Check out "Busted" on MTV

I've been trying to dust off this blog lately, but my day job keeps getting in the way. For those of you who don't know, or haven't visited the root of this domain, I'm a television editor and for the last 4 months of my life I've been laboring away as the Lead Editor on a new show for MTV called "Busted". It has been very grueling, but we're making great headway and just started airing weekdays at 6pm ET/PT then replaying at midnight. You can see full episodes at this link.

On the SageTV front, I have been working a little on Meekell. I've added a bunch of animations and fixed some bugs. I'm planning on making a release sometime before the end of the year with reworked music and photos sections that should take advantage of the new 6.4 features.

With tech, I have my eye on Canon's new HD camcorder the HF11. With SageTV's support for AVCHD on the extender it should be an easy sell. With that purchase I also plan to pick up a Drobo to keep the video safe, then hopefully a new Mac Pro to really get into selling my photography as stock.

There is a lot of stuff on the horizon, so don't forget about me! I'm still here.

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"How to Kill a Brand"

I don't normally re-blog, but this video was just too great not to share with as many people as possible. The song is called "How to Kill a Brand" by Doc Adams, a parody sung to the tune of "How to Save a Life" by Fray. It sums up perfectly why the PS3 won't be finding a home in my entertainment center.

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GeneralVince AnidoComment
Vista working on the X41 Tablet
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I've been able to successfully install Vista Home Premium Edition on my X41 Tablet, and am REALLY liking the experience so far. I'm writing an article to help people decide if they're ready to take the plunge, but in the mean time, I've gotten a lot of hits on my other X41 Vista post, so I thought I'd point people to a very helpful post I found. Give Our Abilities Time has a great article on a couple of the pitfalls of installing Vista on this machine. Most notably, the relatively hard to find ThinkVantage Fingerprint Software v5.6 which is required to get the fingerprint reader working.

All in all, things are working pretty well, and I'm very happy with the overall experience.

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Frustrating Fixed Zooomr

I've finally had a little break and I really would like to write a full review of Zooomr, because I think it has a lot of potential due to the people in charge of it. (Thomas Hawk and Kristopher Tate.) The problem is, I'm trying to merge my older GMail-based login with an OpenID login that Zooomr has migrated to and instead of combining them, it created a second account. Now I'm stuck having to send myself temporary passwords every single day.

I've tried their feedback email with no response now after over a week. I'd really like to get things together so I can write a good review when they release Mark III next month, so can someone get on this please? Thank you.

Update 2-11-07: Wow, that's service! I was helped both the top guys at Zooomr, and we concluded that it was entirely my fault. The solution was quite simple, and I'm embarrassed to say that I managed to merge my Zooomr account quite a while ago with an alternate openID - one different than I've been using for a fair amount of time now.

So anyways, problem fixed, and I am really impressed with the great service I received. Seriously, how many companies have their CEO and Founder/Lead Developer helping out customers? Thanks guys. I really appreciate it.

Glass ManGlass Man Hosted on Zooomr
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Meekell v0.6.0 Release

Sorry for the extremely long hiatus. Here's a new version for you to play with. Download it here.

I hope to follow this up with a quick maintenance release in a couple of weeks, so please email me with any issues you find.

As always, please let me know what you think!

Release Notes:

Meekell 0.6.0

Features:

  • V6 Video Compression!
  • EvilPenguin's DVD Burning!
  • External Drive Support (like standard STV).
  • "Browse Media Files" option (like standard STV, go to a import menu, hit 'options' button).

UI Changes:

  • Added Settings Item to toggle 'Delete' in Video Library
  • Added "Auto-skip commercials" toggle to "Enhancements" menu
  • Un-Archive now available in recordings menu
  • Incorperated Default STV End Of File Options

Bug Fixes:

  • Weird delete button size issue in Stanger's Imports menu
  • Channel Change deny prompt displays correctly
  • Commercial Re-detect popup now readable
  • Scroll Bar in main menu now works again. :)
  • Tons of other fixes - I lost track, sorry.
  • Various Theme Cleaning -* I'm SURE I broke some things doing this. Please let me know what looks weird. *
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HTPCVince AnidoComment
Going Zooomr?

So while I've recently gotten severly addicted to Flickr, Zooomr is currently offering free pro accounts to bloggers. I figured that there were probably a couple of people out there who might be interested in trying out a new service, (especially those who's accounts have been NIPSA'd) so I thought I might write up a comparison for this blog.

Check it out, Zooomr is launching v2.0 next week so it's a great time to give things over there a try.

Ante Up "Ante Up" - hosted on Zooomr

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Making use of a USB Thumb Drive
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Go to a conference lately? Any conference, tech or otherwise, and you're likely to walk away with some incarnation of a memory stick with some vendor's sales pitch on it. They're passed around like candy, pretty much every chip company makes one - they're everywhere. But to be honest, I didn't really keep one until recently because I really couldn't find a use for them.

Sure they're good for holding documents, but my computer does that. If you work on your own desktop every day, your thumb drive begins to collect a lot of dust because it's tough to remember to plug the thing in periodically to synchronize it. Honestly, I just had a hard time justifying the cost. Tough to justify free? No - the space. In order to have the opportunity to use it, you have to carry the thing around with you all the time, and I carry enough crap I barely use, I didn't need anything new to pack in my pockets.

But after I was forced to purchase a large thumb drive to save my documents from a crapped out Windows installation, I was stuck with a 1gb drive and no way to return it. I set out on a quest to find alternative uses for the thing to see if I could find a reason not to sell it on ebay. I've succeeded.

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Digital Photo Organization

How many pictures do you currently have on your computer? 100? 1,000? 10,000? When was 5-hour slideshows, but we also don't have albums organized for our children to look at so they can learn how hard it was 'in the old days'.

Photographs have become somewhat disposable. We make sure to take them at big events, and because every picture we take is essentially free, we're taking more pictures than ever - but without a good way to organize this HUGE collection of photographs, why are we taking them at all?

After I had my first digital camera for a year, I had amassed over 1,000 photographs. I threw them in a folder on my computer. Sometimes I uploaded some to a photo service like Shutterfly, but most the time they just sat there on my computer. Perturbed, I went out and found Adobe Photoshop Album. There are a number of alternatives, but I have yet to find a better organization system than the one Adobe has created. I should mention up front that Adobe's brilliant solution is offered for free.

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RSS for newbies - getting the most out of feeds

Do you constantly find yourself aimlessly wandering your way through your huge bookmark library looking for something new to read? Do bloggers with random posting schedules like me totally annoy you because you never know when to visit their site? If you answered yes to either of these questions, then it's time someone talked with you about RSS Aggregators. RSS is a technology many sites now use (including this one) that basically equates to a news wire. Think of it as their own personal broadcast station that constantly loops the most recent items from that site. Now, just like you need a radio to listen to AM stations, you need something called an aggregator to sort out these feeds to view them and also alert you when something new is added.

So now you're thinking, "Well that sounds great, Vince! Where do I start?" Well, there are a LOT of different aggregators out there, probably hundreds, and they vary quite widely in their use-ability and compatibility. I have tried a number of different approaches but I think I've finally found my RSS nirvana, and I would like to share it with you all.

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Is the UMPC/Origami the future?

There has been a lot of talk around lately about how Microsoft's new Origami/UMPC might be the solution to everyone's mobile computing needs. I normally don't write about this kind of thing but the conversation has really gotten me thinking.

It seems that a lot of people within the tablet community are frustrated because they've realized that they're not using their tablets as much as they'd like to because they aren't taking them everywhere they might need them. The general consensus is that a smaller device would be more likely to make the trip, therefore giving them more use and more productivity. As a general rule this makes sense to me, but I still have one major issue with the concept - a UMPC still can't fit in your pocket. (I have partially been corrected once, though I also consider it somewhat of a joke.)I just can't see myself whipping one of those things out at a moment's notice, and unless you're a European Carry-All owner, I can't imagine this would go many more places than a slightly larger, more functional tablet.

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New firmware for PPC-6700

Just as I was polishing off my review of the PPC-6700, I stumbled across a forum post that announced that Sprint had finally made a new firmware available for the device. After reading what was included, I can't release my review as-is.

I had a few gripes which seem to be fixed out-right by the new firmware, so I'm going to spend a week with the update and see how it changes my view of the device. I'm still very happy with it, and hopefully I'll be even more happy with it next week.

So, those of you who have the Sprint PPC-6700, go login to your sprint account and go to 'Phone Details' then 'Software Download', select 'Windows CE' as your OS, and the upgrade application should be the first link. Make sure to use your USB cable to install the update, Bluetooth connections are too finicky for such a major transfer.

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Welcome to the new server!

If you can see this post, you've made it to the new server! Let me know what you think of my new site design in the comments. I'm straying a little from the wordpress pack by ditching the sidebar, but I think the menu system is much cleaner and allows more focus on the posts. Please let me know if you find it difficult to get around, if something doesn't work properly, or if you miss a feature that I threw out.

New content is coming soon!

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Site Update

Sorry for the lack of posting lately. My job has been very crazy, but rest assured: I have been working on a complete site redesign and am in the process of switching web hosts. So as soon as I complete things I'll flip the switch on the DNS and move everybody over. I have so much built-up content for this site it's driving me crazy. I just need to get the site in order and I should be able to finally get some posts up about my PPC6700 (which is awesome), a 6-month follow up on my X41 Tablet, some new features for my SageTV STV and a bunch of podcasts.

So stay tuned! Lots of good things are on the way.

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GeneralVince AnidoComment
X41 Tablet Vista Compatible

I was looking around today on the news wires and noticed that Microsoft has finally published the suggested specs for Vista compatible systems. To my surprise, it appears as though my X41 tablet will be able to deliver a "Windows XP-comparable graphics experience". So basically, it won't work with all the super-cool eye candy, but it will be able to take advantage of all the other new tablet enhancements that Vista has promised. You can see the whole list of desktop, mobile, and enterprise requirements here.

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TabletPCVince AnidoComment
I won an award!

I'm really behind on my RSS reading lately, so this isn't as timely as I would have liked it - but I've recently won an Ink Blot Award for the Best I Felt The Earth Move Experience When Finally Ordering A Tablet PC! This is surely as a result of the strange coincidence I experienced when I was ording my Tablet, and there was an earthquake while I was on the phone with the sales person. You can read my account of it here.

I want to thank Warner for this wonderful honor. It is truly touching to be recognized by such a prolific TabletPC auteur.

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EVDO Rocks!

I'm sorry I've been a little busy lately. I really have been thinking hard about TabletPCs, SageTV, and smartphones though. I haven't forgotten about you. In fact, I have been thinking SO much about you all, that I decided to take one for the team and make the switch from my Treo 600 to the new PPC-6700. I've only had a few minutes to play with it, but the first thing I decided to do is test out how fast EVDO was really going to be. After hearing all the hype I was a little worried I would be dissapointed, I was definitly not:

I know it's blurry, but my crappy Treo 600 camera was all I have at the moment. If you can't read it, it says: "1028kbps". Seriously!?! Over 1 megabit per second wirelessly!?!

I think I'm going to have fun with this thing. ;)

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Meekell 0.5.0 Release!

Another bunch of features you all seem to want. ;)

Release Notes:

Meekell 0.5.0

Features:

  • mlbdude's External Program List ("Advanced->Configure Menu")
  • Malore's Custom Guide Menus! (add via Menu Customization)
  • -All Malore's menus can be renamed via 'options' command while in menu

  • Nielm's RSS NewsReader, w/ internal viewer! (add via Menu Customization)
  • Enhanced Disk Space Widget (like v3 hidden feature) ("Advanced->STV Enhancements")

UI Changes:

  • 1st Run Marking in Guide ("Advanced->STV Enhancements")
  • Added "Programs" and "Shortcuts" main menus. Shortcuts menu populates with Malore's Menus automatically See install instructions to get programs to show up

Bug Fixes:

  • Menu Configuration now reports correct menu being modified
  • Fixed all Watch Conflict popups (I think)
  • Added FSE Toggle to Settings Menu
  • Included Stanger's fix for Data Import. (fixes production year, and directors)

All users should download the entire package listed on this page. You can find the SageTV forum thread by clicking here.

To all my loyal Tablet PC readers: I promise I'm working on some great new articles and podcasts. They should be ready by next week.

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HTPCVince AnidoComment
Meekell 0.4.6 Release!

Short list, but BIG implications. Now that people can configure the main menu, I'm not scared to add new features and clutter the simplicity.

Release Notes:

Meekell 0.4.6

Features:

  • Configurable Main Menu Items ("Advanced->Configure Menu")

UI Changes:

  • Main Menu Animates (turn off in "Advanced->STV Enhancements", won't be activated if "MVP Enhance" is Enabled)

Bug Fixes:

  • 5-Item Menu bug squashed
  • Channel Icons and Status Icons in media player display correctly
  • Intelligent Indicator appears properly in Recordings Menu
  • You can find the SageTV forum thread by clicking here. You can download the files from the SageTV section of this site by clicking the "SageTV" link on the title bar of this page, or by clicking here.

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HTPCVince AnidoComment