media comments edit

I was reading some reviews of the Xtreamer media streaming device over on the MS Windows Home Server blog and on We Got Served and it appears this may be an affordable alternative to getting a full Windows Media Center front end in every room. I need something that’ll play AAC music as well as DVD rips in VIDEO_TS format. (More important are the VIDEO_TS rips.)

Turns out this little device does, in fact, handle VIDEO_TS, just like Windows Media Center. I confirmed that with one of the reviewers, too. I don’t have access to our DVD library in our bedroom right now; this might be just the thing, rather than getting yet another computer.

GeekSpeak comments edit

I was archiving some data onto DVDs in Windows Vista, using the regular Vista burn-to-disc functionality. On one disc, for a reason I won’t go into, I had one folder at the root level and about 60 files in that folder. When I tried to burn the disc, though, I got a message, “No files to burn.”

That didn’t make any sense. Running a quick Google search yields a lot of people with the same problem. Turns out the fix is to burn at least two files at the root level. Adding a “readme.txt” to the root of the disc alongside the folder magically made things work.

What’s up with that crazy must-have-two-files requirement? Who thought that was a good idea?

General Ramblings comments edit

2009 Victoria BC Vacation

It was time to take another vacation, so this time Jenn and I set our sights on a non-Vegas destination: Victoria, British Columbia. We headed out August 24 - 27.

We left Monday morning for Port Angeles, WA, and took the ferry over to Victoria. We stayed at The Hotel Grand Pacific, conveniently on the same block as the ferry.

Monday night we really didn’t do anything but wander around a bit and have dinner. Dinner, though, is where I discovered Phillips Longboat Double Chocolate Porter. Now, I’m really not a “beer guy,” but this was tasty stuff. (I ended up tracking down the brewery, which is right downtown Victoria, and getting a case to bring home.)

Tuesday we visited The Butchart Gardens. It was pretty amazing, all the different kinds of flowers and gardens they have. Glad I took my allergy pills!

After the gardens we went to the top on Mt. Douglas and checked out the view. Definitely something to see, but harder to get to than you might think. Try as we might, we just could not stick on the roads shown on the map. We had quite the adventure getting to Mt. Douglas and saw most of Victoria in the process.

Wednesday we took a tour of the BC Parliament Building and learned a bit about the government there. While the architecture was interesting, the best part was going to the visitor gallery and watching parliament in session. There was an argument going on about a proposed new tax system and it was very heated. Way better than C-Span.

Thursday morning we had to leave, but before we did we went out to the front of the hotel and watched them feed the ducks. Apparently they have these ducks that come back year after year to swim in the fountain out front and get fed by the maintenance guy each morning. At one point they had close to 60 ducks! We only saw about 30, but it was pretty crazy.

In all, a good trip. Left a few things (like the Royal BC Museum) to see on future trips, but saw a lot and had a good time.