Solution Spheres

Using Apple technologies (and possibly others) to create a seamless digital lifestyle for home and business.

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Complaints department...

Let me state for the record that I'm a pretty optimistic guy. I'm obviously also a pretty technically proficient individual. When I started my college days I was in computer/electrical engineering. I left in part because at the time my math skills weren't what they should have been, and because I felt the industry wasn't where it could have been.

Well, things haven't changed that much. The day we get a computer or piece of hardware that actually works properly without a lot of fiddling will be a wonderful new era. Almost every machine I've had has some tiny imperfection or flaw. My iPod resets the clicker (and the battery has started to go funky-- imagine that). My iBook has had a wide array of issues, from a failing HD to wonky Airport. All of which were fixed under warranty. Although I should point out that each repair has raised further problems. Right now 3 keys have all but been wiped clear, the paint has rubbed off. The machine is 14 months old. Apple has yet to give me a new keyboard (and their repair people in Memphis left out a screw on the keyboard so it doesn't attach fully now).

But overall my computing experience has been pretty good. I will say that I spend a LOT less time maintaining my Macs than I do the one PC in the house. And I use the Macs about 90% of the time!

But, today I discovered a MAJOR flaw in the El Gato EyeTV software/hardware...

While rendering something in another program, I went to open EyeTV. For some reason, I couldn't open the LiveTV window. This is necessary to record shows, or watch shows. It is the window that plays the video! Well, the menu item was grayed out, meaning it's just totally unavailable. I looked at everything, checked the cabling, and followed the troubleshooting steps on El Gato's site. Ultimately, there was only one choice: reboot the machine. El Gato is aware of this issue, but has yet to fix it. At least they have it in their knowledgebase, as Apple's KB is rather pathetic.

Now here's my quandary. I'm leaving for work today at noon. The show I wish to tape is at 9pm. My render won't be done until around 6pm. So what to do? I'd already had a couple of good hours of render time on the machine, and I hated to have to reboot. In OSX, you rarely have to reboot. Hear that El Gato? You should NOT have to reboot!

But I did. Hours of "work" vanished just so I could timeshift TV. And I wonder why my wife hates computers sometimes. The worst that would happen with a VCR is the power could go out...

So anyway, there's my rant. I'm thinking of another book now-- "The Way Things Never Frickin' Work"
Because sometimes it just goes that way!


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