Two More Annoying iOS 11 Bugs

So far, iOS 11 is maybe the buggiest release Apple has put out: it’s had eight updates to fix a bunch of issues, like the infamous A ⍰ bug, and while you’d think they’d have ironed most serious things out by now (11.2.1), I ran into two more, and verified them with Apple support on the phone.

I’m posting them here because I scoured the Internet for answers on them and got nowhere, which is why I resorted talking to Apple on the actual phone, and hopefully this will help you avoid doing the same thing. I’ll also update this post if and when they get fixed.

Bug the First: Edit and Share buttons are grayed out on some photos

This one is straightforward and super annoying and mind boggling: I can’t edit or share some small minority of photos. There seems to be no rhyme or reason as to which photos. The guy I talked to Apple couldn’t find the issue in their database, even though there’s at least one thread on it on (though it’s been erroneously closed).

Workaround: import the photo into an app that’ll let you re-save it. I used Camera+.

Bug the Second: On the first iCloud backup, you can’t choose what to (not) back up

Let’s say you have 5GB of Photos and you wanna do an iCloud backup of just the phone settings, because the photos are backed up already in some other way, and you got a new phone that you want to transfer your settings to. The settings themselves should be around 200MB.

Assuming you haven’t wasted money on iCloud and your limit is still 5GB, even if you have nothing in iCloud, when you turn on Backup it tells you there’s not enough space in iCloud, because it’s trying to upload your photos also.

Image result for ios 11 this iphone cannot be backed up because there is not enough icloud storage available

That’s it: you’re stuck. There is no way to get past this without buying more iCloud space.

In previous versions of iOS, you could switch off Photos, for instance, as well as iMessage and everything else, so you didn’t end up uploading the entire phone’s contents to the cloud. And you can still do this, on a backup-by-backup basis, but only — and this is the maddening part — if you already have a backup in iCloud.

Otherwise, there’s no way to control what goes up there or even see what the Next Backup Size will be.

Image result for ios 11 choose what to backup

Choosing what to back up was so easy in iOS 10, and I was so incredulous that it wasn’t in iOS 11, that I went to the Apple Store so they could show me what pathway I was missing. After that went nowhere, I brought it up with the guy on the phone, and he confirmed this is how things are now.

There’s a StackExchange question out about this, but the problem seems to be too nuanced to have made it onto Apple’s radar.

Workaround: use an iTunes backup to restore the settings onto the new phone.

I’ll update this post if and when these things get fixed.

Home Theater Setup 2016

I love big screens and I cannot lie. My first major purchase after I got my first professional job was a projector. My first major purchase after I got my first house was a new projector. And I got an even newer projector late in 2015. With it came a refresh of the whole setup.

This is now my third projection system, and after a lot of research, I feel like it’s the first that’s actually set up really well. The first projector wasn’t 1080p and I didn’t even have as much of a screen as a really uniform white wall, so… not a great setup. The second generation was a big improvement, but I didn’t do any calculations and so some people thought the screen was too big to watch from the couch. Either due to finally applying the maths, or because the third time’s a charm, this version 3.0 is very much on point, and so this post lays out what I did in excruciating detail, because good documentation is the cornerstone of process improvement.

TL;DR: I put an Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 5030UB on an OmniMount wall shelf 11′ away from a 110″ Elite Screens SK110XHW-E24. There’s VIZIO S5451w-C2 soundbar behind the screen, a Monoprice 40′ active HDMI cable going through the ceiling from an outlet to the soundbar, and another from the soundbar to the projector. Into the outlet, I usually plug in an AppleTV 4, but sometimes I plug in my PC. And because the soundbar is behind the screen, there’s a BAFX IR Repeater with the IR receiver on the screen housing, and the emitter behind it.

Total equipment cost in 2016 dollars: 3250$

Absolutely _not_ my home theater system

The Screen

I had to start with the screen because the projector needed to go into a family room attached to an open kitchen, which limited me to two walls of roughly the same size. The room itself is 11′ square, but in the direction that goes into the kitchen, the projector can go back as far as my wife would let me, which was about 15′, so that “it’s not actually in the kitchen, you know?”.

However, the bigger concern was brightness. The room is not very well light-controlled, and I need to be able to watch certain things — like football games — in the daytime. (The further back a projector is, the less bright it will be on the screen). We also have a TV facing out toward the kitchen, so putting the projector on the other wall would limit me to 11′ projection distance, but allow me to have both TV and projector running at the same time, as opposed to the screen covering the TV when it’s down. And you know what that means: simultaneous viewing of both NBC and CBS election coverage this past year. Oooooh yeah.

With the wall picked out, I calculated the screen size to buy: 11′ is 132″, and THX recommends screen sizes be 0.84 of the viewing distance, which works out to 110″ screen. (If you subtract the length of the projector itself, it works out more to like 100″, but I like screens being a bit on “bigly” side.)

For vertical placement there are two general guidelines:

  1. A rule of thumb that the bottom third of the screen should be below the viewer’s eyes, which are generally at 38″ for a seated adult
  2. That the top of the screen should be no more than 15 degrees above the viewer

For a 110″ screen, which has a height of 54″, the one-third that’s supposed to be below the viewer’s eyes is 18″. That leaves 36″ above the viewer’s eyes, and at an 11′ viewing distance, the top of that screen would be 15.3 degrees above the viewer, so that works out perfectly.

Screens generally have a 2″ black border all around, so that makes the entire screen 58″ tall, and brings the one-third that’s below the eyes to 20″. If the eyes are at 38″, that means the screen’s bottom edge is 18″ off the floor, and the top edge is 76″ off the floor. Unfortunately for me, there was a 96″ tall door frame on part of that wall, so I had to get a screen that had an additional 24″ of black border at the top, so I could essentially hang the housing up that much higher than where the actual white part of the screen needed to be.

With that added requirement, basically the only option I had was the the Elite Screens SK110XHW-E24 for 460$, which was a 110″ screen with 1.1 gain and 24″ drop. I’m not sure if I’d know a bad screen if I saw one, aside from obvious flaws, but I definitely don’t mind this one, and it goes up and down like a champ.

The Projector

Once I had the screen picked out, I started looking at the projectors rated highly on Three stood out:

  1. Sony VPL-HW40ES – 2500$, editor’s choice for 2014
    • According to its calculator, for a 110″ screen with gain of 1.1, placing it at 16′ away would mean using a 1.07x zoom and the image brightness would be 20fL; 13’9″ for 22fL, 11’10” for 24fL
  2. Panasonic PT-AE8000 – 1850$, editor’s choice for 2015
    • According to its calculator, for a 110″ screen with gain of 1.1, placing it at 14’10” away would mean using a 1.47x zoom and the image brightness would be 20fL; 13’9″ for 22fL, 13’1″ for 24fL
  3. Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 5030UB – 2300$, editor’s choice for 2013
    1. According to its calculator, for a 110″ screen with gain of 1.1, placing it at 16’4″ away would mean using a 1.41x zoom and the image brightness would be 20fL; 15′ for 22fL, 13’9″ for 24fL

After some internal debate, as you may have read above, I went with the Epson, for a few reasons:

  1. I liked the previous Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 6100 I had
  2. It had the most reviews of any of these on Amazon (139 reviews, 4.5 stars)
  3. Great zoom and brightness

I also looked at the 5030UBe, which has the interesting wireless HDMI feature, but apparently it has connectivity issues, especially with gaming, so it’s not worth the extra price tag if you can’t reliably use it.

The Speakers

One of the great problems with front projection systems — if not the greatest — is sound. The virtually universal advice is that you need to get a good receiver, run all sound through that, and just run an HDMI output from the receiver to the projector.

Well, I’m a minimalist, I only have two inputs for the big screen (Apple TV and my PC), I’m not an audiophile by any means (stock TV speakers sound great to me) and on a philosophical note, I absolutely will not buy yet another gadget to make up for the fact that projector manufacturers just can’t seem to bring themselves to make simple Audio Out ports be a thing on their devices.

Throw in the annoyance of running speaker wire, and when I saw a well-reviewed Vizio soundbar on sale, and it had wireless speakers, I bought it. It’s the 2014 model, so it was old when I got it, and not even available new anymore. But, I love it.

At first, in an effort to avoid a run of cabling, I tried to have HDMI only go to the projector and to get the audio to the soundbar via Bluetooth from my AppleTV and my PC. But while music worked fine, video absolutely did not: the last syllable to many words would get dropped out, and it was just unwatchable. So I regrouped and ran HDMI to the soundbar and then another HDMI cable from the soundbar to the projector. The soundbar picks off the audio and sends the video to the projector, which means I just have two HDMI cables running through the walls and ceiling and it works beautifully.

The subwoofer is wireless and hangs out hidden away in the TV stand. Two wires come out of the back of the stand and go behind the couch and up to the rear speakers.

The Accessories


For the first leg, from outlet to soundbar, I needed a 40′ cable, which meant I needed an active one, that deals with attenuation over that long of a haul. Monoprice is where I usually get cables, and this was no exception: they have 40′ active HDMI cables for 35$ and after one year, I have zero complaints. But do note that they are unidirectional: you have to have the right end in the soundbar or projector. I got two of these, one for each leg.

Now, a word about installation: for my second generation system, I waited for a cool November day, ran the cables in the ceiling myself, and I have the scars to prove it. Literally: I sliced my knee on an exposed bracket in the attic to what seemed like the bone, and had to superglue it shut (to avoid going to the ER and having them do the same). For this third generation, I was going to repeat history. Then I realized that due to the position of the soundbar in the house, I couldn’t even figure out how to physically get a cable there, much less how to stay conscious for that long in the Florida heat, that in an attic, approaches Venus conditions. So I hired a professional home theater outfit and both cringed and thanked the seven gods while seeing what they went through. Worth every penny.


Second, in an effort to make things look nice, I mounted the soundbar behind the screen. I already had to mount the screen housing about a foot off the wall, so that the screen would drop over a set of drapes, so I had clearance back there. And really, I had nowhere else to put the thing. To my great dismay though, on testing, I found out that with the screen down, the infrared from the soundbar remote control would only work if I walked over and pointed it behind the screen and up to the soundbar. Which really sucks to do when you’re trying to enjoy a movie but it gets loud enough to wake the baby — and the baby is literally the last person you want waking up when you’re trying to enjoy a movie.

To get around this, I bought a BAFX IR repeater for 28$. You stick a small IR receiver on the projector screen housing, plug that into a box that’s mounted and hidden behind the housing, and then plug in an IR emitter that points to the soundbar. Boom! You’re now a light bender.

This particular gadget is a little overkill for this purpose because it could control up to 8 devices and I just needed one, but I couldn’t find anything good for less money anyway.

The repeater is _not_ pretty

Future Improvements

So that’s it for now: pretty simple setup, great results, mostly thanks to the calculations and planning. But nothing’s ever perfect, so while I’m happy with version 3.0 of the Jiva Projection System, I’m definitely planning on upgrading to 3.1 and 3.2 when I “get the time”.

First, I’d really like to actually mount the rear speakers up on the wall someday. Right now, they’re just on the floor behind the couch. Honestly, this is because (again, I’m the opposite of an audiophile) I find them more distracting than anything. Whenever I hear a distinct “rear” sound, I don’t think “oh wow, how realistic”, but more “WTF was that noise?!”. Which means that a lot of the time, surround sound is just off. But, maybe it’s like beer and I just have to acquire a taste for it so I can hang with the cool kids.

Second, I really need to put a power outlet behind the projector. There’s an HDMI outlet there that the nice home theater people put in, but they weren’t licensed enough to run power behind the wall. So now there’s this power cord that just runs down the wall, that a toddler can and would definitely like to tug on. And yeah, I could just drill two holes in the drywall and run the power cable behind it, but that’s not up to fire code, and insurance is a bitch. So I’m currently trying to either work up to running high voltage wire myself, or getting an electrician to do it. And I really don’t want to do the latter, because while delegating is par for the course at work, actually doing stuff is what makes me wake up in the morning.

Third, I probably should get a fancy Harmony remote, because between the projector, soundbar, TV, cable box, Apple TV and homemade DVR, we literally have half a dozen remotes. But, 95% of the time, the Apple TV remote is the only one we use. And I just can’t bring myself to spend 150$ or more on something that’ll get used once a week and only very marginally improve my life. But, I’m keeping it on the backburner as a birthday wishlist item, for when I become the man who has everything, so that I don’t wake up to find myself entombed alive in a cemetery in Mexico.

Setting Up Ubuntu For Android Development, 2015 Edition

At work I use a MacBook Pro because that’s what they give us. At home, my desktop is Windows because of Windows Media Center and gaming, but I also recently rescued a Dell laptop that now has Ubuntu on it. While setting up that laptop for Android development, I ran into a couple of gotchas and found some shortcuts; so when I set up a new VM for a new project on my desktop, I decided to document the steps for reference.

To wit, at the end of the following procedure, we’ll have Android Studio running on Ubuntu 14.04.3 (Tired Trampoline) on VirtualBox 5.0.10. If you need a lighter VM, these instructions also work with Lubuntu.

  1. Download VirtualBox (for this guide, 5.0.10), if you don’t have it
  2. Set up a new VM
  3. Download the Ubuntu Desktop ISO (for this guide, 14.04.03)
  4. Load it into the VM’s optical drive, boot up the VM, and start the install
  5. After answering the setup questions in the beginning, go watch TV for a while
  6. When it’s done, eject the install ISO from the VM and reboot
  7. It’ll boot up in glorious 640×480 mode; insert the Guest Additions CD image, to do stuff like allow you to use a decent desktop resolution:
    VirtualBox Guest additions disc

    • A dialog will come up allowing you to automatically run the script on the disk, but if something goes awry, open a terminal, go to the disk and manually run the script:
      cd /media/{username}/VBOXADDITIONS*
      sudo ./
  8. Reboot the VM
  9. Change the display resolution to something sane (System Settings -> Displays)
  10. If the Unity side taskbar annoys you too, make it auto-hide (System Settings -> Appearance -> Behavior; enable workspaces too) and install Cairo dock:
    sudo apt-get install cairo-dock
  11. Install Oracle the Java 8 JDK — not OpenJDK, because AndroidStudio doesn’t like that as much. You can do this easily thanks to the WebUpd8 team:
    sudo apt-add-repository ppa:webupd8team/java
    sudo apt-get update
    sudo apt-get install oracle-java8-installer
  12. If you’re running 64-bit Ubuntu, you’ll need to install a couple of 32-bit libraries the Android SDK needs to avoid the Unable to run mksdcard SDK tool” error:
    sudo apt-get install lib32z1 lib32ncurses5 lib32bz2-1.0 lib32stdc++6
  13. Install Android Studio from Paolo Ratolo’s repo:
    sudo apt-add-repository ppa:paolorotolo/android-studio 
    sudo apt-get update 
    sudo apt-get install android-studio
  14. Run Android Studio and add it to the launcher:
  15. If you need to, install git
    sudo apt-get install git

25 Tricks To Appear Smart In Emails And Meetings

Sarah Cooper is now a freelance designer and writes The Cooper Review, but before that, she worked as a designer at Yahoo! and Google. Clearly, the years she put in there have given her plenty of ammunition for tech satire, because at least three of her listicles are hilariously spot on. They include such gems as:

  • Using a “sent from mobile” signature even from your laptop, to appear busier
  • Answering unimportant emails or ones from important people right away
  • The use of nerd language like “orthogonal”, TL;DR and other acronyms
  • Encouraging everyone to take a step back
  • Asking presenters to back up a slide
  • Taking important phone calls in meetings
  • The importance of making fun of product managers

All these tips and more, conveniently available in poster form:

Bonuses Don’t Motivate Developers

First, let me reassure you that they don’t: 50 years of research have shown us that if anything, incentives demotivate employees. And not just developers, but any job that requires some thought beyond mechanistic, rote work like the assembly line.

This is succinctly explained in the most popular RSA Animate video so far (you can watch it below) — a speech given by Dan Pink, who literally wrote the book on motivation. In it, he explains how an experiment funded by the Federal Reserve and conducted by MIT, Carnegie Mellon and the University of Chicago showed that bonuses led to poorer performance for any tasks that required anything above “rudimentary cognitive skill”.

Increasing the bonuses didn’t just not do anything, it actually made people perform worse, and it held true for populations both in the US and in rural India. But this hugely valuable research is mostly ignored, despite being basically ancient by now:

  • Herbert Mayer wrote in a 1975 paper that

    “…  merit pay emphasizes the direct relationship between job performance and dollar rewards, thereby detracting from intrinsic motivation in the work itself. A system that would switch the emphasis to rewards for self-development and opportunities for greater responsibility would seem to serve both individual and organizational goals in a more effective manner.”

  • Alfie Kohn, author of another book on motivation, wrote in a Harvard Business Review article in 1993:

    “As for productivity, at least two dozen studies over the last three decades have conclusively shown that people who expect to receive a reward for completing a task or for doing that task successfully simply do not perform as well as those who expect no reward at all. “

  • Joel Spolsky, after quoting the above, wrote in 2000:

    “… any kind of workplace competition, any scheme of rewards and punishments, and even the old fashion trick of ‘catching people doing something right and rewarding them,’ all do more harm than good. Giving somebody positive reinforcement (such as stupid company ceremonies where people get plaques) implies that they only did it for the lucite plaque; it implies that they are not independent enough to work unless they are going to get a cookie; and it’s insulting and demeaning.”

  • Joel again, in 2006, writing about what he calls the “Econ 101 Management Method“:

    “But when you offer people money to do things that they wanted to do, anyway, they suffer from something called the Overjustification Effect. “I must be writing bug-free code because I like the money I get for it,” they think, and the extrinsic motivation displaces the intrinsic motivation. Since extrinsic motivation is a much weaker effect, the net result is that you’ve actually reduced their desire to do a good job. When you stop paying the bonus, or when they decide they don’t care that much about the money, they no longer think that they care about bug free code.”

So the rule is that money does not motivate, with two caveats:

  1. Rote, mechanistic tasks: more money works beautifully in that specific case. Which is why we have bonuses at all, because it worked so well in the factories where Henry Ford pioneered the concept of paying workers a better wage for better performance.
  2. Too little money: if workers think they’re not being paid fairly, it becomes a sticking point and all they think about is how they’re being screwed, which obviously prevents them from performing at their full potential.

Joel had another article in 2006, called “Identity Management Method“, in which he described how to create intrinsic motivation:

“To be an Identity Method manager, you have to summon all the social skills you have to make your employees identify with the goals of the organization, so that they are highly motivated, then you need to give them the information they need to steer in the right direction.”

Fast forward to Dan Pink’s 2009 book and 2010 RSA Animate, and he continues the same idea, breaking it down into three factors that do increase performance:

  1. Autonomy: as a manager, giving your employees autonomy is the best way to get them engaged in the work. He mentions Atlassian’s ShipIt Days as an example of how autonomy leads to great things, and should’ve mentioned Google’s 20% time as well.
  2. Mastery: “the urge to get better at stuff”. This is a big reason why the open source movement exists.
  3. Purpose: an important reason to do what you’re doing. The open source movement ties in here, and also crowd sourced efforts like Wikipedia, but increasingly, companies: Apple, Google, Facebook all have self-invented lofty purposes for their existence, and this inspires their employees.

Bonuses are related to none of those. The only reason to ever dangle bonuses in front of developers, is maybe as compensation for the rare big push requiring lots of overtime; and in that case, it’s just to prevent them from feeling exploited. Otherwise, bonuses will actually hurt productivity. And that’s a scientific fact. To get better performance out of your employees, hire smart people and let them be smart. Tell them the company story and why the job is important, then simply get out of the way and help them when they need it.

Why Great Functional Specs Are So Important

Way back in the year 2000, the venerable Joel Spolsky wrote a blog post called Painless Functional Specifications – Part 1: Why Bother? It was the first of a four-part series on writing functional specs, and it featured a tale of two software companies: Hasty Bananas Software (HBS) and The Well-Tempered Software Company, a.k.a WellTemperSoft (WTS). Guess which one’s the good one. They both work on the same task of writing a file converter, but WTS does it with a spec and HBS does it without one. Contrived results? Sure:

Total elapsed time for Mr. Rogers [at WTS]: 3 weeks and 1 hour. Elapsed time for Speedy [at HBS]: 4 weeks, but Speedy’s code is not as good.

The story had two morals: functional specs lead to better software design, and they save time communicating:

When you write a spec, you only have to communicate how the program is supposed to work once. Everybody on the team can just read the spec. The QA people read it so that they know how the program is supposed to work and they know what to test for. The marketing people use it to write their vague vaporware white papers to throw up on the web site about products that haven’t been created yet. The business development people misread it to spin weird fantasies about how the product will cure baldness and warts and stuff, but it gets investors, so that’s OK. The developers read it so that they know what code to write. The customers read it to make sure the developers are building a product that they would want to pay for. The technical writers read it and write a nice manual (that gets lost or thrown away, but that’s a different story). The managers read it so that they can look like they know what’s going on in management meetings. And so on.

When you don’t have a spec, all this communication still happens,because it has to, but it happens ad hoc.

Fourteen years later, there’s a company called Sprintly, which makes agile project management software. They have a lot of data on how long developer tasks spend in the various stages of the task lifecycle, so they write a blog post about it. Turns out, bad functional specs waste a lot of time communicating:

… most of the variability occurs before a ticket has been started (Someday to Backlog). This is the stage when stakeholders are figuring out specs and prioritizing work.

From Sprintly

From Sprintly

In the graph above, the middle two states are when coding is being done. The first and last state are when people are arguing about the specs.

First, Business Bob writes something like “As a human, I want to look at cat videos, so that I’m distracted from writing specs”. Maybe he adds in something about how the videos should play on a mobile phone and not stop to buffer every three seconds. Satisfied with his thoroughness, he emails it to Developer Dave who promptly files it away. Six weeks later he’s ready to tackle the Cat Videos feature, pulls up the spec and realizes it’s so vague that he has no idea where to start. So Dave walks over to Bob’s desk and asks 52 questions:

  1. What format should the videos be in?
  2. Do we want to support multiple bitrates?
  3. Is doing it in HTML5 in the browser fine, or do we have to do Flash too?
  4. Are we hosting these cat videos?
  5. Are we supporting portrait mode on mobile devices?

52. Are we transcoding videos on the fly, or offline?

Business Bob now cringes, realizing what hell he’s gotten himself into, trying to remember why he even wanted the cat videos, and spends the next two days coming up with some decent answers. Except Dave now has follow-ups to those, like what the server hardware specs are gonna be for the video hosts. This goes on for a few more iterations, and Dave finally has a decent spec, so he codes up a storm, then hands it to QA.

Two more weeks later, Tester Tricia pulls up the spec (if you’re following along, we’re now in the last state in the graph above) and takes his turn to terrorize Business Bob:

  1. Should the user be allowed to use multi-touch in the mobile version?
  2. Can the user switch bitrates while playing the video?
  3. Is there a limit on the number of cat videos that can be stored?
  4. What versions of what browsers should be supported?
  5. Are dog videos allowed?

52. What is considered an unacceptable transcoding time?

This is why we can’t have nice things. If Dave did a great job reading Bob’s mind and covered all the bases, maybe the software will pass QA without defects being written against requirements that were changed after the software was written. Sprintly’s data backs up what Joel was saying long ago: unclear and changing requirements eat up developers’ time.

This is why we need great — not good but great — functional specs. It is likely the biggest efficiency gain any software process can make for the cost of a talented spec writer. And that’s key, because that writer will be hard to find.

They need to be technical, ideally have experience writing software (so they know what it’s like to need good specs, and what they entail), be very thorough, detail-oriented, be able to take a lot of criticism, be able to build consensus, to get input and sign-offs from all stakeholders, and most importantly, be a solid writer. Make those specs fun to read, because boring specs make people fall asleep and that’s not good for business.

The last point Sprintly makes is how expensive context switches are, and they link to another classic post by Joel. Turns out that lead developers, who switch contexts a lot, are at least twice as slow at finishing tasks as other developers. So throw out those daily meetings, make coding hours a sacred part of the work day, encourage sparse checking of email, and leave IM chatter for urgent business.

Spolsky must feel like Einstein after Pound-Rebka. Though, more alive.


From Sprintly and Joel on Software, via Slashdot

How To Control XBMC and WMC From The Same Remote

My HTPC setup uses a GP-IR02BK Windows MCE remote to control XBMC on Windows 7. In order to use the remote to launch XBMC, I installed a wonderful script for Authotkey that I found on an XBMC forum thread, written by EliteGamer360. This worked great until I got a CableCARD and started using Windows Media Center (WMC) for live TV and XBMC for videos. Now, the remote couldn’t start the former since Autohotkey would start the latter when the Green Start Button (GSB) was pressed on it.

Green Start Button on the GP-IR02BK

Green Start Button on the GP-IR02BK

So, I modified the Autohotkey script so that when the GSB is pressed, it presents a dialog box asking if you want to watch videos or live TV, then launches XBMC for the former, or WMC in live TV mode for the latter. It also has some fixes for the remote buttons:

  • The power button (which presses ‘s’) now closes WMC
  • The guide button (which presses ‘c’) now sends Ctrl-g, to bring the guide up
  • Pressing the GSB within WMC will toggle full-screen mode

There are a lot of other improvements that could be made, but I spent a couple of hours on this already, so… later revisions.

If you missed the link above, you can download the script from my Github page, as well as the XBMC keymap configuration for the remote.