Scott Hanselman

Using the PSP Playstation Portable as a Portable Media Center

September 29, '05 Comments [5] Posted in Reviews | Movies | Gaming
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Pspvideo9A number of times this conference the comparison between a PSP (Playstation Portable) and a Windows Portable Media Center has come up.

Most folks don't realize that a $250 PSP will fill a specific void in their [media] life. I couldn't justify buying a WindowsPMC brick for >$400, but a $250 PSP was a no-brainer. Why, well, not only is the true 16x9 screen truly unbelievable (literally has to be seen) and it can play games, but it is a VERY accomplished movie viewer.

I have a number of UMDs as they are very inexpensive and fantastically convenient to watch on planes. Flat out: if you fly regularly, buy a PSP and enjoy movies in a great form factor, with a nice screen and stop worrying about laptop battery life (I've yet to drain my PSP battery in a day) or worrying about the guy in front of you whose seat-back will likely come down during the flight.

However, the PSP can also be a fantastic companion to either a Media Center PC, or Beyond TV.

Take a look at PSP Video 9 and how easy (like one button) to transfer video onto a PSP. Note that a 1 GIG Memory Strik can be had for $80 (via Froogle) and can hold as much as 4 hours of video.

This means I can "PSP Cast" a TV show and have the latest episode of "House" show up on my PSP for viewing.

I just can't see how a Portable Media Center (read: brick) can compete with this brilliant device.

UPDATE: I've started using "Crunchie" to convert my Windows Media Center PC's *.dvr-ms files into mpeg or avi. Then they can be fed directly into PSPVideo. This makes one more source I can pull potential TV from. Since I'm going on a 5 day road show next week and have 6 flights, I'd like to have a bunch of TV queued up. I also use DVArchive to pull video from my two ReplayTVs.

About Scott

Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. He is a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.

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Network Intrusion My Ass

September 29, '05 Comments [6] Posted in Musings
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I'm at the W Hotel in Seattle, downloading three SP2 updates for various Office products (OneNote, Office, Visio), syncing RSS with FeedDemon, chatting on Messenger, Skype is up, Google Sidebar is off doing something, Windows Automatic Updates is spinning and I get this little gem:

Intrusionmass

Since when did using your computer effectively become questionable? Well FORGIVE me if there's life beyond Port 80. I swear, you request more than one page a minute and these fools think it's a DoS.

About Scott

Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. He is a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.

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Office 2003 SP2 available via Microsoft Update

September 28, '05 Comments [4] Posted in Musings | Tools
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Phishing1

Well, I'm pleasantly surprised, and while I don't like the fact that there's Windows Update and Microsoft Update and Office Update and if I were Balmer I'd probably do something about it, but since I upgraded to Microsoft Update (Perhaps I'll mention it, as I'm heading up to Redmond right now) I haven't seen any interesting updates, until last night. Surprised I was to see Office 2003 SP2 waiting for me and my system offered to install it during the shutdown procedure.

The whole experience would have been lovely also had MSIEXEC and the magic that is Windows Installer not demanded my original CD (even though I have the office installation files local at c:\msocache and have confirmed it with the Office Local Installer Source Tool described here). Even better, while I offered my original CD as a sacrifice, my donation was eschewed.

Office 2003 totally disagreed with me that this was, in fact, my installation disk. No friendly error message, just "Try Again (punk)". The "punk" was implied.

Anyway, I totally uninstalled Office, reinstalled a complete copy and then manually downloaded SP2 and it installed fine. You do need give the Office team props for that uninstallation; it doesn't remove your settings. I didn't lose a thing and didn't even have to reconfigure Outlook.

New Features:

* Anti-Phishing - I have no tolerance for Phishing, or lactose, so this was a pleasant surprise. This will definitely help my Mom.

Phishing2

* Smart Tag/Person Dot - You may have seen something like this if you set up Messenger integration with Office 2003, but now it looks like everyone gets a dot next to their name. As with the previous feature, you can click the dot and get their phone numbers, IM them, etc.

Phishing3

About Scott

Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. He is a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.

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Nicest. Email. Ever. Totally Made My Month.

September 28, '05 Comments [6] Posted in Learning .NET | NUnit | Nant | XML | Tools
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Hey Scott, this is [Joe Smith].  I was a student in your C# class at [College] a few terms back.  I just wanted to thank you for going with the format you did in class, i.e. teaching more general software engineering know-how than just C# syntax.  I was given a shot at a summer internship at [Company You've Heard Of] through my junior project teacher, and the interview was mainly based around things like XML, NUnit, Nant, source control, and C#.  I think I can safely say that if I hadn't taken your class I wouldn't have had a chance in that interview.  In reality, however, I was prepared.  I got the internship and completed my first assignment (bosses estimate: 3 weeks) in 4 days, unit tests and all.  As of this [week] I am a salaried employee, writing mainly Xml parsing/generating tools in C# for internal use. 

Your class was a HUGE factor in getting me here, and I just thought you might like to know.

Thanks again,

- [Joe Smith]

Now playing: Alicia Keys - How Come You Don't Call Me

About Scott

Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. He is a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.

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Phidgets Library for .NET released

September 27, '05 Comments [3] Posted in Coding4Fun
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PhidgetsdotnetI'm all about the Phidgets. I used them under .NET 2.0 Beta 2 for a Coding4Fun Article a few month back. I used COM Interop to talk to the phidgets library, but I just noticed that a .NET Phidgets Library was released yesterday at the University of Calgary. They've included lovely documentation and even plan to remove the COM dependancy and work directly via P/Invoke.

If you've ever considered working with Phidgets for a personal project, this is an even better time.

Got any ideas on a new project - and consequently a new Coding4Fun article - I could do using this new library?

About Scott

Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. He is a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.

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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed herein are my own personal opinions and do not represent my employer's view in any way.