Friday, November 20, 2009

Asus O!Play HDP-R1

Sometimes I feel like I am a little slow adopting some technologies. Of course this isn't really true. There are just some I don't like. MP3's, for instance. They don't sound very hi-fi, like most digital TV (and it's all digital now, isn't it). I didn't get a DVR right away, but we've had one since we got Uverse (maybe a year ago) and we love it. I am almost always bleeding edge on Microsoft products. I convinced myself, I'm not a Luddite.

I like my video hi-fi too. The Uverse DVR is reasonably good (like the Uverse service), and I have a Blu-ray player, and that stuff looks and sounds great. I have a lot of video content (most of it high definition) on the 3TB of internal disc in my Windows 7 machine. I had been sneaker- netting it to my Blu-ray sometimes (or watching on the 25" LCD monitor) but I got the idea that a media player would be way better. This is also better than trying to attach a PC to my living room HDTV (I tried this in 2005 when I got it and it didn't work well - I needed better stuff).

Shopping for media players, I found there are a bunch. A few are expensive. A couple don't have a network connection (that won't do). I stumbled on the Asus O!Play HDP-R1 and gave it a long look due to the great price and the Asus name. When you are building a computer, Asus is always a brand you should consider - their stuff is first rate. This product is VERY new.

I don't know much about what is in the box. It's small, and consumes very little power. The Oplay is running some flavor of Linux.

The Asus forums had lots of posts from dissatisfied customers, but reading between the lines, I thought I would be able to make it work just fine and that it would do exactly what I needed - play just about any video or audio file, connect to my network, host ESATA, etc. It does all it was supposed to do, and well. This post on the Asus forum has the secret to getting it working with Windows 7.

If you buy one, it will probably come with firmware version 1.07N on it and the network will not work right for Windows 7 machines (other computers will be OK). Set up a Windows 7 user "OPlayer" with password "OPlayer" and give it permissions on shares that hold your media. Reset the Oplay to factory defaults, load firmware version 1.13N, and the network connection will work perfectly (UPnP will work too).

So I have another cool gadget! It is a highly recommended toy!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

SharePoint 2010 (Caveman Edition)

I am hopelessly (humorously) politically incorrect and caveman readers probably will be offended, but it seemed like the 2010 beta was aimed at them. I mean this as a big compliment to the killer Install Software Prerequisites option in the 2010 installer and the smoothness with which a simplistic stand alone install runs.

Install Software Prerequisites does the following steps from a one click operation:
  • Application Server Role, Web Server (IIS) Role
  • Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Native Client
  • Microsoft "Geneva" Framework Runtime
  • Microsoft Sync Framework Runtime v1.0 (x64)
  • Microsoft Chart Controls for Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5
  • Microsoft Filter Pack 2.0
  • Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Analysis Services ADOMD.NET
Any installation "cookbook" will be streamlined by this (assuming it is putting in the right settings).

The configuration wizard of the 2010 install failed when I first ran it Tuesday morning. I got the same "Failed to create sample data" error lots of people did. I corrected it Wednesday (when I didn't see anything official posted) by removing the two references to "allowinsecuretransport" (deleting both entries entirely) from the Client.config file in the 14 hive /WebClients/Profile folder.

I don't think this change is recommended, but it gets you over this hump for now. This is a pain future cavemen will be spared. More time for Visio cave wall workflow diagrams.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

I don't know Jack, but now I know Jorma

Founding member of the Jefferson Airplane and Hot Tuna, Jorma Kaukonen, appeared at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame yesterday for the American Music Masters Series tribute to Janis Joplin. Jorma and Janis were part of the San Fransisco area pre-hippie scene and they shared some interesting early times before they were rock stars.
Per the usual Rock Hall format for such events, he gave an extended interview interspersed with a number of songs, followed by a meet-and-greet. As always, the fourth floor theater was filled to capacity and the sound and overall experience were first rate. Jorma was playing his new signature model Martin guitar (serial number 1).

Schoolboy was in attendance and I heard some of his 24 bit 96 kHz Zoom H2 recording and it is very good.

Afterwards, at the meet and greet, I asked Jorma to bring Hot Tuna to the Beachland. Hopefully I planted a seed in his mind. It would have been very cool if Jack Casady could have been there, but since he wasn't, I still don't know jack.

Friday, November 06, 2009

Adding a New Text Search File Type

As heavy Interwoven document management users, we sometimes include Interwoven link files (.NRL files) in SharePoint document libraries. This doesn't give a whole lot of functionality in and of itself, but it is necessary. The NRL is a very simple one line text file that contains a library name and a document and version number. There are times when a user might want to search on the document number, so we needed to add the NRL as a searchable file type.

To do this, there are two places the extension needs to be added in the registry, and the SSP needs to know about the file type (Search settings / File types / New File Type). Your registry keys will look like the entries below. It would be good to verify the GUIDs with the TXT entries on your system. If you navigate in the registry to the locations below you will see how the keys look.

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Shared Tools\Web Server Extensions\12.0\Search\Setup\ContentIndexCommon\Filters\Extension\.nrl]

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Office Server\12.0\Search\Setup\ContentIndexCommon\Filters\Extension\.nrl]

Naturally, this would extend to other text file types and of course you will do this in your test environment first, etc., etc., blah, blah.