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My WHS Nightmare Came True

It’s now good news / bad news with the home server.  Good news is that its back alive and running better than ever with the new system drive.  Bad news is that it came back with all the drives wiped clean.

I chose to do a “System Recovery” instead of a “factory reset” because it was supposed to preserve your data.  Well there was issues getting it to work properly at first but thanks to help from HP I finally accomplished what should have been a system recovery.  Not sure how or why all the drives were wiped.

All is not lost but it’s going to be a long road back.  I basically have to remove all the drives and one by one attach them to my desktop PC and use a data recovery tool (Recuva) to copy my files locally onto my desktop PC, then add the drive back into the home server pool and then copy the files back.  This could take the better part of of week.

What a nightmare.


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.

I Was Banned From Xbox Live – WHY???

The Xbox Live logo

Image via Wikipedia

As most of you know my Xbox has pretty much become a paperweight.  It freezes up within five minutes of any use of the network connection.  Because of that I have not been on Xbox Live for about a month.  Prior to that the only game I had really played was Left 4 Dead with a friend and neighbor.

So I was surprised when I tried logging into Xbox.com and I was presented with the following:

Your account has been suspended from Xbox LIVE.  For more information about Xbox policies, see the Xbox LIVE Code of Conduct and the Xbox LIVE Terms of Service.

WHAT!!!  Suspended!?!?  Code of Conduct??  What in the world could I have done?  I checked my hotmail and found and email about the suspension that said the following:

Notification of Temporary Suspension: Inappropriate communications

This email is to notify you that your Xbox LIVE communication privileges have been suspended due to inappropriate conduct during communication activities on Xbox LIVE.

Your conduct was brought to the attention of the LIVE Enforcement Team through complaints filed by other Xbox LIVE users or in the course of our operation of the service. The LIVE Enforcement Team has reviewed the complaints and other evidence regarding your conduct and determined it violates the Xbox LIVE Terms of Use and/or Code of Conduct. Because your conduct is in violation, the LIVE Enforcement Team has enacted this temporary communication suspension against your gamertag.

Inappropriate communications!?!?  Seriously?  I don’t talk to anyone on Xbox Live so how do you get suspended for something that you do not do?  On top of that I can’t even get online.  I have been on Xbox Live for 7 years (I was an Xbox Live Beta tester).  I know who Stephen Toulouse (aka Stepto) is because I listen to him talk about the code of conduct on the Major Nelson podcast all the time.  I really cannot wait to find out how this happened.  Right now I really upset because I cannot use any Xbox Live services or Zune services and I just have a problem overall with “doing the time” when I did not “do the crime”.

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Help Me Replace My Dead Xbox

microsoft-xbox-360-elite My Xbox is officially dead.  At this point I really would just rather get a new one than replace it for the fourth time.  Three strikes and it’s time to move on.  Unfortunately I did not plan for this one like I did on Launch Day back in 2005 so I am reaching out to the internet in a cry for help.

I am down an extender and the blog is suffering from my grief and attempt to fix the problem myself.  Yesterday I walked into Best Buy and found the solution.  Best Buy has a new gift card concept called “Pitch In”.  Basically they give you the gift card for free and then you register it online.  From that point anyone can add money to the card in amounts of $5 or greater.

So now instead of one person buying a big gift or getting a handful of gift cards you can have everyone “Pitch In”.  So here is my Pitch In page and I am hoping that I can crowd source my new Xbox 360.

Andres Echevarria Best Buy Pitch In Page

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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My Xbox 360 is dying

A XBOX 360 showing the Ring of Death.

Image via Wikipedia

I do not know what happened to my Xbox 360 this past weekend.  On Friday it just started acting up and freezing on me.  It did not just freeze once and then start working again.  It is now freezing up every time I turn it on after about 5 minutes of ANY activity (playing games, Netflix streaming, navigating the dashboard, Media Center).

This Xbox is actually a refurbished Xbox after my original Xbox 360 that I camped out for on launch day back in 2005 died with the dreaded Red Rings of Death.  Its showing all the signs of another red ring but has yet to actually red ring.  Because of that it is not covered under the extended warranty and would actually cost my $100 to get it repaired.  $100!  A new arcade unit cost $200 and would have HDMI and a better motherboard.

I wish I could just go to Best Buy and pick up another one but I just can’t afford to do that right now.  My other option is to use a Linksys DMA extender but I only have two and they are in use in other rooms.  I guess I may have to hit up eBay and Craigslist to find an extender.  Of course what I really want is a working 360!!!

This blows……..

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Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure

Race for the Cure Logo

Image via Wikipedia

This is a personal plug for my wife and her participation in the Race for the Cure here in Charlotte, NC.  She is only $35 away from here goal so I am reaching out to the readers to donate to the cause.  The goal is to get 35 readers to donate at least $1 in the next 24 hrs.  If you can donate more than $1 that would be great.  Click on the link below or the logo in the upper right hand corner to donate.

Click to Donate Here.

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