The Life Unwired with Ben Combee (unwiredben) wrote,
The Life Unwired with Ben Combee

Things That Make Me Happy

1) Seeing Demitri Martin at the Paramount Theater. Last night, Mr. Martin was in town shooting a comedy special for Comedy Central that will air in mid-January. kazanya and I had tickets for the 7PM show, and while we got there about 20 minutes early, no one was seated until right at 7PM because they were busy setting up the stage and the cameras. About 7:30, the opening act, Irish comic David O'Doherty came out and did a set featuring some pretty clever songs on his electronic keyboard. He got into a bit of a row with a member of the crowd who reacted strongly to him making fun of Dell Computers, leading to him confessing to liking Macs, then saying the might not be the best move to make at a show sponsored by Windows Vista.

Demetri's set was quite long and punctuated with breaks for inserting advertisements. He had to retake a few things, and there were a lot of technical difficulties, ranging from poorly placed props on stage to squeaking noises from the chairs in the Paramount. Still, his bits with the flip chart were hilarious, and Annelies said her face was hurting from laughing so much when we left. Definitely look for this one on TV -- we were in row five, stage right, so it's possible we'll be visible as part of the audience briefly.

2) High-Def TiVo. I ordered one of the new Series 3 TiVo units about a month ago, and it had been sitting around, waiting to be hooked up. I finally got it connected on Thursday, then called up Time Warner to get an installer out to put in the CableCards that will let it receive digital cable and encrypted channels. The first time I called, the rep wouldn't sent someone to install cards into a non-TV, but I called back later, got the same rep, and managed to convince her that it was OK.

The installation on Saturday took about two hours, and the installer wasn't able to get things exactly right -- the cards were working, but they weren't decoding anything that was encrypted. I tried calling Time Warner's customer service, but they weren't super helpful. However, I got in touch with a member of the TW network operations staff via a TiVo message board, and he was able to send the right packets my way to get everything working. So, now I've got both the original TW DVR and the new TiVo hooked up to cable, and it's working quite nicely. After I get a chance to move all of my "season passes" over to the TiVo and watch the shows I've got left on the TW box, I'll take it in to the local shop and just rely on the new box for my program recordings.

I hadn't realized just how much I'd missed TiVo's features like suggestions, the much-better-than-a-grid program guide, wishlists, and the to-do list. It's such a superior interface to finding and recording programs over what TW provided on their box. Even the new remote feels really great in the hand, with its ridges along the backside and a battery door that doesn't offer any attractive snaps that I'll play with and break while holding it.
Tags: austin, technology, television, theater
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