May 14th, 2005


Hot, Sunny Day

Got up at 7, went back to sleep with Pumpkin curled up next to me. Got up around 9, did some computer stuff, tried out 2 new Usenet binaries grabbers. Binary News Reaper is freeware, not particularly intuitive but once I figured out that each initial setup required closing and re-launching for the new info to take, it worked well. I let it run while I got dressed and did Other Things.

10:30, too late for breakfast too early for lunch, watched Thursday night's Daily Show and a couple of episodes of Psychic Detective on the TiVo. Went out on the patio and got my bike washed and lubed and inflated. Made a list, checked it twice, went in search of kitty litter and aquarium stuff. Mountain View Petco had nobody working today. I wandered through the whole store without seeing a single employee, and that included the cash registers. There were, however, two people grooming pets at the adjoining window. Did a double-take, since one of the pets was a long-haired black cat who was getting hair clippers applied. I had been thinking of doing this very thing with Pumpkin and Domino, since they both have been matting up like crazy lately. Went to Pet Club, found what I needed, except for bottom fish. I may need to go to Bangkok Tropical in San Jose to find something big enough to survive my frenzied bettas.

Home, set up the brine shrimp hatchery, had lunch, headed to Fry's. I'd decided I would be better off ditching the PNY MC2 card - it's a combined AGP display and video capture card, nVidia's answer to the ATI All-in-wonder. I think I'll get better performance from separate display and capture cards. Did some internet research, decided any $100 or so 256MB DDR display adapter would do, the more recent the better, and the Hauppauge 350 PVR card if I could find one, otherwise a 250 or 150. Turns out Frys had many more choices than I'd found on the net, and it took me many box readings before choosing the Hauppauge 150 over the ATI TV-Wonder Elite. Mostly the $50 price diff, and the lack of anything on the ATI box about a program guide. Over to the display adapter display. Not enough choices. Got a Gigabyte brand ATI Radeon 9550-based card with DVI and TV out for $120. Anything else with 256 MB DDR was out of my price range by a LOT.

Nice sunny day, so I went to Starbucks, read a book, enjoyed the eye candy. Hunger pangs got me home at 6:30, made a salad and pulled a piece of whiskey orange chicken from the freezer, along with some peas. Chopped up some mushrooms, but left them on the block until I finished the salad. Popped Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind into the DVD player and watched most of it before it was time to go upstairs and install the new cards. But first, I checked the downloads from Binary News Reaper. 46,000 files! Oh my. I knew I should have imported the .newsrc from my last program.

Back to the new cards. Between the two of them it took six reboots, but everything came up the way I wanted. And the machine *is* faster. Yippeee. Will have to test capture and transcoding to WMV some time soon.

And that brings us to now. Gonna go downstairs, take out the trash, and then finish watching the DVD. Bike ride at Shoreline with a friend tomorrow morning if it doesn't rain.
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