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October 2006 - Posts

  • Mobile Secretary

    Brian Cross released a insanely cool application called Mobile Secretary for Windows Mobile 5 devices.  This application responds to missed calls with a custom text message.  Best part is that he included the source...
    Posted Oct 31 2006, 09:03 AM by babgvant with no comments
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  • Why 64?

    I'm curious why people are choosing 64-bit Vista over 32-bit Vista.  From what I've read, the performance difference is something of a wash, faster in some applications slower in others; it seems to me that unless you need to address more than 4 Gb of RAM there really isn't much of a reason to go 64.

    What am I missing?

    Posted Oct 30 2006, 06:30 PM by babgvant with 7 comment(s)
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  • WMCVersion

    Wrote a simple utility based on a post by Aaron Stebner to report the installed version of WMC.
  • New Convert with FFDshow Action

    There's a new version of the convert with ffdshow (direct dvr-ms to xvid) action available.

    Fixed a bug where I forgot to set the path to the graph in the action.

    Lots of changes. Including some new actions that work with ExtendRecording.

    Should work on non-mce machine again.

  • MTP?

    I've been thinking of writing an action to copy to any media device that uses MTP (Media Transfer Protocol).  Before I spend too much time on it, I want to get an idea of how useful (i.e. how many people would use it) it would be to have that functionality.

    Let me know if you'd find this feature useful.

  • ExtendRecording

    I had the idea to create an action for DvrmsToolbox that would automatically create a manual recording after missing one of the penalty shootout in the last world cup.  I didn't have time back then (who has time with all that soccer to watch:)); and I forgot afterwards.

    I was listening to the latest Media Center Show and someone had sent a note in to Ian asking if MCE did this, or if there were any programs out there that would.  I'm not aware of anything that does this, and it seems like something that DTb should do; and now it does. 

    Those with Early Access can download the ExtendRecording action here (it will be included in the next rev for those who don't). 

    To use it, create a new profile with the actions you want.  As a sample, here's a screen shot of the one I created for the World Series.

    Then create a PC.

    Make sure to order it above "Every File", and you're all set.

    I wrote some additional actions to use with ExtendRecording.  They are included in the download for convert with ffdshow.

  • The Media Center Show Awards 2006

    Ian Dixon is taking nominations for the Media Center Show Awards.  Make sure to nominate, and vote for your favorite application!!!

  • Free Space Invaders for the WM5 platform

    Microsoft is giving away a version of Space Invaders on their site.  I'm a sucker for these old games, and I was getting a little tired of Solitaire.  You have to register to get it, but that's a small price to pay :) 

    Posted Oct 20 2006, 08:17 AM by babgvant with no comments
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  • Why is it so hard to get a single tall americano?

    DISCLAIMER: This is a rant, and totally unrelated to the things I usually write about...

    Like many industries, the coffee industry has a defined standards for how to do things.  The standard for how to order an espresso beverage.  Goes something like [number of shots] [size of cup] [type of drink]; for example, if I want an americano with one shot of espresso in a tall cup, I would say "single tall americano".  This is true everywhere but Starbucks; there I would say "short americano in a tall cup with extra water and room for cream".

    Even Microsoft has come around [somewhat] on standardization...

  • wiki added to the site

    a wiki for DVRMSToolbox has been added to the site.  right now it has a basic FAQ and an explaination for the addin created by onlydarkset.  let me know what topics should be added to the FAQ.

    also, if you want to write/edit content let me know. 

  • 10 min with RC2

    I am very impressed.  RC1 was slow, like a dog slow. RC2 has a very finished feel.
  • DVRMSToolbox

    Version is available here.

    - Manifests added to executable files to work with UAC
    - Changed numbering convention to seperate XP and Vista versions
    - Added LaunchCondition to installer to test for Vista
    - Fixed a bug in the CommercialSkipAddin, where MaxSkipLength doesn't do anything
    - Added a checkbox to the installer to register the addin
    - Added a LaunchCondition to ensure that the application only installs on Windows Vista
    - Added MigrateMetaData action, action will migrated the metadata from a dvr-ms file to a wmv file, and optionally index the file
    - ConvertToWmv action will detect hung conversion and MigrateMetaData if progress is > 99%
    - ConvertToWmvIC action will detect hung conversion and MigrateMetaData if progress is > 99%
    - Added ChangeContextValue action, allows the manipulation of Context values using Find/Replace regular expressions
    - Fixed a bug in the settings tool that was not detecting Context settings properly
    - Removed dependancy on external application to detect locked file information
    - Changed dvr2wmv.dll registration to detect if it is already registered (i.e. dvr2wmv is installed), and only install if it is not.
    - CommercialXml, Output, and Temp paths have default values
    - Process Prompt now has Yes and No buttons
    - Changed Job request model to use IpcChannel instead of files
    - Added AdvancedFileRename action, action renames a context file based on metadata values specified in %MetaTag% format
    - RunExternalPlus action added, allows the output of RunExternal to be tested for success
    - Options to test for existance added to FileOperation action

  • Early Access - file available

    For those with early access.  There is a build of the actions dll available in the download section that includes two new actions.  AdvancedRenameFile and RunExternalPlus.  See the file description for the specifics.
  • Convert with FFDshow

    I've been working on an action to convert to mpeg4 (dvix, xvid, etc) using ffdshow, and I am able to get it working.  The problem is that the audio and video get out of sync.  I think it's the muxer that I'm using (AVI Muxer included in Windows XP) that isn't syncing the a/v properly.

    Does anyone have any experience converting to mpeg4 using graphedit (directshow) and ffdshow?  If so, what filters are you using to make it work?  I'd like to include this action in the next rev of DVRMSToolbox so those who want xvid or divx conversion don't need to convert to mpeg first.


    Turns out this wasn't an issue with the muxer so much as it was a problem with the developer :)  A couple builds of ffdshow and lame later, I have something that works.  I've tested it with PAL, NTSC, and HD FW recordings made with MyTray.  ffdshow settings are made at the global level (i.e. from the VFW settings tool), some of the Lame settings are exposed through the action, but I'd like to get feedback on what other options should be available here.


    I forgot to call ApplyChanges() to make the Lame filter take the bitrate settings.  The action's been updated in the dl section.

  • Webguide 4

    There's a new version of Webguide out.  I posted the comments below in the Feature request forum over at the site.  If the use case below would be useful to you, please add your thoughts.

    I love the application, and have used it for many years (XML TV... shudder).  It's usefulness is somewhat limited for me because of the way I have my network setup at home.  My MCE boxes run on a different LAN segment than my home server (which hosts web applications).  Because of this I can only use it while connected to my LAN (or by first VPN then using RDP to connect to a box on the LAN).

    I can enable http traffic on non-standard ports, 8080, for e.g. but doing so defeats the reason why I have my LAN segmented in the first place.

    It would be great if the business tier (the part that needs to be installed on the MCE) was separated from the presentation tier (Web GUI) using something like .NET Remoting or WebServices; either of which have their own benefit/costs.

    Personally I think TCP base Remoting would work the best, as it would remove the IIS dependency, and would work easily through firewalls.  It would also be the easiest to configure, if running both tiers on one machine.  The main downside with this approach is that much of the plumbing that is provided with webservices would need to be built with remoting.  I'd be happy to help with either approach if selected.


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