New Feed for Lion’s games

It seems that the feed at hasn’t been updated yet for this years schedule and one game has already been played (and won by Detroit, I might add!). So I went looking for a new feed provider… and found Yahoo. My Upcoming Events plugin seemed perfectly capable of handling the Yahoo feed. So now, simply by putting in the Path field and clicking the “Update Now” button in the Upcoming Events options, I was able to get the upcoming Lion’s games back into my calendar.

Grand Central

Google recently bought out a company whose services I find myself quite impressed with. Grand Central is a company that will give you a “phone number for life.” But that’s not the half of it. Part of the service includes the ability to ring multiple phones at the same time. You can put up to five number into the system and when you get a call it will ring all of them and transfer the call to the first number that answers it. You can even have an address book where you can define groups of people (by default there’s 4 groups: friends, family, work, other). You can set preferences about which phones ring for which groups. So I can set it that friends and family ring my home phone, but work and others (anybody not in your address book is in the others category) don’t. It has a call recording feature (a message is announced to both parties); voice mails are retrievable by phone or online; you can set up a temporary number to forward calls to in addition to the configured 5 via phone or online; you can set ringback and voice mail messages specific to each group; and I’m sure there’s a few that I’m not listing. All and all it looks to be a really nice service. It’s currently in beta (though most of Google is in beta 🙂 ) and invite only, but free. They’ve stated that there will always be a free version, but someday they will start charging for premium features. As this develops, I can see it being a really good fit with Google Apps (that’s probably why they bought it).


I had previously posted that my wife and I were looking for a Nintendo Wii (actually, it’s supposed to simply be branded “Wii” w/out the “Ninentdo” in front). We ended up getting one last week (3-Jan), but I never did get around to posting that update. Laura had been calling around to pretty much every store in town and finally found that Meijer had gotten a few that morning. So she dropped pretty much everything, grabbed Haylee, and ran to Meijer. She managed to get there in time. While she was there, she saw three other people purchasing Wii’s and was told there were only 6 when she called. So she probably didn’t make it by much!

But the short version is we have a Wii and are enjoying playing it. We have the Sports game that comes with it (a really great demonstration of the motion sensitive controllers), Cars, GT Pro Series, and The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess. So far I think we’ve spent most of our time playing the Wii Sports game. From a driving standpoint, I think GT is much more fun that Cars, but I haven’t done the Cars story line to know if that’s any good. I’ve spent very little time in Zelda, but it seems like it’s probably a very deep game.

We also went out last night and rented Excite Truck and Ice Age 2. I kinda like Excite truck, it’s a lot of fun.

We have no Wii

My wife and I just decided that we would like to get a Nintendo Wii. We’ve been kicking the idea around for a few weeks now about maybe doing that as part of a joint gift to each other. We decided against that in the end, but just this morning we tallied up birthday money, Christmas money, gift cards and the like and discovered we have enough money! Unfortunately for us, everybody around town is sold out. We’ve tried neighbouring towns and online stores, but to no avail. Not that anybody out there really cares :).

What I wonder is why this problem seems to happen in the first place. It seems like had Nintendo released a couple months sooner they could have had enough systems produced by Christmas time to meet demand. It also seems that if they had enough systems produced so that everybody who wanted one could get one they’d have made more profit, too. And isn’t that the point of making it in the first place? Granted, I don’t have a degree in economics or anything, it’s just my opinion…

Update 9-Jan-2007: We now have a Wii.

She’s Here

Many people have mentioned that I haven’t updated this blog in a while… looks like the last time I did was to announce that Laura was pregnant. Well, it’s been long enough since I last posted that Haylee is now here. I’ve got a site created for Haylee with some pictures. Maybe I can post a little sooner in the future :).

We’re Having a Baby!

Found out almost 1 week ago now that my wife, Laura, is pregnant with our first child. Not sure what else to say at this point, but the child (gender yet to be discovered) is due in late October (28-Oct, but those dates are rarely exact).

MythTV – One problem solved

This one didn’t take too long to figure out. A little time with Google and I found the solution. There’s a little perl script that came with MythTV that will create an XML file that mythfilldatabase can use to put the icon information into the DB. It ended up just being two commands, though there are a few holes (mostly local stations). Anyway, here’s what I had to do (because I installed from an RPM my contrib is at the path below):

$ perl /usr/share/doc/mythtv-0.18.1/contrib/
Answer the questions
$ mythfilldatabase --import-icon-map iconmap.xml --update-icon-map

And just wait for it to run!

MythTV — Like TiVO w/no subscription!

I had heard about this thing called MythTV a couple of times when looking at posts on Slashdot, mostly when issues regarding TiVO came up, but I had never looked into it until recently. Then my wife mentioned that she kinda wanted a TiVO and that got me started with a more in depth look. From what I could tell, the easiest thing to do was through a Hauppauge WinTV PVR 350 into a semi-decent computer, install linux, then install MythTV. Easy, right?

So I used Froogle to find the cheapest price on a WinTV 350 card that I could. Once it arrived, I followed Jarod Wilson’s giude to installing MythTV on Fedora Core 4. Over the course of the next two days (a lot of the time was spent on waiting for installs and downloads) I got MythTV 90% of the way there. I couldn’t seem to get the sound to work. So I emailed the MythTV users list and discovered that I missed an option in the setup to use the PVR 350 for video out and for sound. Oops.

So now I have a working MythTV installation that allows me to pause live TV and time-shift my viewing. I also have it set up so I can log in from anywhere on the Internet and set the box to record a show. So if I’m at my parent’s house and realize that if I stay any longer I’m gonna miss some show I’ve been wanting to watch, I can just log into my Myth box and set it to record!

I still have a couple of little issues with Myth, but overall I love it. My current issues are (off the top of my head):

  • Channel changing is really slow
  • The fonts in the on screen guide are so small they’re pretty much useless
  • I still need to figure out how to make channel icons work – solved
  • My wireless network card is unreliable (it’s an older 802.11b card that sometimes loses connection)
  • The On Screen Display and the setup menus often place things off the screen where they aren’t really visible
  • The sound output from the PVR 350 can only be used for TV sound. Other things that require sound (such as MP3 playback, games, etc) don’t work without a real sound card
  • I only have a 20GB drive for my /video mount so that limits how much stuff I can record
  • It may be that I just haven’t found the module for it, but there’s an FM tuner in the PVR 350 that I don’t seem to have any support for in MythTV

Some of these are obviously thing I have to solve while others are issues with MythTV and/or the ivtv drivers.

UPDATE 26-Nov-2005: Solved the first problem – got my channel icons!

I’m a clonetrooper?

Clone Trooper You scored as Clone Trooper.

Clone Trooper




Anakin Skywalker


Darth Vader


Obi Wan Kenobi


General Grievous




Mace Windu






Padme Amidala


Emperor Palpatine


Which Revenge of the Sith Character are you?
created with

More on Sprint Ringtones

After making my previous post about Sprint ringtones, I made a ringtone for my fiancée from a song that she really liked. She had previously said that she was really looking forward to it becoming available and would use it as her ring as soon as it was. She was really appreaciative, but after a couple weeks pointed out that it didn’t sound as good as the other ringtones on her phone. I thought that was weird, because I had listened to that ringtone and some of the ones I had downloaded from Sprint’s site on my phone and they all sounded about the same to me. My fiancée, being a Sprint employee, has a fancier phone than I do, so I listened to a couple of the other ringtones on her phone, and she was right… the one I made for her just didn’t sound as good. So I went back and did a little more research and discovered that the Sanyo MM 7400 supports MP4 ringtones, provided they have the M4A extention. So, I had to find a way to convert my WAV file into an MP4 file. For that purpose, I used dBpowerAMP. So to make a long story short, she was really happy that I was able to produce a ringtone that sounds just as good as the ones she gets from the Sprint site and was just what she wanted.

Update 8-Feb-2006: Thanks to Tony, we now know how to make ringtones for free! (Hint: Use as step 1).