I’ve been reading article after article, and listening to podcast after podcast about how the World Wide Web Consortium’s CSS and XHTML standards are basically moot in the ongoing browser wars between IE, and Firefox, and Opera, and Safari, and …
I thought I’d throw in my two cents. I think standards are fantastic, and love coding to them, when I get the chance. Of course, I’m not claiming complete compliance, but lets face it—there are standards for a reason. We hope that someday every browser abides by the standards so that we can stop coding two or three additional CSS files just to get the look and feel down across all the browsers.
I’m not sure why it is that it’s so hard for all these groups to conform to a standard, sorry—THE standard. It seems like it will be an ongoing battle and everyone is merely in the midst of rooting for their favorite player.
Who knows, maybe next week Microsoft will release a patch that standardizes everything. That would single-handedly save out-of-employment programmers. How, you ask? Lets see, everyone starts upgrading, those that upgrade will realize that their websites are all goofy now. What are they gonna do? They’re gonna hire a consultant to fix all the goofy little problems. You know what—that’s a LOT of problems that need-a-fixin’. Okay, I’ll admit, it probably wouldn’t be THAT big a deal, but who knows, maybe it would generate some business for all of us pawns in the web and software worlds who are looking to climb up the chain.
Or maybe we should look for a different rope to climb up. Ah well, who knows.
I’ll first mention why I do not care for Comcast’s HD-DVR. I don’t like monthly bills—and when a monthly bill is absolutely necessary, I want it to be as low a fixed cost as possible. I pay $40/month for internet via Comcast, which is quite speedy, and when I had the HD-DVR, that cost went to $90.00 for the first six months. Six months later, I saw my bill jump to $120.00, and being a person that doesn’t watch a massive amount of TV, I called and cancelled. The actual DVR lacked many capabilities, and was annoyingly complex. I was paying for HD-service and DVR capabilities, yet when searching for programs 1/2 the screen is taken up with the Comcast logo and new movies available for purchase. I’d prefer to see a full-page listing of as many channels and programs as possible, but the capability to remove advertising is nonexistent. Further, I don’t want to manually delete every show just to free up space on my box. I’m slow at watching programs, and 2 weeks is often not enough time to get me caught up on my shows, and so I get far behind on my DVR. It fills up, and in order to free up space, I have to go through and punch delete (a 3-step, slow process) on every show I decide I can do without seeing.
TiVo HD and Series-2 DVR’s have the same user interface, but their hardware specs differ. One can do HD, the other cannot. One has tons of storage space, the other has 80 gigabytes (which is still alot!). One costs $300.00, the other you can snag used for $30-40 bucks on eBay. After toying with the HD version, I decided on the HD box because of my interest in watching HD content. There is one caveat with my choice—I had to get a cable card from my local cable company. When I inquired about the little cards, I had some interesting responses from Comcast—I told them it was going into a TiVo, and that I wanted the “M-Series” card (M-Series = Multi Stream, I believe). An “M-Series” card allows a user to watch one channel and record another at the same time. The “S-Series” cards (or Single-Stream) only allow for one channel at a time. The difficult part of this situation was that, in requesting the “M-Series” card, the phone support tech at Comcast was convinced that I’d have to pay to have a tech come out and do an “advanced install.” I asked if I could just pick up the card and put it in myself (it really can’t be that hard, can it?), and was told that it was out of the question. I caved and paid the one-time set-up fee for the tech to come out.
When the Comcast technician arrived, he had an M-series card in hand, popped it into the back of the TiVo, made a phone call to send an “Init” request to the mothership, and left. I know what you’re thinking, and I blame Comcast (not the technician) for believing that I was too inept to plug in a card and make a phone call. After reading the forums online, I found out that maybe it was best to have the technician come after all because there are users having great difficulties with CableCards in some cases. Ah well, at least I got my HD service and TiVo up and running in under a week.
Well, there you have one more rant. Eventually I’ll find time to go back and proof read one of these, but that day is certainly not today.