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Old 07-22-2012, 04:08 PM   #31
lpwcomp
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Quote:
Originally Posted by replaytv View Post
Couldn't Tivo make it so I can skip 2 minutes 30 seconds with one button press to equal most commercials?
I know that I can set it up to skip 30 seconds a press, but then I have to do that manually five times, and that also takes away my 15 minute skip feature.
Skip to tic is still available while in FF or RW.

I'm just hoping that the 30-second skip back-door feature remains available.
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Old 07-30-2012, 12:26 AM   #32
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I agree that this is entirely possible and potentially very useful. The main problem I see is that Tivo marketing will decide to do it but they will leave out 10% of what is needed to make this useful and the absence of that 10% will make the whole thing useless and then Tivo will think it is a useless idea.

For every one person in this thread saying it is a bad idea, there are thousands that will use the feature if it were implemented (correctly).

It would be useful if this were done for movies too, not just show episodes. My mother gives every movie two thumbs-up. She is definitely not the type to use a computer (other than her Tivo) nor is she organized enough to keep a list of what she has seen. She is highy dependent on the thumbs-up to keep track of what she has seen. She cannot remember every show she has seen just based on title and a vague description. She needs historical data. She is very frustrated that we are unable to get the thumbs-up data from our Tivo that has failed to the new Tivo.

Tivo is behind time. When they get around to using current technology, they can store some data such as the historical data described here in the Tivo servers or in a "Cloud". Smartphones do it. Current Tivos must be connected to the internet so that is not a problem.


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Originally Posted by macjeepster View Post
Surely, TiVo can help me with this.

Of course.


Quote:
Originally Posted by stevel View Post
While it's not TiVo, there is a nice iOS app called TV Show Tracker that can help you keep track of episodes.

Does that require an iPhone? Does it require typing in the data? For those of us that have a Windows computer, there is also something in Windows called Notepad that could be very effective. Personally I prefer to let Tivo do it all for me. It is a computer too. For my mother, nothing is effective other than Tivo.

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Originally Posted by lpwcomp View Post
Count me as a vote against TiVo allocating any resources to develop this.

There are thousands that would vote for it.


Quote:
Originally Posted by lpwcomp View Post
You forget that TiVos have been around since 20GB was a large hard drive. Plus the more historical data you have to search, the longer the scheduler has to run.

I think forgetting the past is a good thing for this discussion. Tivo was designed when Tivoe had to use the phone line to phone home. Don't look backward; look forward. The internet opens the whole world to Tivo. The little smartphone in your pocket can search more data than needs to be searched for doing what is described here.

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Originally Posted by lpwcomp View Post
Actually, if you were to use a PC for recording management, including SPs, all of this should be doable now with the current API - on Premieres. Plus you could do co-operative scheduling, multi-channel SPs and clear QAM scheduling. Of course, you could also have your never ending history.


I am not familiar with an API for scheduling shows to be recorded. I know it is possible for a Windows program to get the list of recorded programs from a Tivo but I am not sure the data is specific enough for this. Assuming it is, then it is just a matter of checking the data periodicly. It would be better if it could be event-driven but otherwise it is posible.


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You can always set up an auto-record wishlist entry for each episode you want to record.


Again that is something a computer can do much more conveniently.


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Originally Posted by lpwcomp View Post
I've been a s/w developer for almost 40 years, including 17 as an O/S analyst.

I have also been a developer for about 40 years, except I intentionally avoided technical support. To the extent that an OS Analyst is someone that installs, maintains and debugs software developed by others with little or no opportunity to fix the software, I chose to be in application develppment. Application development includes databases.

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Originally Posted by lpwcomp View Post
It's not as "simple" as you make it out.
Using database software it is as easy as driving a car, for those of us that drive every day.

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Originally Posted by lpwcomp View Post
The history would have to be extended by two orders of magnitude
What?

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Originally Posted by lpwcomp View Post
it would have to be a configurable option
Of course. Application developers constantly do that type of thing to the UI.

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Originally Posted by lpwcomp View Post
you'd have to make sure they're aren't any unintended consequences, etc.
Are you saying you do not normally do that to the software you develop? I assume you develop software.

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Originally Posted by lpwcomp View Post
it won't help in the situation where there is no individual episode information.
That is a separate problem to be solved separately.


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Originally Posted by lpwcomp View Post
And based on recent experience, I'm not sure I would call the current TiVo s/w development team "skilled" although it may be more a case of pressure from management to "get something out the door".

Yes many companies do not understand application development adequately. Many managers are impressed by programmers working long hours to get something done but the managers do not understand that quality takes time and saves money. Unfortunately too few managers understand the answer to that riddle.

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Personally, I wish they'd make the TiVo s/w more fault tolerant. A disk error while recording or playing back shouldn't cause a system crash.

Yes. I am not sure how much that is a problem but I think they do not use enough asynchronous programming, similar to what you call the background. They should do more error checking and they should log errors so that if a hard drive is going bad, we should have something notifying us of the problem.

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Originally Posted by lpwcomp View Post
I might agree with you if scheduling was always done in the background. It isn't. Since you do use SPs and the SP manager, when you reorganize them, surely you have noticed that there is a noticeable and annoying delay when exiting.


I agree that they could and should do more in the background (asynchronously).

Last edited by Sam Ray : 07-30-2012 at 12:30 AM. Reason: spelling
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Old 07-30-2012, 03:39 AM   #33
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Quote:
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For every one person in this thread saying it is a bad idea, there are thousands that will use the feature if it were implemented (correctly).
You base that on what exactly?

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Originally Posted by Sam Ray View Post
Tivo is behind time. When they get around to using current technology, they can store some data such as the historical data described here in the Tivo servers or in a "Cloud". Smartphones do it. Current Tivos must be connected to the internet so that is not a problem.
I certainly don't want my TiVos even more dependent on the net than they already are, which in some ways is too much already. For instance, if you're using the HDUI and there is a network or TiVo server outage, you have 0 search capability. It does not fall back to a search of the local guide data.

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I am not familiar with an API for scheduling shows to be recorded. I know it is possible for a Windows program to get the list of recorded programs from a Tivo but I am not sure the data is specific enough for this. Assuming it is, then it is just a matter of checking the data periodicly. It would be better if it could be event-driven but otherwise it is posible.
Definitely doable, using the same methods used by kmttg.

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Originally Posted by Sam Ray View Post
I have also been a developer for about 40 years, except I intentionally avoided technical support. To the extent that an OS Analyst is someone that installs, maintains and debugs software developed by others with little or no opportunity to fix the software, I chose to be in application develppment. Application development includes databases.
You are absolutely clueless about what an O/S analyst does or at least what I and my colleagues did. I worked on "big iron" - CDC 6000's, 70's, 170's, and 180's running Kronos, NOS, NOS/BE, and NOS/VE. Except for NOS/VE, we had the source code for the O/S and I modified both CP and PP O/S code. I wrote O/S level programs from scratch, in both Compass (CDC's assembly language) and Cybil. I also wrote assembly language programs for a Modcomp and and an FR-80. So you can take your superior attitude and stuff it! It's also nice to know that you have such intimate knowledge of the TiVo database structure.

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Originally Posted by Sam Ray View Post
What?
The history is currently 28 days. To what do you propose to extend it?

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Originally Posted by Sam Ray View Post
Are you saying you do not normally do that to the software you develop? I assume you develop software.
That veiled insult was a completely uncalled for. I only brought it up for three reasons:
  1. Some people seem to think (I don't include you) that it is a simple matter of writing a few lines of code, recompiling, and voila, everything works perfectly.
  2. Recent history would indicate that the TiVo s/w is not being subjected to rigorous testing.
  3. Write and test idiot proof s/w and the world will produce a better idiot.

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Originally Posted by Sam Ray View Post
Yes many companies do not understand application development adequately. Many managers are impressed by programmers working long hours to get something done but the managers do not understand that quality takes time and saves money. Unfortunately too few managers understand the answer to that riddle.
It's more than that. There's the "feature creep" problem. I was tech lead on a project (cable routing system for Bellefonte nuclear power plant. I did most of the UI, written in PL/1 and using ISPF dialog manager). Saying that the requirements were written in Jell-o would have vastly overrepresented their solidity. But we were told we absolutely had to meet the original delivery date, which strangely enough was the last day of the current fiscal year.

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Yes. I am not sure how much that is a problem but I think they do not use enough asynchronous programming, similar to what you call the background. They should do more error checking and they should log errors so that if a hard drive is going bad, we should have something notifying us of the problem.
It's more a case of having better error handling. Having an asynchronous task checking the disk is not really the answer. I've also had a TiVo reboot when a recording date (time) in the metadata is prior to @1970. I suspect that it caused an arithmetic overflow or underflow.

Ya know, I had planned to go to bed early, but to try to discourage people from thinking that I am taking a "superior attitude", I will tell a story on myself:

While working in the systems group at FSU, I once modified the Kronos CPU system executive(CPUMTR) but left out one instruction (increment of a B register, IIRC). Didn't fail when I tested it but when it was put into production, it ended up putting the exec into an infinite loop. Blank consoles. Operator calls. Deadstart, get a dump. I look at dump and code. OOPS.

With that, I bid you all a belated adieu.
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Old 07-30-2012, 03:42 PM   #34
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Looking at the zap2it listings for TWC in your area, I see absolutely no reason for this to be happening. All of the episodes of "The Big Bang Theory" have complete guide data on both channels.
And yet it happened. It was like a BBT virus or something. I ended up hosing all season passes for BBT on that TiVo, changed every other SP to FRO, and deleted almost everything that looked like a rerun. In retaliation that TiVo stuck out it's tongue, made a rude noise, and died. I'm currently waiting on a replacement.
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Old 07-30-2012, 03:44 PM   #35
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And yet it happened. It was like a BBT virus or something. I ended up hosing all season passes for BBT on that TiVo, changed every other SP to FRO, and deleted almost everything that looked like a rerun. In retaliation that TiVo stuck out it's tongue, made a rude noise, and died. I'm currently waiting on a replacement.
So recording something it shouldn't have was a cry for help?
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Old 07-30-2012, 03:47 PM   #36
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So recording something it shouldn't have was a cry for help?
That's the way I see it.
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Old 07-31-2012, 10:41 AM   #37
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I'm more convinced than ever that some implementation of this feature set would be useful to a lot of people. It would be a way to set TiVo apart from the me-too DVRs, which face it, until you use both, seem like they're just as good as TiVo (and cheaper).
Clearly TiVo stumbled badly on the early versions of the new software, but it's working pretty well now, at least it is for me.
And the iPad app is fantastic. It's worth buying an iPad for it alone.
It's the computer's job to make complicated jobs simple.
And it's the programmer's job, imho, to make that happen.
I appreciate that it's hard. That's why they earn the big bucks (my son is studying comp sci at Stony Brook University).
I'd love to see TiVo add something like this, plus some related features I haven't thought of. Let the TiVo keep track of my viewing for me.
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Old 08-05-2012, 02:53 PM   #38
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I'm a little late coming into this discussion, but...

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I'm sorry, James, you're mistaken. I'm not talking about SP recording. I rarely use SP for shows that are in their 5th or 6th season and often appear as marathons or multiple shows in a row several times throughout the day.
So what? An SP set for the primary channel will not pick up episodes in syndication on other channels. An SP set up for "first run only" will not record older shows, although the mechanics of this feature are not perfect, so I don't use it.

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For those types of shows, I use the "Upcoming Episodes" feature and select the showings myself (usually in non-primetime).
That is an awful lot of work for something that doesn't really need to be done in the first place.

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Am I alone?
I think mostly, yeah.

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Do most people use SPs for a majority of their recordings?
I certainly do not, but then few of my recordings (not even one in ten) is part of a series. For the handful that are series, in truth I don't mostly use an SP. I don't select them, at all. I just let them be picked up by Suggestions, or in a few cases a Wishlist. For those I definitely want to be recorded and kept a while, I set an SP, or in some cases (syndication), more than one. It sounds to me like you are speaking of items in the latter category, in which case a Season Pass is definitely the proper answer. I just don't do much of that, myself.

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Should I switch?
Well, it's a little difficult to be sure, but it surely sounds like it.

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I always worry that if I'm not vigilant, the TiVo will choose to record things that appear over and over (cable)
Well, unless you set the SP for the cable channel(s) in question, it won't, but even supposing it did, so what? It wouldn't really hurt anything.

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and miss things that air only once (broadcast).
Definitely not. Why would it do so, unless of course the schedule changes at the last minute, an emergency broadcast pre-empts it, the schedule was wrong in the first place, or a system failure occurs?

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Originally Posted by macjeepster View Post
But you raise an interesting question:
Why does the TiVo throw away the recording history after 28 days? What makes 28 days better than 14, 90 or 365? Wouldn't that be a good user-configurable setting?
Surely the problem can't be disk space. I bet 5 years of recording history wouldn't use as much space as two minutes of FD video.
My guess would be database processing time. The amount of time required to search and cross-reference the database grows geometrically as the size of the database grows. Remember, the database processing must occur in the background and may be pre-empted by any real time or foreground processes on a regular basis, and people already complain about how slow the menus are.

Last edited by lrhorer : 08-05-2012 at 05:43 PM.
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Old 08-05-2012, 03:07 PM   #39
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I want it when individually recording episodes too..
Why would anyone ever record an individual episode? It's a heck of a lot of work to do something the TiVo can handle for you without wasting a lot of time endlessly searching through the silly guide.

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or if you cared for THIS info (I don't care for this much detail)
Someone in your house marked this episode as watched on Monday July 16, 2012 at 10:15 AM
(similar to what it does in recording history for shows it won't record in the future).
So what if it does record it? Will your TV blow up? Will the state police descend on your house and arrest you for recording an episode a second time? So the TiVo records something you have seen before? BFFD. Deleting it, if you bother to do so, and which is not required, either, takes a fraction of a second - far, far less time than searching through the guide even one time, let alone hundreds of times.

Finally, what's wrong with recording an episode a second (or third or fourth) time? I frequently will watch an episode multiple times, if it was a good one. The rest I just delete, or more likely just let the TiVo delete them for me.

Time spent searching for an episode to record: 0
Time spent worrying about whether an episode was previously recorded or not: 0
Time spent deleting episodes I have already seen: 20 or 30 seconds a week.
Time spent letting the Tivo take care of it: 24 x 7

Last edited by lrhorer : 08-05-2012 at 06:14 PM.
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Old 08-05-2012, 03:12 PM   #40
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And I repeat that this feature is of marginal utility and would require far more effort than it is worth.
Worse than being marginal, it would seem to encourage bad practices.

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As I've said about some of the other "simple" feature requests, simple to describe does not equate to simple to implement.


Well, not necessarily, anyway. What's more, sometimes things that are devilishly difficult to describe in English are fairly easy to accomplish in code.
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Old 08-05-2012, 03:23 PM   #41
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I'm more convinced than ever that some implementation of this feature set would be useful to a lot of people.j
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.
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Old 08-05-2012, 03:48 PM   #42
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I agree that this is entirely possible and potentially very useful.
Why? Why would anyone who actually makes use of the features already built into the TiVo consider employing this kludge?

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For every one person in this thread saying it is a bad idea, there are thousands that will use the feature if it were implemented (correctly).
Presenting someone with a feature that encourages them to engage in bad practices is not doing them any sort of favor.

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It would be useful if this were done for movies too, not just show episodes. My mother gives every movie two thumbs-up. She is definitely not the type to use a computer (other than her Tivo) nor is she organized enough to keep a list of what she has seen.
So what?

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She is highy dependent on the thumbs-up to keep track of what she has seen.
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.

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She cannot remember every show she has seen just based on title and a vague description.
Neither can I. So what?

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Tivo is behind time.
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.

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Originally Posted by Sam Ray View Post
For those of us that have a Windows computer,
Mouring can be scheduled at a convenient time.

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there is also something in Windows called Notepad that could be very effective.
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.

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There are thousands that would vote for it.
Thousands, millions actually, bought pet rocks, too.

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I think forgetting the past is a good thing for this discussion. Tivo was designed when Tivoe had to use the phone line to phone home. Don't look backward; look forward.
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.

Last edited by lrhorer : 08-05-2012 at 06:01 PM.
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Old 08-05-2012, 05:11 PM   #43
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It's the computer's job to make complicated jobs simple.
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.

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I appreciate that it's hard.
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.

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That's why they earn the big bucks (my son is studying comp sci at Stony Brook University).
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.

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I'd love to see TiVo add something like this, plus some related features I haven't thought of. Let the TiVo keep track of my viewing for me.
It already does, in the important aspects. This one rates pretty low, perhaps even a negative number, on that scale.

Last edited by lrhorer : 08-05-2012 at 05:47 PM.
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Old 08-05-2012, 06:40 PM   #44
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I certainly don't want my TiVos even more dependent on the net than they already are, which in some ways is too much already.
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.

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For instance, if you're using the HDUI and there is a network or TiVo server outage, you have 0 search capability. It does not fall back to a search of the local guide data.
That, plus it is crap in the first place.

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1. Some people seem to think (I don't include you) that it is a simple matter of writing a few lines of code, recompiling, and voila, everything works perfectly.
Based on his post, I'm not so sure you shouldn't include him.

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3. Write and test idiot proof s/w and the world will produce a better idiot.
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.

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It's more than that. There's the "feature creep" problem. I was tech lead on a project (cable routing system for Bellefonte nuclear power plant. I did most of the UI, written in PL/1 and using ISPF dialog manager). Saying that the requirements were written in Jell-o would have vastly overrepresented their solidity. But we were told we absolutely had to meet the original delivery date, which strangely enough was the last day of the current fiscal year.
<gulp>

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?

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It's more a case of having better error handling.
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.

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Originally Posted by lpwcomp View Post
Ya know, I had planned to go to bed early, but to try to discourage people from thinking that I am taking a "superior attitude", I will tell a story on myself:
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.

Last edited by lrhorer : 08-05-2012 at 06:59 PM.
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Old 08-06-2012, 09:06 PM   #45
mattack
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Originally Posted by lrhorer View Post
So what if it does record it? Will your TV blow up? Will the state police descend on your house and arrest you for recording an episode a second time? So the TiVo records something you have seen before? BFFD. Deleting it, if you bother to do so, and which is not required, either, takes a fraction of a second - far, far less time than searching through the guide even one time, let alone hundreds of times.

Finally, what's wrong with recording an episode a second (or third or fourth) time? I frequently will watch an episode multiple times, if it was a good one. The rest I just delete, or more likely just let the TiVo delete them for me.
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.
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Old 08-06-2012, 11:32 PM   #46
theraven146
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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.
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Old 08-09-2012, 12:10 AM   #47
agredon
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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".
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Old 08-11-2012, 06:57 AM   #48
macjeepster
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Originally Posted by lrhorer View Post
Worse than being marginal, it would seem to encourage bad practices.
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:

Quote:
Originally Posted by agredon View Post
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".
-mj
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Old 08-11-2012, 02:17 PM   #49
lrhorer
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Originally Posted by mattack View Post
I don't want to watch an episode I've seen before.. (the VAST majority of the time)
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.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mattack View Post
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.
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.

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Originally Posted by mattack View Post
So I'd rather have *it* keep track of what shows I have seen before, and tell me that it was marked as watched.
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.

Last edited by lrhorer : 08-12-2012 at 12:46 PM.
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Old 08-11-2012, 02:59 PM   #50
lrhorer
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Originally Posted by macjeepster View Post
Apparently there's a "good" way to use my TiVo and a "bad" way; who knew?
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.

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Originally Posted by macjeepster View Post
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."
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.

Quote:
Originally Posted by macjeepster View Post
I think when there's more than one logical way to accomplish something, good software lets each user decide which is "right."
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.

Quote:
Originally Posted by macjeepster View Post
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:
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.

Last edited by lrhorer : 08-12-2012 at 12:47 PM.
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