My ZazeenTV Experience
on Sat, Apr 02, 2016 at 02:55pm via Blog by John Caruso

In an effort to reduce my cable tv bill to almost nothing, I decided to try out Zazeen TV's IPTV service. They are offering their skinny basic tv package for $10/month (compared to $25/month the other cable companies are charging), and it included all of the 'regular' channels you'd expect to get, outside of sports and movies. The other benefit is with their basic package, you don't have to also subscribe to their internet package, so I was able to continue using Rogers while I evaluated their service. It also meant that I could keep my free Rogers Gamecentre subscription so I wouldn't lose out on watching hockey.

Once I subscribed, the set top box arrived in about 4 days. I plugged it in to my router and TV and powered it up. After a quick boot-up I was watching TV over my internet connection for only $10! I was pretty impressed with the technology until I started flipping between channels. Some looked and sounded great (like I was used to with Rogers) but others had visual artifacts and sounded like I was listening to a Skype call circa 2005 (like everyone was underwater).

Since most shows I'd want to watch were all streaming fine I thought I'd be able to live with it. I decided to try out the PVR functionality. It was as easy as plugging in a USB hard drive, rebooting the box and it was ready to start recording. I recorded a couple of shows, and it performed pretty much how you'd expect: recorded the show, played back normally.

In the end though, I ended up sending the box back and cancelling the service. The set top box itself was a bit flakey; it would occasionally just play static out of my speakers and would only stop if I rebooted it or it would reboot itself. This is a problem if you're recording a show on another channel and your recording just stops because the box goes wonky. Also, the internet here can be a bit flakey as well, and while watching tv a couple of evenings it would just cut out and stop working, while my Rogers TV box kept working.

It's those couple of things that make it seem like ZazeenTV just isn't quite ready for heavy TV watchers. While reading through their user forums I came across a lot of posts where people referred to watching TV as something they do once in a while. So for the time being, I'm going to stick it out with over priced cable, and hope someone else starts up a reasonably priced live TV streaming service with higher quality service. Maybe something that works as an AppleTV app so I don't need a separate box? That would be nice.
tvstreaming
Site Update: Instagram
on Mon, Mar 28, 2016 at 07:02pm via Blog by John Caruso

I just published a new update to the site: Instagram posts. In-between regular posts you should now see my Instagram posts that correspond to the date range between the blog posts that they are physically between. I implemented horizontal scrolling if there are more than a page-width's worth of photos (either swipe with your thumb on your phone or track pad, OR click on the arrow to scroll).
site updateinstagram
Revival Of The Blog
on Fri, Mar 25, 2016 at 12:37pm via Blog by John Caruso

Hi All!

It has been well over 3 years since my last post. I was doing alright with my 1 post a week rule up until the summer of 2012 when I guess I just gave up. It probably didn't help that I started including tweets in my blog at some point. I felt like tweeting was a cheap and easy way to add content to the site, but it probably just made me lazy.

I decided recently that I needed to revive this thing, freshen up the look, and to give it some cool features to display what I can do and what I'm all about. So over the next little while, ontop of making regular posts, I'll be adding some interactive features into this blog that you hopefully can't find anywhere else, just to distinguish myself a little.

Other than the colour scheme change, and the jQuery type-along header, I've made some changes under the hood. The page was designed for mobile first, so if you inspect the source you'll see some css media queries in there. I converted the MySQL database to MongoDB and it is hosted with mLab (formerly MongoLab). My website is hosted on a Linode virtual server (click that link to use my referral code should you decide to use them), and the website is written, as it always has been, in PHP. I'll be re-working my editing tools in AngularJS, and I'll probably do the same for the homepage at some point. I also implemented tagging and better permalink urls for individual blog posts based on the title (click a post title and then look at the URL to see what I mean).

Feature wise, I'm currently working on including my Instagram posts into the feed in some creative way. And I'll be doing the same with my Twitter posts again as well.

This is probably a good start for now. I'll do my best to keep on myself to regularly update the site, both with posts and features. I'm working on a lot of different projects at the moment, so I should have plenty of content to keep this place alive.
jQuerylinodeangularjsmongodbmlabphpinstagramtwittermobilecss
403 Forbidden pt2: SymLinks Don't Work After OS X 10.8 Upgrade
on Wed, Oct 17, 2012 at 11:37pm via Blog by John Caruso

Continuing with my Apache woes from 3 months ago, I recently noticed a SymLink I had in my Sites directory was giving a 403 Forbidden error when I tried to browse into it.

Assuming it was yet another thing that got reset with the upgrade, I googled 'apache follow symlink os x' and stumbled across this great article Mac OS X, Web Sharing / Apache, and Symlinks.

I followed the first suggestion (adding FollowSymLinks to the username.conf file), restarted apache and I'm able to browse into the SymLink now.
symlinksapache403
Does RIM *REALLY* Have A Shot At #3?
on Wed, Sep 26, 2012 at 02:27pm via Blog by John Caruso

From BGR.com:
"We have a clear shot at being the No. 3 platform in the market. Carriers want other platforms. And we're not just another open platform running on another system. We're BlackBerry."

I've been seeing this quote around the web a lot today, and it got me thinking... does RIM really have a shot at #3?

My opinion is NO. Carriers may want other platforms, but at this point do any of the smartphone users?

And, yes, having the BlackBerry brand does carry some weight, but so does the Microsoft brand... and at this point, I think Microsoft has a way better chance with their Windows 8 phones than BlackBerry does with BB10.

After trying out BB10 on my Dev Alpha device, I don't see anything extremely compelling about the OS, other than the fact that it's NOT BB7.
blackberrybb10mobile

Get Hosting With Linode.com