After all of the work-arounds for getting my TV to display my Front Row seamlessly, I’ve been doing some thinking. Why the hell do companies blatantly refuse to give us all the possible features in products they sell us? Why do I have to go into the command line to do something that should be simple?
I want to rent HD movies, not just from Apple TV. Not only that, I want to rent things from Front Row if I’m doing it from the couch. Also, if you’re gonna sell me an Apple TV, which is being geared as you’re do it all, give me some DVR functionality, or a DVD player on it, or SOMETHING!
Finally! I have found the answer! I can now run Front Row 2.0 on my secondary display forever without touching my Mac. If you’re wondering how this is done, read on. It will sound a little intimidating, but it really isn’t bad. It’ll take you about 2 minutes.
1: Download the “displays info” utility from RapidShare. Link
2: Connect secondary display and turn it on.
3: Open the Terminal in your Utilities folder. You’ll need to run a file inside the folder you just downloaded from RapidShare called “displaysInfo”. The way to do is is by typing the word “open” and then the file path to where you downloaded the file displaysInfo; for example: open /Users/myname/Downloads/displaysInfo/displaysInfo
4: You will get a list of what seems like total gibberish, but look at the very bottom and you’ll see a line that reads d2_ID followed by a string of numbers. For example, d2_ID 69681665. Don’t make the mistake of reading the line d1_ID because this is your primary monitor.
5: Copy the number given to you and open a new Terminal window. If you have to, quit Terminal and open it again. Once you do, type in the following: defaults write com.apple.frontrow FrontRowUsePreferredDisplayID 69681665 (replace these numbers with the numbers given to you in step 4)
Every time you run Front Row from now on it will open on your secondary display.
In my quest to find a permanent solution to running Front Row 2.0 on my HDTV without touching my Mac I found a command line solution that sounds like it will work. Tomorrow I will post my results as well as a walkthrough if it works.
However, this brings me to my second dilemma. The great thing about the Apple TV is that you can have it download your TV shows as soon as they’re released. But what happens if you don’t have an Apple TV? Well, you can always torrent the TV shows if you’re cheap like me, but that still leaves you with extra steps to take:
1. You have to search for the show yourself and out of the many listed episodes find the one you need. Not only that, you can only do this once you’re home from work, which means that you’re just starting the process and it will be hours before you can watch the show.
2. Once you’ve downloaded the episode it will most likely be in a format that iTunes does not like. So then there you go again spending more time converting the video using something like Visual Hub. And I have to add it to iTunes if I want it in my Front Row.
I’ve been looking around for something that will, much like iTunes, search for the shows I want, and download for me the latest episode as soon as it’s posted. I found an old app that’s called TVShows which does just this. You add TV shows to your queue and voila. However, the application is complete crap and development seized about a year ago. The website for this app now says “TVShows 1.0 is coming soon with great new features. You’ve already waited 8 months for a new release, one month more is not going to kill you. Stay tuned!” Link
We’ll see when it’s released if it is all that it promises.
One more thing though. This leaves me with only one more step to take; build some kind of an Automator script to automatically convert the video files with Visual Hub once they finish downloading. Visual Hub has a feature to automatically add the file to iTunes once converted.
We’ve finally settled into our new place. Being a tech geek I’m always looking to improve our movie-watching experience, but also being a cheap bastard I’m always looking to do it for free.
My current set-up: 54” HDTV, Mac Pro.
The way that the new place is set up has the Mac Pro directly behind the TV. I know it sounds weird, just picture the TV in the middle of the living room and a computer desk behind it. What I wanted to do was avoid buying an Apple TV cause I knew I could connect the computer to the HDTV using a DVI-HDMI cable.
The Problem: Dual monitors
My plan is to use Front Row on my Mac Pro as the media hub. The problem arises when I try to launch front row because the Mac Pro doesn’t have an IR receiver. Last year I had purchased the Miro software and had a horrible experience because it didn’t support Leopard. It came with the IR receiver that I needed, but it wouldn’t work. I finally gave it another shot, and they’ve updated their software to work with Leopard, so things are looking good.
However, when you use dual monitors and launch Front Row with the IR remote, Front Row automatically launches on your primary monitor no matter what. This put me on the hunt for an Applescript or something that would force it to open on my HDTV. I found a program called TV Row which lets you set Front Row to permanently open on your secondary monitor. Everything was working great until I turned off the TV and turned it on again. Apparently when you turn off the TV and the computer can’t detect a second display, it resets itself rendering the TV Row program useless.
The question: How do I run Front Row on my secondary display permanently?
So I spent the better half of the day on Sunday playing Spore. I have to say that I’m very impressed. I really didn’t know what to expect or how they would be able to compress billions of years of evolution into one game, but they’ve done it.
As most people know, you begin as a one-celled organism. From the get-go you get to choose what you want to be; herbivore or carnivore. I chose carnivore. This first stage has you swimming around eating little pieces of meat or little plants, depending on what you chose in the beginning. The more you eat the more you grow. Whenever you want to change your appearance you have to give out a mating call, find a mate and recreate. You then choose what new features to get on your spore by “purchasing” them with the DNA points you’ve accumulated.
The game continues on this pattern until you’ve evolved to be an out-of-water creature, then on to forming a tribe, then a civilization, world domination, and on to the universe.
The game is amazing. If I had to complain about one thing it would be the “kid” factor. The game is meant to be played by a wide range of audiences so I understand that some things need to be kid friendly. But there are a number of things that are too kid-oriented.
Besides that, the game is amazing and very addictive. Right now I’m in the civilization stage where different cities start to pop up around the planet and I have to be diplomatic and ally with them, or conquer them.
Random thought: A really cool thing, sometimes, even during the little creature stage, you’ll be walking around and all of a sudden a UFO flies in. I thought that was pretty cool.
So the apartment is looking better and better every day. We have a ton of boxes that are now half full, so we’re focusing on getting those emptied out. I found a black bag today that was tied up in a knot so I looked inside to see what treasures lurked inside. I proceeded to find two huge zip-lock bags with nothing but snow white mold inside… I almost puked. The bag had been in storage for months in a dark and hot place.
I also just got Spore. I think I’m gonna give it a try.
Google really is everywhere now. They’re on every computer in the world, they’ve got satellites in space, and now they’re patenting technology to have their servers floating in the middle of the ocean and power themselves with the ocean’s waves.
Finally, a new dawn has arrived. The excrement that is analog television is leaving our cruel world, with Wilmington, NC taking setting an example for the rest of us.
Come February next year, however, everyone will have to make the switch. For those stubborn enough (or those who can’t afford an HDTV) will be given $40 coupons toward analog/digital converters. I honestly can’t wait.
This is the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard anyone say… Straight from CNN:
Cindy McCain told an interviewer that she was “offended by Barack Obama” and other Democrats who have been hammering her husband John McCain for being unable to immediately answer a question about how many homes he owns.
"I’m offended by Barack Obama saying that about my husband," she told ABC News in an interview set to air Sunday. Asked if she thought Obama had gone too far in his criticism, she said "I do. I do. I really do."
McCain — whose net worth has been estimated at around $100 million — said her father was a self-made man. “My father had nothing. He and my mother sold everything they had to raise $10,000,” she said. “I’m proud of what my dad and my mother did and what they built and left me. And I intend to carry their legacy as long as I can.”