We got our cable TV and Internet fixed two weeks ago when the Time Warner guy who showed up fiddled with the junction box on the roof of our building and got us a strong signal. He also replaced our nearly two-year-old Scientific Atlanta 8000 DVR cable box with a new(er) one of the same model. Until last night, all was well. Then, around 1 AM this morning, the replacement cable box started rebooting spontaneously. It never got past the initial boot stage -- I could tell because the LED display on the front kept showing the word "b00t" and cycling through what I can only assume are PC POST (Power-On Startup Test) messages. Eventually the display stopped cycling and just flickered faintly before going off completely. I called Time Warner and the technician got it working initially over the phone (he had me reboot it again) so I stalled him by asking some stupid questions until the box shut down again after a few minutes. Rather than wait until after my vacation for another visit from the cable guy, this morning I took the cable box back to Time Warner's office on 23rd St. to exchange it for a replacement. I went early, figuring that I'd find a long line at 8:30 AM on a Monday. To my surprise, there were four people working behind the desk and no one in line. I was in and out of there with my new cable box (a new model this time) in 15 minutes. And no runaround either: the woman I spoke to had no problem taking the old box back and giving me a new one. I'll have to wait until tonight to hook it up and see if it works, so no "PTI" for me today. But the old box had the decency to fail after we'd watched all of our Sunday night TV shows, so we didn't miss anything good. As long as this new box records the season finale of "Desperate Housewives" next Sunday, we're OK.
At least my Internet access has been fine for the past few weeks. [knocks on wood] However, last weekn the MPAA sued a few of my favorite Bittorrent sites for recent TV shows, and most of them disappeared from the Internet within hours. So my options are shrinking for downloading shows that I've missed. Damn studios.