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Saturday, 12/20/03

Here's what I'll be doing today.

It took about fourteen hours. I ate two sandwiches, two slices of cold Michael's pizza, and 2/3 of a bag of mint Hershey Kisses. I stopped four times. I got lost one and a half times. I can confirm that San Francisco had a power outage last night.

The CD player turned out to be broken, but the tapedeck worked, so I was accompanied for four hours by Richard Stark/Donald Westlake's grumpy little book, "The Hunter", which lost some gravitas when the fourth tape for some reason played at slightly faster than normal speed. I also listened for about five minutes to Harry Brown's radio show, which had less gravitas than the fourth tape. Brown asked listeners to mail him a URL to a Diane Sawyer interview, and whether his webcast was defective or if it was just his wife's DSL acting up. He also made a baffling argument based on the assumption that the US troops based in Saudi Arabia were there to protect Saudi Arabia.

I do not recommend this mode of travel, and around Redding it occured to me that I would like to figure out how many yards of yesterday's journey carry the same statistical chance of death as a domestic commercial flight. 09:15AM «

Wednesday, 12/03/03

Like my last apartment, the new house has no convenient phone jack for the TiVo, so I've been looking into getting a USB WiFi adaptor. Matt Haughey wrote up a good review of his experience with the Linksys WUSB11 a while back, and it sounded like a fine idea.

Unfortunately, Linksys quickly updated the WUSB11 and broke compatibility with the TiVo. So did NetGear, D-Link and Belkin. I spent some time on eBay looking for a TiVo-sanctioned version of any of them, and started to notice the older versions selling for more than retail as their scarcity went up.

TiVo is now struggling to stay on the ball: there's an OS upgrade in the works, 4.0.1a, to provide support for the current versions of WiFi adaptors from the four above vendors. Those of us who would rather spend $35 on a new unit than $65 plus shipping on eBay can elect to receive the TiVo 4.0.1a update in just a couple of days.

My moving process has put me out of the loop, so I don't know if this is a scoop or not, though Google was clueless as of this original writing.

I neglected to update this entry when the thing arrived because the experience was so anticlimactic. The Linksys device is so small and light that it looks like an empty shell of plastic. Plugging it in caused the Tivo to notice immediately and provide setup suggestions. Setup consisted of picking the right network name out of a list. Since then, I no longer have to unreel a long phone cord and trigger the data collection manually, and it's worked without complaint. 02:10PM «

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