Monday, March 29, 2010

Blogging from Seoul

Flying into Incheon International Airport I had a sense of uncertainty, and a little apprehension. There is so little known about North Korea that I must have naively assumed South Korea is somewhat similar. The truth could not be more different however. With legions of building lining the streets, towering and competing in beauty and glamour the city travels as far as the eye can see, and then further again.

I left Sydney at 9am local time and because I had a full day of travel ahead I chose to pack a Viliv X70 as my preferred in-flight entertainment. Since the last six flights I’ve done overseas have all been on the Airbus A380 I was definitely concerned about being back on a Boeing 777, with simplified seating and entertainment. Turns out I wasn’t wrong so the Viliv and a handful of DVDs came very handy!

My preferred in-flight entertainment, C/O Viliv X70!

Upon arriving in Korea I caught the number 4 bus all the way to my hotel and was greeted in the lobby by one of the readers of this blog. This was an awesome way to arrive in a new country and something really worth mentioning. Not only is Stan a mobile gadget lover (with a Samsung Q1U-SSD, a Viliv VANT, Samsung N10 and ASUS T10 in his backpack!!) but he is also a gentleman. Without hesitation he waited an hour for me in the lobby and then drove me across town to a very traditional Korean banquet. The food, the conversation and my first taste of Korea will truly be unforgettable.

Yes, they're all plates of food! SOOOOO GOOOD!!!!

Tomorrow I am meeting with Vili, UMID and a partner from France. I better get some sleep!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Melbourne all day today!

5am and Tablets are getting some rest for their trip! LOL

Today will be a slightly long day but always full of excitement ahead. I’m headed to Melbourne (Victoria, Australia) for a day of Tablet related meetings. I have some meetings with Government, some meetings with resellers and ending the day with a meeting with a company specialising in home automation. As usual I have packed a plethora of Tablets:
  • Amtek T10
  • Viliv X70
  • Viliv S5
  • DT Research DT312
  • Samsung Q1-EX
  • (notable absence, TEGA Tablet. Waiting on a new demo this Monday!) 
Something that was funny this morning was a tweet I got from @jessible: "@MrMobilePC: check it out - you're famous!" Thanks Jess!

Get Microsoft Silverlight

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Intel Intelligent Digital Signage proof of concept

I came across this Press Release today regarding Intel and the Digital Signage sector. While it is not specifically Tablet related, or even mobility focused, it does involve my other passion which is TOUCH! Check out this image showcasing what is basically a pane of glass with a touchscreen overlay. Ultimately I’ve witnessed the insurgence of robot-like kiosks all over the retail sector but I believe this would be much more minimalist and grandiose.

Intel claims the processor is the Intel i7 and the Operating System will be Windows Embedded. It is based on an Intel Digital Signage proof of concept and it has me very excited. I’d rather see this than clumsy tables and kiosk around the place, and if it became cheap enough how cool would a feature wall of this technology be at home!

One interesting piece of information to come out of the press release was a list of partners. I like that Tablet PC manufacturer DT Research was in the list and involved in this project! Maybe we'll see more of this technology in the mobile PC space!

Monday, March 15, 2010

What a difference a chip makes

Wi-FI & Bluetooth (on top), Wi-FI only (below)

The more I open these Ultra-Mobile PC I realise just how genius manufacturers are that build the devices. To fit everything into the small form factors and still keep them cool, running fast and full of features it often takes some clever design. Recently I cracked open a device to replace the Wi-Fi module with a combination Wi-Fi/Bluetooth module. It worked perfectly and integrated into the motherboard so well I decided to order a whole bunch “just in case!”

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Calibration update for Windows 7 Viliv S5 HID Driver

Last week I posted about the release of Viliv's Human Interface Device (HID) Driver for their S5 Mobile Internet Device (MID). Many of you reported mixed results (most came via Engadgets story) but sadly a common theme amongst the feedback was a change in sensitivity of touch, while others reported total loss of calibration and even dead spots. Ultimately I want to thank you for participating in the process and commend all of you for being part of the solution! Part the reason I write this blog is to act as a bridge between manufacturers and end-users and with your contributions mere conversations become so much more!

I spent the week working with Viliv Senior Technicians to resolve the HID Driver issues and reporting back each and everyone of your comments. Something that has become clear is that HID users need to realise that the presence of a HID Driver will in fact alter the touch experience; there are many technical reasons for this but in plain English the difference is based on the new layer of "thinking" being conducted by the driver to help Windows understanding exactly why you are touching and what your intended action is. You must expect a change in sensitivity but by no means should you expect dead spots!

With that in is the solution from the factory:

Please use the instructions below to enhance the sensitivity and accuracy for S5 
  1. Check the attached “S5 reset.jpg” file
  2. Reset the Calibration from Tablet PC setting
  3. Execute S5cal.bat and calibrate 25point
As always I will make myself available in the coming days to answer your queries and pass on your comments once again.

Cheers! Enjoy!

Thursday, March 04, 2010

In Queensland today with swag of Tablets

It's 7am and I’m testing out my new 3G upgrade while sitting in the Qantas Lounge waiting for a flight to Brisbane (Queensland, Australia). I’ve got several meetings planned which include partner meetings with the Health QLD, Herron Todd White and Datacom to name a few. On these days I rarely get time for lunch, or a break, but ultimately that’s what happens when you enjoy what you do, right?

I’ve packed a swag full of ten Tablet PCs and UMPC which include:

Fujitsu T5010, DT Research LogiPad, Arbor Gladius, Gigabyte T1028X, Amtek T10, TabletKiosk MediSlate (MCA), Viliv X70, Viliv S5, Samsung Q1-EX and TEGA Tablet.
It’s always funny to see the look on Security’s face when I start pulling out 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, etc…devices. The spaghetti of cables and AC adapters is another favourite of theirs too! Without question I almost always get swabbed and scanned under new anti-terrorist laws for “suspicious behaviour”. My response is “why, how many computers do you travel with!?”

Monday, March 01, 2010

How to upgrade Fujitsu T900 or T5010 Tablet PC to embedded 3G

One of the joys of having so many computers go past my hands is that I get to tinker and tamper with them till I get them right. If there is one scenario I love the most then it would have to be integrating 3G (HSDPA) into a device that does not have it out of the box.

I have been using Fujitsu Tablet PCs as my “main machine” for some time. To name just a few, I've owned a T4010 which lead to T4210, T2010, T2020, T4020, T5010 and now T900! So out of all the Tablets I own, and Ultra Mobile PC, I still come back to the Fujitsus as my preferred primary device. The main reason is build quality!

Recently the T900 was announced in Australia and to my distaste I was told that there would not be an embedded 3G SKU in the line-up. This caused me to crack out the screwdriver and hit Google for answers. But with no-one in the world posting anything about embedding 3G inside the T900 (or T5010 - mentioned here as they use the same motherboard inside) I felt duty called!

So here it is:
  1. Open the pack plate on the Fujitsu T5010/T900 and (with the front of the machine oriented to you) look for the top left corner of the unit. You are looking for an elongated bit of PCB.
  2. Unscrew the two black screws which hold down the host-PCB and remove it. (FUJITUSU PART #CP378152-XX)
  3. Now place your new PCB (FUJITUSU PART #CP378152-XX) back in the computer (ensuring the power connector is orientated properly). Place back the 2x black screws
  4. Now insert your modem of choice (Architecture: mini-PCI Express)
  5. Connect the black antenna to U.FL connector labbeled "main" and RED to AUX connector on modem.
  6. Insert a SIM card.
  7. Close the machine up
  8. Boot.
  9. Install the appropriate firmware/driver for your card
  10. Surf!
I know these are over simplified instructions so if you need clarification (or proper detailed instructions) please let me know. Ultimately I wanted to showcase how some hunting and gathering can lead to the right part numbers for the right job! I sourced the Tablet in Australia, the replacement PCB in Germany and the antenna in China! It proves that where there is a will there is always a way an importer! LOL!

Here are some images to assist:

Hole where the PCB will be removed from, and added to.
NB. The two antennas on the right are to plug into the modem as per instructions above.
The long white connector is the power connector used to power the PCB.

TOP: new PCB with SIM slot inside
BOTTOM: non-3G PCB with no SIM slot!
NB. The white connector on the left is for power
and is obviously found on both PCBs

TOP: rear view of SIM slot and full view of mini-PCI express slot
BOTTOM: no mini-PCI express slot or SIM slot! (SAD LITTLE bit of PCB!)

An example of two modems you might use:

I hope this helps at least one person out there. It changed my life radically having 3G embedded in my Tablets; so much so that I would never buy a device without it!