I went to Chicago TARDIS 2013 this year, after having missed going to Chicago TARDIS 2012. This being the weekend after the 50th Anniversary, I was determined to make this convention.
This year things were interesting, in that I flew out of Manhattan at 7:05am, arriving in Chicago around 9am. Fortunately, I didn't have any trouble being able to check in right away when I arrived at the hotel. It was kind of strange being picked up and riding alone in a stretched limo. But, I guess its what was available when I showed up, and nobody else was making a similar trip around that time. I had booked shared ride service from Windy City Limos, like I had the previous two Chicago TARDISes. Return trip was in black sedan. I had also booked Black Car in Manhattan for the ride to and from the airport.
While getting settled in the hotel room, before heading down to see about lunch....I discovered to my horror that I the charger for my Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ200 was not among my luggage. I did have a couple of what should be fully charged battery packs, but they would not last the weekend.
I later spent some time researching local options on what to do....I settled on the possibility of experiencing Target on Black Friday, where they were featuring the Nikon Coolpix L320 for $99.99 or the Nikon Coolpix L820 for $199.99. I was leaning towards the L320, since this wasn't likely to become one of my regular cameras, so price was a big factor. Alternatively was to see if they carried extra chargers for my camera, since they carried the Panasonic FZ70K....though I later found out that it wasn't the same battery. They had this camera on sale for $299.99, IIRC. Also the Coolpix L320 or L820 had the advantage to me that they took AA batteries (4).
I knew Target was going to be one of the stores opening Thursday night for Black Friday....though I wasn't sure when I would make the dash to try to salvage my trip.
Later on Thursday night, after getting my badge and then checking out the reception (when I saw other people heading the same way, but continue out across to Target.) After getting some food and drink, making a loop around the space, I decided that I would make a dash over to Target and see what's what.
It was chaos in Target, the electronics/cameras counter was pretty much inaccessible since everybody there was after iPad's of various models and sizes. I wandered around a bit to see if things might settle down as they started reporting certain iPads were now out of stock. Occurred to me that I should see about some cheaper water for use in the hotel room, but they didn't have any small packs of still purified or spring water available, so I got a 6 pack of flavored water. Guess I could do that instead of mixing Crystal Light to go with my medication.... As I walked back, I noticed that one of the end of aisle displays was full over Nikon Coolpix L320's. Since that was the most likely candidate if I was going to buy a camera for salvage the trip....its what I got.
It then took forever to snake out from one opposite corner of store to the other to check out. I had intentionally brought my Target Red card this trip, which I otherwise usually leave at home when I travel. Plus I hadn't shopped at Target for a while, in anticipation of this possibility I would later make another trip, to get refill pages for the album that I keep the purchased photos and such I get at Chicago TARDIS, and a bottle of shampoo as the hotel shampoo was bothering my scalp.....
I knew I had an 8 pack of Lithium Photo AA's in my luggage. I went back to my hotel room and unpacked the new camera and spent sometime getting familiar with it (using the included AA batteries.) Since I had owned Nikon Coolpix cameras before...namely the Coolpix S80 (Much earlier on there was a Coolpix 5500, but I don't recall what it was like anymore), I found the menus and such largely familiar, so I tweaked up some settings to fit the kind of shooting I was going to do this weekend. And, set up to give it a test.
The reception was still going on, so I went back in and shot some pictures around the room to get a feel for its controls and behavior. And, downed some more snackage before calling it a night.
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My first TiVo Premiere (activated July 12, 2010) started having weird problems a the last couple of months. After much pain, and troubleshooting with TiVo support. It was determined that my drive was failing, so freed up a bunch of space on zen, installed pyTiVo and started downloading as much as I could from the TiVo Premiere....I downloaded almost 1TB of shows. Had to reboot the TiVo now and then when it got confused again. Not entirely sure what I downloaded will be right. Since it was losing the links between metadata and shows, sometimes it would play the wrong show briefly before throwing an error...other times it would error out straight. Rebooting would fix it sometimes.... So, don't know if the downloading was affected.
So, now that I have everything that I could get...I swapped the drive (It was on my shopping list to get a WD3200AVVS eventually...though went with a Weaknees ready to go one instead. To start fresh. I had done a TiVo HD in the past with ddrescue to a WD1600AVVS via buy.com (where I have an extra for when my second TiVo HD needs it...seems odd that its my first TiVo HD that's going again though), which preserved its pairing with the My DVR Expander and all my shows...though that TiVo started having issues again in August, so the plan is to free up its My DVR Expander to put on my TiVo Premiere Elite...and then perhaps at some much more future date, swap the drive for a bigger Weaknees replacement drive.) and started things back up. Yay...its a blank TiVo Premiere. I used online TiVo Season Pass Manager to copy my season passes back onto my TiVo. It was slightly confused, because it still knew of the Season Passes that were there before....at first. I had cleared out all the season passes on the failing TiVo HD months ago, so it was where I had made a copy of all the season passes that I wanted to recover. It also took a while for my CableCard to work again....it was saying everything needed activation. So, 10 - HSN wasn't what I saw during guided setup...but I knew that it would be. Wish it would pick a channel that's more definitive....like a 2xxx channel. Since, I remove all the channels less than 2000 later in setup. I've been fully HDTV for some time now. Though seemed odd that cablecard comes into play for getting analog channels (unless things have changed, and there are digital streams of the analog channels now.)
So, I put those back....and over night it picked up 3 shows that had repeated recently....though it didn't need to, because the active shows have been recording on other TiVo's....and I had watched 2 of the shows it rerecorded already. Haven't caught up on the other show yet, so at least that one show I won't have to transfer back.
I checked through my channels..and I was able to get almost all my channels...though the activation screen would pop up on the occasional channel here and there....mostly ones I could probably live without, though it would be a nuisance.... Come to think of it...this is not the first time that this TiVo had done this. So, I call Cox and go through the pairing process again, and that fixes it. Strange that the channels I tried that were affected were, 2002 (The Weather Channel), 2101 (Hub HD), 2200 (Epix HD), and 10 (HSN).
So, I thought about starting the process of transferring back...but found that I couldn't list my shows on my TiVo Premiere. I guess I never tried it before.... I can browse the shows on my other installation of pyTiVo (ubuntu 10.04LTS). Also can't browser from my TiVo Premiere Elite. Wonder if there's some quirk with FreeBSD? I used the ports tivodecode? The newer python? But, then I find that I can browse from my TiVo HD.
I check the versions....the ubuntu version was originally much older (like a year or two) than the FreeBSD install. But, I had updated the ubuntu install...it was was 6 days newer than the FreeBSD one now. So I update the FreeBSD install....so now its newer than my ubuntu install. Only 4 files changed, though looking at the change logs on the files. There were changes that fell into the 6 day window. But, it still doesn't work.
I try debug, but can't seem to get that figured out. After much googling and head scratching...and looking at the code of where its throwing the exception. I see its looking at the .tivo file....hmmm, wonder if it might have an issues with the 0 length ones. Move those out of the way....and yup, its working now. Strange that the TiVo HD could tolerate them, but the Premiere couldn't....or something?
So, now that I've moved out the bad shows....I got to thinking how will I recover those. I'm searching around the internet, on what to do....when it occurs to me to check Amazon. Hmmm, yes...I can buy the missing episodes that way.... Hmmm, in some cases I can buy the whole season for a reasonable price. Wonder if I shouldn't do that for some of the shows, rather than deal with the pain of transferring them back. Plus watching will go faster with not having to skip old commercials (since I'm over a year behind on my TV watching in some cases....the commercials are really strange). Plus who knows what other bad episodes I'll run into when I do start catching up....along with episodes that got clipped or preempted, but I didn't know....etc.
Here are some of the pictures of me at Chicago TARDIS 2011, with some of the special guests that were there. I'm wearing my usual attire, where I'm dressed as my own Doctor, though this year I added a bow tie on Saturday. Because bow ties are cool.
Me with Peter Davison, Janet Fielding and Matthew Waterhouse. Wearing my Dr.E.Amer lab coat, regenerated Tilley TH4 hat, and bow tie.
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So, I went to another Chicago TARDIS. I originally didn't think I was going to go this year, so I didn't preregister at 2010. But, later when they announced Alex Kingston and Peter Davison as guests...I rushed online, and registered for a Reserved membership. As time went on, other guests were added, such as Janet Fielding and Sarah Sutton. Though later I heard Alex Kingston had dropped out. Kind of sad.
I had tweeted wondering if the set of companions would complete, and Matthew Waterhouse would appear. Though how would that work with Tony Lee being a confirmed guest.
As it happened, the day before Thanksgiving...between entering the schedule into my work calendar and deciding that I should put it on my google calendar so that it would appear on my personal cellphone...Sarah Sutton couldn't make it. I don't know if I was disappointed or not, at that moment... but later I was.
So, this year...on Nov 18th, American Eagle added a new direct flight to Chicago. Before there was only the one 07:00->09:05 to Chicago and 19:30-21:15 from Chicago. Not a huge fan of coming in to Manhattan in the evening, since for some reason there's always trouble getting taxi to come get me at night...and the last few times the airport closes and kicks me out before the taxi finally shows up....over an hour after the flight had arrived too. The new flight of 12:40-14:40 to Chicago and 10:15-12:00 from Chicago.
This year I wanted to arrive closer to start of Thursday night activities, so I took the 12:40-14:40 flight to Chicago. This also meant that I could have Thanksgiving dinner in the hotel restaurant this year...instead of trying to get the most I can out of the free pizza at the All-Access/Reserved reception. 2009 I had prime rib, and 2010...well, I was too late...due to various issues, and not just because I came via DFW. Though I heard other people recalling the weather being more challenging last year. Also this year, I went with booking my transportation with Windy City Limos....there was a link from the hotel's site after I reserved the room to do this. There airport shuttle service turned out a whole lot better than the Go Airport Express service I had done in previous years, and didn't cost a whole lot more. First year was $61, second year was $57.20 (they offered me a coupon code...to 'repeat' the same ride, they offered it again this year). I kind of knew that I didn't want to do Go Airport Express again this year. Since, it was shortly after I booked that shuttle, that the credit card I used got jacked. And, I had to wait until after Chicago TARDIS 2010 to get my replacement card. It was part of the reason why I didn't preregister last year.
Going with Windy City Limos was really nice...a black sedan 'limo' where I was the only person going both ways....was quite nice. Even times when there were only a few people in the shuttles, it can't come close. Wonder how this'll impact my future travel needs....
So, arriving plenty early....just slightly before 3pm...but they let me check in right away. Though there seemed to be some question on what kind of room I had reserved, and if I wanted 1 king or 2 queens...or that 2 queens was more likely all that were available. I was sure that in my Starwood Preferred Guest profile, I had set 1 King. But, got 2 queens....on the 11th floor. (later saw Peter Davison trying to get an elevator from this floor....which apparently was the pre-cursor to his 'Aha!' going down later...)
Then set up in the room and wandered a bit, before finally going in and getting supper. I went with Yellowfin Tuna. Which now as I recall, I had had last year....perhaps I should've gone with the Salmon. I also ate good pretty much all through the convention using the hotel restaurant. Has made the adjustment back to home eating rather poor. Thinking I'm going to get a turkey just so that I can have the whole home experience with one anyways. Though think I need to make room in fridge for one.... perhaps I should plan to use other frozen items up first.
Debated whether I wanted to stand in line for reserved tickets at registration....but the crowd sucked me in...though no hassles this year, since I remembered to bring my form this year. Last year I hadn't, but they found me anyways...after showing them my id. I went up to room briefly to revise my schedule and then hit the reception.
A pretty good reception this year....there was a strange pizza with chopped celery on it. And, it was pretty bad. During things...Janet Fielding and Peter Davison made visits to the tables, and that was nice. Other guests were kind of making rounds, but they didn't get to every table....eventually, I called it a night.
... Hmmm, was going to start many more pages of this...but no, I'm going to publish now, and write other entries later....that way I at least get some stuff out, despite many technical issues I ran into during and since the convetion....
Wow, this is interesting….Doctor Who only started in my area on May 9th, 1983….
Does that mean I became a Doctor Who fan almost as soon as it started for me?
Wonder when exactly The Talons of Weng-Chiang ran …
Seemed likes a good choice to test out my new Roku XDS.
I rated this 5 stars.
Again, last night I didn't do as much work on migration as I hoped, between feeling some what really sleepy...which passed after a little sit on sofa where I had to go back to the beginning of the show I was watch to find out where I really was at....and watching the two part Christmas themed episodes of "The Closer".
The goal I had set out was to finally install my ScanSnap S300 and maybe EncoreViewer (which I had heard wouldn't work, but I had to see for myself). I also did some other things like install and move Eye-Fi, checked that I could manage the cards using the built-in SD card slot (doesn't work on my laptop, but it worked here). EncoreViewer wouldn't work...people had said it wouldn't work on 64-bit Windows 7, though reports are that the 2.0 version will...but don't need it yet, so don't feel like buying it. I'll probably see about getting XP Mode and see if that makes it work, otherwise there's VirtualBox...which I know works. I think I have one unopened copy of XP left.
I did some poking around on TARDIS last night, first it was move the LabelWriter 320 to there for eventual reconnection. Later it was to put the SmartCard reader for EncoreViewer back on the computer. I decided to plug the LabelWriter back in and see if I could share it. It wasn't working...apparently it doesn't like being connected to the USB hub. It used to be on a USB hub...though that's probably why it was the only thing that was still plugged into the old USB 1.1 hub. I didn't keep it when I moved TARDIS...
Seems the 6 USB ports on the back of the computer is a really limited quantity, with all the things that won't run on hubs. A bigger problem on the new computer, because the keyboard and mouse each take up one of the precious ports. I'm using one for the direct connection of my UPS, another will be for the external drive for local backup, one is the USB hub....that leaves one left, and that'll probable be the webcam.
The 7-port USB hub is filling up too, though not as fast since the LabelWriter320 isn't supported on Windows 7. So far its LabelWriter 400, SnapScan S300 and the USB to serial adapter (I mentioned yesterday). Maybe I'll replace the hub with one with more ports....chaining this hub so to the otherside of my desk...
During the LabelWriter 320 on TARDIS process, I had to reboot. So, I decided to disable a bunch of things that start up when it boots that didn't need to be there anymore. Mainly the stuff for ScanSnap and the many IM clients. And, with the IM clients stopped, I started working on installing and configuring some of the IM clients on Zen. I should get to getting the webcam working soon.
Installed some other stuff like Tweetdeck, Picasa...then decided that I should work on the backup drive.
I populated my old Sans Digital TR2UT-B with a pair of Seagate 1.5TB drives, one that I had on hand plus the one I received today via Amazon Prime. Had to remember how to get it to make a mirror, and then it went about its business. Wonder where the CD for it went to, and whether the monitoring software would work on Windows 7.
Now, I had commented how quiet the living room had become when I moved TARDIS out. It stayed quiet with Zen setup. This HP is much quieter...even when it has BOINC hammering it. But, the quiet has ended, because the fan in the Sans Digital TR2UT is quite noisy. At first I was going to put it near the computer on it or on my desk, but I switched to putting it down lower as far as the cable would let me. on nearby bookcase....same shelf where I used to have external drives for much the same purpose in the past...
After I had gotten the drive formatted, it detected the addition and asked what I wanted to use it for. So, went into using it for backup. It already takes a while to do a backup...also less free space on it than system drive....wonder if I shouldn't have gone with the 2TB external instead now.
Then I thought I should see about getting backuppc going, but left the things for the night to let the backup complete (and the raid1 build to finish).
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Last night I didn't do much work on migration, as it was the season finale of Tower Prep. And, then my weekly Sleep Apnea online chat to fill time until I had to do some work at 10.
But, during the work (a DNS update and a cert renewal) testing using Safari came up. Well, I hadn't installed Safari on Zen yet. So, I did that...and I installed Opera while I was at it. Earlier, while checking some email, checking bills and placing an order on campusfood.com. I updated my GoodSync settings to reflect that Quicken now lives on Zen....the settings push backups of my Quicken file around onto different computers and different places in the cloud.
Just remembered that I need to update the cronjob on Orac....should be ok since, not too much has changed since yesterday's backup. Which reminds me that I should update the cronjob that runs in my dreamhost account to backup the directory of the new domain I recently got....even though there isn't anything to backup, and probably never will be....since it'll probably be email only.
But, this morning....I did my usual stuff but this time I came upon a website that I wanted to save an image from. I hadn't started working on copying over "My Documents" and various others...haven't really figured out how to go from data scattered over 5 drive letters (C, E, F, G, H) onto a new single drive. But, probably going to go with everything under Documents or other standard group (at least at the top). This'll require more GoodSync updates later.
First I just copied over the part of the "My Pictures" folder related to what I was doing, later I started going down through "My Documents" on TARDIS and dragging stuff over. But, then I hit the "My Music" folder...it was only a matter of time that I would need to figure out how to move iTunes over, along with the other music files/formats I have. Currently they mostly reside on the H: drive on TARDIS, though there's some stuff in the "My Music" folder.
Though what started the full migration of data/"My Documents" was that I wanted to scan in some new documents, I just got from a visit to my doctor....but I still haven't worked on getting the Fujitsu ScanSnap S300 going yet.
Meanwhile the new drive has arrived...will let it warm up and get that going tonight, perhaps after I get the scanner working.
So, I have put my Epson Perfection V30 scanner away for another year. That's the scanner I bought in a CyberMonday sale immediately upon my return from Chicago TARDIS 2009. So, I guess that means only one thing....I've just come back from Chicago TARDIS 2010, and finished going through all my digital photographs and posted some to my online album and scanned the professional photographs and autographed material.
This time around, I found Chicago TARDIS to be much more enjoyable....despite the hobbling around with the broken toe, and the wooden shoe being kind of slippery on the tile flooring. I only almost slipped twice....once in the lobby and another time in Holy Mackerel.
You'd think that having more than one dual-tuner TiVo would allow to me get everything I'd want to watch....well, actually it does/should now....now that I have 3 of them.
But, it doesn't make getting everything any easier. The TiVo's don't know about each other, so they can't work together to resolve conflicts....though I wish it did (and so do a lot of other TiVo owners).
So, I've always used some kind of grid to keep track of my evening recordings...
I thought about posting the grid, just so other's could see the insanity....and now with the fall premier dates happening....I figure I should post it now, before it get's anymore out of date.
As you can see, there are not only slots this year where the 3rd TiVo was needed...but there's even a slot where all 6 tuners will be busy.
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