HTPC Out, Boxee Box In

The desire to restart Netflix was strong. Real strong. Then they sent us another free month to use. Well, damn.

We’d been using an older Linux box for a while as our home theater pc (htpc). I’d dropped in an unused graphics card to make the whole thing pretty usable. Yeah, we suffered through a little flicker, but it was the best an 8-year-old Dell runnning Ubuntu could offer through VGA.

In comes the Netflix whose streaming feature doesn’t work in Linux because it requires Silverlight. See if Microsoft ever expands that to Ubuntu? You’ll be waiting a long time. I loaded Windows XP back onto the Dell forgetting that XP doesn’t play well with out TV for some odd reason. Megan remembered, though, and she rubbed it in my face. Like mud…being rubbed into my face.

That’s it! I cry (not really). No more rigged-up boxes. We’re going pro-made. We’re going Boxee Box!

It’s beautiful really. It’s angles alone put it a step above the usual set-top device. The only other devices coming close – Apple TV and Roku X|DS – are still black slabs, though the Roku has a nifty purple tag sticking out the front corner. Read more of this post

A night at the train station

Just looking at my Evernote files, I found a short description of my evening while waiting at the train station some time ago. I don’t recall much about it, but I do remember that I wasn’t going to remember much after I got to Pete’s! Too much of “mother’s milk.”

I know I meant to write more about the feelings I had there and then, but I just don’t remember being in that moment. Thanks for trying, Past Dan. It was a good effort.

Read more of this post

3 AM: Game time/Retcon

One More Day

One More Day (via

I’ve been working a lot of third shifts since I accepted another part-time job at Borders. That place is always there when I need a job, and it sure is nice not having to be trained for a new job. Anyhow, I need to occupy my time to keep awake all night on days off.

Megan felt ill all day, so there was no way that she’d stay up late with me. I wouldn’t want her to. She works so many hours all week driving back and forth between Chicago and Gurnee. It must be exhausting. So what else can I do in a quiet apartment all night long?

Walk to Walgreens. cream cone and Mtn. Dew to jump-start the late night.

Leftovers? Yes, please. Pam sent some awesome cheesy potatoes with us when we were in Wisconsin on Saturday. I loves cheesy potatoes. Make that Chessy Potatoes. Capitals and italics emphasize the importance of the meal.

Ah, but this post is in the Video Game sub category of the blog. You must have know that tech talk was coming. Read more of this post

Wrong Answer: Waiting for E-mails

Answers flooded into my pocket all day. Is this the problem with too much connectivity?

Answers arrive at my doorstep, appear in my pocket and deposit themselves at my desk in quantity every day at all hours. Never am I so keenly aware of the tone or vibrate of their arrivals as when I await one in particular and all of the others show up first.
Never was I so keenly aware – like I said, of the tones and vibrates – as on Thursday. Read more of this post

Blackberry Curve: Lose the case, lose the calls?

How to hold a phoneApple may have been on to something here.

Last week, Steve Jobs told the world that all (or many?) smart phones have these weird grip problems. If you try to hold a phone a certain way, the reception just disappears. He said that this happens on three phones specifically, one of them being the Blackberry Bold. Read more of this post

Dan in Mario’s Galaxy

Once you travel there, you're all,

Once I get there, I only kinda want to stay.

If you’ve read through my meger archives, you know that I’m trying to make it through my stockpile of games. I’m pretty backed up, hence, the Video Game Challenge!)

I played Super Mario Galaxy pretty hard for a weekend not long ago. 0-30 stars in 2 days isn’t too bad around here since I had to keep leaving for errands or chores. Not too bad at all.

My progress declined a bit since then. Now it’s two stars here, one star there. I’ll wander for a few minutes.

“A sand level? Nah.” Click. Read more of this post

iPhone 4 press conference fails to impress

Not perfect - AT ALL

Not perfect - AT ALL

I tuned in to Engadget for the surprise Apple press conference at noon (central) today.

It’s not because I have an iPhone. You know I don’t. I just have always like Apple, despite being stuck as a beta-tester with my iMac G5 years ago, so I wanted to see how they’d pull out of this reception mess.

In my opinion, they did not. Read more of this post

Killed and I don’t care

Mr. Marston goes to town

Mr. Marston goes to town

I loved Red Dead Revolver but haven’t really been a fan of any Grand Theft Autos, so when I heard that Rockstar was doing a GTA-style Red Dead sequel, my hopes were not high.

While I’m only a couple of hours in, this Gtalk should give you the idea plus a little more.

Read more of this post

A Windows is a Windows is a Windows: Microsoft allows downgrades from Windows 7 for 10 years

Past made present made future

Past made present made future

Surely by 2019, nobody will use Windows XP. Surely!
Microsoft isn’t so sure about that. People love a safe place to hide, you see.
According to them, even if you have purchased Windows 7 Professional, the most pro-est of the Windows 7 line, Microsoft will allow users the option to downgrade two generations to Windows XP for the next 10 years.
Even if you only have Windows 7 Ultimate, the say, users will have the same option for 5 years until 2015.
While the option may seem ludicrous to you an I to downgrade to the aged XP even now let alone in 10 years, a Microsoft spokesman says that it would be confusing to drop the option while Windows 7’s life cycle is still in effect.
More power to ya, XP-users. Enjoy all…that.

USB could stand for “Ultra Super Bride” (but it doesn’t)

You thought you had a cool paramour/significant other/blow-up doll. Ray Arifianto thinks that his bride-to-be is up there.
How cool could a woman marrying a software development engineer at Microsoft Game Studios be?
Psh, I say.
“So cool,” Ray writes, “that she ordered a custom made ring for me.”
Though she’s no nerd, Ray’s lady BFF-to-be ordered a ring made to look like a USB-drive.
Engraved inside – “For a lifetime of memories.”
I rescind my “psh.”

(Sorry, honey – it’s true, Ray’s lady’s pretty awesome.)