Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Solitaire, FreeCell, Mahjongg, Calendar, etc. for TiVo DVRs

I know I mentioned Solitaire for the TiVo before, but now I've packaged it up nicely so it is easy to install and run... in fact I did that for a bunch of things. All are available at http://David.Blackledge.com/tivo

Solitaire and FreeCell are about what they were before, but there are now 2 versions, one without and another with all of my "Multitasker" features added (pictured) since those features are still difficult to configure and are a little unstable anyhow. And, of course, they're easy to install now (one download, unzip it, run the .bat file, enjoy on the TiVo DVR)

Mahjongg for TiVo was actually created by Gene Wadleigh a long time ago... his project was abandoned and didn't work with the current TiVo software, so I fixed it up and have finally made a good package that is easy to get running.

The Calendar is a handy little application for checking any "ical" format file or URL to check out what is on that calendar... it comes preconfigured with a few sports calendars, but it's really ideal for hooking up to your Google calender like I did... we use it most days to do a quick check of our calendars.

Also available is a simple package of my Multitasker software with the sample MultiSlideshow application (Pictures + Music/Podcasts + News ticker...) which, when configured correctly, can be used over and over again for a variety of contents... I use it a bunch of times to have
  1. My pictures and music on my computer with titles of both (plus info one whatever my TiVo DVR is currently recording) ticking across the bottom. It also displays the current song's album cover as one of the pictures when the song changes.
  2. The http://icanhascheezburger.com/ LOLCats pictures with comedy music from my computer with the picture titles ticking across the bottom (along with music titles and DVR recording information) (also ones for http://ihasahotdog.com/ and http://failblog.org/ )
  3. Local news channel traffic cameras and radar images and forecast pictures with the news channel's own audio podcasts of news and weather from that morning with local news stories from their RSS feed ticking across the bottom.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Thanksgiving 2009

Now that was a Thanksgiving worth blogging about ;]
Of course we have to start with the food. Tricia tried two turkey techniques she hasn't done before and was ecstatic with the result. Brining the turkey for a number of hours, and using Alton Brown's Turkey Triangle to keep the white meat moist. She said it was the most moist and just all around best turkey she has ever made. Although she wasn't happy with the experimental spelt dressing (which she enhanced the next night to great effect), that didn't take away from the fantastic meal which also included Charlene's requested sweet potatoes with marshmallows, and homemade mashed potatoes and turkey gravy all pictured here (in the foreground is a half-price centerpiece find from the turkey-buying trip... plus some embellishments by Ian).
I, on the other hand, successfully carved the turkey for the first time by getting a few turkey carving pointers from another video (I picked the shortest listing from search results, of course). They didn't mention in the video that the turkey was going to try to burn my fingers, though ;] And I still have no idea how he got such appropriate slices out of the thigh meat... mine just fell apart.
While things were cooking, the kids had the bright idea to break out Monopoly (in the back of the picture) which we may never before have played as a family of 4. Although the game was cut short (and recorded for picking up later in the weekend) by cooking and eating and so on, we all had fun. (Ian was winning).
Somewhere in the middle of all that, I successfully called my brother Doug for the first time who is stationed all the way over in Germany, and we all got to chat with him for a while which was really wonderful.
Earlier that day we had a visit from my Dad who brought some "heirloom" chairs we will be using in our dining room and a bag my mother owned he brought for Tricia which of course made her all choked up.
We all ended it with some homemade pumpkin and cherry crumble pie which were also superb (and with an unnoticeably gluten-free crust).
Yay turkeys!