Sunday, October 24, 2010

Changing the channel about TV Remote Control

Imagine if the remote control you're using to watch television isn't a control-only device. If you have Slingbox, you know you can control what you're watching on a remote device, but the idea is to watch that "on the go." What if the idea of Slingbox meshed with the idea of Google TV/Boxee?

Further, what if the device you already have -- an iPad, a netbook, a notebook -- is the new remote control for your HTPC? Sure, it can happen with apps like GoToMyPC or LogMeIn or VNC, but what if the device is more interactive and knows what's on the display?

If you can take away the interface from interfering with what you see on TV (the channel changing notifications, the programming guide, even the commercials) and then present that on the control device, you now have an almost perfect environment for both content consumers and advertisers.

While I understand ads aren't the favorite thing, imagine if the remote could log into a resource like Hulu or Netflix or Facebook to provide you with relevant ad content on the remote so that the large screen content doesn't get interrupted by ads?

The remote control interface, meanwhile, is contained on the remote device, completely. Fully interactive with the viewing device, and the remote *knows* what's on the viewing device. Yes, you can still use the remote device for small simultaneous viewing of what's on the big screen, but all the interactive content is on the remote. Press, click, swipe, touch to change channel, check the IMDB listing for what's on the TV, tweet about what you're watching, do all the other stuff the big screen is trying to do for Google TV.

If done right, this is a two-device media center that changes the way you change the channel. The question won't be "Where's the remote?" You're already using it.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Spiceworks vs OTRS

Because you're asking for it:
Spiceworks and OTRS are excellent programs. Both are web based applications.

A basic comparison:

Free (cost) softwareYesYes
Open Source (you have the source code)NoYes
Installation is cross platformWindows OnlyYes
Client access through a browserYesYes
Customizable with your company brandPossible?Yes
Collects inventory information on your LANYesNo
Connects to your databaseNoYes
Modules availableYesYes
Integrated forums and web supportYesNot integrated, but available
Monitors your network and Exchange Server for errors and usageYesNo

This breakdown is by no means exhaustive. Spiceworks is a software you'll want to use for gathering information about your network. For free, Spiceworks can't be beat for all it does. In my experience, Spiceworks is slow-ish. It would also help to have Spiceworks on a machine that's dedicated for its use. A Windows Server (vs. Windows Desktop) is a likely candidate for where to run Spiceworks. Windows XP Pro is adequate, though some scanning of large networks will possibly cause errors regarding networking/connecting simultaneously to multiple computers. Spiceworks also has a helpdesk module, which is functional. Some of Spiceworks' helpdesk strengths include the agent shortcuts that allow agents to manipulate tickets via code words.

OTRS's strength is in the helpdesk part of the equation. Once the perl requirements are met, OTRS is a rather stable helpdesk solution. Anything that can send an email can make a ticket in OTRS, or you can use SOAP integration and other methods to communicate directly with the database. OTRS can run on practically anything that can run Perl. It also has localization and ability to create your own themes/branding. OTRS is designed to go beyond Helpdesk into Change Management.

Which to choose? For helpdesk, I recommend OTRS. For hardware auditing, Spiceworks. Spiceworks may be all you need for a single file to download and install get-it-done application. OTRS scales better for larger organizations, is cross platform, and works on your database.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Lucid to Maverick lost 3D upgrade

Since I had the best answer for this, I thought I'd post it again.

(Remove installed nvidia entries in Synaptic).

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Javascript update a total field

Let's say you have a field a and a field b...
and you're using some sort of index thing because you want to keep adding additional fields ...

function updateSubtotal(e) {
var evn =
var evv = e.value
var indx = evn.substr(evn.length -1);

var st=document.getElementsByName("subtotal"+indx)[0];
var qt=document.getElementsByName("fielda"+indx)[0].value;
var ct=document.getElementsByName("fieldb"+indx)[0].value;

so if you have a field1 and field2 you can multiply it together... and it will apply for the current index level that is applied to the named field.

so ... fielda100 will multiply to fieldb100 and update subtotal100
then you'd put onBlur=updateSubtotal(this) in fielda and fieldb

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