Why Steve Sucks

Rare for me to attack a fellow online blogger, much less some that’s been a great friend for almost ten years, but Steve really sucks. He always seems to start these side projects that end up costing me money, time and energy. It happens every so often, but it is an ongoing process. He finds a great new toy or mentions a neat project in passing and I have to have one of my own or act on the idea… his Windows Media Center Edition based PC is one of the more recent things that has made me think “Hmmm”.

Actually, it’s sorta Steve’s fault that I’m a Windows programmer now. We’ve both always been coders while we were kids, but Steve was a Windows programmer long before I even knew how to spell SDK. When we started working together at the same company, we were both working within the QA department, but Steve was coding even then on his own. When that company closed its CT office, and we both ended up at another company, it was Steve that mentioned that he thought it would be neat to have a taskbar on [this newly released Windows 95] desktop, scrolling stock quotes across it. It could get updated information from the Internet automatically and then scroll the data. I asked him if he was going to make one, or if I could take a crack at it – he said I should go ahead and do it. Eight years later and people are still downloading this application from me – it got a great following during the .Com Rise on Wall Street and never seemed to end. It doesn’t make any money, but it’s been fun to watch it get an international following and it taught me a lot about Windows programming.

Since then, there’s been an ongoing run of technology, toys and projects. CPU speeds, motherboard upgrades, video cards (“what’s this new PCI thing?”), FireWire ports, RAM upgrades, Apple purchases – although I got an iPod first! – and other random things… it’s been going on for years. When I mentioned to Steve that I missed using Kung-Log – an offline Blog writer for the Mac – after I returned my PowerBook 12″, he told me to write my own. I balked at first. Then looked around for tools that people had already made. Then I ended up writing SharpMT and now Pocket SharpMT.

More recently Steve’s been building a MCE PC which can essentially replace his TiVo. What’s the big deal with this? Well, TiVo has been great but limited. First you have to pay – I think it’s $12.95 a month – before the TiVo box will download the TV listings. You can always use TiVo to record shows, but the real power of TiVo – at least to me – is telling it to go and record all DragonBall Z episodes. And not all of them, either – I can tell it to only record the new episodes, regardless of when or which channel they’re showing on, and to skip the repeats. This means that you need to pay for the TiVo service. I’m OK with that, actually, because I knew what I was getting into when I bought the box.

However, there’s some other issues that I have with it. For example, if I wanted to add another hard drive, I have to go through a painful process of dealing with Linux partitions and limited case space. Also, as I found out from Google’s Groups that if the original hard drive crashes, all of the account information goes with it. There’s no “official” method of restoring the drive – most vendors tell customers to buy a new box and get the service transfered. Bothersome little details.

The MCE PC makes all of this moot. It gets it’s listings from online and for free. It can use a WiFi connection, because it’s a PC. It can use any remote control that’s been designed for a USB port, because it’s a PC. It can be in any sized case and have limitless expandability, because it’s a PC. Because the Media Center Edition is based on XP, all of the normal PC backup tools and peripherals still work. It’s just a really elegant solution and I’ll probably want one soon. Well at least after Steve gets all of the bugs worked out… sucks being the early adopter!

Steve’s newest “project” won’t be delivered for a while – about six more months if my math is right – and I wanted to wish him and his wife a congratulations on the soon-to-be newest member of their family! Another year or two and Steve will be able to dangle a cookie out of reach of the kid, saying that “if you can’t beat me in a Heretic Deathmatch, you can’t have this.” Well, maybe three or four years, but I figure it’s an eventuality…

Oh, I can tell you this much – this is one project that I won’t be starting for myself any time soon! :D

13 thoughts on “Why Steve Sucks”

  1. I know what you mean, the bastard has me trying to fit system #6 into the budget, since my ReplayTV was recently voted off the island by my HDTV and now I’m DVR-less.

    Actually he seems pretty motivated with this, he’s already had v1.0 up and running. I give it a month and he’ll have all the bugs worked out.

    What someone needs to do is figure out how to do commercial skip, ala ReplayTV. *hint* *hint*

  2. I don’t know if we’re all talking about the same person or not but I think Steve’s a great guy and I really don’t think we need to be publically denouncing the man. I just want Steve to know that he has my deepest heart felt appreciation.

  3. Probably not the same Steve. The Steve in question has read the Rant, saw the humor in it, and posted the ocmment just below yours with feedback about the MCE box.

  4. Steve’s like the airborne. He drops behind the lines and sets it up for us to land on the beach.

    I followed his lead for years on breaking in new hardware and OSes. He’s got the pulse of what’s coming next and what works well today. When the dust settles on his digital home theatre experiment I am going to follow him there as well.

    So thanks to Steve for saving us all those headaches over the years.

  5. Yes I must agree with my counter part

    We Do Not Suck, well maby not all of us… there is that one steve (not me)

  6. yeah, i know this other guy named steve. He sucks too. i once walked in on him and some dude, they were playing poopy dick.

  7. I’m sorry you feel this way about me. I am actually not who you think I am though, you must be speaking of the other Steve. I work on Moola.com, such a wonderful place.


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