I swear, I'm psychic. But

by francine Hardaway on January 5, 2005

I swear, I’m psychic. But I’m not psychic enough to save myself money. Or maybe I�m just not much for delayed gratification.

The day before Christmas, I went into Best Buy to get a new DVD/CD player ($79) for my home entertainment system and walked out with a 50″ Sony LCD monitor, otherwise known as a new HDTV.

Filled with buyer’s remorse over buying such an expensive toy, I set about trying to find a way to make my computer the driver for my TV, which might make the thing deductible.

Through a kludge of Monster cables and noise-cancelling head phones, with the help of my trusty partner Ed I can now watch DVDs or play music that’s on my Powerbook over my big screen TV. I can also read my email and browse the web in a very big way.

This morning I found out that what I’ve been trying to create by hand is going to be manufactured by a technology company. The Consumer Electronics Show starts today (in Vegas, which is the perfect place for it), and HP has announced a new line of media PCs that will do exactly what I want to have done — converge all my entertainment systems into one, using the HDTV as a monitor.

The only problem? I’m now on a Mac. When I do the inevitable � buy a new HP Media Center PC– will the platforms talk to each other? Even God doesn�t know.

This isn’t my first effort at convergence. Two years ago, I bought a universal receiver and installed structured wiring so I could control my TV, my stereo speakers, and my DVD/CD changer through a single system. Soon after that, I got the IPOD and found that it was just as fulfilling to listen to the IPOD with headphones, or to dock the IPOD in a good pair of JBL speakers, as to use my components. I ended up using that big system to listen to NPR around the house, and when I moved I put all the components in a closet, put speakers in the ceiling, and haven’t turned the system on for anything but playing Christmas carols (everything else is on the IPOD.)

My Powerbook is, of course, a Mac. My IPOD is configured to work with it, as well as with iTunes. However, the HP system will be Windoze, I’m sure, which means I will have to figure out how to transfer all my music to a format the PC can deal with. It just took me a year to get everything out of MusicMatch and into iTunes; now will I have to go back?

And my network? After installing all that wiring, it’s wireless — from the Vonage phones to the Airport router. This morning, I’m off to buy a wireless network adapter for the Tivo so he can get his information with out a land line.

It�s a good thing I have a sense of humor about all this money I�ve spent following technology through the years; if I hadn�t bought a thing, I�d be retired by now.

Two unrelated notes:

Stealthmode Partners has started a group for Arizona entrepreneurs who want to meet the rest of the world at Always On, Tony Perkins� online social network/magazine, If you are part of Arizona�s entrepreneurial community, or you just want to meet it, you can become part of it at http://stealthmode.alwayson-network.com. There�s always something interesting to read on the Always On site.
I�ve been distributing this blog by email for the past five years. However, because of the high incidence of spam, many people have trouble either getting my invitation to join or the subsequent emails because their junk filters block Yahoo emails. So I now make it available both ways. if you know about RSS and you don�t like getting email, you can subscribe through Bloglines, where you can read my writing at http://www.bloglines.com/blog/francinehardaway. And it remains at http://blog.stealthmode.com, where it started.

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