Archive for the ‘Software’ Category

Or oh hell another tablet contender

Melbourne Australia
8 March 2013
by Loren

Asus Windows8 ME400 – Review

Asus ME400C

The Name Game: Windows 8, Windows RT, Windows 8 Pro, Windows 8 RT
When Windows unveiled the naming strategy for windows tablet, IT folks from around the world sighed. We knew this was a bad idea, and confusing at best. If respected and knowledgeable IT journalists knew this was bad and confusing, what were the poor consumer going to do.

Politically, Microsoft decided to make their own flagship devices so partners like Asus and others were a bit on the back foot.

The result would be a dead WindowsRT, and a confused public and retailer. To this day I cannot find a single retailer in Australia that knows which device they have that is WindowsRT vs Windows 8 RT, vs Windows 8. I add the Windows 8 RT as many have sold devices labeled as such as well as Windows RT (no 8). THis is before you ever compare and look at reviewing a device.

The review:  Asus ME400C- Imagine taking your average laptop or good netbook, running Windows8 (yes the real version), add an average touchscreen to it and throw the keyboard away. What you have left is this new (and perhaps all) Windows8 tablets. Yes you can then add back a keyboard and yes you can add an OSK (on screen keyboard), but it is what it is.

So Windows8 in tablet form is a total failure, emmm, not quite yet boy blunder.

Unlike Apple, – the iPad was re-imagined to not have these problems it offered pages that get re-sized, and the OSK is intuitive.I will try to not make this a total whinge-fest promise, but I am aggravated. As you can tell from the photo I am tablet agnostic. I have 2x iPad2, (kids) 1x Nexus 7 (in my Jeep), 1 x iPad mini (mainly for streaming TV from PC to Apple TV with AirVideo Server Software) a Nexus 10 for everyday use (as well as various PCs/Macs/smartphones/phablets).
Living in a Microsoft World – I live in the hope of the golden chalice. Affordable powerful able to do everything I need, good video,  the versatility of Android, the steadfastness and it just works aspect of the iOS of iPad (but tired of that interface). For those living in at least a partially influenced Microsoft world crave a device that is well, like removing the keyboard form a good (adequate) windows laptop, but still working well.
I say this as they all have their strengths and weaknesses. However now having an iPad mini, I see no benefit in the larger iPad form factor (but that is just me). Within the plethora of strengths and weaknesses (enough to spend a week on the SWOT analysis alone), there are gaps.
Flash Surfing– For the avid online surfer, it is unfortunately impossible to easily avoid flash. The horse that will just not die (and go to Europe to be dispersed evenly among us otherwise normally safe beef-eaters), was not supposed to live this long, Steve Jobs announced its passing, years ago, and HTML5 was one of the daggers that was supposed to save us all has not happened.This means that we can tweak our Android devices until the cows come home  all we like,  or even Jailbreak our iPads, so they will show that video we want to see, but it is just not user friendly.

For goodness sake we are days away from the 3rd  anniversary of the launch of the iPad1, and a perfect device has not met us yet. I do not think I ask much, a tablet that has a good selection of apps, business software and good interaction, and watch anything a browser has to offer easily.

Asus ME400C VivoTab Smart 64G

Microsoft on launching Windows8 has got it pretty right despite themselves and their partners. Being in Technology Product Management for decades, I can never imagine a worse managed launch and ongoing debacle then Windows8 has thrust upon the masses. So bad it continues at this moment with no sign of stopping the blood-letting, and already killing their own products before they almost even launch.

When Windows 8 began their seemed Lewis Carol like visions, what-ever made them to want to offer an under developed, under resourced product like Windows 8 RT, defies logic. Making things worse there are a bevy of Windows 8 RT in the marketplace, making even the seasoned Pro, have over examine the products to determine their OS.

So is the case with the new Windows ASUS ME400C. Before I knew much about the device, it was already in the stores here in Australia alongside its non-touch laptop, and android tablet brethren. However what version of Windows 8 is on it? I looked at the device I could not tell, I looked at the box I could not tell. I ran the device it was not obvious (in stores they are locked down so you cannot just type system. I asked the friendly (sometimes staff). When I had to explain what Windows 8 RT was I knew I was not likely going to get an informed answer. Low and behold I went into one shop and they knew what Windows RT was but had no idea which device was which. A bit of research later we are at this point.

The ASUS ME400C – screams to be early adopter in so many ways, and is buggy. I guess in some ways I and the market have been waiting years for this though. An affordable tablet running the latest (and full) Windows OS and needing no key board, or mouse to make it work. However, the transition of windows8 from a PC or laptop is not flawless in tablet form as mentioned

It might be the form factor or a Windows 8 issue, I cannot tell, but is a great early attempt at a full-fledged Windows 8 tablet specifically for the $500 price tag.

Not Tablet Ready – One thing Android and better yet Apple do, is scroll to fit the appropriate videos or websites. Even typing in my name to Gmail, was not an easy exercise. I could not scroll, even when I turned the tablet. Even something as simple as trying to run a bandwidth speed test on a website was hard. Worse still is a problem the ASUS has with videos. If you go from portrait to landscape or visa verse sometimes the video will not render back. Sometimes even the UI itself has this problem. I am not sure if it is the Power VR SGX545 Graphics or what exactly. There lays the biggest challenge. Is it a form factor, is it the device or is it Windows 8. I cannot tell yet.

Other challenges, I have had multiple problems from getting my Wi-Fi set up, and have to spend 2 days trying to activate (yet able to get online and get updates,) so I am likely to have to phone in for activation.

Not a big deal for me, but one that means I have to spend days getting it set-up properly before possibly having to return it.

Other issues – When not at 75% charge, the screen with dims slightly at different intervals, when playing videos. I have checked power settings and changed all those first of course. The device came with Netflix, which is annoying as it does not work without IP spoofing in Australia.

Good News: The size of the tablet is almost identical to devices like the Samsung 10.1 Tablet / Nexus 10, allowing you to use accessories like the Bluetooth Folio Keyboard Case. The keyboard offers great versatility and gives you that keyboard back a dedicated version is also available that does fit a bit better.

Unfortunately like a PC when you add a wireless keyboard you can equally you the OSK it doesn’t care and worse doesn’t act any different.

I believe the mostly likely scenario will be tweaking the Windows8 tablets, with better browsers or even a better UI enhancements to allow it to do the many things everyone expects. Otherwise Windows8 will die in tablet form.

Some niceties  – with a microSD card on board the device is useful though it is unfortunate you cannot connect it to another PC using the microUSB cable, I will work on that hack next. The sound is as tinny as you would expect form a netbook. At 1,366×768 it is far from the quality of other devices on the market so is average at best. The tablet tested has 64GM onboard storage, 32gb Asus cloud storage as well. The camera is a healthy 8MP/2MP and Bluetooth 4 is on board with WLAN 802.11 b/g/n @ 2.4 Ghz. It comes in Red, White and Black, though here in Australia it is harder to find anything other than black so far.

Splitting with the Atom– I promised myself I would never own another Atom processor device, however, this one is not as sluggish as previous Atom model devices and actually nippy in cases (video aside). It is the refresh rate of the shared graphics that I think with the I will say average CPU that is the culprit here.  Note: If I understand the Intel blurb the CPU in this ‘new’ device is end of life already.

SummaryThe ASUS ME400C  is a comprise on a grand scale. As the 5th generation of tablets looms,  this is an affordable at $500-600 device. An attractive selling point for one of the 1st Windows 8 Tablets (with the real Windows 8), though, its design feels a bit clunky between the ACER 500 that ran early versions of Android Gingerbread, and the Asus Nexus 7. Far from BAD, but not uber great (our demands our hire than they would have been 12 months ago.

However, this is kind of a compliment in the world of compromises in terms of what has been out there before for Windows OS previously. Weighing in at 580g, it is 12% lighter than the non-LTE version of the iPad4 at 652g, and only 6% heavier than the new nexus 10 at 603g.

However the CPU is way under spec, even an i3 CPU offers a 300% increase overall (per Intel Atom vs the Intel i3 CPU 

Like other devices, you actually need to spend some time with the device, if launched a year ago it would be 8/10, but in today’s market, compared to other devices, it is at best a 5/10.

What else- Making things better – Firstly to run this tablet effectively, you need to do some tweaking  to make it usable  something most consumers will not do. Also if I said to you I was going to sell you a PC with an Atom CPU and you knew what is was historically , you would laugh, cry, run or punch me. This needs a real CPU even an i3. My suggestion is wait for an i5 or i7.

In the modern day, average performance and great battery life, will lose out for many when offered better quality, faster performance  and average battery life.

Another consideration is running you Android apps on the windows 8 device. Bluestacks has brought out a VM that allows you to do just that and is customer made for the Win 8 OS & device.

Even better would be a dual boot Android ICS / Win 8 device running an i5 or i7, offering the best of both worlds (coming soon)

Key Features

  • Intel Atom Z2760 Processor
  • 1.6Ghz Burst to 1.8Ghz Processor Speed
  • 64GB HDD
  • Power VR SGX545 Graphics
  • 10.1″ IPS with Soda Lime 1366 x 768 Screen Resolution
  • 8MP Rear Camera

Comparable Devices 

Nexus 10 $500 16GB but the best screen out there)
iPad 4 – $539 (16GB vs 64GB (32Usable)



Joy Turns to Despair When Retailers’ Confusion Spreads to Customers. 


windows 8

12 November 2012
Melbourne Australia


Microsoft recently launched one of the largest marketing campaigns of all time, celebrating their 3 new similar but very different platforms. The 3 new platforms, Windows 8, Windows 8 RT, and Windows Phone 8 all look and act similar, they are a major leap from all previous versions of Windows but familiar on the surface (pun intended). Windows 8 RT really is Windows 8, but only runs certain apps from the Microsoft version of the iTunes Store Simply called Windows Store, this is due to the CPU on ARM that is on RT devices not being Intel based. So all 3 run applications or apps that will only work on one of the 3 types of devices,

This means for example a Windows RT tablet will not currently run Microsoft Outlook, (or any other Windows 7 application) but has other special RT only Microsoft Office Products on it, Windows phone8 doesn’t run outlook but like RT will sync with your mail. Many believe this confusion could have been avoided had Microsoft just released the Phone OS to tablets rather than offering a 3rd hybrid, Widows 8 RT.

The confusion is not limited to consumers retailers also are having some challenges getting across the differences in the 3 platforms, especially Windows 8, and Windows 8 RT.

As a long time agnostic tech fan boy, I was excited when Windows 8 had its official launch recently. I have been using it sometime via the Microsoft MSDN developer licensing program. Here the mission was simple, to see and buy some dedicated Windows 8 hardware, tablets or laptops running Windows 8 with an Intel i5 or i7 chip, instead of ARM, (RT8) or Win8 on an Atom CPU with Windows 7 that has now been upgraded to Windows 8. First thing I saw was an ad for some of the high street stores showing these new ‘wares’. Unfortunately, none of the retailers understood there was a difference between RT and Win8. I asked for a touch screen laptop or tablet, to my delight I saw an RT device (did not know it was RT at the time. To the retailer Windows 8 was windows 8. Hmmm. It turns out that none of the new windows 8 devices were anything new. I tried to explain the Win8 vs RT differences. RT will not run outlook email, only apps from the windows store. Windows 8 devices will run windows 7 software.
I had a bit of an argument when the sales assistant and his manager insisted to me that RT and Windows 8 ran the same software. Look RT has Office on it and mail. Yes but mail is not outlook and only RT apps run on RT. I am mistaken I was told. This was now the manager, and I just shook my head and left. Thanks Harvey Norman (or Hardly Normal as I call them) . At the Good Guys, another retailer, it was easier, sorry mate nothing in yet. It was only at Office Works, that they actually apologized as they only had one touchscreen laptop in. Hey but he knew what I was asking for.. well done.

This is the problem. How does Microsoft expect consumers (those not beta testers since Windows 1) to understand RT vs Windows 8 when the retailers do not.

Microsoft needs a good 3 item commercial, that does not pretend to be 3 devices at the same time.

Updated 13 December 2012

Here is the link to this ignore the rest


Windows 8 on a little older Quadcore PC also kills the power output on the USB 2.0 Port. This software fixes it regardless of motherboard

Let me know if it worked for you also

Mr Internet

Updated 14 January 2011

This proved to be a popular blog when I ran it 8 months ago. It addressed a new driver from motherboard manufacturer gigabyte, that allowed you to charge you iPad on your PC (not something possible before). This updated free driver, also allows you to charge other devices that worked before even faster and this update adds a few updates to all of that, and it makes that pesky ‘this device is not charging nag screen go away.

By pure coincidence, I went to reinstall this driver and found an update released today ok I am a bit psychic (& psychotic) , but the driver solves some other problems as well such as clearing your USB trash, caused when you remove USB devices all the time. Here is the link, it goes to Chinese first but should offer to translate to your native language depending on your browser. You are looking for on/off charger driver but here it is

Installation Update
I note on download and installation it is a bit different than the original driver .
it took 1 minute to download, extract and install.

  • The driver is 1.61 mb (very small takes a few seconds to download)
  • It is a compressed exe file so you will need to extract it to a folder on your desktop etc.
  • When extracted, it creates 1 folder called ‘on/off charge’ and creates 2 files inside setup.exe and setup.iss
  • Run the set-up, reboot your pc and you are done

How to Tell it is Working

  • When you installed the driver it would have asked you to re-boot your PC if properly installed.
  • It is very discreet there are no whistles, or bells.
  • If you have an iPad you would notice on the iPad it would have said it was not charging before now it is charging
  • If you start to re-run the set-up.exe it will ask you if you want to modify or reinstall the software.
  • It is a driver so there is no anti-virus software issues
  • Anything more technical speak to gigabyte, I am just a blogger not the manufacturer
  • If in a corporate environment consider speaking to your system administrator, he might enjoy using this across the company it is pretty sweet.
  • Tell your freinds
  • Enjoy

Motherboard manufacturer Gigabyte are Gods.
They have introduced a tweakdown-loadable  , that allows iPads to now be charged from PC’s and laptops, via the USB port . An issue many were not aware they had and plague others that were aware of this.
I will use gigabyte motherboards for ever more because of this, it is a BIG deal.

On the site is a list of the motherboards it works for but mine is older and it worked just fine.
The additional upside is it charges iPhones and iPods faster as well.

Judging by the coverage of this page Gigabyte was getting slammed so moved the link of the driver (nice). I have updated it.Worth noting that though this driver is specfic to gigabyte, I have heard from dozens of folks it works on motherboards other than gigabyte.

Happy for you to share the story please be nice and give a shout out to news-knut/mrinternet  when you do. Mac bloggers (you know who you are)

Currently Microsoft is only offering the 3pc Windows Premium, License Pack in the USA (perhaps the UK by now as well). A global deal is about be announced, including Australia, shown here

Due in stock 26 November, so expect announcement soon, url moved to here or search ‘ windows 7 3pc’  on the old url.

22 Nov Update:

Stock has landed (around 1000 pcs) to the DSE warehouse in Sydney

24 Nov Update:

Installed software Windows 7 Upgrade ,  had XP, then formatted to install windows 7 ultimate (no key), then formatted to install Windows 7 home premium.


Remember this is an upgrade, but legally who hasn’t got XP or Vista installed on a machine, changed link destination above, technically in this case upgrade acts the same as a full version, I assume all versions due.

So the question can I do a clean install with an upgrade, the answer is yes. If like me you loathe to install all your programs again the easy transfer program makes this very easy and I had many less programs to reinstall (but always back up just in case)

26 Nov Update:

As predicted stock is now trickling in so is in stock in Australia nationally. Expect the rest of the stock to hit over the next few days. I assume the rest of ther country will get stock in as well. $237 for 3 licenses (great deal).

Let me know if there are better ones you see.

update: 24 December 2010 Season’s Greetings Folks
Thanks for the comments, I think the bottom line is folks can do better on customer service.

Oh if you have a comment (especially an abusive one ref someones else’s comment), please consider using a real name or at least not pretending to be someone else. Oh and consider a spell checker, or have your mommy proof read your rants SJ 🙂

Original Blog

Consider visiting the store then go somewhere else to get good customer service and maybe even a better price.

Open for only 12 months and the staff and management are now worth avoiding

When is a Mac Genius really just a Mac ‘Moron’?

  • As a long term professional tech evangelist, long term PC user and long term Microsoft Software beta tester/ hobbyist, the decision to buy a Mac was not an easy one or one I took lightly.
  • I even called the Mac store and a Dick Smith ( A national retailer not ‘something else’) next door selling the Mac Mini, and asked why I should go to either hoping for a deal but as apple price fixes that was not to be. The answer I got from apple was, ‘for the experience’
  • I had purchased the 3G iPhone and then more recently a 3GS iPhone, and that experience was pretty good (the info prior to the selling day was HELL).
  • I did my research and decided I wanted a Mac Mini as my 1st Mac only because (I thought) I was going to use it only as a media extender to my PC using front row (a love story in a previous blog).
  • My opinion changed when I tried to purchase the Mac Mini on a Friday morning a few weeks ago from the Apple Store.
  • I guess the sale was not big enough for the genius in waiting,  but when I asked what upgrades they could do in store (vs. online), I  was informed only ram could be upgraded. I asked if they could do it while I waited and they said yes.
  • FYI –  My home built PC is a quad core with 4gb ram,  SLI, dual monitor, 6TB HD, that I need for no real reason so am not afraid to commit beyond my needs.
  • I brought a work colleague with me as he was a real Mac head and he had educated me on the merits of the Mac, so I had to have one today.
  • Neither of us was impressed with what we saw that day, and when I made the mistake of asking an opinion of upgrading beyond the 1GB ram on the basis unit, given all my basic requirements, the great genius thought for 2 seconds than offered with great insight. , “I am a student and I would get more than 1gb. I asked what that meant, and she repeated herself (I guess something not making sense and being repeated is supposed to help). When I asked again, eventually the genius spoke the words us non-geniuses expect to hear, “don’t know”
  • WOW, we non-geniuses would probably have done something stupid, like ‘ask someone else’. Anyhow a few minutes later and after promising the upgrade would only take 15 minutes I was told just prior to payment that it would take 2 hours. A problem for me as I was 30 min from the office (with the boss) and it was too long to wait. So with cash in pocket I left and went next door to Dick Smith.
  • That was when the good things happened, the staff were friendly, I purchased what I needed and a few hundred dollars of accessories (keyboard, remote, mouse) as well, on returning the next day for some more bits, I notice the mini’s were $100 cheaper so got my $100 back, thank you very much.
  • Unfortunately being a geek, I decided I needed the 4gb upgrade and when I went back to apple to enquire they told me the memory was going to be twice as much.
  • I advised the store manager Matt K  at Chadstone of my problems withhis staff, (bad advice /no advice) goiung to cost me 100% more and all he cared about was that I bought my Mac next door and basically told to piss off.
  • Thank goodness for MAC Care, 131632 in australia, who apologised for Matt K’s bad form, and referred me to a 3rd party Mac shop, Newwave /Apptech in Burwood East Meloburne and I will wound up getting the memory for less than I would from Apple. Thank you Mac Care.
  • Thank you AppTech, who were very proffessional and fast to deal with.
  • I brought my Mac possie that buy as many toys as I do a year, so we will be back.
  • So from a guy that buys around $10k a year personally in gear and 10 times that or more professionally I will still buy apple, but never again from an Apple Store, and will suggest to anyone, they buy elsewhere as well a mixed bag really my suggestion is go to the Mac store Chadstone ask all the ‘geniuses’ their opinion get the price then go to one of the real Mac stores (3rd party), if at Chadstone make it Dick Smith Powerhouse.
  • Truly Apple Stores (especially Chadstone) is an experience to be missed.

Apple Chadstone Pros and Cons


  • Looks pretty
  • You can get some good service there if you are lucky on a given day\, maybe.
  • Umm, looks pretty


  • No deals, prices are fixed and at RRP cheaper next door at 3rd party stores (like Dick Smith)
  • No used or ex-demo deals on a regular if ever basis.
  • Payment system (credit card or cash card) is usually not working right.
  • Hard to get in and out if in a hurry (even if the store is empty)
  • Some staff especially some management are Mac Morons.
  • You can often get no advice and bad advice
  • They really just seem to want you out of the store.


If Like me you have loved the windows 7 Beta experience, you may have unfortunately bumped into an issue involving, permission issues especially around Outlook 2007 (funny enough the only program I have had problems with) both on 64-bit and 32-bit versions. Microsoft has a solution but not being very public with it.


Solution Using the SubInAcL tool from Microsoft to fix permission issues in the registry has solved installation errors for several products including Flash Player, and outlook 2007 .

The following solution involves the Windows System Registry.
Editing or manipulating the registry incorrectly can result in serious system damage which may require reinstallation of the operating system. If you are not comfortable editing the registry, then take your system to a professional or ask a 7 year old. I cannot be held responsible for damage resulting from this information.. yada yada

You must have administrator privileges to successfully complete these instructions.

1. Follow the instructions to download the SubInACL tool from the Microsoft Download Center.

2. Install SubInACL.

3. Download the file.

4. Extract the reset_fp10.cmd file to C:\Program Files\Windows Resource Kits\Tools\. Important: Be sure that both the subinacl.exe and reset_fp10.cmd files are in the same location here: C:\Program Files\Windows Resource Kits\Tools\.

5. Double-click reset_fp10.cmd. 6. This will open a command window and execute the SubInACL tool. 7. Do not use the machine while SubInACL is running.

8. When it is finished you will see “Press any key to continue”.

9. Install the software . bada bing


Oh I had the same problem on multiple machines and every beta version (except 7068),
It is worse on 64-bit 7100 than any others, the outlook connector program helped, as well and installation of 3rd party email aps (like mail washer pro) helped in some cases.

Hope this gets sorted in RTM.

Wow you are a big boy aren’t you ? 

All 250mb of you

Besides the major updates, it seems a bit faster as well (10-15%). 



Needs a good 30 min to install 

It’s here. Google Street View, over the air Podcast downloads from iTunes and much more.


read more | digg story

Even an OS can be inspirational


You can put a new operating system on an old laptop- Yes you can

You can put a New Alpha OS release on an old laptop and it will work like a better new laptop- Yes you can.

You can put a new Windows Alphas OS that looks a lot like Vista, (a lot) but with tighter code, smoother running and only <gulp> needing 512mb to run well ; but with 1gb will go like it had 4gb – Yes you can

Forgive the inspirational overtones but it has been that sort of week (even here in Australia).

So …

Ok I am a bit of a self confessed Microsoft Fan boy, and yes I love vista. I am of course running it on a quad core CPU with 5 TB storage and 4 gb of ram (though it only uses 3gb in my 32bit set-up).

So when I was offered (by proxy) to try out the new Windows 7, on my own old dell laptop, I scoffed.

I even set aside half a day to install tweak, and hack my way to getting a new alpha OS working before I would give up a reinstall my trusty XP license.

It was not to be.

It worked 1st time (not even with XP was it flawless)

But it worked, it installed in 20 minutes, and oh my it hums .

For the sake of it I tried to install vista on the same laptop and it scoffed at me, ran like a bad dog and then would not run .. crashed , I mean my test laptop (an old dell d600 1st gen has a Pentium M 1.4 ghz) what do you expect.

So Microsoft, what are your intentions with my OS –

Phones, Netbooks, PC’s Cars, think you can.. hope you will;  it rocks ..

Updated 15 November 2008 

How to activate Windows 7 (call microsoft) or go here

 Updated March 2009

As well pointed out the ‘how to activate’  is well out of date, as is beta 6801.
This blog from november 2008, and was about the quality of the beta and windows 7 overall.
Thanks for looking.

(just for Peter)  🙂



During the initial installation of a USB device (most often external drives, although not always), Windows Vista does not locate or install drivers for the device or becomes confused

Windows vista might report that there is “no driver found for you device” and/or will not display the pre-installed  vist OEM drivers. Even by manually selecting the driver, you will still get the “no driver found…” error.  This is most likely caused by a corrupted INFCACHE.1 file. This file stores the location of drivers and their INF files. This file is hidden, has restricted access, and can be found in “c:\windows\inf”.

Delete the INFCACHE.1 file and it will force Windows to rebuild the INFCACHE.1 file the next time Windows searches for drivers. To delete this file, you have to set the security permissions of it to allow Full Control for the User Group Administrators or full control for your user account. Please follow the directions below:

  1. Open a Windows Explorer window by right clicking on Start and then clicking on Explore.
  2. In the address bar, type C:\windows\inf and press Enter.
  3. Find and then right click on the file named INFCACHE.1.
  4. Select Properties.
  5. Click on the Security tab.
  6. Click on Edit to edit the permissions of the file.
  7. Click on Add to add User Groups.
  8. Type Administrators in the User Groups field and click on OK.
  9. Set Administrators to Full Control and click on OK.
  10. Move or delete the file INFCACHE.1.
  11. Reinstall a device to force Windows to rebuild the INFCACHE.1 file (DO NOT reinstall the same external hard drive that you were having issues detecting before. Please connect another USB device other than the one that Vista had an issue detecting).

This detection issue can happen several times in a row, but repeat the steps 1-11 and try again until this works.

UPDATE: To clarify a couple emails I received, this *only* applies to vista (all editions, x86 and x64) but not to XP, or any other version of Windows.

Note: News-Knut here… I foind re-installing the same defvice once clearing the cache does work but I repsect the view it might

IE 8 looks to Win the Browser War  (If anyone can install it) 

As a self confessed MS Fan boy (and official beta tester/hobbyist
since Windows 3.1), I was delighted when my regular Vista update showed KB936330
last December and a further review of it showed it to be Vista SP1,  I jumped
at the chance to install it.

I had no problems before it (on my new quad core PC) and no
problems after it so I am not sure what the point was;  but hey I now had SP1


Equally very recently when IE8 Beta made itself available I
equally looked forward to this new browser prize so I could be the one the 1st
to see what the hype was all about (not that there has been much actually).
Then I was ‘ blessed’ with my 1st surprise.

IE8 will not install on your version of this operating system.

(the scooby doo Shaggy? question bubble then enters my mind).

I know I have Vista, I know I have SP1, so what is the deal.
A quick search on the ‘Internets’ and forum checks showed nothing too early I
was. Oh great I am special for me once again.

I started to see others with the same problem (misery enjoys
But no one had the answer (not the REAL answer).

The IE8 issued then showed up as a a fault saying you
installed a too early version of SP1.

I spoke to Micorsoft and the conversation kindo f went like

MS: Did I SP1 via an automatic update or manually.
Me: Definitely an update though I do mine manually (remembering my surprise on
seeing it)
MS: Oh no problem just reinstall Vista and all will be solved. HAVE A NICE DAY anything
else I can help you with ??
Me: (why does any vista support call just about end with oh well you need to
reinstall vista that will solve the problem).
I then asked a dumb question Riddle me this Microsoft …… (How can I tell if my
copy of SP1 is too early a version e.g. pre RTM) and thus the answer to the
problem I am having ??)
I mentioned to Microsoft that SP1 update was carrying with it the KB of 936330,
meaning an update of KB936330 was Vista SP1, but surely they would not release
the same KB for both a pre-rtm and an up to date version witohut allowing
someow to update itself.  I would assume they would have a new KB as an update
to the previous one (this is the MS way after all).
MS: Yes
Me:  Yes?  I just asked you 37 different questions yes could no cover them all.

MS:   Silence… um.. when did you install it…. (checking my control panel
updates field I determined it was 17 December 2007. Oh SP1 was not released
Me: (getting it) Hmm, I installed it then…
MS: No you didn’t.

Me: (Got it) Damn, I was caught time travelling again.

So it appears MS has released a pre-RTM and a full release
of SP1 months apart without differentiating between them (both are KB936330) or
allowing an upgrade path between them (not the 1st time).  But a
pain none the less.  

Confused Yet ?

If you installed SP1 via an update prior to 18 march 2008
you might have too early a version of SP1 to work with IE8. You need to
uninstall it.

Then install IE8, then reinstall the new SP1 via the download
center at (shortcut)
or google  KB936330, but make sure you download the new version, it is only a
little over 430mb. (gulp).

Then once installed you will need to install loads and loads
of updates and have to restart your machine about 12 times. Then eventually your
machine will be up to date.

Oh how is IE8??
It gives you the option of making IE8 look and run like IE 7 otherwise…
It looks and acts like IE7 for all I can tell.

Time will tell.



Analysis: An Open GPhone? Dream On

Posted: November 6, 2007 in Software
Tags: , , , ,

The gPhone is about Developers.. Developers.. Developers.. Developers..

As big a fan of John’s that I am I think he misses a few big points, but in all fairness, it typifies the understanding from the majority of folks.

The phone world doesn’t rotate around the U S of A. Sorry John, but thank god they have a bigger agenda. The ongoing crap around the I-phone, much more digestible in Europe and even better here in Aussie world in Q1 2K8, when/if it releases here, typifies that.

So if you were making a mobile phone (or phones) today the market you would make it for folks where you have the largest market. That today is outside the USA, the numbers prove that.

Mention the word HTC to most Phone fan boys (like me), and salivation soon follows, however most in the US have not heard the name. They are one of the world’s largest phone producers globally, and make the majority of the worlds phones and until recently usually branded it as someone else’s. The Palm Treo 750 is a good example. They know the brands they make phones for :

O2, T-2, Vodafone , CHT , i-mate , Dopod , NTT DoCoMo, Qtek , Cingular 8525, AT&T, Swisscom , Siemens, SoftBank and others.

This whole thing points to no real standards and too many OS’s for handsets, too many for good 3rd party apps, it doesn’t make sense to have all the VHSs and Betamaxs .. it is stupid an evitable that there would be some consolidation of ideas.

As Steve Ballmer screeched and monkey danced some time is developers… developers.. developers.. developers. For global development, distribution, creativity and common sense to to flurish in the eons to come, a massive (yet suttle) change needs to occur… open source apps for phones, but offering (eventually) consistency.

Why would Google want to bring out 1 more phone when they can work on developing many more… via a single (but modular app) for ALL phones. The money is not in hardware.

A New Age Dawns.

For the first time in history, people are seeing Google for the 1st time not on a PC but on a phone.

If you consider that the flavour of mobile phones now fits into 2 groups (everything or nothing). Everything can be PDA/camera/consumer email, business email, 3G, 4G, wi-fi, Internet(s), blutooth, sexy UI or group 2 just a Phone.

Then an open source open app idea makes sense.

I once pushed a view in the old days of selling the internet as IP over everything, everything over IP.

Now and always it has been about eyeballs and now that the next generation of folks will see the Internet(s) for the 1st time not on a PC but on a mobile device, whomever can control mobile content and thus mobile APIs or the catalyst for those apps wins a chance to offer the masses social networking, like myspace, yourspace, facebook, I-google etc.

So this won’t work in the USA WRONG but if it was right who cares move on. Let the USA catch up later. It is behind now the much of the mobile world any how .



The original John Dvorák Story


<blog author> This high profile semi-anonymous pretentious now often senile author is known to have worked professionally in the ISP/Telco Space in the USA, UK, Europe, and Australia, for over 20 years. He has introduced countless new Internet, and Mobile Phone Projects, for the world’s largest Telco’s, and continues to do the same today. Now an alien in every country he visits or lives, if you use a fixed internet connection in the UK or Europe he introduced ‘it’ the product. If you are pissed off at business always on internet (non-dsl) in the UK it is his fault. 



1 March 2007
Story Courtesy of  Lib Setag

Oops Microsoft, I did it again. Installed vista upgrade like a full version.

Ok, Ok I know you had read about a complicated trick, where you install vista upgrade in a funny way and wow it works.
All you want is a clean install and hey you even own a licensed copy of xp..good man (or woman).

But I accidentally did this a different and easier way and wow it really works, I duplicated it 3 times on 3 different machines (with 3 different licenses Microsoft).

 I was bound to mess up my install but what I found was even better.

 Here goes:

1) Installed your vista install as a clean full install (you can wipe your drive 1st if you like) not upgrade and go through the entire install per normal. Make sure you unclick the activate now, and untick get update boxes. Do not install your license key  yet.

2) Let it do it’s thing, reboot when asked etc. 

3) Once completed 100% then try to activate your key (it should fail) go to activiation, put in your LEGAL code.
It says this is the wrong version for your key…oops..

 4) 🙂 Best install it again… install it and keep in the SAME partition.. again do NOT install your key in this part of the activation.  Keep all boxes unticked as before go through the install and reboot ready for it to work. 

5) It will say that the old version of windows will be renamed thanks

6)  once done rebooted and ready to roll go back to activation ent. oops says it is installed already..reboot computer..
Again… says it is being a duplicate number (DO NOT REBOOT)…do it again..

7)  After doing twice by accident… it worked.

8) Reboot

9) Delete window.old.

10) Done

 PS I called MS to ask about this after it worked  3 times and asked what I should do (being a moral citizen and everything).
There suggestion format c: reinstall xp then reinstall vista….Hmmm …not

I then escalated it and was told…we have no idea…

 Thanks Bill

Regards, Lib Setag

Vista Retailing: All versions On 1 DVD: Color Coded

As you may have heard there are going to be a “few” versions of Microsoft Vista when it is finally released. Redmond this week start to lift some of the details for retailers. Some interesting ones to note are that all versions of Vista will be on the same DVD. This will enable upgrading by customers (and I imagine reduce costs). All customers will do is buy the version they want then and then if needed buy an additional upgrade license as they will already have the DVD.

Due to the confusion already showing of what version is what, all versions of Vista will be color coded.

Light Green-  Home Basic-
Dark Green-  Home Premium
Blue-            Vista Business
Platinum-      Ultimate Version

Europe will get 2 extra versions Home N and Business N offering no media player per the 2004 legal ruling against Microsoft.

The much awaited aero glass makes its debut in the Home Premium Version, Business offers faxing and other features but NOT Media Center. Microsoft is targeting the premium version to have 50% saturation.


It says they are $30 each, 10 or 11 of them. Not bad for free.
Worth every penny at least.

read more |

Is Your PC ready for Vista?

Posted: August 9, 2006 in Misc Tech, Software

One of the biggest areas of speculation about Windows Vista is whether your system will be able to cope with it. Most of us have, by now, a fairly good idea of the basic hardware requirements to get a decent Vista system, but there has not been much detail to play with..until now

read more |

The toolkit, which is delivered free of charge, contains a whole host of suggestions about how to build a PC that will fit with the look and style of Windows Vista. From color palettes to suggestions about how the power and reset buttons should appear, the kit basically describes Microsoft’s vision of what a “Vista PC” should look like.

read more | digg story

This is gameplay footage of the upcoming Call of Duty. The close combat features are going to rock.

read more | digg story

Just type the name of a CD/DVD or artist in the searchfield below and will find lots of high quality CD and DVD covers within seconds!
This was for cd’s only before.

read more | digg story

On Thursday Microsoft failed to quash fears that a new version of its Windows software system would be further delayed, stirring concerns that a new technology cycle tied to the upgrade could be put on hold.

read more | digg story

Social networking site is offline currently, attributing the downtime to a power outage in its data center. It was inaccessible for more than 90 minutes, and then displayed a brief message alerting users to the problems: “Hey everyone! There’s been a power outage in our data center. we’re in the process of fixing it right now, so sit tight. – Tom” (presumably MySpace co-founder Tom Anderson).

With MySpace unavailable, many of the service’s users began posting blog items at LiveJournal, another free blogging service popular with U.S. teenagers

A dynamically updating chart of the web site performance of is available. Netcraft offers a web site performance monitoring service that provides detailed uptime charts, along with e-mail alerts when an outage occurs.

The message at MySpace did not specify which of its data centers had experienced the power outage. appears to use two, one at in Tempe, Ariz. and another in a new Equinix data center in El Segundo, Calif. The temporary message was being displayed from the Tempe IP address. is ranked the 77th most visited site on the internet amongst users of the Netcraft toolbar, although some other services place it higher and Hitwise ranks it 1st, in front of Google.

Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. bought the site for $580 million last July. In May MySpace said the expansion into Equinix’s data center will allow it to improve peering with network service providers, which will help in managing traffic surges and high-bandwidth features such as multimedia streaming.

Story by Rich Miller & Mr-Internet