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Archive for August, 2011

Mac Mini HTPC Mark 2 – Airplay via Airserver, and Logitech iTouch Mouse

August 29, 2011 Leave a comment

Having moved house, and finding ourselves without the LG Internet-enabled TV in our old place, we reverted back to theMac Mini for home entertainment. This is my old Core2Duo Mac Mini, upgraded to it’s max of 2GB RAM and Snow Leopard.

It’s really pushing it in terms of age now; it won’t support more than 2GB, will not support Lion, and since it’s running 32bit OS, I annoying found that the new Boxee Media Manager app won’t run on it either. And that IS annoying, as it would be a great way to play media, especially our video library; the alternative is to run a uPNP server, and a uPNP app on the iDevices.

Anyway – since Airserver seemed to be quite cleanly marketed, I thought I’d fork out the $4.99 to install it. It did, without a hitch. Then I thought I’d try Airplaying some things through it.

  • Photo – worked fine, showing photos – although from my 3GS, some photos were inverted (turns out this is a known bug in the 3GS).
  • ABC iView – again, took around 30 seconds to buffer, but then played OK and fullscreen
  • Spotify – took some co-ercing to get the Airplay icon to appear, but once it did, it worked – including if in standby
  • IMDB app – again, this worked
So – basically, it could make quite a difference; playing Spotify centrally is very handy (pending an actual Boxee app for Spotify!).
Also – since I’ve recently upgraded from Tiger to Snow Leopard, I could revisit Logitech iTouch Remote, which is a handy, responsive, unobtrusive and free¬†way of using your iDevice as a keyboard/mouse – which is handy on my Mac for if a notification dialogue comes up, and I don’t want to have to plug in a mouse or open VNC just to close it.
I installed the server… and it works beautifully. Added to my startup apps, and now I have easy iDevice control of my HTPC if needed.
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Categories: Uncategorized

Canon MX870 Printing PDF – so what can they print?

August 16, 2011 1 comment

So, I’ve moved house and my laptop has died. Just another day in Home IT, of course, but that means that two of my easiest options for printing to my Canon MX870 (over my WiFi network, and via USB) are gone: I haven’t set up my router yet, and my restored laptop is playing up over the drivers.

But, no worries! My Canon MX870 will print direct from PDF! I just need to print to PDF from Acrobat, copy it to an SD card, put it in the printer and print off my document. Right?

Wrong!

Should I be so bold to try, I get this error.

Cannot print the specified PDF file. The format is not supported or the file is too large.

It’s not as if I’m using an obscure format – I printed simple text from Acrobat 8, in a PDF which is compatible all the way down to Acrobat 5.0. And yet the Canon doesn’t recognise it.

I can only assume that the functionality is only really intended to print PDF images that the Canon itself has scanned and written to the card – so it’s really a local scan-store-print function.

To be fair, I didn’t even notice this functionality until I stumbled across it, so perhaps Canon don’t intend to promote it as such. It’s just a damn shame it doesn’t actually work!