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07 August 2008 @ 12:29 pm
 
I just had a brilliant idea! And by "brilliant" i mean an idea that i really should have come up with a long time ago, but is still pretty cool if i can get it to work.

I went over to nonseqmenagerie and dannonsarisa's place last night, and while we were waiting for dannonsarisa's plane to get in so i could go pick him up at the airport nonseqmenagerie and i watched several episodes of random tv shows. I was amused by her pattern of tv watching, one episode of something called "Titus" i think followed by an episode of CSI, followed by an episode of Futurama, followed by a couple episodes of Teen Titans, or something like that. While thinking about it after the fact i came to the conclusion that such behavior is highly encouraged by having a DVR. Watching an episode or so each of four or five different series would be a real pain if you had to go and switch DVDs each time.

I know several other people who have DVRs but i believe everyone else is using one of the commercial versions, and the menu system for this one stood out in its simplicity. Turns out that it was actually MythTV running on an XBox. Which, again in retrospect, caused the sudden brainstorm that hey! I have an old XBox i'm not using! Maybe i could do that too! I don't know if the one they're using is an original or 360, but some google searches seem to indicate that the original is capable of running MythTV. So now i've got a new project that i'll hopefully get started on at some point and might actually finish sometime :)

And just cause it seems like such an unlikely occurrence, there is a reason to why i have an XBox lying around :)

How i came to have an Xbox:

Many years ago (2002 i think?) when i was working at a game company, one of the higher-ups managed to go about the office and subtly get everyone talking about what current generation systems they owned, which in my case was a PS2 and a GameCube. Since this was a company that made video games and most of the people working there were really into video games this particular conversation wasn't particularly significant at all. But the person prompting the conversations apparently managed to take really good notes. And when christmas rolled around a month or two later we found that as a christmas bonus each of us got one of the consoles that we didn't already have.

Now on the one hand this was pretty nice of them. On the other hand though, i didn't really want an XBox =P I don't want to go into great detail about my feelings about Microsoft (or get into a debate with people about those feelings) but in broad strokes i don't really approve of a lot of Microsoft's business decisions in general, and in particular the more extreme XBox fanboys really rub me the wrong way. So although i obviously don't refuse to use anything touched by microsoft, neither now nor then was i ever planning on getting one of Microsoft's gaming consoles unless absolutely forced to be the existence of one or more exclusives that i was absolutely desperate to play. And so far Nintendo and Sony, with some occasional interventions by the PC, have covered all my gaming needs and then some :)

But now i had this XBox that i didn't really want and didn't plan on using. I certainly wasn't going to complain about it, (although i do wonder if there were any people there who already had all three consoles and if so what they got for their bonus. I might well have been happier with that option if it had been possible.) but i also wasn't going to give in and use it just cause i'd gotten it for free. I didn't really want to give it away or sell it either however, because it _was_ a well intentioned gift. So it's just been sitting in the corner of various apartments for the last five or six(?) years. But i do get a slight twinge of guilt now and again because i feel a little ungrateful that i've got this fairly expensive (at the time) gift lying around that i've never actually used.

If i can get this to work however i'll actually have a use for the damn thing, and the only downside will be that i didn't think of it years earlier :)
 
 
Current Mood: excitedexcited
 
 
 
nonseqmenagerie on August 7th, 2008 09:30 pm (UTC)
Well, technically, Colin isn't running MythTV on an XBox - the remote control I was using was an XBox control that he got to work, but MythTV is running, and all the data is stored, on the PC that's next to the television. Colin basically built the DVR out of the old computer parts he had laying around, although he has bought a couple of new hard drives to have more room for the video files. Basically, the video directory for his system is composed of 1.3 TB (he's set the hard drives up in a raid, which I'm assuming means more to you than to me), and then there's a 20 gig drive that's holding the OS (he's using Gentoo Linux). So you'd just have to figure out where to put the data, as I'm fairly sure the old XBox doesn't have that much storage space.

But if you're like most of my other computer friends, you have some spare bits and pieces lying around that you can play with :)

Sarisa Aeryndannonsarisa on August 7th, 2008 10:20 pm (UTC)
There is an infrared receiver attached to the table the TV is on, and Colin programmed the PC that functions as the dvr to receive the transmissions from the XBox DVD controller, so we didn't have to control MythTV from a keyboard. It is a pretty slick setup, but its still a work in progress.
Kimchalgaryn on August 8th, 2008 12:04 am (UTC)
On a side note...
I have this overwhelming urge to go by a Wii so I can own every other Nintendo console in your userpic :-)
Beth Leonardbeth_leonard on August 8th, 2008 06:45 am (UTC)
Re: On a side note...
Wii fun. Zelda. Mario. Daily weight & fittness graphs all in one.

--Beth