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Voice Remote Festival

Tivo invited me, as an owner of a Bolt and Roamio to an event at their Alviso HQ (though Eventbrite seems to think Alviso is in San Jose) where they would be giving away a limited number of their new voice remotes, first-come. The event started at 11 am, I arrived at 10:30 and the line was around the building. And it was raining. And they had not provided any shelter or seating along the parade route. From time to time people in "talk to the vox" T-shirts walked down the line reminding everyone to have their tickets ready.

The doors did not open until 11:00. It took me 20 minutes to get into the building. At no point was I asked for my ticket, nor was anyone else in sight ahead of me.

Signage was minimal. Way at  the back of a chaotic ballroom-sized space was a canopy with "A-G","H-M", etc. on small black on white signs pinned above a line of about 6 minions. That's where they asked for the ticket, in trade I got a small swag bag which had the new remote, a USB device to allow it to work with my Roamio, a plain pale blue TiVo logo decal, a Tivo branded fidget toy, a stuffed Tivo toy and something shrink-wrapped with a photo of the remote between it and the plastic. Turned out to be a talk to the vox t-shirt.

There were several TV monitors around the ballroom space, which I think was the cafeteria in a previous lifetime (I used to work in this building, it has been gutted and is being renovated - which it needed 7 years ago), none of them very informative, just touting the ability to use voice to command the Tivo. Amazon, NVidia, most of the Android TVs and Set Top Boxes have had this feature for over a year.

Once swagged, I followed people outside, around to the back parking lot, where there were small canopies - just big enough to keep the rain off the food, but not off the guests - two of them had hamburger sliders, two had hot dogs, one had soft drinks and another had popcorn and warmed pretzels. There were no signs pointing to the main event.

From there it was a dash through the rain a few feet to a huge tent set up with about 3x as many banquet tables and chairs as they needed. Up front was a an MC from a local radio station, and a DJ, and items to give away. Plan A had been to have guests take a raffle ticket and they would give things away (55-inch TV, the latest Tivo Bolt, etc.) but it became clear quickly that this would not work in such a transient group, so the MC just sent minions around the tent to grab a random person, who would be declared a winner and given a prize.

It started to pour heavily, so I stayed an extra 20 minutes under the tent people-watching. There were some very pretty women. When the rain started to let up I found my car and drove home.

Trivia - They had three bounce houses, but it was too wet for anyone to use them. When I worked there - 1-month contract 7 years ago - there were only two electric car charging spaces, and they were always taken up by execs with enormously fancy cars which may or may not have been electric. Now there are a few rows of those spaces, but not enough chargers to go round.

Home, expecting to stay home and dry for the rest of the day, but eventually I saw the note on the board that I wanted to go to Fry's and get a USA adapter plug for that Aussie power supply at work, and somewhere for chocolate chip cookie dough to bake.

But first, I took the shirts out of the dryer and Spook "helped" me arrange them on the bed. Spent about an hour updating the Tivo so it would recognize the voice remote. Note to susandennis: on the Roamio, after it downloaded and installed the update, hitting the voice button only prompted me to update again. After the update I had to restart Tivo to get the new bits working. YMMV with the Bolt.

The voice recognition is very good, on a par with Android & Amazon. But sometimes it doesn't find what it has been asked to look for/do. For instance, it was recording a UW-Oregon football game, but said there was no Washington or Oregon football. When I asked for College Football, it showed me a horizontal scroll-through list of those, and there was mine, about 6 items in. And you have to hold the button down while you talk. No voice activation here. They have re-arranged some of the buttons, there is now a Netflix button (Android is requiring that now too), the Skip feature has its own button instead of using CH up.

Then spent about an hour installing some major updates on my laptop. When it got to a point where it was only 4% in after 5 minutes, I got in the car and left.

Fry's had all the adapters except the one I needed. They had a ton of USA to Aussie adapters, and many "universal" adapters which would let you plug your USA device into any country's outlet. But no Aussie to USA. As if Americans go to Australia, but never return. Or maybe Australians don't bring their electronics with them when they come here.

While I was not too far away, I added a trip to the small Chinese supermarket for a kind of fish sauce mentioned on my favorite YouTube cooking channel. And any other items I usually get there or at Ranch99. They had one of the two fish sauces mentioned, plus two more which fit the bill. One of those was made in Thailand, but all the writing on it was Vietnamese. They were out of Ha Gow, but I got some steamed pork buns and puff roti. There were no Asian fruits, but I got some limes. So where to get cookie dough? I thought Whole Fads was worth checking out post-Amazon. 

There was nothing but some sketchy-looking organic packaged stuff. No egg nog. No sheep milk cheese. No frozen matzo balls - no Jewish food aisle at all. They did have massive mangoes for a good price, but I have frozen pieces at home. Left with just an 8oz packet of lox. Electric car charger was available, but it needs a card which I don't have one of.

Next, punched Safeway into the GPS and it brought me most of the way parallel to home, on El Camino. They had all the cookie doughs. I also stocked up on frozen meals, dinners and lunches.

Home, put stuff away, Spook continues to try to play with Zoe, Zoe continues to hide under things and growl a lot.

Sat down to watch the UW-Oregon game, and twice picked up Zoe and put her on my lap, but Spook was too close, so Zoe jumped off and hid in plain sight. Behind the TV, under the table, etc. This is going to take a lot longer than I thought.

I just checked, Zoe is on the recliner seat, Spook is in the doggie bed behind me.

Amazon only had 2 models of the adapter plug, I ordered one of each.

Plans for tomorrow:
Bake cookies. It'll be Guy Fawkes Day but I don't want to burn them.
Watch the 9ers lose again
The Seahawks game is at the same time, both are on Fox, so I won't get to see Seattle play. :-(
Night game is the Raiders vs. Miami - I'll watch that. Miami's cheerleaders have sexy outfits.
Find a new location for the train set. I keep kicking over the trains.

Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
susandennis
Nov. 5th, 2017 02:13 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the heads up about the remote. I don't have a Bolt, BTW. I do like the new UI for the most part. I'd like either more contrast or a bigger font but the rest is actually working out nicely for me. My VOX remote gets here later this week.
howeird
Nov. 5th, 2017 05:26 pm (UTC)
Yeah, the placement and tiny font of the menu is stupid.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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