Good home theatre news

Two weeks ago before leaving on vacation, my receiver started humming through the speakers for no apparent reason. I bought it froma small family-owned place called Wurlitzer Stereo. The best thing about them is that they’re an authorized reseller of these sorts of products, which means they can handle the manufacturer’s warranty for you and they don’t try and sell you some additional “protection.” The component had a 5 year warranty, so I just brought it back. They tested it out, heard the humming, and brought it back to the company who makes the receiver (Rotel).

Late last week I got a call saying Rotel couldn’t fix it, but they’d give me a better/newer model. Yesterday the RSX-1055 came in and it seems to work well. It was great thing to have happen, and it left me with an even more favorable impression of the store and the manufacturer.

On my way out, the owner of Wurlitzer says to me something like “lucky for you I’m an honest guy, and didn’t keep that one and give you a 972 that a friend of mine has.” I didn’t really know what to say except “thanks”, but at the same time I couldn’t believe he even brought up the idea with a customer, much less wanted congratulations for being an honest person. Just the same, it all worked out.

Posted in me |


Sorry I haven’t posted in a while. I was away in San Diego for vacation. I am building a web page to describe the trip… should be done soon. In the meantime, here’s an exceedingly nerdy post.

Upon return, I received my Hauppauge WinTV-PVR-350 from Amazon. This weekend I got it set up and am now successfully running MythTV under Linux.

A few weeks ago, I got Linux running on my old machine from college (600 Mhz P3) added a free network card to it, and got it running as a home router and DHCP server. I can also use it as a CVS/Web/FTP server, which freed up my other computer for this MythTV project.

What this MythTV thing basically allows me to do is use my computer like a TiVo. The WinTV card has onboard MPEG-2 encoding and decoding, which means it can record and display TV shows with very little use of the local computer’s CPU. The TV-guide functionality is free from XMLTV, so there are no service fees.

The program is pretty cool. My favorite part so far is that because it’s based on a client-server architecture, you can actually stream TV shows to other computers on the network. It has a number of other features and plugins (image gallery, weather reports, web browsing, even a news feed reader so I can read these dumb blogs on the TV).

For right now the computer is in my room, but eventually I’m going to hook it up to the TV. That will involve doing some work on silencing the computer so it’s living-room friendly. Optionally, you can also hack up an X-box to sit in the living room, and stream the TV shows to it. I kind of like that idea, but it’s a little more expensive than making an existing PC quiet.

If anyone wants to do this themselves, there’s a pretty nice guide here that helped me out tremendously.

Martha Guilty

As Coon Dog predicted, Martha Stewart was found guilty on all counts.

“Maybe it’s a victory for the little guys who lose money in the market because of these kinds of transactions,” said juror Chappell Hartridge.

Now, unless I’m misunderstanding something, that’s one of the dumbest quotes I’ve read in some time. Explain to me how Martha Stewart having sold her stock cost a bunch of “little guys” lots of money? When the news actually came out that Imclone didn’t get approval for their cancer drug, wasn’t that when all the little guys lost their money? Would they have lost less money if Martha hadn’t sold?

It sounds to me like typical bitterness towards rich people. “Why did she get to sell and the little guy didn’t?” “Why does she have a million dollars and I don’t?” Seems to me this whole trial is a waste of time. I’m not wholly convinced that insider trading is an activity worth making illegal. I’ve heard that it is in fact a legal activity in Japanese markets.

Killington… NH?

Apparently Killington, VT is so fed up with the tax situation they want to become part of New Hampshire. My understanding is that NH does have relatively high property taxes (although they have no income or sales tax) but they must feel that at the very least those taxes are being used more wisely. I wish Marlborough, MA would do the same.

Secession activists say the town’s restaurants, inns and other businesses send $20 million a year to the state capital in sales, room and meal taxes, but the state returns just $1 million in state aid.

I just think the funniest thing is that Killington doesn’t even border NH.