Archive

Archive for September, 2009

Mophie Juice Pack Air still has problems

September 29, 2009 4 comments

Well, although the Apple store refused to replace the Mophie JPA that I bought in their store, Mophie themselves were more responsive. They didn’t actually reply to my customer support mail, but 3 working days after I sent it, I got an email from UPS saying a new JPA had been shipped.. from Illinois, USA! I received it a few days later.

A little suspicious that they replaced it unquestioningly – makes me wonder if it’s a common fault. I was also annoyed to see that they’ve changed the cap design slightly – it makes it easier to remove, but the two spare caps I bought for £15 now won’t fit.

As for the JPA? Yep, it’s charging my iPhone fine now. BUT – it’s still showing strange behaviour. Now I get the following combinations:

– Using the supplied Mophie microUSB cable with my laptop, will charge the JPA, but not the iPhone. Windows says “unknown device”.
– Using the Mophie cable with my Apple mains USB charger, also charges the JPA, but not the iPhone
– Using a microUSB cable bought off eBay, DOES charge both iPhone and JPA.

This is in contrast to my last JPA, which was more or less the other way around. To coin a phrase.. WTF?!?

I’ll do some more testing to see if perhaps the cable’s faulty. Anyway, my retracting USB cable charges both, which is good for now.

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Hoda / eGalax EETI Touchscreen now working in Tablet Mode with Windows 7

September 22, 2009 14 comments

Well, after going through my previous post, it turns out that the technique to get Tablet mode working DOES work, pretty much as the forum posting describes.

In short:

  1. Download the Tablet drivers for the touchscreen from this link.
  2. Uninstall your existing touchscreen driver software (ie. TouchKit), and go to Device Manager to ensure that the HID USB Device is removed from the Mouse list.
  3. Reboot, if required.
  4. If Windows tries to autodetect and re-install the HID USB Drivers, then uninstall them again by right-clicking the entry in Device Manager
  5. Run Setup.exe from the Tablet drivers that you downloaded, and follow the install instructions straight through.

And that’s it – the Tablet-related control panel options are now accessible, and a circular crosshair appears whereever you touch.

Now the bad news.

It’s not really worth the bother. For anyone who’s used an iPod Touch or iPhone, the Windows Touch gestures are laughable. Swiping your finger down on a web page, if you manage not to simply select text, basically sends a Page Down keypress to the browser – so it simply scrolls down a page, regardless of how you swiped. Compared to OSX, where the scrolling has momentum and speed, it’s a very poor substitute.

As for Media Centre; does it have swipes? Can you flip through albums. Well… No! Instead, tablet mode gives you touch buttons at the top and bottom to scroll through the options. Again, laughably backward for a not-yet-released OS.

Anyone tried a Gigabyte GA-G33M-S2H with Windows 7?

September 16, 2009 1 comment

For the umpteenth time, the other day, I tried to install Windows 7 on my Media Center based on a GA-G33M-S2H.

The wierd thing is that it just hangs when trying to boot from the Win7 install media. I’ve now tried DVDs (both 32-bit and 64-bit), and a bootable Flash that worked on my Acer Aspire One. The -S2H doesn’t seem to support Flash USB as a bootable device, nor emulating Flash USB as a floppy; instead, you have USB-HDD,CD-ROM,Floppy,and a fourth, I think; none of which work.

So – have you installed Win7 on your GA-G33M-S2H? If so… HOW?!?

Categories: Computing, Uncategorized

Treepad Enterprise – one day, my sync will come

September 16, 2009 1 comment

I’m a keen user of Treepad Plus, for which I maintain databases for Work, Projects, and Home Life. If you don’t know Treepad, it basically provides the ability to build hierarchically-organised knowledgebases, with support for Rich Text Formatting, inline graphics, attachments, and so on.  I was looking for something to organise whatever I learned when I started my new job three years ago, found Treepad, and the rest is history – as my 2GB (compressed) database will testify.

The key advantages of Treepad over, say, a web-based CMS/KB, Wiki, Sharepoint, Domino, or other solution, were:

  • Instantly-responsive PC application
  • Infinite(ish) hierarchies to organise as you like
  • Copy/paste graphics and formatted text in/out of articles, as you like
  • Single app  – no infrastructure effort/maintenance

My KB has been good enough that I’ve shared parts of it relating to standardised RFP question responses with my colleagues. In fact, the Enterprise edition supports multiple users sharing a common database in real-time.

HOWEVER….

Since I have 30 colleagues who work remotely and mobile around the world, the Enterprise edition is useless, since you only have access to the data when online and connected to the database. There’s no ‘offline’ mode, as you may have when using MS Outlook, for example. I asked the Treepad team if they were working on this, and they said they were, and it’d be available “at some point”.

Unfortunately, a year later, that point has not yet arrived. It’s a shame, because Treepad is a light, fast, productive app, and this kind of collaborative working would be great for us. Hopefully they’re still working on it!

Categories: Uncategorized

Why does VMWare hang my Dell Laptop?

September 14, 2009 Leave a comment

I’ve had my Dell E6500 4GB RAM running XP SP3 for around 6 months now. And I haven’t had time to figure out a problem that constantly nags when I”m running VMWare (which is essential to my job):

Every few minutes, the disc activity light will go on solidly, and the machine will be more and more unusable, until it finishes (which can take up to a minute).

Evidentally VMWare, or a related process, decides to do some I/O-intensive activity that overwhelms the disc I/O, and the whole laptop suffers. Evidentally there’s some problem with the Dell in time, as my old IBM T60P had no such problem. More annoying is that it does this, not just with the internal HDD, but with the 64GB SSD that we bought specifically for running VMs.

I’m a little rusty on measuring i/o performance in WinXP, but will get around to it some time, and then will report any more specific information that I find.

Categories: Uncategorized

Hoda / eGalax EETI Touchscreen still not working with Windows 7

September 12, 2009 Leave a comment

Well, in my last post, I said I would try the tips at this link on getting my Touchscreen to work in Tablet mode.

Unfortunately no dice. I still don’t get the Pen and Tablet option in my Control Panel, and no swiping, etc. is available in Windows applications.

I did try the following

  • Using the default HID-compliant Mouse installed by Win7 when it detects the touchscreen. This doesn’t support Touch mode
  • Trying to install WinXP/Vista drivers recommended in the post above, or recommended by other eBay touchscreen sellers; these are all older drivers. The drivers themselves made no difference if installed directly, and for the previous Vista/XP installers, the installer itself
  • Installing the Win7 5.6.0.6806 drivers downloaded from EETI’s website. These DO install fine in Win7, and result in the USB Touchscreen Controller(Universal) being installed, which works fine as a mouse, but again: no Swipes.
  • Trying to manually install other drivers within these installer files – there’s a load of USB options in there. However, none of these install properly, and so are useless.
  • Starting the Tablet service which is initially set to Manual in Services.msc.

So – this is what I have right now:

 EETI Touchscreen in Windows 7

It seems a few people have successfully managed to get Swipes working… but how do they do it?

Categories: Uncategorized

EETI / Hoda Technologies Touchscreen on Acer Aspire One A110 with Windows 7

September 10, 2009 1 comment

So – I’ve tried my Hoda touchscreen with a few OS’s so far:  the original Linpus Lite;  Tiny 7;  Windows 7 RTM;  and Moblin 2.

  • Linpus – it worked OOTB, but backwards and uncalibrated. Installing the Linux Kernal 2.6 drivers made things much better – accurate use, good response.
  • Windows 7 – it worked pre-calibrated! I assume this means that Linpus didn’t have the correct drivers and just knew there was ‘something’ there, while Win7 understood the device.
  • Tiny7 – worked OK, but not well. Also, due to EETI’s XP/Vista drivers not really liking Tiny7, or even Win7, it was impossible to calibrate it
  • Moblin 2 – no drivers by default at all. I’ll give the EETI Kernal 2.6 ones a go, once I understand how to use Moblin!

HOWEVER – there’s a big ‘if’.  In many cases, the touchscreen drivers are detected as a USB HID Mouse. Now, that’s fine for clicking and dragging on the screen, but it isn’t for gestures. You wouldn’t ‘flick’ a mouse in the same way that you would on a touchscreen, and Windows7 knows this – so it’ll let you do mouse things with the Hoda touchscreen, but not gestury things – like flicking through a music album. And this is essential for the new iTouch-interface-wannabe interfaces like Win7 and Moblin.

Anyway – I’ve just been sent this post about getting the correct drivers to work, so I’ll give it a go. Certainly, EETI seem to have comprehensive support across all platforms on the last generation of OS’s, so I’m fairly comfortable that they will find a way to fix this.

Categories: Uncategorized