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Monday, February 9, 2009

Family, enteretanment

I think I need to spend way more time with the family, so I canceled the NetFlix account, now don't have cable or internet either. It was hard to fill out that parting breakup survey, but in short its not you its me, and maybe the bandwidth as I couldn't watch movies at prime time, but then again even the analog TV had content at that time, so I shouldn't have been watching NetFlix on Sunday night anyhow, except that maybe I wanted to watch the last of the NetFlix that night, and I did have the time as I was shunned from the family for having a cold which now should be over with. Anyhow NetFlix is pretty cheap and cool. I have to add that there is lots of other free stuff out there that is very neat as well:,,, of course the new digital TV with an antenna. I have so far resisted bying that converter box, but I just applied for 2 coupons:
We have determined that your household is eligible to participate in this program. However, at this time program funding is not currently available to fulfill your request. Your application has been placed on a waiting list. You do not need to apply again. When and if funds become available, coupon requests will be fulfilled on a first-come, first-served basis.
No surprise, I had heard this was the case before, but now that I canceled cable I do end up looking at that crappy analog TV. What I would really want is for someone to ship me plans and the bits to get a Sharp 20" TV retrofitted by replacing some of the bits inside or adding a board inside that uses the old remote, rather then adding yet another box and power supply to the mix. I wonder if I am alone in this desire to upgrade the old TV, I figure it saves materials and might be cheaper then the $40 coupon, and I don't mind opening the case and installing it. I wonder if it might be so cheap as to be worth doing in a large scale, retrofitting many old TVs to the new chipset. Wouldn't it be cool if all it needed was something like a firmware upgrade, but that is probably wishfull thinking, since this old TV probably needs some sort of CPU and memory to do the new decoding, the RF component may already be there. But it does seem like soon you would be able to collect TVs as ewaste retrofit them and resell them cheap, seems nicer then the damn box on the TV and it could be much cheaper too, if we do it in big numbers. And yet I can't find a single posting on google of someone who may have done a DTV upgrade to the old TV :( Only brings up plenty of articles to say what to do, but are there no hobbyists out there willing to crack open the case of a TV and actually play with chips and components? But alas, if I get that coupon, I may just by the subsidized box. Seems like all it costs is shipping and taxes, since I guess we all paid for it and the burocracy around it with our taxes? Or will we pay for it with future services offered on the freed frequencies, since the auction I guess funded this.

I found a great MP3 about sysadmins, really neat.

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