Hardware

Roundup 6/17/11

A few links to wrap up your week: Minneapolis legend Bob Mould stopped by 89.3 The Current at the UBS Forum this week and read from his new autobiography, See a Little Light, and performed a few songs which you can listen to at The Current. NPR reviews his new book as well. The Foo Fighters latest album, Wasting Light, is on sale today for only $3.99. Fantastic album, recorded on analog tape, and produced by Butch Vig who produced Nirvana’s Nevermind and he’s alo the founder of Garbage.

A look back at needles

Scientific American dips into it’s archives looking at an article originally published in 1919 discussing needles on the “new” phonograph: At the time of this article’s publication, July 5, 1919, the phonograph had only been a household item for 10 to 15 years. While it was still considered a novel invention, persons such as F.D. Hall of Chicago began looking for ways to improve upon it—specifically its sound quality.

Boxee Box

My wife (who knows me all too well) got me a gift I’ve been coveting since it was announed at CES last year: the Boxee Box.

I’ve been using Boxee on a Mac Mini hooked up to my home theater for almost two years now – and love it. Unfortunately, the Boxee Box by D-link has been a disappointment so far. Setting up the box was a breeze – plug in the power and the HDMI and on first boot it checks for new firmware, which it downloaded, installed and rebooted.

The Needle Doctor is moving

The Needle Doctor, Minnesota’s premier retailer (and online retailer) of everything related to turntable hardware, is moving. After I first bought my turntable in April, I had gone on a buying spree of used records. Most of them needed cleaning and I also needed something to get the dust that would build up on my cartridge. Doing some quick Google searches, I kept coming up with links to the Needle Doctor.

Six Months Without Satellite TV

It’s been six months since I cut the cable and canceled DirecTV, going over-the-air and internet only. Do I miss DirecTV? In a word, no. This past Sunday started the real test as I’m a huge (American) football fan. Living in Minnesota and being a Green Bay Packers fan, this season is the first in ten years that I haven’t had DirecTV’s NFL Sunday ticket to watch out of market games (luckily the Packers were the national game this past Sunday).

Vinyl (R)Evolution

Note: This is reposted from my main blog and seems fitting to kick off my Vinyl Music blog with. When I was 17 or18 years old, I wanted to be a DJ with a friend of mine. I grabbed all of my parents vinyl records, trucked them over to my friend’s house and then… we didn’t do anything. He and I eventually had a falling out and a couple years later when I inquired about getting the records back, I was dismayed to learn that his basement had flooded and they were trashed.

Cutting the Cable, Part 3 (or Why Customer Service Matters)

I followed through and canceled my DirecTV service today. My MythTV / Boxee setup has been running great the last couple of weeks and I kept DirecTV through yesterday just as a backup as I hosted a Super Bowl party. This all started due to extremely poor customer service from DirecTV. My high-def DVR was dying in November, specifically the hard drive, as I could hear it grinding from twelve feet away over the sound of my speakers and the buffering and audio / video playback was terrible.

Cutting the cable

I’m an entertainment junkie. I own hundreds of music CD’s, books, movies and am an early adopter of Blu-Ray. My usual routine once my two youngest children are in bed at 8 pm is to plop down on my couch, put my notebook on my lap and use that while watching my pretty 60″ TV. I’ve received my TV content from DirecTV for the last ten years since we built this house – primarily because I’m a huge (American) football fan, and my team, the Green Bay Packers, are out of market where I live and DirecTV has a monopoly on the NFL package to be able to watch my team.

T61 Lockups Follow-up

Thanks to zdz for posting a comment on my T61 Lockups post. He was absolutely right – it was an Intel / xorg driver issue causing the lockups. A big shout out to doniphon for updating and testing Xorg at the 20⁄20 Conference last week. I’m running the latest Xorg on my T61, and the lock-ups are gone! And I’m still loving the T61. Great Linux support, good form factor, and a great value.

T61 Lock-ups

My new T61 laptop is freezing, typically after 5-10 minutes of inactivity, but every once in a while I’m using it. It seems as if I’m actively using it, it won’t freeze up, but soon as I stop, within 5-10 minutes it just hard locks. I’ve used my T61 up to two hours without lock-ups, set it aside, and bam, frozen. I’ve browsed through the /var/logs/messages file a number of times, but I don’t see anything in the file – just the reboot messages.