Snowed In Gadgetry


As you may have heard, much of the mid-Atlantic region has been crippled by winter weather. And my neighborhood was hit with maybe 18″ of snow yesterday. So, having some indoor time on my hands, I jumped on a few gadgety projects and looked to digital media for distraction.

Inspired by Mari’s netbook disaster, I had ordered a Time Capsule during Apple’s post-Thanksgiving sale (via WiFi-ed iPhone while in Munich). Leaving me with a perfectly good Airport Extreme Base Station. Given the AEBS’s ebay valuation (and effort involved), I scrapped my living room MoCA plans and instead reconfigured the set-top boxes to use that now secondary wireless router. Hardwiring the Xbox 360, Roku, and TiVo HD using three short Monoprice Ethernet cables (2 @ 2′, 1 @ 1′) took those devices from 802.11g to 802.11n and the AEBS also effectively extends the reach of my wireless network.

Once that was done, I pillaged my gadget closet. And packed up a variety of devices no longer in use for cash at — in lieu of the eBay consignment store I used to patronize, now inconveniently located across the Potomac. Valuations aren’t great, but unloading stuff couldn’t be easier. After selecting the items and noting their condition, Gazelle makes an offer and, if accepted, immediately emails a UPS shipping label. Alternately, they’ll send a pre-paid box for shipping if needed. I’ll most likely blog or tweet the outcome at a later date.

While rummaging through the gadget closet, I also came across Blockbuster’s now-discontinued (?) 2Wire MediaPoint video-on-demand box. I didn’t particularly care for it in 2008, and a year later it still sucks — the same wireless network connectivity issues, random UI lockups, and DRM/licensing issues are in effect. I blew two credits, worth ~$10, trying to download and play Crank 2. As you can see below, it clearly didn’t work out. Instead, we ended up streaming Food, Inc. in HD via Netflix on TiVo. (And learned that nearly all our domestic issues can be blamed on corn. Which I’ll be thinking over at the KFC.)


5 thoughts on “Snowed In Gadgetry”

  1. i watched food, inc. last night during the storm too….if you liked food, inc, i recommend The Future of Food.

    did you set up the AEBS with WDS? or just as a bridge? i have a linksys wrt54g running tomato firmware set up as a bridge to my AEBS. since im not 100% N i avoided WDS

  2. For the moment just as a bridge/extender. May try WDS and see what happens. Related, already had buyers of the Xbox and TiVo wireless adapters on ebay (for close to what I would have gotten from the Airport). Also since there’s so much duplicated content, I think I’ll move the Roku back to the bedroom and use that extra jack to get my TiVo back on a Slingbox (SOLO).

  3. You may find it interesting that I am allergic to corn. I can’t bring myself to watch Food Inc because I’m already active in a lot of the issues they talk about, and it will only serve to make me angrier. You may be interested in reading “The Unhealthy Truth: How Our Food Is Making Us Sick – And What We Can Do About It” []

  4. Dave I wanted to chime in and say that you really should not need to get beat from a “Mass Buy” website ( re )on your extra toys. I for one would love to have a “Pre Owned Dave Zatz Original” electronic device bought from the Blog and I doubt the rest oif the readers would mind making offers on your pre-owned electronics.

    In other words, feel free to give us a crack at the stuff, Im sure you’ll do better then and keep the stuff in “the family”

    Glad to see Ebay worked out as well.

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