April 9th, 2003

Enterprise Bridge

(no subject)

So I finally made it to my first homeowners' association meeting (the annual meeting, no less.) Out of 240 units, only 125 owners bothered to send in proxy ballots--and 120 are required to establish a quorum to validate the annual meeting. The ballots were sent out with a prepaid response envelope! Five people besides me showed up (and I was late.) The meeting itself was unremarkable. But jeez, one of the other residents...

Garbage day is Wednesday. There's two cans to put out, and two trucks to dump them, one for trash and one for recycling. The trucks come through between noon and 3 or 4pm, pretty regularly. The association rules on the cans is that they can't be put out any earlier than 5pm on Tuesday evening, and they must be brought in before 8am on Thursday morning. The board president drives the complex looking for violators, but doesn't get to it 'till after noon on Thursday.

One of the other residents was in to complain because she's been fined several times for not bringing her cans in on time. She cries that the fines now totaling $100 are too much to bear for an unemployed single mother of two. Okay, that I can buy. What I don't get is her excuse that she can't find five minutes within that sixteen hours between collection and the 8am deadline (or twenty hours if you stretch it all the way to the noon-ish inspection) to bring the cans in--because of the two kids.
Enterprise Bridge

(no subject)

Since the announcement of the Series 2 TiVo, I've been looking for something interesting about it. Sure, it's newer hardware, but who cares? My Series 1 unit runs just fine. There's no second tuner for the non-DBS unit. The Home Media Option didn't look at all interesting. View photos? Play mp3s through the TV? Who cares?

Ah, but this, this makes it compelling. I know a few people with two TiVos 'cause they record a lot of conflicting TV. With the Series 1, you had to play back shows on the same unit they were recorded on--too bad if you recorded something upstairs and wanted to watch it in the living room. But now, networked Series 2's with the Home Media Option let you watch recordings on any unit by streaming it over the ethernet. (I guarantee you this capacity will be reverse-engineered to play back on PCs.)

If you're thinking about doing this, I highly recommend 100 MBit ethernet. Best-quality video runs at a significant fraction of the 10 Mbps bandwidth, and thus is suceptible to congestion if you've got other stuff going on your house network (or neighbors with 802.11 sharing the RF spectrum.)

I'm not ready to spend money on new TiVos and service packages, but this is enough reason for me to consider it at a later date.