Friday, August 8, 2008

Get the right AVAST

When you "Google" AVAST, you will get a lot of links to pages that look like avast, and perhaps some of them are varients of it. But most of them want you to pay for it. They are not the real AVAST site.

Here is the link to the real one...
Avast! Antivirus Protection (

Thursday, August 7, 2008

August 7, 2008 Listener Calls

AVG Update Requires Restart

If the message appears even though you rebooted, please perform following procedure:

  • Please run AVG Control Center->Update Manager->Settings->Advanced tab-> use "Delete update temporary files" button.
  • Reboot your PC.
  • Try to update again.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

HP MiniNote 2133

I recently acquired a HP MiniNote 2133 laptop for use on the road while performing work duties. I chose this tiny laptop for a number of reasons:
  • It is extremely small and light
  • It has a great display (1024 X 768)
  • The keyboard is nearly full size (92% of normal)
  • It is fast enough to do what I need to do with it
  • The case is quite solid, and the screen has a hard protective coating
  • It has built in wireless
  • It has an external monitor port to hook up to a projector
  • The price is very reasonable (about $550)
Okay, now for the skinny on this little bugger. You can see full specs on the unit at HP's webiste.
The one I ordered came preconfigured with Suse Linux Enterprise Desktop. Whiloe it pains me to say this, it was a big mistake to order the Linux version of the laptop. There was one drawback that was a deal killer for the Linux version: the integrated Broadcom wireless card. The folks at Broadcom have not released their driver and firmware code to the OpenSource community, so difficult at best to get their hardware working in Linux.

My wireless worked great under linux, until I ran a system update. The new linux kernel did not have broadcom support, and wireless quit working. I was not able to restore the wireless, and HP's tech support could not resolve the problem. So, I blew away linux from the hard drive, and installed Windows XP.

This machine works great running XP.

So, you might be wondering how big this unit is. Here is a photo of the laptop with my blackberry phone on top of it. This other photo shows my hand on the keyboard. Finally I have a screenshot of the KAXE homepage as it appears on the MiniNote.

There are only a few drawbacks (minor for me, but they could be deal breakers for some folks):
  1. There is no optical media (CD / DVD) This means I hve to install software from a USB drive.
  2. The screen is small (physically) so even though it has a high resolution, everything looks small.
  3. Sometimes it runs a little hot, so it might be uncomforta ble on yoru lap without something underneath it.
Would I Recommend It?
This is a great little portable device. Perfect for use on the road, at meetings, or just to show off a new gadget. The display is great for surfing the web, reading email, and making presentations. The keyboard is large enough even for man sized hands. So, it this is what you are looking for, I highly recommend it.

It is NOT a replacement for your desktop computer. The display is too small for prolonged use. I get a little eye strain after using it for an hour straight.