How can you make remote app wake up an HTPC that has gone to sleep? - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 25 Old 12-01-2018, 06:35 AM - Thread Starter
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Question How can you avoid need for Windows PW when waking up an HTPC that has gone to sleep?

I have just bought an Intel NUC 8i3CYSM to act as my first ever HTPC. The primary purpose is to play MKV rips of my Blu-ray collection via JRiver Media Center, running under Windows 10 Pro. The MKV files are stored on a NAS. This HTPC uses my television as its only screen and normally will have no keyboard or mouse, as I can manage it remotely from another PC using Remote Windows Desktop. The NUC will be left powered on 24/7, but the power settings in Windows 10 turn off the screen after 10 mins of inactivity and put the machine to sleep after 30 mins.

My plan is to play my videos by using an app such as JRemote or Gizmo to manage JRiver from an iPad or Android smartphone. However, I want this process to be as slick as possible when the HTPC has gone to sleep. How can I ensure that JRemote or Gizmo will wake up my NUC and avoid any need for typing in a Windows password (a difficult task without a keyboard)?


I'm not sure if I am asking a generic HTPC question or one that is specific to my use of JRemote or Gizmo. Just in case it is the latter, I have also posted this query in a JRiver forum.

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post #2 of 25 Old 12-01-2018, 07:32 AM
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Sending a power on command to the PC will wake it from sleep.
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post #3 of 25 Old 12-01-2018, 07:42 AM
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First off, I'd at least buy a keyboard such as a Logitech K400 even if you dont pull it out, it's nice to have around.

Second, I'd disable the power management features. You don't need the pc monitor to ever shut off. And, you may want to disable sleep altogether (I know I did on my HTPC). (Click start, type "power", under settings select "power & sleep options", set both boxes to "never".)

Otherwise, you have two options to wake the PC:

1) Whatever remote control I/R you use, make sure it's capable of wake up, then configure the PC USB Port (and maybe BIOS) to allow that device to wake the PC.
2) You can alternatively configure the PC to wake on network packet using the wake on LAN protocol. Again, not familiar with JRiver so not sure what type of remote you're using here. But there are apps to wake up with 1 button a PC on a LAN with ios or android once it's configured.

Is easy to configure your PC not to require a password on coming out of standby.
(right click start, settings, Accounts, Click Sign-in Options, Select Never from Require sign-in the menu)

You can also make sure your PC boots directly to desktop then to your media center with no password required:
(start, run, control userpasswords2, uncheck the "require a password" box, enter your password twice, done).

Finally, I see above you said you connect to the PC via remote desktop to manage it. No matter what after disconnecting from that remote session, you're going to have to log back into the PC with a keyboard and password. Remote desktop locks the desktop local screen while you're using it remotely. Windows remote desktop is probably terrible for your situation. You may want to look into alternatives such as team viewer or vnc. Those don't use the windows login session and won't result in having to relogin at the local terminal when you disconnect.

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post #4 of 25 Old 12-01-2018, 08:12 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markmon1 View Post
First off, I'd at least buy a keyboard such as a Logitech K400 even if you dont pull it out, it's nice to have around.

Second, I'd disable the power management features. You don't need the pc monitor to ever shut off. And, you may want to disable sleep altogether (I know I did on my HTPC). (Click start, type "power", under settings select "power & sleep options", set both boxes to "never".)

Otherwise, you have two options to wake the PC:

1) Whatever remote control I/R you use, make sure it's capable of wake up, then configure the PC USB Port (and maybe BIOS) to allow that device to wake the PC.
2) You can alternatively configure the PC to wake on network packet using the wake on LAN protocol. Again, not familiar with JRiver so not sure what type of remote you're using here.

Is easy to configure your PC not to require a password on coming out of standby.
(right click start, settings, Accounts, Click Sign-in Options, Select Never from Require sign-in the menu)

You can also make sure your PC boots directly to desktop then to your media center with no password required:
(start, run, control userpasswords2, uncheck the "require a password" box, enter your password twice, done).
I have a feeling that wake-up is already working, though I still need to do a little more testing (I only got the machine up and running yesterday). My primary concern was the need for a Windows password.

Deleting any requirement for a Windows password was not something I wished to consider, but taking the option to not require a password on coming out of standby might be an acceptable compromise (thanks for making me aware of that option).

I already have a spare USB keyboard, but would prefer to only attach it as and when required. The Intel NUC has the advantage of being a very neat little device and cluttering the AV zone of our living room with any more kit might generate complaints from my long-suffering wife!
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post #5 of 25 Old 12-01-2018, 08:30 AM - Thread Starter
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I've just found another issue associated with not having a keyboard attached to my NUC. The Remote Windows Desktop facility on my primary PC will not wake up the HTPC if it has gone to sleep and thus fails to make a connection.

I guess one solution would be to first wake the HTPC using JRemote or Gizmo and then try connecting via Remote Windows Desktop.
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post #6 of 25 Old 12-01-2018, 08:56 AM
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App itself won't do anything. You need something physical to wake up the PC. As posted earlier, you can use network packets to wake up your NUC. Or you need some IR remote that can wake up the PC in sleep. I'd go with network WOL packet as it is universal and easy to do. All you need is configure your NUC's NIC (but if you are using wireless connection, you are SOL).
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post #7 of 25 Old 12-01-2018, 09:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by haggis999 View Post
I have just bought an Intel NUC 8i3CYSM to act as my first ever HTPC. The primary purpose is to play MKV rips of my Blu-ray collection via JRiver Media Center, running under Windows 10 Pro. The MKV files are stored on a NAS. This HTPC uses my television as its only screen and normally will have no keyboard or mouse, as I can manage it remotely from another PC using Remote Windows Desktop. The NUC will be left powered on 24/7, but the power settings in Windows 10 turn off the screen after 10 mins of inactivity and put the machine to sleep after 30 mins.

My plan is to play my videos by using an app such as JRemote or Gizmo to manage JRiver from an iPad or Android smartphone. However, I want this process to be as slick as possible when the HTPC has gone to sleep. How can I ensure that JRemote or Gizmo will wake up my NUC and avoid any need for typing in a Windows password (a difficult task without a keyboard)?


I'm not sure if I am asking a generic HTPC question or one that is specific to my use of JRemote or Gizmo. Just in case it is the latter, I have also posted this query in a JRiver forum.
I am running Kodi and use the Yatse Android app to do remote control. It's got a built-in wake up feature that uses a WOL network packet to do the work. I'd guess maybe JRiver has something similar available? If not, there are also stand alone apps that will send a WOL packet. As noted, you have to set up the PC NIC to allow this to work.
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post #8 of 25 Old 12-01-2018, 10:01 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by JDLIVE View Post
I am running Kodi and use the Yatse Android app to do remote control. It's got a built-in wake up feature that uses a WOL network packet to do the work. I'd guess maybe JRiver has something similar available? If not, there are also stand alone apps that will send a WOL packet. As noted, you have to set up the PC NIC to allow this to work.
JRemote definitely wakes up my HTPC and I'm fairly sure that Gizmo does the same. I had previously ensured that the computer's Wake On Lan facility had been activated.

Removing the need to use a Windows password when waking up from sleep mode certainly offers convenient operation for an HTPC without a keyboard, but I am a little concerned that this approach might compromise security. Does anyone else share this concern or is an HTPC inherently less likely to be hacked?
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post #9 of 25 Old 12-01-2018, 01:23 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by markmon1 View Post
................Finally, I see above you said you connect to the PC via remote desktop to manage it. No matter what after disconnecting from that remote session, you're going to have to log back into the PC with a keyboard and password. Remote desktop locks the desktop local screen while you're using it remotely. Windows remote desktop is probably terrible for your situation. You may want to look into alternatives such as team viewer or vnc. Those don't use the windows login session and won't result in having to relogin at the local terminal when you disconnect.
I've only just read that section of your post properly - after hitting the very problem you describe! I initiated a reboot of the HTPC from the remote PC a few minutes ago and then realised that it gave me no opportunity to provide the login password. My next step is to check out VNC, etc, as you suggest.

Incidentally, during the short time I have been experimenting with this new HTPC I have hit a variety of strange problems, such as stuttering video, audio drop-outs lasting several seconds and crackling distortion when playing audio files. In all these cases, a reboot of the HTPC fixed the problem, so I certainly need a slick reboot process.
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post #10 of 25 Old 12-02-2018, 03:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by haggis999 View Post
JRemote definitely wakes up my HTPC and I'm fairly sure that Gizmo does the same. I had previously ensured that the computer's Wake On Lan facility had been activated.

Removing the need to use a Windows password when waking up from sleep mode certainly offers convenient operation for an HTPC without a keyboard, but I am a little concerned that this approach might compromise security. Does anyone else share this concern or is an HTPC inherently less likely to be hacked?
Yea, it can be hacked by other people in the house. If you're worried about those folks, then perhaps you should move. It doesn't open you up to any internet related attacks.

As for the keyboard, the K400 keyboard dongle is about 1 centimeter deep by the width of a USB port. It's practically invisible. Then you have an extremely usable wireless keyboard/mouse that can go in a drawer.

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post #11 of 25 Old 12-02-2018, 09:58 AM
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Why put it to asleep at all?
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post #12 of 25 Old 12-02-2018, 01:31 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by lknhomeaudio View Post
Why put it to asleep at all?
I plan to leave this HTPC powered up 24/7, so putting it to sleep when it is not in use will contribute a small amount to saving the planet.

As posted earlier, I don't have a problem waking the HTPC using JRemote or Gizmo. My primary issue was how to avoid typing in a Windows password, a question for which I got a useful answer on a JRiver forum. This was to use a Windows user account without a password and without admin privileges that automatically opened JRiver Media Center after a reboot.

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post #13 of 25 Old 12-02-2018, 02:48 PM
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Originally Posted by haggis999 View Post
I plan to leave this HTPC powered up 24/7, so putting it to sleep when it is not in use will contribute a small amount to saving the planet.

Gotcha... mine stays on 24/7.
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post #14 of 25 Old 12-02-2018, 02:55 PM
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Originally Posted by haggis999 View Post
I plan to leave this HTPC powered up 24/7, so putting it to sleep when it is not in use will contribute a small amount to saving the planet.

As posted earlier, I don't have a problem waking the HTPC using JRemote or Gizmo. My primary issue was how to avoid typing in a Windows password, a question for which I got a useful answer on a JRiver forum. This was to use a Windows user account without a password and without admin privileges that automatically opened JRiver Media Center after a reboot.
Leave it on and just upgrade a light bulb elsewhere to LED.
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post #15 of 25 Old 12-02-2018, 03:15 PM
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Remote desktop cant wake from sleep
also if you planning to RDP remember windows only allows 1 active console by default, so you'd need to use a tool & patch windows - which allows for RDP into the admin account while you're using the limited acocunt

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post #16 of 25 Old 12-02-2018, 03:48 PM - Thread Starter
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Remote desktop cant wake from sleep
I've already discovered that limitation, but it's not of any great importance. I can always wake the machine in a few seconds using JRemote or Gizmo before trying to connect via Remote Desktop.
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also if you planning to RDP remember windows only allows 1 active console by default, so you'd need to use a tool & patch windows - which allows for RDP into the admin account while you're using the limited account
I'm currently looking for a more capable remote access tool than Remote Desktop, but if I needed to do anything serious on the HTPC then I would simply log in to it directly using my admin account. I am quite tempted by markmon1's suggestion to get a Logitech K400 wireless keyboard, which would make that process easier.
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post #17 of 25 Old 12-02-2018, 03:52 PM - Thread Starter
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Leave it on and just upgrade a light bulb elsewhere to LED.
I do realise that any energy saving will be small, but I am hoping that allowing the HTPC to go to sleep will save some wear and tear on the fan.

Also, most of my lamps have already been converted to LED
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post #18 of 25 Old 12-03-2018, 12:01 AM
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The amount of power that you save is as small as a hair. You are not saving any power. You are causing more problems than you are helping. The screen or TV doesn't like being turned off constantly. Just leave everything on 100% or extend the time to 10 times is length. On my desktop that leave 24/7, the screen is turned off after 5 hours. For a HTPC, I would do 0 hours and 0 minutes.

Any mechanical part works longer when its on and never turns off. The wear and tear is caused by when the mechanical part is turning on. When the fan is moving, there is technically no wear and tear. I have computer fans that were on 5 years and never show signs of failure. It could probably last another 5 more years.
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post #19 of 25 Old 12-03-2018, 08:29 AM
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"Any mechanical part works longer when its on and never turns off. "
Not from my experience. Otherwise MTBF (Mean Time Between Failures) would be infinite.
Yes, computer fans are typically brushless. But, as they are being used, the are dust collectors. If the dust happens to get a bit heavier on one blade than another, imbalance occurs. Then the plain bearing starts getting touched. Then the bearing heats up and fails. Then the blades stop turning.

And yes, there is an energy savings between Off, Standby and On and and "Full Volume" (depending on electrical design).
Most devices have these modes documented on their power use. (TVs, computers / power supplies - sometimes). If not documented, a quick inductive clamp to measure will get you the numbers.

Yes, WOL is the typical widely supported way to bring a PC from Standby to On state. Very common in our automation macros during the "Theater On" warm up macro.

Yes, it's easier to do a system setup keeping everything on all the time. But there is a cost to not doing this in energy cost, and equipment failure. Some equipment is more sensitive than others. Worse being a front projector bulb (limited On life).

Last edited by smoothtlk; 12-03-2018 at 08:40 AM.
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post #20 of 25 Old 12-03-2018, 09:47 AM - Thread Starter
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........ Any mechanical part works longer when its on and never turns off. The wear and tear is caused by when the mechanical part is turning on. When the fan is moving, there is technically no wear and tear .......
Your claim that "there is technically no wear and tear" when a fan is moving would only be true in a perfect universe where bearings never suffered from any frictional losses.

The cost of any electromechanical component such as a fan can vary quite considerably, which must have some effect on lifetime and reliability. I will only be using my new HTPC for videos and multi-channel DSF audio files and these are far from being full time activities. The fan in my HTPC would therefore be off for longer than it is switched on. I'm always open to alternative views, but at the moment I am more persuaded by the fact that Synology thinks it makes sense to have a hibernation mode in its NAS boxes.
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post #21 of 25 Old 12-03-2018, 01:45 PM
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The amount of power that you save is as small as a hair. You are not saving any power. You are causing more problems than you are helping. The screen or TV doesn't like being turned off constantly.
Strongly disagree. My TV is on three or four hours a day (1/8th to 1/6th of the day). Of course there is a power saving. Even my computer is on about eight hours a day (1/3rd of the day). Yes, turning a device on/off constantly (repeatedly) is hard on it. But once a day on and once a day off is well within its design spec. The device will likely wear out from other causes long before it does from a once-a-day cycle. And it will more than likely be replaced before it wears out.

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Yes, WOL is the typical widely supported way to bring a PC from Standby to On state. Very common in our automation macros during the "Theater On" warm up macro.
Just curious; should WoL cause a hibernating NAS to spin up its drives? Both my Synology NAS's will respond to WoL from a power-off state, but will not spin up drives from a hibernating state in response to WoL.

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I'm always open to alternative views, but at the moment I am more persuaded by the fact that Synology thinks it makes sense to have a hibernation mode in its NAS boxes.
Except that it doesn't work! I fully agree with your point, but unfortunately the Synology forums are full of complaints about drives spinning up multiple times a night when they are supposed to be hibernating (including my NAS's), with no resolution. In a case like that, with multiple undesired spin up/down cycles per day, one might think that it is indeed harder on the drives than it would be to just leave them run constantly (which is what I am doing for now, until a resolution is found).
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post #22 of 25 Old 12-03-2018, 03:55 PM - Thread Starter
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......... Except that it doesn't work! I fully agree with your point, but unfortunately the Synology forums are full of complaints about drives spinning up multiple times a night when they are supposed to be hibernating (including my NAS's), with no resolution. In a case like that, with multiple undesired spin up/down cycles per day, one might think that it is indeed harder on the drives than it would be to just leave them run constantly (which is what I am doing for now, until a resolution is found).
At least one of my three Synology NAS units also suffers from this irritating hibernation cycling problem! Synology tech support has failed to give me any useful advice. I have been too busy on other matters to look at this recently but I might follow your example and turn hibernation off on that NAS.
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post #23 of 25 Old 12-03-2018, 09:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Sudy Nim View Post

Just curious; should WoL cause a hibernating NAS to spin up its drives? Both my Synology NAS's will respond to WoL from a power-off state, but will not spin up drives from a hibernating state in response to WoL.


Except that it doesn't work! I fully agree with your point, but unfortunately the Synology forums are full of complaints about drives spinning up multiple times a night when they are supposed to be hibernating (including my NAS's), with no resolution. In a case like that, with multiple undesired spin up/down cycles per day, one might think that it is indeed harder on the drives than it would be to just leave them run constantly (which is what I am doing for now, until a resolution is found).
The NAS would have to support drive spin up on WOL. Apparently Synology doesn't or has a current bug based on this thread.
We don't use Synology. We build our own NASs. They are configurable.
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post #24 of 25 Old 12-04-2018, 11:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by haggis999 View Post
JRemote definitely wakes up my HTPC and I'm fairly sure that Gizmo does the same. I had previously ensured that the computer's Wake On Lan facility had been activated.

Removing the need to use a Windows password when waking up from sleep mode certainly offers convenient operation for an HTPC without a keyboard, but I am a little concerned that this approach might compromise security. Does anyone else share this concern or is an HTPC inherently less likely to be hacked?
Ah, I missed the password concerns. I did go through a similar process with my main HTPC, though I do have a secondary monitor as well as the projector connection. And second the idea of the K400 keyboard/mouse, works very well for me.
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post #25 of 25 Old 12-04-2018, 11:02 PM
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Originally Posted by haggis999 View Post
Your claim that "there is technically no wear and tear" when a fan is moving would only be true in a perfect universe where bearings never suffered from any frictional losses.

The cost of any electromechanical component such as a fan can vary quite considerably, which must have some effect on lifetime and reliability. I will only be using my new HTPC for videos and multi-channel DSF audio files and these are far from being full time activities. The fan in my HTPC would therefore be off for longer than it is switched on. I'm always open to alternative views, but at the moment I am more persuaded by the fact that Synology thinks it makes sense to have a hibernation mode in its NAS boxes.
One of my computers is a DVR, it's always on. The fans are always on, but at low speeds most of the time. My other computer is a gaming system and a file server. It's always on. I don't turn off neither of these computers. The DVR computer has hard drives that don't put in sleep mode. The gaming/file server has combination of SSD and hard drives that I also don't put in sleep mode. All computers are in performance mode. I don't get system failure when leaving my computers on 24/7.

If you are not willing to do any experiment to show me mechanical parts can't last forever, then you should keep quiet. My guinea pig of computers over the years (20 years) shows that mechanical parts fail when powering on. If these parts are left off, the lubricant turns into used coffee grounds. When the mechanical part is turned on, the lubricant is heated up until it liquefies. When the mechanical part is on, there is no chance of failure given the lubricant hasn't dry up.

It's good for Synology to include hibernation mode, but doesn't mean that it should be used. Synology is answering what people or their customers want. Not always customers knows what is best for them. If the Synology box is using hard drives it's best to _not_ use any power management settings like hibernation. After watching Gamer Nexus videos about their Synology boxes failing, I'm thinking of not recommending them. At this time I recommend make your own NAS with either Windows or Linux as the operating system.

The app that you want to use is because it will make your life easier and not complex. The only way for the app to work is when the computer is powered on. If the computer is off or in hibernation mode, the app won't work. Sure you can send an WOL packet, but this easy app then becomes more complex instead of being stupid simple. I recommend leave the computer on, so you can use the app with out going out your way to make the app work.
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