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Pixlr Online Photo Editing - Recommended

Pixlr is an free online photo editor that works great if your not on a pc that has photo editing software or if your restricted on a company computer.

My New Touchpad and Thoughts

Checkout my new Touchpad review.

Baseball Collector's Dream Site - Zistle.com

Great place to keep track of your card collections online.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Tutorial: How to use the Hauppauge 45 (or 34) button remote with XBMC or other apps

Here is how to add control for the Hauppauge 45 button remote with remote.ini file. I believe this will also work with the 34 button Hauppauge remote but not tested. This is for Windows only.

First you need to locate the remote.ini file in 'C:\Windows' and open it with you text editor of choice. (ie. Notepad) Backup this file.

Scroll down until you get to the following:

[Applications]
Default=
WinTV Remote=
;Win/TV+=
;Win/TV=
WinTV32=
WinTV32(1)=
WinTV32(2)=
WinTV32(3)=
WinTV32(4)=
WinTV32(5)=
WinTV32(8)=
WinTV32(9)=
WinTV32(10)=
WinTV32(11)=
WinTV32(12)=
FullScreen=
PVRFullScreen=
*task*=
;*suspend*=
EPGdemo=
VTplus=
Create and Receive=
Debug.txt=
hcwGDisplayWindow=
hcwGo=
Windows Media Player=
ActiveMovie Window=

This is where you'll add your application of choice.

For example here is one with some commom added programs:

[Applications]
Default=
WinTV Remote=
;Win/TV+=
;Win/TV=
WinTV32=
WinTV32(1)=
WinTV32(2)=
WinTV32(3)=
WinTV32(4)=
WinTV32(5)=
WinTV32(8)=
WinTV32(9)=
WinTV32(10)=
WinTV32(11)=
WinTV32(12)=
FullScreen=
PVRFullScreen=
*task*=
;*suspend*=
EPGdemo=
VTplus=
Create and Receive=
Debug.txt=
hcwGDisplayWindow=
hcwGo=
Windows Media Player=
ActiveMovie Window=
Beyond TV=
Meedio=
VeohTV=
Joost=
Zoom Player=
Dream Aquarium=
VLC=
InterVideo WinDVD=

Next you'll need to define your controls. Example:

[VTplus]
OLD0={ctrl}n0
0={ctrl}n0
1={ctrl}n1
2={ctrl}n2
3={ctrl}n3
4={ctrl}n4
5={ctrl}n5
6={ctrl}n6
7={ctrl}n7
8={ctrl}n8
9={ctrl}n9
OK={enter}
FULLSCREEN={alt}{space}x{alt}-x
CHNLUP={ctrl}{up}
CHNLDOWN={ctrl}{down}
VOLUP={ctrl}{F6}
VOLDOWN={ctrl}i
NAVUP={ctrl}{up}
NAVDOWN={ctrl}{down}
NAVLEFT={ctrl}i
NAVRIGHT={ctrl}{F6}
STOP={ctrl}s
RED={cmd(501)}
GREEN={cmd(502)}
YELLOW={cmd(503)}
BLUE={cmd(504)}
FULLSCREEN={alt}{space}r

To do this just scroll down to the end of the notepad, press 'enter' a couple times and add the program with brackets and add the controls. Here is XBMC for example.

[XBMC]
0=0
1=1
2=2
3=3
4=4
5=5
6=6
7=7
8=8
9=9
GUIDE=i
GO={home}
NAVUP={UP}
NAVDOWN={DOWN}
NAVLEFT={left}
NAVRIGHT={right}
OK={enter}
BACK={esc}
MENU=c
VOLUP=+
VOLDOWN=-
MUTE={tab}
CHNLUP={pgup}
CHNLDOWN={pgdn}
CHNLPREV=i
REC=r
STOP=x
PAUSE={space}
PLAY=p
REWIND=r
FASTFWD=f
SKIPFWD=.
SKIPREV=,
RED={alt}{tab}

Here is another example.

[Meedio]
0=0
1=1
2=2
3=3
4=4
5=5
6=6
7=7
8=8
9=9
GRNPOWER={ctrl}{shift}{f1}
VIDEOS={F5}
PICTURES={ctrl}D
MUSIC={f4}
TV={}
RADIO={ctrl}A
GUIDE={F7}
GO={home}
NAVUP={UP}
NAVDOWN={DOWN}
NAVLEFT={left}
NAVRIGHT={right}
OK={enter}
BACK={esc}
MENU=g
VOLUP==
VOLDOWN=-
CHNLUP={pgup}
CHNLDOWN={pgdn}
CHNLPREV=l
MUTE=m
REC=r
STOP=s
PAUSE={space}
PLAY={space}
REWIND={ctrl}{left}
FASTFWD={ctrl}{right}
SKIPFWD={ctrl}{up}
SKIPREV={ctrl}{down}
RED={alt}{tab}
GREEN={ctrl}B
YELLOW={ctrl}C

You can change the keyboard shortcuts to your pleasing. Hope this helps anyone that needs help with Hauppauge remotes with the remote.ini file.

Enjoy!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

XBMC Keyboard Controls

Here are the controls for the keyboard with XBMC PC. I thought these would be helpful for some.

p=Play
space=pause
q=Queue
x=Stop
f=FastForward
r=Rewind
period=SkipNext
comma=SkipPrevious
tab=FullScreen
left=Left
right=Right
up=Up
down=Down
pageup=PageUp
pagedown=PageDown
return=Select
enter=Select
backspace=ParentDir
m=ActivateWindow(PlayerControls)
s=ActivateWindow(shutdownmenu)
escape=PreviousMenu
i=Info
menu=ContextMenu
c=ContextMenu
printscreen=Screenshot
minus=VolumeDown
plus=VolumeUp
(0-9)=0-9
backslash=ToggleFullScreen
end=XBMC ShutDown

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

MediaStream for XBMC

MediaStream is a skin for the XBMC media center, which means that users of XBMC can download it and use it as an alternative to the default look and feel that comes with the media center. (If you would like to find out more about XBMC please visit xbmc.org). MediaStream has been designed around a central concept that "Media is King", in other words the reason you are using XBMC is to get access to your media and the skin should make that as simple (and as pleasurable) as possible.

WILL IT WORK ON MY 4:3 TV?
Version 0.90 introduced 4:3 support, so ensure you use a version equal to or later than 0.90 with your 4:3 TV.

HOW DO I INSTALL IT?
To install on your Xbox please unzip the downloaded Version and just copy the MediaStream folder to the skins folder within XBMC. Then activate via the Appearance settings within XBMC.

WHO CREATED IT?
MediaStream was created by Team RazorFish.

SCREENSHOT GALLERY

Latest version: v0.92 (21/09/2008)

For details of changes please see this thread on the xbmc forums.

MediaFire: MediaStream v0.92.zip
MegaUpload: MediaStream v0.92.zip
Rapidshare: MediaStream v0.91.zip

Source

Monday, September 22, 2008

XBMC 'Atlantis' for PC, Mac and Linux




Team-XBMC is proud to announce the first cross-platform Beta version of XBMC media center for Linux, Mac OS X (Leopard and Tiger), Windows, and Xbox, in preparation for the upcoming stable release of XBMC, code named ‘Atlantis’. There are three important news items associated with this release:

1. The first item that is new in this release is the brand new skin “PM3.HD”, a high-definition tribute to Project Mayhem III, which will be gracing screens as the default skin on Linux, Mac OS X, and Windows. Xbox users can, of course, choose to use this skin if they wish as well, and the original Project Mayhem III skin is still packaged with Beta 1 for those who prefer the old-school look. This is in addition to the already awesome selection of skins available for XBMC.

2. The second item is the initial release of “XBMC Live“, a bootable CD which gives users the opportunity to try XBMC on their computer, without touching their harddrive. In addition, XBMC Live allows installation of XBMC, complete with an operating system, onto a USB flash memory sticks for a permanent, fast booting, dedicated set-top-box style installation of XBMC. XBMC Live is designed to support Microsoft’s MCE Remote and USB receiver out-of-the-box.

3. The third item is that the XBMC for Mac release now has initial support for integrating iTunes and iPhoto media into XBMC. For more information on this, please read this developers blog entry; “iTunes and iPhoto integration in XBMC“. The Mac release of Beta 1 also comes bundled with a bonus skin for XBMC, and that is MediaStream by Team Razorfish, (this skin can, of course, be downloaded and installed on all XBMC platforms, like all other XBMC skins).

You should know that XBMC ‘Atlantis’ is still in a feature freeze, the final release of which is scheduled for October, and we really need your help in order to make ‘Atlantis’ as stable as possible. We encourage all users to download and use this Beta release in preference to using SVN or the Alpha builds, and test it thoroughly, reporting all bugs to our tracking system.

We would also appreciate any and all assistance in making sure that the online manual and FAQ are as up to date as possible. Both the online manual and FAQ are wiki based so just register and request write access if you wish to contribute. In addition, translations and updates of XBMC language files is another area where help would be appreciated.

Finally, we would like to take this opportunity to thank the XBMC community for the great feedback in terms of bug reports and usability suggestions. Without your assistance, we would never be able to make XBMC as solid and stable as it is right now.
Source
XBMC Home
XBMC Download

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Navigon 2100 max free traffic

Photobucket
The Navigon 2100 max now offers there Traffic Service for free. Just go to the Navigon website to activate. I wish they would have had this before all the trouble I went through to get the 2100 max with free traffic together.
http://navigonusa.com/

Friday, September 5, 2008

HTPC Software Thread - Overclock.net

I posted this over at overclock.net a while back. I thought I would put this here to help people out.

PVR, DVR, HTPC, Media PC and Media Box is pretty much all the same thing. Here is a definition from wiki.

"A home theater PC (HTPC) or media PC is a convergence device that combines the functions of a personal computer and a digital video recorder. It is connected to a television or a television-sized computer display and is often used as a digital photo, music, video player, TV receiver and digital video recorder."

All it is is a computer hooked up to a TV with additional hardware such as: TV tuners, extra storage and usually a IR or RF receiver with remote control।

SOFTWARE LINKS

DVR - Windows
-Windows XP Media Center Edition link
-Windows Vista Home Premium or Ultimate link
-Meedio 1.41 and Meedio Ultimate (free) (I use this for front-end) link
-SageTV (Windows, Mac, and Linux) link
-ShowShifter link
-SnapStream Beyond TV (I use this) link
-GB-PVR (free) link
-MediaPortal (free) link
-AverMedia Center (for use with AverMedia card) link

HTPC Software (without DVR) - Windows
-Nero Home link
-Xlobby link
-Got all Media (free) link
-Beyond Media link
-WinDVD Media Center link
-iMEDIAN (also known as iMon) link

Linux
-Entertainer (in development) link
-Mythbuntu link
-Mythdora link
-GeeXbox link
-KnoppMyth link
-LinuxMCE link
-MythTV link
-Freevo (Python) link

Mac
-EyeTV link
-Front Row link
-Apple TV link

Video/DVD Players - Windows
-Zoom Player (I use this) link
-VLC (I use this for streaming media) link
-Windows Media Player link
-DivX Video Player link
-RealPlayer link
-Power DVD link
-InterVideo WinDVD link
-TheaterTek link
-AVS DVD Player link
-Media Player Classic link
-The KM Player link
-Gom Media Player link

Blue-Ray and HD DVD Playback - Windows
-Powerdvd 6 link
-Intervideo WinDVD link
-ArcSoft TotalMedia™ Theatre link

IPTV or Internet TV - There are many Internet TV sites out there. Here are the most poplular.
-Veoh link
-Joost link
-Hulu link
-Babelgum link

Other Links
-Unofficial Meedio Thread - by me
-My old HPTC Setup
-My new HPTC Setup
-TV Shows info, coverart and banners
-Movie info and coverart

I will add more as I find them. If you find more I'm not aware of, feel free to post it here and I'll add them. Please report broken links.
HTPC Software Thread - Overclock.net - Overclocking.net
Blogged with the Flock Browser

The Right Lighting for Your Home Theater

August 22, 2008 | by Natalie Hope McDonald

image

Audio and video are usually the first two key considerations most people think about when designing a home theater. But a third and no less integral attribute is lighting. The average home theater enthusiast may do a lot less thinking about lighting than they do the size of their screen or even about acoustics, but the right lighting can transform the most basic to the most sophisticated home theater into an entertainment oasis.

The Big Picture
Just because you watch a movie in the dark doesn’t mean lighting isn’t important to the overall home theater experience. The first step to consider is the range of lighting available and what you’d most like to accomplish with it.

Whether you’ve designed your own home theater in the den or you’ve hired professionals to do the job, the most important uses of lighting are to ensure guests can move safely around the space while not suffering eye fatigue halfway through your favorite flick. You also want to make sure the position of the lighting does not interfere with your viewing screen. Certain flat panels and projection screens can be affected by direct and indirect lighting in different ways, which is why not all lighting fixtures may be suited to your home theater set-up.

You don’t have to limit yourself to only the basic types of lighting (sconce and in-ceiling). There are controls that allow you to customize solutions without tearing into plaster. While traditional lighting can be installed and controlled with remotes, another option is an RF-based system that is flexible and can be expanded down the road with limited impact on the cosmetics of a room. The lighting solution uses built-in transmitters that communicate with signals and controllers within a certain range. Vantage’s RadioLink is a good example. Also check out Lutron’s RadioRA.

Lighten Up
In addition to lighting types (hanging, floor-standing, in-ceiling, in-wall and sconce), lighting can be broken down into three categories: accent, ambient and task. Aesthetically speaking, accent lighting is important when it comes to highlighting details within a room like a favorite piece artwork or architectural element within the d├ęcor, while task lighting can be customized for specific jobs, like reading a magazine or doing homework while someone else in the same room is watching TV or a movie. Ambient lighting, meanwhile, pulls the other two varieties together in a cohesive environment. Most lighting designers implement all three type of lighting to ensure a balanced experience no matter what the activity.

The type of lighting you choose also dictates the design of fixtures. Both recessed lighting and wall sconces and can be enhanced by door seals, automated shade controls, as well as integrated lighting controls that customize the settings depending on whether you’d like to watch a movie or view a photo slideshow. Thanks to the breadth of lighting controls, the home theater doesn’t have to be relegated to a dark basement dungeon. You can turn a cheerful living room into a movie screening room thanks to the push of a button and adding a few of these elements. You can also conserve electricity with control systems in the home theater and throughout the house.

Take Control
Selecting fixtures depends on your personal style and activities planned for the space. Recessed lighting, while more modern in design, is ideal for a multi-use space, especially if you’d like to highlight select portions of your home theater while still maintaining enough darkness to enjoy a flick.

On the higher end, Crestron, a favorite control system for home theater professionals, manufactures a range of touch panels, like the iLux, a multi-zone lighting system, and infiNET with wireless dimmers and remote management options. Like many of these sophisticated control systems, you can actually manage lighting and window shades throughout a home, not just within a home theatre.

Info and Answers: The Right Lighting for Your Home Theater, by Natalie Hope McDonald - Electronic House Info and Answers
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Thursday, September 4, 2008

Comcast’s 250 GB Cap and Some Inside Info on Network Management


Karl Bode at Broadband Reports broke the news this morning (now confirmed) that Comcast will institute a 250GB bandwidth cap starting on October 1st. Nobody likes a cap, but as far as they go, this one’s pretty generous. It’s also far from unprecedented. Time Warner Cable made a lot of (negative) news when it started trialing a 40GB cap earlier in the year. But some of the smaller cable operators have been capping or metering for years. CableOne, for example, limits downloads and uploads during the time period between Noon and Midnight. The base plan allows for 1.3GB downstream and 131MB upstream in a day, and if you exceed those caps, the operator will slow down your connection. Meanwhile Sunflower Broadband appears to offer only 1GB downstream per month in its base plan. On the other hand, you can add extra gigabytes for only a dollar each in advance or the operator will charge you two dollars after the fact.

The one bit of good news around the fact that the big cablecos are getting into the capping game is that at least now we’re having a discussion about what’s reasonable. For example, should network management include caps, or slowed access for heavy users during peak times, or both? (I know “neither” is the ideal answer, but it’s also impractical.)

And, how much bandwidth is really enough? Keep in mind that the operators themselves don’t want to limit bandwidth too much because of the revenue potential from new services. As more IP devices hit the market, there are more opportunities for cable companies to sell broadband apps and even hardware/software bundles. Limitations on consumers are also limitations on cable revenue.

Which brings us around to the most important point. Capping and metering do not increase bandwidth capacity. Even as they set management policies for Internet use, operators still have to work continually to increase overall bandwidth availability. Good for the consumer, good for the cable company. Hell, it’s good for the country too.

Now one little extra tidbit. It turns out, unsurprisingly, that bandwidth management is more important in some places than in others. Apparently network management technology gets turned off by accident on occasion, and in one instance I heard about just this week, a not-to-be-named operator had network management accidentally turned off for two weeks before anybody noticed! I’m thinking the operator is probably not based in a college town.


Comcast’s 250 GB Cap and Some Inside Info on Network Management
Blogged with the Flock Browser

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