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John Sciacca Writes...

Features, Reviews and a Blog by John Sciacca

Random Thoughts (Blog)

Random Thoughts (Blog)

Lauryn's secret, rich, mystery family

Posted on October 28, 2010 at 11:51 PM Comments comments (1)

After Dana has handled the full day of workin' in a coal mine goin' down-down which can be some days of taking-care-of-Lauryn chores, I step in at night to help out and handle the nighttime bed routine. Now, the nighttime bed routine has evolved over these near 4 years to the finely honed, well-oiled machine that it is today and any variance of the routine is frowned upon by all parties. But particularly by Lauryn.

A typical nighttime routine starts sometime after dinner whe...

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Thinking outside of my own wallet

Posted on October 28, 2010 at 1:38 PM Comments comments (5)

The other night, I found myself on the phone with Cheena, one of the co-founders of Kaleidescape. Now I’ve made no secret of the fact that I’m a big – BIG – fan of their products. I've reviewed the system multiple times over the years and it remains the benchmark to which all other server products are measured. Though, far from being a mindless sycophant, I’ve voiced my concerns where I felt they needed voicing. (

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It was the best of times...No, it was mostly the worst.

Posted on October 27, 2010 at 6:06 PM Comments comments (1)


All my troubles seemed so far away.

Then I booted up Crestron and they were here to stay.

Oh, I was boned, yesterday!


 I’m not half the programmer I used to be.

Now there’s a deadline hanging over me,

Oh the homeowner came home so suddenly…

Crestron, why you, no worky?


So yesterday *should* have been a great, easy day. If you remember a while ago

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You like me! You *really* like me!

Posted on October 27, 2010 at 12:25 AM Comments comments (1)

Originally, this blog thingy started out as a way for me to get my name out there; to help promote the writing juggernaut which is The Sciacca. The girl that managed the Website for a company that I was writing for, Jennifer C, called me and said, “Hey, what’s your personal Website address? We want to help promote you on our site.” And you would have thought that I just told her that I was endorsing and actively campaigning for Bush for a third term by the sta...

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I likes reviewings the technologies

Posted on October 24, 2010 at 7:04 PM Comments comments (1)

Remember a few weeks ago when I wrote about how the laser in my Sony PlayStation3 went up to the great Blu-ray player, home theater system in the sky? When it died and I laid thee to rest, it went up to the place that’s the best. A place where it plays nothing but high-brow artistic foreign films and thought provoking documentaries. And where people go back to watch the movie a s...

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How to Make Brown Green (kinda)

Posted on October 24, 2010 at 9:59 AM Comments comments (2)

Brown is not cool. Chances are good that you’ll never run across anyone who will claim that brown is their favorite color. Well, maybe Mr. Hankey. If you ever run across him, he would like brown. (Howdy-ho, children!) For the rest of us, brown is not a color that we associate with good times and niceness. (Except maybe shoes and belts. They can be brown I guess.) In fact, “Really? Brown is your *favorite* color?” might actually be an early pre-screening question for weeding ...

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That's the way this wheel keeps turning...

Posted on October 22, 2010 at 6:09 PM Comments comments (3)

I’ve often written about how incestuous the A/V industry – but the press corps in particular – really is. How we all travel in the same hungry packs together, moving with a herd mentality from one open bar press event to the next, then all lining-up like lemmings behind one another in the hopes that THIS will be the time that they are giving away something good instead of just another 512 meg memory stick. (Companies, come ON! 2 Gig is the new 512 meg!) Then once inside we a...

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Membership has its privileges. Awesome privileges!

Posted on October 21, 2010 at 5:16 PM Comments comments (0)

Dan – as in “my friend Dan” – used to always chide me about having an American Express card. “You PAY for a credit card? I can’t believe that YOU would PAY for a credit card.” (Dan also complexed me into never using the air conditioner at any temperature other than max cool. “Why are you going to have the air conditioner working WITH t...

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TVs! Frickin' TVs!

Posted on October 21, 2010 at 3:44 PM Comments comments (0)

Ugh! A client came into our store today and wants to order six TVs. Now, normally you would think that this would be a great thing. “Yay! I sold six TVs! Beers all around!” But no. It isn’t. It’s actually kind of a lame thing.


You see, after calling Sony and Sharp and then eating a lunch of Doritos and sadness, I have deduced that these large manufacturers actually DON’T want to sell a small store like mine TVs. And I can understand why many de...

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Third prize is... You're Fired!

Posted on October 20, 2010 at 5:35 PM Comments comments (0)

Blake: The good news is -- you're fired. The bad news is you've got, all you got, just one week to regain your jobs, starting tonight. Starting with tonight's sit. Oh, have I got your attention now? Good. 'Cause we're adding a little something to this month's sales contest. As you all know, first prize is a Cadillac Eldorado. Anyone want to see second prize? Second prize is a set of steak knives. Third prize is you're fired. You get the picture? You laughing now?

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This is what I hate about my

Posted on October 19, 2010 at 5:32 PM Comments comments (0)

You might would think that what I hate about my job would be something like belly-crawling in a muddy crawlspace, trying to fish wiring under a home after a rain storm. Or perhaps working your way across rafters as you move through itchy-itchy insulation from one side of a 135 degree attic to the other. Or perhaps it would be when a 3-inch hole saw grabs an edge wrong and the giant drill kicks back and punches you in the face over and over until all you can do is think “Oh! A wise guy! ...

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There's a Signpost Up Ahead...

Posted on October 19, 2010 at 2:44 PM Comments comments (0)

…next stop, The Blu-ray Zone!

One of my favorite TV series of all time is The Twilight Zone. I loved this show. Loved, LOVED it! Back when I was in the 5th and 6th grade in “why are we living here again?” Bakersfield, California (I clearly remember our first day living there. The city threw us a little 118 degree welcome party. Welcome!!!) we lived so close to school that I got special permission to walk home during lunch. And during that lunch, my m...

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Custom Installation State of the Union Address

Posted on October 19, 2010 at 12:00 AM Comments comments (1)

As I start this, I must say I’m feeling a bit Don Draper “Why I’m Quitting Tobacco” and even more Jerry Maguire's “The things we think and do not say.” And I feel it’s more than appropriate to borrow a quote directly from Jerry’s “It’s not a memo! It’s a mission statement!” to start this off.


I believe I have something to say. Or ra...

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Yes! I WILL have another FIVE cups!

Posted on October 18, 2010 at 1:31 PM Comments comments (0)

We already know that as a White Person, I am predisposed to liking coffee.

I can’t even remember when it started to be honest. Like many people, I’m sure that my gateway drug to enjoying this yuck-bitter-bitter, eh-it’s-not-too-bad, hey-this-is-kinda-good, I-must-haves-you-my-precious! drink was Coffee-mate Irish Cream and Hazelnut flavored creamers...

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What I *should* be doing...

Posted on October 17, 2010 at 11:56 AM Comments comments (1)

Right now I am watching Ratatouille on DVD with Lauryn. I *should* be watching this on Blu-ray, but I am temporarily sans working Blu laser. (This setback will hopefully be resolved next week. S+V reviewer Uber alles, Al Griffin, said he had an extra player that he could ship me.)


Actually, that isn’t true. What I *should* be doing doesn’t involve R...

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A Definitive Offer I Couldn't Refuse

Posted on October 15, 2010 at 6:09 PM Comments comments (0)

Sadly, audio has become a product category that is tough to get excited about these days. Don’t get me wrong, I *love* listening to music, and I think many others do as well. But it just seems like people don’t want to hear about any audio trends that don’t involve the letters “i” or “mp.” Sure, I love my iThing. It has replaced Sirius as my in-car listening of choice and doesn’t’ try to bill me $12.95 a month or tell me about “The S...

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Oh, Lucky Day!

Posted on October 15, 2010 at 2:30 PM Comments comments (0)

When I started this day, I had absolutely no idea just what magical promises might await. Sure I was feeling a little downhearted to start. And spirits weren’t exactly soaring after working up a 1500+ word missive on my outlook for the future of the custom installation industry (spoiler: it’s not good, but look for it on Monday). And then my left eye kind of went all stroke-eye with these weird muscle twitches and fluid leakage. And sure it isn’t very comforting every time I...

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Lauryn has begun casting...

Posted on October 14, 2010 at 11:00 PM Comments comments (2)

Tonight during church Lauryn broke out her notebook and started storyboarding for her next project. (You can find her previous, Picasso inspired masterpiece here...) After several failed attempts, she finally latched onto an idea and quickly sketched out the major character for her upcoming feature length film debut, Mask 2: The Face is Back.


Details ...

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Your mistake, not mine!

Posted on October 14, 2010 at 11:50 AM Comments comments (0)

Received a letter in the mail today from Panamax, a company that we purchase surge protection products from. Now, I like Panamax. I think they make great products. In fact I've just finished a review of their new BlueBOLT enabled surge protector which lets you access your surge protector remotely via the Interwebs -- awesome for power cycling outlets for ALL those times that a cable box fails and a customer just flat out refuses to try and power cycle it on their own. "Ma'am, I'm almos...

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Hey, Doug! I'm NOT Satisfied!

Posted on October 13, 2010 at 2:21 PM Comments comments (0)

We received a catalog in the mail yesterday from DSI Systems. On the back cover, Doug Robison, President of this “Full Service Distributor,” – looking awfully like an alternate universe I-didn’t-get-all-bloated-and-puffy Greg Brady – makes a bold pledge: “If you are not 100% satisfied please let me know! I will take care of you personally.”


OK, Doug. There are actually several things I’m not 100% satisfied with. In fact, since...

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