Thursday, October 24, 2013

Accessing HDHomeRun Prime DLNA Stream via HTTP

If you have an HDHomeRun Prime network TV tuner with updated firmware (and don't forget your CableCard), you can access your (non-encrypted) digital cable channels using DLNA. Many DLNA browsers, including some TVs and tablet/phone apps, can automatically find the channel listing so you can skip using a cable box--or watch something live while your DVR records a few other shows.

If you want to use something like VLC Player or another network streaming app that has trouble accessing the channel list, you can do use the following URL format:


Insert the IP of your HDHomeRun and replace XX with the channel number.


would load channel 50.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Feature Contributor to Tech Blog Zatz Not Funny

Over the past few months I've started blogging as a feature contributor to the tech blog Zatz Not Funny. This has given me an outlet for reviewing some of the lesser known but still very interesting technology out there. So far I've racked up three reviews:

Thanks to Dave Zatz for the opportunity! 

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Speaking at SharePoint Saturday DC 2013

UPDATE: Unfortunately I fell ill this week and the result is that we will not be presenting at SharePoint Saturday DC on Saturday.

*** CUT HERE ***

If you are in the neighborhood and/or have signed up for tickets for SharePoint Saturday DC, come check out Cicely Behne and I present "SharePoint Under the Surface: Doing More with Out-of-the-Box Features" at SPSDC in Chevy Chase, MD on Saturday, June 8th, 2013.

Here is an summary of what we're going to talk about. Lots of demos. It's geared towards SharePoint newbies and budding power users and front-end developers:
Your client wants SharePoint, but not plain old SharePoint. They won’t let you hire a developer. You cannot deploy solutions to the server. We see this often while working for various government and commercial clients, and on the surface it looks like it will limit our ability to provide the solutions they need. However, there are many features of SharePoint right under the surface that are often overlooked. SharePoint can do a lot if you just know what's possible.  
This session will discuss ways to create business solutions using SharePoint without complex programming or needing to deploy complied code solutions to the server. We will cover Functionality (Libraries & Lists, Metadata, Workflows, and Forms) and Visualization (List Views, Pages & Web Parts, Branding, and Reporting/Dynamic Content).  
The audience for this session is anyone using SharePoint, in particular new users, content managers, and budding Power Users and Front End Developers in scenarios where they do not have access or control to fully customize the instance of SharePoint they are using. You will come out of this session with some out-of-the-box features and front end configurations that can be used to enhance your SharePoint sites.
We hope to see you there!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Chumby is dead. Long live Chumby!

It's time to get blogging again. Sure I'm active on Twitter, post those requisite photos of my kids to Facebook, and write more than my fair share of posts on my company's Yammer feed. However, this is where the longer form explaining it all really happens. Recently, happenings in the gadget world got me thinking I need to put on my blogger hat once again.

Chumby One
The Chumby One, running Zurk's Offline Firmware.
Many of you know that I have always held a special place in my heart for the Chumby line of desktop gadgets. Ever since their unveiling back in 2006, I have liked the idea of a simple desktop internet-connected clock/radio/widget device.

Sadly, while the devices sold okay over the years and even spawned versions from Sony and Best Buy, the company shut down in 2012. There are many of reasons for this. I even gave a eulogy of sorts for the Chumby company and outlined some of my own thoughts about what happened. Luckily, one of the former Chumby staffers founders, Duane, kept the Chumby servers running for many months so those of still using our dear old Chumbys could still get our widgets and music streaming.

Then abruptly, though not surprisingly, the Chumby servers shut down recently. This seemed to be the beginning of the actual end of Chumby...but not so fast!

In January 2013, one of the volunteers initiated an effort to create a company to acquire all of the remaining assets of Chumby Industries for the purpose of maintaining the service. That company, "Blue Octy, LLC", completed the transaction in mid-February.
They created a temporary stub service that will allow the following devices and apps to boot to a clock:
  • chumby Classic, chumby One, chumby 8
  • Insignia Infocast 3.5" and 8"
  • Insignia Connected TV
  • WOWbox 3.5" and 8"
  • chumby Lite (Android)
  • chumby for Sony Tablet S (Android)
The Sony Dash is supported directly by Sony now and no longer runs off the Chumby servers.

Full text of the the Chumby announcement is available on At this point there is no timeframe for when the full service will be back, but at least you can get a basic clock and even Pandora and other streaming services still seem to work as well.

Alternatively, and what I've decided to do with my Insignia Infocast 3.5" and Chumby One, is to run Zurk's Offline Firmware for Chumby. This runs off a USB stick to insert into the device and you can customize the widgets and settings using XML files as well as Zurk's very cool browser-based dashboard.

I am both anxious and excited to see what happens next. While I still expect my Chumbys to become expensive paperweights one day, I do not think that is going to happen just yet.

Chumby is dead. Long live Chumby!