Archive for November, 2003

Nov 27 2003

Thanksgiving visitors!

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Bob and Penny Wolf came out to join their daughter Megan and us for Thanksgiving.

Declan played tour guide and brought them to some good San Diego sights.

Here they are in front of the Star of India.

And in Old Town.

Everyone has to see the seals who have taken over Children’s Pool in La Jolla.

Here they are at Balboa Park. I gotta learn how to adjust the lighting on this camera…

Erin and Megan joined us at the San Diego Zoo. I got their good sides here…

Erin insisted we take a bus tour, so we hopped on to the top seats.

Which made it easier to see these guys…

I always wanted a baby elephant…

Erin bogarted the map and we had to follow her.

She had to see the Pandas, so we ran and just made it before they closed.

Erin and her Dad.

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Nov 27 2003

Erin and her classmates had a history fair at school

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Nov 16 2003

Oritron NPD3117 On Media Networked DVD Player

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Ok, I admit it, I’ve got a problem with buying too many DVD players. But this time, it’s different…

I have a HDTV and have wanted to put together a Home Theater PC to allow me to
play high quality video from my computers on the screen.
This is fairly straight forward, except for the video output which must be in a high enough resolution to take
advantage of the HDTV. So I put it off and one day bumped into an ad from offering a networked
DVD player that does progressive scan. I did a little research to see what else was
offered in this category and did not come up with much. Funny, as I write this I did a google search
and today Slashdot has an article on the Oritron.

There is a product from Go that costs $300. I spent $160 on the Oritron and have been very happy with it.

The DVD player hooks up like any other HD component device. The trick comes in adding the right ethernet card and firing
up the streaming software. The specs are a little old, naming cards that may not still be in production. I had an old Orinico Gold,
so I was golden (as it were). I threw the On Media streaming software on an old P3 450, pointed it at the local drive containing
the media files and told it to scan. It chewed away while I ran downstairs to see if anything was showing up. Sure enough, I
was getting files. Using the arrow keys on the remote, I could pick music, pictures, or video files and they played fine.

A couple of issues:

I had some avi files that would not play. It turns out that the software senses the speed of the processor and if it’s lower than
1.2G, it disables the ability to convert avi’s on the fly (not sure what this means). I installed the server on faster box and had no
problems playing the files.

The software will only work with local drives. It does not recognize network attached drives.

I tried playing avi’s captured straight from digital tape (not encoded at all) and it didn’t like them. Still playing with this area.

All in all, I’m very impressed with the functionality of this cheap product. Now, what do I do with all the old DVD players?

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Nov 15 2003

Very neat US political map.

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Map of the US showing who’s donating to which party for the 2004 Election

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Nov 01 2003

Nathan and Erin go Trick or Treating

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Erin as a mermaid:

Nathan (a surly teenager) as Killiua (an Anime character):

Nathan’s buddy Gerry:

And Andrew:

Erin’s buddy Lulu:

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Nov 01 2003

Halloween Party at Work

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The Library throws a very nice Halloween Party.

Here is the food spread:

And some well done costumes:

There were a plethora of pirates:

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