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Archive for November, 2009

I borrowed an HDMI cable from a friend today. I have a duplicate order of HDMI cables en route to me and I plan to “repay” him with one of the cables from my batch in a day or so.

This transaction led me to the interesting idea that when lending money, the lender is not interested in which bills he gets back (assuming a cash loan). Instead, he’s interested in a like-kind (of same or higher value) exchange.

So is a monetary loan more of a barter than a loan? I think so. You’re getting something of equal value in exchange (and extra value if you charge interest.) Usually when you loan an item (such as a CD or a shovel) you get the exact same item back. When you loan money, you get back money with the same or higher value. But not the same bills.

I wonder what the barter value (in dollars) of this small insight is.

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I took our HDTV home last night, built the IKEA “LACK” stand we bought for it and set it up. Need one more HDMI cable to install our new (sellout.woot.com) Philips refurbished upconverting DVD player.

Bottom line: The TV is too big for the space. But it’s definitely a nice TV. Color mode = Cinema and it looks very nice.

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Today I ordered a Panasonic TC-P50X1 720p 50“ Plasma HDTV from Dell.com.

It is a Consumer Reports Best Buy*, which is their highest recommendation. It has great reviews on Amazon.com. I’ve seen the 42” 720p version of this in person at CompUSA and I loved the picture. Granted, it was one of the few TVs at that store set with realistic picture settings. Most TVs there were set for very high saturation and general vividity.

I got this TV for $649.00 plus a 5% Bing.com cashback rebate, which I’m actually pretty confident I’ll get.

Last week I ordered a FiOS DVR, which also provides HDTV service. (They don’t have a DVR that doesn’t provide HDTV service.)

So far, I love having the DVR, as I was confident I would. Last night I watched TT Isle of Man 2009 highlights and Charlie Rose interviewing Warrant Buffett, all recorded on schedule by my FiOS DVR. It costs me $10/mo more than the $5.99/mo my old non-HD tuner was costing me. While I hate paying for cable boxes (I prefer analog to digital cable for this reason) and I’m not a big fan of TV programming in general, I am a believer in making the best of things, so I’ll use the DVR to get the programming i want (Charlie Rose, etc.) and will hopefully enjoy watching movies more with this big screen. It replaces our perhaps 25-inch Sony Trinitron CRT TV, which is working fine.

* Do not confuse Consumer Reports’ “Best Buy” recommendation with the retail store of the same name. One is a classification with a stellar pro-consumer reputation, the other is a retail store with an anti-customer reputation.

24 November 2009 update: I went through difficulty with Dell getting that TV ordered. They canceled the order three times and they never told me why, except that after the first order was placed, they were unable to reach me by phone. Totally weird. In the end, I just went in on a double order with a friend. The TVs arrived at the office today. Boy, those boxes are big.

28 November 2009 update: Here are some customer review links:

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I read this Inc. magazine article online yesterday. In it, Jason Fried described for me what I consider to be my personal ideal scene working environment. I really came away from this article with a feeling of calm.

I like to make note of how I come across things like this. In this case, I was looking through Twitter feeds, I believe, searching for someone. And some tweet mentioned this article. I track the 37Signals blog in Newsstand via Google Reader, but I seldom read it.

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iPhone OS 3.1.2

I upgraded yesterday. I didn’t want to lose the settings data in my apps, such as saved login info; and I didn’t want to re-define my list of synced music. So I after the upgrade, I restored my user data from my last backup.

This is too bad because I was hoping the restore would restore my apparently corrupted carrier name string. Some Cydia app named MIM that SH referred me to blanked it out but won’t restore it to the default. [Update: This was actually a bug that was eventually fixed in a Dev-Team jailbreak or unlock, I forget which, not MIM’s fault.] And I think that creeped into some other storage/settings area the other day and caused me to not be able to send calls and text messages until I’d rebooted and mucked around with a bunch of settings. Phone was restored on reboot, IIRC, but SMS too more fiddling. What a pain in the rear.

The upgrade to OS 3.1.2 from OS 3.1 went fine. I used Pwnage to make the custom IPSW, as I did when I upgraded to 3.1.

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