I hooked up my old computer to the TV in the living room to watch downloaded movies and TV. For a very long time, I used it like a normal computer with keyboard and mouse. However the typical computer user interface is not designed for a dad holding a baby. I need a more user friendly solution to use the computer on the TV. I bought this generic made-in-China Windows MCE remote on eBay for $12. Any MCE remote properly works or less the same. I like this one because it is cheap and I can control the mouse cursor and buttons through the remote.
The MCE remote works with the Windows Media Center (WMC) comes with Windows 7 installation. It is pretty much a full screen media library browser and multi-media player. WMC on its own is pretty useless other than showing baby photos. With the help of just a few plug-ins and free software, I can turned my download library into something looks like Netflix.
First, I installed K-Lite Codec Pack, both the 32 bit and 64 bit version, since WMC in runs 64 bits. This Codec allow me to play pretty much any media files inside WMC. Then I installed Media Browser, so WMC can display files in my media library. The WMC built-in movie library only recognize Microsoft file formats and ripped DVDs. However, it can only display the filenames and directory by default. It does not know which file is what movie. To add the final touch, I ran Media Scout to set up the metadata for my media files. It pulls the movie title, description, poster and all sorts of information from imdb.
Now I can sit back and relax in the couch, browse my movie library at ease while holding the baby with one hand.
In the economy downturn, first the company laid off the librarian, then it cut all the magazine subscriptions and close down the library. I am a long time loyal reader of the Economist since university. I used to read the article on the website using my dad’s subscription account. I forgot when I first discovered the company orders the Economist, but since then I have been borrowing the magazine from the library every week. I hang out in the library quite often and make good friend to the librarian. She is so kind that when the Economist arrive every Monday and she will put it in reserve under my account and email me to pick it up.
I like reading the paper copy better than the online version, as I can read it anywhere I like, including in the toilet. Now I can no longer borrow the latest issue Economist from the library, I have to decide whether or not order my own copy. On one hand, reading it online is free, on the other hand, reading it online is not very convenient. I will try reading it online for a while since how well can I keep up with the reading. I found reading the Economist in toilet actually takes up all my toilet reading time and I have no time left for other books in the toilet. Maybe I can be more productive if I read real books in the toilet and squeeze time here and there to read an article from the Economist during the day.
The library at work was closed down and the librarian got fired last week while I was in Saskatoon. Not many people will miss the library, as they all think it is just a waste of resource to hire someone to order books and keep track of magazines. I’m among one of the few customers of library, who feel sad that it’s closed. I do agree the librarian is kinda redundant and useless, but the library is where I get my weekly magazines from. Now when the library closed, it fetters me from getting my Economist and Harvard Business Review. I hope the company will hire a junior librarian or even a co-op student soon, so that the library can go back to business.
I am the table topic master in today’s toast master meeting. The topic is “Beautiful BC”, which the chairman assumes BC always stands for Birthish Columbia. I put a twist on the topic and use BC as an acronyms. The speakers and club member had fun and lots of laugh, and I think I did not a bad job. My hand gesture and flow of words still need more improvement. Gota remind myself avoid clapping my hands in my speech. The word of the day is Effulgent, it an adjactive with the same meaning as bright. I tried to use Effulgent in my speech, but I don’t make it bend in with my speech very well. However, this excerise give me an idea. I just subscribed to the dictioary.com word of the day mailing list. I’ll see how can I use the daily word in my blog starting today.