Tivo

Finally plucked up the courage to put my Tivo Cachecard in. What does it do ? Well, it supplies a half-gig RAM cache to the Tivo device, and allows it to cache its database. So the Tivo doesnt kill the hard drive as much as normal, and the menus are faster.
On the back of a cachecard is a normal 100-baseT interface, allowing you to install TivoWeb. This then gives you a on-board, web-based control panel over your Tivo, allowing you to schedule stuff to record over the 'net. (Well, in my case, it'll have to wait for the broadband connection in January 2005). Very very cool.

Here's a bunch of californian hackers who stuck a powerPc chip on a board, and cooked up a linux kernel for it to allow it to record stuff for you four or five years ago. And theres this whole third-party network of folks who'll help you add up to 260 hours recording, web access and so forth.

So - just awaiting a version of Tivo that has a built in DVD/CD/DIVX player/recorder, with full streaming video to PC (you have to convert the recordings at the moment) and a built in satellite decoder.. The scary thing is that all the individual components are there. Its just a case of when...