.NET and related technologies

Archive for the ‘General Computing’ Category

Sleep# – send your computer to sleep after VLC playback

Do you use your computer for playback of films, streamed TV etc. before going to sleep?

In these cases, your computers sleep functionality is suspended whilst the video is in playback.

Sleep# sends your computer to sleep after the playback of full-screen video, providing Windows has been idle for a predefined amount of time.

There is a grace period at the end of the full-screen video before sending your computer to sleep, allowing you to interrupt the process should you still be awake.

For this to work, after the video has played back, the video player should leave full-screen. VLC media player does this, as does BBC iPlayer among others. Please let me know your experiences – does it work for you?

Sleep# can be downloaded from http://sourceforge.net/projects/sleepsharp/.

How to *Sync* Google Calendar with Windows Live Calendar (via Outlook)

There are many reasons why you may want to keep Google Calendar and Windows Live Calendar in sync. You might want to keep your phone calendar (synchronised via Google Calendar) in sync with multiple PCs with Outlook installed (via Outlook Hotmail Connector). You may also have multiple phones, some of which rely on Google Calendar, others which rely on Windows Live Calendar. Basically, if you use both of the services, it is a good idea to keep them in sync.

You will need:

  1. Microsoft Outlook (2003 or later, 32bit)
  2. Microsoft Outlook Hotmail Connector (32 bit)
  3. Google Calendar Sync

The key here is to make the Hotmail/Windows Live account the default data file in Outlook – it is this default with which Google Calendar Sync will synchronise. If you have other data files, it may be worth transferring your mail to Hotmail so that it is all in one place and deleting them so you only have one data file (synchronised with Hotmail) to manage. Data files can be managed via the File > Data File Management option in Outlook (or equivalent on the ribbon).

By setting the Hotmail/Windows Live account as the default, your rules will also work in Outlook 2003/2007 (they work regardless in 2010).

Let me know if you have any problems or found this advice useful 🙂