Migrate from OpenElec to OSMC

I recently upgraded my ambilight clone from 50 to 104 LEDs and I’ve also updated my OpenElec installation on my Raspberry Pi B+ to 6.0.0. However, the hyperiond wasn’t able to communicate properly with Kodi so that no ambilight information was send to the LEDs: The LEDs would always be black, if I want to watch something on the Raspberry Pi.

I’ve opened an issue on github but I didn’t get  a useable response so far. The configuration and installation worked fine when I’ve connected with the iOS app or from the command line.

Today I’ve tried to use OSMC as surrogate for OpenElec and I’m really impressed: it worked almost out of the box with my old configuration. So I want to share what’s necessary to migrate from OpenElec to OSMC:

  1. Create a backup from your OpenElec .kodi folder. You’ll find this folder on OpenElec in /storage/.kodi
  2. Backup your hyperion.config.json or create a new one with HyperCon according to your setup
  3. Install OSMC on a SD card
  4. Boot from this SD card and follow the initial configuration screen
  5. Connect via SSH to OSMC. default user/password are osmc/osmc.
  6. Install hyperion according to nadnerb’s instructions. The spi part is important, since OSMC has SPI disabled by default. You’ll also want to remove the lirc line since this blocks the pins necessary for the default installation of WS2801 LEDs.
  7. Copy your hyperion.config.json to /etc. Be sure that you’ve changed the path to your effects folder from /storage/hyperion/effects to /usr/hyperion/effects
  8. Copy your .kodi folder to OSMC’s /home/osmc folder and overwrite any file
  9. Reboot and enjoy your known settings :)

Heos by Denon – Bluetooth dongle

I’ve recently bought a Heos HomeCinema and a Heos 1. The Heos devices are created by Denon and offer a multi room wifi speaker setup, similar to Sonos. Since Sonos did not offer a DTS compatible speakerbar for my TV, I’ve decided to give the Heos devices a try.

Its absolutely amazing how easy these devices are setup. You install the power and install an Android or iOS App on your phone. You can start the Heos app and can configure a new speaker. The speaker will be configured over a regular stereo audio cable. After this configuration step, the speaker will be available to all devices running the Heos app on your local network.

Denon currently promotes the GoPack: A battery pack for the Heos 1 and a bluetooth dongle which adds support for bluetooth connections on all Heos devices. However, Denon only sells the bluetooth adapter in combination with the battery pack. Since I don’t require the battery pack, I was wondering what kind of bluetooth dongle is required.

I’ve searched for a few weeks but finally found on amazon.com a bluetooth dongle which was used by a fellow Heos user. At the same time I tried to contact the Denon chat support and they recommended me this Bluetooth dongle. Regardless which one you’ll select, you’ll need a bluetooth 4.0 dongle with BCM20702 chipset:

HeosBluetooth_4_8

Just put the stick into the USB port of the Heos speaker:

HeosBluetooth_3_8

You can now press and hold the connect button until the Heos starts to blink green:

HeosBluetooth_6_8

The Heos is now in discovery mode and can be easily paired with your bluetooth enabled device. This also works for the Heos HomeCinema soundbar:

HeosBluetooth_7_8 HeosBluetooth_8_8

How to remove Spotify’s notification badge from the Mac OS X dock

Are you also annoyed and tired by Spotify’s notification badge in the dock of Mac OS X? I totally was and found a simple list of instructions on apple.stackexchange.com and want to show you how to remove this „feature“.

If correctly used, notification badges are a cool thing. They notify you when an app wants your attention. Spotify abuses this feature and shows the number of pending notifications inside its app. That means: If you ever subscribed to somebodies playlist and this playlist is updated, you will be notified. Same goes for stuff like new tracks of your favorited artists. You have no control over these notifications and will always be notified. Other users are also annoyed by this misbehavior but nothing changes :( Thats why my Spotify is mostly minimized to the background and when opened it shows this ugly notification badge in its UI:

Spotify in app notification badge

Its annoying and always tries to steal my attention. Same goes for the Mac OS X dock icon:

Spotify Dock Icon with 99 notifications

Normally, you can open the system preferences and can disable the notifications. However, Spotify isn’t listed (although it uses the notification APIs of Mac OS X).

The instructions from stackoverflow write this missing entry into the notification database, so that it shows up in the list. Only after that you are allowed to disable Dock notifications:

Disable Spotify Badge App Icon Here’s the code of Ryan Patterson’s stackoverflow entry, in case it ever gets deleted:

 

Fix Windows 10 error code 19 for CD/DVD drives

I recently tried to convert a CD to MP3 (as part of my private copy for cds without protection), since my car stereo doesn’t have any CD drive at all. Therefore I’ve installed CDEX. CDEX complained about a missing CD drive, which puzzled me since I know that I have a DVDRW drive installed in my desktop PC. Upon further investigation I’ve seen no drive letter assignment in the explorer or disk management of Windows 10.

A closer look in the device manager showed me a problem with my drive:

Windows 10 code 19 dvd drive

I’ve tweeted this and got some responses from the official Windows support account. While I like this unexpected help and its experience, their advise wasn’t really helpful :(

I took control and searched the web for the exact error message from the device manager:

Windows cannot start this hardware device because its configuration information (in the registry) is incomplete or damaged. (Code 19)


Beware: Take a backup of your registry before you edit and just follow instructions from the internet! I cannot be held responsible for damage/problems caused to your machine.


 

I only found instructions for older Windows versions. However, I’ve tried those instructions on my machine and found a LowerFilters entry in my machine’s registry:

Windows 10 fix for Code 19

 

I’ve deleted it from the registry and rebooted. After the reboot my drive was working as expected without the need for any new driver or firmware updates.

Update Windows 8.1 Pro to Windows 10 Pro with USB stick

I’m trying since last night to install the update from Windows 8.1 Pro to Windows 10 Pro on my gaming machine. The experience wasn’t smooth as I expected, since I’m using an english Windows installation, while Microsoft’s media creation tool always seem to use the german setup of Windows 10.

You cannot upgrade without data loss (your apps are removed), if you install a different language of Windows. The installation of language packs isn’t helping here either, so you’ll need to install exactly the language version, you’ve once installed.

Windows 10 No Upgrade possible because of different langauge

Unfortunately I only know that my Windows version was english (en). English Windows can be either US (en-us) or Great Britain (en-en). So after a few tweets with @verdreaux I’ve selected en-en and tried to create an USB stick with the Windows 10 update.

Your USB stick needs to be formatted in FAT32 format. I’ve started with NTFS but that created an unbootable stick:

Ideally you’ll use a tool like Rufus, which will create your USB stick from an ISO file, so that you don’t have to use the Microsoft tool again. If something fails during the creation, it’ll download the 3GB setup files again and again. So its definitely recommended to download the iso in the correct language, architecture and version and then try to write that ISO to a bootable media.

Here’s my used rufus setting. I’ve used MBR but GPT would probably be the better/modern choice:

Rufus Windows 10After the stick creation I’ve rebooted from the stick. I could now select upgrade. However, the setup suggested to start the upgrade from windows without booting from the installation media.

So I’ve rebooted and tried the setup again from the USB stick. The setup is finally in english and I hope its working this time. Right now the installation is checking for updates and this takes ages. I’ll update this post once I have new results ready.

Update 15:28:

The update is running. It seems to keep my installed apps and data:

Ready to install and keep apps and dataUpdate 19:35:

It’s finally running! All apps & settings are still there and working. Glad that this finally worked out. BTW: Although I installed en-en Windows 10 started with en-us langauge settings.