Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Fiddling about with little black boxes ...

Our lifeline, as we tend to spend much more time indoors at this time of year, is our Android box which enables us to access live television, films, TV series and much more. The world of XBMC is very addictive, with so many plugins and addons (all promising so much and often delivering so little). As I installed and uninstalled these plugins and addons I became aware that the system was slowing down, and becoming less reliable.

So off to the forums to see what advice was on offer. The end result was to consider the nuclear option of deleting all data, and restoring the device to factory settings. But, and it was a big BUT, what would I be left with at the end of the procedure? I dillied and I dallied, and sent emails and private messages around the internet, and the advice was ... get on with it. I contacted Brian of Computer SOS in Chlorakas, where I had bought the box in the first place, and he confirmed I was taking the right course of action. He did even offer to hold my hand over the telephone if I needed it.

So ... this morning ... with a cast of thousands (Honey and Jaz, looking very disinterested) I pressed the button. Strange messages came and went, and then the tv screen went grey ... and then restarted. I managed to download the latest version of XBMC and reinstalled the plugins and addons one by one. Boy! It was so simple that I could not believe it. At the end, I have a box which is flying and all is working, without all those annoying freezes and glitches that were becoming apparent.

The world of XBMC plugins and addons is indeed strange. You feel like a child in a toy shop the day before Christmas, and all the staff and customers have left. You grab this and that, even things you never think you will use, and your little black box becomes confused. And so, to Boxing Day, when things are put away in cupboards and in the attic - perhaps never to see the light of day again.

I was strong after this and resolutely decided against installing anything new, although there is a Plugin called Phoenix which is very tempting. Perhaps tomorrow or the next day. Perhaps ...

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