Category Archives: Uncategorized

WDTV – Western Digital TV media player

Picked up a WDTV last night for $200. As you may have guessed from some of my other posts, I’m into my A/V stuff, so this thing seemed like a bargain. Many reviews will rave about how great it is, and I must say it’s not too bad, but I have found there are bugs (even in the latest firmware):

Playback of any AC3 file seems to result in a barely noticable (but very annoying) 100ms or so audio lag. This doesn’t drift which is good, but it makes watching anything with an AC3 soundtrack very annoying. I’ve tried various things to try and fix this and make sure it’s not me or my files, but the unit. Strangely, this only seems to occur when playing back NTSC files, and not PAL (25fps) files.

Other than that, it’s pretty good. I’ll hang on to it until I can test it on someone else’s setup. Otherwise it might have to go back to the shop!


After more testing with different files, it seems to be off-sync with a bunch of files, not just ones with an AC3 soundtrack. I also tested the device at a friends place before finally taking it back. If Western Digital manages to sort this bug out, I may consider buying it again…probably not though, manufacturers need to start testing stuff rather than just putting things out there and then releasing good firmware a year later.

I also just found out the WDTV violates the GPL, so I don’t want it anyway!


Version 1.02 firmware is now released for the WDTV, and I’ve recently bought an AV reciever which has built in a/v delay stuff (and optical/hdmi inputs etc..) so perhaps it is time to re-purchase WDTV after all. Converting MKV/h264 to AVI/xvid for my xbox w/ac3 isn’t so great.


I did re-buy the WDTV, and I’ve been very happy with it, but only if using firmware version 1.02.03 (I think it’s that one) which has all the sync issues sorted. Recommended!

Virtualbox 2.1

A new and significant release from Sun, Virtualbox 2.1 is now out just in time for Christmas.

I’ve been checking out a couple of new features that have been added. First, the most significant (to me) is native built in host networking support. This makes it super easy to connect a VM up to a host network adapter so that you can access the VM from the outside on the network – far easier and more simple than setting up tun/tap interfaces. It even works with wireless network devices on the host which is awesome.

The other neat new feature is 3d hardware support, this is a big deal if you’re a gamer and you use linux as it enables you to play your 3d games on VM rather than re-booting into windows or using WINE or whatever.

All in all, Virtualbox is now probably my favourite application ever, it just keeps getting better and better. If you’ve never used it before, it’s definitely worth giving it a try.

Download version 2.1

Why and should be your choice for microblogging

Explaining microblogging is slightly difficult, but I’ll give it a go:

You sign up for a microblogging service like twitter. You ‘follow’ your friends that are already on there, and perhaps some people that aren’t your friends but people who say interesting things. Once you’ve started following your friends, you might download a program for your computer to alert you when they post (or in the case of twitter ‘tweet’), and to allow you to post your own ‘tweets’ without having to visit the twitter website at all. This is great because it allows you to know what your friends are up to, or tell the world what you’re up to, or that you’ve just discovered an amazing new pizza at dominos.

When you post an update on a service like twitter, it’s totally public. You are broadcasting, and people who are following you will be automatically alterted to what you say. It gets really cool when you consider all of it can be done from your mobile/laptop/pc etc..

What’s wrong with twitter?

Now that’s cool, and I’ve used twitter and it’s good. However, there’s one (or two, perhaps three?) major flaws with twitter. The first being that it’s a closed service. Imagine if email was a closed service, eg people on hotmail could only send and recieve email from other people on hotmail and people on gmail could only send and recieve mail to @gmail addresses. This is effectively the problem with twitter, jaiku and all the 100’s of other closed microblogging services – it’s cool, but it’s silly. Oh yeah, the other things wrong with twitter are it breaks often is all closed up.

Enter is an open source microblogging server program. This means that anyone can start their own microblogging website. Please don’t stop reading here! This is where it gets good. You can easily link your microblogging website to any other microblogging website – adding to a big mesh of microblogging servers.. just like email servers. uses an open standard for communication also meaning that you’re not limited to using as your server.

Why is it better for me though? does lots of cool things that twitter doesn’t! Firstly, you can use an instant messeging client with it, and post to your feed just by sending the contact a message. Secondly, you can ‘track’ certain words. Say you’re interested in cake, you can type into your IM client: track cake and every time someone posts something with the word ‘cake’ in it (not just your friends!) you’ll get their post. There’s other neat things I haven’t tried yet such as posting attachments and things, but it’s got some killer features that no other microblogging services have.. the best being it’s open.

Find me on

You probably don’t want to have to set up your own server, so why not just use the ‘main’ one! Check out and subscribe to me: johnhunt

Move to Australia

Just a quick upadte, is now hosted in Australia rather than the UK. This is good because it means I don’t have to wait ages for pages to load on my own sites etc..

I’m going to set up a more personal blog, probably at with posts about life in Aus, photos etc…what I should have sorted out ages ago really.

Skype – Why it's the thing to use.

Recently I’ve been using Skype a lot to speak to friends and family in the UK and Australia. It’s pretty good for the following reasons:

  • There’s no need to configure your firewall
  • Everyone else seems to have Skype already
  • It’s pretty good quality wise.
  • The webcam function is really good, especially in full screen

Yes, it’s not ideal – it’s a proprietary network and the software is closed source, but on the other hand it just works. And now that the linux beta version supports video calling, I think it’s the best there is.

However, Skype (the company) shouldn’t be praised too much for their new linux beta – why didn’t we get it when the Windows version was released? Why should open source community suffer? Did Skype not realise it’s another potential market for SkypeIn/Out? So frustrating, but that’s how it is in the world of linux I guess!

This morning we called my sister in the UK. The call quality was great as was the full screen video quality. You always know something is good when it’s shocking! My only little gripe was that we couldn’t view my sisters webcam when ours was on. I guess that’s just a bug in the beta (2.0.17 I think) and could well have been something to do with my webcam itself.

Get the latest release of the Beta here.

Google Android

The Android emulator viewing John-hunt.comGoogle recently announced it’s new open source Android platform for mobile devices. As a programmer and designer, it sounds fairly cool, and as an end user it sounds fairly cool too!! I think I’ll be getting one of these Android devices as soon as they’re released as it seems like mobile computing has finally landed!

There’s a few interesting videos on the aforementioned site too.

Ubuntu 7.04 released

The latest and greatest version of the free, open source GNU/Linux operating system Ubuntu has been released just minutes ago. If you’re tiring of Windows, or simply want to have a look at what all the fuss is about, give it a whirl.

Find out more at You can even run it from the CD, so there’s no need to erase your Windows XP install.