0Alarm Clock LogoKeeping your HTPC clock in sync

I’ve had a long-standing issue with my HTPC where it loses a minute or two every day.  If I leave it switched on for weeks on end, with only standby utilised, I find that it starts missing the start or end of TV programmes due to having the wrong time.  I’ve tried modifying the windows time service settings to make it update regularly, but this hasn’t worked.  Thanks to an article on LifeHacker I recently stumbled upon I’ve now had an accurate clock for a couple of weeks…. Read Full Article

2pale moonPale Moon: Firefox enhanced and in 64bit

I’ve been looking for a 64bit Firefox for a couple of years now, pretty much since Java and Flash player became available in 64bit.  Mozilla seem in no hurry to progress the minefield nightlies into a full release, but several third parties have taken the open source code and compiled it for 64bit.  I’ve looked at several of these and the best supported and most regularly updated seems to be a build called Pale Moon.

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1CoolerMaster Elite 335 PC CaseThe end of regular PC price drops?

I regularly build PCs for people, and have recently been looking at a high end spec for someone.  I started, as I often do, by looking at what I’d got for a high end system about a year ago, to see if it was worth moving up the the new generation, or if a substantial drop in the older spec made it tempting to repeat.  In the past the year old system has always been substantially cheaper, so I was quite surprised to find that this time it wasn’t.  … Read Full Article

1Media Player Classic - Home Cinema LogoHow to set remote control jump keys for MPC-HC

As I’ve documented in the past, I have several HTPC’s running Windows Media Center.  I also use MediaBrowser for TV series and movies ripped from disk.  I’ve found that MediaBrowser works much better with an external player than the internal player – performance seems to be superior – so I use Media Player Classic Home Cinema.  I also have several Media Center remote controls for use with the various HTPCs, and one of the most frequently used pairs of buttons are the “jump” or “skip” buttons which in media center jump the current playback forward by 30 seconds or back by 30 seconds.  This is really handy for skipping adverts in recorded TV.  However, under default installation settings these keys don’t work when playing videos in MPC-HC.  After much trial and error I finally figured out the correct configuration

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0Google removes ad blocking apps: Get them here

It seems that the formerly “do no evil” google have decided to remove all ad blocking apps from the Play Store.  Fortunately it has always been possible to install apps directly from the APK files – as long as you can find them.  The 3 most popular ad blocking apps are still available to download in apk format, all you need to do is enable the installing of apps from “unknown sources” somewhere in your phones settings.

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0Wordpress LogoFixing Rich Snippets Testing Tool for Microdata

Over 2 years ago I published an article on how to fix problems with WordPress themes which didn’t pass the Google Rich Snippets Testing Tool. Since then lots has changed – WordPress and most themes have better support, HTML5 and CSS3 have arrived, and Google, Yahoo and Bing got together and decided to focus on Microdata, via schema.org. At the time microformats seemed the easiest way to mark up pages, and the testing tool had the most comprehensive support for these. The move to Microdata and the changes to WordPress required a new article: this is it!

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0Internet Explorer 9 LogoIE10 for Windows 7 finally arrives

Another item that we’re a bit late to cover is the arrival of Internet Explorer 10 for Windows 7 (and Server 2008 R2).  As with past releases, older OSes are being left behind with no support for Vista or XP, which are stuck on IE9 and IE8 respectively.  If you have Windows 7 we recommend upgrading (even if you don’t use IE) and of course there is no harm giving it a try.  We’ll probably be sticking with Firefox and Chrome ourselves, but IE sometimes has its uses.

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0BBC HD LogoBBC HD to become BBC2 HD

I’ve been a little slow getting round to updating content on the site recently, and this news was one item that got left behind.  The BBC have announced that BBC HD is to be replaced by BBC2 HD.  The majority of content on BBC HD was from BBC2 anyway, so most will notice little difference, but expect a new logo and minor changes to the programme line-up.  The expected switchover date is 6am on Tuesday 26th March.

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5Wordpress LogoAdsense ads above the last paragraph of a post

You may have noticed that we’ve tweaked how we display our adsense ads.  We wanted some small text-only ads near the bottom of each article, which would be added automatically.  This took a little bit of tinkering, but eventually we developed a solution which works well and doesn’t seem to knock page processing times much.  Simply add the following code to your theme’s functions.php (don’t forget to change your adsense IDs) … Read Full Article

0Comment bubbleEasily set the parent of a WordPress comment

As is documented in the site update log, for a while we had a problem with our theme where it wasn’t possible to reply to a comment so that the reply would appear correctly in a threaded way.  We have no fixed this problem, but have been left with a significant number of comments which really need editing so it is easier to see what they are in reply to.  With a standard wordpress install this requires going into the database and editing there, which is very tedious.  Instead, we’ve used some simple functions to add an option to the comment-edit admin page, to set the comment parent there.  Eventually this will be developed into a proper plugin to enable this functionality.  For now the code is below, just add it to your theme’s functions.php

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