Thursday, July 31, 2008

Media Center Launcher

I know there are various utilities to launch PowerDVD from Media Center; however, none of them quite did what I wanted so I wrote my own.

Media Center Launcher has three primary functions:

  1. It can launch any application from within Media Center

  2. It will monitor when the application exits and will restore Media Center to it's previous state

  3. It will monitor for the BACK remote command and will close the application if pressed

The application it launches is configurable via the ini file. By default it will run PowerDVD. Edit the INI file if you want it to open another application.

I've created a simple installer for it. It will register the application to be run when a Blu-ray or HD DVD is inserted and be listed under the Program Library. I noticed that I forgot to remove the dependency on .NET Framework 3.5 for the setup application, sorry.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Registry Based Vista MCE Start Menu Customization

Below are the registry keys. You can also download the registry file (Save As) with the same information to make it easier. Things to note:

  1. With the exception of HideTV, change the value of OnStartMenu to False to remove the ENTIRE strip.

  2. Change the value of HideTV to 1 to remove TV related tiles.

  3. When removing the Online Services tile you lose the ability to access your program library. For me this isn't an issue as I've written all my own plug-ins that I place on custom strips.

  4. I do not know what functions two of the values hide. I'm assuming they are for Discovery Packages (i.e. MCESpotlight\Sports Strip) that are either not available in my region or reserved for OEM. More than likely the later as there are two tiles reserved for OEM Discovery Packages.

  5. The values below are per user. You can change them to be Local Machine if you want everyone to have the same start menu. I use it at the Per User level so I can customize the "kid's extender" to have different settings than my extender. To configure your extender accounts you can import the settings into their registry branch by loading their registry file or what I do is use command prompt through an extender to import it.

  6. You must restart Media Center for the changes to apply.

  7. At least one default strip must be visible. Setting all OnStartMenu values to False will crash Media Center (Microsoft, care to fix this?).

  8. I've collected all this information myself, afaik except for LiveTV it is not published anywhere else.

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Media Center\Start Menu\Applications\Internal]

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Media Center\Start Menu\Applications\Internal\{2f72fb52-e1c4-46a5-be32-54205db0ffc4}]

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Media Center\Start Menu\Applications\Internal\{47ecf759-4ec8-4b10-ae36-d262fee6fa04}]

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Media Center\Start Menu\Applications\Internal\{49f9b475-6d2c-4f27-9bbd-120b942d89d8}]
@="Pictures + Videos"

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Media Center\Start Menu\Applications\Internal\{a8add452-1d1a-4775-acf2-565796306789}]
@="Online Media"

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Media Center\Start Menu\Applications\Internal\{cde6651e-56e3-48a0-bdca-9a3151f0e67c}]

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Media Center\Start Menu\Applications\Internal\{d30ea221-143f-47b7-9123-983d6813a759}]
@="Unknown #1"

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Media Center\Start Menu\Applications\Internal\{dde82191-ea23-4606-9d63-b92c809c31bb}]
@="TV + Movies"

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Media Center\Start Menu\Applications\Internal\{f646f46d-cb98-4a32-bded-23c64a586b66}]
@="Unknown #2"

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Media Center\Start Menu]

Thursday, July 17, 2008

HowTo: Using SharePoint Calculated Columns to Display Current Month List Items

Today I was asked by a co-worker to see if I could modify their SharePoint view to only show tasks created in the current month. I knew this option was not previously available as a standard choice but I have not done any SharePoint development in years so I was hoping SharePoint Services 3.0 would have added this feature.

After spending a couple minutes in Edit List it was apparent that it was not available. A quick Google search did not produce any "easy" solutions so I thought I'd blog my solution.

My solutions involved creating two computed columns (both calculated columns return Date Only values):

  1. Created First Day Of Month


  2. Created Last Day Of Month


I then added the below filters to view:

That's it. Basically I create a computed column for the first and last day of the month when the task was created and then filter by today's date being between the two. I found this to be an easy and quick method. Please comment and let me know if there is an easier method.