mad anthony

Rants, politics, and thoughts on politics, technology, life,
and stuff from a generally politically conservative Baltimoron.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Everything keeps falling apart....

The last two weekends have been a shitstorm of stuff breaking and/or not being fixable.

Last weekend I attempted to fix my toilet, which has a broken flush valve. After spending about two days trying to get the tank off, I was finally able to - only to discover that the old flush valve was glued in with plumber's putty and doesn't seem to be going anywhere. I tried a number of things to get it out - I have a few more things to try, but it looks like I'm going to need to end up getting a new toilet.

Also, last week, I managed to infect my windows PC with Trojan.vundo.h, a virus that drops Antivirus 2009, a rather nasty piece of spyware. I was able to easily remove the virus thanks to Maloware Bytes, but it also broke the windows automatic update service - finally a full scan with Maloware Bytes in safe mode fixed it.

So fast forward to this weekend. Toilet still in pieces. Friday night, I settle in to watch some TV. Hit the "watch RePlayTV" button on my harmony 880 remote to fire up my trusty DVR. TV comes on, but my receiver - a several-year old Onkyo 5.1 - does not. Check all the connections, try unplugging it and plugging it in a different outlet, ect. Nothing. Not even a standby light. So I finally end up plugging the replaytv into the TV, and it works, although the sound is shitty since I'm using the built-in speakers on my Trutech (Target's house brand) LCD.

So last night I make a cup of tea and sit down to watch some dvr'ed TV - the RePlay turns on and stops at a please wait screen. Try restarting it and unplugging it and the like - nothing. End up watching something on Hulu. Do a little googling this morning and discover that I probably have a dead hard drive. Which sucks, because I can't watch TV, and because I've lost ~40 hours of shows, plus all my programing.

So now I have a couple options. I can replace the drive in my current RePlay, either with one I set up myself or buy one that's preloaded with an OS. I can buy another RePlay off eBay, preferably one with lifetime activation (I'm currently paying $10 a month for RePlay service on my existing one), which would probably set me back $200 or so. Or I can switch to a Comcast DVR, which means losing features like commercial skip and network sharing, plus having to schedule comcast to come out and paying a monthly fee.

I'm leaning towards the eBay lifetime activated RePlay - if I eventually get FIOS or decide to switch to Comcast, I can always resell it - assuming the hard drive doesn't die. If I keep it for 2 years, the savings on service will pay for itself. Whatever I do, it's going to be a hassle - I have to recreate my recordings and the like.

This sucks. Everything I own is breaking, at the time I can least afford it. For stuff like the toilet, it sucks not only because of the cost but because I can't take time off from work - we're in the middle of a giant Groupwise to Outlook migration, and I handle the software distribution for desktops - to have someone come fix it. Plus, I'm about to see a sharp decrease, if not total elimination, of overtime - which means I'm going to have to dip into savings to pay for this stuff. And spending money on replacing stuff with similar stuff is always depressing - it's not like buying something new and getting the benefits of it. When you are done, instead, you are left pretty much where you were before, only with less money.


Post a Comment

<< Home