Saturday, August 07, 2004

Dear Mr Hatch...

Please protect the printed art industry from this device which blatantly enduces pwople to violate copyright:DigiDraw will allow anyone with a pen and a digidraw to make near perfect replicas of line art, drawings and photgraphs.

Friday, August 06, 2004


So we have enough parts to start building this week!

I've selected (mostly out of economy) an Asus A7V8X-MX SE motherboard. Pablo Kang ahs graciously donated An AMD Athlon 1400, a chassis, and an ATI Radeon 7200. I've got 512 MB of PC2100 DDR RAM here, and my parents gave me my birthday gifts (Toshiba DVD/CD RW drive & a Western Digital 160GB drive) a couple days early.

Most of Pablo's parts make it possible for me to donate much more to the local school. I was going to use the older pentium 3 grade stuff I have around here to start, now all of that can be assembled into computers for Farallone View. I'm betting that all of these parts get replaced at some point along our journey. I'm getting this running on the cheap, but I want it to be nice when I'm finished.

Now all I need is an encoder card, but the Radeon 7200 has some capacity for that, so we mey get to use those features.

So now, I've got the MB and VGA mounted, I'll finish hanging the hardware later. For the moment I must sleep. I'm finally done messing with my two desktop systems and have them stabilized from the hardware failure of last week.

Tuesday, August 03, 2004

Saving Money...

So I've located this little gem that looks like it will serve my needs well. Now understand that I'm normally an anti-integration nut. Motherboards didn't used to come with IDE controllers, or high speed serial ports and I was used to that. Combining boards has always seemed to be a bad idea to me because of the risks associated with having a single point of failure.

Now I've been through this in just the last week. The voltage regulator on my motherboard burned out and so I needed to replace the darn thing. Thankfully socket-A boards can be had quite cheaply and I solved my problem for $65. Now the board I bought has integrated 10/100 NIC, AC 97 audio and an S3 video card built in (yes and an IDE controller). Way overkill for this simple replacement. But with a board like that you just add drives and plop it in a chassis and you're done.

To the point... I've decided that for this project, the combination of the tuner and the vieo out on the same card is probably wise. It gives me more flexibility when it comes to choosing a motherboard since I only need 1 AGP slot and integrated audio is an option. Though I have a Yamaha GFX waiting in the wings if needed.

It also means that I can pop the Nvidia Geforce 4200 TI back into my Windows box. (yes I have a couple of those, but I don't use them for much).

If I get this video board, I can check off two more items from the requirements list. As it turns out, I'll be getting the DVD bruner and a 160GB HDD donated to fill in the drives requirement.

Sunday, August 01, 2004

TiVo vs. the Broadcast Flag Wavers

Technology an politics don't mix. This article points out some of the many reasons why. Copyright law and copyright holder's expectations need to change with the digital age. I have firm belief that when I have paid for a signal, once it comes into my house, it's mine to do with as I please. If I want to split it six times and show it in multiple rooms I should be allowed to do so. I don't have an issue with paying for a feed or even paying for multimple feeds but I do object to restrictions on what hardware I can use to view it or what I do with the data off that feed.

I'm a hockey fan, the linked article deals with the posible affect on the NFL, but they are simmilar enough. Television revenues are driven by advertizing, the teams get a portion of that money. Filling seats in important but the bulk of the seats go to season ticket holders and luxury boxes. If the casual fan would rather watch on TV than freeze their butts off, the possible distribution via the internet of games is not likely to change their minds.

Besides, it's more economical to go to a sprts bar or pay for your service than it is to get the games off the net. DSL is about $26 a month (if you get a good deal) plus the cost of a computer or TiVO to play these streams. May as well get the NFL Sunday ticket from DirecTV yourself.

I just don't get it, but then again I'm going to build a PVR that will not be subject to any of the bogus restrictions.