Cool Technology I’ve Used in the Last Few Months

Okay so one of the best things about being a project manager is getting to use all the new technology coming out.

The comment about Away Mode made me think that it might be worth posting what I've been able to use to see if there are questions I can answer. Mind you some stuff isn't public yet so there might be some things I can't talk about (and I wish I could talk about it tall) - but I should be able to talk about most things.

What I've had a chance to use in the last few months:

1. XBOX 360

2. Away Mode PC

3. Portable Media Center

4. Windows Vista

5. DVD Changer for Media Center

I'll try to think of some other things as well. I promise to be honest with my overall impressions if that's what you want to know - though I'm a big technology and digital media enthusiast so you can bet I'll be pretty excited.

Comments (17)
  1. Ron Krauter says:

    Could you explain what items 2 and 5 are?

  2. MSDN Archive says:


    Away Mode PC – New technology that allows you to turn your computer on and off similar to a stereo component or TV. You simply press the power button and you go into a sleep state of a sort. No video, no audio, quiet PC, but you can still record TV, burn DVDs, etc.

    DVD Changer – It is a 200 disc DVD changer that you hook up to your Media Center. You get all the movie posters, movie info, etc. You can select the movies to watch, sort and do various other applications. Some manufacters will be coming out with applications to do some pretty cool things with TV show archiving and media ripping. Check out Matt Goyer’s blog for more info:

  3. Michael Schoneman says:

    What can you say about the Portable Media Center Update? I was left pretty luke warm on the first versions. Hopefully, the next one is better?

  4. Jason Tsang [MVP] says:

    Is there any upgrade path for existing users of the Portable Media Center (re: portable media center update)

  5. MSDN Archive says:

    I honestly don’t know. I’d assume no, but don’t quote me on that. I’ll check.

    If there was one it would almost certainly be up to the manufacturer.

  6. MIchael Schoneman says:

    The thing I’d really love to see is a way for developers to take advantage of the platform. You’ve got a device that’s basically a Pocket PC with a big hard drive and no way for a developer to plug into it.

    (OK, PMCs don’t have the Pocket PC shell or a touch screen, but they are running Windows Mobile 5.0)

    Any idea if there’s a chance for 3rd party developers to make use of the cool hardware?

  7. MSDN Archive says:

    Per PMC extensibility…no comment. I’d sure hope so though. 🙂

  8. Djamel says:


    Can you explain where find the away mode and how to active it ?

    Thanks 😉

  9. MSDN Archive says:

    Away Mode only comes with new PCs from OEMs. I don’t know of any specific plans to make it available in the future. Wish we would though. I think it is very cool.

  10. James says:


    I was wondering if you could help – I have a MCE 2005 PC and for reasons unknown I get a Stutter on Live TV. I have tried just about every thing I know to try and solve it.

    I have been told this it is a compatibility issue with a Dual Core Processor and I should run the following fix….Is this correct?

    Thank you in advance James Ryan

    PS Yes I am running rollup 2.

    “You need the program imagecfg.exe from Microsoft. Place it in the c:windowsehome directory.

    Reboot into Windows safe mode (hold down F8 after POST and select Safe Mode) and the two programs you modify is ehrec.exe and ehrecvr.exe. Make a backup copy of them.

    run the following commands from c:windowsehome

    imagecfg -a 0x1 ehrec.exe

    imagecfg -a 0x1 ehrecvr.exe

    You will get messages on the screen speaking of processor affanity. This particular commands sticks the processes onto core 1. If you use 0x2, you will place them onto core 2. Reboot and you are done. “

  11. MSDN Archive says:

    I’ve never heard about that workaround. Where did you get it?

    The best fix I’ve heard for cleaning up stuttery TV is to defrag (assuming it was working well before). You should defrag your drive 2 or 3 times for best results.

    Also you should configure your box to record TV to a different drive then your OS. That sometimes helps out as well.

  12. MSDN Archive says:

    I talked to one of our devs about this and he suggested NOT to do this. You can set processor affinity but other apps might be going in and re-setting it…

  13. James says:


    I found 2 links listing this solution:



    Running a similar search i found a few more.

    I suppose i have two questions – apart from the one that says "How the i get me MCE to stop stuttering?":

    1 – Does Mce support dual proc?

    2 – Why would this solution be bad?

  14. MSDN Archive says:

    MCE does support dual proc so I’m not sure what would be going on here.

    The solution is bad as it is unreliable. You might set it and then something else might come along and re-set you back.

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