Occam’s razor

Adel Gabot

Been trying out the Networked Media Tank called the Popcorn Hour the past few days, and I’m enamored (I’m saving the full review for another day), but one of the few niggles for me is the cheesy name and logo. The fact that this is one of the major irritants is an indication of how wonderful the gadget actually is.


In brief, the PCH is basically an Apple TV equivalent for half the cost and three times the functionality. It’s a capable media storage device, HD video player and streamer, and best of all, a great standalone, unattended torrenter that runs at just 20W. [Insert cricket sounds here.]

Anyway, let’s get back to the cheesy logo. It’s emblazoned on the top of the device, large and loud, and I felt removing the brand would make the gadget more pro-looking and more serious. I’ve been wondering how to remove it without damaging the surface of the case the past couple of days, and I thought of carefully scraping it off, or maybe use duct tape to lift it from the metal, but felt the finish might come off with it. I thought of finding some solvent or fluid to dissolve it, but there was the same concern.

Then it just occurred to me to just… flip the lid!


The top is attached by four simple thumbscrews, and when I installed the server-grade hard drive in it a couple of days ago, I remembered seeing that the bottom of the lid had the same finish as the top side – with no logo. It was the same shape and had the holes in the same places. Just reverse it, and voila!

Occam’s Razor—the principle that the simplest, most obvious solution is the often the right one—worked, and I kicked myself that I hadn’t thought of it first. Then it occured to me how Occam’s Razor might also be best applied to our problems in life, and solve them in short order, without fuss or French horns. Simple, direct, obvious solutions to complicated, difficult problems. Problems with work, with the government, with society.

With relationships.

Hmm. A Valentine’s Day reflection, if there ever was one. (Borne of geekery, yet. Who’da thunk it?)

Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone!


6 Responses to “Occam’s razor”

  • Art Ilano Says:

    Man, that IS one cheesy, cheesy logo. Like a seven-year-old drew it or something.

    Thanks for the tip. Will do your flip thing too when I get my unit. 🙂

  • Adel Gabot Says:

    Cheese popcorn?

  • Allan Says:

    Hey Adel, got this in heads up in the email yesterday: WD TV.

    I don’t think this WD TV comes with networking features so I’m not sure if its even worthy to mention it in the same breath as the Popcorn, but for what it’s worth, it does provide you with an affordable solution so that you can also play digital content on your TV.

    Do you think its worth it? I just want to get your two-cents on this 🙂

  • Adel Gabot Says:

    Was looking at that before I got the PCH, actually. It’s a good solution at half the price, although the missing networking features you mention is the deal breaker. It’s a media player, not an NMT. That part was the biggest attraction of the PCH for me. If you just want to be able to play your media files in HD on a big-ass LCD/Plasma monitor, go for it. But additionally being able to endlessly torrent at 20W consumption only, without using a PC, and for the net video streaming and being a media server are big things.

  • Allan Says:

    so where’d you buy your popcorn hour?

  • Adel Gabot Says:

    Secret… but you can get it from Howard’s store. He’s a distributor. Might give you that famed discount the Paws are known for!

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