Tech

Print

XBMC Remote - Windows Phone 7

Written by Joshua Lyon on .

It's here! I've finally published my first Windows Phone 7 App. If you're a previous reader of my blog, you may have noticed that I'm avid XBMC supporter. I run XBMC on several machines in my house including a Linux based HTPC and on Apple TV devices throughout my house. My company recently started piloting Windows Phone 7 devices and I wasn't happy with the XBMC remotes that were on the market (or their price!) so I decided to write my own.

The first version of XBMC Remote for Windows Phone 7 includes the core capabilities for browsing your library and controlling your XBMC box. If you have any suggestions, comments, or problems using the app, please contact me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Check out XBMC Remote on the Marketplace (the one by BoshDirect). The app includes a fully-functional 15 day trial and is the lowest priced XBMC remote on the market at $1.49

  • View and search movie library and select for playback
  • View and search albums and artists and select songs
  • View and select TV shows, seasons, and episodes
  • Remote control your XBMC
  • View movie, tv, and music artwork (fanart, posters, album covers)

*Sorry for the low-framerate video - I need to re-record it on a better computer.

Note that XBMC Remote is a libary browser and remote control. It does not stream videos or music to your phone.

V1.0 ("Taco"):

  • Requires XBMC Dharma (10.0).
  • Tested with Pre 11 (Eden) -- subject to change
  • Movies, Albums, Artists, and TV shows are cached to device for fast viewing and searching
  • Initial movie, music, and TV viewing and remote control functionality
  • Panorama view for movies
  • TV Show Wide Banner view
  • Artwork cached to device for fast viewing (on second load)
Print

Windows Phone 7 Development

Written by Joshua Lyon on .

My company recently started the process of switching to Exchange and as part of the process I am beta testing Windows Phone 7 devices for them. At the time of writing this article, I'm using the Samsung Focus. The started me off with the LG Quantum which was a pretty abysmal device. It was heavy and the screen quality just wasn't up to par with even the old BlackBerry Bold 9000 I was using previously. I had heard a lot about the Windows Phone 7 platform through a number of tech websites, but I was really surprised at how great the platform really was once I got my hands on it.

The OS is extremely snappy and the phone is incredibly responsive. At first I thought it was just me, but everytime I showed the phone to my friends and colleagues they would also comment on how quick it was. After browsing through the list of available apps on the Windows Phone marketplace, I started thinking about what apps I wished were available... I realized that there's already a really great start to some of the more mainstream apps (Netflix, Maps, Facebook, ESPN, Twitter, etc), but there's definitely some opportunity for improvement.

I decided to look into what it would take to develop and app for Windows phone and realized that it looked pretty easy and the barriers to entry were fairly low. The Windows Phone developer tools are completely free and include everything you need to get up and running. I downloaded the tools  from the App Hub and got started with my first app (Visual Studio, etc). One thing to note is the developer tools allow to fully run and test your application in the Emulator that runs on the computer. If you want to run the application on your phone or deploy it to the App Market (to make money), you'll have to pony up $100 for a App Hub license. A nice thing about the license is it enables you to unlock up to three devices so you can test on more than just your primary phone.

Print

How to Restart Jailbroken Apple TV

Written by Joshua Lyon on .

There are a number of different ways to restart your Apple TV. Depending on your setup, each one has it's own benefits. I've listed a few of the different methods below.

MENU + DOWN
If you press and hold the MENU and DOWN button on the Apple TV remote for 6 seconds, the Apple TV will perform a complete reboot. Some people have mentioned that a downside to this is if you are running a tethered jailbreak you will have boot the device back up tethered. If you are running an untethered jailbreak - like GreenPois0n RC6 or newer - then this is probably the simplest method to reboot your device as it only requires the remote control.

SSH: killall AppleTV
This method requires you to SSH into your Apple TV using a client like Putty (or a Terminal) and issue the "killall AppleTV" command. Please note that the command is case sensitive. The benefit to this method is if you are running a tethered jailbreak, you will not have to get out your computer to do a tethered jailbreak. A downside of this method is it only works if you have a network connection to your device and you have to have a PC or other device to issue the command.

Pull the Power Plug
This is probably the most drastic method of all the ones I'll list, but it works in a pinch. As you may expect, some people claim that using this method may be bad for your device. I personally try not to pull the plug on any of my devices, but I've occasionally had to use this method. If you are running a tethered jailbreak, this method will also require you to get out a computer to boot tethered.

Print

Fix: Apple TV 2G Wifi Broken After Jailbreak

Written by Joshua Lyon on .

After doing an untethered jailbreak on my Apple TV 2G (ATV2) with GreenPois0n RC6, I noticed that if I rebooted the Apple TV my wifi would not reconnect. Disconnecting the power and plugging back in would not resolve the issue. After a bit of research, I figured out a quick fix to getting my wifi back:

Go to: NitoTV > Settings > Restart Lowtide

After the device rebooted, my wifi connection re-established itself within 10-15 seconds. To permanently fix the issue, I SSH'ed into the AppleTV and issued the following commands:

apt-get update
apt-get remove com.nito.nitotv
apt-get install com.nito.nitotv
killall AppleTV

 

Update (2/20/2010): A number of blogs are reporting that greenPois0n RC 6.1 includes the wifi fix directly. So if you haven't already flashed, just go ahead and use 6.1 and it should include the wifi fix. Additionally, you can always flash RC 6.1 over your current setup, but I find it easier just to either remove/install com.nito.nitotv or install OpenSSH from the nitoTV menu.

Update (2/16/2010): NitoTV recently posted on their twitter account the the wifi issue appears to be related to SSH -- they recommend that you grab OpenSSH from the top of the nitoTV featured list and reboot to fix the wifi issues. You shouldn't need to do both fixes (the commands above and the OpenSSH install), but it also shouldn't hurt anything.

On Wednesday 16th February 2011,  said:
the wifi fix is live!! thanks  and  for major contributions 
to squelching the problem! it was an SSH issue and saurik has updated 
openssh to 5.8p1-9. grab openssh from the top of the nitoTV featured 
list and reboot and your wifi woes /should/ be history!!!

Note: If you are running a tethered jailbreak, it's recommend you update to an untethered jailbreak such as the GreenPois0n RC6 jailbreak. fireCore also has out a beta version of their seas0nPass utility. However, with the untethered Windows version of GreenPois0n being out for Apple TV 4.2.1 devices, I don't see why you wouldn't just want to use the GreenPois0n release as it's just as user friendly... well, at least as user friendly as a jailbreak can be.