A lot has been said about how good or bad the South African Netflix library is. Wondering what movies and shows are available?
Well, no point in me keeping you any longer then, go forth and Netflix and chill.
In what was the most chilled launch in history, Netflix kind of just appeared in South Africa. I would imagine some techie just got an email and flicked a switch and that was that.
The time for Netflix and Chill is NOW! You get a 1 Month free trial to see if it actually works.
Compared to the US version, some shows are missing, but do you really care? ShowMax is the bastard child of DStv so we can give that one a skip.
Oh, one note, you’ll be charged in US Dollars because our currency is about as stable as your mother in law.
When I was growing up we had a Soda-stream machine and I thought that was pretty cool. The Keurig Kold takes that concept to a whole new level!
Just like a Nespresso machine (Or Keurig Coffee Machine) you buy capsules. You insert the capsule and out comes your drink. It is as simple as that. Except this time, the drinks are cold and possibly carbonated.
What sets the Keurig Kold apart is actually their licensing agreements. (Something I never thought I’d say) They have deals in place with brands of drink so that you can create your own Coke Zero or obscure iced tea.
At almost US$400 this thing isn’t cheap but just like the Nespresso machines, I doubt that is their target market anyway.
If Keurig is listening, I’d love a test device thrown my way. I promise I’ll give it back.
Check out a video of it in action below:
For my day job I’m a developer. That entails learning new technologies all the time. Time after time I’ve battled to keep interest making “To do” list apps and “Hello World” programs. A few years back a needed to learn PHP. Not just the basics, I needed to learn it well enough to make a production system for a client.
At the time I lived with my parents and our internet was poor to say the least. I used the internet at work to download things at night. I needed a way to manage these downloads remotely. I started looking at APIs and remote access. I decided setting up a simple PHP site pulling from APIs would be the best option. And so started my media centre infinity project.
I have to thank Johann Du Toit for the term “Infinity Project.” He introduced me to the term as an individual project that never ends. You keep evolving it over and over again making it better and better as you learn along the way.
I started with a basic page that showed downloads, their progress and I kept track of upcoming episodes of the series I liked to watch. I ran if off a RaspberryPi. Soon I updated an old laptop with some extra hard drive space and I put the extra power to good use.
Fast forward a few months and we had uncapped internet at home. I installed Kodi (then XBMC) and left the laptop plugged into my TV. Soon I stumbled across SickBeard and CouchPotato and started automating movie and TV show downloads. My basic PHP script got a make over and pulled from those APIs.
Soon my site was getting too large to manage so I rebuilt it from the ground up using CodeIgniter. I chose CodeIgniter because the learning curve wasn’t big at all. I got a lot of functionality out in a very short space of time. I was well on my way to “productising” my media centre manager. I made the mistake of using a Bootstrap based but paid admin theme. It seemed like a very good idea at the time, but without it being open source I couldn’t release any of my code. By this time I had moved to Cape Town and my media centre was my primary source of entertainment. I also had much better internet.
Web technologies are always evolving and recently I decided it would be a good idea to learn AngularJS. That way I would be able to make web based apps for iOS and Android as well as it being a stepping stone to really learning Swift properly. I saw this as the perfect opportunity to update my media centre.
I started with a few tutorials online and soon I had the basics down. I’ve always battled with markup. It wasn’t that I couldn’t do it, I just didn’t enjoy it. I found AngularMaterial. I started over and soon I had a really good base to work from. I refactored my old code into an API with a REST library I wrote for CodeIgniter. (Based on this one but heavily updated for performance.) I learned about JSON Web Tokens along the way as a good way to authenticate requests.
Some of you may have noticed me being a little missing in action over the past few weeks. I’ve been focussing on work, some freelance work and helping build an Uber Style App for a startup. On top of all of this I managed to get my media centre into a presentable form.
So this is what I’ve come up with so far:
I made everything responsive as I use it on my phone the most often. I linked it to the Kodi API so I have “Play Now” buttons on the movies and series. I also have the “Now Playing” remote. This pulls whatever is playing from Kodi and the progress. I added in some play/pause and stop buttons. The side effect of having this available over the internet is that I can troll my girlfriend and pause whatever she is watching when I’m at work.
This project is far from over, I will keep updating it. As and when I learn new technologies. I’m hoping an iOS app can be next. Currently I’m running this off of a Mac Mini with OS X Server on it connected to a 4K TV. I’ve moved from SickBeard to SickRage as it is much more actively developed. I can run 4K movies and series at 30fps. (More than enough for video) I serve it to the world over my Telkom Fibre line. This is more than sufficient for my personal needs.
I look forward to your ideas and feedback, please leave them in the comments below or give me a shout on Facebook or Twitter. I’ll look into releasing what I’ve done on GitHub when I’m properly using environment variables and remove a few hard coded hacks. I hope you guys enjoyed this little write up.
I don’t care much for the Magic Mouse but wow, the Trackpad and Keyboard look so good!
They have build in lightning ports for charging so no more AA batteries. They pair automatically when plugged in with a Lightning cable, a handy feature.
The Trackpad has Apple’s Force Touch (Still a terrible name) build in bring that feature to existing MacBooks as well as iMacs.
New toys do not come cheaply though:
Magic Keyboard is available starting today for $99 (US). Magic Mouse 2 is available starting today for $79 (US). And the Magic Trackpad 2 is available starting today for $129 (US).
I suppose I better start saving because I think those will look great on my desk.