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July 06, 2007
  • Goodbye my Apple MacBook Pro, I hardly knew you.

    I previously posted the question An Apple MacBook Pro... Why not?, and I have an answer for the time being. The short of it is this - the new MacBook Pro's use an Nvidia graphics card (the 8600M GT) and Nvidia cards do not work well with Windows Vista. I am not certain about Windows XP, but with Windows Vista via Boot Camp 1.3 I continuously encountered the dreaded nvlddmkm errors . In Nvidia's own forums you will find over 72 pages of discussion about this error, dating back to January. It has not been solved, nor does Nvidia have any answer posted anywhere, nor via phone support.

    In my own experience, I received both BSOD as well as the the annoying screen flash followed by the nvlddmkm error message as shown here and discussed in the above forum (the registry changes  did not resolve it for me btw). The clue about what is going on lies in the fact that the error only occurs when using Aero. When running Vista, if you turn off Aero and simply run Basic mode, the errors stop. Moreover, you can cause it to happen at will simply minimizing/maximizing windows such as Internet Explorer. Clearly something is going on with the DirectX rendering for which the Nvidia driver is choking on, but sadly, not a single support rep would listen or had a way to contact anyone that would help fix the problem.

    Jul 6, 2007 at 12:23 AM in Computer Hardware
March 11, 2007
  • MacBook ProI am not an Apple Fanboy – but I am a fan of innovation, choice and knowledge. When thinking about my next laptop, more and more I am strongly considering something that was not a possibility a couple of years ago. I am seriously considering an Intel based Apple MacBook Pro. As someone using Windows, .NET, ASP .NET and having decades of intellectual and financial investment in the PC platform, a move like this is not to be taken lightly. I will not and cannot throw that all away, but not only do I not have to but I am excited to expand my knowedge by the potential move to an Apple laptop.

    In some ways it will be going full circle because I first started using and developing software with the Apple II. Once high school courses started, PCs were the primary machine, but I remember thinking what trash they were compared to the Apple II GS OS. The DOS and Novell driven PCs looked and felt terrible compared to my Apple II GS. I debated with classmates about why the Apple was superior (yes, I know, I know) but alas a prettier UI, better user experience and technical superiority does not necessarily matter. The law of numbers and practicality do.

    Accordingly, Apple became less and less viable as a platform and a lot of us moved to the PC where the majority of jobs and high growth areas were. Whether you wanted to start a new software company or work in an office, many times that dictated that you use a PC. Today is different and it is time to reevaluate and (dare I say) “think different”. Why?

    Mar 11, 2007 at 10:54 PM in Computer Hardware, Mobile, Software
December 13, 2006
May 31, 2006
  • 27l4226box

    If you have a laptop or computer that does not have a floppy drive along with a SATA and or RAID hard drive system, then you are going to have issues when attempting to do a clean install of Windows XP. The problem is that Windows XP (all editions) does not contain native support for SATA nor many moden RAID configurations. This means that during a clean install you must press F6 at the initial screen to install third party drivers that support the RAID/SATA controller. However, Windows XP will only accept drivers from the A: drive... cleary this is a problem if your machine does not have a floppy drive.

    So the question is, how can you install the SATA/RAID driver from a floppy drive you do not have? This is the problem I encountered while trying to do a clean install of Windows XP Tablet PC Edition 2005 on a Toshiba Portege M400 and for which I will share the issues and solution because it is not as simple as it may seem...

    May 31, 2006 at 12:51 PM in Computer Hardware, Software
August 17, 2005
  • has an article titled Dell Satisfaction Takes Deep Dive. Unless there are some major changes or frustration level acceptance is recalibrated - this hurts the whole computer industry.

    I have long purchased Dell machines and had been quite happy with them. When I got my first non-Apple PC, I built it. Why? Because it was cheaper and had everything I wanted it to have - I did not have to swallow whatever CompanyX was throwing at me (and charging for). This is a great solution when it is for yourself; building a single PC is as simple as going to New Egg and takes little time after the parts are acquire... But I digress.

    When I started purchasing Dell products, they offered the same level of customization that I had when I built them. Thus, when ordering systems for business (or home), Dell became my place of choice. The systems never looked the flashiest, but they often had at least the option of great components, and the price was certainly in range. Furthermore, when buying any computer you depend on (much less 5, 10, 100+), support becomes an issue. Dell used to have good support, along with decent choice; neither is the case anymore.

    Aug 17, 2005 at 03:56 PM in Companies, Computer Hardware
August 01, 2005
  • As I have lamented previously, IntelliPoint/ IntelliType software for Microsoft keyboards and mice will not work with Windows XP x64 Edition. Since XP x64  was released those many months ago I have searched high and low, far and wide, for answers as to when we x64 users will be able to fully utilize our none-too-cheap hardware.

    Today I received the answer via Microsoft evangelist and blogging machine, Robert Scoble: they are doing the 64-bit version now and it should be out in November (2005).

    While I am disappointed the release will not be until November, I would like to thank the ever busy Mr. Scoble. For those of you who do not already read his blog, you really should. After searching and contacting support for many months, Robert took the time and let me know his findings within days of contact. Thank you.

    Aug 1, 2005 at 04:13 PM in Computer Hardware, Microsoft & Related, Software