Archive for August, 2013

Dell XPS13 Niggles and Glitches

August 28, 2013 Leave a comment

So, now I’ve had my 2013 model XPS13 for 4 months, what do I think of it?

Well – there are four big glitches:

  • Sometimes when running a VM in VMWare Workstation, it will ramp up CPU use and, eventually, hang. I have this after a few hours’ use and am wary to the sound of the CPU fan being on too long. I’ve had total VM corruption more than once.
  • The trackpad is still terrible. I use an app to disable it for a second after keyboard use to avoid palm-tapping, and have got used to the slight pause needed (the app also disables my separate mouse from clicking for the same pause)
  • Sometimes when I put it to sleep, it loses power and restarts from scratch when I switch it on, with resulting loss of data
  • The USB3 seems unreliable – if mounting a Truecrypted external LaCie Porsche USB SSD, it will occasionally disconnect and reconnect – again, fatal to a running VM on the SSD. I’ve called support and installed new drivers which fixed it temporarily, but the problem persists.
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    Categories: Computing

    iSSH – the only iPhone SSH/RDP/VNC app you need

    August 6, 2013 Leave a comment

    The name is misleading – this does SSH, but also RDP and VNC as well. In fact, just the RDP capability (Remote MS Windows Control) is far more powerful than a more expensive and popular RDP-only app I used to use.

    I use this one app for all my Windows and Unix servers – from my home desktop to my media centre, RPi, and Amazon instances. It’s fantastic and excellent value.

    Categories: Computing, iphone

    So long AvPlan – we can’t continue like this

    August 3, 2013 Leave a comment

    So, it’s been a few months since I last did a NavEx. Since I fly so intermittently at the moment, I use AvPlan as my preferred flight planning tool since I can subscribe a month at a time for $9.

    So – I fired up AvPlan this morning and bought a month’s worth in the app. Once bought, I tried checking whether I had updated ERSA and chart information for the local area.

    I checked the airfield list – it was empty. I tried checking downloads, but couldn’t see where to download the updates. While I was at it, it was asking me if I wanted to download chart updates. I said yes, and it started slowly – intermittently – trying to download some that I had no interest in at the moment – WAC for Eastern Australia, etc.

    So – I tried cancelling all the charts I didn’t want. However, as soon as I canceled the download of one, then another cancelled download would start downloading again. I tried cancelling them all, and then just resuming the ones I wanted, but it seemed to want to insist on downloading all except one of the files, and succeed with none of them. Eventually I exited and terminated the application, then opened it again.

    Ok – I gave up on that and tried looking for the ERSA Airfield supplements again – still couldn’t find the download. I tried navigating around the various options but seemed to be getting a bit confused.

    I then tried linking to a Dropbox account on my iPad, which I’ve done for various apps. As I did, it crashed. I opened it again, and now it was linked.

    After 15 minutes of grappling, I had still not succeeded in downloading the ERSA or charts that I wanted, and it had crashed or needed killing, three times.

    I checked OzRunways – now $74.99. I thought about it for a bit. About the same as 6 x 1 month subscriptions for AvPlan, plus a $15 premium for a more stable app. I bought a year’s subscription.

    Sorry AvPlan – you were really pioneering with on-map radar charts and best-altitude fuel planning, but I need two things more than anything in an aviation app. Stability, and Usability.

    Categories: Microlights