Build: Software! (5)

I hated building the hardware and was ecstatic to finally be finished. The real fun comes from playing with the software. Whether you chose to use an old laptop or a windows 10 HDMI stick the steps are the same. Set up your operating system just like normal. Create your account, login to a MS account so you can use Cortana, download chrome, etc. We will only be using two extra pieces of software, rainmeter and desktop coral.  
  17windows 10 pic
 

Windows Settings

We need to adjust some settings for optimal use. You can change the brightness and other similair settings in three different ways to optimize the image. Mess with brightness, contrast, etc in your TV’s settings, your graphic card settings, and windows settings. I reduced brightness and increased contrast slightly. Set your desktop background to black. Set your power settings to never sleep/hibernate/etc. Set your second monitor (mirror) to default if you want Cortna’s icon to pop up on it. Set your second monitor to portrait. Cortana: Enable activation via “Hey Cortana” rather than having to click a button. Optimize your voice recognition by tuning your mic in hardware settings. Speech Recognition: Enable activation via “Start Listening” rather than having to click a button. Rainmeter: Download the themes you like. This subreddit is a great place to find them. You can find the one’s I’ve used here. Every widget is drag and drop. Don’t forget to save the layouts you like!  
Desktop Coral: Download the ‘portable zip’ version, create 4 folders named “c-top” “c-bottom” “c-left” and “c-right.” Extract the zip to each one of these folders, and rename the .exe in each to match the folder name. This lets you run 4 instances of it at the same time. Now run each, drag it to the corner, and adjust the spacing. This creates a virtual frame so that programs will only open in that specific corralled space. Next we will be looking at optimizing how you use your smart mirror and some of the cool things you can do with it! 1: Intro 2: Prep the monitor 3: Build a Frame 4: Glue it all together 5: Software!  

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