Archive for fun

Installing a New Tivo Hard Drive

So, I had this really crappy week a while back where my ipod, my Tivo and my laptop all died on me.  The ipod I fear is toast, as the connector won’t connect to a pc anymore no matter what I try.  It is two years old, so I think I will have to suck it up and buy a new one.

The laptop needed a new battery, easy to buy and fix.

The Tivo though, that was interesting.  It basically started spontaneously rebooting itself.  If you have ever had to sit through this, you will understand how quickly this becomes painful.  After several calls to tech support and trying different variations on a reboot. . they determined what I already knew to be true, my hard drive was gone.  Their recommendation, a refurbished unit for $160.  A new unit, with about 160 hours of space, is about $299.99 . . . so I figured I would look around a bit and see what I could find on my own.

I did find a couple of sites that sold replacement 160GB drives for about $100, so I decided to give that a shot.  Since it was a hard drive, I figured even if my Tivo never works I can reuse the drive in one of my PCs.  I purchased my drive from DVRUpgrade since they are somewhat local for me, and did the swap last night.  My Tivo was still working on getting all of the programming last night, but it appears to work just fine.  The swap was simple, made even simpler by the Torx driver they sent with the replacement drive, and their instructions are right on the money.

I am still bummed about the iPod, but at least I won’t have to miss any more of my favorite shows.  I have missed Grace, Brenda, and Dr. Brennan, not to mention all the new greats like Leverage, Lie To Me and Dollhouse!   Thank goodness for Hulu.

Firewall video and software – Systm and IPCop

I was surfing around looking for tools to help me learn more about networking and TCP/IP packets and I came across Systm.    It is a DIY show for geeks that has a bunch of shows on how to setup “geeky” stuff, like a home NAS and Media Center and yes, Firewall.  So after listening to the show on firewalls I decided that my very next project will be to setup an IPcop firewall system at home for testing and learning.  I understand from the show and by looking online that there are many people out there using it, so I should be able to setup it up and get help and learn a few things as well. 

Now if I can just dig out a complete system from my closet at home I will be all set. . .

I Am a Geek At Heart

I love this wall deco from ThinkGeek:

I guess I really am a Geek at heart!  Oh well, if you can’t beat them, join them!

Vista Trick

If you were looking for an awe inspiring article or some super helpful tips on how to run your network, I am afraid I am about to disappoint.  But I have said from the first day I posted here that I would be putting tips up that I wanted to remember, and so that is what I am doing today.

Greg Shultz, a regular author over at the  Microsoft Windows Blog on TechRepublic, posted a Windows tip for XP yesterday, so I thought I would post the Vista version of putting personalized text (only up to 12 characters) in the time area of your system tray.

    1.  Go to Start -> Control Panel -> Regional and Language Options

    2.  From the Formats tab, chose the box at the bottom right labled “Customized this format.”

    3.  Choose the Time tab from the box that pops up.

    4.  In the “AM symbol” and “PM symbol” you can add any text  you want.

    5.  Apply your changes and ok your way out.

Fun with E-cards

So today was mostly about moving wires and jacks around for an office move that has to happen today, and other than getting to punch down a couple of jacks for the first time (phone and network), I don’t have much tech info to share today.

I did however find a fun site that will let you send E-cards to your family and friends using their photos, or your own flickr photos.  The site is delivr.  I used a stock photo they had and emailed a Happy New Year card to my parents who quickly told me how much they enjoyed it.

Next up, making a personalized thank you card to my brothers to thank them for hosting the Christmas festivities!  I could sure waste a lot of time with this fun gadget!