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.
So, with July 31st just around the corner...I decided that its time I stop putting it off...and see about replacing the drive in Number 5 and see about setting up WiRNS again.
But, as I go to Number 6 to see about it picking up its new DHCP settings, it shows a message that they are continuing guide service. Though I guess how the monthly people continue with ReplayTV is open....but since I have 2 lifetime units, I guess I get to continue living a little while longer....
After the announced shutdown of the ReplayTV programming guide service, we have had many positive, enthusiastic comments about the ReplayTV DVR products and services. In light of this response, ReplayTV and its parent company Digital Networks North America, Inc. have decided to continue the electronic programming guide service pursuant to the terms of your service activation agreement. We thank you very much for all of your support and enthusiasm over the many years these products have been sold.
As we have said previously, the analog programming that the ReplayTV units are capable of recording is in fact likely to be converted to digital signals in the very near future at which point the ReplayTV units will no longer be able to record such programming. We encourage our users to consider digital video recorders that have this digital recording capability as well as additional technological advances which are not a part of the ReplayTV units (all of which were end of lifed by 2006). For monthly subscribers of the ReplayTV service, we are exploring options by which you may continue paying for and receiving such service going forward. We apologize in advance should there be any minor disruptions in the ReplayTV service while we implement the continuation of the programming guide. Thank you. ReplayTV
The "My Accounts" button on the page don't work though....
The ReplayTV Electronic Programming Guide (EPG) Service will be permanently discontinued on July 31, 2011. After this date, owners of ReplayTV DVR units will still be able to manually record analog TV programs, but will not have the benefit of access to the interactive program guide. Effective immediately, monthly billing for the ReplayTV service to remaining customers has been suspended.
The industry conversion to HDTV is complete and ReplayTV DVRs are unable to take advantage of the wealth of HDTV programming. Please contact your service provider for current offerings.
Guess my (2) lifetime(s) is about to end....
Wonder if its just guide data, or if the other services like time setting, activation, IVS are shutting down as well.
Guess I don't need to be looking to replace the drive in one of my lifetime units.
A few days ago, I started getting reports that ReplayTV number 5 wasn't responding. It had been doing that with greater and greater frequency after its weekly reboot. But, this time holding the power button down to reboot wasn't making it respond again.
So, I guess it was time to change the input on my TV over to it and see what it's doing. Its stuck at "Please Wait..."
Oh well...guess I'll unplug it for now and remove it later. It was the first ReplayTV I got with Lifetime service, which is the only reason I still have it running. Having canceled monthly subscription on the units without lifetime service. I suppose if I really wanted to I could take a drive out of one of the non-lifetime units and resurrect it (since finding PATA IDE drives that'll work in a ReplayTV will probably be too hard, and not worthwhile.) Since, I don't watch anything that the machine records....its just for the benefit of people over on poopli.com.
So, I went to unplug it..but I traced it wrong and unplugged Number 6. Number 6 almost didn't come back up from that. But after some coaxing, it came back. It might not be long for the world either....
Wonder what I would do if Number 6 died. I'm renting a cable tuner box to feed it, I suppose the wise thing would be to return the cable box. Originally, I had rationalized keeping it around in case I should want to use Video-on-demand. But, so far I haven't. Don't know if a more convenient setup of it would make it more likely or not. But, word is that Cox and TiVo Premiere is going to be able do Video-on-demand...and since I have both...I guess, eventually I won't need to keep around the separate tuner for that just in case.
Perhaps it'll open the way to clearing the top shelves of my rack so I can do a different arrangement of components...and perhaps get a bigger TV....
that's commit to lifetime service for my TiVo HD's.
Hard to believe that I'm coming up on 2 years with my first TiVo HD. First year I did monthly fee on a 1 year commitment, and when that was ending, I opted to pay for a year in advance. As that nears completion, I got an email with a promo code to get lifetime service for $100 off.
I had considered getting lifetime last year, but $399 was a little hard to jump on at the time. Of course, $299 now...probably would've been cheaper if I had jumped on lifetime last year... but, hindsight being what it is and not yet being graced with a TARDIS....
Meanwhile, a short while after I got the first TiVo HD, I had pulled the trigger on a second TiVo HD. Got the first in March, 2008 from woot.com, got the other during the summer in preparation of the new fall season (July). That one started on 1 year commit month-to-month with Multi-Service Discount (MSD). Lifetime service on that with the MSD is $299, which I could've gone with when my first year was up...except that the disparity of costs per unit and order of unit acquisition or other strange think that is me I couldn't rationalize the move....so I made no new commitment and stayed month to month on it.
But, now that I've pulled the trigger on lifetime for my first TiVo HD....it has cleared the way for me to also get lifetime on my second TiVo HD. Though due to the timing of renewal dates, the second TiVo HD will get its lifetime service before my first TiVo HD
Now what am I going to do with my two (remaining) ReplayTVs both with lifetime service (one's a 250G and the other's a 300G).....
Was going through my photo collection and saw that it had been over two years since I last snapped a shot of "My Mess". So, here's what it looks like today:
Even though I was up before noon and could do something dangerous, I got lazy and procrastinated the morning away. Continuing the lack of motivation and go out and do stuff, I jumped into the latest equipment shuffle.
I started by turning off the UPS on the left side of my HT rack and seeing what went off. And, then started removing cables and stuff, making sure I knew things were going as expected. Plus there were other cables to nowhere or longer loops caused by the removal of some ReplayTVs and related components.
Then, I moved my 2 TiVo HDs to occupy the void that was once 4 ReplayTVs (at one time 5, but I had removed the dead one some time ago). And, then I swapped the GeekSquad 1285 UPS for the PowerSource 400.
With things powered up, the guage is reading 120W for load. That's pretty good, guess the numbers I pulled off online were a bit too conservative. Means there'll be ample capacity to add another TiVo HD + expander when that time comes. Though alternatively, there is the new void on the right side caused by the movement of a TiVo HD. And, I'm sure the SmartUPS on the right side can handle having a TiVo on it again.
So, it was time to go put the GeekSquad 1285 back into service.
The first plan was to put 'box' on it. And, maybe the monitor. There's an APC BackUPS 1500VA that is powering 'box' and the monitor along with my Windows stack. So, 'box' and monitor needed to move. Ideally, 'box' would go on a PowerSource 400, but that one hasn't been purchased yet. But, once I traced out the cables and discovered some quirks (by accidentally pulling the plug on 'orac'.) I got 'box' and monitor onto the GeekSquad 1285.
Then I noticed the annoyance. The 'silent' icon was no longer lit. Guess that explains why it was making a racket last power outage. Apparently it needs utility power to remember its settings, seems kind of lame. So I got my laptop and set about to reprogram it.
While I was connected I saw that runtime was shorter than I expected the move would get me. Guess 'box' draws quite a lot of power, and the UPS isn't really up to that kind of task. Even though it would also be bad, I ended up putting 'box' onto the PowerSource 400 that backs up the network switch and 'lhaven'. Guess at a future date, I'll move 'box' and switch to a separate PowerSource 400. That'll be fun.
I put the GeekSquad 1285 to back up 'orac' and monitor instead. Interesting that Gnome Power Manager saw the UPS, and seemed to indicate that it knew what to do now. Guess we'll find out next outage. Not sure if that means I should be looking at a UPS other than another PowerSource 400 to protect 'box'. Its a trade off....I would rather 'box' never go down in an extended outage, though it is also modern enough now that it should detect and handle modern UPSs as well.
I guess we'll see when the next impulse hits.
Of course, there's the question of what to do with the now retired CPS1500AVR-HO and CPS700AVR.
This morning while I was at home waiting for the building owner to show up to see about some noises inside the wall behind kitchen sink/washer&dryer. UPS showed up with a box from TigerDirect.
That should be the off-lease IBM ThinkCenter S51 that I snapped up thinking I'd rebuild 'box' on a new machine.
The condo's quarterly pest control was going to be at 1:30pm today, so he was thinking of setting off some kind of pest control spray bomb in the utility room...which may or may not reach into the wet wall space of my condo. Or consult with the pest control company on what else to try. Later as I was listening closer to the noise, I wondered if it sounded like a feret...because there's a "Lost Ferret" sign out by the mailboxes. Turns out the "Lost Ferret" is from the unit above me.
I popped in to work for a bit, and then returned around 1:30pm for the pest control visit. I arrived to find that FedEx ground had been by and there was a box sitting by my front door. Meanwhile, the building owner said the neighbor upstairs wanted to take a look and see if he can get the ferret out, otherwise the ferret owner would pay to have an exterminator deal with it. There's no openings in the wall that I knew of, but I let him. Pest control guy later showed up to do some spraying.
Well, the box was the pulled/untested power supply that I had snagged off of ebay. All the power supplies that matched the part number online were of this 'untested/as-is' condition...or more than what I had original paid for the computer (and more than what the off-lease computer I just got). Alas, it didn't make 'box' work again. Either I got another dead power supply or there something else wrong with the system that is making the powersupply not turn on. Not have an ATX P/S tester handy, I can't tell if this is the case or not.
Anyways...that eliminates one option for getting 'box' back online.
I'm pretty much leaning towards installing the latest Ubuntu server....since it looks like the main things I'd require on the system are DNS (master), DHCP (wonder about setting up peering), NTP, ddclient x 2, and email relay to my outbound.mailhop.org account, vpnc. The ivs-status-sniff stuff will just go away. And, I'll gradually remove all evidence of it and simplify the configurations on my border routers (been close to running out of nvram on them).
Hmmm, just realized that I never changed the configs on the routers to account for the lack of the internal router 'box' to reach my ReplayTVs for IVS...not just they were (date) confused because they were doing NTP off of 'box'...and first DNS in the search list was 'box'....
Also not sure vpnc is needed now, since it won't be functioning as an internal router anymore. Someday I'll upgrade to a computer where it'll be safe to install a vpn client again. My windows boxes are both pretty dorked in the network config department. The W2K box is completely dorked...when 'lhaven' died...it became pretty usuable because I couldn't get into the configs to change my DNS server. I haven't found the install disk, so risking a repair install hasn't been an option. The other computer is also somewhat messed up, though not as bad.
Both messed up networking are connected to previous attempts to install VPN software (SecureRemote). It was largely flawed because they didn't support users with their own routers doing NAT. Largely because every IANA non-routeable ranges were being used somewhere within the worldwide network of the company, which was all NAT'd behind a single IP in Canada. Made location based (or restricted) services fun to use from work...because they would mistakenly set Canadian preferences or deny access because only US IPs were allowed.
It was particularly bad with Yahoo..which kept bouncing us over to yahoo.ca and then defaulting to only searching Canadian sites.
Anyways....wonder when I'll get cracking on trying to build the new 'box'. The off lease machine came with a 40G drive, but do I use it...or see if I have any other IDE drives around (probably too late to buy one).
The linux server known as 'box' died from the rain storm on Monday....well, the powersupply had been iffy for a while, and guess it toasted when things came back.
Sounds familiar....since its predecessor died in a similar manner....transformer blew....but that was fine, I was protected. And, then its UPS ran down...and all was quiet. It was also like 100 degrees that day....so it was pretty miserable. But, when power came back...it resumed like a good server, but the fans in it didn't. So it burned up.
Something like that probably happened to 'box'. Actually the predecessor was before 'lhaven'. The problem was I later learned that the replacement's BIOS had no disposition on what to do when power is cycled (no stay off, turn on or last state option). It always stayed off. The old 'lhaven' was a PC-AT system, while the new 'lhaven' is ATX. (post icepocalyse this problem was fixed).
So, after losing core services due to a power outage leaving 'lhaven' off....I decided I needed a new server to run these services on (DNS, DHCP, NTP). I didn't have to be much, so my then employer was having an auction of old computers....and I picked up a Pentium 75.
Wow, that's slower than the first PC I ever owned (before PC I was a Commodore person). I had acquired it with the plan to run ShareTheNet or some other Linux router thing...this was before Sveasoft and the other options became available for the WRT54GS....which is what I do now.
But, I installed SuSE on this P75 and was in business. Over the years, the hardware has changed. Actually it might have initially been RedHat, I did have a harddrive fail (they were 40G drives from ReplayTV upgrades). But, the current incarnation is SuSE 9.3 based.
Along the way there was a newer off-lease Dell that I acquired from eBay....move drive, let it rediscover hardware and make it go. Then that computer failed. So, I got an off-lease IBM NetVista from TigerDirect. Drive transplant, make it go.
By this time I was getting fancy with the stuff I was doing on it. At first it was be an internal router for my ReplayTVs, so I can sniff the progress of IVS transfers. Later it was run pulsed so that my Sprint 8703e could be bluetooth tethered. (something that I had taken for granted with my T-Mobile 7200....used tethering a lot during the first month I moved to Manhattan, KS...because I was having trouble getting Cox....missing the a few feet of coax between the pole and the box outside).
There are/were other things on here...aside the obvious of BOINC, there was ddclient and it was also the Linux box with a CD burner (for when I don't want to walk to my Windows computer and use the CD or DVD burner in there). 'orac' has a DVD burner, but I haven't used it yet.
Anyways...the question is will I get 'box' working again (either by fixing its hardware, or move the harddisk to a new machine and make it go again)....or make a new 'box' and recreate the core services. I no longer need pulsed (even though I don't have tethering ability with my iPhone, and I don't plan to pay for it....tethering is something I only do in a pinch, so I don't want to pay for something I hope to never need. At least with voice minutes those rollover, even though I hardly use them still.)
There's a certain temptation to load ubuntu and run these services, and then be able to keep the box current (more easily, it was fun building bind a couple of times....) Or hacking the system to support the new Daylight Saving Time.
OTOH, I kind of liked that the machine rather changed for something that was supposed to just be like an appliance.
Hmmm.... There is Ubuntu 8.04LTS, this is what 'orac' is running....ya, that's what I might do. Doesn't matter about the other versions of Ubuntu that I also run here and there. Having them all the same isn't an issue.
I guess it largely depends on whether I go with a different computer or fix the old computer. Both options are on the table now...since I have another IBM off lease computer on order (a ThinkCenter S51, IIRC and a powersupply [pull, untested] from eBay.) I think the 'new' computer will arrive first though. Though it'll probably be sometime before I get a new system up to the same level that 'box' was.
Oh yeah, 'box' was also an SMTP server....had moved that from 'lhaven' during its downtime following the icepocalyse. That reminds me....need to see which mail server 'tardis' and 'lunatic' are pointed at....'orac' was pointed at 'lhaven'....had found this morning that 'gumby' was stuck trying to send mail. (wallwatcher output to DShield)
My ReplayTVs that is.... Today, I canceled the rest of my ReplayTV subscriptions.
I had canceled a subscription a while back when one of my ReplayTVs died. But, I continued with the other 4 monthly units. I still have the 2 lifetime units.
I haven't watched anything that I've recorded with my ReplayTVs since that cancellation, in fact there was probably some length of time before the cancellation that I had stopped.
But, I wanted to be sure that I didn't need to go back.
Last weekend, another one of my ReplayTVs went away....it did its maintenance reboot and then got stuck in a reboot loop.
The first ReplayTV to die was the second ReplayTV that I had acquired, it was probably the first one that I upgraded to 250GB. I had first patched a 5060 to fully use its 80GB drive, but I had voided and done that for other reasons. And, that gave me the experience to go and upgrade all my ReplayTVs to 250GB. The last one to get upgraded went to 300GB (well, it first went to 160GB....using the 160GB drive from my very first ReplayTV...and then a 300 to make it close to what the others reset were....plus I was using it for OTA HDTV recording.
Anyways, the one that went last weekend was my very first ReplayTV....a 5160.
Along the way I acquired a 5040, then another 5040, then a 5060. It was supposed to stop there, but I was renting a cable SD DVR which died...so I downgraded to a regular cable box and got a 5080 with lifetime. Later I got another 5080 with lifetime. And, then in the final days of 5000s...I picked up a refurb 5040, which I then upgraded to 250G to be an additional OTA HDTV recorder. That was the only one that was post 250GB+ to have a drive fail and I then patched a new drive to go in it.
When the first ReplayTV died, I decided to go without. And, now its time to completely be free of them.
Plus I've been looking for a new TV....it'll probably be the same size as my current one, but 1080p and LCD. Apparently they don't make 50" DLP's any more...and 50" LCDs have too thick of a bezel to fit my current stand (so 46" is probably as big as I can go...though that isn't to say that I couldn't look at a new stand.) It probably will be a year or two before I take that plunge. I'm hoping that the current bulb will do that and then replace the whole thing when it gets too faded. But, one thing about new TVs...is they lack S-Video inputs. Though ReplayTV can do component....it doesn't do it very well.
OTOH, I'm planning to make the plunge into Blu-Ray before Xmas. But, I guess I'll just live with 720p....
I don't know what I'm going to do with the desubscribed ReplayTVs....not sure the logistics of trying to sell and ship them. I will probably hang onto the two lifetime units short term....thinking of playing with OTA HDTV now that things are fully transitioned, of course I might find that I still can't receive anything OTA. Guess it depends on how much interest I have in playing around....
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