Category Archives: TV

New Office Addiction

I picked up Season One of “The Office” a few weeks ago and I have to say – I am hooked. I watched the Pilot episode earlier this week and tonight, I’ve watched four more. It’s absolute gold. I love the chemistry/tension between Jim and Pam. Something about the cinematography too just really sets the show apart. And yeah, it’s pretty funny too.

I can’t wait to grab the rest of the seasons and get caught up!

Cisco ringtone from 24

As you know by, I’m working on integrating Asterisk for my employer. One of the uber-cool things that you can do with most SIP phones is upload custom ringers. Some you can upload RAW MP3 or WAV files, but others (like the Sipura-841) require you to upload it in a special format. While I was browsing around grabbing the latest firmware for my testing phones this morning, I saw that Sipura provided a tool to do that, so now all I need is a WAV file worthy of being a ringer.

Enter James Anderson and his ’24′ ringtone website.

Are you sad enough to want to reproduce that distinctive CTU ringtone from the TV series ’24′ on your mobile phone?

Well, I am. So I worked out the RTTTL code needed to get it on my little Nokia 8210.

But that was just the start of the story. Ever since I posted the code here back in 2003, along with the reference samples I used in order to work it out, a lot of equally sad people have sent me versions of the ringtone in different formats.

So here they are, for all your hey-look-at-me-I’m-Jack-Bauer needs:

I downloaded the WAV and converted it to a Sipura ringtone. Now, we won’t be using the SPA-841′s here at our corporate office, and I want to be Jack Bauer’ish, so I pulled out my Bluetooth dongle and pushed the WAV over to my Motorola E815. :) Now maybe Bonnie will believe me when I tell her that I work for CTU.

Divx Rox

I’m sure that by posting these two screenshots, I’ll have cease and desists arriving in my inbox and suspicious black Ford’s cruising my street, but – oh well. I started out with the lovely Tivo2Go software and transferred my recordings from “AGENTSMITH” to my PC. I then used a nifty utility called DirectShowDump to (how clever) “dump” the

.tivo

files into standard MPEG-2 video files. Luckily, the Divx Create package (which I received free through some offer a while back) ships with a free trial of their MPEG-2 convertor. So, I filtered the

.mpg

files through there and boom! 75% reduction in file size with no visual or audible loss of quality.
Tivo Files in Divx format

Tivo Files in MPEG-2 format

Stupid TV Networks

I was catching up on some TiVo’d shows tonight and this has me miffed. First on my list of shows to watch tonight was CSI:Miami. I had seen previews a few weeks ago for this particular episode and was excited because Gary Sinese from CSI:NY was going to be making a guest appearance while they worked on a case together. Well, I was getting pretty deep into it and they seemed to be closing in on the suspect. All of a sudden – I get a message simliar to this on the screen:

To be continued on CSI:NY on Wednesday night.

Now I don’t watch/record CSI:NY. Bummer. Now, my brain immediately jumps to thinking “Why didn’t TiVo automatically record this?!” I mean, TiVo knows my viewing habits. TiVo knows I watch CSI:Miami. Surely someone at TiVo knew this, afterall, they’re in TV business. It’s their job to know this stuff.

Oh well. Off to torrenting.

Disclaimer: Yes – I know it’s sad that this is that upsetting. My brain rots more and more each week.

Online Scheduling – Yahoo! TV

Apparently, Yahoo and TiVo have inked a pretty nifty deal for TiVo customers.

Now you can schedule recordings on your TiVo® box from any internet connection.

Sweet. It seems like more and more services are starting to hookup and share information. While this is good for us consumers on the surface, just think of the sheer amounts of marketing data that Yahoo will be collecting now through TiVo customers. I think I’ll keep my remote as my means of setting up recordings.

launch scrubbed

I was just listening in to the NASAtv webcast which I plugged earlier, and it appears the launch for today has been scrubbed due to a faulty low-level fuel sensor. The odds of the sensor even being used are apparently extremely low, and the chance of the faulty sensor even causing a problem in that situation are even lower. Well, the crew is being unstrapped now. It took them over an hour to get on-board, suited up and strapped in – and all for nothing. Crap. And I was excited too. The repair involves emptying and detaching/lowering the external fuel tanks, so who knows when the launch will be rescheduled for. Could be tomorrow, could be next week.

tivo dilemma

Talk about being in a tight spot. Tivo is basically giving away a refurbished Series 2 40-hour box if you sign up for a year ($155.40) or a lifetime ($299) subscription. I’ve had the DVR itch ever since I dumped by Time Warner provided one over a year ago. I’ve been considering building my own MythTV box for a while because of the flexiblity it would offer (multiple tuners, no subscription, HDTV, open video codecs, archiving to DVD, etc…) but this is still quite a bargain. I’ll have to be doing some research today on the hack-ability of this particular model (R5404B I think) and see if it might be worth the effort (and cash) or not.