08-20-09 - Moving

Moving makes you realize what's really important to you. You save out from the mass packing those handfull of things that you really must have. For me it was : laptop (LDO), bike stuff (water bottles and helmet), coffee gear (kettle, cone, cup, grinder, beans). Everything else I own can fuck off. That's all I need.

(Unfortunately the movers packed up my coffee gear which I told them not to pack so I had to spend half the night digging through boxes to find it).

I'm at the 15th Ave Online Coffee because I have no internet in my house, and it's really creepy here. The vibe is so bizarre. It's eerily quiet, but disturbed by the very loud hum of the refrigerators.

It appears the cable providers here no longer offer anything but digital cable (you can only get "basic" with non-digital cable). I fucking despise digital cable. I like my TiVo, I don't want your damn DVR box. Digital cable also takes longer to change channels, and while overall the signal quality is better, it has much worse artifacts when there's a signal glitch - it tends to drop out completely or turn into pure noise instead of degrading gradually. I'm tempted just to go with no TV at all and use the internet, but for regular shit like "The Daily Show" or cooking shows it's too much pain to download them all. Real TV series (ala The Office / Dexter / whatever) I'm perfectly happy just getting off the computer. Apparently the cable in my neighborhood is Broadstripe which has ridiculously bad reviews (and also recently went into chapter 11). Another option is DSL + DirecTV, which I also don't want. Waaa I just want internet and Comedy Central waaa.

The Russians or Chinese really need to offer a TV torrent subscription service. They could just set up a bank

My new house is so big and empty. I don't really like having two stories. It's way bigger than I would like, but c'est la vie. It's also so quiet it's kind of strange. I know, I know, I'm a big whiner, I'm not actually complaining about how quiet it is here, it's just kind of a shock. I actually really like living in the heart of the city with people going by and noise during the day, I just want it quiet at night when I'm trying to sleep. In theory it's possible if houses are designed right (living room on the street size, bedroom on the back side, and the back side is treated as a quiet zone by all residents) but in practice that never works.


billyzelsnack said...

The Daily Show is on Hulu..


George McBay said...

I moved about 2 months ago and for the first time in a long time I just decided to skip cable and go with the Internet. As Billy mentioned, Hulu has Daily Show (and Colbert).

I hooked up a small form factor PC up to my TV and run Hulu Desktop on it. Hulu Desktop supports remote controls (works with my Windows MCE remote usb adapter and my Harmony universal remote) and I can start and stop Hulu Desktop with the remote using EventGhost, so I get that settop box feel from the HTPC. There are other choices like Boxee that support Hulu against Hulu's will, but I'd rather not deal with the constant arms race that goes along with that, so I just use Hulu's own software.

I'm very happy with the results. Not only is it free (ignoring the cost of internet connection, which is non-negotiable to begin with) but I see way less ads than I ever did before because most Hulu shows only have very short 15-30 second ads once or twice through a 30 minute show.

YMMV depending upon what shows you watch but if you only watch a few and Hulu has them, I highly recommend just ditching TV cable and using either Hulu Desktop (if you do the htpc thing) or just use the Hulu website on your PC.

cbloom said...

Looks like I might be trying that. I hate that Hulu is its own custom thing, it will be messy to integrate with MediaPortal.

I tried signing up with Broadstripe today and they literally tried to make an install appointment between 8 AM and 5 PM. I was like "WTF no". So now I'm not getting cable. (they also wanted to charge $90 for "activation" even though I already have a cable modem and don't need or want a digital box). Urg. Monopolies FTL.

I actually think it makes a lot of sense for the government to run the backbone wires and then auction the bandwidth to providers.

George McBay said...

Yeah, I wish Hulu were more open. I'm in a similar boat but I use XBMC for my non-Hulu content instead of MediaPortal.

You might want to check out EventGhost if you've never seen it, it allows you to do all this crazy scripted stuff based off of Windows events and it has remote control support.

I've got it set up so if I press one button on my remote it does:



and another that does:



So I can easily toggle between them with the remote, it works pretty well.

EventGhost is really flexible but the UI is completely new-user hostile.

cacapee said...

It's also on Comedy Central.

MikeShlz said...

what cacapee said,

The Daily Show & Colbert are the only shows I watch online (from their sites) instead of DVRing. Started out because my HD Dish didn't have CMDY, now that's fixed but the habit's been formed.

cbloom said...

Yeah but that's still a custom player which is a PITA for an HTPC.

I haven't watched any TV for about a week now and actually I don't miss it. But I guess that's because I'm very socially busy and it's nice outside right now. In the winter when I'm lonely I'll need my flickering friend.

old rants