DVD Playback in Windows 8

My dvd’s wont play. Why? Short answer: It’s cheaper to remove DVD play back to get around the price of the codecs. To get DVD play back you have to purchase Pro Pack or Media Center Pack. Well, that’s fine for people like me that would rather use VLC Player, WinAmp or some other third party software to begin with. I’ve never been a fan of Media Center or Media Player.

Third Party Options

Curently I use VLC Player on my Windows machines. It works good and best of all its free.
VLC’s main site
VLC media player Download link

I have used Corel’s Win DVD in the past with great success, but you have to pay for it.
Corel’s main site
Win DVD trial Download link

You can always use a DVD Converter to turn your DVD into files that the Windows Medial Player will play.


Wondershare Video Converter
Wondershare Video Converter trial download link

Dell Duo Accelerometer driver for Windows 8

   I installed Windows 8 Professional on my Dell Duo and everything worked accept the screen rotation. After many searches and false leads I finally found a solution that worked. Samsung has a support page for their Series 7 slate with 32 bit and 64 bit rotation drivers. I installed the 32 drivers on my DUO and like magic the rotation was back. I also included a link for the 64 bit driver in case anyone needed it.

Rotation Drivers

32 bit driver
64 bit driver

Windows 8 Shortcuts

Here is a list of Windows 8 shortcuts that i have compiled.

Windows key
Windows key Opens Start Screen
Windows key + B Go to the Desktop from the Start Screen
Windows key + C Opens Charms bar
Windows key + D Show Desktop
Windows key + E Locks device orientation
Windows key + F Opens Metro File search
Windows key + G Cycle through desktop gadgets
Windows key + H Opens the Metro Share charm panel
Windows key + I Opens the computer Settings charm panel
Windows key + J Switch focus between snapped ans larger apps
Windows key + K Opens the Connect Devices charm panel
Windows key + L Lock System and show Lock screen.
Windows key + M Minimize all Windows on the desktop
Windows key + O Locks device orientation
Windows key + P Choose between available displays.
Windows key + Q Opens Metro App Quick Search
Windows key + R Opens the Run box
Windows key + T Set focus on taskbar & cycle through running desktop apps
Windows key + U Opens the Ease of Access Center
Windows key + V Cycles through toasts
Windows key + Shift + V Cycles through toasts in reverse order
Windows key + W Opens Metro Settings search
Windows key + X Opens the Start Menu
Windows key + Y Peak at the Desktop
Windows key + Z Opens App Bar
Windows key + Tab Cycles through Metro style apps
Windows key + Shift + Tab Cycles through Metro style apps in reverse order
Windows key + Ctrl + Tab Cycles through Metro style apps and snaps them as they are cycled
Windows key + Spacebar Switch input language and keyboard layout
Windows key + Enter Launches Narrator
Windows key + PgUp Moves Metro style apps to the monitor on the left
Windows key + PgDown Moves Metro style apps to the monitor on the right
Windows key + Shift + . (period) Snaps an application Left)
Windows key + . (period) Snaps an application Right)
Windows key + , (comma) Aero Peek at the desktop
Alt key
Alt key + (1-9) Go to application at the number position on the taskbar
Alt key + + (plus) Zoom in
Alt key + – (minus) Zoom out
Alt key + Break System Properties
Alt key + Left Arrow Snap Window to the Left
Alt key + Right Arrow Snap Window to the Right
Alt key + Up Arrow Maximize App
Alt key + Down Arrow Minimize App
Alt key + D Select address bar (Explorer)
Alt key + Enter Properties
Alt key + Spacebar Shortcut Menu
Alt key + Tab Switch between apps
Alt key + Left Arrow Previous folder (Explorer)
Alt key + Up Arrow Go up one level (Explorer)
Alt key + F4 Close active item or application
Ctrl key
Ctrl + A Select all
Ctrl + C Copy
Ctrl + E Select search box (Explorer)
Ctrl + N New Window (Explorer)
Ctrl + R Refresh
Ctrl + V Paste
Ctrl + W Cose current Window (Explorer)
Ctrl + X Cut
Ctrl + Y Redo
Ctrl + Z Undo
Ctrl + Esc Start screen
Ctrl + Tab Cycle through metro app history
Ctrl + Ins Copy
Ctrl + Left Arrow Previous word
Ctrl + Right arrow Next word
Ctrl + Up arrow Previous Paragraph
Ctrl + Down arrow Next Paragraph
Ctrl + F4 Close active document
Shift key
Shift + Tab Move backwards through options
Shift + Ins Paste
Ctrl + Shift key
Ctrl + Shift + N New folder (Explorer)
Ctrl + Shift + Esc Opens Task Manager
Left Arrow Select a block of text
Right Arrow Select a block of text
Up Arrow Select a block of text
Down Arrow Select a block of text
Ctrl + Alt key
Ctrl + Alt + D Docked mode (Magnifier)
Ctrl + Alt + I Invert Colors (Magnifier)
Ctrl + Alt + L Lens mode (Magnifier)
Ctrl + Alt + Tab Switch between apps using arrow keys
Alt + Shift key
Alt + Shift + PrtSc High Contrast
Alt + Shift + NumLock Mouse Keys

Windows 8 activation error 0x8007007B

When I tried to activate Windows 8 I got the following error message: “Error 0x8007007B The File name, directory name, or volume label syntax is incorrect.”. I was unable to change the Windows key in the Windows Activation GUI. The key was grayed out with no option to edit.

The Fix that worked for me

1. Open a command prompt in administrator mode “Press and hold the Windows button+R”
2. Type slmgr.vbs /ipk (Windows Key) minus the ( ). *** This forces the Windows key to update.
3. Type slmgr.vbs /ato *** This starts the activation
4. If all went well you should be activated at this point.

Duplicate SIDs in Active Directory

There doesn’t seem to be very much agreement on the problems or even if duplicate SIDs are a problem within Active Directory.  I’ve been reading other blogs and some say that its only a problem within work-groups and with Active Directory there is nothing to worry about. Within AD I have seen duplicate SIDs cause machines not to correctly join the domain, and problems connecting to network resources. It only takes a few minutes to run sysprep  so I chose to error on the side of caution.

The best way to prevent duplicate SIDs is to sysprep systems before cloning them.  Microsoft will only offer support for images that have been syspreped.  SysPrep will remove the SID from the reference computer and set the image back to the OOBE “Out of box experience”, but the image will retain the configuration changes ans application install made on the reference computer.

Image building instructions including sysprep to remove the SID:


Note that Sysprep resets other machine-specific state that, if duplicated, can cause problems for certain applications like Windows Server Update Services (WSUS), so MIcrosoft’s support policy will still require cloned systems to be made unique with Sysprep.

Automatically starting and broadcasting in Wirecast

Recently, one of the local radio stations here in town wanted to stream their stuff live over the internet. Being their ISP, we helped them quite a bit. You can read about that and how it was done here: Multiple parallel audio streams from multiple audio sources on one Wirecast license.. Recently, however, we have uncovered a huge flaw in Wirecast: it’s inability to recover from pretty much any error automatically, start automatically, or automatically broadcast. If you don’t have a 24/7 technician who can sit in front of the server and watch Wirecast around the clock, this presents a problem.

A HUGE problem. And Wirecast’s official answer is “it’s on the wish list”.

Nice. I’m done wishing. So here’s what I did…
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Expand your desktop with Synergy.

The other day, several clients from up north came to visit as we helped them launch a new marketing product. As they sat watching me pound out code on my computers, they were quite curious about my three monitors. They watched me flow back and forth amongst the three, changing this, checking that, saving here, reloading there… normal operations for me, but not for them. One, who had some previous programming experience, asked if I preferred Linux to Windows. I replied that both had their uses and so I was using both. He was somewhat taken aback by my statement and looked closer at my monitors.

Yep, two windows, and one linux…
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Powershell and Mysql featuring the null byte (x00)

For those of you who follow our blog, Brett does a lot of articles about PowerShell and how great it is. So the other day when I need to do a mysql dump of some data on a Windows 2008 server, I fired it up. The deep blue background touched my inner California beach bum, and the verbose bright red error messages made my inner programmer smile.

“This is pretty neat,” I thought. “Maybe Windows has finally made something to compete with Unix’s shell in a real and meaningful way.”

The dump finished and immediately my Common Sense began tingling…
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Multiple parallel audio streams from multiple audio sources on one Wirecast license.

We were recently presented with an interesting problem by a long time local customer and friend to many of us here at High Speed Web. WRHI is a local media center running some 6 radio stations. They stream these stations over the internet with us currently via RTMP, Adobe’s proprietary streaming protocol. This works great when streaming to flash enabled browsers, but when their customer base increasingly demanded mobile device compatibility, WRHI had a problem. With Adobe and Apple, the maker of the famous iPhone, iTouch, and iPad, in a pissing match over the future of streaming mobile technology, WRHI needed to be compatible with both. After some research, Wirecast was chosen as the streaming encoder and Wowza as the streaming server. These were chosen based on their flexibility and inter-compatibility. The bigger issue was streaming 6 streams from the same box. Their original solution had them running 6 separate streaming servers.

But that didn’t sit well with my inner nerd.

Plus Wirecast is $500 per license, and 6 licenses versus 1 didn’t sit well with my inner banker.

So here’s what we did…
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Remote computing and PowerShell 2.0 part 1 – Getting started

It’s a pretty routine event for me to be remotely logged into more then one Windows server through Remote Desktop, or even occasionally sending a command from CMD to a remote server. PowerShell has not been left out of the game, when it comes to remote computing.  If you have a Windows 7, and a Windows 2008 machine, then everything you need has likely already been installed. In this blog I will discuss the steps needed to make and accept connections from PowerShell, and discuss running a single command on a remote computer. If not then you will need to download and install the Windows Management Framework Core package. You can find it here: support.microsoft.com/kb/968930

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