Friday, January 26, 2007

Other than that...

Work is darn near out of control right now, but there's light at the end of the tunnel. I'm just about finished with three of my new server deployments, and I've got a couple more that are going to roll through over the next couple of weeks. I'll know by the end of next month pretty much what my growth target will be for the next year, and when/if I hire another full-timer.

I've had more time for work the last few days, because the Mrs. and boy went down to her parents' house in New Jersey on Wednesday. Or rather, they almost did... about 20 miles from their house Jane's car blew its transmission, and has been in the shop down in Bass River since. She's planning on going to get it tomorrow morning and head home then.

I'll spend the waiting time at my office, filling out rebate forms, installing a couple of hard drives, and worrying about the refurbed transmission she had installed.

May you live in interesting times.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Wait 'til next year!

I'm not used to two consecutive years without a Super Bowl appearance. It's odd. But before I start my adjustment period, I'd like to think about the prospects this team has come next fall of a return. I've got mixed feelings, so I figure I should lay it out there (plus I've got a few minutes to kill before I leave for work today):

Why the Pats have a great shot at returning to the Super Bowl next year:
- $30 million under the cap as of today (assuming no cap increase)
- 2 late-round picks in the first round
- Despite a huge injury problem, and no real dependable receiving corps, still finished 12-4 and made it to the AFC title game
- Any team coached by Bill Belichick and quarterbacked by Tom Brady has a chance
- Very solid defensive front 3, and a quality O-line
- The 2-RB approach can probably last another season

Why the run may be sputtering to an end:
- Asante Samuel is a upper-tier cornerback, but may not be worth to the Pats what he could get on the open market (look for him to be franchised for the 2007 season)
- Rapidly aging linebacker corps - Bruschi and Vrabel have been prototypical linebackers for this whole run, but both are now showing their age. Bruschi in particular seemed to be having trouble playing the run during the playoffs
- The Colts have won the last three meetings between the teams, including yesterday in the playoffs. That's meaningful.
- Not for nothing, but only Troy Brown's amazing play last week stopped the Pats from losing on a Brady pick. Tom Brady is still one of the best, smartest quarterbacks in football, but he may be getting to that point where a quarterback tries to force things to happen around him a little too much. It's happened to plenty of other ones (see Favre, Brett or Cunningham, Randall), but Brady is still young enough to stop it.

Other than that, spring training starts in just over a month, and I'm looking forward to it. Maybe the Sox will even have finished the JD Drew contract by then!

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Well...

They sure as hell earned this one. The Colts came back in the second half, put the Pats on the defensive quickly, and managed to make the game-saving pick that's usually reserved for a Pats player. Give 'em their props, and good luck at the Super Bowl in two weeks.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Decisions, decisions

I've got less than a year to make up my mind - even less if I want to try and do anything other than cast a vote for the candidate of choice. There's so many options this time around:

Obama - the trendy choice
Clinton - the other trendy choice (and the one who's been running for six years)
Edwards - welcome back, mr. Populist!
Biden - it's the Presidency, not the Lifetime Achievement Award...
Dodd - love ya, but no way - same problem as Biden
Kucinich - makes Bernie Sanders look Republican
Clark - still a contender
Vilsack - Who?
Kerry - in or not? who cares this time?
Gore - making up for a screwjob only surpassed by Montreal (a sop to my wrestling fan readers)?

More seriously, I think the top tier is Clinton, Obama, and Edwards, with Gore as the outside shot to step in late this year and sew it up early. Something about open seat elections pretty much guarantees that all the Democratic Senators will at least explore running. I think there's about ten of them this time around either in the race, considering it, or dropping out after testing the waters. Bottom line, though, I'd vote for Dennis Kucinich before I'd support any pantload the Republicans toss out there - at least until the cancer that is the religious right gets cut out and we see a party that returns to the principles of moderation and fiscal discipline that I support.

Then I could re-register as a Libertarian again. Being a Democrat is better than being a Republican, but it still makes me a little queasy.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Holy crap, Apple!

iPhone...

After Apple starts shipping these things, they are going to be filling rooms with cash - they money will be rolling in so fast! Steve Jobs will be rolling around in it, just like Scrooge McDuck.

More seriously, the idea of building it on an OS X foundation was a masterstroke that can pretty much kill the entire smartphone industry off in one blast. Blackberry will remain relevant due to their "special sauce", Windows Mobile will still be around due to sheer hardware diversity, but Apple just basically killed off Palm, Nokia, and half the rest of the market. The only thing between Apple and global phone dominance is the lack of an EVDO version right now. Wow.

I've already got several customers counting down the days until June. And I'll tell you, were it not for the high-speed data need I have, I might be in that line myself.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

One (huge) step forward, two (little) steps back

So we've had our TiVo Series 3 for a week now. First of all, this is the way to watch HD. The picture quality is amazing, the sound is amazing, and it's got all the ease-of-use that is TiVo's hallmark. Unlike the old one, it can record two shows at once (or record a show while you watch a different live show), and the remote control is more substantial, adds several ease-of-use features, and is trainable. The Series 3 supports 1080i as the maximum HD resolution, but nicely it can also take care of up-rezzing all your content to display at 1080i. If you have an old-school analog CRT HD set (like me, with a 38-inch RCA behemoth), the changing of video modes was really annoying until this.

Why is it not yet perfect? Well, several reasons. Most importantly, the cool new software features that have been added to Series 2 TiVos in recent months (one-touch deletion, unerase, TiVoCast, KidZone, among others) are not yet present in the Series 3. It basically has the software feature set from about a year ago in the Series 2. Also, the greatest features of Series 2 (TiVoToGo and Multi-Room Viewing) are not yet supported - and neither is the eSATA port on the back of the TiVo, just begging for me to attach an external 500GB drive to jack up the storage. This is because of bizarre CableLabs rules dictating that any external connectivity must be certified by them if CableCARD will be allowed in the device. No certification, no CableCARD. CableLabs are terrified that you might try and remove the content from the box.

So it's not TiVo's fault that the connectivity doesn't work, but it still detracts some from the overall experience. With CES this week, hopefully a software update'll be announced to deal with some of it.

But still, we've got TiVo in HD now, and life is definitely looking up!

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