I am BARRY HESS > Blog

Weekend Update

I really don’t have anything to say today. Had a good, long weekend. Hung out with numerous friends. Learned some more about various software I need to use in Linux. To the best of my knowledge I stress tested my big hard drives (the software, called Lucifer, was a bit difficult to work with). I’m in a bit of a holding pattern with my network access server/terabyte server project. I’m waiting on some hardware and programming help from my brother. My Xbox modchip is taking forever to arrive. I’d really like to move almost all of my machines to Linux, but I’m finding Linux’s playback software to be a bit lacking in terms of user-friendliness. Linux may be able to adequately handle my ripping needs, but there are currently some major roadblocks in that process as well. What I’ve found most disappointing with Linux software is that command line utilities seem to be more user-friendly than GUI applications. That’s just sad.

I’ve also thought a bit more about my designs to join an open source programming project. It’s difficult to find a balance point between something that interests me versus something that furthers my career into an interesting area. I’m certain to err on the side of something immediately interesting. In any case, I wonder if adding some functionality to the Xbox Media Center (XBMC) software would be a good place to start.

I can already think of a few things that likely will not be in the software that I personally would like to use. For one, I would have a great interest in being able to add photos to my Shutterfly cart directly from within the XBMC software. There is a script in XBMC that allows one to watch movie previews quite conveniently from the Internet (Apple’s web site, I believe). I’d like to expand that to watching trailers for any movie in one’s video catalog. Heck, maybe even a quick Google video search for related content (mock-ups, parodies, etc).

It’s a difficult target medium, though. To some degree, coding is coding and whatever I do should be useful. On the other hand, the Xbox is a dying beast and the user-base for XBMC is relatively small. User-friendliness in XBMC appears to be a focus, however, making the design right up my alley.

Nope. Not much to say. Nothing interesting, anyway. I’m ready for spring. I’m typically ready for spring on or around October 15th every year. We’re thinking about going to spring training, but my planning started late and I was surprised at how quickly tickets sold for the Twins’ games in Ft. Myers. Really depressing. Maximum I’m hoping for trips to Ft. Myers; Kansas City; Omaha; Door County, Wisconsin; Madison, Wisconsin; an outdoor Big Ten football game; and Buenos Aires, Argentina, this year. I suspect I’ll be lucky to hit half of those. Maybe we’ll just go to Vegas again.