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A simple handy feature TiVo should add

Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by macjeepster, Jul 13, 2012.

  1. lrhorer

    lrhorer Active Member

    Aug 31, 2003
    I'm more convinced than ever it is a dumb idea. The only thing it allows anyone to do is to waste time attempting to do something t he TiVo can already handle far, far better than the person can without their intervention. It's a little like putting curb feelers on a Formula V race car, or attaching a pad and pencil to a PC with a post-it note feature installed.
  2. lrhorer

    lrhorer Active Member

    Aug 31, 2003
    Why? Why would anyone who actually makes use of the features already built into the TiVo consider employing this kludge?

    Presenting someone with a feature that encourages them to engage in bad practices is not doing them any sort of favor.

    So what?

    Huh? You lost me on that one. The thumbs-up and especially thumbs-down keys are fabulous features, but I'm afraid I don't see why one would use them to keep track of anything.

    Neither can I. So what?

    Not at all. They just do not pander to totally idiotic new ideas. Well, actually, they do. Just look at the Premier. What a pile of crap.

    Mouring can be scheduled at a convenient time.

    Notepad!!! Whoever wrote notepad should be strung up by their gonads from a wire run down through their mouth and innards. It is an abysmally bad program, top to bottom.

    Thousands, millions actually, bought pet rocks, too.

    I really have to laugh at silly statements like this. The only reason of which I can conceive that a person would want to employ a feature such as this is because they are clinging to habits derived from a feature developed in the 1950s, and perhaps also ones created in the 1970s and 1980s.

    The principle use extolled for this feature is embedded in the use of the program guide. The program guide was developed in the 1950s when it had to be printed on paper. It was a poor solution even then, but the best available with the technology of the time. The invention of the TiVo made the program guide almost completely obsolete, yet people cling to it.

    Then comes the 1970s, and personal computers were invented. Personal computers with very stunted storage capabilities. Of course today PCs are in widespread use, and the storage capabilities are far less stunted (!!!) than they were, but people still must watch for drive capacity exhaustion. For some reason, many people carry over that ingrained idea to the TiVo. Unless the TiVo's hard drive is too small, it will never suffer from capacity exhaustion.

    Finally, along comes the 1980s, and VCRs became ubiquitous. The problem was, they suffered from capacity exhaustion even more than the PC, the fact their media was removable notwithstanding. The thing is, many people today still think of the TiVo as basically a fancy VCR. It is not. It has features that completely eliminate the pitfalls of VCRs. All one must do is embrace those features and drop the bad habits they developed when using them as if they were, well, a bad habit.

    No offense to you and certainly none at all to your mother, but it is significant you extoll this as a new and innovative feature and in virtually the same breath say it is something your mother can use because she is more or less unable to use anything new or innovative. Hmmm.
  3. lrhorer

    lrhorer Active Member

    Aug 31, 2003
    Not really. A far better use of computers is to handle the simple, but tedious, jobs and let people handle the complex ones. Computers are far, far better at simple, repetitive tasks than humans are. Humans are far better at complex tasks. It took the most sophisticated computer on the planet and years of work to build a computer that could play Jeopardy. Building a computer that can sort and count millions of coins is dead easy. Building one that can autonomously design a boat is a task no one has been able to accomplish. Do yourself a favor. Forget about doing simple tasks. Let the computer handle them. Otherwise you risk being replaced by the computer - with good reason.

    Not really. It's fun, and quite easy, comparatively speaking, if one has the skills. That's why you don't see a lot of competent developers bailing hay or picking cotton for a living. Having done a fair bit of all three in my life, I can tell you programming is by a tremendously huge margin a great deal easier. It is in fact among both the easiest and most enjoyable things I know.

    No, they earn the big bucks because most people are uninterested in doing it, and a lot are unable. Exactly why they are paid more than people who bail hay is rather a mystery to me, though, since most people are uninterested in doing that and are also unable.

    It already does, in the important aspects. This one rates pretty low, perhaps even a negative number, on that scale.
  4. lrhorer

    lrhorer Active Member

    Aug 31, 2003
    Actually, I'm not quite sure what he is suggesting the use of the internet would be in the context of this discussion. I think he is just hand waving.

    That, plus it is crap in the first place.

    Based on his post, I'm not so sure you shouldn't include him.

    Actually, more than anything else, it then produces more idiots. Lots more.

    One of my colleagues was in the Air Force Comm Squadron. When they would get a real wanker they would pass him off to another department and assign a ticket number to the case. The ticket number would be One-D-Ten-T.


    Given that your experience was probably in no way an isolated one, what sort of confidence does that give you (or should give us) in the nuclear power industry infrastructure, especially when it comes to safety?

    I would say it is more a matter of, "Why bother". This is a consumer device designed to record and playback video, not an aforementioned safety measure for a nuclear power plant. It costs less than most PCs. Most PCs do not come with such a feature (unless of course they run Linux). Why is the complaint being made about the TiVo and not his desktop?

    That said, it should be trivial to port smartctl to the TiVo...

    Hmm. You know, maybe I'll look into that. I think SMART monitoring is already compiled into the kernel. Porting smartctl and ssmtp should be straightforward. I've often thought of implementing a TiVo cross-compiler. Hmm.

    Yeah, we've all done things like that. One time I apparently inadvertently made the chroot directory of one of my web servers world writable. Oops. I found out when someone replaced my default page with one of their own. Fortunately they didn't do anything else nasty. I swear I do not remember ever doing anything so foolish, though, but I fail to see how anyone else could have done it. I'm embarrassed to relate how many times I have created an infinite or unstable loop by writing to the wrong variable inside the loop.
  5. mattack

    mattack Active Member

    Apr 9, 2001
    I don't want to watch an episode I've seen before.. (the VAST majority of the time)

    Since I don't remember every second of every show I have seen before, I often realize *part of the way through* that I have seen it.. thus I waste the time up until then.

    So I'd rather have *it* keep track of what shows I have seen before, and tell me that it was marked as watched.
  6. theraven146

    theraven146 New Member

    Jul 25, 2012
    That's a great point macjeepster. At least a basic tracking system that can tell you what you have watched and what you haven't can be of great help. All it needs is a simple tool where you can record or make entry of the series or episodes you have watched. The list of new shows are indeed confusing and it is literally impossible to keep track of all the episodes.
  7. agredon

    agredon New Member

    Jul 26, 2011
    I had a similar idea...I would like it if when you cancel a recording or delete a show if it would give me the following options: "Record Again Later" or "Do Not Record Again". This would solve your problem by marking the episode so that it is never rerecorded [even months later] and would also take care of a problem I run into sometimes where I have to cancel an episode of a season pass to allow for a one-time recording (sporting event, movie, etc...), but would like the TiVo to record it the next time it comes on. You could even add a time period such as "Do Not Rerecord for X Days".
  8. macjeepster

    macjeepster Member

    Sep 2, 2007
    Apparently there's a "good" way to use my TiVo and a "bad" way; who knew?

    By clicking on "upcoming episodes" and making my own selections, seeking off-peak times and attempting to record episodes that were new to me, and balance the number of episodes on hand for several multi-season shows, I was engaging in "bad practices."

    I think when there's more than one logical way to accomplish something, good software lets each user decide which is "right."

    I think the TiVo should handle the tedious chore of track-keeping and let me do the choosing; the TiVo can provide key info to make better choices. Agredon's idea sounds great, and even simpler than I was envisioning:

  9. lrhorer

    lrhorer Active Member

    Aug 31, 2003
    One might be compelled to ask, "Why?" It is arrogant to think one could ever obtain everything from any form of communication, especially a piece of art, with only one exposure. If something is worth watching in the first place, then it is generally worth watching more than once. Of course, most things out there are not worth watching even once.

    No, you didn't, because if you do not remember it, then it is precisely the same as never having watched it in the first place. It is the first time you watched it that was a waste of time, not the second, although if it is so forgettable you don't remember the first time you watched it, then it is surely better you had never watched it at all. I will certainly allow in such a case it would be better not to watch it a second time, but it is better still not to watch it a first. That's where the TiVo comes in and where I want both TiVo and the TiVo to focus their efforts. I want them to focus on providing only shows that are worth watching many, many times, not keeping track of shows I wasted my time in watching in the first place. I have no problem at all keeping track of those.

    All that said, I must say you have provided the most compelling, but not ultimately convincing, argument I have seen to date.

    I certainly would much rather watch a really good to excellent program a second ( or third, or fourth... or tenth) time than watch a mediocre to lousy one even once. That's what I rely on the TiVo to present to me: a group of programs ranging from superior to excellent, with few that are so mundane as to be forgettable, rather than try to keep track of the forgettable ones. Certainly there are many programs that are good enough to watch a second time that do not quite rise to the level of being good enough to archive, but I have no problem with the TiVo recording them, whether they ultimately get watched a second time or not.
  10. lrhorer

    lrhorer Active Member

    Aug 31, 2003
    Anyone who stops to think. No matter what the tool there will always be "wrong" ways to use it, usually far, far more "wrong" ways than "right" ones. Frequently there is one and only one optimum way to use a tool.

    Like most people, for years (decades in my case), I had been using a ketchup bottle - particularly a new one - incorrectly, holding it semi-vertically in one hand while pounding on it with the other. To be sure, it worked, but as almost anyone who has used a ketchup bottle in this manner can tell you, it is a slow and mildly frustrating experience, fraught with the danger of suddenly dumping a great blob of ketchup all over one's plate. Then one day my sister and I were eating at a restaurant, and once again I was beating on the bottom of the ketchup bottle. A pleasant young woman at the next table informed me I was doing it incorrectly, and demonstrated how holding the bottle horizontally and gently tapping the neck of the bottle on the side of the plate would induce the ketchup to flow freely but in an easily controlled manner onto the plate. Of course I felt a little foolish for having done it incorrectly for all those decades, but I didn't allow my ego to prevent me from instantly adopting her method.

    An inferior one, yes.

    First of all, you are wasting a great deal of time browsing through the guide, which is not only unnecessary, but produces a less accurate and generally less desirable result, irrespective of what your ego or your habits may be telling you.

    No offense, but you do not seem to have thought this through, or at least not in a properly generalized fashion. In de-selecting shows before they air vs. after they are recorded you are not attempting two different things, only one. Specifically, you are wanting to delete shows from the TiVo. This can be done pre-emptively, before the show is recorded in the first place, or it can be done reactively, after the show is recorded. Doing so pre-emptively might seem compelling, but upon inspection one can see it is an inferior means of handing it for several reasons.

    1. It takes a great deal more time and effort than doing so after the program is recorded, easily minutes or collectively hours versus a matter of seconds, or perhaps no time whatsoever.

    2. It is less accurate. It is far, far easier to make an error when the program is never recorded rather than after the fact. Deleting the show prior to recording it eliminates the possibility of changing one's mind or of un-deleting the show if it was deleted inadvertently. Deleting after the fact allows one days, or perhaps even weeks or months to change one's mind or realize one made an error.

    3. It requires intervention and thus more work on the part of the user. One can simply do nothing whatsoever and allow the TiVo to delete the program in time. Of course if one wishes their TiVo to be as effective and efficient as possible, then one is well served to delete any programs one does not wish to watch, but even then it only takes a moment to delete programs, possibly even in bulk.

    That is just nonsense. There are virtually always myriad ways to accomplish any task. Trying to code for all of them would take a vast amount of time. Instead, the developer must concentrate on the very few, perhaps only one, method that fits well with the paradigm envisaged for the platform as a whole. Certainly allowing for variability within the platform may often be a good thing, but one must be judicious about such things.

    Doing absolutely nothing whatsoever and letting the TiVo make the choices is a far more effective and efficient method, and the TiVo allows that right now. For the most part, I turn on the TV and press <play>. I let the TiVo handle the rest, and it does so far more effectively than I or any other human can. See my post above.

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