Roku hidden features.

I finally bought a Roku device today and immediately went looking for development resources. I was surprised to find they have and SDK you can download for free and you don’t need to pay anything to distribute your app as long as your distributing it for free. You can easily put your device into ‘Development Mode’ and this Development mode lets you upload code directly to the device though an HTTP interface and also enables a telnet port for which you can step through/debug the code. I think it’s great that you have the option to run the code locally on your own device or create a private channel so that only a select few can see it, or make it public (i.e. every one in the world). I’m still new into this but i can’t help but wonder what their app review process is like to ensure malware-like apps are not being distributed but i’ll get more into that at a later date.

All of this is cool and I can’t wait to make my own channel but the other really cool trick it can do is act as a network sniffer! It has the option to enable tcpdump that will cycle through up to 4 dump files. These are all available via its web interface. This could be fun just to leave running for a few days to see what turns up.

Be forewarned, there doesn’t seem to be any security around this stuff once its enabled though. No password is required to access any of these features once they are enabled but you must use the remote to enable them. Its like putting in the cheat codes to old Nintendo games. UP,UP,DN,DN, Left,Right,Left,Right, B,A….

The channel code is written in BrightScript which is completely new to me. It looks alot, well exactly, like VB Script. I have never been a big fan of languages that don’t end lines in semi-colons. Probably because I started learning programming in C. I was actually kinda expecting sometime more java like. That was more wishfully thinking on my part I guess.

Since its got tcpdump built into it lets see if i can port RADAR over to it. :P

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