Disclaimer

The content of this blog is my personal opinion only. Although I am an employee - currently of Imagination Technologies's MIPS group, in the past of other companies such as Intellectual Ventures, Intel, AMD, Motorola, and Gould - I reveal this only so that the reader may account for any possible bias I may have towards my employer's products. The statements I make here in no way represent my employer's position, nor am I authorized to speak on behalf of my employer. In fact, this posting may not even represent my personal opinion, since occasionally I play devil's advocate.

See http://docs.google.com/View?id=dcxddbtr_23cg5thdfj for photo credits.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

One of those days...

It's been one of those days (weekends) at Mudshoe Manor.

Yesterday my daughter's tablet PC, an HP tx1000 (more precisely, a tx1420us) refused to power on. So I set her up with an account on my tablet PC to do her weekend's homework. In the meantime, I unplugged and removed the battery on her tablet.

By the end of the day, her machine was working. So we transferred her homework to her machine. This morning, she made some revisions, fixing the glaring speech recognition errors. (Yes, Sophie has been using Vista's speech recognition.)

And when we broke for lunch, of course, her tablet PC broke again. this time hard, not fixed by removing power. The blue lightning icon flashes briefly, and then nothing.

So she moved back to my tablet PC to do the rest of her homework. Yes, she had to redo her revisions of the morning.

While she is using my tablet PC, I google hers. Ouch. Apparently the HP tx1000 series has well-known problems with overheating caused by its AMD CPU and, more notoriously, bad solder or wire bonds or something similar on its Nvidia graphics chip. Unfortunately, the simple fix, pressing down the JKL keys while booting, doesn't work.

Youtube is full of videos on how to repair this, usually amounting to opening the case, removing the motherboard, heating up the Nvidia GPU chip without heating anything else, pressing down, and then attaching a penny or a quarter to provide better contact to the heatsink - the heatsink apparently not having a bar dedicated to the GPU.

I've been reading about the Nvidia class action suits. Apparently now I am involved - maybe. Although the problem is notorious on the Internet, apparently HP has not officially acknowledged it.

So, this is where I'm at: do I open up the case to do the DIY fix, or do I wait on the phone to see if HP will deliver a fix pursuant to the Nvidia class action? I'll probably do the latter, and if that fails, the former.

In the meantime, my daughter is PC-less. Or, rather, I am PC-less while she uses my PC.

I'm writing this on our old, and hitherto almost useless, 2go PC - one of the original classmate PCs, early netbooks, from Intel's employee purchase program. Plugged it in and booted it for the first time in almost a year. After installing umpteen upgrades and security patches, I installed the Diamond BVU195 USB display adapter drivers, and Chrome - and now this formerly useless and slow PC is reborn as a web browser appliance. Seems fast enough for blogging.

It's quite amazing to see the 2goPC, with its 1024x600 display, drive 3 1920x1200 monitors.

I love USB display adapters!!!! I hope the Linux drivers are available.

It's like dominoes: one computer has a problem, and I have to fix another, and then another. My daughter's machine doesn't have much on it - we mainly are cloud based - but just in case, I am going to pull the drive. Unfortunately, I don't have another drive with enough space to transfer to. My own tablet PC is full. So, this finally forced me to find the disk drive upgrade for my tablet PC that I had been sitting on, and start transferring to that.

Off to find open source drive imaging software.

I hate computers.

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