The telly is old. Like, ancient. Karen estimates it's about 13 years old. Notice the flap from the front is long gone. As is the remote control. To turn it on involves pressing three buttons in the right order and then waiting.
It's all contained in an antique wardrobe in the corner of the living room, so we can hide the mess away when we have guests, by closing the doors to it. If ever we do open the doors to the cupboard you can imagine the shock on their faces. Most of them in disbelief that I - a massive geek - have such a telly in the first place.
Karen and I are like-minded when it comes to TVs. Neither of us could care less about them. Nor can we bring ourselves to spend any money on a TV. We're perfectly happy with the one above. However, it only has one SCART input and no HDMI, so it's in no way future-proof. Luckily Karen's mum is "upgrading" hers and giving us the "old" one, which does have a whole load of inputs to it.
My plan now is to get rid of the pile of kids DVDs you can see and replace them with a media streaming box. It drives me mad when the kids ask to watch a DVD and I have to stand their like a muppet for what feels like eternity waiting for the all the DVD intros to finish and the play button to appear (if ever I meet the person behind Disney's "FastPlay" button!!). What I want is direct and instant access to our film library, which they can control (via the iPad?).
I'm in the process of ripping all the DVDs to our NAS box now. At the same time I'm reading up on home media setups and trying to work out which suits us best. I'm struggling though. Not only with the sheer amount of options available, but also in finding something that meets my needs. This is where I'm hoping you guys can help?
What I want is one box to do all the following:
Play DVDs (not bothered about Blu-Ray).
Record or pause TV.
Ideally it would have a two tuners, to record one channel and watch another.
Play any movie file off my NAS server.
Streaming movies off the internet not essential but nice to have.
iPad/phone controller to manage network streaming, playback, channel changing etc.
Am I dreaming? I'd like to get rid of the PVR/DVD in the photo above, just so there's one less box/remote to worry about.
If the above one-box nirvana isn't achievable then what's the next best thing? An Apple TV? Boxee Box? Something else?
A Tool I Made To Export From Notes to SQL (ETL) | Blog
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The Perfect Desk Quest - 2013 Update (Part 2) | Blog
Wed, Dec 11th 2013 3:10a Jake Howlett Back in March I updated you all on how my on-going quest for the perfect desk was coming along. Here now is another update. Question: Can you ever have too many monitors or enough "real estate" desktop size? Answer: No! Here's how my desk looks now: From left to right, there's a (newly-added) Dell U2713H (showing OS X), a Dell U2711 and a Samsung SyncMaster 245B (both showing the same Windows 7 PC). All in there are 9,676,800 pixels glaring back at me!! Aside from adding a brand new monito [read] Keywords: desktop
Recovering a Laptop After Forgetting Windows and BIOS Password | Blog
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Rockall Design Now in its 11th Year! | Blog
Fri, Nov 1st 2013 4:00a Jake Howlett Rockall Design ltd (the little company I run from the office-slash-garage in my garden) was 10 years old yesterday. It's customary on this day each year that I plot a chart of turnover growth over the years. So, here it is: As you can see it's been a bumper year. Last year I put down what, at the time, I thought was a good year to: Long hours and 'hard' work. But mainly luck! This year is much the same. Although, if I thought I was doing long hours back then I had no idea what was in stor [read] Keywords: domino
Using Font Awesome Icons in Fireworks | Blog
Mon, Oct 14th 2013 4:00a Jake Howlett The font-based web icons from Font Awesome is brilliant. Especially when used in conjunction with Bootstrap. You can quickly and easily add any one of the icons to your HTML buttons (or many other elements for that matter). Like so: Sometimes though, you can't use web fonts. Either you can't rely on them being supported or, for some other reason, you just want to use an image file. That was the case for me recently and I wanted an image file of an exclamation mark. Here's how easy it was usi [read] Keywords:
Bootstrap Advanced Date Picker Plugin | Blog
Fri, Sep 6th 2013 4:00a Jake Howlett For some time now I've been creating date fields in Bootstrap-based websites that look like this: Clicking either in the field or on the button next to it launches a date-picker, like this: In the Notes Form the Date Field is configured in such a way that it accepts dates in the format 12-Dec-2009 (while storing them in normal Notes DateTime format of course). The field properties are like so: It all works well and users like them. Not least because there's no confusion over whether it' [read] Keywords: domino
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Tue, Aug 20th 2013 12:00p Jake Howlett Here's a tip I discovered kind of by accident in one of those "I wonder if" moments. It came about after discovering a Fiddler tip that lets you trace localhost http traffic. The solution is simple: you simply add a trailing space, so that you surf to http://localhost./ At first I'd assumed that this was some odd quirk in the way browsers handled host names. Turns out it's actually working the way it should. Technically speaking all FQDNs should have a trailing space, in order to make them [read] Keywords:
How To: Virgin Media + BT Infinity = Reliable Internet Connection? | Blog
Mon, Aug 12th 2013 4:03a Jake Howlett The quest for an always-on internet connection is almost at an end! As if to assure me it was worth it, within 24 hours of Virgin Media connecting my secondary (failover) broadband connection the "primary" BT line went down. Again. For the third time in as many months. This time, however, I was prepared and had a backup connection and could carry on working. The BT engineer that came this time was very helpful. Bordering on apologetic for the fact I'd had so many visits of late. So much so he [read] Keywords: admin
Modern Day Communication Reliability | Blog
Thu, Aug 8th 2013 4:09a Jake Howlett Two weeks ago today I mentioned that I'd ordered a Virgin Media cable internet connection as a redundant 2nd connection in case my first goes down. Today the engineer is due to come and connect me up. Yep, a two week wait to get connected. Luckily I'm already on the internet, otherwise there's not a chance I'd ever wait that long. Anyway, I booked a date and the AM time slot for the visit and went about "waiting". Then, yesterday I got the message below: Which sent my overly-paranoid an [read] Keywords: twitter