Pimping the laptop with a Solid State Drive

Intel Solid State diskSome week ago my laptop complained while trying to save a file that there was some error writing to the disk. I had two choices – wait until the harddisk breaks, preferably when I am overloaded with work and a deadline is coming up (that is a law of nature). Or I could buy a new disk now and replace it before disaster happens. I choose the not so adventurous way and decided to do something about it now.

I’ve been glancing at the dropping prices of Solid State Drives as they are faster than mechanical and probably lasts longer. My choice fell on the Intel X25-M 2,5″ 80 GB SSD SATA/300 MLC 34 NM from the swedish supplier called Dustin. I must mention the super quick delivery Dustin (in assistance by the swedish post) had. I ordered the device late tuesday night in their web shop. Wednesday morning around 10 i got the delivery note by mail. At 13.00 the very same the delivery guy rang my doorbell. That is impressive!

The installation was easy. Just unscrew the drive bay, uninstall the old harddisk and replace it with the SSD. Be sure not to touch the connectors of the SSD disk as it is sensetive to electric discharge. I partitioned the disk with dualboot running Ubuntu 10.04 LTS in one and Windows 7 in the other. Boot time is impressive as you can see in the videos. My laptop has a new life!

Minolta Dimage Scan Dual III AF-2840 in Windows Vista

So, did you also try to get this negitive/slide scanner to work in Windows Vista?  No success? Thought so. Unfortunately I have found that Minolta scanners seems to have kind of a short life cycle in the eyes of the manufacturer. Like many other computer accessories that are not professional grade, drivers are availible for the current operating systems but when new arrives there just isn’t being any drivers developed. For this scanner I believe it was Windows 2000 and possibly Windows XP it had drivers for. But the arrival of Windows Vista was the death for this otherwise perfectly good scanner.

Minolta Dimage Scan Dual III AF-2840Like cameras, a good scanner do have a longer life cycle than normal computer accessories, which means that updated drivers are needed. Hopefully manufacturers will pick that up. Even though this scanner is not a professional grade scanner it has good performance and when sold it was not cheap, more in the price class of a good camera. I think as a consumer you should expect a bit longer life than that. Enough complaining.

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Windows XP users should immediately upgrade Adobe Flash plugin

Microsoft has sent out an urgent message encouraging all Windows XP users to upgrade their Adobe Flash plugins immediately due to a security issue. This includes users of both 32 and 64 bit Windows XP and both SP2 and SP3. The current version of Adobe Flash plugin is version 10.0.42.34.

The latest version of Adobe Flash plugin can be downloaded here.

Windows won’t boot and you need the data on the harddisk?

There is a nice solution to this little problem – called Active@ boot disk LiveCD. Download it as an ISO image (on another working computer of course), burn it to a CD and boot from the CD on your malfunctioning computer. The LiveCD is filled with utilities for you to get your valuable data off your crashed computer.

Even though there is a working free download I would encourage everyone that finds it valuable to pay the license so those guys at LiveCD can continue their good work on this product.

All icons on the desktop has Microsoft Internet Explorer icon

There is a practical joke being spread to Windows Vista users trying to fool them to associate .lnk (shortcuts) files with Microsoft Internet Explorer (MS IE). The so called joke in this is that it is very easy to do, but almost impossble to undo of you are not a skilled computer technician. This is because there is no possibility for the user to “unassociate” a file extension once it has been associated.

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Joomla! templates looking strange in MSIE8

Some Joomla! templates looks nice in all browsers except Microsoft Internet Explorer 8 (IE 8). One easy solution is to add the following line to the <head> section of the index.php for the template in question: <head>

<meta http-equiv="X-UA-Compatible" content="IE=EmulateIE7"/>

Be careful to check that your site works as expected after applying this solution.

How to install both Windows XP and Easy Peasy (Ubuntu) on ASUS EEE Pc 900

Windows XP on ASUS EeePC

What you need

  • Two USB memory sticks. 2-4 GB is good for Windows and 2 GB for Easy Peasy. Sticks above 8 GB have been problematic for me.
  • A Windows XP installation CD with SP2. If you don’t have at least SP2 included, the install will blue screen. To update your Windows XP with SP2, follow this guide. If you upgrade your Windows XP installation with SP2 in a directory on the hard disk according to the Read more

How to make a Windows XP install CD with SP2 or SP3

If you have a Windows XP installation CD that do not have Service Pack 2 (SP2) or Service Pack 3 (SP3) on it, you will sometimes get in trouble when trying to install it on a computer with newer hardware. If you get a blue screen of death during the installation, it might be a sign that you need to include the SP2 or SP3. Newer Windows XP installations CDs comes with a SP already included. To check if that is the case with your Windows XP installation CD, insert

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Trillian can’t connect with ICQ, unknown code 27

Sometime in mid July 2009 Trillian users started to experience problems in conneting to their ICQ accounts. Their ICQ account was in working order as they could use ICQ2Go to login. The error message displayed in Trillian is: Error logging into ICQ: Unknown code 27.

The problem is caused by ICQ removing an older ICQ protocol. Trillian have fixed this in their version 3.1.13.0. To upgrade to this version, follow these steps.

  1. Start Trillian.
  2. Pull down the Help menu and select Check for updates.
  3. Select Trillian and click Next.
  4. Follow the instructions to proceed with the update.

PeToUSB can’t find USB stick in Vista

When running PeToUSB under Microsoft Vista it might not be able to detect your USB memory stick. It displays “No USB Disks Found!”.

The solution is to right click PeToUSB.exe and select “Run as administrator”. If that don’t help, try rebooting your system making sure the USB memory stick is inserted while Microsoft Vista boots up.