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I think I’ve fallen off the edge of the earth into complete and total geekdom to a place that I can never actually be retrieved except by a Star Trek transportation unit and a room full of ubernerds with their glasses taped together.

Seriously. Space time continuum stuff. OK maybe not quite that geeky…but close enough for a girl like me. It couldn’t get any geekier unless I actually started hosting Dungeons and Dragon parties at my house on Friday nights.

So what is it that has me on the brink of becoming an unsociable monster?

My latest gadget purchase. The Neuros OSD Linux Media Recorder Beta. Only 200 beta units available and I have secured one for myself.

What the hell is that?

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Out of the box, the Neuros OSD functions as a media recorder and player. Connect the OSD to your TV and give it an analog video input from your DVD or cable box and it can encode video in various formats for your portable devices like PSP or mobile phones. Files can be stored and played either using media cards or using a USB external hard drive plugged into the OSD. However, the really special part about the OSD is its wealth of ports and the completely open source firmware. You get analog video/audio input and output, ethernet, USB, infrared, serial, two card slots to accommodate CF and SD/MS/MMC cards, plus a full-function universal remote.

Sound cool enough like that? Sure, why not. We like out of the box functionality.

But that is hardly where it ends. This device is completely hackable. In fact, it is encouraged that you hack it. Yep, embedded programming. How geeky is that? With that said, I have not a freaking clue of how to do embedded programming which is where the fun part comes in.

I am making this a little project for myself to learn a few new tricks of the trade. Probably won’t be easy, but I do need something more than drinking vodkas and soldering jewelry together with a blowtorch to keep my brain occupied these days.

Where to begin with a project like this? Well that is the tricky part. I’ve actually joined the irc chat with the real hackers of this so I can linger in and perhaps pick up a few acronyms from them. Then I guess it is time to hit the books and participate with the other wannabe hackers online.

I can already begin to see this project spirallly horribly out of control into some expensive mission… For example, I now need to purchase a tv tuner card for the PC. And then who knows what else I’ll have to get from Yoyotech. Damn it!

Maybe I should just take up something easier and cheaper like gardening or flower arranging.

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