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Comment: Re:Anti - Incumbent Party (Score 1) 551

by DaveJ45 (#48303833) Attached to: In this year's US mid-term elections ...
"an incumbent who spent decades running a private business"
a) Unsuccessfully? - Why would I vote for a failed businessperson to represent me in government?
b) Successfully? - I would question the motives of anyone who is successful in ANY endeavor that would give that up to go in to politics...

"candidate who has spent decades getting elected to one political office after another"
Precisely what I am advocating. By forcing 'career' politicians to have to keep getting reelected to different offices, you stop them from becoming entrenched into a long term political position that encourages the current "influence for sale to the highest bidder" situation that constitutes modern "politics as usual"

Comment: Anti - Incumbent Party (Score 0) 551

by DaveJ45 (#48297799) Attached to: In this year's US mid-term elections ...
I'll be voting in this election the same way I have been voting for the past 12 years. I'm a member of the anti-incumbent party. So if you are currently IN office, I am voting AGAINST you. As the ousted incumbent, this will offer the opportunity to:

1) Go out and get a real job

2) Run for office again after you've discovered what it means to try and EARN a living in this country.

3) If lucky enough to get re-elected, try to remember that your obligations to your voting constituents is supposed to take priority over granting political favors to campaign contributors.

Voting against all incumbents is kind of like "Informal Term Limits". Politicians will never pass the laws required to institute mandatory term limits. So the voters have to institute them at the voting booth instead. If the PRESIDENT can only serve 8 years, no one else should be able to serve in the same office for any longer than that.

Comment: Re:They tried to raise prices 20% unnanounced (Score 1) 392

by DaveJ45 (#48270427) Attached to: Cutting the Cord? Time Warner Loses 184,000 TV Subscribers In One Quarter
We went to local HD programming with an OTA antenna and MythTV setup a few years ago and it has worked out just fine. Sure there were a few cable shows that were sacrificed. Guess what? Many could be viewed with various online options, and those that couldn't were gradually replaced by new 'favorites' from the available OTA signals. Not that it's entirely as much as a money saver as it should be. Comcrap in my market charges a PREMIUM RATE for internet only service (about 70-80 % of the rate for the basic Internet/TV bundles). They can see the writing on the walls, cable TV is doomed as a revenue stream, so they are shifting their pricing structures so that Internet access will be their primary cash cow in the future.

We actually added a very "limited basic" cable TV/Internet bundle back into our service this past year because the bundle saves $30 a month over Internet Only service. I did not let them reconnect all of the internal house wiring back to cable, which I had completely converted over to use the OTA antenna system. I only let them add the one outlet in the living room for cable. The cable service is provided from a deliberately crippled digital box that will only output in SD resolution unless we pay for additional upgraded service. But to be honest, since our OTA setup provides excellent HD programming, we don't care. The toddler happily watches SD cartoons on the cable box some times, and the rest of the time, we watch great HD programming on our own antenna system in every room in the house.

The MythTV setup allows TONS more HD recording capacity than any cable company provided DVR, with viewing options in every room in the house, plus the ability to start watching in one room and resume watching in another, multiple viewings of the same recordings in different rooms at the same time, and a whole host of other features. The cost of the OTA antenna setup, the MythTV backend, the hard drives for 3-5TB of storage, and muliple MythTV frontend machines was not inconsquential. But MythTV can use older hardware effectively enough that the entire cost of this switch over has been entirely recovered from the reduced cable bills. And it can be done in stages. The old cable system did not have access to DVR functions in every room, but evolution/expansion of the MytHTV system provides all of the functions that the previous cable company DVR system offered and much, much more, in every room in the house.

If/when they try to bump the rate on the Limited Basic cable/Internet bundle, we'll happily ditch the cable to go back to Internet only service. But as long as we can save money with the bundle ($300-400/yr) we'll keep signing up for a service we barely use. And the cable company gets to doctor their numbers to make it look like they are not losing as many cable tv subscribers as they really are losing to their stockholders

Comment: 3 Machines Upgraded - 1 left as dedicated (Score 1) 245

by DaveJ45 (#46683775) Attached to: Slashdot Asks: Will You Need the Windows XP Black Market?
I just completed a migration of 3 machines for a client.
1 XP machine was replaced with a different machine running Vista Home Premium.Their UPS shipping data was migrated to the new machine, as well as updating the software.
1 XP machine was upgraded to a fresh install of Windows 7 Professional.This machine also had to have a 'forced upgrade' from Quickbooks
1 XP machine was replaced with a re-certified Dell running Windows 7 Professional.
And since they had a certain piece of software they could not do without on that last machine, software that would not run/install on Windows 7, I set up a fresh XP install, fully patched and updated, on a SFF machine dedicated to that one task, which has no Internet or network access.
In the process of the migration, I also discovered torrent software installed on one machine by an as yet unidentified employee. All machines are now locked down to prevent unauthorized installation of any type of software.

Comment: Not to mention (Score 1) 187

by DaveJ45 (#46271969) Attached to: Krugman: Say No To Comcast Acquisition of Time Warner
Not to mention that this type of merger would give Comcast a roughly 30% revenue boost. Revenue they have already shown us all that they are quite capable of using to bribe government employees at all levels to promote their own financial interests over the rights and protections those same government employees are charged with protecting!

Comment: Linux Mint 13 MATE (Score 1) 573

by DaveJ45 (#43269687) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: New To Linux; Which Distro?
Plain and simply the easiest distro for those migrating to Linux for the first time

Use 13 because it is a Long Term Release model, and choose either the 32 or 64 bit version according to your needs

Although not new to Linux, I've been using Mint for years as my primary desktop, and it does 99% of everything I need to do. For the remaining 1%, I use Crossover or Virtualbox

I've recently installed it for my fiance on her laptop, which previously ran Vista, and not only does it run BETTER than Vista ever did, she's completely happy, and has never used Linux previously

I've used Knoppix, Puppy, SUSE, Centos, Ubuntu, Mepis, Arch, Vector, and even DSL, but for migrating to Linux with little or no previous Linux experience, you simply cannot beat Linux Mint.

The only other word of advice is to check up on how to set up your /home directory on a separate partition during the initial install. This way you have the option to completely re-install or upgrade your OS without losing your user data at some point in the future.

Comment: Re:Go OTA (Score 1) 328

by DaveJ45 (#43118749) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Dealing With Flagged Channels For XBMC PVR?
No need to hassle with scraping for your EPG data, when an annual subscription to Schedules Direct is only $25 year.

There's also a 2 month 'tryout' for $6, to test how well it integrates with your media OS.

Their website lists about 4 dozen or so applications their service works with-

Comment: MythTV and OTA Antenna (Score 2) 328

by DaveJ45 (#43111959) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Dealing With Flagged Channels For XBMC PVR?
Using MythTV (the Mythbuntu variant) and an OTA antenna with a pair of HDHomerun dual tuners was my own answer to getting rid of a massively bloated cable bill.The most surprising result, six months later, is that those 'cable' shows that were going to be sacrificed, and sorely missed, simply turned out not to be so important after all. Let's face it, most folks have a finite amount of viewing time available, and as it turns out, shows that were scrapped were quickly replaced by other shows, and became replacement 'favorites' instead. Shows that had not been watched previously, due to the amount of available viewing time, turned out to be just as enjoyable as the ones they replaced. Let's face it, none of the stuff aired on ANY network or cable lineup is all that exceptional in the first place, it's not really all that hard to find something that can be an equally mindless diversion.

The biggest surprise in our particular household was how large the percentage of viewing shifted to PBS, for both adult and children's programming, as well as discovering that the OTA antenna could also (in my location) receive a couple of Canadian signals which have excellent programming, that had never been offered through the local Comcast cable feed. Sure, there's always the option of online streaming for some programming now and again, but far, far less that we initially expected.

On the technical side, I now have the ability to actually record up to five signals at once, more if I use the multiplexing feature of HDTV broadcasts. The old DVR could handle two, and no multiplexing capability. Storage is limited to what *I* decide it will be. Instead of being stuck with 60-120 hours of non-HD programming, and no option to expand beyond that because I'm stuck with a DVR that actually supports expandable storage but is locked out of doing so by a cable provider. With 3.5TB of storage online, I can handle 500 hours of HD programming easily, and I can expand that to the limits of what I want to invest in HD space. Last but not least, all of my recorded media is available on every TV in the house, using either dedicated frontend machines, Laptops running XBMC, and in the case of my toddler, a Raspberry Pi based frontend to service his own viewing requirements of his favorite shows, plus ripped versions of his DVD collection, all on demand, (with a little assistance from Mom and Dad).

Not to say that there were no hurdles to overcome, and to set up a fully networked MythTV setp does require an investment in equipment and time, as well as some routine maintenance, but now all five TVs in my house have full access to 30 OTA channels, any and all scheduled recordings, an extensive music collection, online photo viewing, weather reporting, selected online news feeds, as well as an extensive DVD collection. No cable company that I am aware of offers this type of all in one media solution, and based on what I was paying for the paltry level of service I was previously subscribed to, with constant price increases looming in the future, I'm one very happy cable cutter these days!

"No job too big; no fee too big!" -- Dr. Peter Venkman, "Ghost-busters"