Saturday, May 16, 2009

New Laptop

having recently gone back to work after returning from a year in Buenos Aires, I have been tooled up. One of those tools as you may already have seen from my previous post is a new laptop, and just by way of showing off, I thought I’d post the specs up.

My Laptop

  • Mobile Workstation AW-M4400n - Dell Precision M4400n-series Base
  • Intel(R) Core(TM)2 Duo Processor T98002.93GHz, 6M L2 Cache, 1066MHz FSB
  • 8GB (2x4GB) 800MHz DDR2 SDRAM
  • 15.4 " Ultrasharp(TM) WUXGA (1920x1200) RGBLED Display with TrueLife(TM)
  • NVIDIA Quadro FX 770M, 512MB dedicated memory
  • 8X DVD + /-RW Drive
  • 2nd Hard Drive 120GB SATA (5400RPM) Hard Drive (External)
  • Integrated 0.3 Megapixel VGA Webcam with Single Digital Mic for WUXGA LCD
  • Wireless Network Cards -Intel WiFi Link 5300 (802.11 a/g/n 3X3) MiniCard

I have also made the decision (as many other Readify people have) to install Windows 7 RC on it. So far there have been no serious problems, but there are a few things I have found and I will blog about them as I find and (hopefully) fix them.

The first one was Google Chrome not working, but there are many posts about this, however even after this, Chrome does seem to be a little unstable from time to time, the end result of which is I end up spending half my time in IE8 which I have no real problem with.

The second problem was the bluetooth issue I talked about in my previous post.

I do get a little bit of instability from Visual Studio 2008 from time to time. I think it has something to do with Team Member Presence information in VSTS Team Explorer, and so I turned off this feature and it now seems to be a lot more stable.

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Windows 7 and Bluetooth Issues on DELL M4400

Since yesterday evening I have been trying to get Internet connection sharing happening between my new brand HTC Touch HD, and me brand new Dell Precision M4400 running Windows 7 RC.

My new laptop

as could be expected, there were some issues. In fact, I still haven’t managed to get it working, but I am 1 step closer to a solution. The first and most overriding problem was that the device drivers on my DELL weren’t working properly. A quick google search and a few clicks later, and I found this discussion on from someone having the same problem as me with their M6400.

So I tried it, and sure enough it worked. I decided to do the right thing by the community and reply to the thread, thanking them and adding the DELL M4400 to the list of laptops that it works with, as well as adding a link to the right driver downloads for the M4400, but alas, even after registering with the website, it appears as though I don’t have the necessary privileges to reply to the forum. So I will disseminate the information here on my blog.

So if you have a DELL Precision M4400 and are trying to get your bluetooth to work, you need to

  1. Download these drivers from DELL 
  2. Open the folder where the downloaded executable resides
  3. Right Click and select “Troubleshoot Compatibility”
  4. Select “Troubleshoot Program”
  5. Select “The Program worked in earlier versions of windows, but won’t install or run now” and Click “Next”
  6. Select “Windows Vista” from the top of the list and select “Next”
  7. Click “Start the Program”

At this point the bluetooth drivers should install no problems.

I have now successfully created a bluetooth connection between my phone and my PC, and can happily use some of the bluetooth networking features. Unfortunately, Active Sync doesn’t quite seem to connect properly over bluetooth, I think it’s a problem with “Windows Mobile Device Center” on Windows 7 RC, and of course I still haven’t been able to get Internet connection sharing working. Any help or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

New phone, was happy, then… suddenly… not

A few days ago I was the happy owner of a new HTC Touch HD phone which I have been happily playing with. Sure it might not be as trendy as the iPhone, but I was pretty impressed. It has a 5 Megapixel camera, as well as a lower res camera for video conferencing. It has WM 6.1, plus HTC’s own Touch Flo home screen which gives you some of the iPhone look and feel that Windows Mobile is seriously missing. I was starting to really enjoy it, downloading all the applications I wanted on it, connecting it up to my WiFi network and watching You-Tube videos on it, etc… then it came time to change my SIM card. I opened the back, took the battery out, replaced the SIM card, replaced the battery, and then this.

Dead phone

The phone would not boot, the OS would not load. I tried 20 different things, changing the SIM card back, doing a soft reset, without SIM card etc… nothing helped. The only thing that did eventually fix the problem was a hard reset. This means wiping ALL your data. So I am currently trying to re-install all the software I had up and running. Not very happy, starting to loose confidence in the device, and starting to wonder whether I should’ve purchased an iPhone.