Just a couple short notes.
First of all, some may have noticed trouble logging on to TID earlier. This was due to a scheduled outage by Blogger and should be over by now.
Secondly, blogging will likely be fairly sparse for a while. Not only is it in the middle of the mid-winter duldrums (though it hardly seems like winter) but I find myself caught up with my new media gizmos.
My new computer has a dual TV tuner deal which can record two channels onto hard disk simulataneously, or you can record one channel and watch another. Of course, it also functions like a TiVo deal where you can pause and replay live TV. It also provides a complete TV guide which allows you to schedule recordings automatically. It also has a guide service like Dish TV, where you simply provide your zip code and your TV schedule is automatically downloaded from the net. You can search for a type of show you like, search movies, news, etc. and pick a show to record, or set it to record the series automatically. And of course it gives a capsule description of the show, and for movies gives cast and ratings, etc. And amazingly, this is all free of charge.
So now I actually can have my computer recording two channels while watching a third on my TV at the same time. Talk about media overload. And since my computer and TV are linked, when I'm not watching something live, I have a list of dozens of shows, documentaries and movies which have been recorded previously to watch. And the system came with a remote control so I can sit in front of the TV and control my computer by remote. I can adjust the volume and channels of course, but also play DVDs, view pictures stored on the computer, play videos, or even play online games, all controlled through the remote and displayed on both my TV and computer monitor. (I usually shut the monitor down if I'm not at the computer)
It's a little bizarre to be able to have your TV on your computer and your computer desktop on your TV or visa versa and I'm still fiddling with what it can do.
And since you can pause the shows and come back hours later and resume right where you left off, you can really pile up a lot of hours of shows. You can even start watching a show which is recording at the time from the beginning. Say you're recording Meet the Press, and Face the Nation, and you go to make breakfast or something. You can come back and even if Meet the Press is half way through, you can start watching it from the beginning even at the same time it's recording the second half of the show so you don't miss a minute. And of course you can pause or replay things you don't catch or want to watch again even when the show is live.
I can finally record shows I usually missed, like Frontline or Nova, or shows that jump all over the place and seem to appear at a different time every week, if at all. (Like the Simpsons on Sunday night) So instead of setting a VCR for 6 p.m. and ending up with a football game, it only records if and when the Simpsons are on. It's kind of amazing actually. You can even specify whether you want it to record first airings only, or both first airings and repeats, one time a day, or more than one. (For shows like Seinfeld that's on about 5 times a day on different channels, this is handy.)
In other words, it's like TV/Media/Technological quicksand that I'm wallowing in for the moment. But I'm hopeful that once the novelty wears off, perhaps I can pry myself from the tube, gird my loins and wade back into the fever swamp of local politics and issues a bit more often.
Of course, as always, if there's an issue or story you have an interest in or think others should, by all means put together a post and send it along for publication. I'd welcome the input.