0True home cinema for a grand

I’ve long had a “home cinema” setup with a fairly budget HTPC, a 50″ plasma TV, and a 4.1 sur­round sys­tem, but when I moved house a year ago I found I no longer had a place in the main fam­ily room to fit the 50″ TV, so had to revert back to the old Sam­sung 32″ 720p CRT that I bought in around 2006. The room has a large bay win­dow with a little recess per­fect for fit­ting a screen, so a plan was born for true home cinema
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0WordPress Local Gravatar cache

I like to have avatars shown for people who com­ment on my blog. Word­Press sup­ports the gravatar ser­vice nat­ively so enabling this is very easy. How­ever it comes with a cost — access­ing extern­al files from anoth­er domain adds lots of extra load time in the form of new DNS look­ups, new SSL con­nec­tions to make, etc. Wouldn’t it be nice to have gravatars stored loc­ally and served from your own serv­er. Well that’s what I’ve been doing for some time now, if you’d like to know how, read on…
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0VPS Tweaks to improve web performance

Whilst I haven’t writ­ten many new art­icles recently I have spent con­sid­er­able time updat­ing and revis­ing the behind-the-scenes side of things, namely vari­ous secur­ity (TLS) set­tings on my VPS that hosts sev­er­al sites includ­ing this one.  Anoth­er thing I have also worked to enhance recently is to improve my use of gzip, and a new format called brotli

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0Google Photo Sync limits

Google have released a new tool to replace drive sync and pho­tos backup.  The new app, called Backup and Sync provides the func­tion­al­ity of both in a single app.  It is also claimed that it will sync folders as albums for pho­tos, some­thing the pre­vi­ous backup app did not do.  A couple of lim­its remain how­ever.

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0Localisation of Amazon Affiliates links

I occa­sion­ally ref­er­ence products on my vari­ous web­sites, and usu­ally link them to Amazon for any­one inter­ested in buy­ing them. A long time ago I used to link with an amazon affil­i­ates link but nev­er earned any­thing from it as my typ­ic­al read­er­ship is well dis­trib­uted around the world. Unfor­tu­nately Amazon don’t provide a way to redir­ect vis­it­ors to their loc­al amazon site whilst retain­ing to affil­i­ates pay­ments. There are vari­ous solu­tions out there but all the ones I found had issues with them, so I developed my own.… Read Full Art­icle

0Tips for new Kodi users

I’ve recently star­ted the migra­tion from 7MC to Kodi now that Media Cen­ter is no longer sup­por­ted, and con­sequently many plu­gins for it are no longer being act­ively developed.

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0Samsung SmartThings — A smart home hub

I’ve recently inves­ted in a SmartTh­ings Hub for my home to use for secur­ity and safety as well as for gen­er­al smart home func­tions. Over the com­ing months I will be writ­ing a series of art­icles with some of the tech­nic­al hurdles I cross along the way.
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0Windows Media Center eHome LogoWindows Media Center on Windows 10

With the launch of Win­dows 10 Microsoft has offi­cially killed off Win­dows Media Cen­ter. How­ever, Win­dows Media Cen­ter was found in the early builds of Win­dows 10 and noth­ing fun­da­ment­al to Win­dows 10 is incom­pat­ible with Media Cen­ter. This begs the ques­tion: Can Media Cen­ter be added in to Win­dows 10? The answer: yes!
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