PC Gaming

I recently acquired a 2nd hand video card, and proceeded to purchase Battlefield 4. I really like the game but after a week of playing it. I soon determined I wasn’t so good and perhaps PC Gaming is not something I should be doing.

Think I will give PC Gaming a skip and stick to the odd game of Minecraft with my kids.

Intel i3 NUC Update

The Intel i3 NUC is going great. It’s awesome to have 16GB of ram installed, and a 500GB laptop drive. I also put in a m.2 SSD from Samsung. It’s a fantastic machine for the form factor. I was surprised to find that it runs Minecraft well with the onboard Intel GPU.

I think I will be building another one in the next few months. First I need to probably consider setting up another NAS.

 

Intel i3 NUC

My Intel Celeron NUC has been a fairly good machine, however really wanted something with a little more CPU grunt. So sold off my Celeron based unit with ram (minus storage) and happen to pickup a week old i3 unit.

Will post my feedback on the differences once I have it setup and installed. I am considering populating the i3 NUC with 16gb ram, and a combination of m2 SSD + Laptop drive for storage (eventually).

New IceTV sales tatics

So IceTV sends me the following email…

icetv-new-sales-tatics-20151029

However, I don’t have any recording device associated with my very legacy account. I haven’t been a paid subscriber with them for probably 5 or more years. Yet as you can see they thought it might be nice to send me an email that might provoke me to do something.

Hate to say it IceTV, but I won’t be giving you any money now or in the future. I promptly unsubscribed from the emails. Since IceTV and I will never be friends, now I will be a customer. They burnt the brand with the whole Skippa.tv saga.

EDIT: Looks like they dropped the skippa.tv website, so links to http://skippa.tv currently do not work.

Western Digital Green 2TB – WD20EZRX Ordered

I ordered another Western Digital Green 2TB – WD20RZRX, as I said to my wife we should now upgrade our 2nd Tivo Series 3. This way we will have replaced the hard drive in both our units and hopefully they should last much longer.

I expect the drive should arrive on Tuesday. We ordered from Shopping Express as they had a sale over the weekend which was $99 AUD delivered.

TiVo Series 3 Internal 2TB Hard Drive Upgrade

We’ve had a TiVo Series 3 for a very long time, in fact we actually have two units. I purchased the first one very early on when they came out and the second unit I got during a run out of refurb units (a year after I got my first).

We did have a 1TB DVR Expander for each unit, as I bought one at full price on first unit purchase and got the second at a promo price with the refurb unit. Unfortunately they never stood the test of time and died some time ago. You can imagine recording with a 160GB internal drive is not that great when it comes to space available.

About 4 months ago, I stumbled across some discussion on Whirlpool relating to upgrading the internal hard drive on these units and what would be required to be performed. You can read all about it in this thread here. I downloaded everything required and figured I would do this sometime. I actually also have and older computer that would work as the machine to perform this.

Recently circumstances changed and subsequently with the fall out associated with IceTV failing to deliver our Skippa.tv we decided to upgrade one of the internal drives in our TiVo Series 3.

I purchased a Western Digital Green 2TB – Model WD20EZRX, and proceeded to follow the directions on the forum post here and here (later link the one I followed, shown in summary below by bullet points).

Basically I got my computer I was going to use, hooked up my new WD20EZRX drive (and booted the wdidle3 ISO I downloaded). I executed wdidle3 /D to disable IntelliPark on the WD drive, if it has worked you will see “Idle3 Timer is enabled and set to 3720 seconds (62.0 minutes)”. This means it had worked. Shutdown the computer, disconnect the drive. Since you should remove power from the drive to ensure this change takes place on next restart. You could boot wdidle3 ISO and check it by running wdidle3 with no switches to see that it reports it back.

Next you need to burn the JMFS ISO and ensure that you have removed the original drive from the TiVo Series 3 and connected it to first sata port, and your drive you will clone to (WD20EZRX) onto the second sata port. I now used a USB cdrom, as I had no free sata ports. So booted the JMFS ISO.

  • Run the menu item to do the disk copy from original drive to new drive.
  • Run the menu item to do the expansion of your new drive.
  • WD20EZRX doesn’t support AAM setting, so nothing to be ran relating to that.
  • wdidle3 already performed earlier.
  • I opted to supersize my drive, which means after all steps above done, shutdown. Using WinMFS to “turn on supersize”. This requires your machine booting from Windows, having new cloned drive connected on sata bus and selecting it and enabling the supersize. After this is done you can shutdown, install drive in TiVo Series 3 and look at all the new space.

Screen grab below showing output post JMFS expansion (step following clone operation);

tivo-series3-jmfs-expansion-screen-capture

Screen grabs below showing before and after capacity obtained;

Before Upgrade
Before Upgrade
After Upgrade
After Upgrade

IceTV and the Skippa pre-order disaster

I pre-ordered my Skippa back on 2nd June, like many others. Looked like a fantastic unit, based on initial suggestions. Hence I put up the money to be an earlier adopter.

IceTV wasn’t overly forth coming with an exact delivery, however we would get updates every so often.

Below is a timeline of updates that progressed along from the initial purchase along with some of the marketing emails they sent that includes specials for the units.

If you click the dates, you’ll get an image or pdf of the email in question.

  • Apr 3rd – Skippa Announced.
  • May 22nd – IceTV sends email “We’re bouncing with excitement!”
  • May 28th – IceTV sends email “Good bye ads, good bye subscriptions – hello SKIPPA”
  • Jun 2nd – Ordered unit
  • Jun 4th – IceTV sends email “No ads, big savings, act now”
  • Jun 5th – IceTV sends email “No ads, big savings, act now”
  • Jun 12th – IceTV sends email “Last 100 Left”.
  • Jun 19th – IceTV sends email “Skippa Update”
  • Jul 2nd – IceTV sends email “Now you can choose” – Pricing changes to shift more units?
  • Jul 16th – IceTV sends email “By popular demand, but not for long”
  • Jul 24th – IceTV sends email “Missed the boat?”
  • Jul 25th – IceTV sends email “Missed the boat?”
  • Jul 31st – IceTV sends email “Two new horses in the stable” – Delays
  • Aug 18th – I change my delivery address as the unit is likely to come while on holidays.
  • Aug 21st – IceTV sends email “First Skippa review published”
  • Aug 28th – IceTV sends email “Your SKIPPA Pre-Order”
  • Sep 11th – IceTV sends email “SKIPPA Shipping” – Note Heinz (CEO) clearly says Mass production of SKIPPA remains on schedule.. guessing this was a fib.
  • Sep 14th – Support ticket raised to ask where is my Skippa. Response from Leon (Customer Support) – Could be upto a week and a half before your skippa is posted.
  • Sep 25th – IceTV sends email “First steps with SKIPPA” – Be nice if they just delivered what we paid for.
  • Sep 30th – Support ticket raised to request update on my Skippa. Dave (Customer Support) responds “Sorry for the delays. Your Skippa will be posted tomorrow or Friday… etc”
  • Oct 2nd – IceTV sends email “SKIPPA Update” – Heinz (CEO) still not indicating any lack of stock to supply demand. But still no unit shipped.
  • Oct 6th – No email from IceTV or anyone indicating unit I ordered shipped. Was very annoyed. Voicemail left and email sent off my last query of where is my unit.
  • Oct 7th – No return call from IceTV regarding the voicemail left yesterday. Only an email again, this time detailing that they won’t be delivering unit at this time. However, look what is published on IceTV when you try to order one. Seems they telling public they are out of stock of SKIPPA. Oh really.

You can’t seriously tell me that this all unfolded just this week (i.e. Oct 6th first day of work post public holiday Monday). I find that impossible to understand myself.