Just as a matter of course, I am here to start something of a petition to BAN ALL FIXED LENGTH FORMAT DB FILES!!! oooo I hate 'em. Gimme pipe-delimited. Gimme XML. Something, ANYTHING besides fixed length. (okay, maybe not ANYthing. Comma-delimited is rather evil too.) As someone who often has to put together means to 'port data from one type of db to another, I have to say that fixed length is the devil, which is only made worse by the fact that it doesn't even have to be there. XML is my friend, though. Mmm XML.
OK, first, lemme sum up. In our house we talk about spankings a LOT. It's just what we do, okay? And get your mind out of the gutter! Sheesh! Anyway, because we talk about them so much, the term has been shortened to 'panks' which is fairly obvious. Mostly we talk about panking the kitties. Because they like to whine a lot and throw up on the rug. But we love our kitties, way more than should be allowed, so we also give them a lot of pets, which in our familial silly-speak becomes pronounced something like 'payets'. So, in my lust for alliteration, instead of 'picks and pans' (good and bad), I'm giving Panks and Payets. So there ya have it.
Oooo the power just blipped 3 times and our new UPSes stood the test!! HOORAY!
Anyway, back to the distraction queen. For our anniversary (which actually isn't for 3 weeks but there was a sale) we bought a TiVo a couple of weeks ago. I have an unseemly amount of affection for this electronic device. I want to hold it and squeeze it and call it George. I haven't really watched it that much -- that's apparently Jake's job, as he rewinds 50 times more with the Tivo than he ever does with DVDs or VHS tapes -- but I LOVE programming the durn thing. I am recording all episodes of Good Eats with Alton Brown, because he is super cool, though I don't want to watch them that much. I am getting to watch shows I never remember to watch. I am recording all Jimmy Stewart movies (which I am also not really watching, but it's nifty all the same). It's AWESOME. I suddenly understand why someone would have a terabyte of drive space in the house -- to record things you never really intend to watch. Simply because it's cool.
One of the things we were so excited about is the Tivo-to-Go feature, that lets you pull the shows from the TiVo to your home network and then burned onto DVD with Sonic's 'MyDVD' product. It warned us that it takes a while to port the data, and they were right -- 45 minutes to move a 30 minute show! Bleah! But I can deal with that, because, while slow, it works. What they DIDN'T tell us was that Sonic's product, the ONLY product that can transcode the TiVo data into DVD images readable by most DVD players, is a PIECE OF STINKY POO. It has terrible memory management, so the more you edit (say, removing commercials from 6 episodes of Good Eats), the slower it gets, 'til even with half a gig of RAM I'm crawling after 30 minutes. Then heaven forbid you actually try to burn anything. Shut down everything on your machine including background processes, get it started, wait 2 hours, crash your entire system, and start all over again. Dang thing. And of course since I am using the trial version, there is no way to reach anything resembling technical support. Their website is OK (I'd give it a C+), though, and I just found some info that says to try burning the image to your hard drive, then using other software to move it to DVD. Apparently there is a big conflict with their MyDVD software and anything else that might have, say, come with your DVD burner. Weenies.
Must be going back to the working thing. And must stop eating sugary substances in the morning.