Xbox Media Center – Not just for the Xbox.

October 19, 2008 at 12:20 | Posted in Cool | Comments Off on Xbox Media Center – Not just for the Xbox.
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This week I am going to do a quick review of “Xbox Media center” (XBMC). Now before you tune out it’s not just for the Xbox. This wonderful open source project works on Linux, Mac, Xbox (of course), “Apple TV” and even Windows. There is also a live version so you can take it with you.

I thus far only have experience with the Windows version, but what I have seen has left me truely impressed. We needed a replacement for the previous media center software that we were using on a windows machine we use for such things. After looking around for a while I discovered XBMC and was delighted with the results.

Thinks I like about XBMC?

It’s fast. We have had problems in the past with media center software being slow or heavy resource hogs or both. XBMC doesn’t suffer from these problems.

To date it has played everything we have thrown at it from .flv files to .mkv XBMC played it all no problems.

It is slick. XBMC is just plain cool. It is the type of interface you want to have running when you invite people over so they can go.. “Hey.. Cool… What is that..”. Part of the slickness of XBMC is the fact that is it skinnable and that the skins don’t just paint over the same old interface to change the look of it, they can actually change the way things function and are presented. You can see screenshots from the current version of XBMC here

It has a built in File manager for managing your media once you have watched it.

It has integration with IMDB and other on-line sites. This allows it to easily retrieves the information and thumbnails (cover art, etc) to present in the media lists.

It can play streaming video from the network. The Windows version came with a script for browsing and viewing the trailers on

oh yeah.. it can be extended using scripts.

It has a large development and user community and so is a very active open source project. The large user community also means it is easy to get help on-line.

The controls are easy and intuitive, that coupled with the large clear On-Screen Display (OSD) makes using XBMC a dream.

I’m a definite convert to, and advocate of the project. I hope that XBMC get the recognition it deserves. The developers and other contributors have put together a first class piece of software that deserves some time in the spotlight.


Site of the Week #15

October 12, 2008 at 13:59 | Posted in site of the week | Comments Off on Site of the Week #15
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OK, So I’ve been a little lax on keeping up on my blogging. It’s a “have a life thing”, in-between trying to get the house ready for winter, the garden wound down, revved up on fall/winter obligations, etc. there just hasn’t been a lot of blogging time.

This weeks “Site of the Week” is a very useful one for all those that use and/or advocate for F.L.O.S.S. it’s:

Floss Manuals

This site has a large, and growing list of manuals for FLOSS software and relates items. It has many useful features such as the ability to generate a .PDF of the manual for offline reading. There is also a handy click here to print button.

Another great feature of the site is that, in true open source style, the manuals can be contributed and edited by users of the site. So I expect to see their list of manuals grow quickly as the community grows.

So, go check it out, I’d strongly suggest bookmarking the site so that the next time you need to read up on a piece of FLOSS software you can just pop over and read up.


Site of the Week #14

September 17, 2008 at 11:48 | Posted in site of the week | Comments Off on Site of the Week #14
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Just a really quick “Site of the Week” entry here as I get back into the swing of things now that summer is over.

This week I’d like to shine a little light on

Functionally it is about the same as Tiny Url and other sites like it. What sets it apart is that it is an open source implementation. Should you be so inclined you could download the source code and set up your own. Even the UR1 database is available.

So Check it out.

Latest revver video

March 12, 2008 at 18:01 | Posted in Revver Stuff, Tech | Comments Off on Latest revver video
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I’ve gotten my revver video up for last week (I’m trying to do one a week). It is a review of a open source video aggregater called “Miro”. You can check out the by clicking the thumbnail below.

it is available for Linux, Mac, and Windows.


March 11, 2008 at 22:42 | Posted in Blogging, Life | Comments Off on Gnome-Blog
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Well this is my last post of the day and hopefully my first post using Gnome-blog. Hopefully this will make blogging a lot easier to keep up with.

for those of you using Linux that might be interested in using an external blogging app. you can find gnome-blog here

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