All the latest news and reviews are now available via the NZTechie.com homepage at https://www.nztechie.com

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Easy Application Install (Gallery2) on IXWebhosting

Web hosting company IXwebhosting offer a number of one-click GPL applications that their hosting customers can implement on their websites.

I recently attempted to install Gallery2 using this facility. I had previously installed Gallery2 on my Startlogic web hosting account through its standard installation script.

Unfortunately my experience installing Gallery2 on IXwebhosting was not perfect. I ran into problems relating to file uploads. I had two distinct problems:

- Photos over 2 Megabytes in size were rejected with an "Upload Failed" error message

- File uploads would fail with the following error:

"filename.ext: You may need to set LimitRequestBody 16777216 and memory_limit=64M in /etc/php.ini and /etc/httpd/conf.d/php.conf on your Gallery server java.net.SocketException: Connection reset"

How I resolved this issue

The 2 megabyte file restriction appears to be a default setting from ixwebhosting which effectively blocks any web-based application from uploading files greater then 2 megabytes in size. (This wont affect you using FTP to upload content to your own site)

In the cgi-bin folder I created a new php.ini configuration file. In this file I added the following text string:

upload_max_filesize = 2048M

The other file upload problem was easily remedied by following the instructions within the error message. I followed the instructions relating to the php.ini file and the issue appears resolved. I added the following two lines to the php.ini file:

LimitRequestBody 16777216 memory_limit=64MB

It is a bit disappointing that this "easy application" required a bit of fiddling with in order to get in to operation under this hosting environment.

When installing on Startlogic the only extra configuration required was actually documented in the installation check of the Gallery2 installer itself.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Media Center Remote Driver for Windows XP

Windows Media Centre computers tend to ship with either an OEM manufacturer's remote control or a Microsoft-branded one. These OEM manufactured machines all come with the associated drivers to support the remote control.

There are numerous Open Source home theatre PC projects in existence that have a similar media centre-style interface and playback capabilities to Windows Media Centre and Windows Vista Home Premium/Ultimate. The advantage of open source is that you can use the product freely without the need to pay the associated price tag that you do with Microsoft products. My favourite open source Home Theatre PC software is called MediaPortal.

Applications such as MediaPortal are smart enough to work effectively with the Windows Media Center remote control, among many other brands. However, you must have a supported driver installed on your Windows OS in order for it to be recognised for use as a remote control device.

For Windows XP if you are running Windows XP Professional SP2 or later then the drivers are automatically included with the OS. The story is slightly different with Windows XP Home. Windows XP Home (any service pack level) does not come with any drivers for the Windows Media Center remote. If you plug it in you will be presented with a request for drivers for the "eHome Infrared Receiver" that it will be detected as.

I have located and tested the following drivers on Windows XP Home SP2 and they function as required.

Installation

Briefly, the steps required to install the driver (one method) are:

1. Download the driver package below

2. Create a directory somewhere on your computer, and extract the archive contents to it

3. Plug in the Windows Media Center Remote control

4. When prompted for the driver, select the option to specify a location and point to where you extracted the archive to.

The driver should then install and you should be working 100%.

Windows Media Center Remote Control Driver for Windows XP [Download]

RELATED LINKS

MediaPortal - free MediaCenter HTPC Software
http://www.team-mediaportal.com/