Archives for: June 2013, 29

06/29/13

  08:32:00 pm, by The Dreamer   , 2306 words  
Categories: ReplayTV, Time Warner/Cox Cable, TiVo HD / Premiere / Elite, Cox HSI

Cox in Manhattan, KS has gone SDV

Sometime around mid-May, I think, I had gotten a plain business size envelope with just the Cox logo in the top left corner and my address on it. No other indication as to what the content was, so basically resembling similar letters pitching new services or such. Though those will probably start appearing again when the students return....

Not sure why, I opened it for some reason...and eventually found it to be a letter informing me that Cox is about to go SDV and that I would need to obtain some 'free' tuning adapters (where the only 'free' part is no new monthly charge to my cable card service -- where I only needed 4 tuning adapters to go with the 6 cablecards I'm renting.....the two older TiVo HDs having 2 S-Cards each...had thought about switching both to single M-Cards, but given my experience with previous 'self-install M-Card, turning into a full-service install charge because the M-Card was defective....so a tech had to come out to make that determination and give me a non-defective one.)

The letter said that I could visit a Cox Home Solutions store or call to have them delivered. After some thought, I decide that I will call and have them deliver 4 tuning adapters versus no idea how big or when I would make it out that way. Memorial day weekend was out, as was the first weekend of June for sure. And, the switch over was to be like June 25th.

So, I call and delivery is offered to me, which I confirm that is what I want. Where the agent checks to make sure they do shipments to Manhattan, but then later on its apparently not possible to deliver. But, after some further investigation by the agent, it seems like it might be possible and eventually I get a call back saying that they have been shipped and I should get them around Friday (June 7th).

From past experience, items are shipped FedEx Home Delivery, so I had expected to find them sitting there waiting for me when I got home from work...but there wasn't anything. Perhaps Saturday instead....while I didn't intend to wait all the way to when they did show up.... cacti consumed more time than I had intended that Saturday...

The delivery was kind of annoying...in that the delivery person dropped the boxes loudly on my door step with a big whomp...and then it was like he tried to kick in my door before running off.... mainly because it set off my burglar alarm.... :##

Anyways what I found were 4 huge boxes....big enough to contain DVRs or like components. Perhaps its the only size package they have for deliveries. But, after a quick unpack....the still packaged 4 tuning adapters would fit into one of the boxes, minus the ineffective foam insert...because the insert was sized to protect something bigger than the small boxes that had come instead.

At first it looked like I wasn't getting the complete self-install kit...but later I found that the self-install box contained one coax, splitter and filter...while the tuning adapter box contained the other coax along with usb cable and power wart.

Though I had decided before getting this that I was going to go with a splitter closer to wall and run new longer run to tuning adapter by each TiVo.... And, it was my intent for June 8th to be a Target run. It didn't pan out, and its not something that is sold by the union computer store or the union bookstore...so I ended up ordering cables from Amazon.com.

And, then it was a matter of figuring out when I would get around to setting them up. A number of times where I could've done it went by, but it didn't occur to me that I should do it then. Since the operation would be disruptive to my cable hookup, needed to avoid primetime. And, needed to be sufficiently awake and steady too.

And, then I notice there's a $10 self-install charge on my Cox bill.

Full story »

  05:53:00 pm, by The Dreamer   , 1493 words  
Categories: Hardware, BOINC, Operating Systems

Another Radioactive@Home sensor in Manhattan, KS

So, there's this BOINC project out of Poland called Radioactive@Home, where you have a radiation detector hooked up to a computer taking samples, etc. Its my second BOINC project with a hardware sensor. Though I had signed up for this one first...back on June 16, 2011. QuakeCatcherNetwork had come later, but getting a sensor was quick (though there were delays in getting it working, they had switched to a new sensor where they didn't have Linux drivers yet...etc., etc.) But, doing Radioactive@Home took longer as sensors are built in batches, there had been early batches that I missed and I wasn't all that sure at first if I really wanted do go to the hassle of getting one.

But, then another user announced that he would do a group purchase of 50 or so, which it should cut shipping costs quite a bit by having a cheaper large shipment from Poland, plus domestic delivery for the last leg. The way delivery costs go, you can get up to 3 for the delivery charge...though most people only want one....at least initially.

Basically I ordered my first detector around August 2011, and finally received it in March 2012. And, it just runs...though occasionally I'll look to see if anything interesting is recorded (like the interesting trace for around the end of the world....)

Meanwhile, on June 26, 2012 there was an announcement of a new detector...a pretty looking one. My first sensor was a prototype type case with rough cutouts, etc. Not really bad looking, but still plain and crude looking. While the announced sensor looked neat, the kind of thing that I might considering putting on my desk at work....

So, there was basically an announcement that there wasn't going to be another bulk US purchase...so after some thought, I decided this new detector was just too pretty to pass up. So, I ordered one mid to late July, 2012. Got confirmation on July 23rd, 2012. 27 Euros for the detector plus 10 Euros for up to 3 detectors, more than 3 pay for the detector now, get bill for actually shipping cost later. Plus if I use PayPal to specify that I'll pay the transaction fees....

In the previous order, it had been requested that we have PayPal funds to pay for the transaction....or use a check. I had tried to keep a float of cash in my PayPal account....but when it finally came time to pay, there wasn't quite enough to do that, so I opted to just mail a check. For this second order, I went with PayPal and had PayPal add the transaction charges to my total.

First detector cost me $46.25 by personal check. Second detector cost me $47.36 (and conversion and including the transfer charge).... I sent the PayPal money on August 21, 2012.

And, then it was wait and wait and wait. I would check the boards now and then for updates...but it was mostly other people wondering the same thing.

Eventually, I stopped checking in...and kind of forgot all about the sensor. Though I did visit the site briefly, but didn't linger or read the detector threads...which I went to check what platforms the project supported. Because when I had originally ordered, I was down to a Solaris 10/x64 workstation, a Windows box, a first gen MacBookPro (32-bit Core Duo). and a dead Linux machine. Eventually, I got a computer to replace the dead Linux box...but I went with FreeBSD instead, and it eventually displaced the Solaris workstation. In February, 2013 while I was working late on my FreeBSD system, I saw the Windows box update itself and reboot, and then it failed to boot. It had killed itself....pretty much the same way my home Windows box had killed itself in an auto-update in February, 2012. I left it off, not sure what I would do with it....I thought about OmniOS or SmartOS...though it was a first gen i7, so no EPT for KVM. Eventually, I decided to install Ubuntu 12.04LTS on it....where its mainly backup for when my FreeBSD system crashes.... its one thing that new Seagate drives only have 1 year warranties...its another thing that they seem to have trouble lasting that long.....

And, then an iMac 27" appeared on my desk....back when it seemed bleak on getting FreeBSD working as my main workstation....I was talked into getting one. But, FreeBSD remains my main workstation....while there are somethings that the iMac is the only computer I have where things work (like being able to participate in WebEx, Lync, Google Hangouts or Xoom for web conferencing....plus it finally solves having mail staying open while I switch to the appropriate desktop to do whatever....I'm up to 17 now....where there are typically 4 to 12 windows...either of uniform size, or variable size, and some desktops the windows overlap, though that desktop is mainly for tailing logs.... Where I'm up to 2 full desktops and 2 half desktops for that.... Anyways, I had made a quick visit...because I wondered if Mac OS X was a supported platform (it wasn't) or if anybody was using FreeBSD for this project....didn't get any search hits. And, it seemed unlikely that the hardware part would work through the Linux emulation on FreeBSD (especially the Fedora 10, and I'm not sure what the process for converting to the CentOS 6 is, that wouldn't break all the things I'm using Linux emulation for....though it is mostly other BOINC projects.) Though doing the search now, I see that a couple days ago the question got raised....with not much luck on having it find the detector ... but ending with a link to a FreeBSD version of the application.... Though since I have a Linux system at my desk (where is primary purpose is to run VBoxHeadless containing Windows 7, for those occasions where I need to use vSphere Center...and passing the time doing BOINC)...I'll just go with running new detector should it ever arrive...on that.

Full story »

Now instead of subjecting some poor random forum to a long rambling thought, I will try to consolidate those things into this blog where they can be more easily ignored profess to be collected thoughts from my mind.

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