My wife thinks I’ve gotten a little out of hand. My daughter thinks I’m just a hair weirder. My son doesn’t have enough life experience to know what’s normal and what’s not.
Me? I think I’ve stumbled upon the best thing since HTML and www.
A few weeks ago I was getting a sore neck. The problem was my new iMac and it’s spatial relationship to the TV. As a child of the 70’s and 80’s, I grew up with a television as my constant companion. After college this relationship soured a little, but in the last few years I’ve taken to doing the evening routine with “the game” on in the background. I’m not a big baseball fan. In fact I find the game a little boring… if I’m watching the whole thing through. With crowd noise as the perfect alert to look, you can boil down a 3+ hour baseball game to 30 minutes or so of actual watching. At 30 minutes it’s just about right, and spread out through the evening it gives me a chance to do other things… playing with the kids, surfing the internet, reading an interesting news article, etc.
Then my headaches started to get worse, and looking over from the iMac to the TV got to be a pain. That’s when inspiration struck. I pulled out my old USB video capture device. It relies on software to digitize the signal so it didn’t do a great job of showing live video on my old Bondi Blue iMac (when I first got it), but the horsepower of the dual core beast in my new iMac makes the thing hum without missing a beat. It’s still just a USB 1 device, so it doesn’t have the bandwidth to transmit a full resolution analog signal to the iMac (to be digitized and viewed on screen), but it’s enough to show a pretty decent picture in the bottom corner of my gorgeous 20 inches of LCD magic. The iMac is close enough to my cable box that I only need a 3 ft cable to get from the composite video-out on my box to the USB video capture cable connected to my iMac.
So now I can do work on the computer and have the TV on, on the same screen.
What I really want to do now is get one of those EyeTV tuners so I can deliver an HD signal to my Mac. Then I may never have to leave my desk again.
Hey, don’t knock it until you’ve tried it.