Friday, March 24, 2006

Well, that was easy enough

Over the beer with Vern that I enjoyed last night we shot a lot of bull. Blokes do that when not in the company of their wives and when lubricated with the amber fluid. Which is not to say that we drank a lot; far from it; we were both driving and whether law enforcement in Phoenix is vigilant or not on that particular subject (they aren't by the standards of my home state) I am. I may be an alcoholic but I want to be enjoying a glass or three of wine a decade or two from now. One pitcher (jug) of beer stretched over two hours intermixed with a lot of iced water does not a drunk make!

Amongst the many species of bull we shot last night was a question from me, the newcomer to Windows XP Media Centre Edition to the self proclaimed expert, Vern. Can it support two tuners? He assured me it could support more tuners than my motherboard will let me plug in! And so it proved.

Adding the second Hauppauge PVR150 tuner was an exercise in no brains whatsoever on my side whilst showing just how good Microsoft are at plug'n'play. Plug the bastard in, fire it up and it was just there! It probably helped that my first tuner card was also a PVR150; MCE shares the drivers and away it went. I spent more time buying a four way splitter and the extra cable!

You might wonder just why I need two tuners. I'd have asked the same question a month ago, living as I do in the land of 108 channels of TV and nothing to watch!

But it's amazing how often a movie will appear in the 'guide' and I select to record it only to be told it conflicts with the recording of 'Married with Children' or 'Becker'. Though I enjoy both series I regard them as sacrificable; if upwards of 20 hours a week runs here on cable in Phoenix each week I'm pretty sure that missing an episode this month will be compensated for by catching it two months from now. On the other hand, will I be alive in two months?

I've been playing with this technology for about 40 years by now and I'm STILL amazed at the things they come up with. It just gets better and better. It can remember that I recorded episode 232 of series X a month ago and won't rerecord that episode unless I tell it to. It even tells me that it's skipped recording an episode because I've seen it recently. No wonder the advertising people are moving into product placement!

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