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Thread: InstantCake™ Beta Release

  1. #1
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    InstantCake™ Beta Release

    As members of the DealDatabase forums,you are invited to participate in the Beta Testing program for our exciting new product, InstantCake™.

    PTVupgrade, creators of the first do-it-yourself upgrade kits and installation services for TiVo Digital Video Recorders, announces the easiest, cheapest, and fastest way to upgrade your TiVo without buying a kit or sending your unit to anyone else for an upgrade.

    If you want to be a 'do-it-yourselfer' you don't need to do it from scratch; no how-to's, no wading through cryptic technical discussion groups, and no scary adventures which could result in damaging your TiVo!

    Up until now, your only alternative to upgrading from scratch was to purchase an upgrade kit or send your unit for professional installation -- many are happy with this solution, but there is a premium to be paid for the hard work and time of others.

    With InstantCake, you can have your cake and eat it too. Use our custom CD, your own hard disk drive and your own computer, and quickly build an upgrade disk or two for your TiVo for just pennies-per-hour of storage!

    Using InstantCake to upgrade your TiVo gives you several unique advantages to any other do-it-yourself method:

    Its easy: just hook up your new drives, boot the CD and go!

    Its fast: it takes less than 30 minutes from start to finish!

    Its safe: keep your existing TiVo drive as a backup!


    And to make upgrading even easier, PTVupgrade enhanced versions include networking support and web applications pre-installed! Connect your TiVo to your home network using TurboNet™ and you can remotely control your TiVo, or add other software components which are publically available. For more information on what you can do with your TiVo and Turbonet, please join our forums at:

    http://forum.ptvupgrade.com

    How technical do you have to be? If you can hook a disk drive up to your PC as a secondary master, then you can do it! Simply connect one or two drives to your PC's secondary IDE as master and slave, boot our custom CD, and follow the prompts.

    Currently, InstantCake is not yet released, however we are accepting applications for Beta testers. If you are interested and would like to become a Beta tester, please please sign up here:


    http://www.instantcake.com/betalist.htm

    If you are selected to become a Beta tester, you will receive more details on the product and be given access to our private forums to discuss, in confidence, the details and use of the products described above.

    If you would like to be notified when InstantCake is officially released, please proceed to

    http://www.instantcake.com/mailinglist.htm




    Thanks for your time!

    PTVupgrade and the InstantCake Team!
    Last edited by pweed; 05-28-2003 at 01:01 PM.

  2. #2
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    Hmmmm, you are targeting cheap, lazy, impatient people. The TiVo equivalent of freetvers.

    How long will it be until your beta program gets involuntarily expanded by the loyal customers of Sharman Networks?

  3. #3
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    Originally posted by alldeadhomiez
    Hmmmm, you are targeting cheap, lazy, impatient people. The TiVo equivalent of freetvers.

    How long will it be until your beta program gets involuntarily expanded by the loyal customers of Sharman Networks?
    Hmmm.... actually we are targeting busy people who don't have the time or skills or desire to do it all themselves, but don't want to pay a premium for our kits.

    Of course, for the BETA, we are targeting folks like yourself, people who are not lazy; willing to try the tools out, and participate in our forum by documenting experiences, suggestions, and potential enhancements. That's why we are offering the BETA to folks on DealDatabase. We appreciate your help.

    In any case, if people want to distribute it on Kazaa, that is fine. As long as they follow the rules of the GPL, then its fair game for redistribution.
    Last edited by pweed; 05-27-2003 at 07:50 PM.

  4. #4
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    Just curious, but your site says:

    With InstantCake™, you can have your cake and eat it too. Use our custom CD, your own hard disk drive and your own computer, and quickly build an upgrade disk or two for your TiVo for just pennies-per-hour of storage !

    Are you referring to the cost of the hard drive or the cost of InstantCake™?

    Is InstantCake™ intended to be a free product when it completes beta testing or is the proposal to package the free information contained here for a non-free product? Just probably worth clarifying ...
    Last edited by Austin_TX; 05-27-2003 at 08:07 PM.

  5. #5
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    I was very tempted to delete this thread, as I feel it is blatant advertising, cloaked in a call for beta testers.

    However, upon further review, it seems that we have accepted advertising in threads in the past. Turbonet cards, 9thtee, etc...

    I hope this product is not a repackaging of the hard work of others for profit by PTVUpgrade.

    I would appreciate a list of hacks/upgrades/modifications (if any) that you use and the credit to whomever developed them.

    Thereafter, I think the folks at Dealdatabase would be happy to test (beta or otherwise) this product.

    Also, what retail price are you thinking about, or is this a free product offered as a companion to the hardware that you sell?

  6. #6
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    Its definitely not a free product, the website even indicates so. I would push this thread aside (e.g. hide it somewhere) until more information is available on exactly what this is, what it is derived from if anything, etc. It has scam written all over it otherwise.

    Not to mention, that from what I can see thus far, it doesn't do anything that the extreme releases don't already do.
    Before PMing me: I’m not your personal tech support. If you have a question, ask in public so I don't have to repeat if somebody else asks. If you want images or slices, use emule. I will ignore all support PMs.

    Sponsor a vegetarian! I have taken the pledge, how about you?

  7. #7
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    Well, I wouldn't go so far as to yell "scam" yet, however, it does smack of profiteering from the free work of others.

    I want to give it a day to get some answers, and the opinions of others, like you.


    Thanks Alphawolf.

  8. #8
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    Originally posted by pweed
    Hmmm.... actually we are targeting busy people who don't have the time or skills or desire to do it all themselves, but don't want to pay a premium for our kits.

    Of course, for the BETA, we are targeting folks like yourself, people who are not lazy; willing to try the tools out, and participate in our forum by documenting experiences, suggestions, and potential enhancements. That's why we are offering the BETA to folks on DealDatabase. We appreciate your help.

    In any case, if people want to distribute it on Kazaa, that is fine. As long as they follow the rules of the GPL, then its fair game for redistribution.
    What's the catch?

    If it can be legally posted on every TiVo download site (as long as the GPL is respected), how are you going to be able to sell copies of it?

    (I asked RedHat the very same question a few years ago and the best answer they could come up with was "venture capital." :)

  9. #9
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    Someone write a concise How-To for the existing tools and this product is history.
    SpongeBob is not a contraceptive - Bart S.
    A tabloid, is that one of those really strong mints? - Homer S.

  10. #10
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    bubbleLamp: i would have initially agreed, but the bottom line is that there is always a demand for one-stop tools. if nothing else, stuff like 25xtreme makes it easy for me to re-image drives in one step. for me, its a convienience tool. i expect that if this is done right, that i might use it in a similar manner.

    so far, every hack out there can be installed via a script, including the hdvr2 bash_env hack (actually, i find it makes things really easy when you write yourself a little script for that). no-one likes reading and following how-tos if there is a one-step tool. its easier to do it and forget about it, rather than following directions. and, its easier to follow directions from a how-to rather than learn.

  11. #11
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    jjbliss -

    below is the emails I exchanged with Kraven...

    Basically, we've created a self-booting CD which auto-installs the appropriate TiVo sw after asking a few questions. Most of the scripting is all ours -- we used some of the input routines used in one of surgeons GPL scripts. Of course, we use MFSTOOLS for the restore, and also use tivoflash for directivo units.

    Other than that, the TiVO images come in two types - "original" and enhanced. The enhanced version has telnet/ftp support and also TiVoWeb installed, but not enabled. We've also provided sample rc.sysinit files and enhanced the DHCP support with a config file.

    The beta download is offered at no charge - we will probably charge something like $9.99 for the software download and maybe less for a burned CD. This basically will cover our costs (the cart for this is complex) and hopefully we'll make a few dollars, as well.

    So, in summary, we do feel we've added significant value here over what is currently available; a lot of time has been spent managing and preparing this for distribution.

    Best regards,
    Lou



    KRavEN wrote on 05-25-2003 04:32 PM:
    Please feel free to announce and I will sticky it.


    pweed wrote on 05-25-2003 07:29 AM:
    Kraven -

    We are slowly rolling out our new software tool, InstantCake; we will be sending a mailing to our membership within the next several days, but would also like to expand testing eligibility to the folks on dealdatabase; we expect to go with a general release of the product within the next several weeks, but would really like to have some good testing of the product and participation on our forums so that when we GA the product, there is more useful information for 'newbies'

    The tool is essentially this: a burnable ISO which self-boots a linux utility disk and auto-configures drives attached to the secondary master/slave for your particular TiVo; similar concept as your old XTREME stuff, except the images are prepared differently. We wrote all of our own scripts, of course...

    Interestingly, there is a perception among many that this is illegal (TiVo work is copyrighted) however our interpretation of the GPL is that binary distribution rights are passed to all GPL licensees when GPL product and separate works are distributed on the same medium, which is the case with TiVo's work. The fact that XTREME, as well as our replacement drive kits, are not a legal issue for TiVo, this shouldn't be either...

    In any case, would love to announce on your forum (sticky thread?) or for you to pass this on to your membership.

    Thanks,
    Lou Jacob
    PTVupgrade
    (email: lou.jacob@ptvupgrade.com)

  12. #12
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    Basically seems OK to me as well. Thank you for returning to clarify those questions for the members here at dealdatabase.

    I will sticky this based on KRavEN's comments, however, I am somewhat concerned that by posting information here, and by making the thread a sticky, we will be somewhat inundated by requests to support the product.

    I'm sure that can be quite easily handled by redirecting support issues to PTVUpgrade forums, but it will be a long term commitment on our part to constantly dissuade folks from posting questions HERE about that specific utility.

    Thanks for following up with us.

    JJ Bliss
    Last edited by JJBliss; 05-27-2003 at 10:33 PM.

  13. #13
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    Originally posted by JJBliss
    Basically seems OK to me as well. Thank you for returning to clarify those questions for the members here at dealdatabase.

    I will sticky this based on KRavEN's comments, however, I am somewhat concerned that by posting information here, and by making the thread a sticky, we will be somewhat inundated by requests to support the product.

    I'm sure that can be quite easily handled by redirecting support issues to PTVUpgrade forums, but it will be a long term commitment on our part to constantly dissuade folks from posting questions HERE about that specific utility.

    Thanks for following up with us.

    JJ Bliss
    understood, and appreciated. yes, we'd like support issues to occur in our forums in the 'instantcake' area. if questions come up here, we will try to address them, as well.

    thx,
    lou

  14. #14
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    I'm not a mod, so it probably doesn't make much of a difference, but this kind of for-profit free advertising snuck into a message board makes me sick to my stomach.

  15. #15
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    Originally posted by OvitivO
    I'm not a mod, so it probably doesn't make much of a difference, but this kind of for-profit free advertising snuck into a message board makes me sick to my stomach.
    Well, I tend to agree, but this doesn't seem to be so distasteful.

    All the mods here have discussed it, and we generally feel that it is acceptable, due to the content. Dealdatabase has allowed clandestine advertising in the past in other threads, including 9thtee as well as the bootleg Turbonet cards.

    The cost is supposed to cover the labor, media, shipping and not much else. Seems reasonable...

    Your thoughts are welcome. If a significant number of members of dealdatabase don't want this here, I'm sure it will be considered.

    JJ

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