Sunday, August 26, 2007

Accessing Digital Media from the Xbox 360

Is your Xbox 360 hooked up to the biggest TV and the best audio system in the house? If so, you might want to browse the videos, pictures, and music stored on your other computer. I thought you have to run Windows Media Center for this to be possible, but it turns out you can just run something called TVersity.

Install it, then use the provided user interface to pick which files/folders are available for browsing.

Once you get this running, how will your Xbox 360 know that it's there? The Xbox 360 looks for a media server broadcasting its presence on the network. For this to work:

  • The Xbox 360 and your computer have to be 'on the same network'. I don't know exactly what this means (same subnet?), but basically, if both of these are going through the same router, you're ok.
  • The computer's firewall needs to allow this new type of network traffic. On Windows XP, these are called Exceptions. There're two exceptions:
    • uPnP Framework (TCP 2869 and UDP 1900) - this entry's probably already there but might not be enabled yet
    • TVersity Media Server (TCP 41952) - you have to add this port yourself

At this point, you should be able to browse media through the Xbox 360 Dashboard menus. Instead of picking Console, pick Computer. If all is well, you should then see something like 'TVersity on XXX', where XXX is the identity/name of your computer.

Good luck!

Sunday, August 12, 2007

BBQ at Mahdi's

Back in August, Mahdi invited a bunch of us over for a BBQ.


Thanks man!

Shooting Firearms in California

When I relocated to San Bruno back in 2001, I had to write the driver's test to get my California driver's license. I often tell the story about how I was reading the driver handbook and came across a section in the book which had to explicitly tell the reader that it's illegal to shoot firearms at traffic signs. It was amusing to me as an outsider because it reflected, accurately or inaccurately, the kind of place I was moving to.

Anyway, I've told this anecdote so many times that I started to wonder if I just made it all up. Luckily, I was digging through things in my study a few days ago and found a copy of the California Driver Handbook 2000. There it is on page 29:

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Parallels between Harry Potter and Naruto

Some weeks ago, I saw Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.

Possible spoilers about the movie ahead!

Towards the end of the movie, Dumbledore and Voldemort duel with high-level magic spells. It was pretty exciting. I remember sitting there and being strangely reminded of this fight in Naruto between the Third Hokage and Orochimaru. It was awesome because both were using high-level jitsu's.

So I looked it up, and it seems I wasn't alone in making that connection. Thought I'd share a couple of pages I came across:

  • An analysis about the two worlds and the parallels between many of the characters.
  • A forum post which draws parallels between Orochimaru and Voldemort, with theoretical discussion about who would win in a fight.

Neat stuff!