14Boxee Remote LogoThe search for a HTPC remote-keyboard

I’ve been look­ing for a new (more ver­sat­ile) remote con­trol for my HTPC. At the moment I have to use a full-size key­board as the remote con­trol has no such facil­ity. I’ve been look­ing for a suit­able remote con­trol with key­board, and whilst I haven’t yet found quite the right thing I have found some inter­est­ing products…
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0Microsoft Office Outlook LogoOutlook 2007 generating corruption in some sent e-mails

I recently encountered a very strange prob­lem in out­look 2007. E-mails sent to large num­bers of recip­i­ents (approx 30) were suf­fer­ing from some cor­rup­tion where a large part of the head­er was appear­ing in the con­tent of the e-mail. The appeared as a long string of ran­dom char­ac­ters fol­lowed by some text (eg “Sosha1_v1;7” and “x-cr-puzzleid”) that sug­ges­ted the garbled text was part of the out­look anti-spam “post­mark” fea­ture. The e-mail mes­sage appeared as nor­mal below this cor­rupt text. Anoth­er symp­tom of the prob­lem was e-mail fail­ing to send prop­erly the first time send/receive was clicked.
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2CD LogoMulti disc albums in Media Center

I recently added my FLAC music col­lec­tion to my Media Cen­ter box, but one of the last few things bug­ging me about the Media Cen­ter inter­face is that it does not respect the Disc Num­ber. I prefer not to have a dif­fer­ent album name for the second disc, and i also prefer to keep discs sep­ar­ate. Today I acci­dent­ally stumbled on a solu­tion, thanks to a mis-tag­ging of a double-cd album.
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5VirtualDub LogoVirtualDub x64 with plugins

I’ve used Vir­tu­al­Dub for many years as video tweak­er / reen­coder. I recently needed to edit a video and decided to try the 64bit ver­sion. All is well, except for the lack of plu­gins (and hence greatly reduced ver­sat­il­ity). After dig­ging around for quite a while I man­aged to loc­ate the fol­low­ing selec­tion of plu­gins which did the job nicely.
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0FLAC LogoFull Flac support in Media Center x64

Fol­low­ing on from an earli­er art­icle, I have been con­tinu­ing to work on get­ting my music col­lec­tion work­ing in Win­dows 7 Media Cen­ter. The prob­lem I have had is that although there are codecs from xiph which sup­port play­back of flacs in 64bit play­ers (see this post) there are (as far as I’m aware) no tag extenders com­pat­ible with 64bit.  After banging my head against a wall for ages I even­tu­ally had a break­through.
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0Inside HDD LogoSpeeding up Media Browser

An art­icle on Hack7MC caught my eye a couple of months ago, but I have only just got around to fol­low­ing up on it. The idea is to speed up the Media Browser plu­gin for Media Cen­ter by mov­ing its lib­rary to a Cheap USB Flash drive, which hope­fully offers much bet­ter per­form­ance than nor­mal hard-disk drives. The first thing I did was test a couple of flash-based devices that I have against my desktop Hard­Drive…
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1Windows Media Center eHome LogoSpeeding up WMP12 & 7MC media library database

One of the prob­lems with my HTPC that I have only just star­ted look­ing at is how to use it to play and man­age my large col­lec­tion of audio CD’s which I have painstak­ingly ripped to FLAC’s. The Xiph codecs (see pre­vi­ous art­icles here and here) make it pos­sible to play FLACs in 64bit media cen­ter, but the media lib­rary was incred­ibly slow.
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