Andy Pennell's Blog

See me blather about software development, Gadgets, Technology, Fatherhood, plus anything else that gets me going.

Now Available: HD DVD Emulator for Xbox 360

As of this morning the product I have been focused on for much the last year or so has at last been...

Author: Andy-Pennell Date: 12/13/2007

Vote for HD DVD

Its November and its time to place your vote. No, not for US Presidential candidates, but for the...

Author: Andy-Pennell Date: 11/15/2007

Xbox 360 HD DVD Drive: Movie Specific Known Issues

The purpose of this post is to highlight the most common current title issues and, where possible,...

Author: Andy-Pennell Date: 10/25/2007

Xbox 360 HD DVD Drive: General Troubleshooting

I thought it might be useful to post about general troubleshooting on the Xbox 360 HD DVD drive. For...

Author: Andy-Pennell Date: 10/25/2007

Tide is turning: Paramount declare HD DVD only

An important day in the next-gen DVD format war: Paramount have announced that they are going HD DVD...

Author: Andy-Pennell Date: 08/20/2007

Vista Compatibility: My Personal List

Following the travails of my Vista install at home (and subsequent success), I will be listing my...

Author: Andy-Pennell Date: 08/03/2007

My First Program (circa 1980)

I recently discovered my first real program(*): from 1980, it was my attempt at Space Invaders for...

Author: Andy-Pennell Date: 07/30/2007

Installing Vista: From Hell to Heaven

I am pleased to announce that I am typing this on a freshly installed Vista64 installation, on the...

Author: Andy-Pennell Date: 06/29/2007

My personal take on the iPhone: deja vu

I paid $500 for a smartphone with a touchscreen, music player, email, web browser and a camera. No,...

Author: Andy-Pennell Date: 06/27/2007

Installing Vista: My Personal Hell

[Update June 29: Problem solved! Also updated h/w config to 1G of RAM as it should have been] Short...

Author: Andy-Pennell Date: 06/21/2007

Living With Vista: My First Few Weeks

Well I finally switched to Vista on my main dev machine at work. Its a Dell Optiplex 745 (detailed...

Author: Andy-Pennell Date: 06/19/2007

HD DVD: Audio Mixing, and why you don't need HDMI

There has been much confusion over multi-channel audio and HD DVD, so I thought I would try and...

Author: Andy-Pennell Date: 06/14/2007

Terminator 2 on HD DVD

Thanks to the fact that there is no region coding on HD DVD, you can now get the Director's Cut of...

Author: Andy-Pennell Date: 06/05/2007

When it hits the fan: Restoring Windows XP via ASR

My main HD appeared to be failing, so I got a replacement drive and attempted to firstly clone, then...

Author: Andy-Pennell Date: 06/02/2007

Why HD DVD is more technically advanced than Blu-ray

Since forever it seems that there is this idea that Blu-ray is "more technically advanced" than HD...

Author: Andy-Pennell Date: 05/16/2007

Fixing Letterboxed Widescreen content on HD DVDs

HD DVD obviously rocks on HD content, but the SD content on the discs often grates me as it is...

Author: Andy-Pennell Date: 05/16/2007

Xbox 360 HD DVD Update Now Available

[Player version list now moved to separate post] As of 2am this morning, the latest software for the...

Author: Andy-Pennell Date: 05/12/2007

Matrix coming to HD DVD (only)

At last: on May 22 we get the Matrix on HD DVD, according to...

Author: Andy-Pennell Date: 03/21/2007

Sonos: The Perfect Network Music Player?

I have posted a review of the Sonos network music player on my personal site. If you have any...

Author: Andy-Pennell Date: 02/21/2007

Xbox 360 HD DVD drive now in black

We just got some goodies on our team: Xbox 360 HD DVD drives in black! These limited-edition drives...

Author: Andy-Pennell Date: 02/16/2007

Comparing the Xbox 360 HD DVD add-on with the Toshiba HD-A1 HD DVD Player

With the release of the Xbox 360 HD DVD add-on drive, I thought people might like to know how it...

Author: Andy-Pennell Date: 11/08/2006

Time to change some American holidays I think

On July 4th the tradition is to have fireworks. However, as it is July in Seattle, it doesn't get...

Author: Andy-Pennell Date: 11/01/2006

Why does my TiVo contain Apple's Bonjour network code?

My HD TiVo finally upgraded to 6.3a last night - at long last I get Folders. However, I noticed at...

Author: Andy-Pennell Date: 10/24/2006

BBC America: Why Do You Hate Me So?

I'm sorry but I have to rant about BBC America's Guide Data that my Tivo uses. My TV enjoyment is...

Author: Andy-Pennell Date: 10/13/2006

Go See the HD DVD Tour

There is a giant truck set up with kick-ass video and audio systems so you can witness HD DVD in all...

Author: Andy-Pennell Date: 09/28/2006

See my early work: X-Debug from 1992

I recently discovered a floppy containing the source to a program I wrote in 1992: X-Debug, a...

Author: Andy-Pennell Date: 08/31/2006

If you want the Truth about Blu-Ray vs HD DVD

Please read the Joe Kane article in Issue 3 of the Widescreen Review Newsletter (sign up here). Joe...

Author: Andy-Pennell Date: 08/11/2006

Detecting over-Releasing on COM objects

I am in Refcount Hell right now, trying to fix a new chunk of our codebase for COM refcounting...

Author: Andy-Pennell Date: 07/21/2006

Why Do We Always Change Notepad?

Notepad is a given. Its on every Windows machine, going back to Win16. When you need to edit...

Author: Andy-Pennell Date: 06/16/2006

An Inconvenient Truth: You Must See This Movie

I have literally just returned from watching this, and am compelled to ask everyone I can to go and...

Author: Andy-Pennell Date: 06/15/2006

Wanted: Power Strip with Switches

It shouldn't be this hard, but all I want is a power strip with switches on each outlet. In my...

Author: Andy-Pennell Date: 06/13/2006

Firmware Upgrade Available for Toshiba HD DVD Player

Last night, on a whim, I asked my Toshiba HD-A1 HD DVD Player to see if there was a firmware update...

Author: Andy-Pennell Date: 06/08/2006

Gas IS Cheap: It's Official

As a Brit living in the USA I've always been amused by Americans complaining about gas (aka petrol)...

Author: Andy-Pennell Date: 05/09/2006

PS3 Video Specs - Much Less Than Originally Claimed

Sony's press release for the PS3 makes interesting reading, especially for the cheaper one (if $499...

Author: Andy-Pennell Date: 05/09/2006

Authoring iHD apps for HD DVD

My team has just created a new forum for programmers and content creators who wish to make great HD...

Author: Andy-Pennell Date: 04/26/2006

Being an Audio/Visual Early Adoptor is getting cheaper

Since the late 90s I have been something of an early adoptor for AV gear. With the imminent [I hope]...

Author: Andy-Pennell Date: 04/19/2006

HD DVD is available in the USA!

Yesterday the first HD DVD players from Toshiba became available (from Best Buy mostly by the looks...

Author: Andy-Pennell Date: 04/18/2006

Crazy Digital Dates

A certain VP pointed out that early this morning it was 01:02:03 04/05/06 (US date format), which...

Author: Andy-Pennell Date: 04/05/2006

Correction to DLGITEMTEMPLATEEX Structure

This wasted several hours for me this morning. The MSDN docs for DLGITEMTEMPLATEEX are wrong: there...

Author: Andy-Pennell Date: 03/29/2006

File and Settings Transfer Wizard: friend or foe?

The "File and Settings Transfer Wizard" is either a life saving piece of software, or a pile of...

Author: Andy-Pennell Date: 03/28/2006

Autoexp.dat not working in Visual Studio 2005?

As this was reported twice in the space of a week internally, I figured that external users may be...

Author: Andy-Pennell Date: 03/28/2006

Displaying DirectX Errors in the Debugger

Debugging DirectX calls that fail is a pain as the debugger cannot show the "nice" HRESULT codes as...

Author: Andy-Pennell Date: 03/21/2006

Property Grids Suck

I couldn't put it better myself than Avery does in his VirtualBlog - Property Grids Suck. Not only...

Author: Andy-Pennell Date: 03/20/2006

Find new music with Pandora

I am very bad about finding new music: I'll buy new albums from artists I know I love, but that's...

Author: Andy-Pennell Date: 03/18/2006

Making DVDs Kid-Proof

Our newer childrens' DVDs are not lasting long these days, so I was very pleased to discover D-Skins...

Author: Andy-Pennell Date: 01/06/2006

HD-DVD News from CES

I watched the Bill Gates keynote at CES tonight (via the web, I'm not in Vegas or anything) and it...

Author: Andy-Pennell Date: 01/05/2006

A Better Way to Search MSDN

I have previously ranted about the Search capabilities of MSDN, so I decided to try and do something...

Author: Andy-Pennell Date: 12/18/2005

What does "pdb is obsolete" really mean?

If your Visual Studio debugger says this to you, it either means Your PDB really is obsolete Your...

Author: Andy-Pennell Date: 12/09/2005

Microsoft Product Names: How They Are Chosen I Wonder?

There is a great interview on PVRBlog with the creator of the TiVo name and mascot. It describes the...

Author: Andy-Pennell Date: 12/08/2005

Class Action Lawsuits: What a Waste of Time!

I just got an email announcing a settlement for a Netflix class action lawsuit. If I sign up, I get...

Author: Andy-Pennell Date: 11/02/2005

<Previous Next>