Saturday, January 19, 2008

Finally, HD

Remember back last year when I made a foray into HD? Let's just say it didn't go well.

Well, I got brave again. This time I wanted to make sure I got WOW. 52" seems to do that.

I went for the Sony KDL52W3000. It's an 1080p LCD with 3 HDMI inputs. Berclair Television gave me a great price. My wife found a nice stand for it and we coordinated the deliveries.

It seemed like it was going to work out fine until I visited Comcast. "Sorry, we have no HD boxes. We'll take your name and call you." That was a week ago. My phone hasn't rung.

You may recall that I'm kinda persistent so I didn't accept that answer. The third Comcast store I visited had plenty of the Scientific Atlanta 8300HD DVRs.

Delivery and installation went well. Berclair Television did all the setup. I used HDMI connections for the cable box and the Philips DVP5982 DVD player.

That was until I tried playing a DVD.

"DISPLAY CONNECTED NON-HDCP COMPLIANT" and then snow. The first call was to Berclair. "Must be a problem with your player." I should not have let Berclair leave until I played a DVD.

The next call was to Philips. "Must be a problem with your TV." Would you have expected anything else?

So, I chilled for a day or so and called Philips back. This representative walked me through a reset procedure and it still failed. He gave me an RMA and it's on its way back to Philips.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Embedded Google Maps

I have another blog where I chronicle various places where I've been. I created this blog after I gave up trying to get these added to

On "Where I've Been" I create links to Google Maps or Windows Live Local maps. Similar to, I had been using small images (172x135) cropped from screen shots of the maps. Then I hyperlinked these to the Google Maps or Windows Live Local maps.

This weekend, as I was creating an entry on Cremieu, France, I noticed that Google Maps gave you a link to embed the map with the option to "Customize and preview embedded map."

Off I went. What I found was a page that would let you specify a custom size.

It works pretty well. You can see the result on my page on La Halle, Cremieu, France.

Friday, January 04, 2008

Office 2003 SP3 and File Formats

Remember back in March 2007 when I wrote about Office 2007 not supporting some old Word file formats?

Microsoft seems to think that this was such a good idea that they included this (and more) in Office 2003 SP3.

This Knowledgebase article entitled "Information about certain file types that are blocked after you install Office 2003 Service Pack 3" explains why this is such a "good" thing for you.

Here's a screen capture of the table of file types that are blocked from opening by default.