Run Plex app (Windows 10) from Steam – or how to run a Win 10 app from a shortcut

Background: I use the Steam Link to remotely play games on my family room TV. It’s basically a glorified remote desktop/streaming device.

Wouldn’t it be great if it could play Plex remotely so I could watch movies, TV, etc? In order to do this, you have to launch the application you want to view from within Steam. Easy enough for a “traditional” x86 app (i.e. one that is the type “something.exe”) but more difficult to launch a Windows Store application. As anyone who has tried knows, they are not only hidden, but don’t launch with an executable file.

Attempt 1: I tried launching using the shortcut to the Plex app – which sort of worked.

If you want to get a shortcut to any application, Windows Store or traditional, the best way I’ve found is to open the hidden “Applications” folder and create/drag a shortcut. You can open this hidden folder by going to “Run” (shortcut: Windows key + R) and type shell:AppsFolder then hit OK (or press enter.)

I created a shortcut to the Plex app, moved it to my D: drive, and used that shortcut in Steam as a non-Steam app to launch the Plex App. Problem was, although it would launch, it would always have an error box behind it.

Attempt 2 – Et voila!: A bit more complicated, but works very well. Basically you create a batch file that runs the shortcut, and turn the batch file into an executable file.

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Verizon Unlimited plan ads

Okay, I’m not normally one for rants (ed. yeah right) but watching Thursday Night Football lead in and the Verizon commercial comes on.

Unlimited: adjective ˌənˈlimidəd/   

Full Definition of unlimited (source: Merriam-Webster):

  1. 1:  lacking any controls :  unrestricted <unlimited access>

  2. 2:  boundless, infinite <unlimited possibilities>

  3. 3:  not bounded by exceptions :  undefined <the unlimited and unconditional surrender of the enemy — Sir Winston Churchill>

Verizon’s definition of unlimited: 
Apparently somewhere between 2GB and ~24GB.

Adding an already existing emulator as default emulator if RocketLauncher doesn’t recognize your system’s name.

When you add a system to RocketLauncher you have to choose the default emulator – but what if RocketLauncher doesn’t list the emulator you want to use? Note: this is not how to add a new emulator/system if the emulator was not previously added. That has been covered on the RocketLauncher page here


As you can see above, my System names (left column) don’t all correspond with “traditional” RocketLauncher names. In this case it’s because they were imported from LaunchBox. You can see that rather than being called “MAME”, the name (circled in green to the right) is “Arcade”. While that is because it was imported from LaunchBox, it’s a more descriptive name for the non-initiated. Not that someone would be messing with RocketLauncher if  they didn’t know what MAME was, but anyway.

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Mednafen core for Sega Saturn emulation through RetroArch

  1. Download the two BIOS files you need (they are here in a zip file.)
    1. sega_101.bin (md5 hash is: 85ec9ca47d8f6807718151cbcca8b964)
    2. mpr-17933.bin (md5 hash is: 3240872c70984b6cbfda1586cab68dbe)
  2. Place them in the appropriate folder under RetroArch
    1. Typically this is the RetroArch/system folder
    2. You can place them where ever if you use per-core configs (I use RetroArch/system/mednafen_saturn_bios)
    3. If you just use one config file (i.e. everything is saved to RetroArch.cfg) then place all BIOS files for all emulators in the same folder (again, typically RetroArch/system folder.)
    4. You will have to set the BIOS location in RetroArch
  3. Open RetroArch and enter the Directory location
    1. It is in the second column – “Settings”; the one with the gears for the icon
    2. Near the bottom of that column is the Directory section
  4. The first directory option under the Directory section is System/BIOS Dir
    1. Set the directory to wherever you saved the two BIOS files in step 2.
    2. Save the RetroArch config.
      1. If you are using per-core configs MAKE SURE YOU’VE LOADED THE Mednafen Saturn config file first! Don’t overwrite the default RetroArch config file with a new default BIOS directory location – unless you’re going to put ALL emulator BIOSes in that directory (see 2.C. above.)

Compressed ROMs in LaunchBox (using Demul as example)

Using a zipped/compressed ROM in emulator through LaunchBox.

Allows you to save hard drive space, but does take a little longer to launch each game (about 20 seconds per 500MB depending on CPU and hard drive speed.)

You must have the setting checked to “Extract ROM archives before running” in the emulator setting inside Launchbox.

Example: Tools, Manage emulators, Demul (or whichever  emulator) then Edit. Bottom right corner is a checkbox for “Extract ROM archives before running”. In this image it is NOT checked, but you’ll need to check it and click the OK button for it to work.ExtractRomArchive

The audio is a little choppy in the game start…this is due to the slower laptop I was editing on and not indicative of the game play.