Troubles with Xbox 360 and Live

Was installing today my second Xbox 360. Everything went smoothly in the beginning: Xbox calibrated, asked its questions, found WiFi, connected to Live, and downloaded an update from it.

The next step would be to download my profile, and this is where the sucking part started, as it turned out that the Xbox cannot connect to Live. Connection test was able to find network and internet, but not Live. I have tried everything – restarting, unplugging power, restarting router, reading forums, jumping on one leg, singing shaman songs, beating the drum, standing on head. Nothing. Then I noticed that the DNS configuration on the Xbox has only primary server set, and it is pointing to the router, which has no DNS server of its own. Changed DNS to manual and pointed it to Google’s 8.8.8.8 and 8.8.4.4 servers. Nothing. Changed from WiFi to Ethernet, rebooted a few more times, changed DNS back to automatic, changed back to WiFi, and bingo – Live test succeeded. No idea why though, as Xbox settings now were identical to the initial factory settings, and those were not working before. Go figure. And all these while my second Xbox, with absolutely identical configuration, was happily working in the other room, and had no problems with Live whatsoever, including passing tests!!!

Fine, Live sorted out, so now it was time to download the account. Meant to be easy. Well, it was not. After entering email and password, I was present with the list of my accounts, selected the needed one, the download process would start, go about 10%, and stop with error message (80151909 and 80151103, temporarily cannot download profile). Retried it a few times (each time you have to enter both email and password using shit-fuck-crappy-on-screen keyboard, fuuuuuuuuuuck!). Someone from Microsoft recommended to authenticate the Live account, but the account was not asking for it. Then there was recommendation to temporarily change the Live password. Changed it, rebooted Xbox, and managed to download the profile. Finally!

The last step was to get back my old password – I have it on my Windows Phone, and some other devices, so changing it everywhere would be rather painful. Well, the password change page said I cannot reuse the original password, and that I must choose a new password each time. As stubborn as I am, I started changing the temporary password by changing one letter a time, and then retrying to set my original password. Something like 5-7 retries later I was able to reuse my old password, and the fairy tale got a happy end.

Aftermath: working Xbox with Live, and two hours of my precious Saturday time miserably wasted. Thank you, dear Microsoft! Can somebody tell me, how a normal person can set up a new Xbox with the internet connection and Live? He/she cannot, you say? Well, that is what I think too. Context: I am a software developer, and have dealt with computers for 27 years now, since I was kid.

Apple’s New “Miracle” :)

Never understood people that buy all the inferior Apple-made stuff, especially taking into account its price/quality ratio. On the other hand, everyone is free to buy whatever he wants, as long as he is not trying to convert me to his religion. But this post is not about these people! :) Instead, it is about Apple’s latest über-device called iPhone 4, and Apple as a company.

(NB It is all based on “hearsay”, I do not own any Apple products, and never will!) iPhone 4 is simply fantastic! It features super-duper-mega-resolution display (with yellow spots though), fantastic new glass design (that tends to scratch easily on the back side, and to break on the front), and cool metal border around it that works as an antenna for both GSM/3G on one side, and WiFi/Bluetooth/GPS on the other side. For those that have not heard about it yet, the phone has one major issue (in addition to those enumerated above :) – if you keep the phone in hands, signal reception quality drops drastically or even disappears completely. Likely reason is that hands are normally a bit moist, and when you keep the phone in hands you are bridging/short-circuiting both antennas with the known result. Now Apple came with the official answer that says:

Gripping any mobile phone will result in some attenuation of its antenna performance, with certain places being worse than others depending on the placement of the antennas. This is a fact of life for every wireless phone. If you ever experience this on your iPhone 4, avoid gripping it in the lower left corner in a way that covers both sides of the black strip in the metal band, or simply use one of many available cases.

Ha-ha-ha-ha!!! Hilarious! Brilliant! Fantastic! I would add “and avoid doing any phone calls”! :)

There is also an email answer from Steve Jobs on the link above. I think it is fake, but then my own experience in communication with Apple (that is a topic for a post of its own) suggests that it as well might not be – for me it seems that Apple employees, starting from Steve Jobs and all the way down, are kind of arrogant a$$holes (a fish rots from the head down?).

I wonder what all those Apple-zombies will say now?! :) Wait! Let me guess! Hm… “Oh! It is by design! Look at this fabulous screen! And its black glass! Oh! And I look so cool with this precious beauty in my hands! Everyone is just envious and tries to cast shadow on this god-given company and its heavenly products!” Ha-ha-ha-ha! :)

Have fun! Ja hyvää Juhannusta kaikille! ;)

UPDATE Just think this picture taken during Medvedev’s visit to Apple is so funny!

Jobs and Medved + iPhone 4

(for those who do not understand Russian, the top picture says “Hey… the signal is lost…”, and the bottom one says “This way it won’t be!”)

UPDATE 2 And one more picture:

iPhone 4 Solution

(it says “I have invented the device that fixes the antenna bug… also one can catch a fish using it!”)

ClaroVision.NET Platform Videos

My company, Oy ClaroVision Ltd, has been developing a media center (how we understand and see it) since 2006. What you get is:

  • Digital Television PVR Record up to 6 channels and watch one more simultaneously
  • Photo Album Organize your photos in a way most convenient for you thanks to extensive support of playlists (and, of course, you can view your photos too!!! :)
  • Music (including CD) Take control of your music collection thanks to playlists and CD-ripping function
  • Video (including DVD) Watch and organize all your videos, including DVDs (Blu-ray coming)
  • Web Browser Access exciting Internet services on the living room TV (it is not a walled-garden browser!)
  • Videophone Stay in touch with your family and friends

It is networked, so you can access content stored on your home PC/server as well. The main accent was made on usability – whole thing is very uniform and is controlled using remote control’s arrows, OK, Menu, and Back buttons.

We reached the beta milestone some time ago, and now we are ready to go to the public with our product. Here are some demo videos (all of them have HD version, so they are a bit bandwidth-demanding for proper watching) that make it easier to understand what we are talking about. You can find these same videos on our completely revamped website together with more detailed information about the platform and our company. Your comments are very welcome!