Patriot Black PBO Core Box Office

Recently I went on newegg and bought this “Patriot Black PBO Core Box Office All-in-one 1080p Full HD Media Player with HDMI PCMPBO25”. (such a long name…) Simply put, a media box that streams to your TV with hdmi.

Just in case I didn’t do justice, you got to take a look at its supported video format list:

– MPEG-1: MPG/MPEG/DAT support up to 1080p
– MPEG-4: MP4/AVI/MOV support up to 1080p
– DivX 3/4/5/6/7, Xvid: AVI/MKV/ support up to 1080p
– H.264, AVC: TS/AVI/MKV/MOV/M2TS support up to 1080p
– WMV 9: WMV support up to 1080p
– FLV support 352×288
– ISO image
– Real Video 8/9/10: RM/RMVB support up to 720

I mean, what else do you want? It can also hold an internal 2.5 inch hard disk within (not included), so you can copy files into it through usb.

Awesome idea! I thought to myself. It’s about time this kind of product should come out to the market. After all, people prefer watching videos on bigger screens rather than their computer screens.

When I received this in the mail, I was so excited that I quickly tried it out on my TV. Cables were so easy to connect, no brainer. The main screen came out fine. Awesome!

Then to just test it out, I copied a mkv file to my 32Gb usb stick and inserted it into the pbo box.

After a long while, the greyed out USB menu is still greyed out. I thought to myself, perhaps this usb is too big? (ah… then I guess I can’t really use my external hard drive later…) I tried formatting my usb stick to fat32, still no luck…

I was so disappointed and sad. Sad because there were so many positive comments online about it, I felt cheated on. This’s got to be a conspiracy!

I then went onto newegg and followed the steps to do a RMA return. Weird I must say, I ended up doing a RMA exchange, and paid about $10 for the shipping fee out of my pocket. Sometimes, I do unexplainable things…

A few days later, the same PBO box arrived to my door. Still plastic wrapped, everything was the same, only that my heart was extremely skeptical this time. I unwrapped it and did the same wiring. The same screen came up on my TV.

So now, with my shaking hand I inserted my 32Gb usb stick. Same. Greyed out.

I was more calmed this time. I inserted another 2Gb usb stick, and that seemed to work. I played with the remote and played the mkv video file fine. No lag, and hdmi has sound.

Then I suspected it was the file system format. I spent quite some time on ntfs-3g, and stuff like that. Just to save your time, don’t do that. Keep your file format to fat32.

For whatever reason, all of a sudden I thought of firmware!

I did some searches and I found this obscure webpage documenting the firmware upgrading process:

Honestly that page doesn’t really look like anything close to being official. Looks more like a discussion forum. However, you will end up getting the latest firmware. * Btw, after pressing Stop then Pause @ the home screen, I had a hard time reading the bootcode off my screen. I ended up ignoring that.

At my time of installing the firmware, the filename is, released on Apr 4, 2011. Yea…. I know, I see the word BETA as well… no joke. Do it at your own risk.

After installing the new firmware, I see this very similar main screen.

Yea, see that orange background in the icon? Believe me, you are in much better shape with this orange color.

My PBO box then recognized my 32 Gb fat32 usb stick with no problem! You will also see the blue highlight in the selection menu, which wasn’t there before. Great UI experience I guess… good job!

Now I just need to make sure this box will work fine with my internal hard drive. LAN also doesn’t seem to work out of the box with my linksys default setup… I guess I will find out more on another day.

Mighty Mouse’s scroll ball

My mighty mouse scroll ball was fine for a month, but until recently scrolling up won’t work. At first I thought I was a software issue, but after updating everything and restarting osx, the issue remains. If that happens to you, don’t trash your mouse yet. Do this.

Try pressing down the ball hard, then roll the ball a little in that position. Now try and see if your scrolling comes back. This works for me.

Best way to explain this is to open up the mouse. Anyone?


Installing PEAR on osx

Assuming you have php installed and working already. And I am using osx 10.6.

Obtaining the installation package/script.

curl > go-pear.phar

Then run it

sudo php go-pear.phar

It will then ask you for the path settings. I suggest installing pear at the /usr/local dir, but this is really your preference. In my case, I entered 1, then changed the $prefix to “/usr/local/pear”. The paths below #1 should automatically change accordingly. Then enter to install.

Now, you will need to set your env path variable to point to this pear dir. Open up your ~/.bash_profile, then enter the following line.


Then open up a new shell and run “which pear”. If everything is fine, you will get “/usr/local/pear/bin/pear”.

You probably want to change your php.ini file to include the pear dir as well.

include_path = ".:/usr/local/pear/share/pear:/php/includes"

To install a pear package, say Console_Getopt, just do the following:

sudo pear install Console_Getopt

I am using sudo here because I installed my pear at /usr/local. If you installed pear at your local dir you can take out sudo.

If you used sudo to install pear at your local dir, the /tmp/pear/install dir may be unwritable coz it’s owned by root. You can simply remove that by “sudo rm -rf /tmp/pear”. Then do your “pear install” again as a local user.


If you need to obtain your IMEI # for some reasons, here is how. No, you don’t need the original box of your phone. 😉 BTW, I am using an iphone 4 with at&t.

Fire up your phone app, then go to the Keypad tab, then punch in *#06# and a screen should automatically pop up with your IMEI #.

Actually… upon more research, for iphone 4 users, it’s actually a lot simpler. Just go to Settings -> General -> About, then scroll down to find out your IMEI and ICCID #s.

mysql python installation error on osx

I installed MySQL-Python (version 1.2.3 at the time being) from on my osx 10.6, python version 2.6.1. Just do the usual “python build” and “python install”. However though, in the python cli, when I do “import MySQLdb”, I got some error.

>>> import MySQLdb
Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "", line 1, in 
  File "build/bdist.macosx-10.6-universal/egg/MySQLdb/", line 19, in 
  File "build/bdist.macosx-10.6-universal/egg/", line 7, in 
  File "build/bdist.macosx-10.6-universal/egg/", line 6, in __bootstrap__
ImportError: dlopen(/Users/birdchan/.python-eggs/MySQL_python-1.2.3-py2.6-macosx-10.6-universal.egg-tmp/, 2): Library not loaded: libmysqlclient.18.dylib
  Referenced from: /Users/birdchan/.python-eggs/MySQL_python-1.2.3-py2.6-macosx-10.6-universal.egg-tmp/
  Reason: image not found

Obviously, the error is “Library not loaded: libmysqlclient.18.dylib”. A quick fix is to simply create a symlink.

sudo ln -s /usr/local/mysql/lib/libmysqlclient.18.dylib /usr/lib/libmysqlclient.18.dylib

I suppose you can also play with your env path.