Scott Hanselman

Comcast Cable adds CBS to Portland HDTV and why digital TV just ain't happening.

February 28, '06 Comments [17] Posted in Musings
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Cbs_logo_240_001I'm growing increasingly frustrated with the Motorola DVR that Comcast includes with their HDTV package. Alex Scoble (who works at Corillian) had similar problems and recently gave up. He went to DirectTV. However, apparently the big draw towards DirectTV, the DirectTivo unit, is being phased out and DirectTV is passing out crappy no-name DVRs again. (Can anyone confirm?)

Just this moment I noticed that Comcast added channel 706 - our local CBS affiliate, KOIN - after a protracted battle, they've worked something out. However, the compression artifacts are ridiculous. It's so hard to watch, even my wife noticed them. When Mo notices MPEG artifacts (in the guise of, "what's with the picture" questions, then it's BAD.

I just want:

  • 5.1 Audio out via optical
  • 720p HD video out via DVI/HDMI
  • Dual Tuner DVR with 20+ hours of storage
  • No blips, bloops, skips, stutters, random reboots

What's a dude got to do to get a single wire into a single box to get HD in this town? Get me this for $50 a month and we're done. (Comcast has it down 90% if the DVR sucked slightly less. If it glitched less, you'd never hear from me on this subject.)

What are my choices?

  • Comcast
    • Pros - reasonably priced, around $50 a month for more channels than I care about, over a dozen in HD and a (crappy) dual tuner DVR with quirks for only $10 a month with no big lump fee.
    • Cons - increasingly bad DVR, only 120gig ~15-17hrs in HD.
  • DirectTV
    • Pros - They aren't Comcast. 250gig DVR ~30hrs in HD.
    • Cons - A dish hanging off my house. Need a receiver for every room in the house. $399 (actually $599(!)-$200 rebate) for a HD DVR (whose performance I can't be sure about). Regular HD Receivers are $199!
  • Dish Network (Are these guys even a player?)
    • Pros - DVR supports PiP. Upconverts SD beyond 480i.
    • Cons - A dish hanging off my house. Dodgy HD lineup. Only two tuners, one SD, one HD - the difference is called out in the interface, and forces the user to think about which tuner tapes what show. $300 up front HD fee and it's a lease not a buy. 18 month commitment if you want to save money.

About Scott

Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. He is a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.

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Microsoft's Newton? Project Origami

February 28, '06 Comments [5] Posted in Gaming | Bugs
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Origami_1I loved my Apple Newton. I bought it on opening day. Don Box ordered one (from me) immediately.

When I read his blog, I am sometimes reminded of my first encounter with Scott Hanselman. On one particular week, Apple decided to ship a revolutionary new platform, the Newton. I had to have one, so I drove down to Incredible Universe (a consumer electronics mini-chain whose assets were eventually bought out by Fry's Electronics).
 
An extremely young but enthusiastic and bright guy sold me my Newton. Even at this point in my career, I had already acquired the recruiting bug, so I set off to hire him.
My partner and I interviewed him at an all-night coffee shop after work. He blew us both away - this guy was destined to jump into the fray.
 
I honestly don't remember why didn't start working together - maybe he wasn't ready to have a job (he likely wanted to learn to drive first). [Don Box]

I'm totally stoked to see it coming back, except reincarnated as a tiny TabletPC. Video here. Speculation here. Prototype photos hereConfusion here.

Not quite a phone, not quite a giant remote control, not quite a TabetPC, not quit a PSP, but all those things as more. This may be the "hackable" PSP that I've always wanted.

More importantly, where do I order it? And what young person will sell Don Box his?

About Scott

Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. He is a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.

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Reflectoring with the Keyboard

February 23, '06 Comments [7] Posted in Musings | Tools
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ReflectorstackIt's nice to "discover" a feature that you knew was already there but had forgotten. Reflector's "Analyzer" feature is a way to walk a Depends On/Used By tree.

I can fairly say that I never use the Visual Studio Object Browser but I live in Reflector. I've tried integrating it with Visual Studio, but this is one application that I like using Full Screen. I don't want it buried in a "toolbox window".

One of the things I love the most about reflector is that it is completely (and intuitively) usable via the keyboard. You just need to know:

  • Arrow Keys - Up, Down, Left, Right move you around the tree.
  • Tab - Switches you between panes.
  • F3 - Search. Lots of folks don't know that you can search on method name via the "Member Search" feature.
  • Space - The magic button that pops you into code view.
  • Ctrl-R - Starts the analyzer in a tree view in the right-hand page. At that point, the arrows, tabs, and space let you continue hunting.

About Scott

Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. He is a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.

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Z Rolls

February 23, '06 Comments [8] Posted in Javascript | Parenting | Z
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Z turned 12 weeks old on Tuesday, and I'm on the first trip-away-from-home since he was born. So what happens? He rolls over. Sure, it was probably the weight of his head that took him completely over, but he's been trying to roll over during "Tummy Time" for at least the last two weeks. Fortunately my Dad was there and my wife used the new digital camera to video it in 640x480. The video is 8 megs, but I squished it with Windows Media 9 Encoder down to 800k. Sigh. I'll be home soon!


play video stop video indicatorhandleamount downloaded toggle sound launch in external player
Launch the streaming media file

About Scott

Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. He is a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.

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Windows Defender Errors 0x8024402c 0x80240022 and 1609

February 23, '06 Comments [7] Posted in Musings
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Defender1Just installed Giant Microsoft Antispyware Defender Beta 2. Installed nicely, looks pretty, a lot like the Defender that is integrated with the December drop of Vista. However, Defender was unable to update my signatures, instead throwing a COM-ish 0x8024402c. Others are getting Error 1609 and still others 0x80240022.

Word on the street a fix is to remove the Signature Files and reinstall them thusly:

  1. Remove the current signature file. To do this, click Start, click Run, type Msiexec /x {A5CC2A09-E9D3-49EC-923D-03874BBD4C2C}, and then click OK. 
  2. Open Windows Defender. To do this, click Start, click Programs, and then click Windows Defender.
  3. Defender2Check for new definitions. To do this, click the Help options arrow next to the Windows Defender Help icon, click About Windows Defender, and then click Check for Updates. 

While this worked for some, it didn't work for me. I had to visit http://update.microsoft.com to get mine updated. Hopefully this will be fixed soon. I'll update this post as more news arrives.

About Scott

Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. He is a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.

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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed herein are my own personal opinions and do not represent my employer's view in any way.