Comparison Between a Desktop Computer and a Laptop

The word computer was introduced in pre 20th century. Charles babbage is considered as the father of computer which was discovered by him in 1837. While inventing the computer, Charles would have never imagined that his discovery will be turning into a history and will become the most important factor in 20th century.

Technology started playing in the field of computer and a normal computer changed its form into a desktop computer, laptop and then a tab. Still there are majority of people who prefer to use a desktop computer even today. Other than the functionality and appearance, there are various other factors which distinguish a laptop from a desktop computer. In this article we would discuss about the difference between a desktop computer and a laptop.

Desktop Computer

A desktop computer is a personal computer which cannot be moved easily and are comparatively bigger in size. A desktop computer consists of a monitor, a keyboard, a mouse and the brain of the computer that is the CPU. If any one of the part is not present then it cannot be used. Therefore, each part of the desktop computer is very important. As the desktop computer is an earlier version within the computer sector, it costs less. The positive factor of desktop computer is nothing but there is no risk of dropping and breakage and at the same time the drawback of the personal computer is nothing but you cannot carry somewhere like you can do with a laptop and it need to be always connected to the socket. Desktop computer are mostly used in small office sectors, at houses where it is been used by small children, for accounting purpose in small shops, etc.

Laptops

A laptop is nothing but a compact version of a desktop computer which is a portable one and easy to carry. A laptop does not carry different parts like keyboard, mouse, monitor and cpu just like a desktop computer, rather all are set in one. But sometimes for better convenience people connect mouse to click and drag the things. As laptop is a portable form of computer due to which it is expensive compared to a normal personal computer. Currently most of the office workers and especially business organisations prefer a laptop for the use as it gives more compatibility and convenience. You can place anywhere while working on it. The drawback of a laptop is nothing but it need to be handled with care and cannot drop it as it would be damaged soon and can be theft easily. Due to its increasing demand, there are various best laptop brands which help you to select the right one for you. We have analyzed plenty of laptop brands and here is our roundup of the best laptop brands 2017 in detail.

Above discussed factors are the basic differences, positive points and the drawbacks of both computers. Other than this there are various other factors which distinguish each other. There are some social issues regarding a laptop and a personal computer. Here are some of them which are being discussed.

A laptop can be easily stolen

One of the negative factor of a personal computer is it cannot be moved easily, i.e, it is a non-portable device and at the same time a laptop can be moved anywhere and even carried for a longer trip. But the same positive factor of the laptop sometimes changes into its cons. A laptop can be easily stolen by anyone as it is light weighted and can be handled easily. There are various best laptop brands who produces smaller sized laptop due to which it is light weighted. This makes people happier and they tend to carry with them. There are various cases registered on missing of laptop and also stolen cases.

Personal computer becomes safer for parents

There are most of the parents who tend to purchase a desktop computer for their kids and place them in a common room. Due to this, the parents can keep an eye on the kids and their works being done on the computer. But if you place the personal computer on their bedroom, then you cannot guide your children nor you can keep an eye on them. Placing the personal computer in their bedroom is just similar to giving them a laptop. It is recommended to parents that they don’t provide a laptop or place the desktop computer in personal room of their children under 18 as there are various social issues being happening with the help of internet.…

PowerControllerMCE

PowerControllerMCE

PowerController MCE is a multi-standard Home Automation Add-In for Windows Media Center, controlling electrical devices that run on the Bye Bye Standby/ Domia system, Z-Wave and Mi Casa Verde devices, as well as IP webcams.

 Control devices from your Media Center PC

Control your lights, your electronics, anything you want, all from your media center PC

Webcam integration

Monitor webcams round your house from your media center PC.

Multiple format support

PowerControllerMCE support both Bye Bye Standby, Z-Wave, and Mi Casa Verde devices, all in one control system. Mix and match devices as you build your system.
Note, if you are involved with another system, we are also interested in adding further support, so get in touch

Monitor your system

See which devices are on and which are off round the house – no matter how they were controlled – via the PC, a switch, remote control, over the web. PowerControllerMCE will keep track of it all.

Turn everything off

When you leave the house, turn everything off with just one click

Support for multiple zones

Split your house in to different zones or rooms to allow you to group your devices conveniently

Support for scenes

Create multiple scenes for different activities, e.g. Watch Movies, or Bedtime to set multiple devices on or off, and set the dim level, all from one control

Scheduled events

Turn devices on and off at scheduled times or at sunrise and sunset. Make your house look lived in when you are away, or just make sure everything gets turned off at night. Or have your hi-fi or TV turned on in the morning automatically. Offset the events by a random amount each day for that extra lived in look.

Universal Remote Control

You can set a keyboard shortcut for any of the devices or scenes so that you can turn them on or off and dim them without even going in to PowerControllerMCE. If you have a programmable remote control you can even program those keys in to it to control your devices without even turning on your PC

Server support

Rather than leaving your media center PC on all the time to monitor the state of your devices, you can now install a windows home server add-in to control and monitor everything. Best of all, when you do this all of the settings and state information is stored on the server and can be shared from multiple PCs.

 

Web Control

In addition to media center control, a touch enabled web interface is available – ideal for a PC, tablet or smart phone.

 

Requirements

PowerControllerMCE can control multiple different home automation systems.

To control BBSB devices, you need to have one or more Bye Bye Standby plug sockets, and the Bye Bye Standby Controller. If you are looking to buy some, Nigel at the Smart Green Shop has been very helpful sourcing different items for me, and has the best price I have seen on the Online Controller. If you want some plug sockets, the best price I have found is online at Currys at £19.99 for three, plus you can get 3% cashback on that at TopCashback, and pick them up in store for instant gratification too!

To control Z-Wave devices, you need to have a Z-wave USB controller, e.g. the Aeon Labs USB controller, and one or more Z-wave switches. PowerControllerMCE can control both switches and dimmers from Z-Wave. Z-Wave is a bit more expensive than BBSB, but has the advantage that it supports two way communication, so acknowledges that it has been turned on, which leads to more reliable communication. It also uses a mesh network, so can travel further distances overall.

To control Mi Casa Verde switches, you need to have a Vera or Vera 2, or any other MiOS based controller. PowerControllerMCE will turn switches and dimmers on and off and dim them. It will also monitor the status of the devices every 10 minutes in case they are switched by another system. The Vera has it’s own web interface, but adding PowerControllerMCE to your PC allows you media center control too, and a cleaner web interface.

Home Server

PowerControllerMCE works best when used with an always on PC so that it can always listen for power state changes. If you don’t always have your media center PC on, you can install PowerController on Windows Home Server, and leave it running there all of the time.

Multiple Media Center PCs

If you want to run PowerControllerMCE on multiple PCs round your home, you can designate one of the PCs, or your home server, as the master device, and all of your settings will then be shared from that machine.

Mobile Integration

There is also a companion Android phone application which can be used to control your power devices. It will read all of your devices from your PC so that you don’t have to type them in again, and which will share the device status from your PC, displaying widgets to show you what it on and what is off. At the moment it is just compatible with BBSB, but Z-Wave is coming soon.

Credits

Thanks to Tom Hall from Hong Kong for funding some Z-Wave devices to allow this project to expand to support multiple protocols.

Thanks to Stuart Harrison for extensive testing of the code.

Change Log

Note: To install a new version, you first need to uninstall the old version.

3.3.2. Fixed a locking issue.

3.3.1. Added support for Mi Casa Verde calling back with updates
Improved webcam layout.

3.3.0. Added support for Mi Casa Verde
Added webcam support.

3.2.1. Fixed a bug with non-switch Z-Wave devices.
Added Scenes to the settings.
Note, you will need to re-set your web password with this version.

3.2.0. Added web page for device control and settings
Added sunrise and sunset settings for events through the web page
Added the ability to do Z-Wave device associations through the web page
Added the ability to have a random offset for events.

3.1.0. Added basic web page for controlling devices.
Added auto-detect of BBSB address
Improved text contrast

3.0.1. Update for better mobile integration.

3.0.0.15 Added Z-Wave support
Added Zones
Added Scenes
UI improvements
Added keyboard shortcuts
Added server mode

2.0.1 Bug fixes

2.0.0 Added device monitoring
UI improvements
Added mobile phone integration capabilities

1.3.1 Fixed a bug with event times creeping.

1.2.0 Added the ability to schedule events.
Fixed an issue with scrolling down long lists.

1.1.0 Updated the images.

1.0.0 First Release.

Source Code

Source Code is maintained at Sourceforge.…

My Media Center

My Media Center

 

My Media Center is a Windows 7 Media Center interface specially designed for kids. It has a simple easy to use interface, and it allows a you to set up filters on what can be watched so that your youngsters don’t accidentally start watching age inappropriate programs.

Key Features

  • Decide which channels, videos and DVDs are available to watch
  • Settings secured by PIN
  • All media items in a single list
  • Animated screens and exciting UI
  • Add videos and recorded TV to a playlist to set up a whole viewing session
  • Video previews
  • Can launch straight in to My Media Center, bypassing other media options
  • No option to accidentally delete precious videos

Help

Having problems? Check out the FAQ and head over to our forum if you don’t get an answer there.

Instructions

When you first run My Media Center, you will be prompted for a PIN. Choose a PIN for future access to change the preferences.

You will then pick a list of channels that you want to make available. Scroll up and down and press OK to enable a channel. All TV programs recorded from those channels and Live TV from those channels will be available.

You can then pick a list of additional videos to be shown. If you just want some TV programs from a channel to be shown, choose them by name here rather than choosing the TV channel. You can also choose videos and DVDs by name on this screen. When you first install My Media Center, it will install a program to the system tray to cache all of the media on your system. This will periodically update the list of videos. If it has not had a chance to complete by the time you first get to this screen, you will not see any videos, so come back in a few minutes.

After you have picked the channels and videos, you will be taken to the main My Media Center screen. You will see a list of all videos by name. Press * to toggle between large and small icons. Scroll left and right to move through all of the items, or press a number on the remote to jump through the list to the appropriate letter. Click on one of them to see all episodes or videos with that name. You can click on “add all to playlist” to add all of the episodes to the My Media Center playlist, or you can click on one item to play it individually or add it to the playlist individually. Note, you cannot add DVDs to the playlist.

When you hover over an episode, you will see an on-screen preview of the video play, unless your playlist is already playing.

Hints

DVDs are pulled from the Movies folders in Media Center.

To get thumbnails for DVDs, add a folder.jpg file to the dvd folder at the same level as the VIDEO_TS folder.

If you want to boot in to My Media Center, add the My Media Center shortcut from the start menu to the Startup start menu folder.

Change Log

2.0.3 Removed expiration date.

2.0.2 Updated expiration date and added some additional error handling.

2.0.1 Fixed a bug with the program list not showing in the settings.

2.0.0 Added TunerFreeMCE integration.

Added the ability to jump in program names and channels in the preferences.
Fixed bug with media caching code not opening on startup.
Cleaned up some of the graphics.

1.2.0 Added small icon option – press * to toggle.
Added ability to jump in program names. Press a letter to jump.

1.1.0 Improved UI.
Added messages about new videos
Added sorting by date.
Improved when the video preview is shown
Expires on 1st July.

1.0.0 First version. Expires on 1st July.…

Google Reader MCE

Google Reader MCE

Google have produced a 10 foot interface for Google Reader, called Google Reader Player. Nice.

Of course the ideal place to make use of a 10 foot google reader interface is in Media Center, so GoogleReader MCE is a simple app to launch Google Reader Player from within Media Center.After you install on Vista you will find the Google Reader MCE icon under Online Media -> Program Library, and in Windows 7 you will find it under Extras -> Extras Library

Known Issues 

1) Windows 7 seems to block remote commands through to the web page when opened in Media Center. Not sure why. I am investigating. That makes it pretty useless for Windows 7 users today.

2) You have to press Back for every page you navigated, plus one of the launch page if you want to exit by pressing Back. My advice is exit by pressing the Green Button.

3) One of the catches with Media Center is that it doesn’t save cookies be default, and doesn’t share cookies with the desktop applications, which means you can’t log in to Google Reader in media center by default. Never fear, there is a simple solution. Open up Internet Explorer and go to Internet Preferences, then go to the Privacy tab and click on Sites and add google.com. This will allow you to log in in media center (using a keyboard and mouse), and have it remember your login.…

Songler

Songler (formerly SpotifyMCE) is a fantastic add-in for Windows Media Center for playing music content from multiple legal streaming music providers – currently Spotify, Last.fm and YouTube. It is the first Add-In for Windows Media Center to play Spotify content, and the most up to date Last.fm Add-In. It allows both free and premium Spotify subscribers you to play any of Spotify’s 6  million tracks instantly, directly from your Media Center, all controlled with your remote. It also allows you to scrobble the tracks that you are playing in Songler to last.fm to build up your music profile, and last.fm subscribers can stream all of their radio stations too.

Good news about Spotify

There was an issue with the Spotify player for the past few months which prevented it from playing via Songler. I am pleased to report that it has now been fixed, so Spotify and Songler work together again.

Instructions

  • First of all, if you want to listen to Spotify tracks, download and install Spotify to your Media Center PC. Open the application and log in. Play one or two tracks to satisfy yourself that it is all working OK. Next install Songler.
  • If you want to integrate with last.fm and don’t yet have an account, click here to sign up. It’s free to sign up and scrobble tracks, but you need to be a premium subscriber ($3/month) to listen to music within media center.
  • Open up Media Center. Navigate to Music (Vista) or Extras (Windows 7) and open Songler.
  • Open the preferences and enter your last.fm username. In the preferences you can disable Spotify or YouTube if you don’t want to use it. Press Save, and then press Back on your remote to go back to the main Songler page. If you don’t want to use last.fm, don’t enter as last.fm username.
  • The search box on the first page allows you to search for an artist, album or track by clicking on the three icons to the right. Default if you press OK is to search by artist.
  • Enter the name of an artist and press Search or the Play button on your remote to search for artists. A list of matching artists will appear.
  • If you have more than one source enabled, you will see buttons to choose whether to play the band’s radio page on last.fm, to see the albums on Spotify or to search for the artist name on YouTube. If you only use one source, just Click on the artist name for the relevant action.
  • If using Spotify, you will see a list of albums. Pick one of them, and a list of tracks on that album will appear. You can either add the whole album to your Songler playlist by selecting “add to now playing”, or you can immediately play the whole album by selecting “play album”.
  • If you just want to pick individual tracks from the album, scroll up and down to the one you want and click on it to open a window to either add the track to the Songler playlist, or play it immediately. Note, playing a song or album immediately resets your Songler playlist.
  • In the background, the Spotify app will be launched, playing that track. If you are not in full screen, this will come to the front. If you want to avoid that, run media center in full screen mode with the setting to always keep it at the front.
  • To jump to the next or previous tracks, press Skip Forward or Skip Back on the remote.
  • To stop playing, press Stop on the remote. Since the Songler software is just launching the Spotify application, and it is the spotify application which is playing the music, not Media Center, if you exit out of Songler without pressing Stop, the music will keep playing. Navigate back to Songler to stop the music playing.
  • If you play the band’s page with last.fm integration, you will see a list of the songs about to play. You can skip forwards but not backwards with last.fm, and although you can pause, if you do so more than once with each song, last.fm will not be able to send the music.
  • If you select YouTube, you will see a list of videos which match the artist name. Click on one of them to play the video. Note, it will take you to the YouTube web page as opposed to directly playing the video in media center. This is because many music videos are not available for streaming as mp4 in media center, but are available to play as a flash page. The system will attempt to go full screen, but it’s not very reliable. But you can hear the music no matter the video size!

Compatibility

This software is compatible with Windows Vista Home Premium or Ultimate and Windows 7 Home Premium and Ultimate, 32bit and 64 bit. It is not compatible with extenders.

Disclaimer

This product uses a SPOTIFY API but is not endorsed, certified or otherwise approved in any way by Spotify. Spotify is the registered trade mark of the Spotify Group

Spotify is currently only available in Sweden, Norway, Finland, the UK, France and Spain. Lucky us for once Smile

Last.fm integration is powered by AudioScrobbler. When you link in your last.fm account, last.fm music information will be used in the application in addition to Spotify.

64bit

Songler is fully compatible with 64bit windows, but to scrobble media center tracks to last.fm you need to perform one manual step. Open the file C:\Program Files (x86)\MillieSoft\Songler\Add64BitScrobbling.reg to register the code that watches for the tracks playing. You don’t need to do this for 32bit windows as it is registered automatically in 32bit. Why? Media Center only looks in the 32 bit registry folders for the registered listeners, not  the Wow6432Node folder. See here if you want to learn more about that.

History

2.1.1. Fixed a bug with last.fm buttons being pushed off the screen.

2.1.0. Added 10 most popular searches to the screen. Click on one to repeat the search.

2.0.1. Fixed an issue with last.fm playlist not showing
Added YouTube support for any search string.

2.0.0. Added support for YouTube music videos
Added accessibility support.

1.4.1. Fixed a bug with tracks not showing in 2nd albums chosen.
Added a version checker to look for new versions.

1.4.0. Added playlist capabilities for Spotify. Add albums and tracks to a playlist to set up a music marathon.

1.3.1. Fixed an error when launching in a language other than English.

1.3.0. Added the ability to Scrobble music you play in Media Center to last.fm too.

1.2.0. Added options to search by Artist, Album or Track for Spotify.
Cleaned up some of the errors when last.fm authentication fails

1.1.0. Allow direct navigation to Songler artist search from media center music (press i then More…). Note, a bug with vista media center means sometimes artist names are not passed when browsing music by artist. Microsoft fixed that in Windows 7
Added artist and album summaries (if last.fm credentials have been entered)
Added a Back button to Preferences
Automatically stop last.fm music when starting spotify.

1.0.2. Allowed a choice of coverflow or grid layout for album covers
Fixed an issue with moving to a later last.fm track.
Added station names returned from last.fm

1.0.1.5. Fixed a crash if you don’t use last.fm.

1.0.1.4. Added confirmation messages when saving last.fm username and password.

1.0. Name change from SpotifyMCE to Songler
Full last.fm streaming
Allowed triple tap text input
Fixed a bug with album covers not appearing unless you use last.fm
Fixed the aspect ratio of album covers

0.9.3b. Added last.fm scrobbling. Added “Search …” hint to the search box. Added Now Playing indicator

0.9.2b. Fixed a problem when running in a language that does not use period as the decimal separator.

0.9.1b. Fixed an error with the search box.

0.9b. First Beta version released.…

TunerFree MCE

TunerFreeMCE is a Windows Media Center add-in for watching streaming internet TV programs on your PC and Media Center Extender. For UK users, it has support for live TV and catch up programs from the UK’s main TV providers (BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Five), as well as all of the BBC Radio stations. It also has support for the recently launched MSN Video Player in the UK. For US users, it has support for the full Hulu catalogue of TV programs, all through an easy to use Media Center interface.

All of the free content from the BBC iPlayer , Channel 4 Watch Online , ITV Player , Five Demand and MSN Video Player are made available within one single interface, along with all TV Program Episodes and Feature Films from Hulu in the US. Live streaming is also available for ITV and BBC. Note, since live streaming is a form of broadcasting, legally you must own a TV license to watch that content. BBC HD content is also available to stream in 720p if you don’t use the WMV option, so you can watch programs on your TV in higher quality than freeview!

For extender users there are some limitations due to extenders not supporting the flash format that many providers use. However extender users still have access to watch BBC streaming content

Plugins

TunerFreeMCE comes with most of the best channels built in. However, there’s always more out there, so TunerFreeMCE has the ability to plug in more channels too. In Windows 7, simply go to Preferences -> Plugins to choose from a range of supported plugins

Help

TunerFreeMCE UK content only plays to people in the UK, and US content only plays to people in the US. Underneath it still uses the original web sites to get the data – it just displays it in an MCE interface, so all content and DRM restrictions still apply. If you want to play content from another country, you will need to get a VPN connection to shift your IP address to another country. This code uses the Vista Media Center presentation layer, so is not compatible with MCE 2005. Sorry folks. It also needs .NET 3.5, so make sure you have that update installed

Change Log

5.0.7 Fixed a problem with high CPU usage on systems which have not yet opened TunerFreeMCE.

5.0.6 Fixed a problem with playing Hulu.

5.0.4 Corrected a problem with ITV going full screen
Added a jump to the current program when going back from episodes to programs
Stopped repeated saving of preferences in the background service.

5.0.3 Fixed a problem with Live TV not working.

5.0.2 New and improved UI.

4.4.8 Improved screen reader support.
Added workaround for 4OD plugin.

4.4.7 Changed BBC 7 to Radio 4 Extra.

4.4.6 Fixed Hulu parsing.
Improved episode sorting.

4.4.5 Fixed a problem with the remote locking up.

4.4.4 Bug fixes.

4.4.3 Changed the way licenses work so that they also apply to extenders.
Updated images

4.4.2 Fixed a potential issue with the cache updating.
Improved the way the auto-clicks work.

4.4.1 Fixed a branding issue.

4.4.0 Fixed a problem with the latest BBC content.
Fixed a problem with BBC Radio not playing.
Allowed users to buy a license and optionally skip messages on launching the program.

4.3.4 Fixed a problem with the latest BBC content.

4.3.3 Fixed a problem with version numbers.

4.3.2 Fixed a bug with the auto upgrader showing a blank screen.

4.3.1 Updated to support the new Demand Five site.

4.3.0 Highlighted plugins.
Added messages at startup.

4.2.0 Added BBC HD as a standalone channel.

4.1.0 Added a new auto-upgrader
Added support for plugins to run their own parsers.

4.0.4 Fixed a bug in 4.0.3 with the background app crashing.

4.0.3 Updated search to look at program descriptions and episode names.
Fixed bug with plugin click positions.
Corrected BBC playing for low resolution displays.

4.0.2 Fixed a problem with Back not exiting.
Added a cancel download button.

4.0.1 Fixed a problem with Hulu parsing.
Fixed a problem with playing BBC flash as a backup to wmv.

4.0.0 NOTE from version 4, only Windows 7 is supported.
Added program details popup
Added the ability to schedule recordings based on the name of the current program
Added the ability to create a playlist of items
Easier downloading of programs
Added the ability to move and click the cursor with the arrow keys when watching flash content – allows for clicking anywhere on the screen
Added a Plugins preferences tab for viewing and enabling available plugins
Added support for touch screens
Improved memory handling by making sure only 1 instance of TunerFreeMCE is active at any one time

3.8.2 Fixed a problem with plugin content not displaying any more.
Increased font size.

3.8.1 Added radio icons from Chris Kent. Thanks Chris.
Fixed an upgrade problem.
Improved performance of caching code.

3.8.0 Fixed a problem with parsing some very large feeds.

3.7.10 Fixed a bug introduced in 3.7.9 that stopped BBC radio programs from playing.

3.7.9 Tweaked graphics.
Stopped caching as part of install – now runs on first opening.
Fixed problems with Five caching.

3.7.7 Updated for new C4 streams.

3.7.6 Re-enabled BBC wmv streams.
Allowed for better update installs in future.

3.7.4 Update for yet another MSN format change.

3.7.3 Updated the BBC HD checker to keep in step with BBC changes.
Removed the broken download button since wmv downloads are no longer available.

3.7.2 Changed the BBC default to flash because the BBC have removed the WMV streams.

3.7.1 Fixed a scroller issue.

3.7.0 Added TunerFreeMCE to the main menu in Windows 7.
Enabled mouse scrolling.

3.6.2 Updated for new MSN feeds.

3.6.1 Fixed audio prompt for checkboxes.

3.6.0 Added accessibility support, and added BBC Audio Described and Signed programs.

3.5.1 Added BBC Local Radio
Updated all live radio feed URLs. Note, the URLs can be slow to start – bear with it.

3.5.0 Expanded capabilities for plugin developers.
Stopped other audio/video playing when going to a flash page.

3.4.2 Fixed an issue with the cache builder not getting new MSN or Five programs

3.4.1 Switch BBC programs to flash if WMV is not available.
Auto launch a DRM update web site at the end of install if you choose UK programs

3.4.0 Added an option to allow BBC TV Programs to be streamed in WMV instead of Flash. See the note above about DRM if you have problems.

3.3.4 Update for new ITV pages.

3.3.3 Allowed for slow MSN home page when parsing.
Improved plugin capabilities.

3.3.2 Move live ITV streams to Flash.
Fixed Channel 4 Click positions
Allowed for configuration of the “mouse wiggle” that occurs to prevent the screensaver kicking in
Added a “Kill VPN” command
Allowed fine grained control of BBC, ITV and Channel 4 channels in the preferences file
Allowed configuration of the ITV click delay in the configurations file

3.3.1 Added a missing file for playing Hulu content.

3.3.0 Updated the parsing of ITV feeds to cope with new format.
Changed Hulu code to work round the frame blocker they had implemented
Stopped the code erroring when parsing Five programs
Stopped a sorting error in MSN
Prevented errors when unable to check for a new program version

3.2.0 Updated to support the new ITV Flash programs.
Fixed an issue where the wrong episode of a Five program would be played.
Correctly sorted MSN Video episodes.
Finally got the download button working correctly on extenders for BBC programs.

3.1.3 Fixed a problem with an error message displaying when returning from watching a Hulu program.
Moved the Help button to the start page.

3.1.2 Fixed a problem with going full screen on BBC HD programs on non-standard resolutions.

3.1.1 Fixed a problem with MSN parsing crashing with the latest web site format.

3.1.0 Added support for MSN Video player in the UK.

NOTE: the automatic upgrade still isn’t working as expected. You will be prompted to download and upgrade to this version when you run an older version. Do the download, but when the installer starts, hit Cancel. Then exit media center and uninstall the old version then install the new version. If you don’t do this, TunerFree won’t work right. Sorry. When the next version is available, it won’t try to automatically upgrade, because obviously I haven’t got it right yet.

3.0.4 Fixed an issue with BBC radio no longer playing.
NOTE: The auto upgrade feature released with 3.0.3 doesn’t work quite as well as hoped. Unless you have the 3.0.3 installer in your user’s Downloads folder, it will fail to upgrade, and even if you do, it will not update the cache. This should get resolved in future. For now, either make sure you have 3.0.3 in your Download folder (e.g. C:/Users/Martin/Downloads), or uninstall the old version and reinstall the new version from the Downloads folder, and leave it there for next time.

3.0.3 Added a new mode of playing BBC programs for low resolution displays.
Changed the automatic version checker to download and install the update in one step.

3.0.2 Fixed download of BBC programs.
Added an HD logo to indicate which individual episodes of BBC programs are in HD.
Added a version number display to the preferences
Do not attempt to display flash video on extenders
Fixed an issue with live BBC TV not playing

3.0.1 Fixed a bug with VPD country detection
Fixed a bug with a popup appearing complaining about being unable to connect to a web page.

3.0.0 Added support for plugins .
Improved navigation graphics
Changed favorites to put all favorites options in one place
Added support for showing new unwatched episodes of favorite programs
Added support for tracking the most popular programs for everyone
Added an “Update Now” button to refresh the program list on demand
Added a better keyboard to search
Added support for the latest channel 4 feeds
Added support for the latest twitter activation code
Improved the layout of the preferences screen

2.8.3 Updated for the latest Hulu compatability.

2.8.2 Fixed an issue with BBC programs not being cleaned up.
Added an deactivate twitter button for those embarrased to admit how much TV they watch Wink .

2.8.1 Added support for new BBC high definition programs.
Improved twitter visibility.
Fixed issue with Five program parsing sometimes hanging.

2.8.0 Added Twitter integration for watched program status updates and group favourites.
Added a preference for click speeds.
Parsed BBC categories to pick up missing news and sport programs.
Added a preference for High Resolution default playback (see instructions for special notes on BBC).
Changed the default caching frequency to every 12 hours.
Fixed issues with VPN switching to Channel 4.

2.7.1 Switched E4 and More4 to the right country.
Fixes full screen click positions when media center is not full screen.

2.7.0 Updated to use new Channel 4 Flash feed.

2.6.8 Changed Hulu code to run faster when parsing
Made Hulu full screen more reliable by waiting 30 seconds.

2.6.7 Changed Hulu code to deal with their new encoding of web pages. Note, this slows it down a fair bit, so UK-only users are advised to do a custom install to turn off US.
Made the highlight of watched programs a lot brighter.

2.6.6 Added audio feedback on navigation.
Indicate watched episodes with a different colour border.
Fixed a problem with Hulu episodes not showing in large categories like Comedy.
Stopped erroring out on install on small screens.
Always cancel the anti-screen saver code after 3 hours.

2.6.5 Fixed BBC downloads to use the full quality download, not the mobile download.
Improved the display of episode summaries.

2.6.4 Fixed an issue which stopped some hulu programs from appearing.
Improved sorting of Hulu episodes.

2.6.3 Improved click reliability, even when not full screen, or when running with the TV display mode in media center.
Defaulted Five programs to Flash. Note, this means that the older wmv programs cannot go full screen without a mouse. Since these are few and far between and disappearing fast, this shouldn’t be a big issue.

2.6.2 Improved the ability to find the BBC download URL.
Changed the default for Five programs to be Flash unless wmv is detected.
Fixed the click calculations for some resolutions.

2.6.1 Took out some of the overly clever parts of the BBC integration. When pressing back, it doesn’t attempt to stop the program, so stop the programs playing before you press back. Also detected when the frame has loaded before starting the timer to click play and full screen.

2.6.0 Added beta support for BBC Downloads.

2.5.5 Changed page layout to support smaller resolutions.

2.5.4 Updated for yet more hulu site changes, and added nicer buttons to the pages.

2.5.3 Added remote control for Five flash programs.
Added Help page for remote control usage.

2.5.2 Added full remote control support for BBC, BBC Live, BBC Radio and Hulu.
When playing BBC programs, it will auto play and auto full screen. You can then press Pause to pause, Play to play again, all without leaving full screen. If you press Stop it will exit full screen and stop playback. Pressing |< will jump back to the start of the program, and pressing >| will swap between high quality and normal resolution. If you open a BBC program which has parental guidance, press the 1 button to click the acknowledgement and play the program.
Hulu will auto play when navigating to it. Since it takes a while to load, I don’t automatically go full screen. Press OK to go full screen when it starts playing. Play, Pause, Stop and >| work as with BBC programs.

The program will also simulate a small mouse wiggle every 15 minutes while playing flash TV programs to stop screensavers from kicking in. That stops when you press the stop button or exit the page.

2.5.1 Added the ability to use the play, pause and stop buttons on the BBC pages.

2.5.0 Changed BBC pages for new BBC streaming formats.
Added new Favourites functionality. This shows the 20 most watched programs. You can override this by pressing * on the remote to add a program to the favourites, or # on the remote to block a program from the favourites.

2.4.2 Added more wmv live streams, and re-added BBC News, which was mistakenly removed.

2.4.1 Added wmv live streams for BBC radio programs wherever possible.
Fixed BBC Radio Scotland content to show.

2.4.0 Added BBC Radio
Updated for changes in the hulu web site.

2.3.0 Added support for the new flash streams from Five.

2.2.9 Updated to use the new CBBC and CBeebies live streams instead of the old streams shared with BBC Three and BBC Four.

2.2.8 Fixed an error with caching Five which caused the installer to report errors.

2.2.7 Added auto-full screen for Hulu and BBC.
Note, the way this works is by simulating a mouse click after 10 seconds on BBC and 30 seconds on Hulu. It has been tested on a few different screen resolutions and works OK, but may not work on all screens. Only works when media center is in full screen.
If you see it attempt to click somewhere other than the full screen button then send me a screenshot of the whole desktop, and indicate on it where you believe it is clicking.

2.2.6 Added a preferences page and the ability to enable or disable US and UK content as part of the install process. Taken the Hulu content out of Beta. Still need to add remote control features for it though. At the moment you need to use the mouse with Hulu to make it go full screen.

2.2.4 Beta Improved memory use and performance.
Added the ability to ability to automatically switch proxy or VPN server when you change between UK and US. At the moment you need to edit C:\ProgramData\MillieSoft\TunerFreeMCE\preferences.dat using a text editor, and add in the command you want to run when switching from UK to US. Click here for a step by step guide for UK users.

2.2.3 Beta Added new background images for channels and programs.

2.2.2 Beta Fixed an issue where a program in multiple categories, like 24, would only show some episodes in each one category.
Improved the display of the program description
Speeded up the hulu image display
Changed hulu to auto play but not be full screen rather than being full screen but not auto playing.

2.2.1 Beta Improved the memory performance at run time. Should make it accessible to lower end machines

2.2.0 Beta Added support for hulu . Obviously you need to be in the US for this, or have access to a US proxy. This is an early beta, so check out the limitations here . If you are new to TunerFree MCE, check out the instructions , and the FAQ , neither of which I have yet updated to reflect the hulu support or limitations.

2.1.0 Made several minor interface improvements, in particular to program sorting.
Updated date reading from Channel 4.
Added new icons.
Added in-program check for new versions. This will check for an updated file version every time you start the program, and if there is one it will allow you to download it, dismiss the message for a day, or ignore the new version completely.

2.0.2.1-W7 Windows 7 specific version.

2.0.2.1 Fixed an installation bug with clean installs on Vista and Vista/Windows 7 dual boot machines.

2.0.2 Changed the cache process to be a Windows service instead of a scheduled task so that the cache builder window doesn’t open.
Changed program episodes to be reverse ordered by date
The installer now builds the cache on screen as part of the installation process so that the cache has built before first use.

2.0.1b Beta version for Windows 7. Known issues;

1) When installing, an error may given at the end of the installation saying it has failed. It hasn’t failed, and installation completed, but the cache process has not kicked off, so run StartOfflineCache.bat manually
2) The icon no longer appears on the TV bar, just in the Extras folder. You can right click to at least add it to the Extras bar though.
3) Only works on dual boot Vista/Windows 7 machines.

let me know of any other issues you find.

2.0.1 Added content from BBC Alba, BBC Scotland, BBC Wales and BBC Northern Ireland.

2.0 Brand new UI, with improved navigation.

1.9.4 Improved 64bit compatibility. Note, a false error is reported when uninstalling this version, but it is uninstalled successfully.

1.9.3 Updated for new BBC feed format, and added BBC One and BBC Two to live feeds.

1.9.2 Stopped BBC programs from playing twice when navigating away and back again.

1.9.1 Update for new BBC changes.
Play BBC high resolution feeds by default.

1.9 Added an option to view list instead of thumbnails.

1.8.4 Improved file handling.

1.8.3 Updated software for new BBC server configuration.
Added CBBC and CBeebies live streams.

1.8.2 Added live streaming of BBC Three and BBC Four.
Fixed a bug where the name of the first program in the list is not displayed at first when you change channel.
Added a version number display when running the cache builder.

1.8.1 Reduced the writes to the preferences file.

1.8 Added live streaming of ITV and BBC News.

1.7.4 Fixed an issue with grouping programs causing a crash.

1.7.3 Changed the cache and preferences location so that they are shareable between multiple users. Preferences are no longer in the registry, so you will loose any changes you have made there and will need to recreate them in the preferences file.

1.7.2 Fixed an error with ITV programs sometimes causing errors due to relative URLs.
Fixed an issue with new C4 programs not being added.

1.7.1 Stopped Pay Per View content from Five from appearing in the list, since it is not watchable through this interface anyway.

1.7 Added support for Five
Fixed an issue due to BBC web site changes.

1.6.4a Changed installer to work with Media Center TV 2008 Pack (Fiji).

1.6.4 Fixed bugs with not all BBC programs being added, and errors when searching but not finding any programs.

1.6.3 When not in full screen, the remote can also skip forward and back 30 seconds, and the stop button will play and pause.

1.6.2 Programs are now cached in the background for speed
Compatibility with new BBC higher resolution feeds.
Added executables to enable and disable both online and offline caching.

1.5.4 Compatible with the new version of iPlayer

1.5.3 Added the ability to navigate to a program by pressing letters on the remote, e.g. press 4 to navigate to the first program beginning with G.

1.5.2 Tidied up the navigation some more
Added registry options to change the behaviour.

1.5.1 Changed the cache file location

1.5 Revamped the UI
Pre-cache all of the programs for increased speed
Added loading status indicator
Added the ability to group episodes
Improved navigation from lists

1.4.1 Changed the name to TunerFree MCE
Added channel logos
Split out ITV and Channel 4 in to individual channels
Added ITV programs to the date picker
Added ITV and Channel 4 programs to the search

1.4 Added ITV programs

1.3.3 Added Channel 4 programs to the date search
Sorted by program name after doing date search (was previously sorted in to three sections, A-Z morning, A-Z afternoon and A-Z evening)

1.3.2 Changed to a blue background
Improved the speed of Channel 4 listing

1.3 Added support for Channel 4 Watch Again content
Added a download link for the BBC content
Added link to “TV” bar

1.2 Cleaned up the rendering.
Added program description
Enabled triple-tap on the search field

1.1 added auto play and full screen capabilities

1.0 initial release

Privacy

Note, if you turn on favorites functionality, the list of programs you watch will be sent to our servers. No personal data is sent. We cannot identify you in any way from this data. This data is just used to find which programs are most popular. You can turn off this functionality at any time in the preferences screen by turning off favorites.…

FlickrMCE for Windows XP Media Center 2005

FlickrMCE for Windows XP Media Center 2005

FlickrMCE is a Windows Media Center application for browsing Flickr through the windows media center 10 foot interface.

FlickrMCE allows you to view your own photos, your contacts photos, your favorite photos, and your photosets. It also allows you to add new favorites. You can display the photos as a slideshow, or navigate to the next and previous photo using the left and right buttons on the remote in the same was as you would when viewing local photos on your PC. You can search for photos by tags, and you can browse flickr for interesting photos. You can even display maps for geotagged photos.

The source code is also provided in case you want to play with it, but you must not redistribute for commercial purposes without permission.

This is free software, but if you click on the adverts on the right, I get a few cents, which I would appreciate. If you really like it then click on the Donate Now button to send me some folding money!

IMPORTANT INSTRUCTIONS

To get started using FlickrMCE, you need to authenticate the FlickrMCE software with your Flickr account. To do that, open the Authenticate FlickrMCE program in the start menu. This will open a small application. This will give you instructions for authentication.

This program will prompt you to send a request to Flickr to authenticate the FlickrMCE software against your account (this is a security step that all Flickr software has to undergo). Log in to Flickr if you are not already logged in, and grant access to the software when prompted. When Flickr notifies you that you have successfully done that, you can close the Flickr window. In the original window you will see a Continue button. Click that, and the authentication process is complete.

History

1.3a
Fixed an issue with the authentication program erroring.

1.3 If you are upgrading from an earlier version, you should also download the following program FlickrMCEUpgrader.exe and save it to the same directory as the installer. Run the executable rather than running the installer directly. This will allow the software to upgrade cleanly.

  • Added search by tag capabilities.
  • Added the ability to see all photos in a particular group, by adding a “More…” link to each page.
  • Limited the number of photos shown at any time to 25, for performance reasons (configurable in regedit).
  • Added the ability to show a map for a geocoded picture.
  • When clicking on the random photo on the first page, you now get taken to a list of interesting photos to browse.
  • When looking at an individual interesting photo, you can see more by the current person.
  • Split out the Contacts photos so that you can look at each contact, one at a time.
  • Split the photosets list on to a separate page, to get more photos on the screen at on time.

1.2 If you are upgrading from an earlier version, you should also download the following program FlickrMCEUpgrader.exe and save it to the same directory as the installer. Run the executable rather than running the installer directly. This will allow the software to upgrade cleanly.

  • Added slideshow capabilities
  • Fixed minor UI issues

1.1 If you are upgrading from version 1.0, you should also download the following program FlickrMCEUpgrader.exe and save it to the same directory as the installer. Run the executable rather than running the installer directly. This will allow the software to upgrade cleanly.

  • Fixed the issue with the photo on the first page not being selected
  • Added a windows login application
  • Tweaked the Photosets layout

1.0 – First Version.…