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Comcast Digital Switch Impact on My Windows Media Center

2009 Sep 25, 2:19

Amateur wireless station (LOC)Irritatingly out of line with what their commercials say, in my area Comcast, under the covers of the national broadcast digital switch, is sneaking in their own switch to digital, moving channels above 30 to their own digital format. Previously, I had Windows 7 Media Center running on a PC with a Hauppauge PVR500 which can decode two television signals at once setup to record shows I like. The XBox 360 works great as a Media Center client letting me easily watch the recorded shows over my home network on my normal TV.

Unfortunately with Comcast's change, now one needs a cable box or a Comcast digital to analog converter in order to view their signal, but Comcast is offering up to two free converters for those who'd like them. The second of my two free converters I hooked up to the Media Center PC and I got the IR Blaster that came with my Hauppauge out of the garage. I plugged in the USB IR Blaster to my PC, connected one of the IR transmitters to the 1st port on the IR Blaster, and sat the IR transmitter next to the converter's IR receiver. I went through the Media Center TV setup again and happily it was able to figure out how to correctly change the channel on the converter. So I can record now, however:

  1. I can only record one thing at a time now
  2. Changing the channel is slow taking many seconds (no flipping through channels for me)
  3. The Hauppauge card can't know if the channel change worked. So if it tries to change to HBO (I get it for free with one of the Comcast packages) which is encrypted and the converted won't show, the channel doesn't change but the PC doesn't know it and ends up recording some other channel.
To fix (3) I need to manually go through and remove channels I don't have from the Media Center. To fix (1) I may be able to get a second IR transmitter, a third digital converter, hook it up to one of the other inputs on my Hauppauge, and go back through the Media Center TV setup. There's no fix for (2) but that's not so bad. All in all, its just generally frustrating that they're breaking my setup with no obvious benefit.PermalinkCommentsdigital tv hauppauge mce cable windows media center comcast

YouTube: YouTube File Hack (and Others) Download Clips to Your Desktop

2008 Aug 6, 2:56Online and offline YouTube link to video download and conversion tools.PermalinkCommentsyoutube video hack lifehacker flv converter

Vector Converter | Installation notes

2008 Mar 8, 11:14Perhaps an IE plugin to support SVG by converting to VML could use this?PermalinkCommentssvg vml image convert gif vector opensource

Two-for Script File

2007 Aug 6, 5:40I was messing with the XSLT to XSL Converter source which is a javascript file that can be run with cscript.exe. I've changed it to be like a very basic version of xsltproc that simply runs an XML file through an XSLT. I also wanted to run this from the command prompt without writing "cscript ..." everytime. I decided to make like perl programmers I've seen and make a JS file that works as a batch file and a JS file at the same time.

Here's a basic version of what I ended doing applied to a 'hello world' script named helloworld.cmd:
/* 2> NUL
@echo off
cscript /e:javascript /nologo "%~f0" %*
@goto :eof

    Hello World
        Says 'Hello world.' when you run it.
*/

var outText = 'Hello world.';
WScript.Echo(outText);
Running this on a command prompt gives the following:
C:\Users\davris>helloworld

C:\Users\davris>/*  2>NUL
Hello world.

However, after a little more experimentation I found this was slightly overkill for my purposes since if I rename the file to helloworld.js and just type its name like a command it is run by cscript:
C:\Users\davris>helloworld
Microsoft (R) Windows Script Host Version 5.7
Copyright (C) Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.

Hello world.

So this time I didn't need all that but if ever in the future I need to run a batch file then a JS file I can do it with one file...PermalinkCommentscmd js technical cscript batch xslt xsl javascript

New XSLT - IE7 XML Source View Upgrade Part 2

2007 May 11, 8:55Last time, I had written some resource tools to allow me to view and modify Windows module resources in my ultimate and noble quest to implement the XML content-type fragment in IE7. Using the resource tools I found that MSXML3.DLL isn't signed and that I can replace the XSLT embedded resource with my own, which is great news and means I could continue in my endevour. In the following I discuss how I came up with this replacement for IE7's XML source view.

At first I thought I could just modify the existing XSLT but it turns out that it isn't exactly an XSLT, rather its an IE5 XSL. I tried using the XSL to XSLT converter linked to on MSDN, however the resulting document still requires manual modification. But I didn't want to muck about in their weird language and I figured I could write my own XSLT faster than I could figure out how theirs worked.

I began work on the new XSLT and found it relatively easy to produce. First I got indenting working with all the XML nodes represented appropriately and different CSS classes attached to them to make it easy to do syntax highlighting. Next I added in some javascript to allow for closing and opening of elements. At this point my XSLT had the same features as the original XSL.

Next was the XML mimetype fragment which uses XPointer, a framework around various different schemes for naming parts of an XML document. I focused on the XPointer scheme which is an extended version of XPath. So I named my first task as getting XPaths working. Thankfully javascript running in the HTML document produced by running my XSLT on an XML document has access to the original XML document object via the document.XMLDocument property. From this this I can execute XPaths, however there's no builtin way to map from the XML nodes selected by the XPath to the HTML elements that I produced to represent them. So I created a recursive javascript function and XSLT named-template that both produce the same unique strings based on an XML node's position in the document. For instance 'a3-e2-e' is the name produced for the 3rd attribute of the second element of the root element of the XML document. When producing the HTML for an XML node, I add an 'id' attribute to the HTML with the unique string of the XML node. Then in javascript when I execute an XPath I can discover the unique string of each node in the selected set and map each of them to their corresponding positions in the HTML.

With the hard part out of the way I changed the onload to get the fragment of the URI of the current document, interpret it as an XPath and highlight and navigate to the selected nodes. I also added an interactive floating bar from which you can enter your own XPaths and do the same. On a related note, I found that when accessing XML files via the file URI scheme the fragment is stripped off and not available to the javascript.

The next steps are of course to actually implement XPointer framework parsing as well as the limited number of schemes that the XPointer framework specifies.PermalinkCommentsxml xpointer msxml res xpath xslt resource ie7 technical browser ie xsl

XSL to XSLT Converter 1.1

2007 May 3, 12:52A free tool to convert old style XSL documents into XSLT documents.PermalinkCommentsmsdn microsoft tool free download xsl xslt xml

OpenSearch / Mozilla Search Converter

2007 Feb 22, 2:35Tool I've built that allows you to turn Mozilla's search descriptions into OpenSearch descriptions that may be used in IE7.PermalinkCommentssearch ie ie7 browser me projects personal setupnewcomputer

ishida >> utilities: Unicode code converter

2007 Feb 14, 3:09Richard Ishida's website that converts between encodings of UTF-8, UTF-16, and HTML NCRs.PermalinkCommentsunicode conversion html encoding javascript software tool utf8 richard-ishida

Encode-O-Matic Update

2006 Dec 3, 12:28I've updated Encode-O-Matic again. This is a tool I'm working on to convert between various Internet related encodings such as character sets, HTML encoding, URI encoding, base64, and IDN. In this update I've put it all into an installer. I'm using Nullsoft's installer generator to produce the installer. I've added a Base Conversion converter to convert between arbitrary bases and a Reverse converter that reverses the input by character, byte, or strings with arbitrary delimiters.PermalinkCommentsinstaller encodeomatic project charset nullsoft encoding
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