September 27, 2005

Good program, good site

WhatsRunning is up to V2.1. It's a program that lets you see ... uhh ... what's running on your system. From processes to IP connections to startup programs and more. Not only is the program worthwhile but the site itself has a section called Process Information Central which can identify what a process is, what it does and what company it's from.

The program is free for non-commercial use, $US 25 otherwise.

Another good site that I'll just mention here and do a more thorough write-up later is AnswersThatWork. Try their Task List for something similar to What's Running's Process Information Central.

Posted by tony at 11:13 AM | Comments (0)

September 26, 2005

A new remote control

I've added the Snapstream Firefly remote control to my media PC. Good product! It's an RF remote, not IR, so it can't control any of my other devices but that's OK for now ... I'm still trying to figure out how to make everything work together anyway. Besides drivers, the remote comes with Beyond Media Basic, a slimmed down version of their Beyond Media application (differences are here) and some other software to allow it to control quite a few applications like WinAmp, Cyberlink's PowerDVD and Microsoft's Media Center Edition but nothing for my personal favorite, J. River's Media Center so I built one over the weekend. It's not too difficult, just a matter of determining what codes to send to the app (either key strokes or Windows messages). It's not perfect but it works. Once I shake it out a little more, I'll post it.

One other product I've been looking at is Promixis' Girder. It's a tool that allows you to take actions from a remote control device and recode it to control applications. It seem to be quite popular, given how many people reference it over at AVS Forum so I intend to download the evaluation version and give it a try.

More later.

Posted by tony at 08:05 AM | Comments (0)

September 21, 2005

Free copy of Laplink PCmover ... right from Laplink!

Laplink is giving away free copies of its PCmover program until September 30. Go here.

Update, 9/22/2005: Looks like the offer's been extended till October 15 (thanks, Chad!).

Posted by tony at 08:08 AM | Comments (2)

September 11, 2005

Out of sight, out of mind?

I've been quiet for the past few weeks. Work's required a lot more of my time in preparation for a shipment and I've been busy building my new PC! I built my last one back just before Windows XP launched and, while it still very useful as a file server, it's starting to breathe a little hard when I ask it to perform CPU intensive tasks. A 1GHz AMD CPU, 512M of PC133 RAM and an ATA100 IDE interface is still nothing to sneeze at even though the magazine writers would have you think otherwise but I'm due for a failure sometime and I'm afraid that'd be sooner rather than later.

So, what did I put together? An ASUS A8N-E motherboard that comes with SATA2.0 and ATA33/66/100/133, 10 USB2.0 ports, on-board AC97 8-channel audio with SPDIF output and PCI Express. I've stuck in an AMD64 PIB Socket 939 3500+ CPU, 1GB of DDR400 memory, a NEC ND-3540A DVD writer, an eVGA e-GeForce 6200 TC (you're right, I'm not a gamer), all housed on an Antec Sonata II case.

I've moved it downstairs, next to my old-school TV that has an actual picture tube (yeah, I'll replace it one of these days) and use it as my media hub. Matter of fact, right now I'm listening to Radio Paradise, an Internet-only radio station with some nice visuals from J. River's Media Center playing on the TV. My cable modem connection is upstairs in my old computer room and I haven't run Ethernet downstairs yet so I'm making do with a Linksys WUSB54GS USB 802.11g adapter, at least until hardware is available that can move data based on the new HomePlug AV specification which, from what I hear, will be sometime early next year. Yes, I'm going with Ethernet over powerlines.

So, anyway, that's it. I've missed telling you that T-Mobile is supposed to be getting the HTC Tornado sometime in October, that Microsoft has released SyncToy 1.0, how to decode the UPC symbol, why "colonel" is pronounced "kernel" and a lot of other things. Sorry for my lack of attention. I'll try to do better.

Posted by tony at 03:39 PM | Comments (0)