I don’t suppose I have any reasonable excuse for continuing to look at Nano cases. I really should have just bought one by now. Nevertheless, here are three more:
The Nano itself worked fine in the car on the way to work and back today. The old iPod used to hiccup in the middle of podcasts occasionally, but the Nano doesn’t. I’m sure this has something to do with the limited size of cache memory on the old iPod vs. the relative speed of pulling stuff from the hard drive. The Nano doesn’t have a hard drive, so that’s not a problem.
The battery in my old 1st gen 5GB iPod has been giving me trouble lately. Today, it got to the point where it seems to hold a charge for only about 10 minutes. I decided to give up on it, and trade it in for a 4GB Nano. I brought it in to the Apple Store in Bridgewater. They give you a 10% discount off a new iPod when you turn in an old one for recycling, so I got $25 off the $250 Nano. Not a bad deal. The salesperson thought I could have gotten more if I’d sold it on eBay, but I don’t think a 5GB 1st gen iPod with a dead battery would bring in more than $20, really, and I’d have to go through the trouble of listing it, shipping it, and all that fun stuff.
The Nano looks nice, and will hopefully be usable for listening to podcasts in the car, which is all I was really doing with the old iPod. My car charger for the old iPod won’t work with the Nano, but theoretically, I shouldn’t need one. The Nano’s supposed to have up to 14 hours of battery life. I’m thinking of getting either a Chums or Acme Made case for it.
I’m thinking about replacing most of the guts of my desktop computer again. I last did this in October 2002, so I’m about due. I’m looking at an ASUS A8N-SLI motherboard, an Athlon 64 3200+ processor, an Asus AX550 video card, a gig or two of Corsair RAM, a WD 250 GB hard drive, and maybe a DVD burner and a new power supply. The lot could set me back about $900. I still need to do some more research, but I think I’ve identified a bunch of stuff that should work well together. I’ll probably be sticking with Newegg again — I got the parts for my current computer from them, and they’ve generally been competent and fair.
Now that I have my TiVo connected to my network, I’ve been playing around with a few things that I thought might be worth blogging about.
First, the new online services appeared on my box a few days ago — Yahoo weather, Live365 music, podcasting, and so on. All this new stuff is pretty neat, but there are some rough edges. For instance, everything is pretty slow; sometimes it takes a few seconds for the TiVo to respond to a click from the remote. The podcasting application does a reasonable job of playing podcasts, but it doesn’t support fast forward or rewind. Weird. I think the killer app here would be support for pulling down video podcasts to the TiVo, but that’s not included yet. I really don’t have much interest in sitting in front of my TV and listening to audio, but it would be real convenient if I could pull down video from the internet and watch it on the TiVo instead of my home computer.
I’ve also been playing around with the standard TiVo Desktop software. This is fine for streaming music from your computer to your TiVo, but, again, that’s not really that useful or interesting. The ability to pull shows from my TiVo to my computer is kind of interesting, but I haven’t bothered trying it out yet. I would up turning off the TiVo server software on my machine, since the software doesn’t seem to be able to exit gracefully when I turn off my computer. It pops up a whole bunch of error dialogs that need to be dismissed. Very annoying. I know other people have had this problem too; I’ve seen several references to it on the tivocommunity forums.
I also tried out an open source program called Galleon. This is a server program that runs on your computer and lets you do a bunch of interesting things with your TiVo. Unfortunately, I found that it ate up a lot of RAM and processor time, even when it should have been idle, so I uninstalled it from my machine. I think one of the problems here is that it’s written in Java, which has always caused some trouble on my current machine.
So, in a nutshell, about the only useful thing I’m getting out of the network connectivity at this point is the ability to check Yahoo weather. Maybe at some point, I’ll straighten out the problems I had with Galleon, and do something interesting with that. Or I’ll get completely fed up with FM radio, and start listening to audio on the TiVo, either podcasts, Live365, or my own audio collection.
Santastic: Holiday Boots 4 Your Stockings: holiday-related mashups. A mixed bag, but there’s some fun stuff here.
Send someone a Japanese Christmas card from livedoor. Lots of odd designs.
I got a Netgear WG111 network adapter for my TiVo last week. I bought one online from BestBuy.com, figuring it would be the right adapter, since it was listed under “accessories” on their Tivo page. No luck though — I got a v. 2 adapter, which didn’t work. I returned it to my local Best Buy store with minimal hassle, and had a friend pick up a compatible adapter from *his* local Best Buy, which happened to have a couple of them in stock. It works fine, and was only $30. (I see they’re up to $57 this week, so I guess I got it just in time.)
I installed TiVo Desktop today. It seems to be working fine, though I haven’t tried to transfer anything from the TiVo to my computer yet. The functionality for viewing photos and listening to music via the TiVo is working fine.
The music functionality might actually be worth taking advantage of; I have a lot of music on my computer that I’d like to listen to on my stereo. I don’t sync my iPod to my desktop PC, and my DVD/CD player on my stereo doesn’t play CD-Rs, so I’m pretty much SOL for listening to music from my desktop PC on the stereo, unless I transfer it to my iBook, then sync it to my iPod, then hook *that* up to the stereo.
While googling for reviews of Darwyn Cooke’s New Frontier series, I stumbled upon Girl Detective, a fairly interesting blog. It’s written by a young woman who does a lot of reading and, apparently, a fair amount of cooking. I noticed her making a number of mentions of a 50 book challenge. This is a pretty interesting concept — the idea that you should read 50 books over the course of the year, and blog on all of them. Maybe I’ll try that next year. Thinking over the books I’ve read this year, I don’t think I’ve come close to 50. If you count graphic novels, then maybe.