Uppgradera Windows 10 Home till Pro utan ominstallation och trots fel 0xC004F050

Av lite olika skÀl kom det sig att jag tog pÄ mig uppgiften att uppgradera tre helt nyinköpta datorer som levererades med Windows 10 Home till Windows 10 Pro.
Borde ju inte vara nÄgra större svÄrigheter tÀnker man, jag vill ge mer pengar till Microsoft, de borde gÀrna sÀlja licenser (det Àr ju trots allt nÄgot av en affÀrsidé för dem). Tji fick jag.uppgradera

Under InstĂ€llningar->Uppdatering och sĂ€kerhet->Aktivering finns visserligen en stor rubrik ”Uppgradera din utgĂ„va av Windows”. HĂ€rligt! Inser nĂ€r jag Ă€r i Storen att det kanske inte Ă€r alltför smart att knyta de hĂ€r tre licenserna till mitt Microsoft-konto
snabbkoll – Webbhallen har pro-licenser inne och jag slĂ€nger ivĂ€g ett mail för att kolla om det gĂ„r att uppgradera med dem, fĂ„r svaret att det ska gĂ„ fint. Topp! Bara att klicka pĂ„ “jag har redan nyckel” dĂ„…jagharnyckel

Problemet Ă€r bara att aktiveringstjĂ€nsten vĂ€grar acceptera koden utan ger en felkod som jag inte hittar nĂ„gonstans. Jahapp. Bökigt, men dĂ„ gör jag en ren installation dĂ„. Jag har ju faktiskt köpt en licens för att kunna installera pĂ„ valfri dator sĂ„ det Ă€r vĂ€l bara att köra. Sagt och gjort. Problemet Ă€r bara att jag aldrig fĂ„r ange nĂ„gon produktkod och det som istĂ€llet installeras Ă€r Home-versionen. Försöker aktivera denna nya ”rena” installation utan resultat, ny felkod dock. Den hittar jag mĂ„Ă„Ă„nga referenser till pĂ„ det dĂ€r internet, dock ingen som universell lösning och relativt fĂ„ handlar om uppgradering frĂ„n Home till Pro.

felkod

Genom det hÀr har jag ocksÄ pratat med Microsoft ett antal gÄnger, slutsatsen frÄn det Àr att min kod Àr rÀtt och riktig, det ska gÄ att uppgradera som jag försökt. Till slut fick jag till och med en ny iso-fil direkt frÄn dem (smidig egen fildelningstjÀnst hade de för övrigt! SÄg inte alls ut som OneDrive utan snarare fick jag Ätkomst till nÄgon FTP variant tillfÀlligt, snygg lösning). Situationen Àndrades dock inte alls med den ison.

I det hĂ€r lĂ€get funderar jag Ă€rligt talat pĂ„ mina möjligheter att lĂ€mna tillbaka bĂ„de licenser och datorer för att helt sonika köpa en annan modell som skeppas med Pro. Googlar ett varv till, lite annan formulering. Hittar fortfarande bara ”sĂ„ hĂ€r uppgraderar du frĂ„n Home till Pro” som egentligen sĂ€ger att jag ska göra exakt vad jag redan gjort alternativt handla i Store. Men. Det dök ocksĂ„ upp en artikel om en möjlighet att ”prov-uppgradera” till Pro. Det Ă€r helt enkelt en publik pro-nyckel som lĂ„ter datorn uppgraderas men inte aktiveras. För att aktivera behöver man sen ange en köpt nyckel och se! Med den publika nyckeln sĂ„ uppgraderar datorn sig snĂ€llt till Pro! Efter omstart var jag försiktigt optimistisk
men den banne mig den tog nyckeln!

aktiverat

SÄ lösningen pÄ misslyckad uppgradering frÄn Windows 10 Home till Pro dÀr Home inte kÀnner igen Pro koden Àr alltsÄ som följer (jag fick felkoderna 0xC004F014 och 0xC004F050):
‱ Börja med att se till att du har koden till ditt Windows 10 Home. För att kunna Ă„tergĂ„ om nĂ„got inte funkar behöver du den koden! Dessutom kan en back-up vara lĂ€mplig bara för att vara pĂ„ sĂ€kra sidan.
‱ GĂ„ in pĂ„ InstĂ€llningar->Uppdatering och sĂ€kerhet->Aktivering.
‱ VĂ€lj Ă€ndra Produktnyckel. Men istĂ€llet för att ange din Pro nyckel sĂ„ skriver du in: VK7JG-NPHTM-C97JM-9MPGT-3V66T (det hĂ€r Ă€r default-nyckeln för Windows 10 Pro)
‱ Uppgraderingen förbereds, datorn startar om, uppgraderar och vips – Windows 10 Pro
‱ GĂ„ tillbaka till InstĂ€llningar->Uppdatering och sĂ€kerhet->Aktivering (hĂ€r ser du nu att din installation inte Ă€r aktiverad)
‱ VĂ€lj Ă€ndra kod och den hĂ€r gĂ„ngen anvĂ€nder du din nya Pro kod. Om allt gĂ„tt som det ska sĂ„ aktiverar den nu som Pro och allt Ă€r frid och fröjd!

P.S.
NÄgra kommentarer om Microsofts telefonsupport, hyfsad vÀntetid, trevliga och inga dumheter om att det Àr fel avdelning eller nÄgot sÄnt.
Dock, det hÀr Àr ett riktigt udda fel (bugg?), med en rÀtt mÀrklig lösning som jag borde kunnat fÄ serverad till mig direkt frÄn dem, det hade sparat mig en hel del tid, Microsoft ocksÄ för den delen.
D.S.

KĂ€llor: Jag hittade att det fanns en defaultkod hĂ€r, som i sin tur refererar till den hĂ€r trĂ„den i Microsofts forum som gĂ€ller nĂ€stan samma problem som jag hade och fĂ„r svar av en MicrosoftanstĂ€lld i November 2015, Ă„terigen…bör nog lĂ€ggas till som known-workaround hos MS-support.

Microsoft “tvĂ„ngsuppdaterar” och sĂ„ slipper du undan

FÄ som har Windows 7, 8 eller 8.1 har missat att Microsoft har slÀppt en ny version av sitt operativsystem, Windows 10. Det har varit svÄrt att missa efter som anvÀndare av versionerna ovan fÄtt en gratis uppdatering till sagda 10:a. Och Microsoft vill gÀrna att du uppdaterar, jÀtte, jÀttegÀrna. I snart ett Är har det poppat upp rutor och uppmaningar i aktivitetsfÀltet om att jo visst ska du ocksÄ uppdatera. Sitter du pÄ nÄgon av 8:orna Àr det inte mycket att snacka om, kör pÄ. Har du dÀremot 7:an kan det finnas anledningar att inte uppgradera, kompatibilitet med din hÄrdvara, kontorsprogram som inte slÀppts i nya versioner kanske inte stöds m.m. För de flesta kommer dock Windows 10 vara en relativt odramatisk uppgradering Àven frÄn 7:an. NÄgra trevligheter kommer faktiskt ocksÄ med 10:an, sjÀlv Àr jag till stor utstrÀckning gladare med 10:an Àn 7:an.

Men man vĂ€ljer ju sjĂ€lv som bekant, eller? PĂ„ sistone har Microsoft nĂ€mligen gjort en liten fuling. Eller tvĂ„ kanske man ska sĂ€ga, först har man lagt över Windows 10 uppgraderingen som “Rekommenderad uppdatering”, det betyder att alla datorer som har den rekommenderade instĂ€llning i Windows Update kommer fĂ„ uppgraderingen schemalagd automatisk. Inte sĂ„ snyggt. Men, man fĂ„r i alla fall en varning att detta gjorts. Kruxet Ă€r att den varning Ă€r formulerad en aning otydligt. Du kan vĂ€lja att klicka OK, 10:an installeras enligt schemat, eller sĂ„ klickar du pĂ„ krysset pĂ„ hederligt “bort-med-dig-och-sluta-störa-manĂ©r”. Frid och fröjd, bara det att krysset ocksĂ„ godkĂ€nner uppdateringen. Man mĂ„ste lĂ€sa det finstilta och hitta lĂ€nken i texten för att klicka sig fram till alternativet att lĂ„ta bli.

Njae, inte tipptopp Microsoft, Ă€ven om jag gillar Windows 10 i stort. Företaget har sedan i pressen försvarat sig med att det minsann fungerar precis som tĂ€nkt och absolut inte Ă€r avsett att lura nĂ„gon. Jag vet inte riktigt vad som Ă€r vĂ€rst, antingen sĂ„ Ă€r man avsiktligt otydlig, eller sĂ„ behöver man se över sina Interaktions Design rekryteringar imho. Om du verkligen vill undvika dylika idĂ©er kan du anvĂ€nda “Never10” som hjĂ€lper dig att uppdatera de registervĂ€rden och göra de grupppolicy Ă€ndringar (enligt Microsofts instruktioner) som krĂ€vs för att helt enkelt inte fĂ„ Windows 10 installerat. Hittas hĂ€r: https://www.grc.com/never10.htm

Detaljer kring det hÀr och tipset med Never10 kommer frÄn podcasten twit frÄn i Söndagsnatt om du vill höra mer.

Uppdatera inte din Iphone, Hologram och Gaydar hos AB Morgon

I morse var jag hos Aftonbladet Morgon och pratade teknik. Vi hann med att utfÀrda en varning för att uppdatera din Iphone, prata om Microsofts nya HoloPortation samt en del om ett forskningsprojekt frÄn Stanford. AI:n som ska lÀra sig identifiera sexuell lÀggning kommer jag Äterkomma till men redan nu kan ni se klipp frÄn i morse. Alltid roligt att vara med och idag var det riktigt bra Àmnen!

Microsoft som tjÀnstebolag

I maj skrev jag ett inlĂ€gg som redan nu kĂ€nns hopplöst oinsatt. Jag köpte ny dator och det blev (igen) en windowsmaskin trots att jag suktat pĂ„ en Mac sen… 2010 nĂ€r jag skaffade min Mac mini.
Det som fÀllde avgörandet var helt enkelt att jag inte kunde tÀnka mig att gÄ tillbaka till Office 2011 och det kÀndes som att Microsoft tÀnkte fortsÀtta behandla alla andra plattformar som styvsyskon.

Snabbspola till idag. Office för Mac Àr uppdaterat, samma sak med Android som helt plötsligt har riktigt kompetenta Microsoft appar, dessutom har MS pÄ serversidan riktigt tvÀrvÀnt och flera andra mjukvaror som tidigare bara funnits till Windows server ska slÀppas till Linux (SQL Server till exempel). Det hÀr Àr superintressant för det visar att Microsoft ser sin framtid som ett bolag som i första hand erbjuder mjukvara, plattformen Àr mindre viktig. Det hÀr Àr vÀldigt 2016 :) Tanken Àr att det Àr positivt ju fler som anvÀnder deras mjukvara och att fler kommer göra det om den gÄr att köra i fler miljöer.

För inte alltför lĂ€nge sedan var Windows kassakon som skulle skyddas, men med en obefintlig (nĂ„ja) marknadsandel pĂ„ mobilsidan och en stark Bring-Your-Own-Device kultur pĂ„ allt fler företag, en sjunkande PC marknad globalt…det Ă€r inte i en PC plattform morgondagens pengar finns. Kul att Microsoft insett det och positionerar sig dĂ€refter, det kanske blir en Mac nĂ€sta gĂ„ng dĂ„!

P.S.

Är man snĂ€ll kan man se det som att det var exakt det hĂ€r jag pekade pĂ„ i maj nĂ€r jag sa att mjukvara Ă€r viktigare Ă€n plattformen. Jag tĂ€nkte bara inte hela vĂ€gen ;)

D.S.

Why my new laptop runs Windows, software software software

I’ve been pretty intrigued by Apple computers for a long time and the Mac Mini that I have hooked up to my TV since 2010 only increase my interest. Last time I got a new laptop (early 2011, I know crazy!) the only thing that stopped me from a Mac was a company policy.

This time though, policy gone and I immediately started looking at differences between Macbook Pro and Air. Still think they got good hardware paired with an interesting OS. One complaint though on OS X, I often feel that I’m supposed to either use the interface exactly like Apple want me to, or be prepared to hack away in the terminal. There’s no in-between and for a power user (as I would call myself) but not that keen on going back to commandline instead of GUI that gets a little crippling.

Even so, I wanted to go for the full OS X experience, using it 100% instead of only on my second computer. So why did I instead order a Dell XPS Infinity? In the end what tipped the scale was…Office. My work consists somewhere around 80% of production or reading different Microsoft Office Documents. To confine myself to an OS where the latest version is Office 2011 seems nothing short of stupid. Sure, I got the online version through my 365, there’s a fully working Apple production suite, or one of the free options like Open Office or Google Apps but I tend to end up preferring Ms Office.

As long as Microsoft manages to stay ahead of the competition with Office as well as keeping the latest versions exclusive to Windows…that software is my number 1 priority.

Office 360 logo

The app-situation on Windows Phone

Post 2, after almost a month of Windows Phone usage. You can read about my first impressions here.

We’ve all heard it before, this or that appstore doesn’t have enough apps, that’s why this or that mobile OS is better. For starters, I have a hard time seeing that matters as long as you find the apps you want or possibly even the functionality you need but of course, more apps often suggests more quality apps as well. In Windows Phone I unfortunately run into problems with both finding functionality I want and specific apps.

wp_desktop
Really Instagram, BETA?!

Many of the biggest apps are waaaaayyyy behind its Android and iOS counterparts. Spotify isn’t bad but slower, with more problems, and less functionality – not a great combination. Same goes for Facebook Messenger that I on Android used as much as Hangouts/Texts, both for messages and calls. On Windows Phone, the conversation is so slow that I often find that I leave and rejoin a conversation to force an update, even after getting a notification! Notifications by the way come and go as they like, but when they arrive I haven’t found a way to silent them (even when the vibration is off together with all sound, the phone vibrates), oh and calling is not enabled yet. More than 6 months after the function was rolled out on Android. Simply not acceptable. and these things together seriously limits my ability to communicate freely. Facebook owned Instagram is the same thing, but almost worse, to be honest it reminds me of how Instagram worked and looked over a year ago. It’s even in Beta. Which leads me to Google. There’s not a single app from Google in the store, not one. Stubborn me, set out to find alternatives, and they do exist! GMail users are apparently raging about MetroMail, so that’s what I’m using but… I can’t answer how much of my feelings are based on being used to other apps but so far every attempt to find functionality instead of the app I’m used to have left me disappointed. No, there’s one exception – the podcast app Casts is great and does exactly what I want it to without too many issues. Not without bugs but in general it works great and if I understand it correctly it shows the iTunes catalog (which means that my catalog right now has the iPhone keynote front and center :) ). But as I mentioned, that’s the one that stands out. In many apps, what makes the OS feel smooth, the small animation while an app start for example that I wrote about in the first post, turns into a small animation and then looking at a blank screen, or the text “resuming…”. The smoothness is at large lost in apps.

  That Facebook and Google ignores Windows Phone is not Microsoft’s fault (well, maybe a little bit but not much). I’m pretty disappointed with both of them (once again, using them as an example for what I feel is a widespread WP problem). when they don’t release apps for Windows Phone, Google is in my opinion not acting according to what would be best for their users, but rather they are thinking of Androids best. One could argue that it’s a small user base but my distinct feeling is that it’s kept small by these big companies that simply feels focusing on another mobile platform is just extra hassle (and for Google, competition).

 No matter who’s fault, this is Windows Phone’s Achilles heel. It doesn’t offer enough innovation or wow-factor, and it requires you to be pretty committed to finding apps that works for you, adjusting how you use your phone and which services (I’m also missing Dropbox and Bitcasa for example). I’m trying here, but the general feeling I got is that anyone that already committed to another platform will have a very hard time switching and not only that, will struggle to find a reason to.

Wrap up and final words in the last post soon!

Trying out Windows Phone

Lucky me have a friend who hooked me up with a Nokia Lumia 925 for a while, letting me dip my feet in the Windows Phone pool. There’ll probably be a couple of posts but let us start with some first impressions after a week of use (though, I will wait a bit with publishing).

nokia925First word that comes to mind, slick! I like the feeling and getting started as well as adding my accounts was a breeze. I was a little bit taken a back by how fast and snappy it feels. I don’t consider my Nexus 5 to be slow or suffer from lag really, but it does take a moment now and then to start a new app for example. In Windows Phone that moment is pretty much hidden behind an animation, works out better than you’d think.

Another difference to Android is how many apps and services are built in. Small things like WiFi sharing (Sense as it’s called), Podcast player, Battery Saver (not part of stock Android), Office suite, all makes getting of to a smooth start easier. This of course gives a pretty consistent experience but it also put the pressure on Microsoft to drive its own product development. Looking at the Store, Podcast, Calendar and Explorer I can’t say that I’m entirely convinced. All of them lacks some functionality that I seek and I often feel that the strive for simplicity has won over functionality or even the wish to be intuitive. I just don’t find it simply that often.

To be fair, I’m almost to be considered biased, I’ve been using Android for many years and are of course set in my ways of what apps I use and how I want them to work. I therefore decided to be hard on myself, and I’m really trying to adapt to a Microsoft world, using my Windows account more, Here Maps et cetera. As I’m pretty heavily invested in my Google account and use a lot of their services I figured this switch could be…less convenient, more about how it turned out in the next posts where I write more about apps!

Microsoft Excel Tip of the day: Using IF and cell ranges

Today I had one of thoose lovely “Ah! Never considered that before!”. I got a question from a colleague that had a formula that looked like this:

=IF((G3&H3&I3&J3&K3&N3&O3&Q3&R3&S3&T3&U3&Y3&Z3&AA3&AB3&AD3&AE3&AH3&AI3&AJ3&AK3)
=””;”Missing”;”Present”)

Excel question

Note that this is no hardcore crazy hackaway thing. Just a common “simple when you think of it”. I’m not claiming to be giving away awesome wisdom here. :)

Apart from not beeing very easy understandable it required a lot of handy work to stay up to date since columns where added periodically.

What it was supposed to do was check if all the cells between G3 and AK3 were empty, write “Missing” if they were and “Present” if they weren’t. If you have the energy to check you will notice that not all cells between G3 and AK3 was included. Some were lost when new columns were added.

Easy! I thougt, and entered: =IF(G3:AK3=””;”Missing”;”Present”)
Unexpected trouble. As far as I can remember I never tried using a range with the IF function that way before, lucky for me since it doesn’t work (neither do named areas).

I figured that I have to calculate a value from these cells so I asked what would be in the cells if present? Unfortunately the answer wasn’t digits. If it were numbers a simple: =IF(SUM(G3:AK3)=0;”Missing”;”Present”) would work.

Still, this should not be too tricky…and it wasn’t. As soon as I stoped thinking on how to identify the cell content at least (yes, that took me some beard scratching minutes).

Instead I count them. This is what I came up with:
IF(COUNTA(G3:AK3=0;”Missing”;”Present”)

=COUNTA simply counts the number of cells with values. Since I specify a range Excel will also update the formula to includedcells created within that range.

As with most questions about Excel, the solution was easy, you just have to think about it first :-)

Windows 8 first impressions

Almost time for a new version of Windows! Microsoft has decided to stick to the numbering they started with Windows 7 so this time it’s simply Windows 8. If the name is something along the lines what we expected the new interface however isn’t.

I installed the Consumer preview a while back (perfect timing, the winter did an encore while my partner was out of town). Installation is really simple and you shouldn’t need any instructions there though it might be worth mentioning that it will require you to reinstall all programs and possibly some drivers as well. Personal files will be left untouched if you choose it but make sure that you have a back-up just in case.

First thing that greets you when you start Windows 8 is a new login screen. A nice update that looks good but it’s still just a login screen. What happens behind it is more exiting however. In Windows 8 you can add your MS Live account, just like you would add your Apple-account to your iPhone/Pad or Mac or your Google account to your Android device. This is actually quite cool and will probably do a lot for Microsoft in their struggle to have an eco-system just like Apple. Windows is the most installed computer operative system in the world and what they are trying to do (in my humble opinion) is to establish a feeling that you really should get a Windows Phone device to go with your computer (and a tablet of course…) instead of going to your local carrier and buy the new iPhone or Android. It’s to early to predict exactly where this will lead but already in this preview you can start synchronizing settings, installed apps (from the Windows Store) and more will likely follow.  Next step here can be very exiting with even more information being accessed in the cloud  .

Now, the new UI: Metro. We can call it the new Start-menu but that wouldn’t be enough, we could call it the new desktop but that would be very confusing since you still have a desktop. We should compare it to the UI on Windows Phone but since that won’t tell you much (unless you happen to be one of the early adopters, it’s interesting but not a big sale success yet). To me it’s a logical evolution, from Windows Vista with the Sidebar, Windows 7 and its widgets, iOS app concept and Androids desktop.

You get a tile-work consisting of normal shortcuts and active shortcuts which works a bit like widgets, displaying information from the app (latest e-mail or message and such). This takes some getting used to and I still find myself looking for the start-menu from time to time when I want to launch something but as soon as I stop using an older version at work I’m guessing that this will change. It looks a bit more modern, should adapt very well to touch screens (tablets anyone?) and more than that: Microsoft actually tries to bring something new, they don’t act on the competition from Apple by making glossy icons and changing the taskbar to a dock, they try to evolve how you work with your computer. Kudos! This won’t necessarily give them praise from the standard customer but in the end it might be exactly what Microsoft needs to dodge another “but why should I have to update again” debate. Somehow there is still something missing, it feels not beautiful. Some work to do yet for Microsoft.

The new Metro UI
The new Metro UI

All in all, my first couple of weeks with Windows 8 has been quite nice. I find myself using small clever functions in the UI (like the Alt+Tab similar feature of the top left corner) that didn’t thrill me the first time I found it. Much can and probably will change before Windows 8 is released in the end of 2012 but I already look forward to it.

However, Metro is not without flaws and I have found myself quite annoyed a couple of times. One thing that bugs me is the decision to make the setting entirely context based. That means that depending on the app your in at the moment you get different options from the settings link. Just like when working on a mobile device. Not only a bad thing but even on my 13″ laptop screen I can spare room for a link to the Control panel regardless of  which app I’m in. By the way, you find it if you select settings in the “activation area” when your in the regular desktop.

Active area
The active area is shown on the right

Annoyance number two, the gap between desktop and Metro sometimes feels huge. Searching after the app or program you want to run is not very intuitive and finding the same app in the regular desktop as in Metro is not always simple. More than that, some apps can work differently in Metro and desktop for example Internet Explorer hides the address bar and navigation buttons in the Metro view. Not only that, IE will run in different instances if you start it both in Metro and desktop, Chrome also acts a bit weird and tends to start double instances now and then if I started it from Metro. So far I haven’t found a lot of Metro-fied apps that works great with mouse and keyboard but that can change well before release.

A lot of first impressions :)

If you’re running the preview and want the normal star-menu back:

Run -> regedit; HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\ Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer and change RPEnabled from 1 to 0

Mac Mini, incoming!

I’ve just ordered my first Apple device, it’s a big day! The device in question is not an iPhone (bah! I would never).


Mac Mini - Wikimedia Commons
My new baby

It is however a beautiful Mac Mini that hopefully will bring my never ending media playback issues to an end. I’ll give you the background today and the update on how it went when I get setup and tried it out a bit.

I have tried multiple ways to playback my media. I don’t think I’m being unreasonable, I just want to be able to play both my digital videos as well as the ones on disc. If possible I would like to be able to play my music as well, all of course through my Home Cinema system (not that fancy but now that I got it, it sure as hell shall be used). So far I’ve tried


TvIX 6500 HD: A cute little box that was my last attempt at salvation. It should’ve been able to give me Full HD (1080p) both from the internal HD as well as over the network from my server. Well, it didn’t. Not very reliably at least. Xvid/Divx and DVD images worked just fine though. Managed to sell it without a major loss so, problem solved. Music interface was so bad that I only used it a few times, hence a separate solution for that, and no disc drive for DVDs and Music.

Home Cinema system with DVD player: Aside from not playing my digital videos it has so far spent most of the time since my investment back in the shop for repairs. Reason for that is that first the DVD playback wouldn’t work (or the remote), got it back with a new remote. Remote works fine, plays DVDs the first few tries and then both CD and DVD playback stopped working. Back to the shop. The biggest drawback however is that I need another device to play music or digital video.

XBOX360: I have a Microsoft Windows Home Server. One would think that MS figured out that their users might want to use their shining new XBOX as a Media Center (Hey, that’s what everyone did with the old XBOX). But no. XBOX360 is quite lousy as media center. Doesn’t play xvid/divx without some hacking (works but
strangely hard to accomplish), doesn’t play DVD images at all and the music interface is as slow as a turtle without legs. Microsoft, I did everything you wanted me to, got the server, Windows 7 and the XBOX360 and still I need workarounds or 3rd party software to free my files. Not good marketing strategy.

HTPC: Tried some different solutions (running the PC version of XBOX Media Center was one) under different OS version (XP, Vista and Windows 7). The media center capabilities are still crippled and I often found a need for a full keyboard to make things work. What I haven’t tried is to buy a full HTPC of the shelf. Since my experiences from running both stationary and laptop computers as HTPC isn’t exactly great I’m not that keen to pay the huge stack of money that a decent looking, decently quiet, remote controlled and working HTPC costs (in Sweden you’ll have to pay roughly 800-1000$). The reports on usability issues, regular playback problems and angry family members not being able to start a simple DVD didn’t encourage me either.

So what do I use today then? Feels ridiculous but I’m back to using my old XBOX. Yes, that’s correct, the one launched in 2000-2001 something like that. It’s huge, ugly, sounds like a tractor, can’t play any HD material and cheap me hasn’t got the cordless remote. I use the regular joypad instead. It does however presents all the capabilities I ask for in a media center, plays (almost all) DVDs and digital video files. Since it’s really quite outdated it’s not exactly foolproof but it works most of the times, it even plays videos in compressed archives. The music interface is not awesome but works, it’s just that the joypad isn’t that great as a remote.

I write to extensive for a blog, shame on me and poor readers. That was the background, the next time I might have become a Mac fanboy, who knows? :)

Stumbled on this review when I tried to decide if Apple really should get my hard earned money, sure pushed me over to the order button! http://www.mrobsession.com/osxmbc-review/