Photography, Cycling and the Internets

Archive for September, 2006

Passing of the 4508

It never pays to speak of, or think positively about the longevity of any electronic device. Last week I was thinking of how much I love that my ReplayTV 4508 is still kicking after several years. Two days later, it went brain-dead. I was left with a device that just has a pulse; a little red blinking light.

A hard drive transplant to was not able to restore its ability be a productive member of my sparse entertainment center. It just sat there and blinked at me. Oh how I am already missing my automatic commercial advance. I also was looking forward to my two kids having a commercial-free viewing environment.
It is hard convincing myself I that watch enough TV to buy a Tivo. However, the bit of TV I have watched since the Replay died has been painful. With all the commercials, it is no wonder that the broadcasters are having trouble getting people to continue to tune in.

Is paying $20 a month (or prepaid for 3 years with a big initial investment) worth it for a Tivo? I’ll have to find out if I continue to watch TV, or just resort to watching everything a year later on DVD.

I guess the moral is never to have a positive thought about any piece of electronic equipment that you own. It will probably fail shortly thereafter, and even sooner if it’s out of warranty.

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Little Invaders

My toddler recently started preschool for the first time. All the excitement of watching her meet her teacher and play with her new classmates was great. She a really fun time and talks constantly about each day. During each day, she played with play-dough, crayons, rode the bikes in the play yard and interacted with the other kids. And that’s where it happened. The smallest little invaders introduced themselves silently to her and hitched a ride home.

Now, with a fever and a sad little misery that breaks my heart, she is home sick and probably introducing her new little friends to the rest of the family. This in turn will find it’s way to other people we have interacted with recently and start the 2006/2007 flu season. Birds are not the problem, it is preschool. I am now convinced that is where the health epidemics start. Little kids play in the dirt and with all sorts of animals and bugs. Unlocking the next Ebola hidden in the ground, and with no sense of hygiene, they touch things, each other and bring things home. Adults, in their vast social networks then send things spreading like wildfire.

Now I just have to hope my immune system is up to preschool for the sake of all humanity.


The Ajax Experience

I am going to be speaking at the Ajax Experience conference in Boston on October 23rd. Here I will be taking folks on a tour of what it’s like developing Ajax features here at Netflix. I’ll be showing several of our rich features, and how they came to be real products. This will focus on everything from usability, to challenges with the code itself. A story from the trenches, if you will. I am looking forward to this and hopefully there will be a good turnout for my session, especially since Netflix often doesn’t talk about how we go about developing our website. I am currently putting together the presentation and I will update both this blog and the Ajax Experience summary as I iron out the details.

The Ajax Experience