Business - Written by Jeff DeChambeau on Sunday, June 22, 2008 19:43 - 0 Comments
It’s All Coming Together… In Your Living Room
You can get a great media center for about 20 dollars. Sure, it’s ‘illegal,’ but not in the way you might think. I’m talking about modding an old XBOX, and loading it up with XBOX Media Center (XBMC). The process takes about 20 minutes, and when you’re done, you’ve got a full featured DVD player that can also stream content of any type off your local network, or the Internet itself. As great as that sounds, there are legal problems: the source code for XBMC is free for all to use, but in order to compile it for use on the XBOX unit, Microsofts proprietary compiler is needed, meaning that if you download it, you could be breaking the law. This, however, is no longer a problem: the software has been re-written for Windows, Linux and OSX.
The transition from being console software to desktop software brings about some advantages, support for HDTV, and support for new hardware… like the Nintendo Wiimote.
A bunch of strangers on the Internet found each other and collaborated to write new software for an old product, making the old XBOX a top-of-the-line media center, better than commercially available alternatives. The team grows, develops into a community, and the code gets ported over to new, more powerful platforms, allowing a competing Nintendo product to join the equation and make things better still. All of this is done by volunteers and released for free online. I think that’s really cool.
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