Tag Archives: olympics

Preparing for the Olympics

With my weakness for photographic equipment, I now have accumulated too much to easily carry in a backpack.   Unfortunately this means having to think about what gear to bring along when shooting stuff like dancing concerts, weddings, concerts, kids birthday parties, etc.   One of the first things I think about is which lenses should I bring – this means having to think about how far away you will be shooting, will the distance change at all, how much light will there be, are there any fast moving objects, etc.

I came across this blog of New York professional photographer, Vincent Laforet, on his preparations to shoot for the Olympics.  The amount of gear he has to bring and planning he had to do is staggering!   I guess there’s just so many sports, at different speeds and lighting conditions and distances, that it’s probably best to bring everything if possible, and then just select what gear you need for each sport as you cover each. What an experience that would be!

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Personal time

I heard a close to home sermon on the weekend.  The question was asked “How much personal time do you have?  And what do you do with that time?”.

Wifey and I often lament over the lack of our own personal time.  Sometimes we accidentally leave personal and each other time after kids, family, community and work.  Although it all seems like common sense, it’s good to hear messages like this once in a while to help maintain our focus and priorities in life.

So the weekend went by with an Olympics TV night with family and kids, driving kids to dancing, buying presents for birthday parties, organising and playing music for church, attending the birthday party and visiting the wood show with my father.   It wasn’t until about 5.40pm on Sunday that I suddenly realised I had my first real hour of own time of the whole weekend.

And with that time, I decided to watch the Olympics…

*sigh*

Tivo goodness

Well, I finally succumbed.  The day before the Olympics, we took a drive to Harvey Norman and bought a Tivo.   I couldn’t decide for a while whether it was worth it as there are other PVRs like the Topfield now at an affordable price, but it was the difference in the approach to recording TV that I have been spoilt with previously (with MythTV) that I wanted.
After putting the kids to sleep, I finally got to unpack it.   Here’s the red “friendly” box and the Tivo USB wireless adapter so that I can connect it to my wireless home network.
Tivo box and wireless adaptor
Tivo box and wireless adapter

It comes with a standard set of cables.  But it’s disappointing that a system designed for Digital TV has no optical cable and no HDMI cable included.   Harvey Norman tried to sell me extremely expensive Monster cables, but I had said no – I had spares at home.   Alternately, I could’ve bought extras off eBay for much less.

What's in the box
What's in the box

I had a peek at the back of the Tivo.   Nothing unusual here – but there is no coax digital audio connection. There is a fan on the back for cooling.

Component, HDMI, Optical, Ethernet, USB Connectors on the Tivo
Component, HDMI, Optical, Ethernet, USB Connectors on the Tivo

It was good to see an eSATA connector for future expansion, but I believe it is disabled in the current firmware for the Australia box.   Tivo and Seven – PLEASE don’t make us pay for firmware upgrades in the future!!!

Also, there is only a single antenna in socket and no RF out.  No big deal – you just have to place it on the end of your antenna chain.

eSATA connector on the Tivo
eSATA connector on the Tivo

The Tivo is surprisingly “big”.  Here it is next to the PS3, which already is quite big.

The Tivo next to the PS3
The Tivo next to the PS3

So what next?  I connected it all up using the easy to follow instructions, turned it on and followed the configuration wizard and 24 minutes later..  it all worked out of the box!!!

Tivo setup all done!
Tivo setup all done!

I was SO HAPPY!  No wireless drivers to install, no ifconfig or iwconfig to run, no worries about Nvidia or ATI drivers, no need to think about what file system type to use, no need to determine what Graphics card chipset and CPU combination required to record and playback high definition video, no need to install IR drivers or set up perl scripts to download the latest TV guide – IT JUST WORKS!

And just in time for us to watch, pause and replay the Olympic opening ceremony last night.  And tape Star Wars – A Phantom Menace in high def at the same time.

And this morning, the kids were up early and worked out how to watch the opening ceremony again.

Only problem – I’ve scheduled so many things to tape that I need to upgrade the hard drive 😦