XMBC and Scripting in Python

Over the past couple of days I've been looking into scripting in Python. It's an interpreted language which is used for stacks of things, but for me, the main thing is that Xbox Media Center (XBMC) uses Python for it's extension scripts.

One extension in particular that has sparked my interest is the Caller Id script. This pops up the name of the person calling your landline on the TV when you're watching a movie in XBMC. In the full article I'll go through all the steps I went through to extend the basic Caller Id script & test it on a PC before porting it over to the Xbox.

The script looks pretty good, but I need a modem that actually supports UK caller id (very few actually do). The one that's now winging it's way to me from eBay auction is a US Robotics 56K Faxmodem v.92 Model 5630B. Fingers crossed it'll work alright! The place I used to find a UK caller id compatible modem was here.

As I set up the modem and modify the scripts & document everything and post it here.


Changing Site Layout using Platypus & Greasemonkey

One thing that was bugging me was how much of the screen some sites were taking up with banners and welcome messages that never change. It means that I have to page down to see whether there's any new content. A great way round this is to use the Firefox extensions Greasemonkey and Platypus.

Platypus gives you a new toolbar from which you can quickly streamline websites & save off the results for future visits. Here's a quick example:

Once you're happy with the changes you've made, hit Save…

Then hit Install. Next time you visit the site, your changes will be re-applied.