Content-type: text/html Set-Cookie: cookiehash=D8TIX1F9GFT8HMRH9OKWDC1UDL31CF7Q; expires=Wed, 01 Mar 2023 00:00:00 GMT; path=/; DMI News

DMI News

Previous Entry.. Next Entry..

New Years Resolutions

January 01, 2011 17:12

Happy New Years to everyone. I typically don't make New Years resolutions, since I have a horrible time of actually keeping them. However, there ARE a lot of things I really would like to accomplish, and it would be nice to accomplish them sometime in the near future. Of course, big projects like "Redesign the entire site" or "build a new room on the house" tend to be expensive, month-long projects that are daunting to even attempt, and the motivation to get started on them is seriously lacking. So I'm not going to burden myself with any huge projects that will do nothing but overwhelm me and instead focus on small, few hour long projects that I will actually be able to accomplish in a single day, and do one of them every day this year. I DO have the time for these things, I'm just need to develop a habit for working on them and not get sidetracked with entertaining distractions.

Of course, to make this whole thing easier to keep track of, I'm going to get the project tracker going again. It has some annoying bugs, which is why I quit using it, but it'd be useful to update and check every day while I'm doing this, and let others track my progress as well. For now, I'll just list some pending projects in the news and update the news as I've completed them.

So, for now, a short list of things to get me started:

1Finish and post the marquee sign writeup
2Minor computer upgrades. Add a front-audio, working cdrom, card reader, and case fan to the new computer. Add another parallel port to LAB1. Replace the VGA cable on my monitor with a DVI cable. Reconfigure desk for multi-screen setup. Move old workstation to new location. Set up audio mixer. Slightly reposition office cam.
3Design, develop, and build a relay board setup, complete with outlets to replace the X10 modules on the back wall.
4Compose a writeup of the relay project and post.

I SHOULD be able to accomplish that in 4 days, although it'll be pushing it. We'll see if it happens.

In other news, we got a LCD TV for Christmas. While it works great, there are some minor issues with my in-house broadcast network. For those of you who aren't aware, I've got a computer set up in the office for playing movies, which respond to a command from a web page that contains an organized list of all of the movies and shows I have available. Think MythTV but more primitive. The video and audio output of that computer is fed into a UHF modulator, diplexed into the cable stream, and broadcast to all TVs in my house on channel 90. This works wonderfully on all of the ancient CRT screens we have, none of which are widescreen. The new TV is. This presents a minor problem in that I have to zoom the image to display widescreen media to properly fit on the screen. That's great and all, but I'm sure I'm losing a lot of resolution, and if I play a show with a 4:3 aspect ratio, then I either get the sidebars or lose some of the top and bottom of the video. In addition to all of this, I know that going through the modulator loses a lot of resolution, which was just fine on the older TV sets, but the new screen can handle a decent resolution. So, I'd like to upgrade my little system a bit. Keeping channel 90 as it is, because we still have 2 other sets in the house that can still use it just fine, I see I have two choices. I can find a digital TV modulator and insert that into the stream as well, or I can move a computer into the living room and use the TV as a monitor (which I can), and forego any efforts to stream it over the cable network. Using it as a monitor will work fine as a short term solution, since I only have one TV that can really make use of it, but if I end up getting more of them in the future (and I'm sure I will eventually as the other ones die off), I'd like for all of them to be able to access the same stream, otherwise I'll need to dedicate computers for each of them, and that will increase the cost, space, and power consumption of each TV setup, not to mention add extra noise. Anyway, I'm looking for a relatively inexpensive product that can handle that. Please don't link me to "digital" UHF modulators. That's a regular analog output, and I already have one of those. The digital in that case only means that it has a 8 segment LED display to show you what channel you're broadcasting on. Thanks.