Tag Archives: Xbox360

Xbox360 Media Center Indeed

Microsoft updated the Xbox360 software in December with the ability to play Divx-encoded .avi files (previously, files had to be in Windows Media format), but I didn’t get a chance to test it until today, when I got back home where I can connect the 360 to the internet. But this is the most awesomest thing EVER. Most downloaded video files, like TV shows as an example, are encoded with divx (or xvid, which is also now supported, apparently–I was worried it wouldn’t be), so while I’d gone through the hassle of converting a couple to WMV to stream to my TV through the 360, it wasn’t really worth it. Took forever and quality went way down. But now. Oh, now. Just point the 360 at the .avi file on my computer, and it pops up with virtually the same quality it is on the computer.

So the few shows I missed over the holidays and my DVR ran out of space? I can still watch them on the TV rather than the computer. And my downloaded episodes of Australian Idol? I’m watching them on the TV right now! I’ve never been able to watch them on TV! It’s so exciting. Really. Maybe you have to be me to be this excited about it.

Now it’s just time for Reed Hastings, CEO of Netflix and a member of Microsoft’s board, to get video streaming from Netflix to the 360 and my TV so I can use Instant Watching on my TV. Come on, guys. It’s only a matter of time, so let’s do it sooner rather than later, k?

Oh, speaking of Idol shows, I don’t think I’ll live-blog American Idol this year like I did last year. It got to be quite a hassle by the end, and I don’t think much of anybody read it while it was going on anyway. I’m thinking about Twittering throughout the show, though, and then posting those Twitters at the end of the show all at once. That way, if you were on the computer during the show, you could see the Twitters live if you wanted, but you could also just read them all at the end if you’d rather. And Twitter is made for that sort of short-form writing, while it was kind of a pain to be constantly updating the WordPress post and having to keep track of the timestamps and stuff.

Networking confuses me :(

I’m having it up to here with networking right now. Not the interpersonal kind of networking that gets you jobs and things, though I have issues with that as well; the computer kind.

My laptop has a wireless connection to the internet via the cable modems scattered throughout the apartment complex. I can connect my Xbox360 (yes, I bought one) to my laptop via an ethernet cable, which works fine for sharing media between the two (i.e., I can play songs and stuff from my computer through the Xbox360 and thus through my stereo system). It seems to me that I should thus be able to get to the internet from the Xbox360 to take advantage of the Xbox Live stuff, right? Wrong. I figured maybe I had to tell my laptop to share the internet connection, so I went into network connections and did that, but I get an error message saying that there’s an IP address conflict.

I’ve tried Googling the error message, and everything I get has to do with messing with the router. But I don’t HAVE a router. I don’t have a working modem. (I’m not leeching, if that’s what you’re thinking; the apartment complex pays for everyone’s internet, so it doesn’t matter who connects to which modem throughout the complex.) So I can’t do that.

Really bringing this to a head was my desire to poke around on the Xbox website, but they won’t even let me IN unless I sign in with my gamertag. Problem being that I signed up for Xbox Live about two and a half years ago, and apparently that was before the one time my credit card went missing and I got a new one, so it won’t recognize that I’m me (because you have to give the last four digits to identify yourself when you forget your password, which I also did). Helpfully, it says that I can find out the information I used to sign up by signing into Xbox Live on my console. Which I CAN’T DO, because I can’t get it to connect to the internet.

So, someone who knows more about networking than I do, is there any way to fix this in my current setup? Or do I need to try AGAIN to get Time Warner to fix my modem (something I have tried to do unsuccessfully, and it was an incredibly painful phone call just trying to get someone who knew what the hell they were talking about, and even then, as afore mentioned, it was unsuccessful).

Top Five Reasons I Need an Xbox360 This Fall

So my plan for buying an Xbox360 largely involves not eating out ever. Which is saving me about $10 a week. At that rate, I can get a 360 in like three years. I might modify my plan, however, because there are a lot of really great games coming out for it, and nothing coming out for the Xbox anymore (although that does mean I’ve been able to pick up a bunch of solid Xbox games for like $5 over the past several months, which is awesome). Here are the five I’m salivating over the most, in no particular order. (Also there are trailers, which may not show in feedreaders.)

By the way, the pixelization on the trailers is introduced by my having to resize them to fit in my layout; click through to see them fullsize at GameTrailers.com if you think the graphics don’t match up to my praise of them.

Mass Effect
November 20

It’s a sci-fi RPG by BioWare, the same company that made Knights of the Old Republic and Jade Empire, but with a combat system that I’ve heard compared to that of Gears of War. So, RPG with real-time, action-style combat? Sign me up!

Assassin’s Creed
November 13

If they can make the hand-to-hand combat and freerunning work as well as it looks in the trailer, then this is going to be awesome. You get options between stealth and head-on approaches, too. I always like options.

Guitar Hero III
October 28

I haven’t played much of anything that was as much pure fun as the Guitar Hero games. I almost bought a PS2 last year just to get the first one, but I talked myself out of it in anticipation of getting a 360 at some point. Although, Rock Band sounds really sweet, too…I’m just concerned about peripheral cost with that. Oh, and finding three other friends who like video games.

Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare
November 5

I’m not actually tired of WW2-set FPS games, like a lot of people are, but the Call of Duty series has been so great, that I’m more than willing to follow them into modern warfare. Plus, this looks gorgeous! And Game Informer named it the number one game of E3 this year.

Grand Theft Auto IV
March 3, 2008

GTA IV would’ve been my number one reason for getting a 360 this fall, but it got moved back to spring. :( So I guess this is really Top Five Reasons To Get an Xbox 360 in the Near Future. Just look at this, though. And the teaser trailer, too. The lighting effects are incredible. If it keeps the same level of gameplay as San Andreas and adds this level of graphic quality (I’m pretty sure this is in-engine, not cutscenes, but I don’t know for sure), wow.

And I’ll also probably want to pick up Rainbow Six Vegas, Elder Scrolls: Oblivion, Crackdown, Call of Duty 2, Lost Planet, and maybe BioShock. And Prototype looks amazing. So yeah. Oh, I didn’t mention Halo 3. That wasn’t a mistake; I’m not as huge a fan of the Halo series as everyone else is (in fact, I’ve never really bothered to play it except in co-op, because when it came out it was one of the few games that even had co-op). I might get it eventually, but certainly not at full price.

New look

My paper due tomorrow is done, the one due Tuesday is only lacking two pages (out of 22, so percentage-wise…) and what I’ve got is looking good, so I took some me time to play with my layout. I’m having trouble keeping both sides of my brain working–when I worked at the bank, the creative/imaginative side got no play (hence the scurrying back to grad school in English), but now that I’m spending 3/4 of my waking moments reading and writing about literature, the analytical side is feeling left out. Coding layouts helps that. (Oh, and dude, I worked on The Frame some, finding a way to incorporate inline media players and such, and I can now totally code html tables in my sleep. I always relied on DreamWeaver’s WYSIWYG interface for that before, but no more! So much more control now.)

Anyway. I’ve been eyeing this layout for a long time–it’s really clean and bright, but it took me a while to sit down and figure out how to smash everything that I had in a three-column layout down into a two column. I did try at first to make this one into a three-column one, and though I was moving in the right direction, my PHP/CSS skillz aren’t quite up to that yet. Now I just have to make a custom banner for the top…I sort of like the default one, but it’s not mine, you know? But that’ll have to wait until the next time I need a procrastination project. You know, nobody’s going to ever believe that I actually do study, because all I ever post about is taking breaks from studying…ooh, did I mention that I was playing Midnight Club 3 and won a race by less than 100th of a second? Seriously, check it out:

Midnight Club 3

I know, right? Awesome. I made so many mistakes that run, too…it was raining, couldn’t see a thing, plus I’d just upgraded my car (Lotus Elise–the thing rocks out), and it always takes a little getting used to the new power and handling.