Home > HTPC > From Strength to Strength

From Strength to Strength

I now have my Bedroom ‘What’s up this morning’ screen much the way I want it; we’ll customise it a bit more no doubt, as we move it around.

I went through both Yahoo Widgets and Dashboard Widgets, looking for the closest fits to the functionality I needed. Yet again, it was the MacOS Dashboard Widgets that won out, making another case for running the Bedroom Media Center in MacOS rather than Windows MCE.

Now we can see time, date and weather at a glance: I can also see the local wind forecasts for kiteboarding (no Windguru widget in Yahoo); and in terms of travel, we can see live departure information for our two nearest National Rail stations, Tube station, and a trafficam from our nearest main road. The two screen can be brought up in Dashboard with a single click….

In terms of controlling the Mac, I’ve found the following:

Both Apple Remote and K610i handle Front Row fine. The Front Row Menu button was initially tricky – the SE editor works by asking you to press the required keys, but pressing Win-Esc (the default MacOSX Front Row shortcut) is a system combination and an app can’t capture this. Initially I fixed this when I found I could edit the SonyEricsson HID file (which is XML with an image appended), and mixed and matched the key combinations to get one that worked.

However – I then found that you can simply re-map the shortcut for Front Row in MacOS system settings – so I mapped this to f10, and used that on the phone. Much easier!

So that leaves Sleep, Wake-up, and Dashboard:

  • Sleep is tricky on the SE – this time, the key combination includes Eject or Power, neither of which exist on a Windows keyboard, hence they can’t be recorded for use on the phone. There is also no mapping in MacOS setup. On the Remote, I was surprised to find, much easier: hold down Play/Pause for 2s, a little symbol comes up, and Mac falls asleep
  • Wake-up is easy on both: for the Apple Remote, press a button – the Mini wakes up. On the phone, enabling Bluetooth Keyboard/Mouse can wake computer will allow the Mac to wake when the phone connects.
  • Dashboard is easy for the SE – a keyboard shortcut – but not so for the Apple Remote. I’m currently looking at some MacOSX apps to send the keyboard shortcut for Dashboard using the remote.
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