February 7th, 2005

krazy koati

Munching popcorn from a dish, while observing Dorothy Gish

So at long last I upgraded to digital cable. Starhub added digital service a while ago, and they've been running ads about every forty seconds on its advantages, namely, program guides, interactive games, and the ``Mosaic'' feature that shows 16 channels at once. I was waiting mostly for a good promotional deal before upgrading, and settled for one where there was no box rental or installation charge, but I had to bring them my old box and take back the new one. The advantage of no installation visit is I don't have to clean my apartment enough to not be embarrassed for the cable guy to see.

A continuous-loop video explained installing the new box. You (1) plug it in, (2) connect the coax wire from the wall to ``Input'', and (3) connect the red-yellow-white cables from ``out'' to the corresponding plugs on the TV set. I probably could have installed it without the instructions.

The one extra channel I really wanted was Turner Classic Movies. It's not as good as the US edition -- no Robert Osborne segments, no silent movies. Even the upcoming movies list doesn't give times, the better to cross many time zones. Also they show the ``TCM'' logo continuously across top right of the screen (TV bugs here tend to go on top of the screen, mostly on the right). Still, there's plenty of old movies and short subjects, which seem to have gone ignored in pop culture nostalgia. But give me a John Barrymore movie with a Robert Benchley short, and I'm probably going to have a good evening.

Trivia: The first volume of the first edition of the Oxford English Dictionary, covering A through Ant, published 1884, was priced in England at 12 shillings 6 pence; in New York City at $3.25 per copy. Source: The Meaning of Everything, Simon Winchester.

Currently Reading: The Rocket Men: Vostok and Voskhod, the First Soviet Manned Spaceflights, Rex Hall and David J Shayler.