Microsoft Media Center review

by Mike Linnen 28. November 2004 18:26
Microsoft Media Center review
Engadget just posted a Review on the 2005 Microsoft Multimedia Center. I am waiting for the hardware to come down in price before I give this a try. I bet after christmas sales will win me over :)

DirectTV Series 2 Hack I might want to try

by Mike Linnen 28. November 2004 18:22
DirectTV Series 2 Hack I might want to try

I was checking out the PVRBlog and I saw a DirectTV Tivo Series 2 Hack.  This looks like something I want to give a try. However I have to get my Wife and kids to give up the Tivo for a while to do it :)

BroadCatching is new?

by Mike Linnen 28. November 2004 18:14
BroadCatching is new?

Just noticed How-To on BroadCatching. This technic uses Bittorrent and RSS to capture and download new TV shows. Neat alternative to TIVO.

Tags:

Software

Camera Security

by Mike Linnen 21. November 2004 18:33
Camera Security

I was looking for a camera that was waterproof (although I am installing it under the front porch), has motion detection, IR Leds for night vision and works well during the day. I found something that seemed to fit the requirements at the local Radio Shack. The Radio Shack Indoor/Outdoor B&W Camera was only $60 and also had two way audio.

The first time I gave the camera a test run was at night on the front porch and I was amazed at the clarity that the camera produced. With the front porch light on I could easily see 20 ft into the front yard. I never relized that incandescent lights give off infrared light. Well I was very pleased with the results so I planned to install the camera into my whole house video system on the next weekend.

The integration took a little hacking because I had RG6, CAT-5, and power going out to the front porch and the camera came with a PS2 connector. So I purchase a 6ft PS2 keyboard/mouse extension cable to canabalize for the camera to whole house video integration. The camera had signals as follows: GND, 15 vdc, Video, Mic Audio, Speaker Audio, and Motion Sense. After all was hooked up and I added an RF Modulator to brodcast the video into my whole house. This was about 1pm and the sun had gone down in my front yard. Well the picture that came from the camera was very washed out. I pointed the camera indoors and the image came quickly into view. Obviously the sun's IR was causing the camera to be blinded. Even though the sun was not directly in view with the camera. So the end result is this camera did not fit by "Works well in Daylight" requirement.

Back to Radio Shack to return the camera. I hope I can find a new one to take it's place. Even if I have to purchase a seperate motion detector and infrared flood lamp I would be statisfied. As long as the camera video quality is good during the day and night.

Pocket PC as a Home Automation remote

by Mike Linnen 21. November 2004 07:50
Pocket PC as a Home Automation remote

I have been wondering how fesible it would be to use the Compact Framework on a Pocket PC with WiFi to control a Home Automation system. Seems like it would be a handy device to use around the house. I have seen a number of aftermarket remotes that work over radio frequencies to control media devices in remote rooms. These devices seem like they would work (although I have not tried one) but they seem expensive and I could imagine that they would fall short on expandability. So I did a quick search on the Compact Framework and WiFi.

http://msdn.microsoft.com/library/default.asp?url=/library/en-us/dnnetcomp/html/MultiCommFramework.asp

http://www.codeproject.com/netcf/PocketStreamer.asp http://msdn.microsoft.com/library/default.asp?url=/library/en-us/dnsmtphn2k3/html/Smartphone_2003.asp

http://www.ondotnet.com/pub/a/dotnet/2004/02/23/mobilewebserviceapps.html

http://www.devbuzz.com/content/zinc_smartphone_compactframework_pg1.asp

http://msdn.microsoft.com/library/default.asp?url=/library/en-us/dnnetcomp/html/netcfgaming.asp

 

Google Desktop

by Mike Linnen 19. November 2004 06:04
Google Desktop
Decided to give it a try. Found a tip on changing the files it searches for here: http://www.jonathanmalek.com/blog/archive/2004/10/15/236.aspx

Tags:

Software

Configuration Library

by Mike Linnen 17. November 2004 03:13
Configuration Library
I have been working on a command line program that parses some text files specific to the Medical industry and I finally decided I am tied of writting command line parsing code. I noticed source forge project called Nini that is a .Net library that handles configuration access as well as command line parsing. I am going to download it and check it out.

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Software

Cool Tools

by Mike Linnen 7. July 2004 16:23
Cool Tools
Cool set of tools for more than the tablet!!
Scott Hanselman has a great list of dev tools. Besides Office, are there any other “MUST HAVE” software/tools for the Tablet?

Tags:

Software

MSN Messenger Library

by Mike Linnen 23. May 2004 12:23
MSN Messenger Library
There is a very useful Dot Net MSN Messenger library that is going to allow my Home Automation software to send me instant messages about the state of the house. 

Tags:

Software

DotText blog went down

by Mike Linnen 3. May 2004 09:14
DotText blog went down
My weblog went down when my hosting company decided to change the IP address of my SQL server database. I am not sure what prompted the IP change but I am going to look into it.

Tags:

Software

About the author

Mike Linnen

Software Engineer specializing in Microsoft Technologies

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