Tag Archives: windows media center

MCE Controller V2 Released

I spent some time the last few weekends hacking on a product I first developed in 2004: MCE Controller. MCE Controller lets you control a Windows Home Theater PC (or any PC) over the network. It runs in the background listening on the network (or serial port) for commands. It then translates those commands into actions such as keystrokes, text input, and the starting of programs. Any remote control, home control system, or application that can …Continue reading

Goodbye GitHub: MCE Controller now on CodePlex

I love git. I love GitHub. But GitHub doesn’t seem to appreciate open source projects that require hosting more than source code. MCE Controller is an open source Windows app intended to be used by non-developers. This means it has an installer, online documentation, and requires a discussion forum for support for end users. GitHub never really provided great support for this kind of project. For example, there is no forum/discussion feature (although some claim …Continue reading

MCE Controller 1.7 Released – Now Supports RS-232

By popular demand (shocking, I know), MCE Controller now supports RS-232 in addition to TCP/IP connections. This means that you can now control any Windows PC via the serial port. MCE Controller is an open source application I built for my home control system. It makes it easy to integrate Windows PCs with other devices and control systems. Any device that can send strings over TCP/IP or (now!) a serial port can now send commands …Continue reading

MCE Controller 1.5.0 Released–Send Unicode chars

MCE Controller allows you to remotely control another Windows PC on your network. For example it allows you to simulate a press of any button on the Windows Media Center IR remote control from another computer; if MCE Controller receives the string “mypictures” it will tell Media Center to go to the “My Pictures” page. Today a user asked how to send Unicode characters such £ and € and I added this functionality to the …Continue reading

Control Your HTPC Via The Network

[UPDATED: Feb 11, 2012 – Version 1.4.0 Released] MCE Controller enables the remote control of a Windows PC over the network.  It runs in the background on a Windows PC listening on the network for commands. It then translates those commands into actions such as keystrokes, text input, and the starting of programs. I wrote MCE Controller in 2003 for my own home control system. In 2004 I released it publicly so others could use …Continue reading

MCE Controller supports the Windows key

MCE Controller, allows you to simulate a press of any button on the Windows Media Center IR remote control by sending a text command to a TCP/IP port on your Media Center computer. For example if MCE Controller receives the string “mypictures” it will tell Media Center to go to the “My Pictures” page. I wrote this app in back in ~2003 for my own use so I could integrate Media Center with my Crestron …Continue reading

Windows Home Server makes for a happy family

Once again the most amazing consumer product Microsoft has ever created, Windows Home Server, has saved my family [disclaimer].  Today I was in a meeting and I got a text message from my 15 year old daughter. It read (spelling and txt errors verbatim): “daddddd o my god. i think i just deleated all my pictures from freshmen year. please call meee!” I texted her back “Ok, don’t touch anything. I’ll call you when I …Continue reading

Book Review: Queen of Candesce: Book Two of Virga

Late last year I “discovered” Karl Schroeder when I read Sun of Suns: Book One of Virga. Recently he released the 2nd book of this series titled Queen of Candesce: Book Two of Virga and I finished it this weekend. Like the first book I thoroughly enjoyed it. Like the first book, I found a few too many “convenient” plot alignments. But overall, Karl paints an amazing picture of a “world” that is extraordinarily rich …Continue reading

PhotoSync for Windows Home Server

09-22-02 107.jpg Originally uploaded by ckindel I just updated my Windows Home Server with Ed Halloway’s PhotoSync Beta 2. This Add-in for Windows Home Server automatically ensures that all photos stored in a particular folder on your home server are automatically published to your Flickr account. I have a shared folder on my home server named \\server\screensaverpics. Every time we offload photos from a camera I copy a few of the really great photos to …Continue reading

Book Review: River of Gods

Whew! I finally finished River of Gods by Ian McDonald this weekend. I categorize River of Gods as a “Great story but a PITA to read book”. Here’s the deal: I shouldn’t have to work to read a science fiction novel. To me “a great read” just flows…I start reading the first chapter and 17 hours later I close the book and say “wow”. The books I love to read don’t make me tired. I …Continue reading

Android Dreams

I recently finished John Scalzi’s Andoid’s Dream. I’ve said it before, but I’ve always been a huge fan of Robert Heinlein and John’s writing reminds me of his. This book is John’s 3rd sci-fi novel and his maturity over time as a writer is obvious. I think Old Man’s War is my favorite Scalzi book so far (although Ghost Brigades rocked too), but this is a fun, interesting book. It has great childish humor (passing gas is a …Continue reading

MCE Controller v1.1 Released – and now open source

I built MCE Controller as something that would be useful for my own home. I had minor aspirations of making it do more than it does, but the reality is that I don’t really have the time nor the inclination (it works beautifully for me as is). Until today I have resisted making it open source for the simple reason that I didn’t really understand what it would take to put the source out there …Continue reading

MCE Controller 1.0.4 Released

I’ve released an update to MCE Controller that fixes a bug where it would prevent Windows logoff and shutdown. Head over to http://www.kindel.com/products/mcecontroller to download it. MCE Controller allows the Media Center application of Windows Media Center Edition (MCE) to be integrated into an advanced control system by enabling programmatic control of the user interface via a TCP/IP connection. To put it simply, MCE Controller, allows you to simulate a press of any button on …Continue reading

Steve coins a new phrase: DVR Clog

In The Furrygoat Experience: DVR Clog Steve coins a new term that I like: “DVR Clog”. I love it! DVR Clog. The state of affairs when your digital video recorder is full of shows you want to watch, but don’t have the time.  

Great Windows Media Center videos

Check out these great Channel9 videos on Windows XP Media Center Edition (MCE). If you’ve ever wondered what all the fuss over MCE is watch John Canning and Charlie Owen expose it all. Media Center exposed, Part I Media Center exposed, Part II There’s about an hour of video here, but if you really want to understand this amazing product it’s worthwhile to watch it all.

In depth MCE 2005 article on AnandTech

AnandTech has a very deep article on Windows Media Center Edition 2005. They didn’t think much of the earlier versions of MCE. Some quotes: “Media Center Edition continues to be the coolest looking highest performance PVR/DVR (with a fast enough system) out there on the market today. The interface continues to be clearly ahead of the competition…”“In the end, MCE continues to be a niche product, but if you have the means, then its definitely one …Continue reading

Media Center SDK on MSDN

Via Ethan Zoller, the Media Center 2005 SDK is now on MSDN. http://msdn.microsoft.com/mce. Via this I also discoved Michael Creasy’s blog which focuses on MCE. Cool.

Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005 – gamepc.com review

GamePC – Symphony Arrives : Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005 GamePC.com reviews MCE 2005 and loves it. “…MCE is still (in our opinion) the best home theater product currently on the market by a very large margin.” Another “version 3 success” by Microsoft? I certainly think so, but then I’m highly biased.

Windows Media Center Extenders

Buy.com is now taking pre-orders for the Linksys WMCE54AG “Wireless A/G Media Center Extender”…aka Bobsled. I am so incredibly proud of this device. Way back in 2000 I sat down with Don Gray and Bob Atkinson to brainstorm the concept of using RDP to remote UI and AV from a media server. This concept has finally been released as a full product. Of course you can’t actually use one of these until Windows Media Center …Continue reading

MCE Controller doc ommission

I forgot to mention a key (pun intended) command that MCE Controller supports in the 1.0.3 documentation. The “key:” command allows you to simulate any alphanumeric keyboard key press. For example “key:3” is the same thing as pressing the 3 key on the keyboard. This command is implemented internally in MCE Controller rather than via the MCEControl.commands configuration file; which is why I forgot to document it. I will update the readme file next time …Continue reading