Tag Archives: Microsoft

Plex on the Microsoft Surface

Just  quick post to show people how to get Plex up and running on the Microsoft Surface (or any Windows RT machine for that matter).

First things first, we have to get IE allowing flash on your Plex site, but for that we need the Plex web interface, and for that at the moment you need to sign up for a Plex Pass and set you home IP up for a Dynamic DNS (I use No-IP, most routers support them for auto updating)

Right, got those setup? now lets get IE10 to allow us to use flash on it.

  1. Open the desktop version of Internet Explorer 10, press the Alt button to display the browser’s menu bar, and select Tools > Compatibility View Settings
  2. Uncheck Download updated compatibility lists from Microsoft
  3. Run notepad “%HOMEPATH%\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\IECompatData\iecompatdata.xml”
  4. Press CTRL-F and search for <flash>
  5. Go Down a few rows or so, until you find the <domain>01net.com</domain>

Above that add your own domain you registered above, <domain>myplex.redirectme.net</domain> (obviously replace with yours)

  1. Back in IE10 click the Cog (or alt-T) Internet settings, click Delete and delete history.
  2. Bring up task manager (long click on the task bar) expand it, and if there is Internet Explorer running, then kill the processes.
  3. Press the Windows Logo, launch IE and goto the site you registered, http://myplex.redirectme.net:32400/web (note the port 32400 and the /web)
  4. Enjoy your Plex, on a local lan, it can happily process 8mbps, although the flash engine in IE10 gets a bit bogged down after that.



The Return of the ‘BanHammer’

I’ve been reading all the blog posts, forums, and complaints about Microsoft bringing back their ‘banhammer’ on the 360.

So let’s explain the banning, Microsoft are detecting modifications to the firmware on the DVD-Rom drives and locking the console from accessing Live.

There are lots of complaints about Microsoft doing this, and I cant really work out what people are complaining about, so I’ve decided to post this to try explain some things to people thinking of doing the mod to their consoles.

Now I’m not against people wanting to make backup’s of their game media, in fact I’m all for it and would wish Microsoft would address the problem and allow managed copies of their game disks as I’ve lost a disk or two myself to DVD scratching. This has kind of been addressed with the new NXE update coming soon, as it allows copying to the hard disk, so well done Microsoft.

Now the excuses that people have for doing this. The most common is they want to backup their disk’s, ok, to those that do then great, and in some countries the copyright law allows people to do it. However in most, it’s illegal. However lets be honest, most people do it so they can ‘get backups’ off the internet, and hey I’m not totally against that either, although developers deserve to be paid for a decent product, and most of the games have a decent demo nowadays to try before you buy.

OK, let’s talk about those countries where it IS allowed to copy your own disks and patch your firmware. Now Microsoft are not saying those countries cannot copy disks, they are just saying if you do, and bypass their intellectual rights then you cannot connect to THEIR live service, they don’t stop the 360 work, they just stop it connecting to their proprietary, and free (for silver) online service, and you cannot really blame them, they are trying to protect everyone else on the service. Yes you may be L337, but the 12 year old next door isn’t (well he probably is, but hey) and it’s up to Microsoft to protect them when they use the service. 

Like I said, Microsoft are not killing the 360, just the online connection.

So if you want to use a patched 360 that’s up to you, but make sure your prepared to only play offline, because eventually Microsoft will catch up with everyone that has patched their 360’s.

And before anyone flames me, I have patched the original XBox, it was good to run homebrew, however until someone works out how to do the same or similar on the 360 I doubt I’ll patch mine.

E3, and the winner is….

Right so all of the E3 presentations have been done, well at least all the important ones (MS, Sony, Nintendo)

So lets take a look at who ‘won’

Nintendo – Oh dear, WTF happened there? They announced nothing as far as I can see, oh sorry they pranced on about some animals or something. Score 1/10 (and that was just for Reggie)

Sony – OK, so Sony have announced a bunch of stuff for next year, come on Sony we want games THIS YEAR! Besides that, there is the Home beta coming, whoopee, that will last as long as Second Life then. Video service announced, yay, so Sony have caught up with Microsoft on something else (XMB in game came before E3), well they did right up until Microsoft’s announcement (see later). What else? oh yeah DC universe DOES look quite good, and Resistance 2 looks pretty (let’s hope it plays better than 1), oh yeah and a price drop for the 80Gb console in the states (to $399). Score 6/10 (They showed some pretty stuff at least)

Microsoft – OK, so Microsoft pulled this E3 out of the bag, there was no waggle controller announced, but they have announced a complete overhaul of the 360 interface, and it looks decent. Avatars (think Mii’s) go with that, and look OK, most importantly though is install to HDD, it will increase load speed, be optional and not spin the DVD drive (Thank Feck!). GOW2 looks ace, Halo Wars looks good, as does Banjo. Fable 2 looks pretty, and fun as does Fallout 3. Plus we get Portal 2 on XBLA!. Some of the social gaming stuff could be interesting depending on what prizes you can win (and if it comes to UK). The Netflix announcement pours water onto the Sony video store announcement at least in the USA (do lovefilm in the UK please). Oh and just to piss on Sony’s parade they go and announce that the 360 is getting Final Fantasy 13. Score 8/10

So that’s a win for MS, one reason was because we found out that the spring update was not released for a reason, and most of the games are coming out this year, not next.

However there is a worrying trend showing in all 3 presentations. Games developers are targeting non gamers at the moment, with few releases being shown for real gamers. Sony, MS and Nintendo all dedicated the majority of their presentations to showing off their family games. I’ve discussed this with Dan and he agrees, we need a movement to bring gaming back to gamers!

XBox Live

With all the issues with the Microsoft XBox Live service over the last few weeks, there is a bit of a debate starting about the cost of the service, and why Gold users are not being compensated for the issues.

A good post was popped up onto the XBox official forums. However it seems someone at Microsoft disliked the message posted, and shortly after posting, it was taken down.

Here is a link to a saved copy of the message, but here is an excerpt

Yes, we’re getting a free Xbox Live Arcade game as compensation for nearly 3 weeks of Xbox Live downtime. Woohoo. No details have been given, and as a result I suspect that this free game will be a specific title or list of titles which Microsoft will choose. I feel that at the very least we deserve to be either refunded for a month of Xbox Live or given a free month on top of this. Think about it, if your cell phone service had trouble for a month, dropping calls, refusing to dial numbers, etc., you wouldn’t be satisfied with a free cell phone game. The first step would be a refund for that month and then some sort of compensation for the inconvenience on top of that.

I can’t say I agree more, well said. Pop and read the article, and please let’s try make Microsoft understand, us the users of Live would like to feel more valued.

Oh and not to be put to shame, Sony are mirroring the Live issues with the PS Store. They just cannot let Microsoft get the one up.

CES – Microsoft Keynote

070107_ces_gates_vmed9p_widec OK, so the ‘Big’ XBox announcement was that BT are going to use the 360 as a device to stream their broadband TV service to, big deal, that will help the three people that want to use the service. Oh well.

Other things that can be worked out from the keynote?

Well, the new version of Vista Picture Gallery seemed to have export to Flickr in it, which is nice, or at least the presenter that was showing off the Windows Live stuff had it in her Vista (seems a bit of an oxy moron, but hey) – Update, cheers to Simon, Here’s a link to the download of the beta.

The 360 has 10 million Live users now, and 17.7 million consoles in the wild, with the largest attachment rate in industry history. All good news for the MS Console.

No news on HD-DVD and the rumoured Toshiba announcement, perhaps it’s because of the recent Warner Blu-Ray exclusive announcement. So perhaps Toshiba asked for the news to be cut from the Keynote?

Disney, ABC, MGM have signed up to allow their content onto the Microsoft Download TV service (along with the BT streaming stuff).

4073022_0b6edb5710_m No real Windows Mobile announcements, but we have the news about what’s coming in that anyhow.

We got reminded about Media Center, that it ships with Vista (some versions anyhow).

We got to see the Zune Social, yeah ship it to Europe you muppets! also saw the Ford Sync car stuff, ho hum, it’s all been in the Fiat range for 12 months now, so nothing new there, just Ford USA are (as usual) 12 months behind.

So the real reason for the event was to say goodbye to Bill, he leaves MS (full time) this year, and goes on to run his and his wife’s charity.

It’s kind of sad to see Bill leave Microsoft, yeah he is’nt leaving it fully, but, hey MS would not be MS without him….. I suppose now we will see.

Windows Vista Shotcuts

Windows Vista comes with a load of new features to play with. Some of those are great, some annoying.

Here are a bunch of the shortcut key's that are available in Vista, I'm putting them up mainly for me, so I ca remember them, but you may find them usefull as well

Windows Key + G – tabs between gadgets (new)
Windows Key + D – shows desktop (same as XP)
Windows Key + E – Windows Explorer (same as XP)
Windows Key +  R – Run (same as XP, but works even if run s not on start menu)
Windows Key + T – Tabs between applications on the Task Bar
Windows Key + U – Ease of Access Center (new)
Windows Key + F – Search (same as XP, but uses new search)
Windows Key + L – Lock (same as XP)
Windows Key + X – brings up Windows Mobility Center (new)
Windows Key + M – minimizes all applications (same as Windows+D put keeps gadgets)

Have fun with Vista, oh and there is a post RC1 release out. Release 5728 has got some fixes in it (hopefully new Mass Storage Drivers fr the 4Gb SanDisk Cruzer so I can use ReadyBoost with it).

The 5728 build is apparently in the 'Gold' line of builds (like all 57xx builds are) so pop over to Microsoft to grab it.

HTC Universal AKU3.2

I've taken the plunge, and put the latest and (possibly) greatest version of the firmware on my T-Mobile MDA Pro.

The AKU3.2 is not an official firmware release, more of a homebrew (AKU3.2 is not available from anyone but Microsoft at the moment).

However it seems stable and without a doubt quicker than the AKU2.2 release I had before.

To do the upgrade you need the following download, and then have a read through the readme.txt included.

I've also included the Radio 1.13 rom, and the startup splash screen changer in the RAR file.

If you have any issues, then leave a comment, or pop along to XDA-Developers.

Also if you have a MDA Vario2 (or HTC Wizard) then pop along to Dan's site, he's done the same on his one of them.

Playstation Wii

Oh dear. Sony have announced that it wants to concentrate on a Japanese and American launch for the Playstation 3 this year. Making them look quite silly in light of the “we can do a worldwide launch better than Microsoft” comments it made at the Xbox 360 launch .

It doesn’t even sound like Sony Japan have kept their UK colleagues terribly well informed, given that UK boss Ray Maguire has stated he’s “extremely disappointed” that their new Uber console won’t arrive in PAL (Europe, Africa, Audtralia, Middle East and Far East) territories this year.

So where does this leave Sony? Well, besides the egg on the face for not being able to match the Xbox 360 launch, let alone bettering it – and remember that this was a launch that they have very publicly Continue reading Playstation Wii

MS-SysInternals

Just wanted to say well done to both Microsoft and the boys behind SysInternals. Microsoft have announced that they have purchased the company, and more importantly have brought the brains behind the incredible tools into Microsoft.

Mark Russinovich and Bryce Cogswell will work for the big MS now, and with some luck the tools will become at least part of the hacking (rescource) kit for Windows.

Thanks to Full of I.T for the heads up. Oh yeah, whileon the Microsoft subject, Virtual PC2004 is now free, as will the next version (2007) be. Go download it now.