A new project and a rant.

So over the past year I have been trying to bridge the gap between my family and technology. I can hardly get my family to do a thing in regards to technology. Send them an e-mail I never get a response. They seem to want to use technology but don’t want to put the effort into learning how to use it. The other day I got a call from my mother saying “I lost everything on your stepdad’s user on Windows Vista! HELP!” I don’t know anything about Windows Vista. It’s the operating system I totally skipped over. I could probably do some navigating and figure it out. She hadn’t backed anything up but luckily a reboot solved her problem.

This prompted me to write up a long detailed e-mail on good backup tips and some free tools and general good advice about saving data. I didn’t get a thank you. I didn’t get one response.

E-Mail is my thing. I love e-mail I find it 100x easier to solve problems with an e-mail then a phone call. I am always on e-mail. You send me an e-mail it gets forwarded to my Mobile Me account which instantly puts it on my iPhone and boom I know you sent something and i will get back to you ASAP. To make things easier for my family I setup a Google Group so that you can just send an e-mail to 1 address and everyone gets it. But people seem afraid to use it.

Here are the current stats on the group.

185 Tristan
118 Mom
49 Aunt
31 Grandpa
31 Uncle
27 Cousin
20 Family Friend
20 Alex
15 Family Friend Old Account
14 Grandma

This has been up for over 2 years and doesn’t seem like it’s getting that much use. Getting people involved in the discussion on things like planning birthday’s is near impossible. My girlfriend her family seems to have e-mail and planning family events in the digital realm down. I don’t get why it’s so hard to reply to an e-mail or click a link and fill out a form.

I finally got my grandma hooked up with a Jitterbug cell phone. That is the oddest phone I have ever seen. Only cell phone I had ever used that has a dialtone when you flip it open. And that everything on the phone is either “Yes” or “No” Do you want to call Tristan?

My family has a ton of videotape so I got the means necessary to work on converting them to the digital format.  My desk is kinda loaded at the moment. Two Apple laptops got some VCR’s going here and just piles of technology at the beck and call to get all this done. Here is an picture of my desk at the moment.

Sent out an e-mail for that no response not a person in the world seems to care. I tested out the technology with my High School Senior Slideshow. I wasn’t in it but it was the only video tape I had around the house.

You can view that at the following link North Kitsap High School Graduating Class of 2001 But I would be careful. It’s 46 minutes of a slideshow of people you probably have no clue about. It was really just a visual test to see how well it worked. I also changed the audio to be a bit better quality.

But I hope to get on this project there are tons of funny. (Well I would find funny) videos that we recorded over our childhood years. That I would like to convert to a digital format. I don’t think I would want to convert them to DVD. Since would be easier to grab a video file and make a DVD if you so choose.

But anyways I guess I just wanted to rant that my family doesn’t use technology in a way that seems to be the most productive. Or seem to care about any of the efforts that I put forth into helping them. But what do I know. It’s late I am going to bed thanks for reading.

Comcast and Tivo

Hey Everyone!

So I thought I would give a quick update on what is going on around the Tristan circle of life. Last week I ordered a Tivo. This thing has been a pain in the ass. It took a week to get here. But there have been 2 major causes of frustration.

1. The Cable Card Experience.

So in order for the TivoHD to work you need to get a CableCard from the Cable Company. In the Seattle area we have Comcast. Usually for most of my issues I either hop on the Comcast Chat or get on Twitter and send a note to @ComcastCares. So my first try was with the Chat. I got one guy saying that I could just drive to the local Comcast Office and pickup the cable card. Slide it into the Tivo and drive home and call Comcast. Sounds good to me.

Some time passes…..

Tivo is actually coming now so I hop on Comcast Chat again and get a new person they tell me I need to schedule a tech to come out and install the card for a fee of $25. Previous guy told me I could do it myself.

The process of installing a cable card is basically moving one flap down and sliding in a PCMCIA card into the device. Didn’t seem $25 worthy to me. But I do recall charging people at Best Buy $160 for Hard Drive and OS Install.

Now that I had a conflicting argument from two different people. I hopped on twitter and sent a note to @ComcastCares I got the following reply.

Comcast Cares on Twitter

So I have two people saying the same thing. So I decide to shoot an e-mail off to Comcast Cares. we_can_help@comcast.com I get a prompt reply from a Detreon Roberts. He says they need to schedule a tech to come out. So I accept that answer for the time being.

So I get home that night and make a phone call to Comcast. I get to speak to an incredibly seductive sounding woman named Jen or Jenn. I didn’t ask for the spelling but I wanted info about my Cable Card. She said that I can just go down to the Comcast Office and pick it up. I tell her about all of my experiences thus far. She says “They don’t know what they are talking about. I setup a CableCard for a guy today took 3 mins over the phone” So I e-mailed Detreon back and he says. “You should really get an installer out” So on Saturday the girlfriend of awesomeness decided to partake on the adventure of the Comcast store and we got the CableCard. Came home and installed it and it took about 3 minutes and we were golden.

So I guess I would like to thank the first Chat Person and Jen from Comcast in Washington for being the most helpful. Everyone else needs to think about what they are doing.

2. Upgrading the Hard Drive in the Tivo.

So this was a fun process that I did when the girlfriend was out tending to her late kitty cat Indy. So I was home alone which was probably a good thing because I was incredibly frustrated by a few sources. So I was cranky and just wasn’t a pleasant person.

So the scenario is that the Tivo HD comes with a 160GB HDD which gives you about 20hrs of HD recording. This was not enough for me so I bought a 1TB external eSATA drive hoping I could just plug it in and be good to go. This was not the case as Tivo doesn’t like this idea so I had to hack the box to get it working. So I take the TIVO apart and pull the hard drive. I come to find out that it would just be easier to install the external drive into the TIVO. So I have to take apart this external drive which I didn’t want to do but kinda have to.

At this point I haven’t even powered up the Tivo. So I take apart the external drive and then go to my Computer. I have this Pentium 4 3.6ghz machine I use to just screw around with when I am not using my Mac’s. Luckily I had this thing around otherwise I would have been screwed. So I open up the computer and need to free 2 SATA ports. Currently I have all 4 being used so I boot up the machine and find the HDD that I am not using and power it back off and unplug the two drives. Come to find out that I had these in a RAID 0 configuration so the computer won’t boot. So decide to say screw it all I can just reinstall Windows 7 Beta and just use one drive and setup the other drives later.

So I had to install Windows 7 again to just do what I needed to do. After that process completes I go download the TIVO hacking software called WinMFS.

I then shutoff the computer hookup the 160GB tivo drive and the 1TB HDD. Boot up the machine and followed the instructions located here.


I am always baffled when people ask me questions on how to do things with their computer. Since I can find every answer by googling. See here is how you can do it to.


So I followed that process and swapped out the 160GB HDD with the 1TB and the unit would power on and then crash. So I said WTF! I spent over an hour reimaging my PC with Windows 7 and the process didn’t work. So I swapped the 160GB drive back in and powered it on. This worked great. So I went through the setup process and then took the whole thing apart again to reimage the 1TB HDD with the above instructions. This process worked but took a great deal longer I was getting a bit more positive messages.

As a note if you are going to use WinMFS with Windows 7. Be sure you click “Run as Administrator” or this whole process will never work. So now with all of that completed I have 141hrs of HD recording and something like 1500 hrs of Standard Def recording.

So I got home at 8pm last Thursday and I didn’t finish with the Tivo Hacking until 1:30am. I was rather cranky by the end of the experience. The girlfriend doesn’t even appreciate the Tivo yet. Hopefully she will and I will get some good appreciatin back.

So that has been my Tivo experience. I must say after all of that work I am now an expert in the process of expanding the storage of the Series 3 Tivo’s.

I am sure there are more important things in the world to focus on. Anyone have any ideas?

Eyeball Inspection with Other Things

Hey Everyone! Comments are down was wondering how everyone has been. Hope everyone had a good weekend. Lets see what did I do. Oh I recall Friday had a few beers on Friday and then went home and went to my friend Nick’s house. It was also Jason’s Birthday since my comment didn’t post to your myspace here is my thoughts on the matter.

Jason's Happy Birthday Cake

But watched the Departed again. I really love that film. I had to go see it in the theater in the solo fashion. But Nick’s mom was watching it with us. I must say that she doesn’t handle swearing or violence in films that well. I don’t really understand that fact it’s never really been a bother to me. Then we kicked back and watched some Red Dwarf and hung out.

I called Ollie on Friday night and I figured the best way to settle the issue was to be the bigger person and here is the summary of my voicemail. “A lot of bullshit seemed to happen. I don’t see us ever in agreement about this issue. I am going to let the past be the past and be an adult and move forward. Let Bigons be Bigons we have a long history and I hope we both can accept that and move along.” Didn’t get a call back but he went to Jason’s Dinner on Saturday night and all was good again.

But Saturday morning I had to get up and go to the Eye Doctor. I hadn’t been in 3 years and my glasses are in horrible condition. One nose piece is missing. The other doesn’t have the soft padding so it tears up the right side of my nose. They are all bent to hell and don’t fit at all. So I went to the Eye Doctor and my eyes are a little worse. But nothing major but time for new lenses anyways. I picked out a nice pair of the FLEXON frames they are cool as hell you can bend them as you wish and they weigh nothing and I got the scratch coating and the glare coating. Then I had to go back in and the doctor put this yellow goop in my eyes that made me have like lazy eyes. She did some thing looking into them. It would seem that there is something wrong with my right eye that she wasn’t really clear on. She wanted to check it when my glasses arrived to see if it was just some odd thing.

To be honest I have been a little worried about it. Usually I am not one to worry but I have been pondering over the past few days what it would be like not being able to see. But just a thought I had been pondering.

Me and the KGB Mafia Man decided to part ways because of our beliefs. Which I am not really clear on but life takes it’s own paths and might as well enjoy the journey.  Not sure what I am going to do with fromseattlewithlove.com

But Saturday went to get some Pho with Jason and we kinda just putzed around all day. Ran into Hans and Daniel at Chungs and me and Hans talked about Windows Vista and probably made Danile and Jason want to rip their skulls out and beat us to death with them. But that didn’t happen.

I think I have found the phone I am going to be using for the next 2 years. The Motorola Q. Craig has one and they seem interesting. T-Mobile offered me the T-Mobile Dash for $149 instead of $199.

Sunday went and hung out with The Mick and we saw Ghost Rider. That movie was just blah. I really don’t recommend it.  I did find one part slightly amusing Eva Mendes.

Eva Mendes from Ghost Rider

She was wearing the same ever so cleavage revealing top in the movie. That that I was complaining it gave the movie some value. But it was always the same top but either a different color or a different jacket over it.  Other then that Nicholas Cage didn’t really make the film for me. I just couldn’t find one great thing to say other then nice cleavage. So I will give this film a rating of 17 out of 348 total possible score.

But anyways it’s Monday I am not really with it yet.  Need to get my brain back into thinking mode. Talk to you soon.

RTFM People

So this is something I would have to say to myself. I was speaking with Jennifer#1 on the phone this evening and she mentioned that the comment system was not working. So I was trying to figure out why. It worked with my old webhost and then I got to thinking. No hidden files were copied over to the new webserver. So I went to check out the documentation online for wordpress on what was required to get the comments to work. I guess someone had the same issue that I did so thanks to the help he was offered I was able to get the issue resolved so it’s a simple fix.

If you can comment on a DreamHost Hosted Blog that was migrated to Dreamhost. Here are the steps to fix it.

1. SSH into your address
2. CD to your Domain Name
3. vi .htaccess
4. Paste In

RewriteEngine On
RewriteBase /
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} ^/stats/(.*)$ [OR]
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} ^/failed_auth.html$
RewriteRule ^.*$ – [L]

# BEGIN WordPress

RewriteEngine On
RewriteBase /
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-f
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-d
RewriteRule . /index.php

# END WordPress

5. Esc in Vi
6. Type in :wq
7. Test Your Comment System
8. Bask in the Glory that it is working.

So when it comes to RTFM it stands for. Read the Fucking Manual. People seem to think I know everything about computers. IN all reality I do not know all that much. I just take the time to read the manual. You wouldn’t have to bitch so much about how support for Product “A” sucks if you would just read the manual.

I love when a company has a PDF for the manual that I can just load into Preview type what I am looking for and Spotlight and Preview find what I am looking for and I can get back to working along. I don’t mind the call from a friend. How do I get “A” to work? Spoil Me a Bit get me some Spring Rolls from Chungs and I am yours for the help.

But if I get a phone call from a friend with something like “My Work Blocked MySpace how do I get around it I need to do this in a hurry.” with no casual chat or witty banter and I can call you a fool for using MySpace in the first place well then I am not really going to help you with your issue. You are just trying to use me and I will get off the phone with something like “I don’t know anything about computers. Best of luck to you in your issue” But take some time people. Read the manual or I will poke fun at you because you choose the lazy route and called me.

I am not a big fan of asking for help all the time. So I try to exhaust every other resource possible before doing so. That is how I know what I know and do what I do. So pardon me for not having so much sympathy if you choose not to do the same.

Cheers to the week starting over. Love to those who need it. Hugs to the Rest. Lets hope this week passes by with as little stress as possible. If you downloaded Internet Explorer 7 do yourself a favor uninstall it. Get Firefox your life will be a lot easier and you will be much safer online. Or just get a Mac and life will be perfect.


Useful Site!

I heard this site on the Daily Source Code a Podcast hosted by one of idols I guess Adam Curry I get a lot of IM’s saying “I don’t have an iPod how do I listen?” or “What is a podcast?”

I haven’t found any real clear way to say this. My technical mind wants to explain every little detail of it causing most people’s brains to jump out of their slide into the CD-ROM tray crawl through the internet jump out my USB port and beat my head into the keyboard saying “Shut the Hell Up Tristan I understood Internet and I hardly understand that at all”

So for the people out there I will now present.

It can answer all your podcasting questions in one simple page better then I could ever describe without sending you a link to Podcasting – Wikipedia Entry Which breaks down how RSS 2.0 was created and so forth.

Which I know most of you don’t really care about. Just like you could care less about my complaint against MySpace for not having RSS for the blogs that I can throw into Fireant or Live Bookmarks or RSS Feed’s in Safari.