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Old 10-09-2009, 05:53 PM   #1
davidblackledge
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Fanatic for the lost causes

You know what's really sad?
The only forum with less threads than the HME Developers Corner is "TiVo Search Feedback - Beta Release" with 85 threads.

At this writing, "Tivo Underground" has over 3,600 threads, yet this forum has less than 200.

NOW I can understand why nobody is bothering to contribute to the Wiki... because there isn't anybody.

I also still have my t-shirt from "desktop.com" / "devtop.com" for signing up there years ago with the thought of developing web-apps in their web-based desktop environment... that was one of the many casualties of the dot-com bust.

I keep doing it because I enjoy it... but my customer focus (my wife) isn't even really willing to run apps...
Maybe if it were easier to get to them than
"Tivo - wait - down down down down - select - wait wait wait - channel down - channel down - pick app - select"
*sigh*
At least she uses the Calendar app sometimes and occasionally the weather-with-local-cameras app.

And the kids enjoy seeing icanhascheezburger on the TiVo.

TIVO!
CACHE THE DANGED APP LIST! GIVE US A SHORTCUT TO IT! MAKE THEM AVAILABLE FROM THE SHOW DESCRIPTION POPUP! SOMETHING! JUST THROW US A BONE!

It's depressing when something you have a passion for doesn't get anything more than a sarcastic "that's interesting" from the people around you... But that's the kind of stuff that I always end up latching on to.

Feels like a Monday.
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Old 10-09-2009, 06:31 PM   #2
Wil
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Originally Posted by davidblackledge View Post
NOW I can understand why nobody is bothering to contribute to the Wiki... because there isn't anybody.
It's just not a powerful enough platform (especially with Tivo Inc not encouraging/sharing the innards) to be interesting to developers for its own sake (for an audience of themselves), and for the more user-centered developer the audience of interested users just isn't there for the applications.

Tivo Inc. obviously has/had some vague notion of the Tivo as center of the home entertainment universe, but the vision was not well implemented and they've done nothing, absolutely NOTHING to develop consumer interest.

Here at TCF is the most concentrated intelligent collection of Tivo users you're going to find anywhere, yet it's clear most are only interested in it as a better VCR (those who haven't long since jumped ship to DirecTV's now at least fair-ish DVR).

In the mid 1970s a new technology developed, the small affordable computer. Great minds happened to be at the right place at the right time and the world was changed. Tivo needed the equivalent of a couple of those great minds at the start, before their basic technology was stolen from them and its impact degraded and watered down to nothing interesting. I don't know exactly what: GIVEN themselves to Apple, Disney, Sony for stock? Found huge pockets of venture capital interested in something other than milking patent value? Or somehow recruited and motivated a bunch of edgy techs and marketing genii? Now it's too late.

Computer-centered Tivo equivalency has left Tivo behind in most respects, for the savvy home entertainment consumer. Some of us just hang on, trying to keep using the Tivo instead, for nostalgia, loyalty, whatever. Sorry, but write the Tivo app equivalent to the better mousetrap and they won't beat a path to your door, maybe three or four of us will even bother saying "That's interesting." You might want to consider developing for the Amiga.
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Old 10-10-2009, 01:01 AM   #3
davidblackledge
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You might want to consider developing for the Amiga.
Ok... but should I dust off my old Amiga 2000 or the 4000 that I used through college? Do you think they still work after sitting in the garage for... gosh... 10 years?

Well, I guess this is no different than my job... I do my job (programming, of course), then I do stuff better and re-usable and innovative... and I package it and make it available to my peers. I suspect I get some respect for it, but I know it never gets used... (though I do use the rare offering from them when it applies to my work).

For the past year or so I've been trying to come to terms with the fact that the path that has me happy in my life != the path that gets me noteriety or impacts others, even though I keep thinking it will.
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Old 10-10-2009, 02:05 AM   #4
Wil
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For the past year or so I've been trying to come to terms with the fact that the path that has me happy in my life != the path that gets me noteriety or impacts others, even though I keep thinking it will.
Well now, wait just a minute. If you're only 10 years out of college it's no time to "come to terms" with anything. Assuming your basic needs are reasonably securely being met, the idea, I think, is to keep plugging away, spare time and shaping your paid work activities to the extent possible, at the things you love to do. Keep your eyes on the audience/marketplace/jobs and fine-tune your activities as needed, but hang on to the passion or all is lost!

I was in my late 30s before I began to hit on all cylinders, finding areas where my work of choice started paying off in dollars and recognition (not always both at the same time and in the same place BTW). Keep trying as long as you can. A person's life, working/avocations, has to be a kick, else you've wasted one hell of a gift that god/nature has given to you, and the world is denied the full contribution of your talents (whatever, great or more modest, doesn't matter as long as you've taken best shot at realizing personal potential).
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Old 10-22-2009, 02:56 PM   #5
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I think if TiVo actually updated their API and provided an "App Store" type marketplace for publishing, and possibly selling, these HME apps then more people would show interest. But as of right now it all feels like sort of a kludge with no support and no real method of distribution.

If TiVo showed a little more interest in the format, developers would too.

Dan
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Old 10-23-2009, 09:51 AM   #6
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Exactly right... yet its all doomed to fail still if they don't make the apps easy for the typical dumb user to find and launch... which segues nicely to my next upload if I get a chance to do so this weekend.

However, looking at it from TiVo's perspective: It's way too easy to crash a TiVo DVR from HME. Either they have to do a very expensive safety rewrite of the environment on the TiVo side, or they tightly control what gets written (which I assume they do for the official sponsored apps)... and the latter gets them money because its done in conjunction with advertising.

Possibly the only hope for us: somebody starts an open source Robust HME environment replacement for hacked TiVos, and TiVo decides to accept it into their boxes. That gives them much less liability for both encouraging development and making it easier for 3rd party developers to get apps deployed. This sounds like a big job to me... but maybe it's not so bad? I ain't hackin' my TiVo DVRs, though.
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Old 10-23-2009, 01:34 PM   #7
wmcbrine
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HME is already secure by design. It doesn't need a rewrite, just a bug fix or two.
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Old 10-23-2009, 05:12 PM   #8
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I didn't say it was insecure... I said it was unsafe :P

And if to you that's "just a bug fix or two"...then I hope you never work on airline software... jk
I have crashed the po widdle TiVos quite frequently with not-unreasonable calls as well as mistakes or bad data sources that should simply fail, not kill.

It's hard to debug when your server takes 10 minutes to reboot after every test ;]
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Old 10-23-2009, 07:01 PM   #9
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What I'm saying is that I think it's likely that all the crashes are due to one or two bugs. That has nothing to do with their seriousness. Yes, they're severe. No, I don't think a complete rewrite should be required. It never crashed in 7.2, AFAICT.

But, without seeing the code, we can't really say.
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