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Play DVD disks in XBMC on Raspberry Pi

Posted by Mike Redrobe | Posted in Software | Posted on 20-09-2012

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Here’s how to add DVD playback support into RaspBMC n your Raspberry Pi
(requires MPEG2 key installed on SD card – buy one here:
www.raspberrypi.com/mpeg-2-license-key/)

i.e. Playback commercial DVDs direct from attached USB DVD drive

While it works well, it only plays the film, no dvd menus.

SSH into the running RaspBMC

Download and compile libdvdcss


wget http://www.videolan.org/pub/libdvdcss/1.2.12/libdvdcss-1.2.12.tar.bz2
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install -y bzip2 gcc make
tar -xvjpf libdvdcss-1.2.12.tar.bz2

cd libdvdcss-1.2.12
./configure
make
sudo make install
sudo cp /usr/local/lib/libdvdcss* /lib

Install mplayer


sudo apt-get install -y mplayer

Make a directory to store the virtual file


sudo mkdir /dvd

Make the background script:

sudo nano /sbin/playdvd.sh

mkfifo /dvd/dvd.mpg
while :
do
        mplayer dvd://1 -dumpstream -dumpfile /dvd/dvd.mpg 1>null 2>null
        sleep 5
done

ctrl+X to save the file

Make it executable

sudo chmod a+x /sbin/playdvd.sh

Add it to startup:

sudo nano /etc/rc.local

add the line

playdvd.sh

before exit 0.

(ctrl+x to save and close)

In the XBMC GUI:

Add /dvd as a video folder in XBMC

When you want to play a dvd, play the dvd.mpg file

The script running in the background will take care of dvd changes.

Watch UK TV in firefox and chrome

Posted by Mike Redrobe | Posted in browser add-ons, Software | Posted on 20-06-2012

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11

I’ve just written another firefox/chome addon, this one to watch UK TV live in your browser.

Watch UK TV channels via TV Catchup

Watch any of 58 UK freeview channels live streamed right in your browser.
BBC1, BBC2, ITV1, Channel 4 ,Channel Five
Film 4, Dave etc

Popup clickable list of channels, click to immediately watch in browser.

Click the icon at bottom right on the addon bar.

If you have the add-on bar hidden, you might have to re-enable it:
Press CTRL+/ or goto the menu view->toolbars->addon-bar

V 1.0

Features

  • View any of 58 UK freeview channels
  • Clickable list of channels with a single click

Get it yourself direct from:


Watch UK TV for Firefox

and for chrome:

Watch UK TV for Chrome
Youtube video

UK TV Times – TV listings in a firefox and chrome addon

Posted by Mike Redrobe | Posted in browser add-ons, Software | Posted on 19-06-2012

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The great TiVo PVR records all the TV I could possibly want, but I sometimes still look at the TV guide to see if it’s worth getting up from sitting at the PC. Of course there are various TV Guide websites, but none of that is as convenient as a single click popup in your browser.

Here’s a Chrome / Firefox addon I wrote to show TV Listings with a single click:

V 1.0

Features

  • View now and next TV listings with a single click
  • Shows 20 most popular channels

 
Coming soon

  • Searching and reminders

  • Customisable channel list

Get it yourself direct from:


UK TV Times for Firefox

and for chrome:

UK TV Times for Chrome
Youtube video

ebay live – firefox and chrome addon

Posted by Mike Redrobe | Posted in browser add-ons, Software | Posted on 13-06-2012

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This week I wrote another browser add-on for firefox and chrome, this time to keep track of your eBay watched items and sales in a handy window, accessible by a single click.

V 1.0

Features

  • Track your eBay activity with a single click.
  • Opens a popup widget with your watched item list already displayed.
  • Links at the bottom for quick access to
  • Watched items
  • Selling items,
  • Sold Items
  • My eBay

 

Get it yourself direct from:


eBay Live for Firefox

and for chrome:

eBay Live for Chrome
Youtube video

BBC News add-ons for firefox and chrome

Posted by Mike Redrobe | Posted in browser add-ons, Software | Posted on 17-05-2012

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Following on from my recent add-ons, here’s a handy plug-in to display latest bbc news headlines.

Instead of opening a tab, this opens a faster mini window on a single click:

So go get the add-on “Latest BBC News” for both firefox and chrome:

V 1.0

Features

  • Get all the Latest BBC News headlines with a single click.
  • Opens a popup widget with the latest news headlines.
  • Links at the bottom to show all sections:
    Technology, Health, Entertainment etc

 

Get it yourself direct from:


BBC News for Firefox

and for chrome:

BBC News for Chrome
Youtube video

Hot UK Deals – add-ons for firefox and chrome

Posted by Mike Redrobe | Posted in browser add-ons, Software | Posted on 10-05-2012

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An avid bargain hunter, I often keep an eye on HotUKDeals.com for the latest deals,
and following on from my recent add-on for ebuyer’s website, I thought I’d make a more convenient way of checking the site.

Instead of opening a tab, this opens a faster mini version of the site on a single click:

It also adds the oft-requested feature of page numbers at the top of threads on the main site:

 

Much better !

So go get the add-on “Top UK Deals” for both firefox and chrome:

V 1.1.0

Features

  • Opens a fully functional small version of the HUKD website
  • You can
    – sort by date,
    – sort by recently comments

    – view/post comments

  • You can even post a new deal direct from the popup !
  • Also makes minor edits to the main HotUKDeals site :
  • – adds pagination box to the top of the comments page [ 1.,2.3…last]

 

Get it yourself direct from:


Top UK Deals for Firefox

and for chrome:

Top UK Deals for Chrome
Youtube video

eBuyer add-ons for firefox and chrome

Posted by Mike Redrobe | Posted in browser add-ons, Software | Posted on 19-04-2012

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Sometimes a website redesign loses useful features, this was the case recently when popular computer & electronics retailer eBuyer.com updated their site.

Gone were long searchable list of products, with a limit of 10 per page, and no option to add to cart directly from the product list, which makes comparing products / mass adding a shopping list very laborious.

So like any good techie, I set out to fix matters by writing a chrome extension and firefox add-on to alter web pages on-the-fly to my liking, and bring back the ease of use.

EBuyer’s site without add-on installed:

Note the large banner before product results, and only 10 per page, now here’s with the add-on enabled:

and with add to cart buttons added:

 

Much better !

Without further ado, here’s the add-on “eBuyer Tidy” for both firefox and chrome:

V 1.0.6

  • Add to Cart directly on search / list pages.
  • Works with categories properly now and retains special offers
  • Forum link at the top
  • shows a selected number of products per page ( not restricted to 10!)
  • Removes the big banner before search results (leaves it on the main index page)
  • options page ( for number of items shown)

 

Get it yourself direct from:


eBuyer Tidy for Firefox

and for chrome:

eBuyer Tidy for Chrome
Youtube video

Happy World Backup Day

Posted by Mike Redrobe | Posted in Software | Posted on 31-03-2011

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Today is World Backup Day

Well we have a day for just about everything else  – why should Backups be forgotten ?

World Backup Day (WBD) was proposed about a week ago by some members of Reddit, the social bookmarking Web site, and has caught on in the way things do online: A Web site was created within hours and there’s already a dedicated Twitter account.

More importantly, WBD is supported by a handful of organizations who are using the day to make special offers and product announcements.

WBD’s timing one day before April 1 isn’t coincidental, and nobody should be made an April’s Fool if their hard drive dies or they accidentally wipe 10 years of family vacation photos. However, those behind WBD are keen to point out that aim of the day is to raise awareness about backup, and not simply remind people to do so. After all, backing up should be done every week or even every day.

Sadly, backup is one of those dull and monotonous tasks that few of us take seriously.

A survey last year showed that:

  • almost 90 percent of home PC users don’t do regular backups,
  • around 67 percent had lost data because of it.

Another survey suggested that one third of home users don’t even backup at all !

As for small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs), a survey from Symantec earlier this year showed that around half don’t have a disaster recovery plan should catastrophic data loss occur, and only half of SMBs surveyed back up their data weekly. Only 23 percent back up daily.

There are essentially three ways to backup data when it comes to workstations:
to an external hard disk (such as a network-attached storage device),
to a CD/DVD/Blu-Ray disc,
or to using an online cloud storage provider.

Some of the best:

Dropbox – As well as syncing your data across PCs, it also backs up to dropbox’s online servers

dropbox provides 2GB for free, or up to 100GB for a yearly fee

 

LiveDrive – No storage limits here, livedrive offers unlimited backups and you can also install it on unlimited computers,

for just £10 /per year from some resellers on ebay (e.g. this one)  it’s  a no brainer.

Panasonic SDHC recovery – welcome back MTS files!

Posted by Mike Redrobe | Posted in Cameras, Software | Posted on 16-03-2011

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Panasonic SD SDHC Camcorder

Panasonic SD SDHC Camcorder

We all know the horror – accidentally deleting photos from memory cards.

While there are many file-recovery programs out there to get your files and photos back, when similar happened to me with a SDHC camcorder, none of the programs I tried would find any video.

The 16GB SD card in question had been full of video, then formatted and a further 3GB of footage recorded on.

The usual suspects Ontrack EasyRecovery and PC FileInspector failed here, not showing any previous footage other than the current 3GB.

At the stage of giving up, I found panasonic’s software (though probably works with any AVCHD / SDHC SD card based camcorder.

Lo and behold,  despite the oddly translated english in the menus and the fact that an initial scan found nothing – I ended up with a directory containing 15GB of .MTS files after 30 minutes of crunching.

You can get Panasonic’s recovery software below:

Panasonic SDHC recovery [ 3.6MB]