Control LinuxMCE using a Windows device as an Orbiter

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Usage Information

There are two things that need to be accomplished when setting up an Orbiter using a Windows device:

  • Install the Orbiter application on a Windows device
  • Set up the Orbiter on the core.

To accomplish these two things, follow the Setup Instructions below. If all goes well, the Orbiter is set up on the Core automatically the first time the Orbiter application is launched on the Windows device. If the orbiter is not set up on the core, follow the manual setup instructions below.

Setup Instructions (Start Here First)

To set up an orbiter on a Windows device, follow these steps:

  1. Go to the LinuxMCE Admin Website-->Device-->Orbiters
    1. Click Download Orbiter Win Installer to get the application installer that will run on your Windows device.
  2. Install the Orbiter application on the Windows device.
  3. Launch the Orbiter application. Under Windows XP it is installed as Pluto Orbiter in the Start Menu.
  4. It should prompt you to set up a new Orbiter. Select Yes - This is a new Orbiter. Follow the on-screen prompts. Select the Basic skin when prompted. The Core will then generate the Orbiter, which can take a while. Finally, click Yes - Reset it now when prompted. The application will exit.
  5. Launch the Orbiter application again. You should now see LinuxMCE Orbiter controls.

Note: If the Windows device will be connecting to the core via the "External" home LAN network, you will need to configure the firewall to allow Orbiter access (or disable the firewall altogether) in order for the Orbiter application to connect.

Special Steps for Windows Vista

After completing the steps in the Setup Instructions above on Windows Vista, you might see an error message as follows when launching the Orbiter:

Unable to download UpdateBinary to 'UpdateBinary.exe' folder. Please check if the 'Path' device is correct

Upon launch, the Orbiter attempts to download the UpdateBinary file and save it to the Windows Vista hard drive. The error occurs because Windows Vista restricts applications from writing to certain locations. By default, the Orbiter seems to attempt to write the file to C:\Program Files (x86)\Pluto\Orbiter. Windows Vista prevents this from happening. To fix the problem you need to tell the Orbiter to download to a folder where Windows Vista allows writing. To do so, follow these steps:

  1. Press Windows-R to launch the run menu.
  2. Type "%APPDATA%" in the dialog box and press enter. You should see a Windows Explorer window showing folders that contain configuration data from a variety of applications.
  3. Create a folder named "Pluto" in that folder.
  4. Highlight the folder you just created. Press Alt-Enter to open the properties window.
  5. Copy the full path to the right of the Location: field. You will need this later.
  6. Launch the Orbiter application on Windows Vista. Note the device ID in the first window that opens.
  7. On the Admin Page, navigate to the Advanced page for the device ID you found in the last step.
  8. Find the Path box and paste the path you copied earlier into the box.
  9. Click save at the bottom of the page.
  10. Close the Orbiter running on Windows Vista.
  11. Reload Router and wait for it to complete reloading.
  12. Launch the Orbiter on Windows Vista. It should load without the UpdateBinary Error.

Manual Orbiter Setup on the Core

Note: You normally shouldn't have to manually set up an Orbiter running on a Windows Device if you follow the simple instructions above. However, if they don't work for you, try following these instructions:

Note that two devices can never share the same Device ID. So if you have two web pads you want to use as Orbiters, create 2 separate Orbiters, or devices, and give each one a unique name. Specify the room, resolution, and language, choose a skin, and select a main menu or user interface. Click the 'help' button on that page for information about other Orbiters.

  • DCERouter caches a list of all the devices in your home for better performance. Go to LinuxMCE Admin Website-->Wizard-->Restart and click Quick Reload Router. All the devices will close and wait for the router to restart, which takes about 15 seconds. If you're adding lots of devices, you can add them all at once, then do a Quick Reload Router when you're all done.
  • The user interface for each Orbiter needs to be pre-built according to the language, skin, and resolution that you selected. If you reboot the Core it will automatically rebuild all the Orbiter user interfaces. However, you probably want to start using your Orbiter right away, so go back to LinuxMCE Admin Website-->Wizard-->Devices-->Orbiters and click "Quick Regen". You will see a message in red indicating the Orbiter's user interface is being generated. This process can take from 5 to 20 minutes depending on the speed of your Core, the resolution, and the user interface.
  • After the user interface has generated, make note of the device number for this new Orbiter (as shown in LinuxMCE Admin Website). Then open a web browser on whatever device you want to run the Orbiter software, and bring up the LinuxMCE Admin Website page. There is a link "Download Orbiter Win Installer" on both the first LinuxMCE Admin login page, as well as on the LinuxMCE Admin Website-->Wizard-->Devices-->Orbiters page. Click the link and run the Orbiter Installer -- either the Windows XP/2000 version or the CE Version. Once installed, run the LinuxMCE Orbiter. Type in the device number, and the IP address of your Core. Also check 'full screen' if you want the Orbiter to run full-screen. Click 'Apply'. The Orbiter will start. These settings are remembered, so you do not need to type them in again.

Programmer's guide