In Case You Missed It – The Month of April in Review

This is intended to be a monthly wrap-up, but my memory’s not good enough to go all the way back to the beginning of the month. Therefore, you just get the last few weeks. As a bonus, though, I threw in a few stories from May 1. :)

April 13, 2009

YaBB 2.4 Released

The latest version of YaBB Forum Software came out with a long list of bugfixes and some nice new features.

April 20, 2009

CenterNetworks Switches to WordPress

Our sister site, CenterNetworks, made the switch from Drupal to WordPress. While far from painless, the transition seems to have gone smoothly and the site is moving right along on the new platform.

Oracle Buys Sun Microsystems

It will be very interesting to see how this effects the marketing strategy for MySQL, being that MySQL and Oracle DB are direct competitors. With MySQL being open-source, it can’t actually go away, but the focus might change dramatically.

Ubuntu 9.04 Desktop Edition Released

Although I am not an Ubuntu user, I do use Linux Mint (which is based on Ubuntu) as my primary OS at home. This release means that a new version of Mint is in the works and should be released fairly soon.

April 24, 2009

OpenSUSE 11.2 Milestone 1

The OpenSUSE community released the first milestone of OpenSUSE 11.2. Then, on May 1, they also released an update to OpenSUSE 11.1. I am seriously considering either replacing one of my other distros with the new version of SUSE or installing it as my Linux distro at work. Unfortunately, my attempts to test OpenSUSE 11.1 in VirtualBox have consistently failed miserably.

April 25, 2009

New Boxee For Ubuntu, Mac and AppleTV

I have not yet tested the new version of Boxee, but the Linux update apparently fixes Hulu (for now, at least), introduces Pandora Radio and more. I will probably give it a try this weekend.

April 29, 2009

Mandriva 2009.1 (Spring) Released

Mandriva 2009.1 came out the other day. I am still working on trying to successfully upgrade to this version, but from what I’ve seen, it looks really good. The new version comes with KDE 4.2 natively and includes quite a few other “enhancements.”

Drupal 6.11 and 5.17 Released

The Drupal team put out two new releases with various fixes and changes.

May 1, 2009

Microsoft to Give Away Windows 7 For 13 Months

Microsoft will apparently let people use Windows 7 without paying for it for a little over a year. Unfortunately, though, they will stop letting you use it at that point if you don’t pay. I think a better model would be to allow beta testers to use Windows 7 perpetually for free, but then start selling it commercially to everyone else.

Voting Opens for the eduStyle Awards

The premier site for showing off your higher education Web site and soliciting public opinion on your design opened voting on the second annual eduStyle awards.

Would You Like to see a Boxee Set-Top Box?

The Boxee team reported a little over a week ago that, while at CES, they were approached by a few hardward manufacturers about potentially integrating boxee into various types of hardware.

I’m curious; would you like to see an all-in-one media player like boxee (similar to Windows Media Center, but with more integration of Web-based technologies like YouTube, Hulu and more) available as a set-top box? If so, what features would you expect to see in that device?

Boxee Goes Windows

A new version of Boxee was released yesterday. The new version is currently available on Mac, AppleTV and Windows. While this is just an update for the Mac and AppleTV users, this is the first version released on Windows.

Those of us using Linux have been told we’ll have to wait a few more days to get our update, but I’m okay with that.

I am very curious to see how Boxee performs on Windows, but I am not one of the lucky few (214, to be exact) that got an invitation to test it on Windows, yet. Hopefully I’ll get one in the next wave of invites.

Boxee Releases New Alpha Version

Boxee, the XBMC-based media player I wrote about a few weeks ago, has released a new alpha version. The official list of changes (to the Linux version, at least) is as follows:

  • complete UI overhaul
  • play content available from: Hulu, CBS, Comedy Central, MySpaceTV, NextNewNetworks, On Networks
  • connect to videos from Hulu and CBS straight from friends activity and recommendations
  • manage your personal RSS feeds from http://app.boxee.tv and access them through boxee (on My Feeds under Internet Video or Internet Music)
  • navigation in media is vertical (up/down) instead of horizontal (left/right)
  • mouse is supported and enabled by default for new installations (for upgrades it can be enabled via Settings > Appearance)
  • application settings (YouTube, Flickr, Last.fm) are now accessible from the Settings menu
  • improved SMB support, which also fixes accessing your media via the Apple TV
  • when using a keyboard, the ESCAPE button always takes you to the previous screen
  • improved lyrics support
  • improved subtitles look and feel, support for subtitle switching and fixed media going Speedy Gonzales for a few seconds when subtitle are applied
  • when working in off-line mode, you can now properly access your local content
  • numerous bug fixes
  • many fixes from our friends at xbmc.org
  • moved boxee install directory to /opt/boxee under Ubuntu (POSIX compliance FTW )
I am a bit excited about the addition of Hulu. Unfortunately, however, I found that on my slow “high-speed” Internet connection, Hulu videos are virtually unwatchable. This, sadly, has nothing to do with boxee, as I tested the video outside of boxee. I guess I’ll just have to keep dreaming and waiting for the day that Verizon decides to upgrade the phone lines that run to my house or Comcast decides to run the extra 50 feet of cable it would take to extend cable service from the end of my driveway (seriously, that’s where cable service in my area ends) to my house.

Boxee – First Impressions

Boxee LogoI recently heard about a new program called Boxee. The program is currently in the alpha stage, so you will have to apply for an invite on their Web site. When I applied, I received my invite within a few days.

Boxee is a media player very similar to Windows Media Center. In truth, it’s actually based on XBMC (Xbox Media Center).

I signed up for the invite knowing that it was only available for Mac and Linux. However, I did not realize that the only Linux flavor for which it’s been built, yet, is Ubuntu (technically, Gutsy Gibbon and Hardy Heron). Thankfully, I was planning to install Linux Mint Elyssa on my home machine, anyway, which is based on Hardy Heron.

So, I went ahead and installed Linux Mint Elyssa (a post about that will be forthcoming) and then installed Boxee.