Vista Media Center (MCE) keeps waking up


Our Vista Media Center machine was continually waking up a few minutes after it was put to sleep. This lead to higher power bills, and higher greenhouse gas emissions. To find out the cause of the last wakeup request, you can execute the following command from a Command Prompt:

powercfg /lastwake

Unfortunately, this didn't give any useful information for me, so I took the following approach:

Cloning dual-boot Windows XP machines

A disk in a workmate's computer failed recently, and when restoring the backup, we had issues getting the second partition to boot. We were able to get the OS to load only as far as the second loading screen (the blue screen with the scrolling orange/blue animation at the bottom, not the black screen with the scrolling green animation at the bottom), at which point the scrolling animation would freeze (although the keyboard and mouse were responsive).

Network Booting Fedora 8 (NFSROOT)


OK, here is how I went about network booting Fedora 8. I'll be booting my machine from a Solaris box, but any reasonable NFS server should do.

First, fire up VMWare, and do a basic install of Fedora 8. You can choose whatever packages you want (I suggest a minimal install plus "Software Development", since you can add extra stuff later). We will be using this machine to give us a tarball of the Fedora root filesystem, plus a platform to build the initrd.

Replacing the Motherboard in my Friendly Robotics Lawnmower

I managed to get some spare time today (well, tonight), so I got down and dirty to replace the motherboard in my Friendly Robotics RL-1000 automated lawnmower.

 Normally, this is a job for the service agents, but after speaking to them, and cringing at the thought of getting this behemoth back to them, I asked them to just send me the board, and I'll service it myself.

Wii compatibility issues with the Joytech 540C (Xbox control centre)


Having just upgraded to a new TV, we are now connecting most of our equipment via HDMI/component where available. We have a Joytech 540C Xbox Control Centre which ties all our non-HDMI sources together, and it generally works well, switching composite, s-video, component, stereo RCA and optical SPDIF. It also has a builtin 5 port 10/100 ethernet switch (I wish it was gigabit though). Unfortunately, when feeding a component signal from the Wii, the colours appear washed out, and the screen

Tevion/Medion 42" LCD MD30162 Overscan Issues

A couple of weeks ago, Aldi had a 42" LCD for AUD$1500. Its quite a good deal, image quality is quite good, compared to other sets in that price range. Sure, it only has an analogue tuner, with lots of ghosting (on a signal that our older LG CRT displayed perfectly), but who cares, for $1.5k, you get a screen thats perfect for hooking up to a media centre machine, tuner be damned.

Unlocking the DLink DPH-C160S


A few weeks back I picked up a couple of Engin 221 VOIP DECT phones (a rebadged DLink DPH-C160S) from Ebay, with the hopes of being able to use them with my Asterisk server. As it turns out, the Engin ship these units with crippled firmware, so you can only reconfigure the IP settings, but not the SIP settings, rendering it useless for anything except talking to Engin. It won't even work with their VOIPer accounts, nor are they willing to unlock the device.