Xbox Media Center

I used to run a MythTV server on my network, and had MythTV installed on the XBox in the bedroom using the old MechWarrior audio hack. But of course there were a couple of problems with that setup, not least of which was the reset loop that the XBox got into when power was removed from it for a while.

Well I treated the bedroom XBox to a modchip this week, and invested in an Executer 3CE with the LCD panel and the replacement faceplate from Mr Modchips. Installation was very straightforward, and after a couple of teething problems, with me getting switches set up in the wrong position initially,I managed to flash the X3 bios, and then decided to install XBMC as a new replacement dashboard.

I’m really impressed, the media center connects directly to my samba server and has been able to play pretty much all the video that I’ve thrown at it. It also plays back music and shows photos from my samba server nicely – I’ve not yet got Mame set up on it yet, but I’m sure that can’t be too difficult. The no-tv option on the LCD is great too – you don’t have to have the TV turned on to navigate the menus, they’re shown on the LCD :-), or you can even control it from a web browser on any machine in the house.

Now I have to get another couple of mod chips for the other XBoxes, so that I can have one in every room 😉 It even had Suzy playing with it, so the wife approval appears to be there 😀 She even suggested that I should wire the house for audio so that you can have the music playing around the house.

Really hard interviews.

I was listening to Steve Wright on Radio 2 this afternoon, and he was talking about the problem of finding a job in Japan at the moment. Apparently they have an unemployment problem over there, and are thinking of clever ways in which to narrow the number of applicants for each vacancy.

Interview on top of Mt. Fuji
One company erected a table with 2 interviewers and an oxygen bottle at the top of Mount Fuji, and told the applicants that they have to climb the mountain in order to get to the interview. 11 out of 20 applicants made it to the top of the mountain, for 4 jobs. A story on a business web site about this here.

I doubt if many of my students will be subjected to such bizarre practices, but they may be asked some of the so called “Impossible Questions” – we present some of these at the Gregynog careers weekend, but I ran into a good chapter of a book online which offers some advice here.