How to: Play .MKV’s in WMC 7

For Christmas I was lucky enough to get my hands on an Asrock ion 330ht-bd, Basically a HTPC. First off I tried installing xbmc on it, but despite how gorgeous it looks, I found it too annoying to set up and get to work properly. xbmcfreak‘s version is ‘optimized’ for an ion based system, and is well on the way to working well, however it just wasn’t good enough.

So I went and installed windows 7 on it. It came with a WMC remote so that all works very well. Having thought I’d got it all set up and running, I watched some divx films and tv shows and found they were fine. Then I tried some of my HD content. In order to play it I thought all I needed was Haali Media Splitter, and to a certain extent I was right. However I found on some files I couldn’t get the damn thing to play any sound.

So I searched around a bit and basically discovered that the files with no sound had DTS sound. In order to get these to work I simply had to install ffdshow. After that I fired up WMC 7 and lo’ and behold, I had sound!

To sum up, to get .mkv’s to play in WMC 7 simply install:

Enjoy!

Stuff I Want

I often start lusting after various pieces of tech, but I try and avoid buying them to avoid being disappointed. My policy is that if i’ve been lusting after it long enough, ie haven’t got bored of the idea, then I can buy it. This doesn’t always work though sadly. ATM I want:

Macbook – dont tell me gf, she just bought me a netbook!

A Digital SLR camera – I see so many awesome photos on the net, I want to be able to take some like it!

A bigger TV – bigger is always better

Although I doubt i’ll be getting any of these any time soon

How To: Send free texts from an iPhone!

Ok, well not quite free texts, but the next best thing!

Basically you both have to have an iPhone, get the application called Whatsapp from the app store. The app works like a mix of instant messaging and text messaging. It sends the messages via your internet connection, but it has push notifications and appears like a text message. I use it a shit ton as my girlfriend also has an iPhone. If we didn’t both use it we’d both have massive phone bills. I even have it in my dock!

It can also do stuff like video, photos and voice messages as well, pretty much exactly like SMS, only they tend to go a bit faster since it can use all the bandwidth of your internet connection.

Anyway, I highly recommend this app. Sometimes you can get it free on the app store, other times it’s 59p, not a whole lot considering how much it saves me!

How To: Find the fastest DNS servers

InternetYou may not realise it, but which DNS servers your choose for your intertube connection can  play a huge role in the speed at which web pages load.DNS (Domain Name System) servers are the machines telling your browser where to go when you type in a web address, ie when you type in internubs.com, or click a link, they tell your browser the IP address where the site is hosted. The browser then heads over there and gets the site data and shows it to you.

So the longer this take the longer it takes for the page to start loading. The action can take anything from a few milliseconds to a couple of seconds. To speed up your browsing experience you want to use DNS servers which respond to your request the quickest. Lucky for you some chap a google has made a handy tool which find the best ones for you!

Namebench is the name of this tool. Download it, then run the exe. When it has finished extracting just hit Start Benchmark. After a few minutes it will finish and dump a report into your browser. You can look at all the data it outputs but what you want to look at is the recommended configuration. Here is a screenshot of what I got:

dns

In my case the first one is my router’s IP, since I have already set the best servers for me. Simpy set the three results you get as your primary, secondary and tertiary DNS server and you’re good to go. Enjoy the speed!

Testing: Live Writer

If any of you read Garry’s Blog regularly then you’ll know that he’s been raving about windows live writer. I thought I’d give it a go on here, so I’m writing this post using it. It seems I now have 3 ways to post new articles!

Also, Garry’s Blog is made using wordpress… who knew?

Let’s try some pictures. I took these in Iceland a few years ago.

 

CIMG1086

It has some nice picture effects.

 

CIMG1050

Looks like it’s made by frikin apple!

How To: Take a screenshot on your iPhone

You may have noticed in my jailbreak guide that I included a couple of screenshots taken from my iPhone.

For those of you who want to know how to do this, it’s easy when you know how. Simply press the lock button and the home button at the same time, the screen will flash and you’ll hear the camera click. Look in your camera reel and there it is! I’ll take one now.

How To: Jailbreak your iPhone

So you want to jailbreak your iPhone huh? No idea how to go about it? Lucky for you it’s extremely easy and you’ve got me to show you exactly what to do!

First off I recommend backing up your iPhone with iTunes. This is pretty simple:

1. Plug your iPhone into your computer, iTunes might come up automatically, maybe not, either way fire up iTunes.

2. You should see you iPhone show up in iTunes under DEVICES. Right click on it and click Back Up.

backup

3. That should take a few minutes. While it’s doing that you can download the jailbreaking application from blackra1n.com. It’s a small app which does all the hard work for you! Click on either the windows or mac logo, depending on what operating system you are running, and you can download the file to wherever you want on your computer. I only have a PC so this How To is written for using windows, although it’s pretty identical using a mac.

4. When your back up is complete close iTunes. If you want to be super safe, and make sure you don’t lose your setup from before your jailbreak you can make a copy of the backup file and put it somewhere else so it doesn’t get overwritten. Again, I’m using windows so I can’t say where this is for mac, but for XP you’ll want to go to

C:\Documents and Settings\user\Application Data\Apple Computer\MobileSync\Backup

for Vista or 7 head over to

C:\Users\user\AppData\Roaming\Apple Computer\MobileSync\Backup

Copy the contents of this folder to another location for sage keeping. If you do want to use this files to restore from later on just navigate to this folder again, delete the contents and replace it with what you copied.

5. Now that all your data is safe in case the shit hits the pan (very unlikely!) it’s time to jailbreak that phone! Run the file that you downloaded earlier. You’ll get a little window which has one button which says ‘make it ra1n’.

rainClick the button.

Your iPhone will restart a few times, show some strange pictures of a man with iPhones flying around him, but eventually it will boot normally and you’ll be presented with the normal ‘slide to unlock’ screen.

6. At this point your iPhone is officially jailbroken. However at the moment you won’t have any access to any jailbreak apps. Unlock you iPhone and if you browse through your home screens you’ll notice you have a new app installed:

IMG_0071

Run the application and you will be given a menu with three choices on it, and the option to uninstall the app you are running.

ra1napp

The first two options are a choice of ‘app store’ for jailbroken apps. Cydia is the one that the majority of people use, simply because it has been around for longer and is more well known, however Rock has access to the same apps and has a slicker interface. The third option is for if you want to unlock your iPhone, which I’ll do a How To on another time.

Pick one of the app stores and it will be installed! Voila, go onto the app store, search for apps, have fun! If you want to you can uninstall the blackra1n app using the fourth option.

C:\Documents and Settings\user\Application Data\Apple Computer\MobileSync\Backup

How To: Add a favicon to wordpress

Well since I just did this I thought I should write about it! hopefully you can see it..

It’s pretty simple really:

1. Get yourself a favicon you want. It has to be 16×16 and called favicon.ico

2. Upload the file to your main site directory, ie

http://internubs.com/favicon.ico

as well as the main folder for the theme you are using, ie

http://internubs.com/wp-content/themes/lightword

as my theme is called lightword.

3. Go to the Header (header.php) template in the Appearance Editor in your WordPress admin, find the line that ends

/favicon.ico” />

and replace it with

<link rel=”shortcut icon” href=”<?php bloginfo(‘template_directory’); ?>/favicon.ico” />

4. Update the file, clear your browser cache and you’re good to go!

This worked for me, tested it on my laptop and showed up fine. Hope it works for you too!