Tuesday, January 31, 2006


Near-Future Ubiquitous Networking Devices Visualized by Designers

Piero sent me a link to an article on Punto Informatica that describes a computer system concept proposed by NEC which comprises of five small pens. This concept, named P-Ism, is basically a computer/mobile phone/scanner system in which each of the five small pens provide a different function but all work together via a wireless connection to provide a computer system. The "computer" connects to the internet through the Mobile phone pen, one of the pens scans data and provides handwriting data input function, another projects a virtual keyboard and another projects the display/monitor.

It's a cute idea so I did a quick search for it and found the NEC Design page entitled "Resonantware - Near-Future Ubiquitous Networking Devices Visualized by Designers." Nice title. This page has a bunch of different device concepts. Just in case you get over-excited and think they're actually activily producing these things they provide the following reminder:

(These are concept models and not planned to be commercialized at this point.)

NEC : Design Activity : Future Design

I liked the idea for the duo products. The duo-pc is a laptop that has two screens, one of which doubles as a keyboard, so you can use the laptop as an eBook reader, a double screened monitor when you're at your desk and as a normal laptop when you wish to use it...as a laptop. Sweet.
duo-pcduo-pc: duo-phone

Friday, January 27, 2006


Dual booting fun

Last week we got back our HP Officejet d155xi "all-in-one" printer at work, so I decided it would be a good idea to connect it to my computer. How wrong I was. Seeing as my computer had Windows Server 2003 installed on it, I soon realised that HP's doesn't make drivers for Windows 2003.

Undeterred I thought it would be a good idea to install Windows XP on my computer too as I had been thinking about it for some time. Why? Well, I installed 2003 when I started working here so that I'd get used to using it and had starting feeling that it might be nicer just to use XP Pro. With Visual Studio 2005 out I thought it would be good to be able to use that as well as Visual Studio .NET, therefore allowing me to switch back and forward between them.

So I decided on creating a new partition and installing XP Pro, VS2005 and Office 2003 on my shiny new partition.

Here are the steps in brief (will beef these out when I get the chance - or maybe not):

1) Paritioning in 2003 - Partition Magic doesn't work on 2003
2) Tidied up data into nice neutral partitions, reformatted an existing 18gig partition into two 9 gig ones.
3) Installed 2003 (after finally finding the cds and the serial numbers) on one of the new partitions.
4) Installed Win XP
5) Ran updates...many times
6) Installed VS2005 Pro
7) Installed Office 2003
8) Ran Office updates. Updates failed - out of space
9) Installed partition magic on xp. Determined best course of action to be to reallocate space from C drive, thus allowing my 2003 and XP partitions to be roughly the same size - approx 25 gigs each.
10) Successfully ran Office updates.
11) Installed browsers
12) Installed textpad and WinRAR
13) Found out Win 2003 partition no longer booted (can't find KB which shows how to fix)
14) Tried to run fixmbr from Repair Windows XP install, but couldn't remember my local pc Administrator password.
15) Removed Admin password using Hiren's Boot CD 7.7 (thanks Giovanni)
16) Fixed MBR. Still no dice.
17) Found an MS KB from some group that said I needed to copy over Ntldr and Ntdetect.com from the i386 folder in the Win 2003 install disk to the root of the C: drive and change some attributes.
18) Rebooted sucessfully into 2003.
19) Celebrated.

Sometime during this process Piero suggested we use his server Phoenix as our print server as it had XP Pro already installed on it. Subsequently we found out that you did not really need to install the drivers in order to get all the functionality from the fax. As you can imagine, we still can't receive faxes but we can do pretty much everything else thanks to the printer's own display and the fancy JetDirect network dohickey.


Another idiot

Fueled by a nice cup of tea and a successfully completed Irish Times Simplex crossword I decided this morning to see what Flock was like. Seems like a nice little browser so I'll give it a whirl and try to a load of this blogging lark.

Any good? Well, my template is a bit pants so I'll have to get that sorted.

So, what have I been up to recently?

Well, over Christmas Bea bought me a Nintendo DS and Paul H bought me Bruce Campbell's autobiography - "If Chins Could Kill: Confessions of a B Movie Actor" so entertainment was close at hand. Still haven't played Mario Kart DS against Trickshot Tsang yet, but it's only a matter of time...

For my birthday last week Ellen bought me a one year subscription to the Irish Times online (hence the crossword this morning) so I've been catching up on that. Jen got me the "Nouvelle Vague" cd and a great Gift Grub t-shirt with the brilliant Hector/Tom Cruise phrase:
TaispeƔin dom de airgead!!

Bea bought me "Hary Potter e la camera dei segreti" and "Harry Potter e il prigioniero di Azkaban" amongst other things. Mum and Dad bought me the Damian Rice b-sides cd and 8Ball's cd, which I'm just about to have a listen to.

Well, as I become another idiot publishing a blog, it's time to get back to work.

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