Interesting Notebook Upgrade Shenanigans

Ed TittelI’m in the process of upgrading my 14-month-old Dell D620 Latitude notebook. As shipped from the factory, it included 1.0 GB of RAM (2 x 512 MB DDR2-667 SO-DIMMs), a 40 GB HD, and a T2300E 1.66 GHz Mobile Core Duo CPU. This was adequate for running Windows XP, but I quickly upgraded the SO-DIMM slot underneath the machine to 1.0 GB, increasing memory to a more workable 1.5 GB total.

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System Builder’s Blog for June 24, 2008

From time to time, I want to share experiences building Vista systems with our readers. In the last month, I’ve built (and rebuilt) at least three Vista systems, one an upgrade on my Dell Latitude D620 notebook from Windows XP SP3 to Vista Business SP1, another a brand-new build on a QX9650 quad-core system in a very nice Antec 900 case (they call it a gaming case, but I still like it anyway), and another in imaging (then re-imaging) an HP tx2000z tablet PC.

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TJmax: it’s more than just a clothing outlet!

TJ stands for thermal junction, and represents a measure of the temperature of a circuit or electronic package at the point where the part radiates the most heat (usually from the top surface). TJmax stands for the maximum temperature that such an integrated circuit, or more correctly a chip or chipset in its socketable package (a usable electronic part, in other words), can sustain before it fails.

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My Love-Hate Relationship with Vista Reliability Monitor

One of the more interesting features built into Windows Vista is the Reliability monitor that appears as part of performance monitoring. Though you can launch this tool by working your way through this menu sequence: Start, Control Panel, Administrative Tools, Reliability and Performance Monitor, I find it’s a heck of a lot easier to just type “perfmon” in the search window immediately above the Start button.

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Lasciate ogni speranza voi ch’entrate: Upgrade to Vista!

The gibberish in the title of this blog is from Dante’s Inferno, and is usually translated as “Abandon all hope, ye who enter here.” Like many others, until I looked this up I was under the misapprehension that the Inferno was written in Latin. It’s not: It’s in Tuscan which, at the time it was written (between 1308 and 1321 AD), was a more or less separate dialect of the modern language we today call Italian. But this phrase conveys the fear and trepidation inherent to going certain places where we’ve all been told, often many times, that it’s best to stay away from.

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Repair a dropped Vista Wi-Fi Connection

Blogger Rick Fairlie at ZDnet has posted a story that outlines a strategy for dealing with Wi-Fi links that come up and work, however briefly, but then go down and refuse to come back up until you reboot your notebook PC. Having suffered from this phenomenon myself on numerous notebooks–I test ’em for <a href=”http://www.tomsguide.com” target=”_blank”>TomsGuide.com</a>, to the tune of between one and two dozen new notebooks per year–I was definitely interested to read and learn from his advice.

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Smart Use of DriverAgent Improves Driver Update Results

I’ve been a fan of and subscriber to the Driver Updates Web site at www.DriverAgent.com for over two years, and have found it to be a reasonably safe and workable way to keep PC drivers up to date. Because I run anywhere from four to seven machines at any given moment—the actual count depends on how many projects I’ve got going and what requirements my test machines must satisfy—this involves at least four hours a month of my time just in keeping up with changes, updates, and so forth. Whenever I build a new machine (to the tune of a dozen or more each year) or test a ready-made PC (to the tune of a couple of dozen notebooks and as many as a dozen desktops) ensuring drivers are current and correct is important for testing and benchmarking.

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Asus Eee PC: Small but Potent

The Asus Eee PC represents a new type of machine on the notebook landscape: it’s neither a conventional, full sized budget notebook with a 12-15″ screen, nor is it a so-called ultra-mobile PC (UMPC): a relatively expensive but diminutive PC with a high-resolution 7″ display. Rather the Asus EEE stakes out its own relatively new ground on the budget notebook landscape as a machine with UMPC dimensions, very low cost, but also, low electrical power consumption and low-end computing power and capability.

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