Embedded Automation Releases mControl Add-In for Windows Home Server

Lots of news around Windows Home Server today, my pick of the day is the press release from Embedded Automation. They have announced an mControl add-in for Windows Home Server:

Today, in conjunction with the general availability of Microsoft’s Windows Home Server, Embedded Automation is releasing the mControl Add-In for Windows Home Server. Based on mControl v2 (Home Edition), the mControl Add-In provides ‘Digital Home’ control functionality to the Windows Home Server platform including the ability to:
>> Monitor and control home security systems and thermostats
>> View and record IP cameras
>> Monitor and control INSTEON, Z-Wave and other lighting devices
>> Send and respond to IR (remote control) messages
Embedded Automation has tailored the mControl Add-In to work seamlessly with Windows Home Server by:
>> Using the native Windows Home Server Add-In installation management functionality – simply copy the mControl Add-In to the Software Add-Ins share and use the Settings console to manage installation.
>> Adding a Windows Home Server Console tab to provide administrative and diagnostic functionality for the mControl Add-In.
>> Adding mControl as a Windows Home Server web application to provide convenient and secure remote access through a personalized login.
“The mControl Add-In is an exciting example of how Windows Home Server provides a platform for a wide range of solutions for the home,” said Steven VanRoekel, director of Windows Server Solutions at Microsoft. “We are thrilled to work with Embedded Automation to make the benefits of home automation available and affordable to a broad audience.”
“Windows Home Server is already a great platform because it provides a convenient and easy way to protect, centralize and share personal digital media. The mControl Add-in extends the capability of Windows Home Server by allowing users to monitor and control their home – from managing lights to viewing security cameras,” said Ted Singh, Business Development Manager of Embedded Automation. “Users have access to the entire mControl functionality from systems connected with their Windows Home Server, including networked Windows Media Center PCs and remote connections.”

The mControl Add-in for Windows Home Server is available from Embedded Automation’s website and other distributors.
For the corresponding press release from Microsoft:
http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/press/2007/nov07/11-04WHSLaunchPR.mspx
Windows Home Server Virtual Pressroom from Microsoft:
http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/presskits/homeserver/default.mspx
Microsoft’s ‘Digital Home‘ Demo:
http://www.microsoft.com/windows/products/winfamily/windowshomeserver/demo/index.html
To download the mControl Add-In for Windows Home Server, please visit:
http://www.embeddedautomation.com/EAHAmControl.htm
The Installation Guide for the mControl Add-In for Windows Home Server:
http://www.embeddedautomation.com/mC…20Manual .pdf
About mControl
Thousands of customers worldwide use mControl software to view, manage and secure their “digital homes”. mControl integrates lighting systems, security panels, security cameras, climate control and audio/visual components into a unified interface which is accessible through televisions using a remote control, via an Internet browser, through touch screens and even by voice. mControl meshes seamlessly within a Media Center environment to provide an integrated home control and media management solution.
About Embedded Automation
Founded in 1998, Embedded Automation designs, manufactures, and markets solutions for “Digital Home” under the mHome product family. mHome products allow consumers to easily and affordably add control and media management capabilities to their homes. mHome products are available from Embedded Automation and through the mHome Authorized Dealer Network.

Live Video Reviews of Tranquil’s Windows Home Server – Tuesday

By way of experimenting with ustream.tv, while I am recording a video review of Tranquil’s Windows Home Server (and possible a new HD-DVD Media Center PC, if the unit is here by Tuesday) I am going to stream the session via Ustream.tv

I am not sure how many people are interested in joining in a live session but it is an interesting idea, especially with having the chat room and viewers can fire questions at me during the recording.

So I will give it a try at 8pm UK time Tuesday which I think is 12pm PST and I will post the URL on Tuesday

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What do you want to see in my Tranquil Windows Home Server Video Review

As I mentioned last week I have been review unit of a Windows Home Server by Tranquil PC. This is a fan less 1TB Windows Home Server and is a great example of a low power consumption WHS. Next week I will be recording a video review of the unit and I wondered what you would like to see on the review?

Obviously I want to show off the fantastic form factor but do you want to see Windows Home Server in action? The server is a headless unit so there will be no screens to show off

  • Do you want to see the review in a unboxing style?
  • Do you want to see the unit powered on?
  • Should I connect up to it from my tablet PC and show some of the Windows Home Server UI
  • Is there anything else you would like to see?

I was also thinking of hooking up my webcam and streaming the session over ustream.tv just experiment with live broadcasting and you could fire questions at me via the chat room.

What do you think?

Leave a comment or email me ian at TheDigitalLifestyle.com

If your having problems with the Windows Home Server Connector

Yesterday I reported on an update for Windows Home Server and Richard Miller sent me an email about possible problems after installing the update.

Once the update has been installed you have to update the connector software and Richard points out that you can run into an issue when updating the connector, if you do try this:

Open the software folder on your Windows Home server (\HOME SERVER NAMESoftwareHome Server Connector Software)

You should find that there are two temporary (TMP) files which are similar in size to the WHSConnector and Setup file.

Delete the WHSConnector and Setup files and rename the smaller temp file as Setup.exe and the larger temp file as WHConnector.msi

Then reinstall the connector software from this folder.

Thanks for the tip Richard!

Windows Home Server News

It looks like Microsoft have the first batch of updates for Windows Home Server coming out soon, all via Windows Update. I must admit since getting the release version installed I hardly ever touch my Windows Home Server, it all just takes care of it’s self.

Here are the details of the improvements in the upcoming update (taken from the Windows Home Server blog)

· The out-of-the-box experience warns users not to reboot Windows Home Server  while updates are being downloaded and applied

o A text message has been added to the “Windows Home Server Update” step of the home server setup explicitly instructing users to not reboot their home servers.

· Windows Home Server Connector Firewall Blocking Issues

o The installation of the Windows Home Server Connector software can fail due to firewall software installed on a home computer.   The Windows Home Server Connector software and corresponding help files have been updated to help further identify and troubleshoot issues with firewall software or incorrect proxy server settings on home computers.

· Remote Access Configuration and Troubleshooting

o Remote Access configuration steps and corresponding help files have been enhanced to help a user better understand and troubleshoot issues with their home network router/firewall and broadband provider’s offering.  

· Users and Passwords

o Based on feedback from our customers and partners we have made changes to provide additional guidance on creating user accounts and passwords on Windows Home Server.    The User Accounts tab in the Windows Home Server Console has been improved to provide additional information and user education about user accounts and passwords to first-time users of the product. 

· Improvements in Home Computer Backup technologies

o Network interruptions may occur in a home network environment because of some connectivity problems. This update enhances the backup technologies in Windows Home Server, helping customers backup a home computer if a network interruption occurs.

· Using Single File Restore no longer asks users to reboot when driver is installed

o The file system driver installation required to mount a backup on a user’s home computer incorrectly reports that it requires a reboot to complete installation. A text message has been added to the Opening Backup dialog to ignore the reboot request.

· OEM product users are no longer asked to enter a product key during initial setup

o Our OEM hardware partners pre-configure and pre-activate their offerings with a Windows Home Server product key.  In the initial release, users were asked to enter a software product key, which was an unnecessary step. Customers who purchase non-OEM built systems will still be required to enter their software product key.

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HomeServer.com

If you using Windows Home Server for remote access (like I am) you will have seen that you get a domain name as part of the package. So you got examplename.Livenode.com and you could then browse your system on the web via that Dynamic DNS without having to have a static IP address.

Today over on the the Windows Home Server blog they announced that if you have a registered domain on livenode.com prior to August 3rd when you install the RTM version of Windows Home Server your domain will be transferred to HomeServer.com, as way of a thanks for the early testers, not that it makes much difference but still its a better domain name

More details HERE

Oh and I love my WHS, it is working great for me for Remote Access and backups

 

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mControl on Window Home Server

Embedded Automation are launching mControl (their home automation software) as an Add-In to Windows Home Server. This is a great idea as Windows Home Server is the always on center of the digital home. You will still be able to use mControl on Windows Media Center as the UI can still run on Media Center (Vista or XP).

I will get Ted Singh from Embedded Automation back on to the show to explain more on a future show, for now here is the press release:

 

Embedded Automation Announces mControl’s Support for Windows Home Server
 Surrey, BC – May 15, 2007
 Today, in conjunction Mircosoft’s announcement of Windows Home Server hardware and software partners at the Windows Hardware Engineering Conference (WinHEC), Embedded Automation announced it’s popular mControl Digital Home Software will be available as a Windows Home Server Add-in.
 Embedded Automation’s support of the Windows Home Server platform will allow users of mControl to:
Ø Easily install mControl using the native Windows Home Server Add-in functionality
Ø Conveniently administer the mControl system using the Windows Home Server console
Ø Serve mControl user-interface clients – including via Media Center clients (Windows Vista and Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005) and Windows Mobile clients
Ø Allow authenticated user access of mControl remotely using the native IIS web server functionality of Windows Home Server
 “Applications like mControl extend the possibilities and customer benefits of the Windows Home Server platform,” said Steven VanRoekel, director of Windows Server Solutions at Microsoft. “Working together, Windows Home Server and mControl will make home automation and management more accessible and cost effective for customers.”
 “We’ve have evaluated Windows Home Server beta technology and look forward to the product’s final release. We believe it will be a great platform for the ‘Digital Home’ because, first and foremost, it provides a convenient and easy way to centralize, share and protect personal digital media and data. But secondly, and importantly to Embedded Automation, it provides a great platform for mControl”, said Ted Singh, Business Development Manager of Embedded Automation. “With Windows Home Server, mControl can be ‘always on’ and can be conveniently located to Ethernet and other interfaces. The combination of mControl and Windows Home Server is just another piece of the digital home puzzle falling into place.”
 mControl will be available as a Windows Home Server Add-in after the release of Windows Home Server later this year.

 

 For the corresponding press release from Microsoft:
http://www.microsoft.com/…/05-15WHSNewHardwarePR.mspx
 For the Bill Gates webcast and transcript from WinHEC:
http://www.microsoft.com/events/executives/billgates.mspx
 For information on Windows Home Server from Microsoft:
http://www.microsoft.com/…/windowshomeserver/default.mspx
 For Embedded Automation’s analysis of the Windows Home Server beta:
http://www.embeddedautomation.com/forum/showthread.php?t=334

About mControl
 Thousands of customers worldwide use mControl software to view, manage and secure their “digital homes”. mControl integrates lighting systems, security panels, cameras, climate control and audio/visual components into a unified interface which is accessible through televisions using a remote control, via an Internet browser, through touch screens and even by voice. mControl meshes seamlessly within a Media Center environment to provide an integrated home control and media management solution.
About Embedded Automation
 Founded in 1998, Embedded Automation designs, manufactures, and markets solutions for “Digital Home” under the mHome product family. mHome products allow consumers to easily and affordably add control and media management capabilities to their homes. mHome products are available from Embedded Automation and through the mHome Authorized Dealer Network.
Contact Information
 Embedded Automation Inc.
http://www.embeddedautomation.com
sales@embeddedautomation.com
 (604) 596-4999

 

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