Airplay is rubbish: better audio streaming to XBMC

Edit 15/05/13: since the release of OpenELEC 3.0.2, Airplay has been working perfectly (and most of the other bugs have vanished too). Or maybe it's that I wired everything up with ethernet when 3.0.1 came out and wireless stopped working. And by "wired" I mean "nailed the cable to my doorframe". Either way, brilliant work from the XBMC and OpenELEC teams!

The Raspberry Pi is great. For about £25, and with the help of OpenELEC, I've got my whole media library hooked up to my TV - all in all, about 1.5TB worth of entertainment.

Yeah, the speaker placement sucks.

Yeah, the speaker placement sucks.

It consolidates all the different locations (in my case, hard drives and SMB shares) into a single library for each of TV and Movies, so I can chuck someone my phone or sit them in front of a browser and everything's right there in one place. Makes choosing what to watch much easier!

Continue reading

Cheap Chinese eBay antennas – a complete waste of money?

I live in a zoo. For the most part this is super cool, but it's in the middle of nowhere and the internet access leaves a bit to be desired. I started using a 3G dongle, but the signal is rubbish and it drops out whenever it rains.

3G signal

Zero bars, aww yeah

I started looking into ways to boost the signal, discovering that many mobile broadband users in rural Australia use Yagi antennas. These are highly directional and, if used correctly, can pick up signals from towers several kilometres away. I didn't have the tools available to DIY one, so turned to eBay for a sketchy Chinese alternative. What I got was this:

Continue reading