Saturday, February 28, 2009

Dell Mini 9

I bit the bullet...I couldn't pass up on the $50 off deal. I bought the Ubuntu stripped down version...but added the bluetooth ($20) and 1.3Mpxl webcam ($35?) for a shipped price of $270.

I can get 2gig ram from Crucial for $25.

Crucial is advertising a 32GB SSD drive for $75...but they have none in stock.

Altogether it comes out to MUCH cheaper than buying it that way from Dell.

I have decided to install OSX on it. Like these guys...more info on the mini9. Other hacks here.

I decide to do this and not wait for the 10" for a few, I travel out of country quite a bit, and I would probably cry if my M1330 got broke or stolen. Also I keep the M1330 stuffed in my roll-a-board, and the extra large battery sticks out precariously. So it will save space in the bag, and make it easier to pull it out to put in the 'separate tray for xraying'.

Vista and portable electronics.

Vista and portable electronics...the two key ingredients for weeks of pain.

My HTC Touch had been getting flakier and flakier in its connection to my Vista notebook...requiring reboots of both on a regular basis...yet randomly.

Well to turn up the heat in the pain category a bit, I bought a refurbished 40gig iPod (for use in the car...permanently). I made the disastrous mistake of attempting to use it on my Vista machine.

The first plug in popped up the USB device not recognized warning...installing iTunes did not change that a bit...nor did reboots. I was afraid I got a damaged I tried to plug it into my XP desktop...couldn't get iTunes to run on that one.

Then I tried Ubuntu...I think it actually works there, but BANSHEE (linux iPod software) was intermittant...but did access the ipod just fine.

Finally I dug out my old XP laptop (with a twitchy touchpad) installed iTunes, and happily put files on the iPod.

Oh, but back on the Vista machine, my Sprint Touch phone was no longer recognized...I restored the previous windows...etc...eventually (again randomly) it started to connect again...then windows did a HTC USB driver update (from a year ago) and it stopped connecting again.

I decided to put the correct ROM on the Touch (instead of the hacked one I put on a year ago)...we will see what the long term effects of that are.

The moral of the story is hurry up and ship Windows7 so I can dump Vista.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

A couple of quick notes...

Kinoma Media Player

I just installed Kinoma (the free version) on my Sprint Touch phone. It is the coolest thing yet!

What it is a media will play all (most?) the media on your has a number of built in plugins to play Youtube videos, Shoutcast radio, etc, etc, and even an ORB plugin.

It is just a much better experience than trying to use WMplayer and IE on the mobile for that kind of thing. It also seems to do a much better job of buffering and streaming video than WMp does.

The ORB plugin does everything on your ORB server except view live TV or have anything to do with recording/program guide/etc. So it will play the media if it is in a share, but that is will still need to log in using IE and WMp to access live TV.

Windows Vista Firewall

A different note is that the built in firewall (run WF.msc to access it) for Vista is a pain. By default it is set to block incoming but allow outgoing. So to be more secure you can set it to block outgoing also. It is also supposed to let you know when it is blocking something...ah but it doesn't.

I have been having trouble accessing certain things on the Windows Update...or trying to install the latest GoogleEarth.

After much wailing an gnashing of teeth (and adding all sorts of rules to allow programs to access the internet through WF) I found that the only way to punch a big enough hole to use WU was to turn the WF back to the default settings...block incoming and allow outgoing.

I never saw a single message that WF was blocking any traffic, nor is there any log/log entry detailing that (even though logging is turned on, and notification is turned on). So more reason to skip Vista, and hope for the best with Win7.