AboKevin’s Laptop Hunt: Episode 1: My Laptop died today

Written by AboKevin on . Posted in Apple, HP dv9074ea, Microsoft, Opinion, Personal

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Clubhouse Tags: Clubhouse, Story, Challenge-laptop

 

Last night I set my laptop to sleep, packed it into my computer backpack and went to bed. Today I brought it with me to work (as usual) and set it up on the desk, hit the power button and went to fetch a cup of coffee. When I returned to my office I was dismayed to find that the screen was black – pitch black. I moved the mouse… nothing happened, hmmm.. I used the touchpad… nothing happened… What the… I hit CTRL-ALT-DEL… still nothing… Okay, probably Bill Gates at work, so I held down the power button for 4 seconds and the machine powered down. I hit it again and waited for the usual HP logo screen… NOTHING!? and then… a long beep, and then two short ones. NOOOOOO… The videocard has died, and since this is embedded on the motherboard the whole thing needs to be replaced.

HPdv9074ea

I contacted HP customer support, but since the warranty expired a long time ago, I mean – I bought this machine October 2006 – no immediate luck there. But, Norwegian consumer laws to the rescue. Under law I have 5 years in which I can complain and have the machine fixed. So I submitted my claim to HP and are now waiting their response, which I should have sometime tomorrow. (Wish me luck)

Being impatient I went to some online stores to see if there were any laptops I could think of purchasing if it comes to that. Microsoft has been running a lot of ads centering on the fact that Apple machines are way to expensive compared to PCs that are available. Well, are they?

Living in Norway, I went to Apples online store and was shocked to see the prices there:

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For a 13 inch MacBook with and 2 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor, 2 GB of RAM and a 160 GB hard drive they wanted a whooping kr 11.000,- (approximately 1500 US dollars). No way…

Then I went to komplett.no, one of Norway’s largest online computer shops and found this beauty;

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A HP (yes, again) Pavilion dv5-1190 15,4 inch laptop, with a 2 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor, 4 GB RAM and  a 320 GB Hard drive for kr 7500 (approximately 1100 US dollars).

So, in other words a much larger screen, double the amount of RAM and double the amount of storage for kr 3500 less? Maybe my taste is awful, but I do think that the HP is every bit as appealing to the eye as the MacBook, so why the difference in price? It must be the silhouette of that one bite Golden Delicious on the front…

Conclusion;

None so far, other than the fact that a snowball would survive in hell before I buy a Mac (or their prices have to drop significantly).

For now I am waiting for HPs response, and hopefully a repair of my laptop. You know, I really like my HP dv9074ea. It was purchased 2 1/2 years ago, which is a long time when it comes to computers, but it’s specs can still hold up, and it ran (hopefully runs) Windows 7 beautifully!

Wish me and my laptop luck! 🙂

Whatever happened to my blogging…?

Written by AboKevin on . Posted in Family, HP dv9074ea, Personal, Windows Vista, x64

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Good intentions are obviously not enough! I had every intention of blogging here regularly, but as is quite obvious, that has not happened – at all! So enough of empty promises – I will only now say that I will try to keep this blog alive. How often I will blog? Well… as often as I feel like it.

A lot has changed since I last blogged when it comes to my computers, software I use as well as in my personal life;

– I still have the Hp dv9074ea laptop, but I have formatted the hard drive and installed Windows Vista Ultimate x64 on it this time around. I am very satisfied with the performance of the computer, although I wished that I could add some more RAM. Alas, I have already topped it with a maximum of 2 GB. On the negative, I must mention that along with a lot of other Hp dv users I have had to send in my machine for a motherboard replacement as the laptop totally died on me some months ago.

I had at the time also purchased a Hp dv6055 for my wife, that also ran into the same problem, only a couple of months after I bought it. Terrible! Besides that very annoying malfunction on both laptops we are both very satisfied with the performance of the machines.

– I have upgraded my desktop so that it now has a Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 processor with 6 GB of RAM, a Powercolor Radeon HD 4870 graphics card on a ASUS P5K-E Wireless motherboard. I have of course installed Windows Vista Ultimate x64 on this machine as well. It is a fast! machine that meets all my computing needs and then some. Although I am no heavy gamer, I do play the occasional game, and Crysis runs beautifully on it.

On a more personal note I am very happy to say that me and my wife are expecting our third child! 8 years since last time, but we are really looking forward to our new family member. And the kids just cannot wait until they see their new sister or brother. It has been so long since last time, that it almost feels like its the first time for both of us! Couldn’t have been better!

About future blogging;

Having 2 laptops and 2 desktops in the house means that there is a lot of maintenance to do.  And there are multiple copies of files spread over the lot. I have downloaded Live Mesh and SyncToy 2 and are at the moment trying to figure out how to sync my data between the different machines. For instance I would really like to have all my email on both my laptop and my desktop. I manage email through Outlook 2007 with the Outlook Connector software for gmail and hotmail, but I have not yet had the time to figure out how I will sync mail between the machines in order to have everything on both machines at the same time. I think SyncToy will do the trick. I will post here when I figure out how to do that.

Another topic is sharing multimedia data in the household. On the desktop hard disc I have more than 15000 digital pictures as well as approximately 7000 songs. I would really like to share these files with the rest of the computers in the household as well as to the Xbox 360. Windows Vista makes it easy to share and access, but being on a mostly wireless home network (g) I am not too impressed with the speed and usability. I will have to delve further into how to make my setup more user friendly. Posts to follow.

Well I think that should be enough for now. Promising more will probably be promising too much at the moment.

Any hints or tips on those topics are welcome indeed. 😉

Setting up my home network with Windows Vista

Written by AboKevin on . Posted in HP dv9074ea, Networking, Windows Vista

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In one of my previous posts I promised some words on setting up a home network with Vista. At home I have ADSL (12000/650) provided by Norways biggest broadband/telephone/cellular provider Telenor. We have a total of 4 computers in the household, all of them running on different versions of Vista; (1) The family desktop computer situated in my upstairs den – A Fujitsu Siemens Scaleo 600 running Windows Vista Ultimate, (2) My laptop – A HP Pavilion dv9074ea desktop replacement system that has taken over the role of my main computer also running Windows Vista Ultimate, (3) my sons desktop, a home built system with the AMD Athlon 2600 CPU  running Windows Vista Home Premium and finally an (4) aging Toshiba Satellite S121 laptop that barely runs Windows Vista Basic. On top of that we have a couple of rooms to let, presently occupied by a student running Windows XP Home.

Since the household computers are spread out over the three floors of the house, wiring were out of the question. Telenor provides the DSL modem, a Thompson SpeedTouch 564T2, and my wireless router is a D-link 624 54g.

Setting up a wireless network in Vista is simplicity itself. After getting connected to my provider having set up the modem and wireless router, setting the D-624 to filter by MAC adress as well as WPA encryption the routine is as follows;

1. Connect to your network by right-clikcing the network icon and then choosing that spesific option in the taskbar.

2. Choose your wireless network from the list

3. Enter the WPA encryption key

4. You are connected.

5. Repeat the above steps for the other computers as well

To see all your networked computers go into the Network and Sharing Center and choose to map your network (View Full Map);

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It cannot be simpler than that! A huge improvement over the way I had to set everything up in Windows XP SP2 not even mentioning how it was done pre- SP2.

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