My Media Center has been misbehaving a bit lately, much to my (and the family’s) annoyance.
First off, it the receiver started showing “tuner not available” errors. Restarting the machine would resolve the problem, but only temporarily. Installing the newer Hauppauge driver 18.104.22.168162 seems to have mostly fixed that (from the Hauppauge UK website). Along the way to resolving this, I also tried swapping the card into the other PCI Express slot, just in case that helped.
Then the Microsoft Remote stopped working. The display on the front of the Antec case said something like “bad command” for any button I pressed. Opening up the iMON software, I enabled sounds for invalid commands, and sure enough every button press resulted in the warning sound. Bizarre! The batteries in the controller were still fresh, so the only thing I could think of was to find the original IR receiver that came with the controller and plug that in. I’d never used it as the Antec case came with a receiver built in. In any case (ha ha), that seemed to resolve that one.
Then a few hours later, the sound spontaneously muted. Attempts to increase the volume worked briefly, then the volume would automatically wind back down to zero/mute. Alternatively, it rolled right up to 50 (100%). Rebooting and that one went away – not sure what’s going on there.
So I’m keeping a close eye on things. Maybe the MCE is feeling jealous that the XBox 360 is getting some of it’s screen time 😀
It’s a free usage meter for Internode’s broadband customers. Want to check how your much quota you have left on your ADSL plan? This app will tell you.
The first version is pretty simple. It displays two sections. The first (shown above) displays your total quota, amount used so far, and the time the data was retrieved. The second section displays details for your account (see below).
To install it on your Windows Phone 7 device, go to http://social.zune.net/redirect?type=phoneApp&id=c9ebe665-de0d-e011-9264-00237de2db9e (Opens in Zune)
When you first run the app, a welcome screen is displayed and you are prompted to go to the settings page to enter your username and password. (In version 1.0, there’s a bug where the big ‘Settings’ button doesn’t do anything – you’ll have to click on the settings icon instead. This will be fixed in the next update)
Enter your Internode username (just the bit before the @ works for me)and password.
Click on the ‘Save’ icon to store these credentials.
Your account details, including full username, monthly quota, plan name and plan speed.
Features I’m thinking of adding for the next update:
- Usage history – graphs of last 12 months and detailed graph of last 30 days
- Improved icons (hopefully the Internode logo if permission can be obtained)
I’m also keen to hear of any other suggestions.
This application uses the Internode API, however for the canonical source for your usage, please always refer to My Internode.
In many ways, the app is inspired by Angus Johnson’s Internode Monthly Usage Meter (MUM). I’ve been a happy MUM user for as long as I’ve had Internode ADSL.
It’s been a big Christmas season in the Gardiner family this year. Last week we dressed up as New Testament-era characters in Aberfoyle Uniting’s re-creation of Bethlehem in “The Road to Christmas”. Thursday evening Narelle and I joined some friends for carol singing at a local hospital, then Christmas Eve we attended church as a family. It was a good service, and included this thought-provoking modern-day take on what Mary and Joseph went through:
On Christmas day we were hosting immediate family at our place for lunch, and were then joined by some extra friends for tea. Narelle had a thought a few weeks back that to cater for this many people, a second fridge would be useful. After checking out some second-hand stores, I ended up bidding (and winning) one on eBay.
It has been a great fridge. It fitted all we needed to fit in it, and saved all those minutes of “angst” when trying to fit the leftovers in it after lunch and tea. I must say that Narelle did an amazing job – the meat and veggies were perfectly cooked…and the pudding was out of this world.
(Narelle added the above two paragraphs while I was playing Kinect) But I agree, the fridge was a great idea. The day started at not an unreasonable time. We’d been to Church the previous evening, so things weren’t so rushed in the morning. The XBox 360 + Kinect has proved a big success. Our family present this year, and all the family has been having a go - even our youngest (though sometimes to the frustration of other players!) – she can play some of the games, though some of the finer controls are too tricky for her yet. We’ve had a lot of fun playing:
- Kinect Adventures – a great intro to Kinect and physical fun
- Kinectimals – very imaginative game
- Dance Central – funky dancing
- Kinect Joy Ride – fun car driving – 2 players at a time
(Kinectimals and Kinect Joy Ride were presents, the other two titles came with the bundle). So far I’m totally impressed. The only thing I could wish for would be some family-friendly titles to be published that can have more than two players at one time (I’ve heard Kinect can track up to 6 people, though I think you’d need lots of space for that).
One of my other favourite presents had me up far later than I should have been Christmas night. I was only thinking the other day when we were watching “A Muppet Christmas Carol” that one of the best things to ever come out of the USA is Jim Henson’s Muppets. That thought was reinforced by me getting a copy of Sesame Street: A Celebration of 40 Years of Life on the Street. A fascinating read so far.