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I’m starting research on Tivo. After some household disagreement, we
have finally reached the point where I’ll be allowed to get one. There
is a dizzying amount to research, if the goal is to maximize what I
get out of it. I could just walk into a store and have one in no time,
but since I’m comfortable doing both hardware and software hacking on
it (moreso the latter), I want to get the most hackability for the
money. Ideally, I can add a larger hard drive to get lots of capacity
and to put wireless access into it (so I can download the program
guides rather than using a phone line, as well as possibly tapping
into it from within my home network.) I’ve heard newer versions don’t
have a place where you can attach a card, so I might prefer buying an
older one on eBay. I just don’t know yet.

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Not unexpected, but kind of a bummer. I periodically check on Intertrust’s PDF vending system,
mainly to see how many have been dispensed. I had a huge argument that
lasted hours with their head of IT who wanted to not make public the
system because it wouldn’t do 50 transactions a second. Over the first
year, they vended around 4000 documents, something like one every hour
and a half. Way to go, bro. You were only off by 5 orders of magnitude
(and the spec was for 2 anyway, dumbass.) I and the team spent close
to a year on this system, which worked like a charm even when the
company abandoned it like a sack full of drowning kittens. Today I
checked on it and got the message “Thank you for your interest in
Rights|PDF Plug-in. We have discontinued this product.” Of course, it
was discontinued de facto even when it wasn’t discontinued, since no
one was selling it or gave a shit about it. Still, it is sad to see
something you put a lot into go down the crapper, particularly for
reasons unrelated to its merits. We put a lot of really good work into
that system, and ultimately for nothing. Que sera.