1.31.2010

AppleTV

So, I've had an AppleTV for quite some time now. I got it as a christmas gift a few years ago and I've absolutely LOVED it.

I was lucky enough to get a unit that had the 1.0 firmware which was hackable to allow connecting up a USB hard drive to expand the storage capacity and allow the unit to play other formats of media (divx, avi, mpeg, etc) aside from the defacto iTunes/Quicktime formats. Thanks to awkwardtv.org forums and a co-workers MacBook Pro, I was able to patch it the easy way and get a patchstick made and get it hacked.

I had considered upgrading the firmware to a newer version when Take 2 came along, but there didn't seem to be any compelling reason to me to do so since I didn't use flickr, or watch YouTube videos or have the desire to rent movies from the iTunes store.

Apple recently sent out an update to AppleTV's to get them to 3.0 (3.01 actually now). All of the posts on the forums had long drawn out processes in order to upgrade and still maintain the "extra" functionality that I desired. I read quite a bit on it and just felt like it was going to be too much of a pain to update.

I had read about atvflash somewhere in my online travels and how it's super easy to hack your AppleTV with the program they sell. Most of what I read was about some of the developers who wrote all the cool software that extends the unit being pissed off about having someone else profit from work they released as freeware.

Well, I "found" a copy of atvflash on a torrent site and figured I'd give it a whirl.

First copy I found was an older version. The software also "calls home" to verify if it can run, and hence I was out of luck. I pulled the trigger too late on the copy of atvflash that I had found. Missed the update by 3 days.....this annoyed me. It also set me on a quest to find the newest version in order to do what I set out to do which was: easily upgrade and hack my AppleTV.

So, a few hours of searching later and Voila! found a copy of the newest version, downloaded and proceeded to make a patchstick. It only takes about 500MB on a stick so I used one of my old SanDisk Cruzer 1GB stick.

I unblocked the update on my AppleTV, updated the software to 3.01. It's a definite improvement on the old Front Row look of 1.0, so kudos to Apple for that.

I plug in the patchstick and reboot. I get the Linux boot prompts, it's starts scrolling text and hangs........doh!

I power down and try again. Hangs at same spot. I get on the atvflash forums and see that others have had the same problem. All of the mod's advice was incompatible flash drive, try another....

I grab an old Sony 1GB drive I gave to Cathy a while back, copy her data off and make ANOTHER patchstick. In the meantime, my AppleTV booted up to a Mac OS X login box. WTF? So, it's factory restore time. I'm 2 hours into trying to update and patch at this point. I was still hoping that the recovery image on the AppleTV was still the old 1.0 and hadn't updated itself to 3.01 when I did the initial update....

So I figure I'll give it 1 more go. Factory restore back to 1.0 and update to 3.01. Still looking good, so I plug in the new patchstick on the Sony drive and reboot. I get the Linux boot, the scrolling text and bingo! she's working, successful install.

I take the Sony drive out and reboot. I now have a hacked 3.01 unit. Woot!

One of the nice features of the update is that the AppleTV can now display 1080p instead of maxing out at 1080i. Not really that big of a deal before since my older TV could only do 1080i anyway. Upgraded to a 42 1080p LCD about a month ago. It's amazing how much better the picture looks.

So, back to the hack. After the patchstick, there are a few more steps to get everything working, like USB drive support, mouse and keyboard support, DVD playback, etc...

Can't get the smart update to download the image file. Tried about 40 times with no luck.

I figured, ok, maybe I can find the image file myself somewhere and copy it over so that it won't have to download. Apple's site was apparently having issues which was why the AppleTV couldn't find it either.

I start downloading a copy from a ftp repository I found and it's going to take about 20 minutes. While this is downloading, I think "let's try 1 more time" and it starts working. 20 minutes later, the file finished on the AppleTV and updates. Still have a little work to do since AFP protocol is no working at the moment and it was nice to be able to mount the drives on my Macbook in order copy files to it instead of firing up an SFTP client. Oh well.

I must say that this update is very cool. On the old firmware, I had to download video podcasts to my computer and then sync them to the AppleTV. With this version, I can download direct from iTunes on the AppleTV and it'll sync it over to my Mac. A definite improvement. The movie trailers are also a lot more impressive since I can choose the HD version now. I didn't have that choice before. Very sweet.

Plus, the best part. When AppleTV Take 2 was released, there was an app called Remote available in the app store for iPhones and iPod Touch. It lets you control your the AppleTV from your phone. WAY cool. I was never able to take advantage of it before, since you needed 2.0 or better in order for Remote to control the AppleTV.

I had previously toyed with the idea of getting rid of my cable just about altogether a while back since I download most of the TV shows that I watch for my iPhone or the AppleTV. With this new update, I have an even more compelling reason to get rid of the TV service once my contract is up.

1.27.2010

iPad musings....

iPad.....

Rumors have abounded over the last few years that a tablet device was coming from Apple. Well, it looks like it's finally here. Yes, it's nifty looking. Yes, the techno geek in me is lusting for one.

But I'm still disappointed....the only new thing on the iPad is the iBooks application. The iPhone 3GS has the Compass and the Voice control. Not much new here....

It looks suspiciously like Delicious Library to me, but I'm still hoping that it'll be offered as part of the new iPhone OS which I'm sure is just around the corner. I've been reading e-books on my iPhone using Stanza for quite some time now and it's a great use of the device. The screen size does sometimes leave a little to be desired, but it's ok once you get used to it. I can't wait to get a peek at what a few books look like full screen size on the iPad. It's full color, so it'll already have an advantage over the Kindle.

The full QWERTY keyboard is an interesting concept, but until I can try it out, I'm kinda skeptical. I happen to like a little tactility (is that a word?) in my keyboards. I'm not sure that a touch screen based keyboard will really do it for me. I'm not saying that I wouldn't be willing to give it an honest chance if an iPad were to miracously come into my possession.... :-)

So, here is my wishlist for the iPad 2G....
  • Stylus/Pen support - they really dropped the ball on this one. A pen interface as well as a multi-touch interface would TRULY rock.
  • Flash - Hello!?! People have been clamoring for Flash support on the iPhone for a long time now. Without Flash support, I can't really look at the iPad as a tablet computer. It's an 8x10 iPod touch.....
  • Better camera support - come on now......an adapter for SD cards or USB? It's got wireless, make it interface with the Wifi SD cards so that you can wirelessly upload pictures to it. Which brings me to the next point....
  • SD slot - I have a 6 year old Palm PDA that will read and save data to an SD card. Would it have been really that hard to put an SD slot in there?
  • A front facing camera for video conferencing - Do I even need to elaborate here? The camera on the MacBook Pro's would have done quite nicely in this job....
A fellow techno geek at work and I were discussing the iPad and we both agree that it's not really targeted at our demographic (hardcore geeks that is). It's aimed at Joe Sixpack who doesn't pirate his music, doesn't want to take the time to learn about things like torrents, usenet or the other, more esoteric file sharing disciplines. It will just work. Like the Iphone, and it will change the way that the majority of the world looks at a tablet device.

Right now, content trumps all. Steve Jobs is no dummy. Apple is going to change the way that people consume books, newspapers and magazines with the iPad. You'll be able to sign up for digital subscriptions for your favorite magazines, newspapers, and tv shows. It'll download to your iPad, you'll watch it or read it and marvel at how simple the process is.

Steve has already proven that the public will buy digital content with the success of the iTunes store. This is the next logical step. I'm sure the major publishers were standing in line to get into business with old Steve-o once this was developed into a marketable device. The store was very successful and proved to the industry giants out there that people will pay for content and a profit could be made.

Until the iBooks app is released for the iPhone, I guess I'll settle for Stanza. The iPad is definitely a potential game changer in the media market. Look out Kindle, this little sucker is probably going to put a dent in your sales figures. Can't wait to see what the 2nd generation iPad brings us....

12.25.2009

Grace opening presents from the Stanfords

1.08.2009

I've been seriously neglecting this blog.....

I've been seriously neglecting this blog for the last year or so. I think I'm going to try to make one of my resolutions to be that I'll post to this blog at least once a week and I'll try for it to NOT be just a link to another website or story that someone else wrote up.

Got some new toys in the last couple of years....
  • Apple iPhone 3G 16GB - this is one of my new fave toys. I don't know how I lived without portable internet before I got this phone. I never fully understood the whole "Crackberry" thing before, but boy do I ever understand now....
  • MacBook Pro laptop - it's got a broken LCD/LED panel, but the external monitor works just fine. Its got Leopard installed on it currently and boy is it sweet. I got this for a song from a coworker who wasn't interested in it anymore. I've been wanting one of these for a while and was contemplating getting a Mac Mini when the tax return came in this year.
  • AppleTV 40GB - got this for christmas in 2007. I'm getting closer and closer to the point of just cancelling my cable channel service altogether since I get basic with my internet service. 95% of what I watch is available for download through legal and not-so-legal channels......
  • Additional Tivo for the bedroom. Now Cathy can watch ANTM before bed on demand :)
  • Wii is coming in the next few weeks. Cathy and I played with my nephews during this past Christmas visit to PA and we both liked it a lot. Cathy is particularly interested in the WiiFit and I'm feening for some Rock Band myself. Plus, i just recently learned that there is a way to hack it to play copied games....but more on that later....

2.02.2007

This cracks me up...mainly because I had an NES that we used to have to do this with...

1.24.2007

too damn funny....

If you are a child of the 80-90's this will crack you up....

10.06.2006

White & Nerdy

Music video by "Weird Al" Yankovic from the album "Straight Outta Lynwood"

9.22.2006

Fat Kid try's to take a dive funny hilarious video

Fat Kid try's to take a dive but fails and falls in water so funny hilarious video --> www.be-dumb.com

8.07.2006

myspace.com

ok...at first I thought that this was a colossal waste of time. I've since come around to the myspace thing. I've managed to track down a few old college friends using myspace and google. Pretty neat.

6.23.2006

Movie Critic Caught Selling Screeners to Pirates

Movie critic Paul Sherman has been busted for selling DVD screeners to pirate groups. Over the years he sold 117 discs for $4714. He now faces a $250000 fine and 3 years in prison.

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5.10.2006

Hack Attack: Automatically download your favorite TV shows

Instead, of hunting for new torrents each week and firing up your bittorent client to download them, automate your downloads! Lifehacker shows you how to set up and automate BitTorrent downloads so that you can quit your weekly search for torrents.

I'm gonna have to try this for my ipod TV shows.

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5.04.2006

No Pop For You! Coca Cola, Pepsi to Stop Selling to Schools

Coca-Cola Co. and PepsiCo Inc. have agreed to stop selling to public and private schools nationwide. Seems odd that the companies would so willing give up so many sales. So for all you caffeine addicts, don't hope to get your pop from school.

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Original Star Wars Coming To DVD,Greedo no longer shooting first

This is no joke and we've bent over backwards to confirm it's the real deal. Our very best industry sources have been checking in over the last couple of days - independently, I might add - with word that Lucasfilm and 20th Century Fox are finally going to be releasing the original theatrical versions of the Star Wars films on DVD, in late 2006.

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4.29.2006

Vatican: "Boycott Da Vinci Code film"

Vatican officals urged Catholics to boycott the film.



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4.27.2006

SCI FI Announces Caprica

SCI FI Channel announced the development of Caprica, a spinoff prequel of its hit Battlestar Galactica, in presentations to advertisers in New York on April 26. Caprica would come from Galactica executive producers Ronald D. Moore and David Eick, writer Remi Aubuchon (24) and NBC Universal Television Studio.

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4.14.2006

"Man thought he could outrun the police because he did it in GTA"

Yet another moron attempting to blame his stupidity on video games...don't these people watch Wildest Police Chases?

GTA cited as car-chase motive. New York man gets two charges after car chase with cops; McMillan told police that he thought he could outrun them because he played games from Rockstar's controversial Grand Theft Auto franchise.

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4.13.2006

Lots of old Sierra and Lucasart games online FREE

Games include Leisure Suit Larry, Kings Quest, Full Throttle, Sam & Max and more!

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3.11.2006

How Battlestar Galactica Killed Broadcast TV

This article talks about battlestar galactica on bittorent. It's an old article, but very interesting and worth reading

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3.10.2006

found a cool new ipod site a few weeks ago

Ipodbank.com

Pretty cool site. Great forums. Even has an album art search util built into the site. Gotta love that.

found a cool new ipod site a few weeks ago

Ipodbank.com

Pretty cool site. Great forums. Even has an album art search util built into the site. Gotta love that.

3.03.2006

Well....I finally broke down and did it. I bought a "family" car.

It just got to be too difficult putting the car seat in the back of my convertible on my days off.

It all started a few weeks ago. I found a listing on the company bulletin board for a 1998 Honda Passport that someone was selling for a decent price. I figured that I'd take a look at it to see if it would work for what we wanted. Cathy and I have been talking about getting a new car for a while to replace the BMW, but we hadn't really decided to get serious about shopping for a car yet.

I called the bank to see if I could get financing for the rough amount that they wanted for the Passport and was approved. So we took a look at the Passport and it was quite nice. I made an offer to the guy and it ended up falling through. C'est la vie. I was annoyed at the whole situation at first because the guy kind of screwed me over on the deal, but oh well.

I started surfing around on the web to see what we could afford and what kind of vehicle to get. Found some startlingly mediocre reviews of the Honda Passport/ Isuzu Rodeo on Consumer Reports so decided to steer away from that particular brand. Noticed that the Honda CR-V's got great reviews from both Consumer Reports and owners. So we decided to pursue that when we got our tax return back.

Cathy was home from work one day this past week due to a dentist appointment. Later that day we were driving across town to go to Walmart and run some errands. I saw this green CR-V sitting out at a local business. We stopped to look at it and I decided to test drive it.

Good car, great shape, only minor cosmetic imperfections with it, and best of all, my mechanic said that there was nothing that he could see that would stop him from buying it. Off to the bank we went. 3 hours later, we are the proud owners of a 1999 Honda CR-V. Hopefully, our taxes will come back soon so we don't have 3 car payments!



2.16.2006

Linux Boots on INTEL iMac

Members of the Mactel-Linux effort today announced that they have managed to boot Linux on a 17-inch iMac Core Duo, and devoted special thanks to one user in particular for his efforts.

This is making Windows on a powerbook look more and more likely

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In 2000 MP3 replaced Sex as the Most Searched Word

Who remembers the days of yore. Just after RIAA v Diamond was overturned. When you could browse the Internet and download any MP3. Those were the days when the Rio 300 came out. Look back on some old yet still prevalent news.



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RIAA Bans The Reselling Of iPods With Preloaded Music

The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) says that reselling an iPod or MP3 player with music already preloaded on it is illegal. The RIAA is monitoring this means of infringement. Just a warning to all sellers on ebay. And to spread the word in the article also is a lawyer from ebay.

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RIAA: Buying and listening to music violates �fair use�

RIAA argues that the act of listening to legally purchased music violates the terms of �fair use� as outlined in Section 107 of the Copyright Act.

Okay...this is getting to be a little insane.

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2.02.2006

What would happen if all Senators had an iPod?

After an interesting turn of events at last week's hearing on Broadcast and Audio Flag(s) proposed by the MPAA and RIAA, IPac has set up a campaign to get every congressman & woman an iPod.

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Handbrake has been ported for Windows

Every mac users favorite DVD ripping program Handbrake has been ported for Windows. As both a Mac and Windows user I think this is great Handbrake is easy to use and makes great looking DVD rips. It will encode in multiple formats (mpeg4, H.264, Xvid) and does so very well.

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1.12.2006

Nikon to end film camera production

35mm film has come to the end of the roll, Nikon has said. The camera maker this week revealed it is focusing its efforts solely on digital photography products. Nikon said its traditional film-based cameras now account for less than five per cent of its UK division's sales.

Interesting development....

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Mac apps for converting video for iPod

A list of apps that convert your video into an iPod-compatible format.

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1.11.2006

Over 6500 tutorials on 500 categories

Tutorials for: 3DS MAX, AutoCAD, Blender 3d, Bryce 3d, Cinema 4D, Database, Dreamweaver, Fireworks, Flash, Illustrator, Lightwave 3D, Maya, MM Fusion, MS Office, P2P File Sharing, Paint Shop Pro, Photoshop(a lot), Premiere, QuarkXpress, CSS, HTML, Web Designing, Web Hosting, Java, PHP, Python, Visual Basic, Visual C, and many more.

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1.04.2006

Download Free CD Covers

FindMyCover is powered by ajax and allows you to easily download CD covers. Works fast and is simple to use.

This is too cool...this may help me get all my album art updated in itunes.

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12.14.2005

Robin Williams is a sniper� in Battlefield 2

Apparently, he's been gaming a lot online with Battlefield 2 and his favorite class is the sniper. So next time you're screaming at that "friggin' camper!", feel consoled; it may be a celebrity shooting at you.

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File-sharing Is Good For Music Industry -Study

"The record industry has long considered online file-sharing a serious threat to its livelihood. But a new study released Tuesday suggests that consumer-to-consumer music recommendations a growing feature of online music stores and Web sites will benefit the industry, artists and fans alike."

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9.22.2005

Jobs Says Pirates Will "Burn in Hell"

In addition to his comments on Intel Macs and the music industry, Jobs also threw in this tid-bit while discussing OS X running on any PC: "Theft is bad", he said, warning: "You don't want to burn in Hell." Check out the OSx86 forums for discussion and analysis.

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9.02.2005

Freakin' scam artists!

Let me just say that I can't FREAKIN' stand getting ripped off. Dishonest people REALLY piss me off. I don't mind trading my money for goods and services that I truly value, but when I get charged $9.95 on my credit card for no reason that I can discern, I tend to get a little pissed off.
After googling for a little while, I found the this :

Scam artists and fraudsters. Hate 'em. Two days ago, I checked a credit card statement online. I had no reason to, I just did it. Well, I'm glad I did. There was a charge for $9.95 from Groupphoenixone, Llc 310-356-6594 Ca. WTF is that, I asked. A quick Google found one blog that mentioned them. It seems that I was not alone, although the company name changes often in the messages over the past year or more.

I call the number. The answering machine is almost comical in the way they guy tries to say, without bursting into fits of laughter, that they will deal with you via e-mail. I find their webpage. I'm now positive I haven't spent my cash with them. So I call up US Bank, tell her I already looked it up, called the number and generally am sure they are full of crap. Amazingly enough, she says, OK, we'll dispute the charge and credit your account....which she actually did!

It seems that either they are getting the numbers from some other service leak, although no one can figure out the connection, or they are randomly doing numbers till they get a hit. Both suck. I can only imagine how many people wouldn't even notice $9.95. These jerks are probably making some serious cash...who says crime doesn't pay.

TheRus (again)



This scam has got to be raking in the cash. Interestingly enough, I recently bought some AAA batteries in bulk from Buy.com using my credit card. According to this blog, Buy.com was one of the companies that the blogger noticed he had used that might have contributed to it.

At any other time, this would not be a big deal, but since this is a holiday weekend, my bank is closed until Tuesday. Also, I am getting ready to travel to visit family over the course of the next week and not being able to use my check card is a MAJOR inconvenience, plus add in the aggravation of having to switch over all of my monthly recurring charges that are tied to my card to a new card once this is all worked out. This is ulcer creating material.

The thing that REALLY gets me annoyed is that judging by the responses I have seen on other blogs about this, the major credit card companies and most of the banks have never even heard of this company or this particular phishing scenario.

7.22.2005

Tivo's Hidden Web Server

Who needs a Slingbox, get a Tivo Series 2!

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7.06.2005

Play Videos & Run Linux on 4G iPod

Here's a guide that should help people who want to install iPodLinux, and use their newest Video Player on their 4G iPod. I've had no problems so far, hope this goes well for you guys.

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mac OS X for x86 leak

"According to sources a full dvd iso leak for Mac OS X will happen this thursday if not friday...."

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6.15.2005

GTA: San Andreas mod restores lost sex scenes

Rumors have been going around that there is a sex scene mini-game in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas that was removed from the game but the code still existed on the DVD. Well, it's been proven true and now you can download a mod for the PC version that puts the sex scene back in the game. There's a video too, for the non-believers.

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6.02.2005

GPS Panties...

Gonna be buying a few pairs of these when my daughter starts dating!

These panties will monitor the location of your daughter, wife or girlfriend 24 hours a day, and can even monitor their heart rate and body temperature.
Based on pioneering research developed by the U.S. military at DARPA, we have brought this revolutionary technology, previously only available to the military, to you!

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Introducing ratDVD: A new way to compress your DVDs

Kinda interesting idea. Not sure about only being able to watch it in WMP though. I would rather see something like this that would work using PowerDVD or WinDVD so you could theoretically create a DVD jukebox machine for your home theater.

Would you like to be able to compress an entire 9GB DVD to 1 single file about 1GB-3GB (depending on the DVD and your settings) in size, keeping menus, bonus features, multiple audio and subtitle tracks as well as video Angles? Well students from the university of Aarhus..

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5.26.2005

Found a nifty new site today while surfing over at ipodlounge.com. It's called ipodlinks.com.

Some pretty nifty stuff. have to add that one to the links list so that I can peruse it more thoroughly at a later date.

5.25.2005

wow......

Wow....lotsa new stuff to write about. I've not been updating this blog due to the fact that my daughter was born on Tuesday May 17th. I haven't been getting a lot of computer time these past few days, (except now that I am back to work) so I have been unable to update my blog.

My little princess managed to get one over on her daddy before even being born. I had bought a ticket to see Episode III with a bunch of friends from work. The initial due date that the wife and I were given was May 10th. So, I figured, great...I'll get to be there for the wife and then get to catch the new star wars the next week. WRONG. The little bugger decided that she was too cozy and decided to stay in for another week.

The past week, I've been collapsing into the bed at 9 and sleeping like the dead until "Daddy's Little Alarm Clock" decides that she is hungry at 1 am and wants to keep Mommy and Daddy awake until 4. I'm not complaining as there are much worse reasons to be awake at 3 am. I only wish that there was more on TV at that time of night :) (thank God for Tivo at least).

5.13.2005

Star Wars Opener to cost Employers Millions

Employers are expected to see a dramatic spike in absenteeism as workers play hooky to see "Star Wars: Episode III," when it opens May 19, according to a new report. That loss of productivity could cost employers as much as $627 million in the first two days that the picture.

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For All Those TV Torrents

A possible forerunner to replace the hole that left by all the closures today, especially the one by btefnet. It looks great and is right up to date so enjoy :-)

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5.07.2005

Suprnova's Sloncek is back with a BitTorrent new site!

Appearing out of the sky like a Suprnova, Seedler.org emerged on the web...find some good torrents here.

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5.06.2005

Still Waiting....

Cathy and I are still awaiting the visit from the stork. Mom and Dad C are staying at the Red Carpet Inn here in town. Just want her to get here already.....the waiting is making me crazy!

5.04.2005

Idiot's guide to PHP

Simple and easy to follow PHP tutorials for all those who need guidance to learn this language.

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4.30.2005

Podcast Bunker: Only the Best Podcast

The Podcast Bunker is the home of the 30 second podcast preview. Podcast Bunker also listens to each podcast before adding it to ensure only the best quality podcasts are added.

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4.27.2005

Life Size Han Solo In Carbonite Built Out of Legos

Nathan Sawaya used around 10,000 Lego bricks to create a 70" x 30" x 10" replica of Han Solo encased in carbonite.

Someone has WAY too much time on his hands...

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4.23.2005

ThunderCats Finally Comes to DVD

All I've got to say is "Thunder....Thunder....Thundercats, HO!!!" :)

Thundercats hits the streets of Thundera 08/09/05, with an MSRP of $64.92. The 3 disc set will include extras like "Feel the Magic, Hear the Roar: ThunderCats Fans Speak Out" - Wil Wheaton of Star Trek and other loyal Super Fans give their memories and support to this animation classic.



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MPAA Paid Off NYPD To Stop Bootleggers?

Two NYPD veterans are being investigated by Internal Affairs for allegedly accepting payoffs from the motion-picture industry to arrest vendors of pirated DVDs, law-enforcement sources told The Post.



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4.20.2005

Official Xbox SpiderChip V1.1 Solderless Modchip

The SpiderChip is the first chip to achieve what many thought was not possible: Solderless installation on Xbox 'v1.6'.
It is also compatible (and solderless) with Xbox v1.0 to v1.5
Even better, it comes with a low price tag, lower than regular non-solderless chip.

Gonna have to check this out for my xbox

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The Ultimate Home Arcade

Okay, This guy's got the ULTIMATE home arcade! I can only hope in my wildest dreams to come remotely close to what Peter Hirschberg has produced in his basement! If your into the classic 'retro' arcades of yesteryear, then your gonna LOVE this!

This is too cool...reminds me of my mispent youth :)

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Hacking Windows XP: Speed Up Your Boot

Do you want your XP machine to boot faster? Then check out this article.

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Alienware reveals Aurora Star Wars Edition

Alienware introduced a Star Wars Edition of its Aurora desktop featuring 2 different cases (Light & Dark Side) and exclusive Star Wars content.

I only wish that I could afford one of these...too cool.

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4.19.2005

long time

Hey there.....haven't posted anything (except from digg.com) in a while.

We have not yet had our "little arrival". Cathy is wishing that she would get here though. Can't say that I don't feel the same.

Got some new news to post. About 2 weeks ago, Cathy came home and her old laptop was frozen with the screensaver on. She powered it off and then on again. Got blinking lights for about 30 seconds and then it would power down. Seeing as how the laptop was bought used 4 years ago, and it pretty much served it's purpose up until now, we decided to buy her a new desktop. Funny enough, I had just seen a pretty wicked barebones system from TigerDirect that morning. After talking with her about it, I ordered one.

After checking the specs of the motherboard, I realized that she would have a better machine than me. (Seeing as how I am a total geek, this was not an acceptable solution) So the new parts show up the next week and I proceeded to basically tear up MY machine and build 2 new machines out of the parts. So now, I have a new puter and Cathy has a new puter.

Now if you know me, a new computer is no big deal. I mess around with my machines so much that it seems like I'm always formatting and reinstalling again on a monthly basis anyway. I must say that I am happy that I can now encode AAC files in iTunes 3X faster and I can play TW2005 without it crashing constantly....speaking of which, I think they are calling me to the tee box....later.

4.15.2005

DVD Jon says recording industry is doomed

Jon Johansen has become a sort of figurehead for consumers rights. He has gained a global recognition for his efforts in the so-called "fair use" arena and it is well deserved too. He also is very perceptive and has said that DRM is more than just digital rights management.

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liveplasma

its a music,movies search engine in flash

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4.14.2005

Internet TV

Announcing a new platform for internet television and video. Anyone can broadcast full-screen video to thousands of people at virtually no cost, using BitTorrent technology. Viewers get intuitive, elegant software to subscribe to channels, watch video, and organize their video library.

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A Guide To Using Bit Torrent

A guide to using Bit Torrent, including an overview of Bit Torrent, applications, and a list of torrent sites.

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4.10.2005

Zabasearch? Free personal information search, be aware!

Be aware, your personal information can be available to anyone! Enter your name and state and find out birthdates, addresses, and phone numbers. Removal request is available, but seems to be a little fishy.

This is freakin' scary......

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4.09.2005

College student forces MS to settle

College student David Zamos bought educational copies of Microsoft Windows and Office XP Pro for $60 each. After realizing he'd have to wipe his computer to install them, he tried to return them. The college nor MS would take them back. So, Zamos auctioned them on eBay, and that's when Microsoft sued him.

This is AWESOME! Nice to see that the little guy can still win from time to time.

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4.08.2005

The future of blogging

C|Net Article on the growth and future of blogging.

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Tales of a Professional Social Engineer

Jim Stickley robs banks, government offices and other allegedly secure locations. And he does it the unorthodox way. Stickley doesn't go in like Edward G. Robinson with a Tommy gun. He gets you to like him and trust him and leave him alone while he steals your confidential information and other assets that you should be guarding unceasingly.

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Law to outlaw music protected by proprietary DRM (such as iTunes)

The Congress have been considering a plan that would outlaw music protected by proprietary digital rights management (DRM) technology, such as Apple's FairPlay, which stops iTunes downloads being played on non-apple music players.

I am all for the free trade of information, so this could be a good thing. The only detriment I see is that Steve-O may have a harder time getting the record companies to open their catalogs to him without any type of copy protection. This should be interesting to watch...

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3.25.2005

Found a link to a bunch of audio files.....have to dl when I get home from work.

3.24.2005

DVD Jon does it again.... Haven't gotten a chance to look at this yet (thanks Slashdot), but it appears that Jan Johansen circumvented the ITMS digital rights management last week with his PyMusique application. Apple released an update on Tuesday to stop him, and he broke it again a few hours later.

3.20.2005

the shower

Well....the shower was yesterday. I'm still feeling a bit under the weather from this cold that I have been suffering from for a week now and I am stuck at work today.

It's a good thing that we cleaned out what is going to be the baby's room a few weeks ago, because we needed Mom and Dad Costanzo's van to get all of the baby shower booty back to the house.
I think Cathy is going to get carpal tunnel writing out all of the thank you notes to everyone who bought us stuff. This little girl is going to have about a million "aunts" and "uncles" I think.

3.18.2005

Time for the goodies to arrive

Well, the big day is fast approaching. Cathy is getting bigger and bigger everyday.
The nursery is almost done. The walls have all been painted and the crib is together. I'm going to post some pictures up on the site when I finish painting the room and we get the crib set.

Cathy and I bought the wood to have the dresser made last week. The shower is tomorrow. Cathy and I already got a bunch of baby stuff from her shower that her coworkers threw for her this past week. Can't wait to see what comes tomorrow.

3.04.2005

Interesting post on slashdot here about a possible scenario for downloading tv shows. Since I have a Tivo hooked into my home network, I don't know if I would subscribe to this unless the feeds were in HD and you could burn them to DVD.

3.03.2005

website funnery

Well....i think that my site is going to get a redesign. I've been getting quite a bit of family visiting my site lately. There will be alot more in the future as my daughter comes along and we start posting info and pictures out there for the family to see. I'm sick of the bland color scheme. So I will be redesigning here in a little bit. Changes coming......

3.02.2005

Hey Al, hand me that power saw....MORE POWER, uh uh uh

We started working on our daughter's nursery this weekend. Picked up Ashley's crib yesterday. Cathy has had off on Monday and Tuesday of this week due to the weather, so she was able to go to Hickory with me to pick up the crib.

The old guest bed in the nursery has been broken down and is ready to go. My father also got his revenge on me for the amount of posters I had hung on the walls of my old room through the years. When my little brother Billy moved into that room, my father started spackling the room to repaint it for him. I believe the direct quote from dad was something along the lines of "What the hell did you do, use a machine gun to hang up posters!?! There are tack holes ALL OVER the wall!"

Well, Pop, you can now rest easy since little Ashley's room is much the same. I was in there this past week spackling over the tack holes, so now I feel your pain. There are some pictures of me in action. I have to get them off my camera and upload them to the site, but I should be doing that soon.

Cathy and I also bought the paint for Ashley's room yesterday. I'm hoping to start on that next week. At least if I get the paint done, I can put together the crib and start setting up the room.

We have been doing some serious housecleaning in the last few weeks. There is so much stuff that is taking the trip to the curb, it astounds me. I never realized that we had quite that much stuff. I realized why I always thought that our house is too small...We have way too much stuff. Cathy and I are both packrats. Neither one of us likes to throw stuff away. That is starting to change however. With the upcoming arrival, we are both realizing that we have way too much clutter around for a little one to get into once she starts walking.

2.25.2005

I am SO doomed

It's a girl. I guess I should just give up now.... :)

2.23.2005

OK....might find out whether it's a boy or girl

Well, we have the rescheduled ultrasound appt today at 4. Hopefully this will be the day that we can officially say "our son" or "our daughter". Can't wait to find out.

Lot's of stuff have happened since the last time I blogged anything. Cathy is getting bigger and bigger every day. The baby is kicking up a storm....I think that we may have a potential soccer star in there :)

We registered a few weeks ago at Babies R Us, Target, and Wal-mart. Since then, my mother has bought us the stroller and carseat thing. My in-laws have bought us the crib, mattress, some sheets, and the papasan bouncy seat which Cathy and I really like. We are hoping that someone will buy the papasan swing to go with it, but it's kinda expensive so we may have to swing that one ourselves when the time comes, but we'll see.

I fried my computer at the beginning of February. The power supply and the system board were toasted. All of the 5V leads on power supply plug and system board were blackened. I think that I may have been asking for a little too much out of my system. Upon reflection, it probably wasn't the smartest thing to try to power an ATI AIW 9200 Pro, Firewire card, USB2 card, and NIC from a 350W power supply. Oh well....live and learn.

I bought an Asus motherboard and an Aspire power supply and I am loving it right now. I also picked up a Chieftec Dragon case. I am kicking myself for not doing this sooner. great looking case, frontside usb and firewire and it is SO easy to work on.

1.19.2005

OK...time for a new post. Not really sure of what to say. Bought a food dehydrator this past week. Been making beef jerky like a madman.....the whole house smells like a campfire when I dry it. Also did some fruit the other day. Kinda neat. Pineapple smells really good when you put it into a dehydrator. The whole house smelled like a tropical island. It did look kinda freaky when it was dry though. Tastes awesome, but man does it look weird.
Also dried some pears and bananas with the pinapple. The pears taste really good and actually look like what they are, but man do the bananas look weird. Little brown buttons come to mind, and they have kind of a malted taste, definitely not what I was initially expecting. I've had banana chips before and was kinda expecting that crisp texture and taste.

1.13.2005

OK....I'm back

Took a break from weblogging for a bit. I have been trying to keep up with cataloging my DVD collection and sorting through my music. I"ve been trying for months to get my collection sorted enough to the point that I could convert to AAC "en masse" and just let my system run at it. No such luck.

Cathy is starting to freak out about the baby's room. There is still an old full size bed in the room along with tons of boxes of junk that need to be transported to the storage building. I think that we have picked out a color for the room though. One of Cathy's coworkers is going to take the bed and build us a dresser for the baby as payment for the bed, which is pretty cool. Depending on how it comes out, I may ask her to make a table for Cathy in the corner of her room. Speaking of babies, Cathy is getting bigger. (Check out the picture in the gallery). We got another ultrasound done before we left for PA for christmas. I have it digititized in full resolution and I am going to have to tinker with it to get it suitable for the web. I'll put it on the to do list for later this week or next.


1.01.2005

a new year

Ok....I'm over my last rant.... Here's to hoping the new year brings good things to all. Especially me.... I need some good stuff soon.
Finally back to my normal work schedule again. God it's going to be nice to have off 3 days in a row again. I severely missed it.

12.31.2004

the year of the ipod

Apparently this is the year of the ipod. Recently 2 of my coworkers have acquired ipods. This is rather amusing to me as both of these people were poopooing my decision to buy an ipod in August. The statements ranged from "My laptop will play music, why do I need to spend the money on a device to do it?" to "Screw that, too much money." Funny how now the tune has changed.