Archive for the 'Operating System' Category

Windows 3.1 free training video

For those of you who are fed up with Vista but don’t feel like paying for Windows 7, consider returning to the last stable version of Windows: 3.1. Of course, it may have been a while since you last used 3.1. Don’t worry, Microsoft has your back with this free training video.

[via TechCrunch]

Windows 7 Upgrade Notes

image Since Windows 7 was released about 10 days ago, many of you may be upgrading the OS on your computers from that dog called Vista (lest I be sentenced to a sensitivity workshop, no offense intended to canis lupis familiaris). As the ENA (Evil Network Administrator) of a small law firm in Downtown L.A., I have to upgrade some laptops. This post will share my notes during the upgrade process. Hopefully some of them may be useful to you during your upgrade.

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xpPhone – Are phones getting too big?

imageMy Twitter friend jamesfongster at The Viliv boys plans to plunk down his hard earned cash on the upcoming (from China) xpPhone.  This FrankenPhone, now available for pre-order, is a phone with a 4.8” touchscreen and a MID with an Windows XP OS.

James my friend, I dunno about this. My experience with the HTC Advantage x7500, a similar device except the OS is Windows Mobile, is that this form factor may not be pocketable, unless you walk around in a lab coat. Think also about your (and my) Viliv S5. It’s also a similar device with the 3G option, except it doesn’t have a slide out keyboard. I wouldn’t want to carry that mini-brick around as my phone.

Does a 4.8” phone make sense? And what implications does this discussion have for the upcoming 4.3” HTC HD2 (aka Leo) and the Archos Android phone?

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USB Sleep of Death

image Windows 7 RC to RTM Upgrade Doesn’t Preserve All Settings talked about the “sleep of death” problem common with UMPCs and laptops. To save power, you put your device in standby, sleep or hibernate. When you move the on/off switch to resume, the screen remains blank (black), even though the HDD indicator seemed active. The only choice is a restart. Which defeats the purpose of standby, sleep or hibernate. This problem has been called “USB Sleep of Death”, USB because that is the interface for the screen on many UMPCs.

The solution, as I mentioned in my prior article, seemed straightforward. In Device Manager, USB controllers, some entries have a Power Management tab. I unchecked "Allow the computer to turn off the device to save power." Problem solved.

Or so I thought. After a while, the sleep of death problem recurred with my Viliv X70. I went back to Device Manager. For the USB controllers which had a Power Management tab, "Allow the computer to turn off the device to save power" was checked again. Obviously my unchecking wasn’t sticking.

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Windows 7 RC to RTM Upgrade Doesn’t Preserve All Settings

image Windows 7 RC to RTM – Overcoming 2 Hurdles reported two hurdles in installing Windows 7 RTM as an upgrade on my Viliv X70. However, I didn’t expect any problems after the install completed. After all, the compatibility report during the install didn’t report any incompatibilities.

However, after installing Windows 7 RTM, I had issues. I’m not talking about my personal ones; this isn’t a psychiatric blog. Rather, for example, touching the screen did nothing. And touch wasn’t the only thing that didn’t work.

Fortunately, the issues could be solved easily enough. But apparently the siren song of an upgrade install preserving your settings isn’t always true.

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Windows 7 RC to RTM – Overcoming 2 Hurdles


I successfully upgraded the OS on my Viliv X70 from Windows 7 RC (Release Candidate) to Windows 7 RTM (Released to Manufacturing). The magic word is upgraded, as opposed to a clean install. By upgrading, I don’t have to reinstall my applications.

Of course, it’s never easy. There are two hurdles to overcome. However, in the spirit of Martin Luther King, “We shall overcome.”

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Moving to Windows 7


Many of us plan to leave Vista in our rear view mirror and upgrade to Windows 7 after 7 is released on October 22. You should be able to do an upgrade install of Vista to 7. This means that your applications and their settings also migrate to the OS. In other words, you avoid the headache of reinstallation.

However, what about us XP users? There apparently is no upgrade install path from XP to 7. Instead, XP users have to perform a clean install. This means you need to reinstall your applications, which can be a real PITA.

This is a meaningful issue to me since I own XP as well as Vista computers. Indeed, I purchased a couple of the XP computers recently, so I’m eligible for a free upgrade to 7. (I bought Vista with an XP “downgrade”, a characterization I might disagree with).

Well, maybe us XP owners can in effect perform an upgrade install to 7 also.

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Become a Windows Flasher


No, not that type of flasher. WinToFlash enables you to create a Windows install on a USB stick from, typically, the install DVD. This is convenient, especially on small devices, when you don’t have an internal DVD, and an external USB DVD isn’t available, or you don’t want to cart the burner around from device to device when performing multiple installs.

I haven’t tried it. But JK of JKOnTheRun reports success. Interestingly, a comment to his post reports an alternative, described in this article and shown in this video. (There’s also this guide).

Of course, you’ll need a USB stick of sufficient size (8GB should do the trick), and to set your BIOS to boot off the USB stick before the hard drive. And (duh) you’ll need the OS install DVD as a source and (duh duh) a license key for each install.

Happy flashing!

Viliv X70 – Windows 7 Update, Part 2


Viliv X70 – Windows 7 Update told you that I’d successfully installed Windows 7 RC on my Viliv X70. I also told you I’d try to document the process this weekend when I have some free time, and after I had resolved some remaining issues.

Well, I’m not there yet. Partly because work got in the way. And partly because I’m trying to hit a moving target.

Viliv X70 Drivers and Software Now Online and Viliv X70 Online Drivers and Software Update told you that Viliv’s online downloads now include drivers and software for the X70 as well as the S5.  However, these downloads didn’t resolve issues I had with Viliv Manager and the Cube. Today, Viliv posted a new download for Viliv Manager (simultaneous Bluetooth and 3G!) and the Cube. Also included are installation instructions (about time!).

I haven’t yet had a chance to try out the new software. I will soon of course, and report back. Promise!

Update: The Viliv Manager indeed now supports simultaneous Bluetooth and 3G! Near as I can tell, also simultaneous WiFi and 3G.

Shortcut (Menu) to Hell


“What does not kill me, makes me stronger” is credited to Friedrich Nietzsche, a 19th Century German philosopher. A little known fact is Nietzsche was an early adopter of Windows Vista, and came up with his saying while trying to find the bright side of dealing with Vista’s many “challenges.”

If Nietzsche’s saying is true, I’ve certainly gotten stronger lately battling with ATI Vista video drivers that are as stable as Charles Manson on crack. However, my most recent challenge concerned Windows Explorer itself. And based on my Google search, it’s a common problem. So it could happen to you. And perhaps with OS versions other than Vista.

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