Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The Veldt

Wrapping up the cave. Normally the lights are out while the surround sound blares. Wii Sports is a ton-o-fun and Tennis is the family favorite. Ditto for The Force Unleashed.

Considering this is what kids are growing up with now, it'll be fascinating to see what evolves as "immersive" home entertainment over the next 20 years or so.

I'm sticking to pinball.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Tivo To Go

We've given up the Tivo. Totally worth it.

Here's the setup:

Mac Mini: Storage, DVD Player/Writer, etc.
Controls: Wireless Keyboard, Mouse and Remote
Elgato EyeTV 250: Watching / Recording TV to the Mac
Bitorrent: Transmission and TVShows
Firefox: South Park Studios and Netflix "Watch Now"
iTunes: Podcasts, TV and Movie Downloads
Dropbox: Shared content with other computers around the house as well as when I'm on the road.
Future(?): May need an external terabyte or so of storage. Presently have about 100GB.

DVI>VGA out from the Mac into the TV. Update below.
Audio out from the Mac into Bose Subwofer and Speakers.

Dear Apple: Please make a wireless keyboard with integrated track pad! :)

Looks and sounds great.

While this is more expensive upfront cost than the Tivo box. But once you consider $150 a year for Tivo subscription it quickly balances out.

Way more options. Way more control. Way more content.

UPDATE 1: SVideo provides limited resolution compared to VGA video output. The Mac Mini will support analog resolutions up to 1920 by 1080 pixels. The VGA adapter is included in with the Mini - but you'll still need a VGA cable to go from the Mini to the back of the HDTV.

UPDATE 2: Bought a terabyte external drive. Plenty-o-storage.

UPDATE 3: Never mind the wireless trackpad thingie. Check out Mobile Air Mouse. Seriously cool.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Stock Watch

Netflix just opened up "Watch Now" for OSX. Not a bad selection either. Great timing as the Tivo decided to crap out just a few weeks ago by broadcasting only in b&w. In the meantime, I've been trying to decide between one of two options.

Corner 1: New Toshiba Tivo with integrated DVD player / writer
Corner 2: New MacMini, EyeTV and a Torrent client

I'm starting to nudge over to the Mini.

More info on Netflix for OS X here.

Your Cheating Heart...

Working on a front patio addition which is presently under construction. More 'Build>Design' than 'Design>Build'. ;) And as much as I love Revit, SketchUp is just so effortless and so very sexy. So what did I use to resolve some late design questions with the builder? Yup:
  • Real Time Materials
  • Beautiful Graphics
  • Windows / OS X
  • Photo <> Geometry Mapping Tool
  • Google Warehouse
  • Forrest Gump Shallow Learning Curge
SketchUp has limitations 'o plenty. But if you know them - they're not limitations. They're just stuff you can't do.

Is SketchUp a BIM tool? No, but neither is a pencil. And pencils aren't going away either.