Today an ex-employee stopped by my house. He said he was moving, and found something in his garage that wasn’t his.
What he carried in from his trunk was two very, very, very dirty TiVo boxes. They had been in his garage for almost three years.
These were development boxes that TiVo sent us while we were helping them develop WiFi USB drivers. Before I moved back from Florida, I sent the boxes back to San Antonio, and asked they be shipped back to TiVo.
Somehow, in the confusion of closing a remote office, this fell through the cracks. The employee that returned them to me found them by the dumpster the last day the office was open.
The kids wanted to play Halo2 Online tonight – on the big-screen in the Living Room. Since I was “just doing work” anyway, I told then I could work from my bedroom. So they are out there watching my new bigscreen, and I am in my bedroom, watching a lessor bigscreen.
And I remembered the TiVo’s. I took them into the garage, and used my air compressor to blast three years worth of dirt off them, and out of them.
I brought them into my bedroom, and hooked the first one up. I hooked my Time Warner Digital Phone to it. (The reason I haven’t had a TiVo in two years is because the last one I bought wouldn’t work with my digital phone (and the phone config had to be done before I could set up the wireless) – so I returned it.
The TiVo booted up, smiled it’s TiVo smile at me, and did it’s normal setup. It asked me who I was, set the channels up, downloaded new firmware (since what was on their was old as could be – I am surprised they could update it even), downloaded the channel guide – and it works. The subscription is obviously still alive – probably an internal “never die” subscription.
So, if I have what appears to be “free TiVo” for life, why am I blogging about it? Won’t that cause them to kill the account (I did sign on with all of my real data)?
Well, first, it wouldn’t be right. It would be stealing.
Second, I don’t want a 3-4 year old TiVo – I want an HDTV TiVo. And now that I know it works here, I’ll get one. And I hope to finish what I started about three years ago, when I tried to send these units back to TiVo. I want to give them back. There is no way I could throw them away – they are not mine. I couldn’t sell them, they are not mine.
So someone from TiVo will read this, and tell me how to return them. The only person that I remember from TiVo right now (it has been a long while!) is Karl Glynn. So if you work at TiVo, and know Karl, or know who replaced him, please give them this link. Contact info is on the Consulting page above.
But the real point of this post is not just that the hardware worked – but that the software update worked flawlessly with a machine that has been “off the grid” for three years – THAT is impressive.
Some time ago I listed TiVo as a company I would work for. This is an example of why.