Sep 052009

I’m not sure which is worse; my Comcast Tivo service or my Windows Vista Ultimate PC that has once again lost the ability to download program guide data……again!

The upstairs tv now works, at least. Hell, when I was a kid I would have been totally psyched that there were tv stations that played cartoons all day. It is a very different world now. Monkey Man is not satisfied with the fact that he now had dozens of channels of children’s programming to choose from. A very important feature that he has only recently been empowered with, the power to pause the show, had been taken away. How are we going to have breakfast when Max and Ruby is on?

Ultimately, my dilemma is the loss of the electronic program guide (EPG) data. My PC will no longer record any episodes of Futurama. Future episodes of the Daily Show and Colbert Report will not be recorded. I am presented with a nagging reminder in the form of a status menu icon stating that program guide data is low. This is inherently annoying in the sense that program guide data is absent.

It would also be nice to retrieve the Tivo box capability. Since the Tivo service is not working on the upstairs cable box, all of the previously recorded programs are no longer accessible; the program guide is missing, and on demand is not available. Now this has happened twice before. I have learned by now that it is not necessary for a technician to visit your home to install Tivo; there is better technical support available late at night; the technicians that work the night shift are more likely to listen to the description of your problem and push down ROM images if you ask them. The day shift just wants you to return your cable box and schedule a tech to install a new one. Of course, if you try to swap your box out in Hyannis or Yarmouth, you’ll have to convince the staff that a technician is not required for activation.

I so hate Windows Vista. That computer never has any software loaded on it with the intention that the EPG would continue to work. This had happened once before, and when I failed to correct it (admittedly due to lack of effort), I reloaded my Vista system from scratch. Ultimately, I am much happier with the configuration now, and have automated all of the backups for web servers, client data, work data, and the system itself. I periodically clone the drive. When the system does fail, I will either pick up an identical Dell Dimension system (I cannot believe I didn’t use an Optiplex for that), or buy another iMac and use Parallels to server up the image.

As for the Tivo, rumor has it that Comcast has a better cable box on the horizon. I may just have to grab one of those.

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