Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Tivo time

All I wanted for Christmas was a Tivo, and lo! Santa has blessed us with one. Pop some corn; we're going to watch television.

Tivo has been hailed as a breakthrough for consumers, a computing device so simple anyone can set it up. I'd buy that, with one important caveat: Tivo is easy to set up if you have a landline telephone. But as I noted at about this time last year, our home is landline-free. So now what?

For cases like ours, Tivo's technical-support Web site recommends depending on the kindness of strangers -- or anyone with a television and a telephone line they won't be using for eight hours. Fat chance, right? But a little Web sleuthing turned up a few more possibilities.

And so now I have Tivo up and running, courtesy of this monstrosity I cobbled together, which lets Tivo connect to the Internet via my PC. It's as unlikely as it looks, and I had to fiddle with obscure settings on the Tivo and the computer to make everything work. I also used a hacksaw at one point.

But work it does! And I only took the better part of two days to figure it all out. I am insane.

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