Merry Christmas to ALL!

Santa did good this year, The new camcorder showed up Saturday just in time. One of my clients sent me a gift card from Home Depot which is always appreciated.The cook got her stove and a new jacket and I got a new TV for the bedroom...curently being used as my pc monitor though.


Anyway If you don't celebrate Chrismas, pick something else to celebrate and have an awsome time doing it!


Best Wishes from TechZilla

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Kenmore or Frigidaire...

Well I guess I was overwelmed when we bought the stove. Here I was thinking it was a Kenmore and it turns out to be a frigidaire when it arrived. I suppose the lady could have written up the order form wrong but the cook says its the same one. Sears had several brands and things that looked alike. I spent more time finding the appliance department than accually pondering a decision.

But on the other hand, we maybe are victims of some alien conspiracy ?


SEE What you think





It fit right in the hole without tearing my cabinets up and the new linoleum. The cook was so happy when I called home to see if it had arrived she litterally screamed. I got home to find my monitor had gone out so I had to run down to Best Buy real quick. Picked up a Samsung 19" hdtv/pc widescreen monitor to temporarily take it's place. Once that's done...It goes into the bedroom to replace the 13" at the end of the bed. Might just be able to see this one. It came with a free wall mounting bracket so Ill probably go that route to gain a better viewing angle.

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SPAM WARS - can we defeat them?

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There is Hope!

I started getting tons of emails in my spam folder over the last few months. Normally I just delete them. I have Outlook set not to "preview" emails in that folder also. Lot's of what we consider spam is no more that a few words to a bunch of nonsense. But by looking a little closer, they may have 1pixel x 1pixel image that is literaly invisible and could be anywhere in the message. Even a period at an end of a sentence could be one of these.

While this may seem harmless, the purpose is to signal a server that your email address they have is valid and then the flood gates open.

Anyway, I decided to investigate where these email were coming from and I tracked it back to someone in China, a country notorious for the volume of spam that comes from there. I literally was getting no less than 10 emails for the exact same offer from 10+ email addresses at the same website. Each email identical....and then several other offers all delivered the same way.

Having nothing to lose I decided to break my rules.

I opened one of the emails and found the "unsubscribe" link. That took me to a webpage where I entered the email address. They stated it may take several days for my address to be removed. Believe it or not they actually honored it.  As a rule clicking on an unsubscribe link is  not only a waste of time but unadvisable. It's one way spammers get confirmation that the email address is valid. Also a list of currently valid email addresses alway brings a decent price the the right buyer.

My spam folder is hardly getting anything now.


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Nice Day for a Kenmore

Went to Sears today and ordered a new stove...should be in on Thursday. Just in time to figure out how to use it for Christmas Dinner. Were has a light on the inside and the ELECTRIC burners are under a flat plate. The 5 year extended warranty covers absolutely everything and we also get a free yearly checkup to make sure it's doing what it's supposed to do. I'm having Sears install it and haul the old one away.

Yesterday was a nice day also and my mechanic was working so I had him install the trailer hitch.  I think yesterday was a nicer day because I only had to think of replacing a stove.




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Looks Like a Nice Day!

Every Day is a nice day for somebody.


Today is a nice day to see if I can manage to get the Trailer hitch mounted on the Jeep. Also it seems that the stove is in need of either repair or replacement. So It's a nice day to "Think" about that one.

Actually the weather is rather nice at the moment so looks like at least one thing may get accomplished today.

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VONGO Review

I signed up for Vongo the other nite. On the surface it seems like a pretty good service. I can see potential drawbacks for the average person though. It's owned by STARZ.

They let you download anything you want from thier 1000+ Movie catalog to your hard drive and before it is finished you can start previewing the movie. The movie files themselves are actually DRM protected Windows media files...until the download is finished. Then Vongo does something to the file and makes it not viewable by any other software. This isn't so bad if you don't want to change any video settings like contrast or brightness etc.

Once added to you Library there are no limits on the number of times you can watch a movie....unless it is a PPV movie or the "licence" has expired. What I understand is that Vongo licences movies for the consumer to download and watch. When that licence runs out, you can't watch the movie anymore. They remove it and add another movie in its place, so there is allways new stuff being added. PPV movies start thier 24 hour view limit when you first start viewing it. The movies I chose to download don't expire for 3-4 months.

From what I understand, cancelling the service is somewhat like trying to cancel AOL. I'll have to report back about that though at some other time.

Vongo customers can transfer movies to the new portable media device called the “Gigabeat” from Toshiba.  Vongo automatically formats its movies and videos to play back on portables using Microsoft’s Portable Media Center (PMC) 2.0 operating system. So for around $400.00 bucks the addition of the GigaBeast would allow you to watch your movies on the TV. While this may seem cool, there is currently as of today, no support for the IPod or MAC users so they are missing a huge audience it would seem at least for now.

I'm not sure if they really thought this one out...

Vongo allows you to have 3 Registered computers to download and view movies on. If one of those computers just happens to be a laptop with tv-out jack it's possible to view a movie on the TV rather easily. My question here is that to get the same movie available to 3 computers, one would have to download it 3 times. What a waste!

I think that if instead, they could stream a movie from a local computer to be viewed on demand from the "master library" on the machine that downloads, to the other systems on the local network. Adding capability to stream to a UPnP device attached to the TV would make TV viewing rather easy for half the price or less of the Gigabeat.

What I see is that several users may use the movie preview option to view a movie long enough to rent it from NetFlix. I mean really...exactly how may movies can you store on your PC? I have yet to see a way to store the movies on other drives other than the default, Hidden folder called "Content" they use.

The kids were quick to figure out that once you find the file you are downloading you can merely change the file attribute to Read-Only and then Vongo can't do anything more to the file other than remove the .wmv extention of the file. Then one can rename it back and run it through Tunebite which removes the DRM protection and you have a movie that can be played by any Windows Media compatible player. One step further, you can convert the Tunebite file to an MPEG2 file and burn it directly to DVD with any authoring software.

Having to go through this though makes using the NetFlix service much more attractive than Vongo. I suppose though that the Vongo service is actually much better than the STARZ TV package. At least with Vongo, you have a thousand or more videos to watch when you want instead of paying for movies you have entirely no control over the selection.




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Weekend Update

Well I took the Jeep to my mechanic over the weekend to get the wiring harness installed for my tow kit. $300 was a little better than the $500+ the dealer quoted on the job. When I get a chance, I'll install the hitch itself. Maybe next weekend if the weather lifts a bit.

Since I was house ridden this weekend I did some more work on my dvd and broke the 5:45 min barrier. Also I'm running out of room on my server so I picked up a new faster 250gb seagate eide drive. I just use the server for storage.

What I decided to do was clone my new drive and make it my primary drive, Then clone my secondary drive to my old primary drive. My old secondary drive will replace the drive in the server as soon as the drive caddy units arrive for the case. I use 4U rackmount cases for my systems and the server is under the workstation....bummer.

Anyway the server drive once retired, will replace the 60 gb drive on Teressa's Dell. While I have it apart I might see about adding some other things to it. Confused Yet?

I did manage to get a nap out in between all this. I get up between 4-5 every morning so it's easy to be tired by noon. After eating a big lunch or breakfast I usualy conk out for a few or should I say several hours. No nap today though


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Has it Got here Yet?

The first inexpensive camcorder I purchaced turned out to be a piece of junk. Fortunately the guy I got it from was willing to take it back. Too bad it didn't work. It would have been a nice little unit to keep in the car. I couldnt seem to get a clear picture on it not matter what I did.

I bought another, more expensive used Sony Handycam DCR TRV38 with a bunch of extras only used once to record a wedding....not sure if the guy is getting divorced or not.

Since I got a great deal, I also purchaced a wide angle-telephoto lens to capture some of the great long-distance shots I encounter when I'm out traveling.

I'm not really sure how into becoming a videophotographer I want to become. I've resisted buying a camcorder for years. One of my ideas for raising funds for producing my DVD is to sell advertising space in my intermission scenes. For those just reading my blog for the first time, I'm currently producing a DVD based on old drive-in theater stuff which I intend on selling....and actually making some money hopefully.  I'm still working on the first 5 minutes of the dvd and have been working on it over a year now.

Anyway the guy doesn't accept PayPal, so I sent him a check and he should get it in a day or so....maybe by next weekend it will arrive.

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