July 8th, 2002

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Party and troubleshooting

Got out to CONvergence over the weekend. Saw a surprising number of my friends there this year. I guess the room I was hanging in last year was too far off the main traffic flow. Several gaming friends came by, ran into my scotch buddies outside the masquerade, saw several musician friends. Hung out until about 3 or 4 in the morning, gave one friend a ride home and toddled on home myself.

Got up the next morning to discover that the Tivo has not been making its daily calls since we had weird phone things back on Wednesday. It reported no dial tone and so I did the diagnostic bits of unplugging phones and other devices and then checking for tone with a trusty corded phone. Everything was fine on my end. Tone from the jack, tone from the line at the Tivo. Just didn't want to connect. Went to the web site and ran through their suggestions (restarting the machine, changing some dialing config, etc.). Finally decided to call and got routed to Sony (as that is the model of Tivo I have). Got past the first guy who basically was the idiot checker, asking me all the same questions I'd asked myself before calling. Got passed on ("escalated to Level 2") and spent the next hour and a half on hold. When the cordless phone's batteries started to die, I hung up and called back on a corded phone. I was quite firm with the tech support people in that I was quite happy to be transferred to whereever they wanted to transfer me, but they must not drop the call until I was talking to a live human being. After being passed around a bit, someone grokked it and stayed on hold with me for the next half hour until the next tech picked up the phone. (I felt kinda bad as I was watching the Twins beat the Mariners in Saturday night's game while waiting. Poor slob on the other end musta been so bored.)

So after answering a couple of questions, they basically decided that I needed to send in the unit to repair it. Since it is out of warranty, this will be a flat fee of $150, plus shipping.

Since a brand-new unit would be $400 or so (probably could find it on sale) I figured I'd take a look at options of simply replacing the modem myself. I'm a fairly handy guy and have done simple upgrades on my computers before. Besides, cracking the case (which would void my warranty, Oh No!) would give the opportunity to add another drive to increase recording capacity.

So I dug around on the net and discovered that I'm apparantly not the only one with this problem. Seems that the Tivo software was upgraded to version 3.0 and myself and at least two others are having the same modem problem. Now, it could be a rash of power spikes to the modems. I'm going to give it a couple of days as I search for other information before going further.
  • Current Music
    I Will Dare-The Replacements-Let It Be
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Going up to the Winnipeg Folk Festival this weekend. Will tell them at work tonight that I'll be "sick" on Thursday and Friday. Plan on driving up on Thursday "morning" when I get up...probably start out about noon, given that I'll be pretty pumped for the trip.

Was hoping to have a native guide with me but those folks found other travel arrangements. I've received good directions (given that they're pretty simple) and lived in the north woods of Minnesota for several years so am pretty comfortable with the prospects.

Will be thinking about food today. I'm leaning towards plenty of pasta supplemented with some fruit and nuts (Good Old Raisans and Peanuts). I'm told there is also good food on site for the purchasing and so will probably splurge for a meal or two.

Also have to gather up the camping gear. Tent, sleeping bag, sleeping pad (which will double as place to sit at shows, if needed). Plan out clothes; layers for variables. Cooking gear. Light. Bug stuff. Weather stuff. Drum. Harmonica.

I'm comforted that I'll be amongst many friends so that if there is an emergency or I've forgotten something critical, chances are someone nearby will have an extra or a way of getting something that will work.
  • Current Music
    Great Big Sea/Gone By The Board-Great Big Sea-Great Big Sea