The Numbers Are In

Nielen ratings are in for last night’s debate

The Nielsen ratings are in for last night’s debate. I’m confused by the list of stations aggregated which doesn’t include Fox News and MSNBC, both of which would add significantly to the final total.

If these overnight numbers stand, the ratings are well below other recent debates.

OK–I’m a little surprised. I thought for sure there would be a lot more interest considering all the buzz.

DMA Rank Market RTG Rank RTG SHR (000) 21 St. Louis 1 52.1 82.0 649 48 Memphis 2 49.5 67.0 330 26 Baltimore 3 47.1 66.0 515 9 Washington, DC (Hagrstwn) 4 44.6 68.0 1030 29 Nashville 5 44.0 66.0 424 46 Greensboro-H.Point-W.Salem 6 42.2 61.0 285 32 Columbus, OH 7 41.5 63.0 377 43 Norfolk-Portsmth-Newpt Nws 8 41.4 59.0 298 58 Richmond-Petersburg 9 40.3 55.0 211 18 Denver 10 39.7 65.0 586 24 Charlotte 11 39.3 54.0 426 7 Boston (Manchester) 12 39.3 58.0 944 22 Portland, OR 13 39.0 74.0 450 31 Kansas City 14 37.7 61.0 350 16 Miami-Ft. Lauderdale 15 37.2 52.0 573 38 West Palm Beach-Ft. Pierce 16 36.4 55.0 282 27 Raleigh-Durham (Fayetvlle) 17 36.2 54.0 377 51 Buffalo 18 36.1 54.0 230 25 Indianapolis 19 35.3 59.0 379 53 New Orleans 20 34.8 48 209 11 Detroit 21 34.3 55.0 661 59 Knoxville 22 34.3 51.0 185 61 Tulsa 23 34.1 55.0 178 45 Oklahoma City 24 34.0 55.0 231 40 Birmingham (Ann and Tusc) 25 33.5 48.0 245 52 Providence-New Bedford 26 33.5 50.0 211 15 Minneapolis-St. Paul 27 33.4 59.0 569 19 Orlando-Daytona Bch-Melbrn 28 33.4 52.0 479 62 Ft. Myers-Naples 29 33.3 51.0 164 28 San Diego 30 33.0 59.0 349 50 Louisville 31 33.0 48.0 218 17 Cleveland-Akron (Canton) 32 32.9 55.0 505 37 San Antonio 33 32.9 48.0 261 20 Sacramnto-Stkton-Modesto 34 32.7 55.0 454 4 Philadelphia 35 32.1 51.0 941 44 Albuquerque-Santa Fe 36 32.1 50.0 218 23 Pittsburgh 37 32.1 51.0 371 6 San Francisco-Oak-San Jose 38 32.0 62.0 779 13 Tampa-St. Pete (Sarasota) 39 31.7 49.0 569 49 Austin 40 31.6 52.0 201 36 Greenvll-Spart-Ashevll-And 41 31.5 46.0 265 64 Dayton 42 31.4 50.0 161 1 New York 43 31.3 48.0 2317 8 Atlanta 44 30.9 52.0 714 3 Chicago 45 30.7 51.0 1067 14 Seattle-Tacoma 46 30.3 58.0 541 30 Hartford & New Haven 47 30.2 45.0 306 47 Jacksonville 48 30.0 47.0 196 33 Salt Lake City 49 29.9 63.0 261 35 Milwaukee 50 29.2 49.0 262 34 Cincinnati 51 28.3 49.0 256 42 Las Vegas 52 27.9 46.0 196 5 Dallas-Ft. Worth 53 27.7 46.0 671 2 Los Angeles 54 26.4 50.0 1484 12 Phoenix (Prescott) 55 24.8 47.0 448 10 Houston* 56 0.0 0.0 0 Weighted Avg. of 55 markets* 33.2

Freezecam Debuts

We’re watching ‘the’ game on TV – New England vs. Indianapolis on CBS. So far, this battle of undefeated teams, both led by charismatic quarterbacks, is everything promised.

Not a sports fan? Don’t stop reading up yet.

CBS added a new feature to today’s coverage – FreezeCam. Remember when two words actually had a space between them?

I’ve tried to find as much info as I could, but there’s really not much available.

FreezeCam manipulates a high resolution, wide angle image of the field. There are enough pixels to allow zooming into small areas without the image getting ratty. It looks spectacular, though it’s probably not as amazing as it seems. Even in high definition, a television screen has significantly less resolution than a cheap digital camera.

Still, this is a major breakthrough, allowing a view of quick events happening away from the action where a camera would not normally be looking.

FreezeCam comes from Sportvision, the company responsible for many of the best sports video innovations. They provide the virtual 1st down line in football games, car tracking in NASCAR and pitc trajectory in Major League Baseball games.

I think they also provide the technology for the virtual ads behind home plate you see during baseball games. I’m considering giving them a pass on that, all things considered.

These are my type of geeks!

I’ve only seen Freezecam used a few times so far, to isolate a runner’s feet in possible out-of-bounds plays. Very impressive. It’s a gadget with a real purpose and value.

In a few years, we’ll probably be as blas

Which Commerical Was Best?

Here’s something I never thought I’d say: “It was a bad year for commercials.” It was. There were few to like in the Super Bowl (though the game itself was unusually entertaining).

I have two favorites – and one isn’t really a commercial. It was a very short CBS promo featuring David Letterman and Oprah Winfrey. If you blinked, it was gone.

It was totally nuance. You had to concentrate. Did you recognize Oprah? Did you think about their back story? Did you realize he was from Indianapolis, she lives in Chicago?

Unless you connected all these on a visceral level, it was gone before you could think about it.

My other favorite was more in your face… and animated. It was the Blockbuster commercial featuring a mouse portraying a mouse. It was clever and really well animated.

Unfortunately, when I went to type this blog entry, I wasn’t able to remember who paid for it!

Among my other favorites were the Budweiser faux dalmatian (including animated blink) and the T-Mobile spot with Dwayne Wade and Charles Barkley.

So, to summarize. It was a good year for the game and a bad year for what came in between the plays.

Here’s how visitors rated the first quarter (where the Blockbuster ad first ran).

Blockbuster: Mouse.............46%

Bud Light: Faceoff...............15%

Snickers: Mechanic.............11%

Doritos: Crash.....................9%

Bud Light: Wedding..............7%

Chevrolet: Singers...............5%

Sierra Mist: Combover.........3%

FedEx: Moon Office..............2%

Toyota: Tundra...................1%

Sierra Mist: Karate..............1%

Schick: Quattro...................0%

Total Votes: 67,823

How would you like being the creative head for an ad agency that produced anything lower than Chevy? Must have been tough to come in to work this morning. Ouch!

The New PC Comes Together

Quite honestly, motherboard installs are pretty simple. There are power cables and small jumpers for the reset and power switches and LEDs. The disk drives plug into two IDE ports. There is a specific place for everything.

I got the word from Helaine this afternoon. FedEx was here and they dropped off the package with my motherboard and memory.

Before I get into the build, let me say this about FedEx. Their tracking is both soothing and frustrating at the same time. After all, you know everything – which is often too much.

Why did my package from the Atlanta area detour through Indianapolis? If they picked it up on Friday and delivered it on Tuesday, how is that 2-day service? How did they get from East Granby, CT to North Haven, over 40 miles, in 23 minutes (or so claims their tracking data)?

Anyway, it’s here.

The box was nicely packed and well padded. That’s a positive for Monarch Computer.

The outside of the box had two interesting labels. The first instructed the driver to get a signature. Packages are normally left on our front step – even when we’re home! Not for this. Helaine’s signature was absolutely demanded.

More interesting was a label warning the recipient not to forward this package to a foreign country. I suspect Monarch and others have been burned by naive people who get scammed into transshipment schemes.

Since I bought a combo package, the memory and CPU were already mounted on the motherboard. So was a giant Zallman cooler.

I spent extra to get a gigantic cooler which is supposed to run very quietly. We’ll see. Meanwhile, sitting on the board, it looks like a small town’s water tower.

Installing memory and the CPU is simple. Installing the cooler often requires force, and in the past I’ve been scared of breaking something. I’m glad they handled it.

I was going to wait… oh hell, I can’t wait.

I unscrewed the old motherboard, disconnected its wires and re-installed the new board. The old one is larger. It really went in with little trouble.

If you’ve never done this, the following sentence will sound impressive. I did it all without looking at any instructions. It’s really not that big a deal.

Motherboard installs are pretty simple. There are power cables and small jumpers for the reset and power switches and the LEDs. The disk drives plug into two IDE ports. Power plugs are keyed, so they can’t go in backwards (as I’d surely do if left to my own devices). There is a specific place for everything.

It booted on the first try. My friend Peter wanted me to see if it would go all the way into the previously installed Windows. Not exactly. But I had been having trouble before.

I ran the Windows restore off the CD and it popped up pretty quickly. However, there are all sorts of drivers and utilities from hardware that’s no longer there. I decided to do a fresh install.

As we speak, the hard drive is formatting. Soon XP will be installing. I expect it to go smoothly.

After this initial install, I will add an extra few cards I bought – one for ingesting video and the other to allow more than the 4-IDE drives most PCs allow. I also went on EBay to buy a front panel hub for USB, Firewire and audio with a memory card reader.

At the moment, things are going really well. I’ll write some more after I start crying.