Does this sound like someone I know? Or me sometimes?

O hear his friends tell it, Matt Smith is an easygoing guy. A recently engaged business consultant from Charlotte, N.C., Mr. Smith, 31, is a casual fan of golf, Nascar and Wake Forest basketball. But there is one subject his friends are loath to bring up around him, for fear it will provoke one of his prolonged sermons on its myriad virtues: the television gadget TiVo.

"I'd say he brings it up every time we're together," said Fran Radano, a college pal who has resisted Mr. Smith's efforts to convert him to TiVo. "There's usually someone in the group who's new to his preaching. It's highly annoying."



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