Back from Canada

We’re back from our annual trip to Canada to see my folks. Two things I found out while in Canada.  Ebay actually does work sometimes and media center is crippled in Canada.

I bought my Dad a really nice slide scanner a couple of years ago on ebay.  It cost around $800.  He had over 11,000 slides to scan so going to a bureau would have been insanely expensive.  Trying to scan them in one at a time would be too tedious.  The nikon scanner we bought takes 50 slides at time, plus you can add more as it is scanning.  He finished scanning all the slides this year so I put it back up on ebay.   It sold for $760.  I didn’t get any scammers like the last time I tried to sell a laptop on ebay.  The price was good and the payment came in quick.  So $40 plus a bit of time to scan 11,000 slides.

On to Media Center.  One my media center setup here in Ireland I have a single card that takes digital sattelite and over the air TV.  I get all the British channels from freesat and all the Irish channels from the 3 rock mountain near us.  I get about 15 more good channels that my old NTL cable feed and it is totally subscription free.  I decided this is the ticket for my Dad.  He has a digital TV that gets 10 clear ATSC HD channels from the USA.  Sweet.  He also has sattelite, although using media center you still have to use a set top box.  Anyhow, long story semi short, Microsoft doesn’t support digital channels in Canada.  Nothing technical, they just don’t.  Can’t say if they just can’t be bothered or if there’s external pressure.  I know my Dad will almost certainly get rid of his sat subscription when Canada converts to digital in 2012.

Bringing these two things together, he still has media center but sat only.  The screen saver is a slide show of all those scanned slides plus the more recent digital snaps.  It is really strange to see what random pictures show up on the TV. It could be one of my Grandma’s slides from the forties, a random picture of my or my Dad’s childhood or a recent picture of their grandkids.  You can really get sucked into watching it!

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