Extract Recordings from Sky Box

This post will show you how to extract recordings from your Sky Digibox and use them on your computer.  Following this, you can upload the videos to YouTube, Mobile Phone, iPad, iPod, Etc.

I’ve created a video of the process that can be found at the bottom of this post.

Firstly, you can only extract recordings from Free-to-air channels and not Free-to-view or Subscription channels.  The guide below can be used for any Sky box at this time, the video shows the hard drive being removed from a Samsung Sky+ HD box – the removal process will differ for different boxes.

What you’ll require…

Sky Digital Set Top Box.
Philips screwdriver, I used a 1x75mm one perfectly.
Windows PC
SATA > USB Interface (I use a docking station, you can use an enclosure … It’s IDE for older boxes!)
Internet Connection

Software…

+Extract
Project X

Steps…

  1. First of all, disconnect all connections from the Sky box.
  2. Open the case and remove the internal HDD.
  3. Download the two softwares above, and extract for use.
  4. Connect the HDD to your PC and allow for it to be detected by Windows.
  5. Launch +Extract.
  6. The recordings will show, check the box for those to extract.
  7. On the right hand side, select the folder to extract to.
  8. Click on File, then Extract Selected Recordings.
  9. The files will be extracted to your selected folder.  Launch Project X.
  10. Click File and Add, select one of the files you extracted.
  11. Click Prepare and select M2P.
  12. Select the Play/Pause button.  Conversion will begin and you’ll be left with a playable file.
  13. For further format support… you can convert with Handbrake.

Show Bookmarks Bar Permanently in Google Chrome

 

I’ve been asked a question now a couple of times through my YouTube Channel, how to keep the Google Chrome Bookmarks Bar on display all of the time.  This is a very easy task to do, and I’ve shown below how to do it.
Basically, open a new tab – when the bookmark bar is visible simply right click on it and select ‘Show Bookmarks Bar’ – it’ll now show under the tabs on every page.
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Clearing dalvik-cache on Android

There may come a time after making some changes to your rooted Android phone that you may need to clear your dalvik-cache.  I tried looking for steps to do this online as I have little experience with Android, but found nothing and in the end figured it out myself.  I’ve covered how I did it below.

  1. Open (Download) ES File Explorer.
  2. Press the menu button and go to the Setting screen.
  3. Check both options displayed under ‘Root Settings’.
  4. Return to the folder list, and click the Star button and select Phone.
  5. Open the ‘data’ folder then the ‘dalvik-cache’ folder.
  6. Press and hold, select all.  Press and hold, delete.
  7. Reboot.

Hopefully this may help others too.

Customise your Windows 7 Favorites

Did you know that you can change the “Favourites” that are shown in the Windows 7 Explorer Sidebar?

Very easy, to add a favourites simply navigate to that folder and right click on Favourites and select “Add current location to Favourites”; this is shown below.

5b032-favourites

And to remove favourites, the process is just as easy, right click on the item you would like to remove and select the ‘Remove’ option!

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Count Characters in Excel

Sometimes it may be handy for you to count how many characters are in a specific cell within Excel.  I was asked this question last night and can confirm that it’s very easy to do.  Basically you’ll want to enter a short operator into the cell you wish the counted figure to go into and reference the cell you wish to count.

They say that a picture speaks a thousand words, and will certainly make this a lot clearer.  Have a look at the screenshot I took below!

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XClio Touch 320 Case Unboxing

When I ordered up the components for my new Desktop PC… I couldn’t find many reviews about the case and no videos.  I thought I’d create an unboxing video to show others what the case is really like.

The video is at the bottom of this post, and recorded in 720p HD.

The case is an ATX form factor but supports Mini ITX, Flex ATX, Mini ATX, Micro ATX and ATX motherboards and has capacity for three 5.25″ drives, eight 3.5″ drives and has seven expansion slots at the rear.

Outside, you have your standard power and reset switches. Two USB 2.0 ports and headphone & mic connections. The HDD LED shines through the front mesh, and as the front touch panel lights up when the system is in operation there is no requirement for a power LED.

This is a good quality case and I’d recommend it. At the moment the only negative I can highlight is the lack of an external 3.5″ bay for a device such as a multimedia card reader.

More details on the manufacturers website here, http://www.xclio.com/products/case-320.htm#details

And here is the video;

Printing comments in Excel 2007

I received a simple question recently, how to print comments in Excel 2007.  Very easy to do and it seems many people, including experienced users did not know this can easily be done.

  1. Set your comments to be shown, right click the cell and select Show/Hide Comments.
  2. From the Layout Tab, select Print Tiles.
  3. On the Sheet tab, set Comments to ‘As displayed on sheet‘.
  4. Job done!

Including a short video guide for good measure…

Rip a CD/DVD to an ISO file (Mac)

Using the popular Roxio Toast on Mac OSX it is very simple to take the content from an Optical Disc (CD/DVD) and create an ISO file from that. You may have different reasons for this, to mount and save you digging out the physical disc or to create a backup should anything happen to the physical disc.

When doing this the output file will be an ISO rather than a DMG file, this is OK as Disk Utility can burn and mount this. If there is a demand for creating a DMG I will cover this also. The output file will be the same size as the space used on the disc you are ripping from.

Steps are covered below.

  1. Insert the optical disc you wish to rip.
  2. Launch Roxio Toast.
  3. From the initial screen, select ‘View Advanced Projects‘.
  4. Select ISO 9660 then then click ‘Finish‘.
  5. Drag over the disc icon from the finder to the left of the window.
  6. Change the Destination to ‘Disc Image‘.
  7. Click ‘Save‘ and select a location for the output file.
  8. Job done!

Mount a disc image (ISO/MDF) in Mac OSX

We’ve all been in the scenario when downloading a disc image we must first go through the hassle of burning it onto an optical disc (CD/DVD) before we are able to use it. Currently in Windows we are able to download a third party application that we can then ‘mount’ the disc image with and access it’s contents without burning.

No surprise, this is also possible in OSX, you may do it at the moment with Roxio Toast or something similar. Not many people know, but Apple already give us this functionality as part of the base system (Disk Utility) and therefore we do not require a third party application.

Steps to do this are covered below. Firstly, bear in mind that MDF files are Alcohol 120% files – however the file itself is no different from an ISO file and you can simply change the file extension from *.mdf to *.iso for it to work.

  1. Launch Disk Utility from Spotlight or open finder and launch from Applications>Utilities.
  2. From the ‘File‘ menu, select ‘Open Disk Image‘.
  3. Select your ISO file.
  4. Access from the desktop, as it would be if a physical disc.
  5. Job done.  Eject the disc as normal to unmount.

No video guide is provided for this, if you would like one please let me know.

Sync Google Calendar with iCal on your Mac

Not many people are aware that you can do this, and it makes an otherwise unused application that comes as part of your system a really handy tool.  You may already know that you can sync your Google (Gmail) calendar with your iPhone/iPod/iPad – well by doing it on your Mac/OSX also you can be completely sync’d throughout all of your devices.

The steps to do this are made easier by Apple as iCal will pull the server settings from Google automatically – I’ve covered this step-by-step below and have also linked to a video guide that I prepared.

  1. Launch iCal on your Mac.
  2. Select the iCal menu and then select Preferences.
  3. Click on Accounts and then click the + to create a new account.
  4. Leave ‘Account Type’ at Automatic.  Enter your Google Username/Password.
  5. Click Create.
  6. Job done!

Please remember, when creating an appointment in iCal to assign it to your Google Account – screenshot below.

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And here is the video guide…