media comments edit

I have, so far, mostly enjoyed the whole “digital copy” thing movies provide. It saves me time ripping DVDs and running them through Handbrake, plus it’s “legal.”

Which isn’t to say l have any moral qualms ripping discs I own and transforming them into formats I require for personal use. I don’t condone piracy and own a lot of discs.

I recently picked up Harry Potter and the  Deathly Hallows Part 2 and it came with this new “UltraViolet Digital Copy” which promises to be the latest and greatest thing to happen to digital copy.

It is The Suck.

To get your digital copy, you first have to visit the Flixster site, where you get to create a new account. Because I needed another set of credentials to remember.

Next, Flixster asks to link to your UltraViolet account. Don’t have one? Sign up now! That’s a second set of new credentials. Thank God for LastPass.

Once you do that, you finally get to enter your secret code to get your digital copy. Entering your code allows you to stream from their web site.

If you want to download the movie for travel, you can do so by downloading the Flixster Collections app to your computer and downloading through that. Keep that app around - you can only play the downloaded copy with it.

My use case is getting the movie on my Android phone and my iPod Classic, so this doesn’t help.

To get it on Android, there’s an app for your phone to install so you can download and play there. Great - so the time and bandwidth you spend downloading to your computer is wasted. Re-download that bad boy just for your phone, baby.

It’s the same for iPod or iPhone. Want to watch? Install the app and download.

Guess what, though - iPod Classic doesn’t run apps and doesn’t have network connectivity. There is no way I can see to get this thing into iTunes so I can sync it onto my iPod. (You let me know when they have a 160GB iPod Touch and I’ll look at switching.)

This all boils down to me having a “digital copy” but still having to rip the disc and play the Handbrake game.

Way to go, Hollywood. You obviously have it all figured out.

General Ramblings comments edit

Friday was Phoenix’s first birthday, so on Saturday we had her party.

Phoenix with her cake.
From 2011 Phoenix’s First Birthday Party

The party was supposed to start at 12:30p, but everyone seemed to be there about an hour early, so it was anarchy from the get-go. Phoenix didn’t seem to mind getting passed from person to person the entire time. It took a bit for her to get into the gift opening spirit, not quite being sure what to do with the wrapping paper, but after being shown how easily it rips, she figured it out.

I’m pretty sure her favorite part of the whole thing was the cake. She really dug into that and ate an entire piece.

Phoenix eating birthday cake.
From 2011 Phoenix’s First Birthday Party

We wrapped it up by a bit after 5:30p and cleaned the house for most of the rest of the night. I’m guessing that’s the signs of a successful first birthday party. Right?

It’s pretty amazing what a kid learns in just a year. From being pretty much motionless in a cradle to walking around the house at full speed, opening drawers and cabinets. From not being interested in anything to pointing and being interested in everything. She doesn’t talk much yet, just “ball” and “hello” (she puts her hand up to her ear like she’s holding a phone every time she says hello - that’s Grandma Illig in action, there). She’s not afraid of anything.

After everyone left, she ran over to the stairs (she’s normally kept in an area without stairs, blocked off by baby gates) and climbed all the way to the top by herself (with Daddy on her tail, just to be sure). She did that three times.

Such a big girl now, and a total maniac. She is everywhere, all the time.

Happy birthday, miniature baby. Mommy and Daddy love you.

personal comments edit

I’m going to be doing most of my holiday shopping online (again) because crowded Black Friday malls stress me out (still).

For that geek on your list, may I recommend ThinkGeek:

ThinkGeek Holiday Gift
Station

It might be a good time to get a BigTrak Jr. or some Star Wars glassware…?

net, vs comments edit

I was working yesterday on a solution in Visual Studio and noticed that every time I’d rebuild VS would report the build as failed… but without any error messages.

I thought it was just a fluke, but then I had to update a service reference. When I tried, I got the following error message:

Could not resolve mscorlib for target framework “.NETFramework,v4.0”. This can happen if the target framework is not installed or if the framework moniker is incorrectly formatted.

I searched all over and verified the TargetFramework settings on every project. No luck. Tried removing the service references so I could re-create them. Got the error and couldn’t remove the references. Rebooted the computer, you know, because that’s what you do. Still got the error. At which point I was like…

Fuuuuuuuuuuuu

And then I foundthis blog entrythat saved my life. I was hitting a maximum path length error.

I’m on Windows 2008, not XP like in the article, but MAX_PATH is still 260 characters. I was working on a project that was only about 100 characters deep, but if you look at the files that VS generates when updating a service reference, you see filenames that can be 100 characters long with the fully qualified type name of the proxy type being generated and a suffix of “.datasource” (e.g., “Some.Really.Super.Long.Namespace.That.May.Be.Inside.Your.Project.datasource”). All of that put together and I was bumping up against the max path length.

Moving my project closer to the root of my drive resolved the issue(C:\project rather than C:\dev\project\tasks\taskname\trunk sort of depth) and I was able to build again.

I’m guessing that something in there isn’t using the Unicode path extensions that would allow for a 32,767 character max path length. Hopefully that will be fixed in the next VS… but I’m not holding my breath.

gaming, xbox, media comments edit

I spent far more time than I’d like to admit in troubleshooting this issue so I figured I’d at least blog it.

Symptoms: When you run the “network connection test” on the Xbox it consistently succeeds. When you try to connect to Xbox Live, either to sign in with your profile or do a “Recover Gamertag,” it fails and tells you to go run the network connection test.

Let me tell you how frustrating this behavior is. The connection test says fine, but when you try to connect it says it can’t - go run the test?!

My network is set up right now so I have my wireless router downstairs feeding a wireless bridge (DAP-1522) upstairs in the game room. The Xbox is connected through the bridge. Everything was working wonderfully until around two weeks ago. Nothing changed on the network to my knowledge, no configuration changes or devices added/removed. Just… magic. Things are failing.

The first thing I did was disconnect the wired connection to the bridge and connect using the Xbox onboard wireless adapter. Same symptoms, only this time I could occasionally connect to Xbox Live if I tried signing in five or six times in a row. Not a lot of progress, but progress.

I rebooted and reset every network device I own with no luck.

I contacted Xbox Support via email and they directed me to this page about troubleshooting connection issues. None of the items here helped, but it’s understandable - there’s no way they could have guessed what was wrong.

The breakthrough came when I powered down the bridge and then connected to Xbox Live via wireless. Instant success. Something about that wireless bridge was interfering hardcore with the rest of the wireless network.

I ended up resetting the DAP-1522 bridge to factory defaults, doing a firmware upgrade (not sure if that was necessary, but there was a minor-version update available, so I figured why not), and reconfiguring the whole thing from scratch.

The Xbox is connected through the bridge once more, but now it signs in correctly.

This isn’t the first time that DAP-1522 has given me grief. When I was using it as an access point rather than a bridge it also had a couple of times where I had to reset it to factory defaults and start over. Like running for an extended period of time causes some sort of “buildup” that has to be flushed out. I may have to replace it with something more reliable.