Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Virtual PC 2007 Hardware Support - Toshiba M405

I was browsing around the Internet looking at virtual pc information and I just happened upon a blog.  (Virtual PC Guy's WebLog - This post in particular: Updated Toshiba m400 BIOS with VPC Compatibility)

Simply put, with a BIOS update my Virtual PC would speed up considerably.  I promptly downloaded the BIOS update for my laptop (a M405 not a M400 like the post I found indicated) and it did indeed support the virtualization.  To top it off, it even indicated the support was for Virtual PC 2007!

Needless to say I was jumping for joy.  I even reinstalled Virtual PC 2007 (just incase) and performed two hard reboots leaving my PC off for several minutes.  However, upon attempting to load Virtual PC 2007 I was not able to activate the hardware support.  I still haven't found a solution to this problem.  I have posted something on the above blog and will see if there are any other suggestions.

I really would like to get this working, but I might be a while before I trace down the problem.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

New Profile Picture

Last night Cassie sent me a new profile picture.  I've updated it in about 10 different places (Including my blog) where I can have a user icon.  It is a different artistic style than my last one.  I really like the change.  My previous one wasn't bad but change keeps things fresh.

Jared's Profile Picture

Thank you Cassie! :)

Monday, July 23, 2007

Wii Fit Parody

The parody of the video is far better than the actual one.  The voiceover is really funny.  I probably will end up getting this game.  Hopefully it actually works and I can get into shape!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

I now have 1,000 Diggs!

It seemed only appropriate for a computer geek to Digg his own blog as his 1,000th digg.  I have been just below 1,000 keeping a close eye on my counter for the past few days.  Today, I have finally reached a momentous milestone. 

While I doubt this is news for other people, it seems that I have become very accustomed to getting my news from Digg.  More and more of my friends, even the non computer geeks, are getting their news from Digg.

I have found it is especially useful at making small talk when there is nothing to do.  Having very popular stories of the day as conversation topics has become common place in my life.  It is truly amazing.

Obviously nothing major is going to happen because I have now accumulated exactly 1,000 Diggs.  However, I expect it to take far less time for me to reach the 2,000 mark as I have slowly increased the amount that I have dugg over a year.

Lastly, thank you Digg for a great year of news!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Vista: I can finally print - HP LazerJet 1020

When I upgraded to Vista I knew there was not a driver for my printer. To work around this problem I used my printer on my "server" (basically a desktop without a monitor). To print I would print to PDF on my laptop running Vista. Then, I would transfer the PDF to my server and print the PDF from there.

It was a complicated and annoying practice for every time that I needed to print. Being in college, I print quite a bit for all of my classes.

I received an email today notifying me that my driver is now available. I simply downloaded and installed the software found here (HP LazerJet 1020 Vista Driver) and I was good to go. Since I don't actually use my printer through USB and over a network share, when I tried to install the printer it just worked. Before I installed this driver, it would prompt for a driver which didn't exist.

To my dislike, the HP web site indicates that the driver has been available since May 18, 2007. I beg to differ, I have checked for the driver less than a week ago and it said it would be available at some undisclosed time in the future. My suspicion is they decided to backdate the driver even though it wasn't available yet.

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Pownce - I have one friend!

One guess who that friend is... yes, I forced Cassie to get an account.  Now that I have someone to interact with I can actually use some of the features.

It is something like a public instant messenger.  I have a feeling that it would work best if you are VERY critical of who you add as your friend.  I see potential here with groups, such as SSSC.

It would make collaboration on documents and fliers better.  For instance, if you wanted someone, or anyone who was part of a "set" to look over something, you could send the file out  over Pownce and get replies back from people.

Also, unlike Facebook events that are typically planned ahead of schedule, if there is a last minute thing and you want to get the word out, this seems like an effective method.

However, almost all of the features offered in Pownce are available through other software.  I am too much of a fan of Skype, but I could see myself using Pownce to collaborate.  Hopefully the software evolves more and with an API, it could integrate tightly into Facebook and actually go mainstream.

I have a Pownce account!

I was just accepted to the Pownce beta.  It isn't really useful yet because I have no friends on it yet, but I'll be playing with it and see if it is worth using.  It seems to overlap many features already offered by Facebook so it doesn't seem particularly useful to me yet.

It seems like a good idea, but I'm yet to be impressed.  However, I am surprised at the speed in which I was invited because I didn't apply until after it was announced for at least a few hours.  Maybe it will not be as popular as they once hoped.

However, I'll give it a fair shot and give it some type of review.

Friday, July 6, 2007

Office 2007

I'm now running Office 2007 courtesy of Speed School.  I have been running OneNote 2007 for a while, but this is my first experience with the ribbon.

So far, I am still really lost in the new interface, but I can see the potential.  It will probably be really similar to my Vista experience of just pure confusion at the new interface, but it becomes familiar rather quickly.

The main problem with Office 2007 will probably be the backwards compatibility.  I don't use Office all that much except for OneNote which I use to take my notes for class.  I also use Word for witting papers and the such and Excel for tracking all of my grades.

The basic function of the applications are the same, but the interface is completely different.  Also, 2007 seems to fit in nicely with Vistas more stylish design.  I'm a little nervous of not knowing how to do some important things, especially in Outlook which I use for tasks and a calendar.

I'm also curious about the inking function, but I haven't even found out how to use it yet.

If I get more time I'll blog more about Office, but overall it is worth the upgrade.  However, what do I know, I upgraded for free.

Acrobat Reader Under Vista Install Trouble

I was having a heck of a time installing Adobe Acrobat Reader 8 under Vista.  I finally figured out how to get it to install.  The problem was that the installer would simply hang and not progress.  There would be nothing displayed on the screen and the setup process would need to be killed with the task manager.

The solution to the install problem is to simply run the setup in XP SP2 compatibility mode.  After that option is set under the properties the install progressed with no problems.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

I found a use for my XP Virtual PC

I found a use for my XP install under Virtual PC 2007.  I needed to run Solid Edge V18 to finish my homework for EG 214 and it doesn't play nicely with Vista.  Therefore, I decided to install it under XP.  Granted, it was a little sluggish running in a virtualized environment.  I did remember to make a backup of my XP image, so after I'm finished with this class and will never need to use Solid Edge again, I'll just revert back to my previous version of XP and it will be as good as new. (A new version that includes over 100 updates already installed.)

Vista Reinstall

I gave in, yesterday I finished reinstalling Windows Vista.  I didn't have my new copy of Ultimate so I just reinstalled Business and I'll upgrade to Ultimate when I get my copy.

So far I've been happy with the reinstall because I no longer get bluescreens and I can install drivers without crazy problems (see my previous post).

Vista problems I don't want to deal with

I plan on reinstalling Vista really soon because of some of the problems it is giving me.  First off, and probably most annoying, any Adobe product will not function properly including Acrobat Reader.  It is quite annoying when I have to open a PDF document because I can only get it to work following a very specific process.

Next on the annoying list is my driver problems.  Mainly, Vista will not auto locate any of the drivers.  Basically, what it does is prompt for a location of where to find the driver every time, even if it has the driver.  This was the case for my digital camera, which made things very confusing.  Also, ever single flash drive I put into my computer takes over 2 minutes to install, where on other Vista computers they are functional in a few seconds.

Here is what happens when I install a new device.

First it brings me to this screen like it doesn't know what driver to use.  It should just start installing the device automatically.  At this step I click the "Locate and install..."

Driver Install Error Problem #1

Next, I am prompted to have a disk, which I don't have.  Actually, there is no other driver I can use in this case except the built in driver provided by Microsoft.

Driver Install Error Problem #2

Then, I'm given two choices.  The first gives no help because Vista assumes that the driver for the device is already on your computer.

Driver Install Error Problem #3

From this screen, if I check for a solution it doesn't locate the driver because it should be on the computer.  The only way to get it to work is to browse and set the location to C:\Windows\

To compound the problem, the above steps are typically required to be followed multiple times because most devices use multiple drivers.