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Sunday, 20 December 2009


I think the HTPC is ready to go! Finally. It's been a long road, largely because I like fiddling and want everything just right. I've worked my way through Vista, XP and onto Windows 7. Now it all works. It is not perfect (for instance, Media Browser is rather slow to start, I could fix that with a ramdisk but that just adds complexity to the solution hence more things to fail) but it is usable by normal people.

Finally have all my move information up to date, Mediabrowser is a great product and when coupled with Media Center Master to get movie information works well. Incidentally, I installed the latter on a different machine so I can control updates and avoid extra software on the media centre machine.

Happy? No, now I want to put it into a smaller box (disappointingly the dual core atoms are still a little lacking and I would already need to have two 640Gb laptop drives so getting costly and limiting on hardware). I also want a mini wireless keyboard with built in mouse / trackball but don't want to pay £30 for one - I'll test the remote more and see how we get on without.

Thursday, 17 December 2009


Finally, after, shall we say an extended period, I got around to attaching my home theatre pc to the television downstairs. The TV is an old CRT so I didn't hold out much hope but to my amazement I have a picture where the Windows 7 Media Center text is readable (I've connected up using a VGA to RGB / s-video converter off of ebay).

The sound works fine through the TV although a little quiet via the stereo, however, time to try the toslink optical cable. Er, yes, a little louder, I could see the cones moving through the mesh on the speakrs, certainly the loudest they've ever handled. Ouch.

So all in all a resounding success.

Just one more job, putting the HTPC into the TV cabinet.

Oh dear, when I measured the cabinet it was big enough for the HTPC case (a silverstone gd01). I forgot hinges! Doh.

Saturday, 5 December 2009

One of those days

We went to see Alex at Stagecoach today - every term there is a session where the children how off the things they have learned & how he grinned. I filmed almost all of it on my Panasonic DMC-TZ5 in HD format. The camera did give me a warning that it had to stop recording because the Sd card couldn't keep up. So imagine my disappointment in discovering that the whole card is corrupt!

But some good news. I purchased Photo Rescue (v 2.1) just over 4 years ago & still had a copy on hand. It works perfectly, churned away at the SD card for about 30 minutes, fully automatic, spot on.