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User:Drigato/FSOSS 11

2,627 bytes added, 02:16, 8 November 2011
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What we can take away from Hoye’s presentation is that open source is here to help and can be the difference between your business’ success or failure. Hoye knew he had limited resources when he decided to pursue his own start-up. He also knew that despite these limited resources he would still be able to meet his goals. This was done through the use of open source software and contributions from the open source community.
==Take Control of your TV with XBMC==
The second talk I attended was titled Take Control of your TV with XBMC and was presented by Lawrence Mandel. Mandel is not, nor was, part of the XBMC development team but just happens to be an XBMC lover and expert since he has been using it for the last 5 years. Although not a developer for this project he is deeply involved in the open source community as a program manager for Firefox that focuses on browser cross cutting initiatives. Prior to that he was involved with the Eclipse and Apache communities and is the founder of the Web Tools Platform (WTP) and Woden projects. (
Mandel spent most of his one hour time slot going through the XBMC feature list while showing live demos of all its capabilities. XBMC is an award winning, open source media centre that can run on Linux, Windows, OSX, and iOS. As the title of the presentation suggests it allows its user to literally take control of what is played on their TV. This goes beyond what we typically see on a TV; In addition to shows and movies it can also display your photos, clicked through one by one or as a hands-free, slide show equipped with background music of your choice. It will also show you movie images, trailers, and summaries. Another great feature of XMBC is that it will be your memory for you! You no longer have to remember which episode of True Blood, for example, you last saw. XBMC tracks the viewed episodes in your series library and displays this information on the screen. Mandel also points out that with XBMC you have the power to take control of your TV by eliminating what we may not want to see, like commercials or shows that just don’t interest us. Its content is 100% controlled by you. Although not the starring role but definitely worth mentioning, you can import music files into XBMC and it supports all file types. One last thing I’d like to mention is that what XBMC displays on your TV can be controlled by other devices. Mandel has configured his iPad to be able to select shows and movies from within his XBMC and display it on any TV in his house.
Although Mandel spent a good chuck of his presentation going over the long list of features XBMC has to offer I’m sure that was not the heart of his talk. Mandel was simply giving us an example of what the open source community can accomplish. XBMC along with other great open source software is the epitome of why developers participate in projects like these. People everywhere have the opportunity to use free software that will be life changing, if only in the smallest way.

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