D.T.P. by Lee -- Daily Tales and Punditry

Wednesday, December 03, 2003

Just When You Think You’ve Seen Everything

No, it’s not a joke. Weighing in at up to $1.3 million, a company is actually building amphibious RVs!

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Wednesday, August 13, 2003

Blurring the Line Between Analog and Digital

These pieces of interactive art are amazing—especially the Wooden Mirror and Shiny Balls Mirror. I wish I could afford to commission and own one.

By the way, the fact that a Mac 8600 AV drives the Wooden Mirror (I haven’t noticed what platform is used for the other pieces) makes it all the more cool.

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Monday, July 28, 2003


After some short research (trust me, not much was necessary) on other PVR devices like the TiVo and ReplayTV, this afternoon I stopped by my Brighthouse cable TV office and swapped my digital cable box for the new one that does digital recording. Since I’m a Bright House customer, I didn’t have to buy a multi-hundred-dollar piece of hardware and, at just $6/month, the monthly charge is considerably less expensive than the other services.

I love it! I thought the feature was just recently introduced, but it’s apparently been available for some months. Its dual tuner allows recording of two shows simultaneously. A caveat is that I can’t record two things and watch a third without recording, but at least I can watch something I previously recorded while still recording two other programs. And I can even start watching something I’m recording before it’s finished!

Almost as if it were a bonus, the newer cable box has been improved from the prior one. I couldn’t guess whether it’s hardware- or software-related, but the on-screen navigation is much snappier. Plus, when I scan far enough ahead in future programs that it has to take a moment to load the data, not only is that data available sooner, but it no longer blacks out the reduced-size picture and sound of what’s currently on air during that time.

I’ve looked at other PVRs longingly but the cost just kept turning me off.

I’m truly going to enjoy this one!

UPDATE 1: Cool! When a digital recording is paused, you can advance it frame by frame by pressing the forward skip button.

UPDATE 2: More coolness. While looking up more information about the actual box (it’s made by Scientific Atlanta), I found this FAQ item about dumping a digital recording to a VCR:

The best solution is coming soon via a future software release. The option to copy a DVR recording to VCR tape will be added to the Recorded Program Options screen, the Playback Status screen, and the Playback Ended screen. The second set of composite outputs labeled VCR OUT 2 on the Explorer 8000 back panel will be activated for this feature. You will then be able to copy a DVR recording to a VCR at any time without affecting what the two tuners are doing. In other words, if both tuners are recording or time-shifting a program, you will be able to copy a recording to VCR at the same time. You’ll also be able to copy a recording to VCR while playing back another DVR recording. This software release is due out later in the year.

Continuing down the same FAQ list, I also discovered something Bright House didn’t tell me (not that I really expected them to), nor is it found in the “barely a manual” manual. I can program the remote to turn on several of my AV devices with just one button. Yes, unlike the prior digital cable boxes that Time Warner advised is best to just leave turned on, these PVR boxes are best turned off when not in use. I suspect this has something to do with not wearing out stuff to record live TV for time shifting while you’re away. The developers were even intelligent enough to allow the user a choice of which devices are turned on. For example, I programmed mine to only power on/off the cable box, the television, and my DVD/audio amplifier component. I don’t imagine I’ll be using my VCR very often any more, so I left it on an individual on/off setting.

Since this isn’t in the manual, and I may or may not be able to find the info online someday down the road if I ever have to change it again, I’m reprinting it here—not because I think you (the reader) cares, but for my own archival purposes.

On the remote, press 9 9 8. The CBL key blinks twice. Then, press a digit for the power button to affect the corresponding devices:
  1. Cable box and TV.
  2. Cable box, TV, and VCR.
  3. Cable box, TV, VCR, and auxiliary device.
  4. Cable box, TV, and auxiliary device.
  5. Restore independent power control.

Still more neat functionality I just discovered while typing this entry (which is in the remote’s manual) is the ability to set the default device the volume and mute buttons control when the remote is targeting the cable box. It’s defaulted to the TV, but my TV is only used as a monitor—not for sound. I have a Sony mini home theater device that integrates my DVD player and is also the audio amplifier and surround sound decoder. So, I’m quite happy that I no longer have to hit the AUX button to change the volume.

Comments: 1 (Comments are now closed.)
Posted by Sean -- September 30, 2003 11:34 PM

It only adds 6 dollars to your Brighthouse bill if you're an existing customer? If so, I'm on my way there tomorrow.

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Monday, July 21, 2003


Whoah!! I just received the last-to-ship portion of my parents’ birthday present to me. Animusic absolutely ROCKS!

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Sunday, June 29, 2003

Chicaco Apple Store Photos

Yikes! Now I’ve got to get up to Chicago sometime soon. The new Apple Store there looks amazing! It even features Apple’s first internet café.

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Wednesday, June 11, 2003

Capture Images—With An LCD Panel?

You’re in a meeting, and someone hands you a business card. You place it face down on your PDA screen and press a button, and an image of the card is instantly captured and stored. [eWEEK]

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Friday, May 16, 2003


A LEGO Mac goes up for auction on eBay U.K. [MacInTouch]

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Tuesday, April 29, 2003

Four-year-old Political Fact Whiz—UPDATED


This entry merited the addition of a new category on my blog. It’ll be reserved for things just just defy categorization.

Like tonight, as I watched Jay Leno who had Abby Julo as one of his guests. This cute little four-year-old was spitting out the answers to Jay’s questions about political individuals and such. The site I linked to states she can answer more than “200 questions about the government and political figures of the United States and numerous other countries. She can also recite the Pledge of Allegiance and the Preamble to the US Constitution.”

UPDATE: Well, Abby apparently appeared on Leno again and, as of November 5, 2003, this entry is Google’s #3 hit on a search for her name. Go figure! Anyway, I don’t know if these facts are the reason, but this entry is beginning to draw a lot of comments. I’ve chosen to prevent new comments because they’re either all saying the same thing (you can still click the link to read the past comments) or this entry is getting targeted with comment spam. Sorry, but it’s my blog, and you can cry if you want to.

Comments: 14 (Comments are now closed.)
Posted by Jon Gales -- April 29, 2003 09:51 AM

I saw her too. Pretty amazing. Her voice almost brought me to tears though.

Posted by Queue -- April 29, 2003 09:13 PM

My first thought is, how much therapy is she going to need later in life due to worrying about state of the world issues at such a young age?

Posted by Mark -- May 4, 2003 12:29 AM

As Abby's father, I can tell you that you
really will not find a more well adjusted
child than Abby. I don't think teaching
children means they will suffer emotional
damage. It is all in the way you explain things
to them. I also believe that it makes more sense
for me, as her father, to be the one that
teaches her and explains things to her rather
than someone else. Anyway, she should be on
Good Morning America on Tuesday 3/06/03.

Posted by Greg -- May 7, 2003 01:52 AM

"I don't think teaching
children means they will suffer emotional

True, but showing them off on all the talk shows might very well be.

Posted by Leilani -- May 7, 2003 06:35 AM

I had the most wonderful opportunity to experience little Abby on both Good Morning America, and the Jay Leno show "stump the kid". It was the program with Lisa Marie Presley, and I can honestly say I have never enjoyed a little one so immensley! Not only did she amaze me with her unusual intelligence, but after she answered each question correctly, she jumped up from her seat and did a little dance. Part ballet, part karate, and with complete innocence and freedom that dance was pure joy. This is a little girl who is completely well adjusted, happy within herself, confident..and obviously well loved. I see no fear of emotional damage. She is well behaved, spontaneous, and pure joy! What a blessing she is!

Posted by mark -- May 7, 2003 02:17 PM

Greg, your point is one to consider.
However, Abby enjoys being in front of people.
As Leilani so nicely mentioned, Abby is just
being herself and having fun. She has been
asked everytime an opportunity presented itself
if she wanted to do it or not. She has and
always will have the final say in what she
does as far as the media is concerned. If I saw
it harming her in any way, her Mother and I
would have the final say. So far, she enjoys
the attention and to a certain degree deserves
it. She has already earned money that is
in a college fund.
Who are we to prevent her from using her god given talents (which includes her personality)
in front of people if she enjoys it and it is
not hurting anyone? Anyway, I respect your
opinion! Mark

Posted by Kimberly -- May 27, 2003 08:29 PM

I watched Abby on "The Tonight Show" last night, I believe it was a repeat. She is the most amazing girl I've ever seen in my life! Abby has captivated me and also my family. Her incredible talent and personality makes people want to see her even more. She is such a blessing from God. Love ya, Abby!

Posted by Mary Gaydos -- June 17, 2003 12:43 PM

Little Abby was a joy to behold - I missed her on Leno - but caught her on Brett Hume's Fox News - He always ends with something special - and he replayed her performance - having been an actress I'm used to show biz brats - That is not Abby - She showed spunk and genuine personality. Every time I need a lift from being inundated by the Brittany Spears et al onslaught - I replay the Fox News replay of Abby Julo. God bless her parents for developing their little diamond who is not in the rough. Mary Gaydos

Posted by Krista Foge -- July 4, 2003 04:06 AM

Wow I was so impressed by Abby! I saw a little girl who was proud of herself for her knowledge but most of all you could tell she still was a well adjusted 4 year old who loved to dance and smile and be a kid. Thank you for sharing her with us. She put a big smile on my face!

Posted by Nikki -- July 7, 2003 11:54 PM

I saw Abby on "The Tonight Show" a few months ago, and I was amazed. She is so incredible, learning all that information at such a young age. And she is so adorable with such spunk! Kudos to her parents for opening her up to the world beyond Teletubbies, and for keeping her cute!

Posted by Leanne -- November 5, 2003 12:44 AM

I just saw Abby on Jay Leno with Barbara Bush as the guest. She has to be one of the most amazing little girls I've ever seen. I don't have children, but Abby's parents have inspired me to teach my children from an early age. I think the most evident thing in Abby is that she is still innocent, but that her parents don't "baby" her just because of her age. Children are inquisitive. Children ask questions. So long as you help the child understand the answers, there is nothing all that negative that can come from a child learning.

On a side note... she recited a quote from Bush's speach after Sept. 11th, stating how "one day they will hear us..." and it brought me to tears to see this little girl deliver such a powerful message. I hope her passion for politics lands her in the White House one day.

Posted by rashmi -- November 5, 2003 01:58 AM

Hi ! Rashmi this is 4 years old girl and she knows all the USA presidents name and their wifes name and their important quotes.She is really amging little girl, and how does she memorized all that.On top of this each word was crystal clear and correct.she is the most amaging girl i ever seen in my life.What a God gifted talent she has.Amazing !!!!!!!!


Posted by Nosson -- November 5, 2003 12:43 PM

Wow, Just saw Abby last night on the Tonight Show - her parents should be blessed for what they have done to her! How wonderful society would be with more parents like hers! Keep up the good work and enjoy your daughter - she is absolutely adorable.

Posted by Ruth -- November 5, 2003 01:46 PM

I saw Abby last night on The Tonight Show and had to search for something about her on-line today. I hoped to find something I could share with my co-workers. She is adorable and amazing. Her parents are very blessed to have her - and I'm glad that they choose to let her share her talent with us!

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