Tag Archives: skicelab

Nadir never became Zenith

Many years ago, SkiceLab was just an idea and Marco and I were technology enthusiasts trying to build whatever came to our minds.

Today, searching for my old stuff in the basement, I’ve found this:

Divx were getting popular and the regular media devices lacked support for it. We wanted to build the first video player and recorder with divx support. I guess most of the big companies were already working on that, we were just poor kids looking for fun. That machine, codenamed Nadir, was our prototype and was supposed to become be called Zenith once the software was completed.

Nadir was built using recycling old components from other computers, mainly collected from our parents and friends. We didn’t have a case and Marco’s father built it using a piece of wood, screwing everything over it. We’ve installed Linux and made some of the low level software to handle the devices. I’ve started looking at Python at that time and I’ve decided to use it for the media player. The Python binding for lirc was written at that time, in order to be able to use the r/c. (Note: there are better bindings than mine, I’ve linked it just for archeological interests)

Zenith has never seen the light. I don’t remember the exact reason, I guess we’d got demotivated when the first divx players were released. I don’t think we would have got any chances to build our first business with that, we’ve underestimated the market and the problem and over-featured the prototype (for instance the record function).. Still was fun and a nice story to remind today. 🙂

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