What’s on your wifi?

Things typically running on our home wifi:

What’s on your Sidebar?

Those of you running Windows Vista – what’s on your Sidebar? What gadgets can’t you live without?
(Blatant steal: I got this idea from Sean Alexander’s blog post: [Top 10 Sidebar Gadgets](http://www.seanalexander.com/2007/05/21/Top10SidebarGadgets.aspx).)

On my work computer:

* [Traffic by Live Search](http://gallery.live.com/liveItemDetail.aspx?li=d5ad423c-05bd-4de4-8803-b05ecc339397&bt=1&pl=1) showing horrible Seattle traffic
* [MSN Gas Prices](http://gallery.live.com/liveItemDetail.aspx?li=edc14bc5-72f5-4e0d-b761-5a765408f67b&bt=1&pl=1)
* [Live Search](http://gallery.live.com/liveItemDetail.aspx?li=9107a4f7-531d-4b22-81fa-c310cbb19072&bt=1&pl=1)
* Stock Ticker (default)
* Today Is (default)
* [Outlook Tasks](http://gallery.live.com/liveItemDetail.aspx?li=ef27c368-814f-49d5-8167-603dfec628cd&bt=1&pl=1)
* [Package Tracking](http://gallery.live.com/liveItemDetail.aspx?li=dea59ce1-e61b-42d6-a8a0-a901724c87f7&l=1)

Vanishing Point pictures

VP
Pictures from the Vanishing Point event have been posted in the gallery [here](http://www.marius.org/gallery/v/events/2007/vp/). Go solve puzzles! Lots of pictures from the fireworks, but video would have been far better. Luckily, [Brandon LeBlanc](http://www.mstechtoday.com/) posted video on his [hive.net blog](http://www.hive.net/Member/blogs/the_wow/archive/2007/01/27/Video_3A00_-Vanishing-Point-Finale-Event-at-Gas-Works-Park.aspx).

Good luck!

Vanishing Point Game: Event 4 – Seattle, WA

So the 4th event of the [Vanishing Point Game](http://www.vanishingpointgame.com/) was held in Seattle tonight. If you haven’t been following, the game is a viral marketing/buzz building event sponsored by [Microsoft](http://www.microsoft.com/) and [AMD](http://www.amd.com/) for the Windows Vista launch (this Tuesday).

[Jenn](http://realmccoy.spaces.live.com/) (who happens to work on a part of the Windows Vista marketing team) called me to let me know the 4th event would be at Gasworks Park in Seattle tonight, so we hopped in the car and made the trip over to Seattle. It was, in a word, amazing.

There was a 10-15 minute long fireworks show, and then an entourage of buses toting people to an after event party. Apparently there were supposedly clues in the fireworks. I assume quite a few of the people there work for Microsoft, since we are in Microsoft’s backyard, but some of the people I talked to there actually flew into Seattle just for this — they’re playing the game that much.

The party was also awesome (and apparently chock-full of clues). There was a car wreck on one side of the party with an actress playing the role of the lady with amnesia in the movie [Mulholland Drive](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mulholland_Drive_%28film%29). On the other side was a plane wreck with an actress playing the role of [Amelia Earhart](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amelia_Earhardt). What’s a party without [Elvis](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elvis_presley)? He was there too. I saw a table on the side where they were giving away Vanishing Point shirts, so I went to pick one up. The guy behind the table introduced himself as [Bobby Fischer](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bobby_Fischer). There’s a theme: these are all people that “vanished” in one way or another.

Very cool event — I took a ton of pictures that I’ll be posting online shortly (maybe it’ll help the folks at the [Vanishing Point Wiki](http://www.vanishingpointwiki.com/)).

(Disclaimer: I must confess, I work at Microsoft. That doesn’t take away from the coolness of this event, though, and I don’t know anything about the puzzle)

WIN1200 Phone – Doesn’t work under Windows Vista

So, we've had a Uniden WIN1200 VOIP phone for a while now, and it's really handy to use for web calling via Windows Live Messenger. (Yeah, this is starting to sound like an advertisement — it's not)

I upgraded the home laptop last week to Windows Vista RC1, and now the phone doesn't work. I found this blog entry with a comment written by someone at Uniden that says we can send in our phones for re-flashing. Excellent! Kudos to Uniden.

Sharing iTunes Libaries with Multiple Users in Windows XP

Diann & I have both had our iPods for quite some time now, and I've always had it setup where the iTunes libary is stored within my home directory. Kind of irritating, especially when she needed to update her iPod, I'd have to log in as me.

I realized today that someone out there must have solved the problem, and some quick searching on the Internet led me to this site. I'm not a big fan of the font they used (yeah, it's a normal font, but with so much text I found it hard to read!), so I'll replicate/paraphrase what they've written up here (names changed to make it more akin to my situation, some file locations changed to more adequately reflect how my system is setup, if you want the original, well, the link is just above):

Which means now we have two users on a Windows XP computer, both of whom want to use the same music library and such. So for folks in a similar boat, here's how you do it.

Note that I'm assuming you have Administrator rights on the computer (so you can get into everyone else's My Documents folders) and you know how to work command prompts and stuff…

  1. Go to SysInternals and download a copy of junction if you don't already have it. Put it somewhere in your path; you're going to need to use it from the command prompt later.
  2. Your music library (the file iTunes 4 Music Library.itl) is stored in your My Music\iTunes folder. Your actual music might be too. Point is, if you look in the C:\Documents and Settings\username\My Documents\My Music folder, you'll see a folder iTunes that contains all of that stuff. We need to centralize that. Move that folder to the Shared Music folder: C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Documents\My Music
  3. You now have all of your iTunes stuff in C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Documents\My Music\iTunes right? Cool. Now you have to link to it.
  4. Open a command prompt in your My Music folder.
  5. At the prompt, execute: junction iTunes "C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Documents\My Music\iTunes"
  6. You now have a hard link to the iTunes shared folder instead of a physical folder in your My Music folder. (Junction makes a sort of “shortcut” to other folders, but Windows thinks it's the real thing. That's how we're going to fool iTunes into allowing everyone to use the same iTunes library.) Repeat that command prompt “junction” action in all the other users' My Music folders who are going to share your iTunes library.
  7. Everyone who's sharing now has a junction to the shared iTunes folder, right? Now, have each user log in, one user at a time (not “switch users,” but actually have only one user logged in at a time) and open iTunes. They will all have to set up their own preferences (like their iTunes account, their shopping preferences, etc.) but they will all have access to the same music library and the same playlists.

That's it! You're done!

There are a couple of interesting caveats to note when working in this scenario. Some good, some not so good.

Since you're all sharing the same library and ratings are stored in the library, if one person changes ratings, they get changed for everyone. If you're anal like me, that means you'll tell everyone else not to rate anything. Hopefully Diann won't make all our U2 music 5 stars anytime soon.

This setup does allow all of you to automatically sync your iPods with individual settings. So I can sync my iPod with playlists X, Y, Z and Diann can sync hers automatically with playlists A, B, C. No problems there.

You can't have multiple users simultaneously logged in and using iTunes. That includes the “fast user switching” thing Windows XP provides. If one person is using iTunes, no one else can be using iTunes on that computer.

Important Note: These instructions are for Windows XP. If you're on a different OS/version, you're going to have to adapt paths accordingly. Also, I've only ever run any of this with an account that has Administrator privileges. If you're trying to get this working with limited accounts, you're on your own. All instructions here are provided for your unsupported use and at your own risk. Because, well… “it works for me.”

Regarding that last note, it seems to work as a standard user account as well. That's because the Shared Music folder has Everyone/Everything permissions by default. Ahh happiness, now I can just plug in an iPod and get it to sync without worrying about who is logged in!

UPDATE: Updated to reflect that you do have to put quotes in the junction command.