I got the information on reprograming the remote from a previous post about the 30 second skip feature of the 6208 (which was held over to the 6412). It is great for commercials, about 4 skips, and the show is back!
About the Firewire ports, you SHOULD be able to record to D-VHS Recorder or to PC, unless Buckeye has disabled these ports. But you won't be able to watch anything else, it will only record what is playing.
There are several posts about how to do this. The PC one is a sticky in the DVR Forum, and it is a little complicated.
The D-VHS option is plug and play, if you have a D-VHS VCR.
Oh yeah, I just found out that when recording something, you must change the tuner manually to watch something else. Use the Swap button on the remote to do this.