Etc.


— 10:09 AM on November 10, 2011

Howdy, all. You may have noticed that it's seemed a little quiet around here this week. That's because we're all working like mad behind the scenes on articles that will come out soon, and we've been a little preoccupied as a result. The wait should be worth it, though.

My own week has been strangely awful because, well, today I'll be putting the finishing touches on a multi-day test run for a particular piece of upcoming new hardware. This test run is not the second but the third one this particular product has been through. Configuration problems with our test system, which I discovered each time after testing was complete, invalidated the results from the two prior test runs. As a result, I've been putting the same product through our test suite for roughly a week, with nothing to show for it but a single (hopefully valid) set of results.

Emotionally, I dealt pretty well with the first set of results being invalidated. The second discovery of a problem—after I'd done all data entry, exported graphs, and created an article layout—was harder to take. Practically, this means I'll have to cut some extended testing I'd planned from this upcoming review, and I'll probably get yelled at in the comments for not having included it. This job is amazing, and I'm lucky to have it, but it does have its difficult moments.

On a happier note, I was able to divert myself with a fun little project last night: preparing to cut the cord on my cable company. I attached an antenna, set up my HTPC to tune over-the-air digital channels, and then signed up for a Netflix trial. I could swear that, between high-def over-the-air ATSC television and Netflix streaming via Windows Media Center, we've already improved both the selection of shows available and the picture quality versus Time Warner Cable. Dunno if we'll keep Netflix, but the streaming quality and Media Center integration are both excellent. We'll use Amazon Instant Video, both rentals and the free videos for Prime members, to supplement our show selection, as well. For the 70 bucks a month we'll save, I figure we can rent as many shows and movies as we have time to watch each month and still come out way ahead.

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