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Showing posts from 2016

Create your own media center (with movies, BBC and ITV) in under 15 minutes

Kodi (formerly XMBC) is a free, cross platform media player that supports remote control over HDMI, HTTP (so any device your network) and has plug-ins for the BBC and ITV.
I had everything up and running in less than 15 minutes. I am able to watch movies, BBC and ITV all from one single interface.




Additionally I can control the movies using the TV remote and I can use my phone to control the
content for movies or UK TV.  And best of all, I don't need to use iTunes anymore and I'm not flooding the network streaming movies to the Apple TV.

Here are the steps:

PreparationOld Mac (or PC or Raspberry Pi) with an active Ethernet/WIFI network connection (must have internet access)HDMI out (you could use a VGA or DVI adapter if you're Mac is really old - but you will need to use your Audio Out cable). Make sure your audio is set to play on HDMI and not the Mac's internal speaker. (To do this go to System Preferences->Sound->Output on your Mac and select HDMI).Ensure all y…

Create an Alexa Skill for your Amazon Alexa or Echo Dot

So you've bought an Alexa Dot and you want to create your own voice app - but you are wondering how difficult is it to build, how do you build the app and how much will it cost to run?  If you have basic programming skills then building the application is really easy. If you have written a function or script in Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets - then you can build an Alexa voice app. I'm providing all the basic stuff you need to get started ...

Note: This post is not intended to give you an exhaustive guide to building a skill. Instead it aims to give you the overview to get up and running quickly. Amazon provides a build-it-yourself walkthrough (here), samples (here) and a free course on Udemy (here).  I recommend starting with the free course then following the walkthrough.

How much does it cost ? It costs nothing to build and run a simple Alexa app. $0 / £0 / €0.  Zero.  Furthermore the app is hosted on Amazon's cloud, it's secure, load balanced and managed for you …

The easiest VPN set up ever ... (or how to surf anonymously and securely)

There are many reasons why you want to get online and surf incognito using a VPN.   Fortunately there is a really easy way to do this in 3 simple steps ...

Setup
1. Install the Opera browser from www.opera.com.

Opera is built on Google Chrome (so it's got bleeding edge support for all the web standards) AND it has a private browsing option with built in VPN support ...





















2.  Once Installed, open the browser and Click File ... New Private Window

3. Enable VPN by clicking "VPN" next to the search icon in the browser address bar.

That's it - You're all set ! You can now surf anonymously !


Bonus Points...
You don't have to do this - but you can select the region from the Virtual Location drop down...
Why would you want to do this? Perhaps the site you want to access is region locked or you want to test your application experience for users coming from another region for performance and usability.

For example, as I was writing this post, Google popped up this friendly…