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The Best Streaming Media Player

gbooker Re:my Roku experience for the hackers out there (217 comments)

The Roku rates pretty low in terms of scriptability/hackabilty IMHO. Yes, it has an API, but through numerous poor choices on Roku's part, this is not as useful as other platforms. Their Brightscript is not well designed, and the VM is buggy. I can cause the device to hard reset with one line of code (an accidental discovery trying to make the thing work). The library availability for the language is poor. Heaven help you if you want to do something that's provided in libraries on the net in nearly every language but not available on Brightscript. If you want to do something very very simple, you can pull it off, but more complicated programs are an exercise in frustration. Additionally, their provided displays are missing key functionality. For example, the Grid Display cannot be stacked without crashing the device, you cannot set the selection on it before it is displayed, and there is no callback for the display of the grid so you can set the selection then. Also, use the debugger too much, and you'll lock up the device, requiring pulling the power to correct it. Lastly, you cannot have more than one development app on the device at a time.

I went to a GoogleTV, and it's hackability is vastly superior to the Roku. It uses a language which has a large library availability (java) and the programming environment is inside an IDE (Eclipse). The remote debugger is more useful, synchronizing the execution with the location in the code and displaying local variables, in stark contrast to using telnet on a port to step through which is essentially a stripped down command line gdb (which is missing many of the more useful commands, such as breakpoints).

I cannot speak for the other devices, but if they were to provide any API for third party development, I would be surprised if they were not superior to the Roku. It has a development environment you would expect from the previous decade, not this one.

> later when they upgraded the OS (without breaking any compatibility)
This caused me to laugh. I have a Roku 2 and experienced a regression on http live streaming resulting in audio dropouts, video freezing, and even the device rebooting. My dad has a Roku 1, and experienced regressions on two separate "updates." This is not isolated; just see the forums and the number of requests to revert the firmware and Roku's refusal to allow it.

more than 2 years ago
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MSN Messenger Kickbans Third-Party IM Clients

gbooker Re:OS X: Proteus fine (422 comments)

It is being tested... The problem is that the changes rely on the ssl in the libcurl library that 10.1 does not have. Fire is maintaing compatibility with 10.1, proteus does not. Expect a release today.

more than 10 years ago

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Trolls, Trolls, Everywhere

gbooker gbooker writes  |  more than 12 years ago

What is with all the trolls on slashdot? I allowed comments to my last journal entry and if you look at them, not a single one is of a constructive nature. I almost wonder if they have anything better to do with their lives than to make a nuisance of themselves.

This nature is by far not exclusive to /. I have seen in it numerous other places. I used to respect the online community, but access to it has become too easy. I remember four years ago when spam mail was unheard of, I didn't know what the moderation "troll" meant, and people were generally nicer. Now whenever I talk with someone online, I have to ignore the worthless ramblings, the clueless, and the incessant ads. I guess everything eventually falls prey to corruption of human nature.

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Why do girls hate geeks?

gbooker gbooker writes  |  more than 12 years ago

I have noticed this for many years now. It seems that no matter where I go, girls hate the "computer geeks". This was true when I was in high school, college, and even still in my graduate studies.

In all of this time, I have varied my approach to the opposite sex as have many of my friends, and here is what I have discovered. If, when they meet me, they associate me with computers, that is the end. I can go no further from there. If they don't associate me with computers upon first impression, then everything is then in an inverse relationship to the time it takes them to discover how much I know about computers.

Now, I should be clear. I don't spend my entire life on the computer. Computers are great tools to get the job done, but that is it. They are only tools. I rarely ever discuss computers outside of my circle of friends who are on the same level as I, but girls still seem to think that I can't talk about anything else or know about anything else. I guess that it is a matter of perspective on their part, but I am really starting to get sick of it.

What I also would like to know is why do they think that my computer skill is an undesirable trait. It lets me do many things more quickly than conventional means and it will help me tremendously in my engineering career. That means that I will be able to easily support a family, but at this rate, I will never have one. To some of these girls, I have proven that I am not only a computer geek, but that doesn't seem to help.

Now, there are some who do see past the computer skills, but they are too rare. Needless to say, those who do, I consider to be my only female friends. The strange thing is they don't seem to understand it either.

Oh well, enough for this rant. Hope that some of you have enjoyed it.

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gbooker gbooker writes  |  more than 12 years ago

I just finished reading another article from Dvorak. Why is it that people like him think that they have to pick on Apple? He was criticizing them for keeping with the same ol Mac. I guess that Apple is the only company to look for in innovation in these days, but if you have an idea that you think that computer companies should do, then tell them, and if they don't do it, tell someone else to do it until some one does. Likely they will not do it because you have to show them that their is profit in it.

Speaking of which, I believe that is the primary reason why Apple is such an innovator. They have to in order to compete with the Wintel world. Grated, there are many die hard fans out there that will likely keep them afloat in tough times (I happen to be one), but that is not enough to run a business off of. They have to position themselves such that they can have the chance of staying alive. Now, would Apple continue to innovate if they were in MS's position? Who knows, and I am afraid we will never have the chance to find out.

Oh well, I have finished enough of a rant for one day. I just figured that since I am becoming more active on Slashdot, there is a chance that someone might actually read this. Small one, but it is still there.

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