Category Archives: Home Automation

MCE Controller V2 Released

I spent some time the last few weekends hacking on a product I first developed in 2004: MCE Controller. MCE Controller lets you control a Windows Home Theater PC (or any PC) over the network. It runs in the background listening …Continue reading

Concierge Home Technology

I had written the following in my blog post announcing my departure from Amazon: I am hiring a CEDIA-level installer to completely refit my home automation system and I will project manage that. A few weeks ago someone at Control4 …Continue reading

Goodbye GitHub: MCE Controller now on CodePlex

I love git. I love GitHub. But GitHub doesn’t seem to appreciate open source projects that require hosting more than source code. MCE Controller is an open source Windows app intended to be used by non-developers. This means it has …Continue reading

MCE Controller 1.7 Released – Now Supports RS-232

By popular demand (shocking, I know), MCE Controller now supports RS-232 in addition to TCP/IP connections. This means that you can now control any Windows PC via the serial port. MCE Controller is an open source application I built for …Continue reading

MCE Controller 1.5.0 Released–Send Unicode chars

MCE Controller allows you to remotely control another Windows PC on your network. For example it allows you to simulate a press of any button on the Windows Media Center IR remote control from another computer; if MCE Controller receives …Continue reading

Control Your HTPC Via The Network

[UPDATED: Feb 11, 2012 – Version 1.4.0 Released] MCE Controller enables the remote control of a Windows PC over the network.  It runs in the background on a Windows PC listening on the network for commands. It then translates those …Continue reading

MCE Controller supports the Windows key

MCE Controller, allows you to simulate a press of any button on the Windows Media Center IR remote control by sending a text command to a TCP/IP port on your Media Center computer. For example if MCE Controller receives the …Continue reading

Visual Studio Express and Windows Home Server

Dan Fernandez is the lead product manager for Visual Studio Express. He just blogged about developing tools and applications for Windows Home Server using Visual Studio. + As I mentioned in my Channel9 video I’m super excited that WHS is …Continue reading

Channel9 video interview on Windows Home Server

My Channel 9 interview video just went live. Please don’t tease me about how often I say “um”.

MCE Controller v1.1 Released – and now open source

I built MCE Controller as something that would be useful for my own home. I had minor aspirations of making it do more than it does, but the reality is that I don’t really have the time nor the inclination …Continue reading

MCE Controller 1.0.4 Released

I’ve released an update to MCE Controller that fixes a bug where it would prevent Windows logoff and shutdown. Head over to to download it. MCE Controller allows the Media Center application of Windows Media Center Edition (MCE) to …Continue reading

Great Windows Media Center videos

Check out these great Channel9 videos on Windows XP Media Center Edition (MCE). If you’ve ever wondered what all the fuss over MCE is watch John Canning and Charlie Owen expose it all. Media Center exposed, Part I Media Center …Continue reading

Blobservations: Windows Server, Home Edition

Rick Hallihan presents a really nice vision of what a Windows based home server would look like in Blobservations: Windows Server, Home Edition. At my house I use Windows Server 2003 to manage all of my client PCs. For example …Continue reading

Media Center SDK on MSDN

Via Ethan Zoller, the Media Center 2005 SDK is now on MSDN. Via this I also discoved Michael Creasy’s blog which focuses on MCE. Cool.

When programs just work

I don’t get to write much code anymore. When I do I get an amazing amount of joy out of it. Tonight I realized that my MCE Controller, which I hacked up to enable me to control my Windows Media …Continue reading

Dilbert’s Home Server

According to the press release, “…Dilbert’s Ultimate House”(DUH). DUH is a virtual web-based home that the famous icon of the workplace Dilbert, his fans, tech geeks, the environmentally conscious, and those who just plain love the comfort of a good …Continue reading

mini-ITX Windows Server 2003 Home Server

I recently built a really small and quiet home server that ran Windows Server 2003 based on a mini-ITX motherboard. It turns out you can build a great system in a very small package. The only down-side is that the really nice …Continue reading

MCE Controller doc ommission

I forgot to mention a key (pun intended) command that MCE Controller supports in the 1.0.3 documentation. The “key:” command allows you to simulate any alphanumeric keyboard key press. For example “key:3” is the same thing as pressing the 3 …Continue reading

New MCE Controller sample available

Multiple people have asked me for a sample that illustrates how to talk to MCE Controller from Crestron using SIMPL Windows. Ask no more: On the MCE Controller site, I’ve added a SIMPL Windows sample program that illustrates using MCE …Continue reading

Live Security Camera Feeds with Windows Media Services 9

When I built my house a few years ago I installed several video cameras for security monitoring. Until recently I was only capturing still images from these. I archived the still images and published the most recent via a URL …Continue reading