After two months of waiting, wrangling and wondering, our WeaKnees hard drive upgrade for our TiVo arrived at the door this afternoon. However, we had no room for it, and told the Canada Post guy to leave it in a manger… wait a sec. Wrong story.

This is the story of the WeaKnees upgrade installation. (Good news: there’s a happy ending.)

  1. 20:00 pm: We’ve written down a list of our wish list keywords and season pass recordings. If this ever falls into the wrong hands, we’re changing our names, burning off our fingerprints and moving to Ecuador. Don’t try to find us.
  2. 20:20 pm: Nice opening sentences in the instructions: “Upgrading a TiVo presents a few physical hazards. As with most consumer electronics devices, components in the TiVo may still carry a lethal charge, even after disconnecting from your power supply.” Okay: I’ll publish this post now. If you don’t see a follow-up in a few hours, please drop by with insulated shoes and a rubber-coated pole to poke me with.
  3. 20:29 pm: I’ve followed the first page of the instructions. Opening the lid requires a fair amount of force, and it slid back with alarming abruptness, but all is well. I am now peering into the guts of our TiVo.
  4. 20:42 pm: Still alive. So basically, all I’m really doing is replacing a hard drive. Meanwhile, Alex is enduring the disconcerting reality of live, unpausable TV.
  5. 20:50 pm: All done. No surprises at all, and none of those unpleasant little inconsistencies that so often crop up between the instructions and the actual objects you’re dealing with. And no lethal electrical shocks, which I consider to be the sine qua non of a satisfactory consumer electronics experience.
  6. 21:07 pm: I reconnected the upgraded TiVo to the TV and cable box, and walked through the setup menu. This time, there was no need to do the clever little fake-Zip-code workaround Canadians have to endure when they first install their TiVos; the WeaKnees hard drive has an updated version of the software preinstalled. The one glitch: after entering my network information, TiVo said it couldn’t find the router. Simply asking it to retry did the trick.
  7. 21:17 pm: TiVo has walked through figuring out what cable provider we use and what channels we receive. It just started downloading program info.
  8. 21:28 pm: Downloading was fast; loading the program information took about eight minutes. Two more clicks, and I’m watching the animated sequence that my daughter calls “caterpillar dance”. In other words, all done in roughly an hour!

While yesterday we were performing programming triage (“We have space for Weeds or Blue’s Clues. What’s it going to be?”), tonight we’re loading up on upcoming movies without a care in the world. TVo assures us we have up to 287 hours of space available. (Of course, that’s provided we don’t mind one-pixel-by-one-pixel images. Anything more detailed, and that number drops precipitously.)

Apart from the shipping delay — for which we bear more than a little responsibility, having given them the (ahem) the wrong address — we can report profound satisfaction. If the tiny standard TiVo hard drive is giving you claustrophobia, or making you hesitate before buying a TiVo, we recommend checking out the upgrade options at WeaKnees.

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