Saturday, June 1, 2013

Android Mini PC in a nutshell

MK802 Android Mini PC
The Android Mini PC computers first came out around 2009 but back then they had under powered single core CPUs and the Android Operating System was still in its infancy so no one took particular interest in them, they was originally based on the Rockchip RK2808A chipset with a single core ARM9 processor running at 600MHz. It was good for doing things like reading emails but it wasn't really capable of decoding 720P content very smoothly so not many people used them as HTPC.

Once Android phones and Tablets started catching on everyone wanted to be a part of the Google Android world and the only place left untouched by Google at this point was the big TV in peoples living room. The Android Mini PC was the perfect tool to bring Google right into their living room.

In 2012 Rockchip scored big with the RK3066 chipset and the dual core 1.6GHz ARM Cortex A9 chip, they combined it with the Mali 400 MP Quad Core GPU and turned this humble little device into a media powerhouse. The addition of the Mali 400 GPU allowed the user to watch high definition content and play 3D games from the Google Play Store. One of the earliest and the most known models was and still is the MK802.

At this point manufacturers such as LG started rolling out their so called Smart TVs which had the same features as the tiny Android Mini PC but with the ongoing financial crisis not many could afford a spanking new Smart TV and so the need for the Android Mini PC was born. Now you could get the same exact features as you would get from a Smart TV without shelling out few thousand dollars.

If you are looking to upgrade your life then the Android Mini PC is the prefect tool, it will get you advanced features such as Netflix or Gmail right in your living room for as low as 45$ but there are many different Android Mini PC models out there and you have the choice of form factor and additional features such as an Ethernet ports or additional USB ports to expand your options even further.

Click here to read more about the Android Mini PC.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Reprogramming your keyboard multimedia keys

I found a very easy way to reprogram your keyboard's multimedia keys using a registry edit.
Most of us have some sort of multimedia shortcut keys on top of the keyboard, keys like "My Computer" and "Mail" but what happens when you want them to open something other then your default program? For example: I needed to have a short cut key for starting Media Portal and I wanted "My Computer" multimedia key to do it.
I found out that windows controls these multimedia keys using the registry and with some help from a fellow blogger I found out where it is located (Thanks Ashish)

Windows keeps these entries at:

You will notice that there are numbered directories and every such directory corresponds with a multimedia shortcut key on your keyboard.
I found out which number corresponds with which key from Ashish's blog and the key I wanted to change was number 17.
Now all you need to do is change the ShellExecute key to point to the program you want to launch, the path needs to be enclosed in "XX".

That's it, you can see check what other keys do and reassign them as you like. Credit goes to Ashish's blog.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Downloading Certificate (.cer) and Key (.key) Files From using Thunder 5

Yesterday I applied for a new certificate from OPDA for my friends phone and today the files ware ready (Thanks OPDA!) but I needed 2 OP points in order to download the files, points which I did not have. There is a second option on the site to download using Thunder 5 (Xunlei) download manager, the OPDA link will prompt you to download the web version of Thunder 5 (Xunlei) if you don't already have it installed. After installing the download manager I found out that clicking the link for the .cer and .key files in Firefox didn't do anything, next I tried IE8 and to my surprise Thunder tried to download a files called plugin.php instead of the .cer and .key files. Strangely a search trough the forums didn't yield any results although there are people complaining about the issue but I did find one reference to a possible solution and it was to lower the IE8 Security settings to Low but after trying it didn't work.

I did however find a solution for people running Windows XP SP3 and IE8:
First you need the non-web version of Thunder 5 (Xunlei), you can get it here. Uninstall the Web Xunlei and install Thunder 5.
Now you need to add to your Trusted Zone in IE options. You can do that by clicking on Tools and then Internet Options, now go to the Security tab and click on the Trusted Sites. Now click on Sites and add

Now, back to the OPDA site. Clicking on the link to download .cer and .key files should bring up the Thunder 5 (Xunlei) download window, here you will be prompted to download "plugin.php" file. The problem is that the file is getting fetched correctly but the name isn't changed so changing the "plugin.php" to "XXXX.cer" will get you a .cer file and "XXXX.key" will get you a .key file. The files size should be around 26kb for the .cer file and 887b (or 1kb) for the .key file. If you are getting a 56kb "plugin.php" then there is something wrong and you should reset all the IE security settings and start over.
I have successfully done this on a machine running Windows XP SP3 and using IE8 and have failed to do the same on a Windows 7 using IE8.
If you get it working on any other system I would be glad to hear about it.