Thursday, January 18, 2007

Stop Kidding Yourself, It's NOT A TiVo.

This post is directed to all of you who refer to your inferior DVRs (stands for digital video recorders) as TiV0. Face it, you're not in the club. I know you want to be...and there is hope. What am I talking about?

If you have a DVR from a company like Comcast, Dish Network or DirectTV and you don't see the friendly little TiVo person (as seen in the photo,) then you don't have a TiVo. True, you do have a DVR, but it is no TiVo, my friend.

Owning a TiVo is an experience in itself. Let me explain.

It all starts when you boot up your TiVo. After a few minutes of thinking and or organizing, you are greeted with a welcome animation of TiVo at the TiVo factory (where they apparently make gumballs.)

From there, TiVo slides into his (or her) spot at the top of the screen, ready to guide you through the TiVo experience. You will see a list of things to watch, either alphabetical by date or in neatly organized folders. Once you select a program, you'll see a little information about the show along with some options at the bottom. Press play and TiVo happy snaps into action with a little 'chrip.' How soothing.

If you have a show you really like, TiVo will help you record every episode! Just use the 'season pass' manager and TiVo will record the show any time it's on, only new episodes, or only when it is on a certain channel. Plus, you can tell TiVo how many episodes you'd like to keep! For example, I record David Letterman every night, but TiVo only keeps the current two.

What's more, TiVo likes to learn about you. For example, if you watch CaddyShack and then, maybe, Groundhog Day, TiVo thinks "hey, this guy must have a thing for Bill Murry. Hmm...I see I've got some extra space in my brain right now....and...What About Bob starts in 15 minutes....I know...I'll record it just in case!!"

There is no additional commitment on your end. If you don't watch What About Bob and TiVo needs the space, it will automatically be deleted.

I don't even have time to get into all the cool networking stuff you can do.

Now, I'm sure your DVRs do the same things--at least some of them--but nothing can compare to TiVo. So, please, if you have a DVR, call it that. If you have TiVo, welcome friend, welcome.

220 hp, 5 speeds, 0 cupholders

For those of you who know me, you are aware that last summer I purchased a 1995 Saab 900se Turbo Convertible as my commuter car. You also know that I got a great deal on it (at least until you add up all the work I put into it.)

I am writing to report that I still love the Saab. It's peppy, stylish (for 1995) and has heated seats. But, why can't it have at least 1 good cup holder?!?!?

That's right! Not even one stupid cup holder in the car. Sure, there are things that they probably call 'cup holders'. For example, if you flip up the center console, there is a 'hole' in the top in which one could probably put a drink. Two problems. First, when you flip up the door, it is literally in the back seat and you need to clock your body about half way around to fetch anything out of it. Second, the hole is only about an inch deep, so anything bigger than an 80z coffee cup is going to go flying out of it with any turn or sudden stop.

The next location that I've found 'cup holders' is in the glove box. These cupholder are also great...if you are having a picnic while parked on a very level surface. They are more indentations that actual cup holders.

I have had to be creative to come up with a solution for my beverage holding needs. I have resorted to driving around with a large roll of 2" gaffer's tape (like duct tape, only for video cabling) that I put on the passenger-side floor. The hole in the middle is big enough to hold most beverages...20oz bottles, stainless steel coffee mugs, etc. Problem solved....until I have a passenger!!

I just can't believe that in 1995 no one was drinking tasty beverages in their cars! I was just down at the auto show and I can confirm they have corrected this problem in the 2007 models. Whew!