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“We Provide This Facility On Our Boxes But Do Not Support It”

Friday February 13, 2009 Leave a comment

This was the response I got today while chatting with a Time Warner Cable Tech Support person concerning their Scientific Atlanta Explorer 8000HD DVR set top box. The box has dual FireWire (IEEE-1394) ports on the back for exporting your DVR recordings.

The problem I’ve got is that these ports are not functioning. I connect the FireWire cable to my laptop and nothing happens. Most sites that deal with this say that when you connect the cable, your computer should recognize the new hardware. No such luck here. So, I decided to contact Time Warner Cable for some more assistance. Here’s how the conversation went…

TWC Tech: Could you please elaborate on the issue?

Me: Ok. I have the Explorer 8000HD set top box. It has FireWire 1394 ports on the back for exporting your DVR recordings. I can’t connect.

Me: On the diagnostics screen for the box, it says  “1394:Unavailable.”

TWC Tech: The connectors or unable to transfer your data?

Me: I guess I’m not sure how to use the port. Can’t I just use a FireWire cable and hook it to my computer?

TWC Tech: I apologize for the inconvenience.

TWC Tech: I would be happy to assist you.

TWC Tech: We do not support the DVR recording transfer on the support.

TWC Tech: Not troubleshoot this issue.

TWC Tech: It is possible to transfer your recordings from the box, but we do not support that box feature.

TWC Tech: I am very sorry, I could not help you on this issue.

TWC Tech: Is there anything else apart from this, I can help you with today?

Me: I’m not sure I understand. The box is capable of doing this?

TWC Tech: It is considered to be illegal to record and write data, hence we provide this facility on our boxes but do not support it.

TWC Tech: Please visit this link for DVR faq’s/

TWC Tech: http://www.timewarnercable.com/CentralNY/site.faqs/Cable

TWC Tech: Is there anything else I can help you with today?

Me: I don’t think so. Just one final question. Is the 1394 port actually disabled on the box, or you just don’t offer support if it isn’t working?

TWC Tech: The port is not blocked.

TWC Tech: Is there anything else I can help you with today?

Me: No. That’s all.

TWC Tech: Have a great weekend!

TWC Tech: Again my name is *****. Thank you for chatting with Time Warner Cable. We value you as a customer and are here to assist you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

TWC Tech: Analyst has closed chat and left the room.

So this is what I’m left with. They offer the capability, but don’t give you any help if anything goes wrong with it. Why have the ports on there, and claim that it works, yet not back up those claims?

I’m not sure where to go from here. Some sites say that you can’t transfer your video from the FireWire port, and some sites say it’s completely simple to do.

If you’ve got any information you could pass along, feel free to leave a comment. I’m sure there are a lot of people who are frustrated with this situation.

Read a book. It’s good for you.

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John "One Thing At A Time" McCain For President?

Friday September 26, 2008 Leave a comment

Just watch this first… McCain lies to Letterman about why he can’t be on the show (9/24/2008).

So, McCain has to be in Washington to “save the economy.” Yet, there he is being interviewed, live, with Katie Couric?

Apparently, John McCain has to cancel his campaign because the economy is failing. Isn’t part of being the President being able to handle more than one situation at a time?

I have to say that I was never really a huge fan of David Letterman, but he’s moved right on up there in the “Late Show” favorites category. He really let loose on McCain.

I mean, really? What is McCain thinking? He bails, last minute, on Letterman to do an interview with Couric. He’s suspending his campaign to “save the economy,” and he wants to delay his debate with Obama.

What’s going on here? This doesn’t sound like a “take action” type of man. As the Daily Journal article says…

After all, the leader of the free world may have to meet with congressional leaders to negotiate key legislation, respond to a military flare-up in the Middle East, and then quickly and effectively deal with an economic crisis during any given 48-hour period or less.

Is McCain going to tell the world to “hold on” because there’s too much going on all at once?

I submit that this is not the man we should be looking to as our next President. Letterman makes a great point: Where is Palin in all of this???

Read a book. It’s good for you.

DVI Vs. VGA On An HDTV Monitor

Sunday February 10, 2008 2 comments

I’ve got a 26″ Magnavox HDTV monitor on my computer, dual screen along with a Westinghouse 22″. I’d had a problem that a lot of people have been having. The HDTV monitor’s picture was very blurry and almost distorted.

As far as connections, my NVIDIA 8800GT card has dual DVI outputs. So, both monitors were hooked up to DVI cables. My original 22″ monitor had a crystal-clear picture. The 26″, on the other hand, had a horrible picture, no matter what resolution or refresh rate I tried. I was beginning to get really frustrated.

Any research that I’d done online seemed to conclude that DVI was a far superior connection compared to VGA – a purely digital connection, compared to an analogue connection (VGA). But, being the skeptic that I am, I was skeptical. This couldn’t possibly be the best connection available. I could barely read the text on the screen.

So, I gave VGA a shot. My video card didn’t actually have a VGA output, so I got a DVI to VGA connector and a 6′ VGA Monitor cable. The cord had to have male connectors on each end in order to accommodate the adapter, as well as plug into the VGA port on the HDTV monitor.

Upon connecting the VGA cable (through the DVI adapter) into the video card, and the other end into the VGA port of the HDTV monitor, I now get an awesome picture. Crystal-clear like the 22″.

So, don’t believe the hype when people say that DVI is far superior to VGA. In some cases, it may be. But, not when it really matters… to me. DVI doesn’t carry vertical sync information.

Read a book.

Deal Or No Deal [More TV Trash]

Friday May 26, 2006 Leave a comment

My favorite show. The only show I watch. Deal Or No Deal. It may not be my favorite show anymore.

On iTunes, there is an option to listen to radio on the internet. There is a radio show called American Cliché. The host of the show went to a taping of last week’s show and was in the audience. He talked about what exactly happened during the filming.

The audience actually had to act out responses prior to anything happening. The producers asked the audience what their response would be if, say, the contestant opened the $1 million case; what would they do if the contestant opened the $1 case? There were countless takes and retakes. Then the audience would be told different gestures that they should make when each case was opened. The filming lasted 5+ hours! But the worst part…

Most of the audience close to where Howie Mandel stands weren’t even actual audience members, like the people that they get off the street – like the host of American Cliché. These people are actually paid extras that are hired from casting companies – paid to act as audience members! These people make minimum wage as paid audience members for the show!

I couldn’t believe this when I heard it. Makes me think twice about watching it. I should have relied on my gut instinct which said that all television truly is trash.

Read a book.

Dreaming of Chuck Norris

Tuesday October 12, 2004 Leave a comment

You wanna know something that’s totally messed up? Think of the most ridiculous show that ever aired on television. For those of you not familiar with it, the name is “Walker: Texas Ranger.” Yeah, that Chuck Norris guy, he has this show where he just hangs out with, like, Native Americans and fights people. Yeah, I actually dreamt about that show last night. I’m almost ashamed to even say that.

I don’t even know exactly what the dream was about. I just remember seeing Native Americans, and then Chuck Norris fighting various people. Maybe that show was on in the middle of the night and I was hearing it in my sleep. But man, I felt really depressed knowing I had a dream about Walker: Texas Ranger.

The only other thing that’s new is my profile pic. It’s pretty sweet. It’s not my poop though. I just thought a picture of poop would brighten up the place a little. Not that I’m an interior decorator or anything, but I think I have a firm grip on what’s in style and what’s not. Poop is definitely in style. It goes with anything.

I think I’ve said my piece for the moment. I shall write later if I’m in the mood.

Categories: All, Humor, Internet, Life, Television

Anti-Drug & Pro Beer

Monday August 9, 2004 Leave a comment

Have you ever just gotten angry at someone for how stupid they seem? Of course, that’s a stupid question. Remember being taught not to play in the road when you were small? Why is it that at some age it becomes OK to do this? I don’t know, maybe I should just give up on trying to understand poor people. Poor, not in financial income alone, but poor in intellect and motivation. It’s difficult to separate the two, but they are distinct conditions. Truly poor are the base creatures that fill our unemployment offices week after week, month after month, year after year. Yet, they don’t fill Libraries, Schools, or Jobs ever.

Another thing they fill are bottle returns. Mostly beer, but sometimes also soda. Mainly beer.

I’ve always found it interesting that the two legal drugs (alcohol and tobacco) are the two drugs that kill more people than every other illegal drug combined, each year.

Even more ironic is the fact that right after an anti-drug commercial today, I saw a beer commercial. Isn’t that funny? Basically, it’s ok to drink your drug. Those other drugs are the bad ones. Those untaxed drugs. But you knew that, right? Of course you did. You knew that our government is great and honest and loving. After hearing those words, you instantly think “U.S. Government.” You know, when you think of Love, Honesty and Greatness.

I’m sure their motives are pure. *wink wink, nudge nudge*

Yeah, I had to get that out of my system. Haven’t ranted about the government in a while, so I had to do it.

So what’d I do today? Worked. Did (doing) some laundry.

Ok, so I got sidetracked. It’s about 11:15pm. Got home a little bit ago. Went to Borders and picked up a book on US History because, honestly, I know very little about the history of this country.

I’m pretty tired though, so I think I’m going to finish this book I’m reading and go to bed. Goodnight all.

An American Disgrace

Monday July 19, 2004 Leave a comment

On my way to Joanna’s this weekend I saw something that was “potentially” very disturbing, on I90. As I was heading West, I looked over on the Eastbound side and saw a woman in a van pulled over by a State Police officer, who was riding in a State Police van. Now, the reason I say “potentially” disturbing is because I couldn’t really tell what exactly I saw in passing. All I remember seeing was this woman standing behind her van with her children, the back doors were open, and this officer was either helping her with something, or going through her personal belongings.

Now, I am not one to jump to conclusions, so let’s just look at this from both angles. Look at the possibilities.

Let’s say that this officer was helping this woman with something. Why would the children be outside the vehicle? Especially on a highly traveled roadway where cars, trucks, and tractor-trailers are frequently traveling at speeds of 75-80 mph? Would not his first concern be to keep everyone safe, being a servant of the people? You know, doing his job. Also, how would this officer know this woman needed help with something so mundane as it appeared to be? Something in the back of her van? This obviously was not car trouble.

From what I saw, he seemed to be half-kneeling. He didn’t seem to be struggling, and from what I saw, there only seemed to be luggage and things of that sort in the back of this woman’s van. I’m sure if she had a problem with something concerning her luggage, an officer of the law would not be concerning himself with this. If she really couldn’t undo that zipper, she’d wait until she got to her destination to fiddle with it.

The only logical conclusion I can come to, as far as help is concerned, would be that this woman had a flat tire (which was not apparent in the least), and this officer was getting a spare tire out of the back of the van. Even this does not seem plausible because he did not seem to be reaching into the floorboard or wall of the van, where a spare tire may be kept.

Now here is what I think happened. It’s nearing 5:00pm; near the end of his shift. It’s been a long and frustrating day. Patrolling the long stretches of I90 can be monotonous at best. An uneventful 12 hours on duty can get to even the best of them.

“Something’s got to give,” he ruminates to himself. “Why aren’t there any criminals out today?” Then he remembers the lessons he’s learned from believing in and supporting Republicans and George W. and his family. If there’s no one to hate, attack, bomb, or dehumanize, you’ve got to manufacture that target (Iraq, the American People, Peace Groups, etc.).

That target came to him like light at the end of the tunnel. Calmly obeying the speed limit, about ¼ of a mile down the road, was a woman and her 3 children
Through her rearview mirror she sees the flashing red lights and immediately pulls over. Being a responsible citizen, she has her license, registration, and proof of insurance ready for the officer when he arrives.

“License, regi…” His demand was interrupted by a glowing smile and all three forms of I.D. politely extended to him. There was nothing that infuriated him more than an unafraid and willing “suspect.” Even worse, she was happy to give him what he demanded.

“Where are you heading, ma’am?” He shuffles through her paperwork while examining her window stickers; looking for anything he can get her on.

“We’re just heading home from a vacation, sir. May I ask why we’re being pulled over?”

“Well, ma’am, your vehicle matches the description of a suspicious vehicle we received a report on a few days ago.”

“I see,” she replied, trying hard not to sound skeptical. “What was so suspicious about this vehicle, officer?”

Seeming to ignore her question, he continued slowly to saunter around the van, looking it up and down – paying particular attention to the rear, attempting to peer into the windows, which were obviously too high for him to see inside the vehicle. His frustration and anger were very visible.
“Is something wrong, officer?” By this time, the children were getting antsy. What was this guy doing?

“Yes, ma’am, there is. Please step out of the vehicle,” he said as he marched up to the driver’s side door.

“What did I do?” She began to sound scared; exactly what he wanted. Frightened people act irrationally, and if provoked enough, she’d make a sudden movement (regardless of what it was), and he’d be able to shoot her in “self-defense.” He’d only wished there was a way to mow down her children, but there was no way to aggravate children to the point where they’d assault an officer of the law. All those years of social conditioning from the television (mainly “COPS”) taught them you did whatever police officers say no matter what it is.

“Ma’am, step out of the vehicle.” He opened the door and motioned for her to leave the vehicle.
This poor woman. If only she knew she had no legal obligation to leave a vehicle without being told why.

Reluctantly, she steps out of the van. He escorts her over to the back of the van and instructs her to open the doors. “I need to look around a little bit.”

“What are you looking for?”

“I’ll know when I find it.” He then tells her to get the children out of the car.

Not knowing any better, that she has the Constitutional right to refuse a police search without probably cause, he intimidates her into letting him search – uninhibited.
After scattering her personal belongings on the side of the road and throughout the van, he concludes his search. After finding nothing to hold her on, he concludes the assault on her freedoms with a simple “have a nice day, ma’am.” Walking away, he leaves her to pick up the pieces of clothing, along with her dignity.

This, I’m afraid, is the more likely scenario. Thanks to the Patriot Act, as well as a general attitude from our government that the American people are the enemy, we are now (at least it appears) embarking on a Police State.

It’s one thing to read about these things online, or in the newspaper – but it’s totally another to see it happening in your own backyard. It really hits home.

This government is preying on its own people. Using the FOX News Channel and it’s “Fox News Alerts,” along with the “Color Coded Terror Warnings,” constantly keeping us on edge, thinking something horrible is going to be happening at any second, we become accepting of this new environment.

And, of course, COPS. That show is the worst thing to hit the airwaves. Interesting isn’t it that it’s made available to every household in America, not a cable-only show. They cram that show down your throat to let you know that State Power will always win. No matter how “free” you think you are, they can bust your house down and imprison you –conditioning people to just accept it when the Cops are beating their neighbor. Just sit back and watch – they are bad people who did something very wrong to be treated that way. As long as you don’t get involved, you’ll be safe.

I suppose that’s the message they want to leave us with. To be weak and impotent. As long as you don’t get involved, you’ll be ok.

Always remember that. When the government starts stomping all over your rights, just remember that it’s happening to someone else. You aren’t involved, so you’re ok. Just keep watching COPS.