Wednesday 9th April 2008

I have been using the BBC iPlayer since launch on Christmas Day but had a request. A killer script for the XBMC (the product formerly known as Xbox Media Centre – great new web site) to enable the programmes to be downloaded (or streamed) to my television screen. I had a hunt around on the various forums and although there was a lively request thread (started on 28th June, during the beta testing) nothing had materialised. I thought I would check again today, during my lunch hour and low and behold, a genius has created the script and put it live for anyone to download. So, of course I downloaded the zip file and loaded it straight onto my machine when I got back from the gym tonight. It works a treat! Sure, you have to wait for the video files to download (4 odd minutes for a 15 minute episode of Torchwood Declassified) but it is worth the wait and the quality is not too bad (although nowhere as good as Apple Quicktime trailers.) The video quality from Albert Square is never something that will bother me, even when I watch catchup episodes streamed on my PC. The king is making sure you follow the plot, not the sparkle on Pat Butcher’s earrings. Check out some screen shots a lovely chap has uploaded to FlickR. On a similar topic, the Nintendo Wii now can stream content from the iPlayer. I am sure it will only be a matter of time, the XBMC community work out a way to take a look under the hood of this avenue and port it over to the Xbox. Apart from the delay in waiting for programmes to download, this has to be one of the best scripts to have been released for XBMC. Now, when I miss a show, I can get my XBox to download it and watch it later.

What else have I been up to? Well it is week two in my new get fit routine. It is going well, not too bad. I feel a bit better but I believe the dramatic improvements will come over time. Particularly as my programme will be reviewed every two weeks. It was quite scary this evening to see a big bulky guy spend over thirty minutes on the rowing machine at level 10, while I was set to level five and struggled to complete my ten minutes (still a few meters short of breaking the 2000 barrier). Then, while on my final piece of equipment, the treadmill, I looked across at a guy wearing the Arsenal away shirt (very brave considering last night) and his time was ticking past fifty-five minutes. I just about manage fifteen minutes, I do not think I could stomach a whole hour of running (at quite a high speed). I am a long long way from reaching the physical peakness of these fellow gym users but I am on the right track. Just remember, making it to every session is a victory in itself. I have another session tomorrow night and then a fitness test Sunday lunchtime. Based on my performance, my programme will be adapted. Then I think I will have to spend a least a month building it up. Beyond that, I just do not know.

My weekend plans did involve Tazza coming over from East London and spending the day in Wycombe with him but he has to attend a TA weekend. It is a shame, as I have not seen him in over a year as we both have been really busy. No trouble, I think it will be a quiet weekend, I will get a few books from the library and also enjoy watching Doctor Who. Oh, and then I get back from the gym, there is the small matter of a football match in the North West.

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