dell before it, Apple has dropped the word "computer" from its corporate identity. Apple, Inc. is now a consumer electronics firm.

What will this mean for MacOSX, and the computers that run it? Well, TiVo's product is software and a web service running on Linux. They've been proving for a decade that there is room for a computer in your home theater system. They haven't provided other computing experiences that might enhance your enjoyment of the show you're watching, as I still need another computer to give me Firefox in a PiP window on my TV.

It took Roxio, in Toast 8 Titanium to bring TiVo to Go to Mac. Apple TV goes the other direction and brings iTunes video to your TV. I can get TiVo to Go on my Palm Lifedrive, and TiVo to Go is available for iPods [though TiVo desktop for Windows or MacOSX and/or Roxio Toast for the Mac is required]. Perhaps one of the blank spaces on the iPhone home screen will be some version of TiVo to Go, but likely you'll just get it through a playlist like any other iPod.

Even with its great new xServe though, it would seem that Apple, Inc. isn't very interested in the business market, except perhaps as servers for video-on-demand, iTunes music stores, and becoming the TelCo backend infrastructure Apple might need to sew this all up very neatly.

The consumer converged entertainment/communication market is Apple's direction, and with its great sense of style and design, innovative interface, and market panache, I think Apple, Inc. will be a booming [pun intended] success in that space.

To bring a point to my thoughts, imagine an Apple home with entertainment, communication and computing converged through various Apple devices: an Apple grid of Mac Minis [maybe a laptop or two, maybe not] and iMacs, Apple TVs, iPods and iPhones; TiVo to Go or similar Apple branded service, and VoIP to supplement your current video and phone carriers. At the center of it all is iTunes - your entertainment source, and maybe, to a lesser extent, some version of .Mac [dot-mac] separately or integrated into iTunes, as the hub for all your other online needs.

This could truly help to bring the converged experience to the non-geek.

Looked at in this light, the iPhone isn't as bad as I originally had thought. It still won't replace my Lifedrive. Where would I read my eBooks? The scenario imagined above doesn't help me live the TeleInterActive Lifestyle. It doesn't help free work from geography, nor integrate access to and management of both business and personal data. It won't let me renew a prescription from anywhere, any time, nor access a productivity dashboard or customer history whenever, wherever. Though it might, to an extent, through Safari. I'm not the target market.

If my analysis is correct, Apple is more completely focused on the consumer than ever, and has completed its withdraw from the business battlefront.


Multiple Identies in MacOSX Tiger's

01/06/07 | by JAdP | Categories: Computers and Internet

When I originally wrote my post on setting up for IMAP, I hadn't found a way to set up multiple identities for one user account. There is a way. I found it by accident. I was setting up another account, and my mouse cursor was hovering over the email addresses input box when this appeared: "Enter one of more email addresses, separated by commas." So, I added some aliases that I have for that account and now they appear in the drop down box for Account when composing a new mail message. So, if I've set up an alias for dealing with an online service, and I need to contact that service, I no longer need to expose my "real" email address. Cool.

Here's a some screen shots. Preferences Showing Identities
Click to view original size

Another Screen Shot of Mail Preferences
Click to view original size

BTW, the "Edit email aliases" button that appears on the first screen shot, only appears for dot-Mac accounts, as the second screen shot for an IMAP account shows.

New Mail with Identies Dropdown Box
Click to view original size


Sob Stories for Friday 20070105

01/06/07 | by JAdP | Categories: Personal

The head of one of the steel dowels that is grabbed by the cam in the twist-lock fastener system used by the bookboxes that I'm building into the stairwell railing system broke off when I was screwing it into the nylon insert. [If you read this blog, you know this project led to my downfall.] The bookbox company wanted me to send back the whole bookbox and wait for a replacement. So, I was out looking for a replacement dowel. I finally , at my fourth stop, found one that's the right length and thread, but the diameter of the cut in the dowel that fits into the slot of the cam was thicker than my original. I had discovered this after getting back home. So I went back to the OSH to get a cam. They're sold in little plastic bags, so you can't really see them. When I got this one home, I saw that while it had a larger slot than my original, it wasn't large enough. So, I went back to OSH. They were very unhelpful. Basically, the clerk who was "helping" me said "some guy" restocks the bins, and what they have is what they have. They weren't willing to contact the manufacturer to get the right cam. I had already found the manufacturers web site, but it was geared towards selling their stock and display system to retailers, without any information on individual items. Bad customer service, and really stupid that they sell a dowel without the matching cam-lock.

Then my Wells Fargo ATM ate my card. It completed the deposit, and then said remove card - but my card never appeared so that I could take it. I tried using a business card to see if it was just not clearing the edge of the slot, but couldn't feel it. It kept beeping "remove card" and I kept saying "show my frelling card and I'll remove it". Then it went to "Thank you" and then "Insert Card". I called WFB's 800 number, but all they could do was suggest that I go back to the branch when it's open, and see if they have my card. If not, I'll have to report it lost/stolen and WFB will send a replacement to me. They have no technician on-call to repair it, or retrieve my card, and they have no way to contact the branch manager so someone can at least deactivate that ATM. I wonder how many cards will stack up?

Update: My ATM card wasn't in the Wells-Fargo ATM. So much for their customer support's assurance that my card couldn't be removed from the machine by anyone else. There was no activity on our account other than what I or my partner had done, and now the card is canceled. All that's left is waiting to see if there is any other fallout from this.


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I'm Joseph A. di Paolantonio and this blog has two main foci: my interest in food, and my interest in the future. This provides a look into my personal life, and is separate from my consulting work…though there will be overlap. I am an independent researcher, working as a strategic consultant and I'm an executive with over 20 years of commercial experience with a technical interest in the intersection of Internet of Things, with advanced data management and analysis methods. I view data science as a team activity, and I feel that the IoT must be viewed as a system. I am leveraging my past activities to understand the adoption and impact of the IoT; first, as a system engineer in aerospace, where I developed Bayesian risk assessment methods for systems within the Space Transportation System (including the Space Shuttle), Extreme Ultraviolet Explorer, Gravity Probe B, and many more, and second, as a enterprise data warehousing, business intelligence and analytics professional. Between my aerospace and IT careers, I indulged my hobby of cooking by starting a food company, Montara Magic, centered around my chocolate sauces. My education combined chemistry, mathematics and philosophy. I performed research into molten salt fuel cells in graduate school, and in photovoltaic materials for a short time in industry. The lure of bringing the human race into space was strong, and when I was offered the chance to combine my chemistry and mathematics skills to develop new risk assessment and system engineering methods for space launch and propulsion systems – I couldn't resist. I perform independent research and strategic consulting to bring value from the Internet of Things, Sensor Analytics Ecosystems and data science teams.I am a caregiver, a lover of science fiction and speculative fantasy, and my passion to learn has led me to a pilot's license, an assistant instructor in SCUBA, nordic and alpine skiing, sea kayaking, and reading everything I can, in as many topics as I can.

View Joseph di Paolantonio's profile on LinkedIn

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