Sure is tough coming back to work after being away 3 work days (and a weekend) away. It's nice to be back- especially since more than half the department is currently out. I actually have time to get things done!
Had a good Christmas. Unfortunately, my parents lost their power due to an ice storm, so we didn't make it down to see them yet. Even so, we got to spend a lot of time with friends and family on the wife's side. It was a pleasant week. Got a lot of relaxing in. Got to spend time with the wife and kid which was great... Our daughter got WAY too many toys for Christmas- so I'm thinking we're going to save some for any future kids we may have. I got a few things I have been asking for in past years- a nice kinetic watch, a waffle maker, and a laser level.
Not too much else new. I got some Halo 2 time in and I'm starting to get better- made it to level 9 in "Team Slayer". My fingers are starting to get used to the controller now...
I'm also thinking about playing around with Windows Media Center 2005. I saw a demo of it a while back when it was beta. It looks really cool and is basically a "free TIVO". You can purchase a remote for about $40, and if you have a Video In / Video Out video card you are all set (and Windows Media Center- about $100). A co-worker set it up and was amazed. You can schedule what shows you want to watch, and "pause live TV". His only complaints are that it slows down the channel changing (due to buffering) and doesn't auto-skip the commercials on playbacks (but you can fast forward). My biggest worry before was due to Satellite, but apparently it works just fine...
Before I take the plunge, I have to figure out a few things.
1- Can (and should) my Athlon 700 mhz work with Media Center 2005? (It won't take Windows XP, but can install Windows 2003).
2- If #1=yes, can I get a decent VIVO card with MPEG decoder/encoder and HDTV capability for under $200?
If I can do 1 and 2, I will probably do it. It's cheaper than buying a TIVO (at least the non-subscription price- I refuse to pay a monthly fee), I can easily use the PC with my TV (also allowing me to run some cool NES emulators), etc. My Athlon is no longer serving any purpose (I replaced with a SC420 Dell server). However, it has a Biostar motherboard that doesn't like XP. Also, I'm not real sure how the recording performance of media center will be.. thus the MPEG2 card.