- Setup your site through IIS.
- Open IIS. Create a new app pool and under Advanced Settings, change Identity to your local account.
- Set the website to use that app pool.
- In the webconfig for the site, add <system.net><defaultProxy><proxy proxyaddress="http://127.0.0.1:8889" /></defaultProxy>
- In Fiddler, open Tools->Fiddler Options and go to the Connections tab. Change Fiddler listens on port: to 8889. Check Allow remote computers to connect.
- Open Rules->Customize Rules and add the line if (oSession.host.toLowerCase() == "mydomain.local:8888") oSession.host = "mydomain.local:80"; where mydomain.local is the site's associated domain.
I recently built a new home server and reorganized my home network. My old setup involved having my powerful gaming desktop on most of the time to record TV, and also having a old P3 server running 24/7 for, among other things, FTP and PHP/MySQL. Having both these machines running all day consumed much more energy than necessary for the amount of work that was actually being done.
One of my main goals during the planning stage was to make everything more energy efficient. I rely heavily on Windows Media Center for all my media playback and TV recording, and I wanted to integrate it into the server machine so that only one machine would need to be powered on. The first piece of the puzzle fell into place when I found the Asus AT3N7A-I. The Atom chip has more than enough power for a server and media center and it's whisper quiet in a Mini-ITX case. It also has a PCI slot for my TV Tuner, onboard 7.1 Channel audio, and the NVIDIA ION graphics chip with HDMI out for smooth high definition video. I'm very happy with it.
My main problem arose when it came time to choose an OS. All of the programs I require run fine under Windows 7, but it only has support for one user at a time. If I needed to remote desktop into the machine while someone was watching a video, they would get booted out. Then when I was finished and logged out, they would need some way to log back in and I don't want to have a keyboard for my TV.
I thought about instead using Windows Server so that I could have multiple accounts logged in at the same time. This of course destroyed the media functions of the box, as no version of the Microsoft Server line of products is equipped with Windows Media Center. I needed the best of both worlds.
Then I stumbled across this article at www.missingremote.com. It is a very detailed tutorial showing you how easy it is to enable multiple concurrent logins under Windows 7. It took me all of about 2 minutes to install and worked perfectly for me the first time.
I can now log into my server with remote desktop while another account is being used by someone watching TV. Problem solved.
While most would be satisfied with WiFi connections at home, work, and coffee shops in between, I was looking for even more. I would like to be connected everywhere I go (within reason). There are a few 3G solutions, but they are ridiculously overpriced for the amount of use I would get out of them. Telus already gets more money from me than I consider fair, but at least I have a better data plan than most (for the time being anyway). Surely there was I way I could put it to good use.
While I was researching tethering I stumbled across the ideal solution: Windows Mobile Wifi Router. It's an application for Windows Mobile that allows you to share your mobile phone's data connection with other devices, essentially turning your Windows Mobile phone into a MiFi network. There are a number of options for creating connections including 3G to Wifi via adhoc, 3G to USB, and 3G to Bluetooth. It's incredibly easy to setup, and at about 20 Euros, the price is right. Now I can get my netbook on the internet anywhere I get cell signal. As great as it is, there are some things to be aware of.
Firstly, using it is almost definitely against your wireless provider's terms of service. They would much rather you setup your phone as a modem so that they can track your usage and charge you even more money, at ridiculous rates.
Secondly, your provider may or may not be able to identify customers who are using this program. In all honesty, I don't know if they can or what the consequences would be if they found you doing it. What I do know is that it probably isn't worth their time to track down the small number of tech savvy customers who would take the time to setup something like this.
Finally, the security of the program leaves something to be desired. Your options for encryption are WEP or nothing. However, the natured of the adhoc network, in my opinion, makes up for this. This typically isn't the kind of thing that you would setup and leave running for hours on end in the same location.
If your interested in trying WMWifiRouter, there is a free trial available at www.wmwifirouter.com along with a list of compatible devices.
In the bedroom, we have another computer running Windows 7 which we use purely as a media center. Our network is setup to share all of our music, pictures, videos, and even recorded TV. When a program finishes recording on the main computer in the living room, we can immediately watch it in the bedroom without any need for moving files.
Windows 7 makes this setup even better. Like the OS as a whole, it is much faster than previous versions. It also adds some cool new features that were previously only available through add-ons.
As you can see above, Microsoft has added support for movie covers and details. The setup is actually very simple, although it requires some (re)organization of you movies folder.
Start with just that, a root movies or videos folder. Inside that, you will need a separate folder for each video. For example, the movie Rambo, named rambo.avi, will be placed somewhere like C:\movies\rambo\rambo.avi. The next step is adding the information.
The best way to do this is head over to dvdxml.com and setup an account. This site allows you to download dvdid.xml files. From what I understand, they come from dvd discs, and contain information linking to a specific movie which can be used to grab title, date, synopsis, genre, ect. Also, they allow Windows 7 Media Center to download the DVD cover for you movie. Just take this file and drop it in the folder beside the video file (C:\movies\rambo\Rambo.dvdid.xml). Pretty cool. I have, however, run across some movies that the cover was not available. This is a way around this.
In these situations, you can find the images yourself. Google images is my favorite source. Once you have grabbed the image you want, rename it to folder.jpg and drop it into the folder holding your movie file, (C:\movies\rambo\folder.jpg). The file MUST be a jpeg and it MUST be named, literally "folder.jpg". For consistency, I also rename the movie file to fit the folder title, although I don't think this is necessary.
There it is! Reload Windows 7 Media Center and you should have album art and movie info.
The second cool feature is scrubbing through media. Previously, the only options were 30/5 second jump or fast forward/rewind. Now, if you are sitting at your PC you can use the mouse to scrub through the new timeline. Not only that, but when you hold down the left mouse button, you get a little pop-up showing you a frame of what you will be skipping to. It makes skipping commercials or finding that special part in a movie easier and more seamless than ever.
Windows 7 Release Candidate is a free download and available in both 32 and 64 bit versions. You can get your copy at http://www.microsoft.com/windows/windows-7/download.aspx
I've added a Linux server to my network to handle MySQL and Apache web requests, so that I can free up Windows server to test and develop ASP sites through IIS. The process of configuring a Linux server is very tedious, especially for someone with using a command line and without experience. However, I have now successfully configured everything.
There are a few problems and solutions I found along the way that I thought I would share. The first is a program called Webmin. It has made my life much easier by providing secure, web based configuration of just about anything you can imagine on a Linux box. Like most Linux software, it's very easy to install, but also very easy to use.
Next is a feature of Apache that I was unaware of. You can setup Apache as a proxy server. Basically, this allows people on your network to get worldwide sites through your Apache server. This among other things, keeps the clients safe and through caching allows frequently visited sites to be stored for faster responses and less strain on bandwidth. A reverse proxy is what I used, which allows people outside my network to request sites through a common gateway. This means my one server listening on port 80 can now serve up sites hosted by different servers on my network, (my IIS sites run through Apache). This takes a while to setup, but is much more simple than having different sites on different ports. Much prettier to the outside world.
Finally, Putty. Putty lets a client connect to a listening server with the Secure Shell protocol. This gives me a command line to control my Linux server. Together with remote desktop, I have full control over both machines even though neither of them have a keyboard, mouse, or monitor attached. Like remote desktop, there is a mobile version available for Pocket PC or Smart Phone users.
It has been quite an educational experience. Now that I'm done, I should be able to devote more time to improving my site and new projects. I have already opened up the photography and projects sections, so check back soon for more updates.
If you are into computers, arts and crafts, do it yourself projects, you must visit this store. If you ever downtown Toronto, stop by 345 Queen West. There is a big orange sign that you might not even notice if it weren't for the crazy climbers on the exterior of the building. At street level there is a small door way leading upstairs where you will find... EVERYTHING!
They have the most random and at the same time amazing selection of items that I have ever seen. Wheels of all sizes; from roller blade to wheelchair, chemistry and medical supplies, arts and crafts materials, screws, wiring, computer parts and components right down to blank circuit boards, fuses, LED's, transistors, a few things I don't even know what to call, and some strange things like a box of doll arms/legs (?) and disposable human travel toilets.
Over that last few months I've visited the store about once every 2 weeks. Their prices can't be beat. For example, a 50ft CAT5 Ethernet cable like those found in Staples for $50, goes for about $15, and you can buy a 4 pack of AA batteries for 50 cents. Also their staff is friendly and incredibly knowledgeable, and are willing to talk to you and help you with any problems you might have.
Their website, althought somewhat useless right now, seems to be under reconstruction at www.activesurplus.com
If you are looking for anything electronics, or ever need to buy something weird and are thinking, "where the hell would I find that?", check Active Surplus.
In case you haven't heard of remote desktop, it's a program built into (some) versions of Windows that allows you to access one computer from another across any network or even the internet. How? By turning it's internet connection into an extension of the mouse and keyboard. Right now my server only has 2 cords plugged into the back: power and network. Remote Desktop removes the need for even such basic things as a keyboard and monitor. Still confused? Here is an example.
I go home to my parent's place for the weekend and get a call from a client saying they want to add an email account. I walk over to the home office and start Remote Desktop. Now I type in my home computer's IP/Domain and username/password and I'm in. I am now looking at the desktop as if I were sitting in my apartment 200km away. I can access files, run programs, and even restart the computer.
As if that wasn't good enough, Windows Mobile 6.1 has a mobile version of Remote Desktop built in. So I can now do everything mentioned above on my touch screen phone from anywhere I get reception. Pretty sweet.
To enable remote access to your computer, follow these 3 easy steps:
- Enable Remote Desktop - (Vista) Right click computer -> Properties. On the left, select Advanced system settings. Click the remote tab, and allow connections.
- Firewall - Check you firewall and ensure Remote Desktop or port 3389 is an exception. Start -> Settings -> Control Panel -> Windows Firewall
- Log Out - You cannot connect to a computer that someone is using. For this reason you must leave your computer logged out if you wish to log in from a remote location.
- HTTP - There are currently 3 sites, with 2 more to come in the very near future.
- FTP - I can send files home and allow others access to my files.
- SVN - Handles all the revisions of my code. My projects, and every previous version of them, are new available anywhere I can get the internet.
- MAIL - I have a fully functional mail server with SMTP, POP3, and IMAP. You can now send me a message at email@example.com and I can control mail accounts for all the domains I'm hosting.
- MySQL - Databases for my hosted sites and partnered sites.
One big reason it took me so long to get online was Rogers. Before I started this project, I didn't realize how bad their service was. They are not in the least bit server friendly as they block ports and won't offer a static ip on anything less than their "business" packages. Plus, if you want to cancel your service they "need" 30 days notice. A nice way to make it more difficult to cancel, and screw you over once you realize you need out.
I'm now very happy with TekSavvy, a reseller for Bell's DSL. My speed has gone up as well as become more consistent, my monthly bandwidth allowance has more than tripled, and my monthly bill hasn't changed. Their tech support is also consistently helpful and very server friendly, which is a nice change from Rogers' 19-year-old-don't-care-as-long-as-I'm-still-payed approach.
Unzipped at about 6.5MB, and without needing any sort of install, it's perfect on a USB stick for edits on the go. It also has build in FTP editing, so you can open and save files directly from/to your web server. Your computer doesn't even need a hard drive.
But my favorite feature is code and function hinting. Open a .php file and start typing mail() and it will tell you every parameter the mail function is expecting. Very handy.
So does iTunes? I thought so to. By default iTunes keeps all the information about your library in an xml file. Should anything happen to that file, you are left with 200 "Track 1"'s. Thats why i selected all my songs and picked "write info to tags. I would never have to sort through and organize my collection again... or so i thought. It actually destroyed about 1/4 of all my songs and to this day (about a year later) there are still a huge number that are problematic and will no longer play in iTunes. With zune software, in the settings you can select whether or not it should automatically write info to songs tags - and it DOES! Even album art. You librarys info will never be lost again.
4. Zune software fixes tags!
When you import your songs, there is also a setting for automatically fixing your songs tag information. Not just downloading album art like iTunes does when there IS already tag information, but fixing tags. It's ridiculously easy. Right click the album in question, press find album info. It automatically fills in the search field with the artist/album title in the tags and returns (usually hundreds) of the closest matching search results. Pick the album that you have, (if it's not already at the top), click next, Boom! Album art, song titles, publishing date... If you are an organization freak, look into this!
3. Sync With Media Center
Not sure about the old ones, but the 3rd generation of Zunes have the ability to sync with you media center. This is great news for anyone who has a TV tuner installed, (such as myself), because it means that every time you plug your zune in, or wirelessly sync, all of your recorded TV shows are automatically transcoded and copied onto you Zune for mobile watching. Pretty sweet!
2. 3.2" Portrait Screen
The screen automatically plays videos sideways, and when you hold it up to the ipod classic, it is nearly twice the size. The resolution of the screen is the same, which means the videos take up the same amount of space.
1. Video Out
Thats right, video out! And I'm not talking about buy and extra $40 cable from Apple and THEN get video out. The Zune uses a 3 component RCA cable, just like original 5G iPod Video did, (although they didn't tell anyone so almost no one knew about it!). That means you can go to any electronics store and buy a cable for under $10. A large amount of people, like myself, already received this cable if they own a camcorder. It plugs into the headphone jack, the other end into the Video/L/R Audio In on the tv, and your Zune display is now any television. The colour coding of the ends is not the same, so you have to play around to find out which one is video, just like on the iPod 5G. Video resolution also goes up to 720 x 480 @ 30fps.
There are also a few other benefits of the Zune. It's cheaper, at least in Canada where I bought mine. That put together with being a better product makes it an easy choice. With a new $15 subscription option to Zune marketplace, getting music is now cheaper than ever. In the iTunes store, $15 gets you around 15-20 songs. In the Zune Marketplace, it gets you as much as you can download in a month. For people looking to start a music collection, it's a definite win.