Technology that works

My DirecTV TiVo died a month or two ago so I went out and bought a new one (well… it was a shelf model but works great).  The old unit I just kept on a shelf, suspecting the problem was one of the hard drives… and since I had broken the seal and added a new hard drive warranty was out of the question.


This weekend I finally got around to taking an extra hard drive, imaging it and sticking it in the dead TiVo.  The process was not simple due to an intersection of no UNIX knowledge and aversion to reading instructions but it worked.  The DirecTiVo is back up again! 


But wait… I had the unit disconnected for over a month and DirecTV no longer recognized it.  I could tune to the help channels but couldn’t get any real channels.  Every channel has the same message, call DirecTV, extension 722.  Crap!  It was Sunday night… there was no way DirecTV employees were going to be around to help me.  <sigh> Okay, time to break down and call DirecTV, wade through thousands of voice prompts and button presses only to get a “call us Monday” message.



Thank you for calling DirecTV.  For English press 1, para Espanol …
  <beep> 
For faster service, please use our automated phone system for paying your bills or adding services.  If you have a 3 digit code or extension displayed on your TV, please press it now, if…
  <beep><beep<beep> 
One moment while we check your configuration.  Please check your TV…


What?  I turn and look at the TV… the TiVo is reacquiring satellite data and then the picture shows up.  Freaking magical.  I dialed their automatic phone support, it recognized my caller ID, I input the code and it corrected the problem… no human required.  You see, this is the type of thing people like me in the software industry want to do, but it never quite comes out right and then you end up with things like the Comcast PVR (so Omar, can you record a new show yet without a reboot?).


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