July 2008 Archives

Tue Jul 29 20:18:44 CDT 2008


NBC, on their Olympic site, has said that they will be broadcasting 3,600 total hours of Olympic coverage across seven networks starting next Friday. The Olympics are a cherished event at the Purl household, one that we look forward to with earnest. My wife isn't particularly interested in most sports, though she does indulge me. However, she is particularly excited about events in both flavors of the Olympics: gymnastics in the summer, figure skating in the winter. We also enjoy the opportunity to see many non-mainstream sports like those showcased in the Olympics. So, every Olympics, we "turn Myth loose" on the Olympics, to the detriment of every other show, stored or scheduled. This was fairly bad during the Athens 2004 Olympics, and a little more in the Winter Olympics. This time, though, with the 3,600 hours, I say to NBC bring it on! Here is the system we have ready to catch as much as we can:

  • MythTV - The computer-based PVR solution (and once past the installation curve, rivals any PVR)
  • I have a total of 10 sources now, 12 by the time the Olympics begin
    • 4 on analog cable
    • 2 on standard DirecTV
    • 2 on hi-def cable STBs
    • 1 on hi-def DirecTV
    • 1 on antenna hi-def
    • 1 on QAM cable hi-def
    • 1 on standard digital cable
  • The above sources are spread among the following cards
    • Air2PC HD-5000
    • ATI TV Wonder
    • 2 Hauppauge PVR-250
    • 1 Hauppauge PVR-500
    • 2 Firewire
    • PC HDTV-2000
    • Hauppauge WinTV
    • Hauppauge HD-PVR 1212
    • Hauppauge PVR-150

We are still ramping up the space. We are currently at only 4.5 TB dedicated to MythTV, with another 750GB-1TB to be installed before 8/8/8 (yes, my friends, another Olympic-induced expansion of Myth). Certainly our Myth system isn't the most capacious one I've heard of, but it isn't too shabby--it does plenty for what we need. I have various other teebs of space available on workstations, external drives and a NAS. I've heard of systems with much more space, but none with this many tuners (doesn't mean that it doesn't exist--just that I haven't heard of it). And I say that tuners are where it's at, first and foremost, for a project such as this. With 7 channels (I count 8 if there are different feeds on NBC HD and NBC like Athens), a PVR-500 sitting on 10 teebs is less useful than my setup. The Olympics will be at such a high priority they will blacken the sky over all other shows we have scheduled, and on only 5 TBs, begin squeezing out all expirable shows before too long. We will pick and chose, and continue watching them long after they have ended. A lesson I learned from Athens is that there is a lot of coverage of sports the U.S.A. isn't competitive in (which is not a complaint). These may be watched briefly, during the medal round, but likely we will be dumping any and all preliminary contests that have no U.S.A. participants out of need for the space and to save time not watching it. How's that for patriotism?!

This year, due to the timing, we will have to skip the Little League World series, which is something else we usually watch. But that's just the way it goes. I've just checked, thanks to the long reach of Schedules Direct on Myth and see that some soccer games that are part of the Olympics start on August 6-yah!

I'll close by saying if you see me in person in mid-August.. by about 8/11, we will be so very behind-don't ask us about the Olympics in a way that gives away a result, please! We might not be as "caught up" as you :)! And, Go Team USA!


Posted by james | Permanent link | File under: Sports

Fri Jul 25 19:43:54 CDT 2008

A New Kind of 'Hood

This site hasn't been updated in a long 'otello! This is because a move has been made. Yes, it has been so long that the unprecedented news blast that covered all the sites (at the time) has been taken to the next level, and most content and free-time has been moved over there. I've setup a new neighborhood in the Geekdom, called Fatherhood. There is a new site for my daughter Anastasia. The name has been one I've liked for a long time, and my wife obliged me as we named our first. To gain access to the pictures over on the new site, you must request an account, which I have to approve by hand, then you'll see a new gallery.

I wrote a little something from before I moved to the Fatherhood, over on jamespurl.org. I also have some geekiness over there as well. I'll still get off the occasional rant, and do intend to at least finish the Portland trip story (the Atlanta one might get finished, but most of the details escape me). Somehow everything else seems a lot less significant compared to the little girl. That being said, Myth getting turned loose on the Olympics this year may result in stuff remaining until the 2012 Olympics with the distractions and reduced TV veg-time we have.

So, as the posts may come a little farther and few between, you might wanna click to subscribe to this site so you can just be told when I get around to these parts again. I recommend Google Reader for a good RSS aggregator.

As we have a great subject for the business side of the lens, I have re-stoked my interest in photography, one that I developed back in middle school doing astronomy shots of the neat sweeping stars. This time, though, there will be a large dose of A. R. Purl, and some auxiliary stuff. I haven't decided where this auxiliary stuff will go-I already have two gallery sites, but I'd like to isolate my "postcard"-type stuff (which I might also post to online sites in reduced scale), as I don't want to pollute the family feel of either of the existing ones. Maybe "musings" will be the home--as it is already drupal anyway. But before I have to worry about that, I have a lot of learning to do before anything I take would be considered postcard-y.


Posted by james | Permanent link | File under: News