Home Work

With a full three-day weekend and no plans, Jesse and I decided to get a few home improvement jobs out of the way. We’ve talked about painting a room for quite a while, I’ve wanted to upgrade our thermostat since we moved in, and life without TiVo makes TV practically unwatchable.

The painting went pretty smoothly. We bought the supplies and masked off the room Friday evening. Saturday morning we primed, and once that was dry we painted. The paint looks ok. The color is darker than it looked on the sample, but that’s ok. I just noticed a few spots that we missed around the edge of the door jam, and there is more than one spot on the ceiling that got painted even though we were trying to leave it white. It’s a good thing we started small.

The thermostat replacement didn’t go as easily as Home Depot’s website made it look. We followed all of the directions, and still somehow managed to fry the transformer in the air conditioner itself. I think what happened was that a little crack in some of the insulation of one of the wires allowed a short to occur. We tried everything we could think of to fix it, but it was beyond our capabilities.

We ended up having to call a repairman out to take a look at it. He was able to find the problem right away and had all of the parts to fix it. He didn’t want to use our new thermostat because he suspected that it might have caused the problem in the first place, so we had to buy one of his if we wanted him to install it. I didn’t want to try it myself, so a few hundred dollars later he had everything working. Oh, while we were doing all of that work on the thermostat, we changed out our air filter. It turns out that the one we had been using was the wrong size and was installed incorrectly. Oh well. Live and learn.

Finally we come to the TiVo. I expected this to be easiest of all, but I’ve probably spent the most time on it so far. It’s really pretty easy. Plug it in to the cable, power, and phone, and you should be good to go. Unfortunately, TiVos don’t like to communicate with the servers over our Vonage VoIP connection. I tried every hack that I could find on the Internet to try to get it to work, but nothing worked well enough to download the programming that it needed to finish the setup process. Eventually I gave up and took it over to a friends house to borrow his phone line.

Once I was there, everything went smoothly… at least for getting it setup. TiVo likes to make a call every day, and it can’t do that at our house. We bough a USB WiFi adapter so that we could connect the TiVo to our wireless home network and use that for the daily updates, but there was one more problem. We need to upgrade the operating system on the TiVo to recognize the USB adapter. The only way to get the upgrade is to request it on the website and then wait for it to be pushed out. I went back to my friends house to check to see if I’d made the list, but no luck. No upgrade, so no network connection. I’ll just have to try again later.

It turned out to be a very busy weekend. I don’t think I got the rest and relaxation that I would have liked. We’ll have to schedule some of that for next weekend for sure.