Sunday 25 January 2009

Technobabble (again)

Idle curiosity moved me to attempt to use the Windows Media Centre connection on my Xbox 360. Unusually I approached this endeavour with optimism, after all - I'd set the Xbox up to use the wireless connection and the internet, so surely this was just a formality? Just because it's all made by Microsoft doesn't mean it is going to be easy.

After clicking through the screens on the Xbox it gave me a security code. Simple, I thought. I went to the laptop and started up Windows Media Centre. Sure enough, going through the "add an extender" it asked for the code. Looking good. Next it tells me that I'm not using Windows Firewall. True enough. I'm using Comodo. I need to configure the firewall it would appear. No problem. I go to the internet page. It walks you through various Windows products, and at the bottom of the page lists the port settings you will need if you are using an alternate product.

I open up Comodo. Can't find the port settings ANYWHERE. I turn to the internet for help. No help is to be found. Correction. Lots of help is to be found for older versions of Comodo... but none for version 3. I am now starting to get frustrated. Windows Media Centre won't play with me and I'm pretty certain that the firewall is the problem. I can imagine the page I'd like - but I can't find it in the firewall.

So. Here's what I do... I open Comodo (for the eleventh time) and click the "Firewall" shield at the top, then under "Common Tasks" I click on "Define a new trusted application" and I add Windows Media Centre whose path is C:\Windows\ehome\ehshell.exe and go through the list on the setup webpage.

I try again and nothing happens. Thinking to solve all my problems I decide to close Thunderbird and Firefox and then close the damn firewall. I close the first two, but before I get to the firewall I notice that Windows Media Centre is now going through all the steps to set up the Extender (to connect the Xbox). Does it take time? Were there too many demands on the ports? Who knows? Now it works though!

The most comforting thing of all is - there is nothing else the Xbox can interface with. No more of these endless quests!