Xbox first few days

Xbox first few days

Oh my god is all i can say… The legacy of the xbox is true. I’m currently watching a divx film on the xbox which actually exists on a shared folder on my workstation. It plays flawlessly, allowing me to skip around the content with no noticable jumping or slow down using xbox mediaplayer. I updated from mediaplayer 2.0 to 2.3 which is the current realease mainly for better support of smb aka windows shares. But theres lots of other things which this mediaplayer does..

It links to imdb for extra information using the nfo files you usually get with downloads. More on this though, because I was trying to work out why some worked and some didnt. Finally worked out that the nfo file needs to contain the link of course but it has to be formated in special way.http://us.imdb.com/Title?0234215 is a correct url, http://uk.imdb.com/Title?0234215 and http://www.imdb.com/Title?0234215 is not. http://uk.imdb.com/Details?0234215 – also throws an error when parsed by the mediaplayer.I now create my own nfo files using the correct url and found you also need to add a character return after the url otherwise it doesnt work as expected, your’ll be left with no details just the link and no errors.It doesnt have to be anything special just a text file named something *.nfo with a correct url string and a character return – easy.

Also it has a built in tv guide now, thanks to some really clever programming by someone. Its actually part of another sourceforge project called xmltv which basicly grabs the tv listings for differenet channels from multiple sources and combine them into one xml file

17/04/2003 1100 – How quick things change

Check me out, less than a week I was thinking of getting a chipped xbox and moving or buying a new wireless access point. Now I’ve got a chipped xbox for a the same price as a new one. By the way Microsoft dropped the price of xboxes to take out the gamecube. So 130 pounds will now get you a new xbox with no games and one controller, good business move on microsoft’s part – cant believe they sold for 300 pounds when first launched, and i sweared not to buy one because it was the same as my pc. Now thats the reason why I’m getting one.

Anyway, basicly the xbox has already been chipped / modded and has evolution dash board, media player and some other stuff on there already. So it should be a simple case of plug it in and away I go. Already plugged the optical cable into the digital processor and got the ethernet connection ready. It looks like I may have to switch scart sockets with the playstation everytime I want to use it because my television only has one scart socket that can produce a rgb signal. Luckly I got a two scart switcher box, but its a little crap and already has svideo input from the computer in the other socket. Seeing how the xbox will become the main movie player, I will disconnect the svideo for now. More details and maybe another log when I actually get the xbox today.

On the wireless side of things. I moved the access point to a much better location in terms of spread of the signal, the middle of the house. I was outside in the garden getting a pretty good wireless connection the other day (its nice and sunny at this moment in the uk) and I’ve taken to the garden alot more for just checking email and the like, instant messager on the ipaq outside in the garden is also a favourate of mine. Still thinking of getting the 802.11g access point on the next pay cheque to really cover the whole house and garden with a nice even spread of wireless. Should speak to neighbours about using my bandwidth.

Unique directorys

Ok am having issues, with the blojsom directory system once again. This time its not about the file system its self but the display of the directroys shown on the / page aka home page I guess. Currently I have to enable blojsom to look through a certain level of directorys otherwise you will never find the other stuff I write about. But thats not the problem.
Everytime it finds a directory it will add that to the list of available catergories. Sounds great you say? But what incase for example I have 6 directorys inside another one? Well it will display only up to the prefixed limit. What I'm after really is the ability to set a limit for the directory and a limit for the blogs.
So you can have only a few directorys shown but it will grab the newest from any directory and show them on the main page.

Now there is a thing which can do this Blojsom customazation but i swear it doesnt do it as expected. Hence why cubicgarden.com/blog looks messy as hell at the moment. Every day I try to solve the problem on the bus with my tabletpc but theres no progress as of yet. I mean who knows I could be messing it all up again by putting files in the wrong directory?

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TechTV video clip – The Xbox Media Player

The Screen Savers review of XboxMediaPlayer, originally aired April 3, 2003. You can download the full 9 minute Xbox Media Player video clip with TechTV's Kevin Rose here.
High Quality 720×480 at 30fps progressive DivX + MP3 format, 72MB /images/emoticons/laugh.gifivX 5.03+ required)
Low Quality 352×240 at 30fps progressive DivX + MP3 format, 34MB /images/emoticons/laugh.gifivX 5.03+ required)
Alternatively you can stream a even lower quality version direct from TechTV

I love these comments from the review,
They've really gone the extra mile here.
These guys are professionals.
I would go futher than that, its one of the best media centre applications, it really does what you want it to do.
wicked stuff eh? wait to you check out XboxMediaPlayer 2.4 features. Be amazed, be truly amazed.

The live shoutcast recording on the xbox mediaplayer 2.4 is truly amazing, cant wait for live video recording. hint hint…

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Sony’s PS2’s successor

Sony on introduced the PSX, a follow-up to the PlayStation 2, and touted it as a device that creates a new entertainment category. Isnt this what Microsoft want to do too? Broadcasting students its now here, time to crap your pants.

Sony Merges PlayStation, Home Theater Into “PSX”

ZDnet Sony brandishes PS2's successor, print version
AV watch

This comment sums up psx so well.
Wow, 120GB hard drive, ethernet, the ability to have movies and pictures and games all in one device ! Oh wait, my Xbox already does that……

I really don't know how well this is going to go, but I can tell you that a hard drive that size, and a DVD +/- drive, and a tuner is going to make this device quite expensive…. I guess thay forgot how many people balked at the PS2's 299.00 price, this device will clearly surpass that price, of course it does more so they may be able to get away with it….

And so much for all of you people who said the Xbox was far too big compared to the PS2, goes to show what I've said all along, you can't make a reasonably priced device with that many features very small….


And you have to read the fall out on the message board about that post. Sony announce the PSX

Some highlights from the forum…


The xbox is non-standard pc, it would be quite easy for them to add on to it without too much effort.

For example they already created Windows XP MCE, it wouldn't be that difficult for them to port that to the Xbox and release it as a disk you could buy at any retailer and add on tons of features to your Xbox…. Sony on the other hand really needed to create an entirely new device…

Also since the Xbox uses non-standard USB it wouldn't be that difficult for them to add a ton of features to it via the USB port. /images/emoticons/laugh.gifVR/Connect your Digi-Cam/Karaoke/etc)

The DVD and the hard drive are also quite easy to replace, they would have to make some changes, and you'd likely need to take it into some type of authorized service center to make the changes but it wouldn't be difficullt at all to add different sized drives, or a DVD -/+ drive.



Expect it to cost at least £500/$500. At least, I mean we pay £300 for a HDD recorder here, plus £400 for a DVDRW here, and £170 for a PS2, £870 total so don't expect it to be less then £500/$500, this is high end and will be marketed as so.



DVD writer ?? To copy ps2 games ??



DVD writer, to archive recorded TV. No doubt some hackers will find a way to mod it to do it though.

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Show me no more

Ok I've now turned off the show me more plugin, it was doing my nut in when it cut into a url, because the url wouldnt be right and you couldnt click the read more to get the rest of the blog. Nightmare! Now I could have allowed more or less text but i would have had the same problem at some point in the future
Unless this is solved in the future its going to stay off, its too much trouble for little gain.

talking about blogging generally, I've changed the directorys around once again. Really sorry to people using my premalinks, i honestly wont change it much now.

I've held back on http://blojsim.sf.net for now, because even though its almost working, but a email talk with $marklus$ makes me hold back till http://blojsim.sf.net 1.0. Its going to blow our minds i'm told, and I can believe it.

Things I'm working on, well I just added more urls to my bookmark section, which is good but I want to make a proper xml schema out of it, so I can reference bookmarks and sections from this blog and instant messager chats. Also i'm reading about xml-rpc now and soap, hoping to really understand them sometime very soon. Still want to link exist and blojsom together, as this file system thing is not right for my future plans. Looks like that would be done through xml-rpc mainly?

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SanDisk’s WiFi and Memory combo CF cards

SanDisk Introduces World's First Cards Combining Flash Memory and Wireless Communications
Every time I see this it drives me nuts. When, when, when????????????? So damm frustrating…

If i got one of these's the ipaq would beable to communicate over bluetooth, wifi and gprs. While able to store applications and data on something larger than the 32meg of internal memory I currently have. It would be a HP ipaq 5400 without the processor speed and fingerprint recongination. Sandisk get your ass in gear and sell the damm things.

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Reading my news online

Avant-go pisses me off big time. I mean seriously pisses me off!
They give you a crummy 2meg of news subscription and expect you to be happy with that?
Anyway what I was thinking was, if I can query all the rss streams I want from cocoon and then transform them via xslt to a webpage which I can syncronise with my ipaq or even take the piss and add to my custom channels of avant go.

Sounds pretty simple right? Yeah should be in theory, a few problems so far…
Avant go doesnt like ip address even redirected ones it seems. Yet to fully test this due to time but i got a feeling its more to do with cocoon running on port 81 rather than port 80, thats the issue. Anyway I can by pass by syncing the pages in pocket ie. But its gonna be a lot of pages!
Another issue is that feed reader my rss reader has a built in webserver and will server my subscriptions if I need it to. Its just a matter of putting it on the server rather than my tablet or workstation. But it saves its preferences and subscriptions in application data in user profiles! WTF! Damm you to hell. I've also been looking at ampi desk or something which does the same without the gui interface. I would ideally like to beable to control the who style of the web part so I can at least use the current stylesheets i'm using on this website.

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Overkill

Been thinking about the xml blogging again.
Oh god yes, overkill it is using cocoon to transform the xml into text before blojsom uses it. But its a way forward because I have cocoon installed already for the site transformations. And I know where i stand with xsl.

Just thinking about why I want my weblogs in xml. I have a bookmark page and at the moment I usually copy and paste my bookmarks in. If I could grab all the href attributes out of the weblogs, use the section / catergory (as in this one is advanced blogging) for sections also. I could automate the bookmark page from my weblogs?
Actually if it was xml I could put in any tag i like, so in the transform a tag named italic tune link could actually be a short cut link for a link to my mixes. You get the idea? So the weblog would feed off the website and the website the weblog.
Nice idea needs work and time.

Humm, need to do some reading about xmlrpc and look into java development. Actually just thought, maybe I should speak to chris our java guy at work. This has to be easy enough for him to do as he will have classes to check for well form-ness, to validate xml, etc – Already.

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New found dango

I finally put a game on the xbox, crazy taxi 3 high rollers. i had it on cdr (yes one of the few games that will fit on cd i suspect. After copying it to cdrw because my pc drive wont read the disk with xbox data on. And using a xbox game ripper – the name escapes me now. I was away. Shows up in the evo x menu with correct name. No configuring it just works. Game is mighty adictive too…

Been using xbox mediaplayer a hell of a lot now, basically for all films and music. the stereo to ac3 feature is great and actually better than my cinema amp's theatre or hall modes.

Also on the same note, i was first worried about the playlist thing on the xbox because it wouldn't read the file names correctly. When i say correctly i mean if i enable read id3 on load it will arrange them a-z but by there id3 title. great you say, but when you got a album of music with the filenames in logical order like track1.mp3track2.mp3track3.mp3 its bloody ignoying to be presented with a mess. I could everytime disable id3 on load then find the tracks then enable id3 on load then switch back to the filelisting to find all the tracks have the correct names and stay in the correct order. yep damm ignoying even if it only takes 1 minute. I can also i found out use the playlist editor in the xbox mediaplayer but man if you got as many albums as i have and access them over smb rather than off the internal xbox hd, its a real bitch to do it and remember the order. why do i need to this if the the other way works quicker? because the mediaplayer doesn't support spaces! i so hope they fix this because track1 like this like that.mp3 comes up as that.mp3. frustrating to the max!

There is salvation, i found out it supports m3u playlists. not tried pls files yet. So for all the albums on cd already its too late. but for new ones i download thats the way forward

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Microsoft Rolls Out Xbox Upgrade

Wired news – Microsoft Rolls Out Xbox Upgrade

Funny as hell, I've been telling people this for a long time in my lectures. You currently have to mod or chip your xbox to do this, this and this. But how long will it be till Microsoft allow you to this, this and this as default?

You can just imagine it now, once they put windows media player 9 on there with its sick drm features. Then allow the users to download music for a small cost just like apple have then you have something not even apple could have thought about. a machine which plays dvds, music, movies all in a nice under the tv box.

Will be very interested in what the xbox hacker scene makes of all this?

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Ideas and plans

Ideas and plans, boy oh boy have I got ideas and plans in my head. If you’d been to this page before you’d notice it was something slightly different. Something about joining Consume.net, yep I will but this is only part of the overall strategy as such..

So whats the strategy? well its a mix of ideas and plans (wouldn’t you know) If things get very busy on this page I will start breaking the ideas down into multiple weblogs. And I hope to at some point draw up a map of how things should be, and what I need to buy and fit to complete it.

Ok so the idea is to use digital technology to make changes to me and my partner’s lifestyle. Ok sounds easy enough. At the moment we watch films through a computer rather than a dvd player. Because of course you can not watch divx or xvid films on a standard dvd player. Now I know thats changing due to the kiss dvd player and others like it but standard dvd players only have support for mpeg 1 and 2, not mpeg4. Anyhow I’m looking to solve that problem by using a modded (preferred chipped) xbox. So thats part of the plan at least. more later

I already own a home cinema system, which is a 32 inch widescreen tv, Sherwood prologic cinema reciever, Technics ac3 decoder which supports all 6 channel formats including dolby digital 5.1 and DTS 5.1. And if you include 5 speakers and 1 subwoofer you got the picture. To add the picture I have a freeview digital television box which was originally ondigital’s own box. More about that at some point maybe.

On the computer side of things, got 1 workstation with stacks of memory, beefy Ati all in wonder 8500 dv graphics card, multiple hard drives and a cd bruner and dvd drive. That is then connected via 100megabit ethernet to a server which is where your reading this weblog now. That server has stacks of memory, hard drive space and also has a cd burner and region free dvd drive. The Network I’m using is all 10/100 and has a wireless hub using dhcp to allow the tabletpc and my partner’s laptop to roam anywhere in the house. there is also a 400megabit firewire link between the server and workstation to stop tieing up the network during heavy transfers. But doesnt work because Microsoft didnt put in the driver for firewire networking on windows 2000 professional, such a shame too. In the kitchen there is an old 21 inch toshiba television which use to be my main television, its mainly used by my partner while cooking for watching analogue stations. And I think that basicly covers everything for now.

Ok so plans and ideas. First thing the wireless hub, its an 802.11b hub and supports 11megabits, its based in the living room and covers the whole house but signal drops alot when it hits the bathroom at the far end of the house. You can get a signal, but not a very good one if your on a laptop. If your on a pocketpc with wireless, it drops the connection at the bathroom door. So no streaming music while in the bath at this moment. I could either move the current wireless access point to the middle of the house and get a even spread of wireless or buy another one and stick it down pass the kitchen and very near the bathroom. See that option sounds good because I can then cover the garden which is also on the far end of the house, past the bathroom. that will also give me a chance to swap the hubs around and put a 802.11g hub in the living room and the older 802.11b hub near the garden instead. I was thinking of using the bridging mode, but i think a long ethernet cable to the far hub will do the trick.

Next up, the xbox media player. I have been following the xbox scene of the sly and have been quietly surprised by the amount of development going on. The best development effort has to be the xbox mediaplayer, which will play divx 3 – 5, xvid, vcd, supervcd’s and dvd’s. Aka every kind of film I own. So what i’m thinking is that if I buy a xbox then get it chipped or modded I could use that as digital media jukebox (sorry yes it plays ogg, asf and mpg3s as well). But rather than use the cd drive or small local hard drive all the time I can use the network sharing option to access shared drives on my server or workstation as well. There is also a ftp option if all else fails. Ok so that means I can access all my films without unlocking a computer, which will make my partner very happy. If all goes well then maybe I’ll buy another one for the kitchen television.

Ah i love digital television, its clear bright and cheap. We in the uk have had 3 main ways of recieving digital tv, sky (expensive and requires a dish, but has tons of interactivinty and channels), Cable (just as expensive and lacks serious interactivity) and Free to air (use to be called OnDigital before ITVdigital took it over and that was before the BBC pumped millions in to it and called it freeview). Freeview is just that, free to view. Basicly its partly funded by the tv licence (yes we have to pay to watch tv here) and all you need is a set top box and a ariel nothing more. You get about 30 channels on freeview at the moment with more in the pipeline soon. Anyway, I’m thinking of buying one for the kitchen and or one for the workstation so I can watch one thing and record another.At this moment i can only record what i’m watching, unless its on analogue tv and i can watch that and record the digital feed. there is a freeview box by pace which has pvr (tivo) fuctionality and has two digital decoders, so you can watch one and record another on to its local 20gig hard drive. Its good but not at 300 uk pounds its not. Specially now you can buy freeview boxes al low as 70 pounds brand new.

How stupid am I?

Ok, ok… After dancing around my computer screen lit living room for 3 mins flat.
I had to write this blog.

What on earth was I on? $marklus$ offered me help and I replied with my configuration files for http://blojsim.sf.net and http://blojsom.sf.net. There were two problems.
First one simple, the smack library does not like full jabber user ids. So drop your something@jabber.org for just the user id something. Easily solved.
Number two shows the problem non programming people like me, get involved in new areas like this.
I put the http://blojsim.sf.net war file inside of the webapps folder and it unpacked as usual, but I never moved it to the http://blojsom.sf.net folder! Major stupidness, even i gave myself a slap for that afterwards. For the last few days I've been wondering why there file systems were so simular? Unknown to me that the http://blojsim.sf.net items should have been in the http://blojsom.sf.net folder all along! I even wondered why the web.xml file wasnt included in the http://blojsim.sf.net install, and how http://blojsom.sf.net knew http://blojsim.sf.net was actually there.
Slapped back to reality, after looking at the entry of the web.xml again for the n'th time it came to me that they should actually be in the same folder. Yes ladies and gentlemen, i am a idiot…

Anyway now its working and I can see my http://blojsim.sf.net user on my own jabber list.
Next problem comes along… How on earth do you make entries? Hence what are the codes or commands i need to tell http://blojsim.sf.net before I can start posting?
It would seem just from my mindless tapping that just typing isnt correct and you need to do lots more beforehand, which makes perfect sense. I just need to know how to start?

Havent got the time to really try it out because its now 4am here in the uk and if I turn the light on, my eyes are going to implode.
Lets hope tomorrow, today, i can be blogging from a wireless pocketpc.

Oh yeah I've also worked out the plugin controller, so now you will see my posts are restricted to about 600 characters before a little thing says click for full text. I'm still unsure about this plugin and am trying it out for a few days. Its damm ignoying when your writing a comment not to see the whole text. But I remember someone found a solution for the problem?
Hopefully, trying it now, the macro plugin should be working. Which me and $flashharry$ talked about on thursday afternoon.
Yeah it will replace any text i put within two dollar symbols with something i put in the macro file. So at this moment I have most of my friends websites and weblogs. Noticed a couple of things, it doesnt like capitals or spaces? but it does support html, so i can make links with titles like you noticed on the page already. Cool.

I see others have got blojsim working too. Good stuff hopefully I can ask them how there getting on with using it. And i'm really looking forward to spending time learning about adding my own metadata to each post.Metadata in the new blojsom and metadata entry via jabber. You can just imagine the possibilities… Maybe your profile and/or presence will be reflected in your post? Then there so many clever things you could do server side, like how long you took to write it, from where, blah blah blah.

Anyway you can tell i'm tired…goodnight…:p

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