TiVo and Age

My uncle, who we are staying with, bought a TiVo-like device recently (allegedly so that we can record good stuff for the kids, though that sounds like a ruse to me). Naturally I’m very relieved to have such a device back in my life (though I bought an Elgato DTT stick recently, with a review to follow). This particular unit, from Sagem, has 2 tuners so you can record one program while recording another, and enough storage for about 80 hours of TV (recording the mpeg-2 stream natively, which gives literally broadcast-quality storage). Early days, but if you can’t have a TiVo this looks tolerable.

All good, you might think. Unfortunately it also flagged my increasing age, in a way you may not expect. Responding to my uncle’s initial enthusiasm at pausing live TV I mentioned that Claire is not much of a tech fan, but it takes an event as serious as a trans-Atlantic move to pry her TiVo from her resisting fingers. And then I realized that this is the story I always tell about TiVo. Which is fine, I guess, but I’m aware that telling the same set of stories over and over is something I recognize in people who are older than I consider myself to be.

Hope floats

My friend from the right has posted a piece about the danger of ‘cut and run’ tactics in Iraq. I’ll skip over the nonsense of that phrase, and look instead at a quote he opens with from the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Jim Nicholson:

“The situation in Iraq is serious, no doubt about it. But it is far from hopeless. U.S. troops, and Iraqi forces and leaders haven’t given up hope that Iraq can be saved. We shouldn’t either.”

I find this a staggering admission. I have a deadline to meet for work that has crept up on me a little (not entirely my fault, but there you go). I know what needs to be done pretty well, I know how much time I have, and I can see how I can get to a decent conclusion. At no point would I consider myself in a “they haven’t given up hope, neither should we” situation. That’s for when the chemo and radiation didn’t work, surgery isn’t viable, but a colleague has heard about this drug from Peru.

Now clearly I disagree with the US and UK governments about the war against people we don’t like. I have no idea if we went in with a realistic plan for success (though from the outside it looks like we didn’t even have a realistic idea of what success would look like, let alone a map for getting there). But even if we had a fantastic plan it doesn’t matter, because Iraq is in the middle of a civil war, and it’s simply not possible for a nation as hated as the US is amongst many of the players in that war to have a positive effect on the outcome fro within Iraq. That’s my opinion, I just didn’t realize the administration was more pessimistic than that. I haven’t given up hope, why should they?

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My MacBook has what is known as a moo, a soft (though not so soft for some) breathing noise as the poorly managed fan kicks in for a fraction of a second several times per minute. Today Apple released a fix for this, which is theoretically good. In practice I have two fears. One, it will fix it by making the fan a little more likely to come on and stay on, with a consequent reduction in battery life. Two, and more worrying, I’ve grown to like my moo. To me it does sound more like a breathe, echoing the waxing and waning light that shows when a Mac is asleep. And I fear I may miss it.

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