How to launch Boxee with MCE Remote (Windows)

Found a neat little install for launching Boxee with your MCE remote green button (usually launches WMC). Simply download and install!

http://inchoatethoughts.com/launching-boxee-with-a-windows-media-center-remote

Thanks Jacob Johnston!

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Forgotten User Password in Vista?

Had a call from my mate over the weekend who had forgotten his user password in Windows Vista. Luckily he was still able to get into his account as he has fingerprint entry enabled, however he still couldnt remember his password. Searching around on the web there are a few solutions but I found this one the easiest:

1: Create a new “Administrator” account
2: Switch to this account
3: Go to Start, then in the run box enter “control userpasswords2”
4: A dialogue box will open, select the user account you want to change the password of and change it! You will not need your current password to do this 🙂
5: Switch back to the troublesome account and test your new password!
6: You can delete your temporary admin account now if so desired!

How launch XBMC with MCE Remote “Home” Button on Ubuntu

Having recently installed ubuntu on my HTPC I was keen to get my Microsoft MCE Remote Control working. Initially this is easy to setup with LIRC but its a little trickier to get the buttons mapped the way you want. There is a lot of documentation on the web which doesnt seem to work.

I following the guide here with a few tweaks of my own: http://www.hackourlives.com/setup-windows-media-center-remote-for-mythtv-and-xbmc/

Im only interested in launching XBMC with the “Home” button on the remote, the power button will close XBMC with the default setup.

My setup:

Microsoft MCE Remote with USB IR Receiver
HTPC: Dell Hybrid
Version of ubuntu:

DISTRIB_ID=Ubuntu
DISTRIB_RELEASE=9.10
DISTRIB_CODENAME=karmic
DISTRIB_DESCRIPTION=”Ubuntu 9.10″

Here are the steps:

1: Install the LIRC package which supports IR remotes for linux

$ sudo apt-get install lirc lirc-modules-source

You will then next to select the correct remote in the GUI which pops up.

2: For basic setup for media centre remote integration with xbmc and mythtv etc install the following:

$ sudo apt-get install mythbuntu-lirc-generator

and run in a terminal:

$ mythbuntu-lircrc-generator

According to the source this creates a .lirc directory and .lircrc file. However in my experience it created a txt file .lirc and no .lircrc. I removed the txt file .lirc and created a directory .lirc and txt file .lircrc in my home account

$ mkdir .lirc
$ touch .lircrc

3: Ensure the remote/receiver is now working, in a terminal window:

$ irw <return>

Now press some buttons on the remote such as “Home” and “Play” and you should see the button codes | names | mceusb

4: Now cd into your .lirc directory and create these two files

$ touch irexec
$ touch irxevent

5: Edit the irexec and enter the following:

# Start XBMC
begin
prog = irexec
button = Home
config = ~/scripts/startXBMC.sh &
end

6: Make another directory in your home account called scripts

$ mkdir scripts

7: cd into this directory and make two files, one called startIRexec.sh & another called startXBMC.sh

8: Edit startXBMC.sh and enter the following:

#!/bin/bash

# Test to see if XBMC is running first
if ps -ef|grep -v grep|grep -i xbmc.bin
# if ps -ef|grep -v grep|grep -i mythfrontend.re
then
# Do nothing
echo “XBMC already Running!”
else
# Startup MythTV
xbmc
fi
exit

9: Edit startIRexec.sh and enter the following:

#!/bin/bash

# Test to see if IRXevent is running first, if so kill it, then restart
if ps -ef|grep -v grep|grep -i irxevent
then
ps aux|grep -i user_name|grep -i irxevent |awk ‘{print $2}’|xargs kill
else
# Do nothing
echo “irxevent already dead!”
fi

# Test to see if IRexec is running first, if so kill it, then restart
if ps -ef|grep -v grep|grep -vi start|grep -i irexec
then
ps aux|grep -i user_name|grep -i irexec |grep -vi start|awk ‘{print $2}’|xargs kill
else
# Do nothing
echo “irexec already dead!”
fi

#test to see if an instance of irxevent is already running
if ps -ef|grep -v grep|grep irxevent
then
# do nothing
echo “irxevent already running”
else
# start irxevent
irxevent ~/.lircrc &
fi

#test to see if an instance of irexec is already running
if ps -ef|grep -v grep|grep irexec
then
# do nothing
echo “irexec already running”
else
# start irxevent
irexec -d ~/.lircrc &
fi

exit

10: Edit the startIRexec.sh file and replace all user_name entries with your user name.

11: Make sure both scripts are executable:

$ chmod +x *.sh

12: Add the following lines to the .lircrc file in your home account

include ~/.lirc/irexec
include ~/.lirc/irxevent

13: Manually execute the startIRexec.sh script

$ ~/scripts/startIRexec.sh

With any luck you should now be able to launch XBMC with the “Home” button on the MCE remote 🙂

To ensure that the irexec script starts when you login:

System > Preferences > Startup Application

The application to launch is /home/username/scripts/startIRexec.sh

Enjoy your new remote!

Don’t Waste Your Money

Apple try and charge £25 for the Power Support Air Jacket for the iPhone 3G (http://store.apple.com/uk/product/TS503LL/A?mco=MzI3MDI3MQ) seems a bit steep considering its just a small piece of clear plastic….

I opted to spend just £1.90 on something that is nearly identical from this user on ebay:

http://myworld.ebay.co.uk/red.polulus/

It took about a week to arrive from Hong Kong and looks / feels great!

Enjoy the savings!

FAT32 to NTFS On The Fly

Saw an error today copying an mkv file to my external HDD. The error stated that “The file is too large for the destination file system” which was strange as there was over 300GB free. I had previously formatted the external drive as FAT32 so it could be used by both mac and PC. Turns out however that FAT32 doesnt support files over 4GB and that the disk would need to be formatted. The problem was that it already had a lot of files on it…….the work around is to change the file system type to NTFS which can be done on the fly in Vista!

1: Go to Start > Accessories > Command Line: Right click and run as administrator

2: Type the following command:

Convert F: /fs/ntfs /nosecurity

*replace the drive allocated letter with your external HDD

3: You will be asked the current name of the HDD and some details will come up about the disk and bingo! Conversion done!

Only problem now is that I cant access the disk directly with mac….but its available over the network which is an acceptable work around.

Thanks to the original source

http://www.hanselman.com/blog/TheDuhFilesTheFileIsTooLargeForTheDestinationFileSystem.aspx

24 Redemption

Nice little 2 hour special on the 23rd Nov (US) before the new season starts in Jan 2009!