Monday, December 19, 2005

iTunes, iPod, and TiVo

So in my interest to see how easy it is to transfer video from my TiVo to a video iPod, that is until TiVoToGo does it for me, I've been experimenting and discovered a combination of tools and solutions that I wanted to share. My process for transferring video breaks down to the following steps:

  1. Transfer the video to my PC using TiVo Desktop 2.2

  2. Unlock the video using the Direct Show Dump Utility

  3. Convert the MPEG-2 video to an iPod-compatible format, 320x240 H.264, using PSP Video 9

  4. Transfer the video file to my Mac

  5. Set the MPEG-4 atoms that iTunes uses to organize video as a 'TV Show' using AtomicParsley

  6. Add the video file to my iTunes Library

  7. Transfer the video to my video iPod


The End!
Phew! That was a lot of work. Well, it feels simpler and easier than it sounds on paper. I'm going to follow up with posts that expand on several of the steps.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Procreation, the poor man's immortality

June 2006, that's when my first child will arrive upon the Earth for all to behold! Yes, it's true, I shall be a father this time next year.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Del.icio.us and Me

So I don't know if 27 is old, but man do I feel it when today I finally created an account at del.icio.us! "Why does that make you feel old", you ask? Because I'm usually the first in line for new tech, a fad, or a new site/service, especially if its popular. I've been hearing about del.icio.us for a long time now but didn't really know what it was until a day or two ago. My friend Tim explained folksonomy to me and I associated it with Flickr. He mentioned del.icio.us as another example and so I finally learned what del.icio.us is, a bookmark sharing service.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Why Eclipse is not as good as IntelliJ IDEA

3 months ago I switched to Eclipse after using IntelliJ IDEA for years. I soon learned that Eclipse doesn't let you configure the JDK it uses to compile your workspace, but the strange thing is, it allows you to configure the JRE it will use to run your code. I thought that was odd and would probably cause me headaches someday. Well today is that day. Today, I learned the extent of the problem when I attempted to run an Ant script through Eclipse. Long story short, when using Eclipse make sure you run the eclipse.exe with the -vm switch to define which JDK it should use and make sure the tools.jar in the Eclipse Ant classpath matches that same JDK. It's absolutely retarded that Eclipse allows them to be different. It caused me all kinds of 'class version mismatch' headaches. Why they thought it was a good idea to build projects and run Ant scripts in the same virtual machine that they run the GUI in is beyond me. IntelliJ IDEA has a much cleaner separation where they run their GUI in their own instance of the JVM (which they control tightly), and they allow you, the user, to specify what JDKs you have installed and which one to use on any given 'module' (Eclipse calls this a 'project') and which to use when running an Ant script. The beauty is its so flexible in IDEA that you can specify different JDKs for different modules and Ant scripts in the same IDEA project (a.k.a. Eclipse 'workspace'). I miss my IDEA.

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Migrating Contacts/Events from PC to Mac

So I recently bought a 17" Powerbook G4 and it has become my main computer. I'm an iPackrat so I wanted to move my 5 years of email, contacts and calendar events from Outlook XP for Windows to Apple Mail, Address Book and iCal for Mac. I will be posting about the process it was to move my email but for now I'd like to post about the contact and events migration. The contact and events migration was relatively painless but it took a few man-hours of searching to find this simple solution. The basic overview of the final solution was, I emailed the contacts and events to my Powerbook as vCard and iCalendar files, respectively.


To send Outlook contacts as *.vcf (vCard) files:


  1. Goto the Contacts folder

  2. Select all of the contacts

  3. From the Actions menu choose, "Forward as vCard"

  4. In the resulting email, choose "Plain Text" as the email format. This prevents a problem where the attachments aren't readable by the Mac because they are lumped together in a file called winmail.dat.

  5. Add a subject and send the email to an account you check from the Mac

  6. Get the email on the Mac

  7. Open Address Book and drag & drop the vcf files from the body of the email to Address Book.


To send Outlook calendar events as *.ics (iCalendar) files:


  1. Goto the Calendar folder

  2. Goto the View menu and select Current View -->By Category, so you can see all of your events in a list.

  3. Select all of the events

  4. From the Actions menu choose, "Forward as iCalendar"

  5. In the resulting email, choose "Plain Text" as the email format. This prevents a problem where the attachments aren't readable by the Mac because they are lumped together in a file called winmail.dat.

  6. Add a subject and send the email to an account you check from the Mac

  7. Get the email on the Mac

  8. Open iCal and drag & drop the ics files from the body of the email to iCal.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Monday, March 28, 2005

Scary and Big Brother-ish

Found this site Friday night while searching for my town's mil rate. It contains appraisals of houses throughout New England including pictures and floor plans, all open to the public. Talk about scary invasion of privacy. Since its all info that is part of the public record, its legal.

Who am I?

So for those wondering, here's a pic of me and my wife. It's from our vacation last year.

Friday, March 25, 2005

First Post!

So here it goes. Tim convinced me that setting up a blog is something I should do. Let's see if this is the first and last post of my blog.