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BSOD, How I Hate You

If I see another Blue Screen of Death (BSOD) on my Media Center I think I might drive up to Redmond and punch someone in the face.  I am soooo sick and tired of getting a BSOD with no rhyme or reason behind it.  I just needed to rant.  I will explain more later today.


The blog is growing and changing

Over the next few days I will be organizing a lot of the content on the blog and redesigning the layout so that the information is easier to find and to allow the content here to be used by anyone starting out with Media Center or wondering what this Media Center thing is all about.

The purpose of the blog and the site has always been for those starting out and what I would call the average enthusiast versus the hardcore enthusiast. You may not really care about bit-streaming audio but you may have questions about connecting a PC to a receiver and getting Dolby Digital surround sound out.

The other portion of the blog update is a possible move to WordPress to allow for this deep organization. I am currently evaluating this and thinking hard about this move because I do not want to lose any readers.

Please stay with me as I think the site will be a lot more valuable as a starting point resource and community as we move forward into 2010.

The Day Job is Killing Me

I am still here!!!  The day job has been eating up a lot of hours over the past few weeks.  The silver lining to that is that I have a healthy backlog of posts.  Along with that I have a plan to reorganize the content currently on the blog to make things easier to browse and find.

Thanks to everyone that has been leaving comments and emailing.  I look forward to posting on a regular basis again starting this Monday.

Not a good time to be busy

This past week was the 2010 edition of CES and there was some great Media Center news that came out of the show.  Unfortunately I was slammed this past week at my day job and it carried through into the weekend.  I hope most of you have been keeping up with the news that has come out.  I will be working on a post tomorrow about how the recent announcements impact the Media Center ecosystem and my opinions on where its going.

Be back tomorrow and Tuesday with Movie of the Week.

Out with 2009… Hello 2010

2009 has been a year that I will never forget and a year that I cannot wait to get rid of.  One of the highlights of the year was this blog and Media Center.  2009 saw the release of Windows 7 with the best version of Media Center to date, a huge update to Media Center’s cable TV support and a number of quality 3rd party plug-ins taking advantage of the new new underlying architecture.

For me 2010 feels like a year of good things to come.  I am feeling very optimistic about next year in a number of ways including Media Center.  I am hopeful that Microsoft will build upon the success the had with the release of Media Center in Windows 7. 

The platform is stable, solid and ready to see some amazing innovation.  I hope some of the innovation happens with the extender model.  Extenders are one of the strongest features of Media Center when I demonstrate Media Center to friends and family.  I find it hard to believe that we will not see something new with extenders in 2010.  We shall see.

As we prepare for 2010 I just wanted to say thank you to everyone that has followed and participated with the blog.  It has been an amazing year of growth and I hope you will stay along for the ride and invite others to join.  Thanks also to all those that have helped with the Xbox.  I am still blown away by your generosity and excited to be at 74% of goal as I write this.

Good-bye 2009 and welcome 2010.

Sick this past week

I was out sick this past week.  Every time I thought about writing a post saying that I was sick I just laid back down exhausted.  I was really wiped out.   Well I am feeling better and ready to get back to posting.

Thanks again to all those that have contributed to my cause.  I am now at 17.5% of goal.  I just can’t believe the generosity of the community.  It definitely inspires me to keep posting and keep the blog going.

In the next two days I plan on posting a hardware tour so folks can see how the tuners and SDV Tuning Adapters are physically connected.  If there are any specific requests of hardware you want to see in action please let me know.

It’s great to be back.

Movie of the Week: The Punisher


Film poster for The Punisher (2004 film)

My Movies Collection Number: 366

IMDB Synopsis: After his wife and family are killed, G-Man Frank Castle takes it upon himself to distribute punishment to those responsible for the vendetta. IMDB Link

Why it’s in my collection: One of the main reasons this movie is in my collection is that I am a big Marvel comic book fan and the OCD part of me wants to have every Marvel movie made since the original Blade

I also love the “Welcome Back, Frank” storyline that the movie uses as part of its basis.  Seeing some of the scenes from that story on screen just really made the Punisher fan in me really happy.

Thoughts While Watching: The bad guys in this movie are way over the top.  They are so cheesy and over the top it becomes funny.  Then you realize that John’s Travolta’s sons are played by the same actor and you know that you have to check any hopes of this being the Punisher movie you were hoping for.  And how can you be taken seriously as a mobster when your base of operations is Tampa, Florida???

As you watch this movie it feels like every decision made by first time director Jonathan Hensleigh was as an homage to 1980’s cop/action/crime movies.  The attempts at manipulating your emotions, the music, the coincidences used to advance the plot al make you say “seriously!”.

There are scenes taken directly from the comic book that I enjoyed seeing but overall the movie falls flat.  If I am going to see a movie this cheesy then I am going to watch Punisher: War Zone.  At least that movie has more of the character from the comic book and KNOWS what it is.  It does not try to put a serious face on a movie that should be fun silly action.   Of course I would love to see a real budget and a real director (like Michael Mann) make a Punisher movie.  That would be amazing.

Why it should be in your collection: The only reason this movie should be in your collection is if you have the same compulsive need as me to be complete.  I thought this movie was finally going to do the Punisher right but it made two crucial mistakes for me: taking Frank out of New York and not pitting him against the traditional mob.  John Travolta’s Howard Saint character is HORRIBLE.  I think Punisher War Zone is a better representation of the world and the character.

Similar movies from my collection: Face/Off, The Crow, Punisher: War Zone, Bad Boys, Once Upon a Time in Mexico, Blade, Die Hard, Kill Bill Vol.1, The Boondock Saints

My Movies Collection Rating: 5

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