Archive for the ‘MS Windows Vista 7, 8 etc’ Category

January 06, 2013
Filed Under (Baby / Parenting Related, Cycling, Life, MS Windows Vista 7, 8 etc, Technology) by Ollie Cronk on 06-01-2013

Been ages since I last posted and suspect it will be while before I post again – new job, kids and the fact that twitter is easier!

Have added a Strava widget to the right as have now seriously got into road cycling – have signed up for a few sportives this year including a 127 miler!

Cronk family is now bigger with the addition of our son Alfie.

Just about to start a new job in a new industry sector which is exciting.

Quick Tech good bad and ugly:

Good – Yahama RVX473 amp – amazing bit of Hi-Fi / Home Cinema kit, particularly paired with Boston Accoustics speakers. Very much enjoying this – in particularly the Airplay feature and the Smartphone and tablet apps which let you remote control it over Wifi!

Bad – Not much to report on this front. Still remain a bit unconvinced by Windows 8 – think it makes most sense if you have a touchscreen / tablet type device (HP Envy looks interesting).

Ugly – Am I the only one that thinks the front of the BMW 1 series looks horrible?



February 07, 2012
Filed Under (Linux, MS Windows Vista 7, 8 etc, Open Source, Technology) by Ollie Cronk on 07-02-2012

So Microsoft is dropping the start button from Windows in v8

I think this is a silly move – surely one of the things that keep people tied to Windows is the fact that they know how to use it. If they (badly) copy Mac / Linux and force people to re-learn how to navigate the OS won’t more people just switch to Mac/iPad and Linux? Especially given Android’s recent successes, and the continuing Apple obsession?

Just need Google to ditch the cloud obsession from their Chromebook / Chrome OS or create an Android for PCs to accelerate it…

I hope for MS sakes they keep an option in to make the OS look like Windows 7 – eg a basic theme?



November 09, 2009
Filed Under (MS Windows Vista 7, 8 etc, Open Source, Samba) by Ollie Cronk on 09-11-2009

Further to my blog posts involving vista (and the tweaks that can help make Vista/Windows 7 compatible with Samba) I came across a registry setting that needs to be changed to get offline files to work correctly:

“Set the following registry key on the Windows Vista client to prevent files from getting pulled down to the client again right after synchronizing changes to the server (due to Linux file systems having coarser timestamp resolution than Windows):

Create a DWORD value named RoundUpWriteTimeOnSync under the HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\NetCache key (create the key if it does not exist) and set it to 1.” from the Storage Team at Microsoft’s Blog: http://blogs.technet.com/filecab/archive/2007/03/16/using-offline-files-with-samba-emc-servers-nas-devices.aspx



August 29, 2008
Filed Under (MS Windows Vista 7, 8 etc, Technology) by Ollie Cronk on 29-08-2008

So what do people think of Vista when they don\'t know its VistaOr is it just Microsoft cleverly going for the resistant adopters? Certainly smacks a bit of desperation though! The advert links to http://www.mojaveexperiment.com/



July 17, 2007
Filed Under (MS Windows Vista 7, 8 etc, Sony Stuff, Technology) by Ollie Cronk on 17-07-2007

Sony Vaio VGN-SZ3HP Overall Review

I knew it was time to replace my ageing HP Omnibook when some of the keys stopped working (well actually stopped working in combination with the shift key – which is really strange!). This time I knew I wanted something far more portable that the 15” desktop replacement that the Omnibook 6000 was – as I’d be using this on my train commute into London every day*. And although I wanted a small notebook I didn’t want to comprise too much on performance -hence the dual core & nVidia powered SZ3 appealed…

Ollie’s Vaio SZ3 running Ubuntu

 

I am often asked for purchasing advice on laptops and Sony is often my response – mainly on reputation as I have never owned one until now. People often say with a Sony you are paying the brand name – whilst this is true to a degree I also think you are paying for R&D and build quality. This certainly comes through with the Sony SZ3 – a well thought out compact & light but powerful notebook.

The SZ3HP is the entry level machine – with a slightly lower spec than that of the top of the line models mainly in processor and memory terms. I couldn’t justify spending much over the £1K mark and didn’t feel you got much more for quite a bit more money. The higher spec model is a different colour and has a fingerprint scanner, is marginally lighter with a thiner screen – quite how they can make it thinner than mine is beyond belief!

See the Vaio site for full specs and info on the SZ range (I see they are now on to the SZ5! I should have published this article sooner!)

Some of the nice features the SZ has are:

  • Dual Performance modes “Stamina” and “Speed” – with a switch to change between – requiring a reboot to changeover – this mainly changes between the Nvidia graphics and the on board Intel graphics.
  • Screen Mounted Webcam – not particularly high res but works well for MSN etc
  • Performance – both in speed and usability – for example the screen is excellent.
  • Design and looks – never fails to get comments from people – as it is a very nice looking machine!

Some of the annoyances are:

As shipped the Hard Disk has been split into 3 volumes – one for System use, and a C: and D: drive. Although I have now re-partioned the machine and dual boot Ubuntu and Vista (got the upgrade via a free deal)

Some of the Vaio software nags you quite a lot unnecessarily

Lack of a physical volume control or mute button like I had on the Omnibook. As it can be annoying when you realise you’ve just booted the thing up on the train and the Windows startup sound is about to play full volume! The only way of changing the volume is via the Fn+F4 and F5 keys which don’t work until your in Windows! I have just discovered you can assign muting to the S1 button – but this can be a bit flaky.

Slightly rattle to the battery – there is a small amount of play in the batter which slides into the back. This might just be my machine (and maybe I should have returned it – but couldn’t be bothered for such a small thing)

Initially it took a while to get used to the keyboard – as it was quite different the HP – the keys are bigger (strangely for a smaller machine!) and surprisingly there is a bit of flex in the keyboard – but I don’t really notice now I’ve been using it for a while. I got on better with the trackpad better than I was expecting (it better than most of the trackpads I’ve used before) to although on occasions I do miss the trackpoint (IBM Thinkpad stick style mouse) that the HP has. I use it in the Speed mode most of the time (apart from on really long journeys) as that gives well over an hour of battery life with good performance. I have managed to get over 5 hours out of the machine in Stamina though (on a trip back from France) using it mainly to read some documents, but also some image editing in Photoshop.

In terms of performance the machine has amazed me – dual core really is impressive – unfortunately with Windows I suspect that 1 core is used to power Windows and its inefficiencies and the other for your applications! It certainly runs a lot cooler and quieter whilst doing nothing on Linux than on Vista! The application that my desktop has been struggling with – Adobe Premiere Elements – runs well – again I think Dual core helps here.

Haven’t played many games apart from a short spell with Secondlife (which I gave up after a few hours – after realising I just don’t have time for games anymore!) which worked better than I expected – the nVidia graphics chip is pretty good.

Vista Notes

Okay so currently I can’t get the Webcam working under Vista (I probably just need to have a bit more of a play with the drivers but so far no joy)

Runs noiser and hotter under Vista than XP or Ubuntu Linux

General Vista issues

– Some software not working (or having to be hacked to get working – like 4oD)

Wireless gets disconnected everytime you lock your notebook (using the Windows Key and L)

More to follow when I can remember them / they annoy me again!

* As it turns out I am no longer doing that commute, but its useful having a truely portable notebook and as I plan to cycle commute the light weight and small size will come in handy!



June 01, 2007
Filed Under (MS Windows Vista 7, 8 etc, Technology) by Ollie Cronk on 01-06-2007

Couldn’t help but rant about this “offer” for Windows Vista and Office Ultimate edition(s) I saw on Amazon:

Vista and Office Ultimate Bundle Deal

I think £777.46 is expensive enough – but it illustrates quite how much (£969.98) you could Spend on just Windows and Office with Microsoft! I was amazed so thought I’d share!

Just think of the PC / laptop you could buy with that cash – with which you could buy the OEM versions of the above and save loads (look up Vista OEM on somewhere like Ebuyer.com or Dabs.com). Or if you can do away with Windows altogether – use Ubuntu and OpenOffice

I doubted the usability of Open Office until a few months ago – when I installed it on my parents new PC – they said that they haven’t really noticed the difference! They also said “how can they get away with doing this? Its exactly like MS Office!” Looks like MS might be trying to address that with its recent patent rumblings then!



May 22, 2007
Filed Under (MS Windows Vista 7, 8 etc, Samba) by Ollie Cronk on 22-05-2007

So after tearing my hair out for the last week with Vista – almost to the point when I was going to put Windows XP back on – I have finally got Vista Offline files working with my Samba shares…

I like to move the My Documents folder on each of my machines from the C: drive to a network share that lives on my Linux file server – on my laptop I make that available offline – in case I am away from home etc. On Windows XP this was fine and worked pretty well. I recently upgraded to Vista and mapped the drive for my home directory – all good made it available offline (or “Always available offline” as Vista now calls it). It did its initial sync and all was good.

Next time I logon (and after making sure I am connected to the network) I go back to my network drive to make sure its working online – and nope it isn’t! I make sure I can ping the machine – thats okay and I can access the share online if I access the machine by its ip – \\192.168.1.4\share. Very weird and very frustrating!

Whilst searching for the solution I came across some useful info on making sure Samba is setup correctly for offline files (mainly to do with oplocks – see below for a useful link).

Anyway tonight I have a brain wave whilst looking at Vista’s user management stuff and reading some more stuff on the net. It turns out that Vista’s offline files works per user rather than per share and as a result is more reliant on usernames and passwords. My Samba share uses a different password to my vista login. So I made them the same – and hey presto it works!

So in summary if using offline files in Vista make sure your usernames and passwords match. I also think I’ve seen something under the user accounts section that lets you link in different user account details – but I haven’t tried that yet. Here is a screenshot.
Vista Network Password Screenshot

Vista Offline Files Samba Settings Link Broken as of June 08 ;-(