Visit us at the Landmark mall this weekend!

by Shijaz Abdulla on 21.02.2013 at 07:13

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How to install Windows 8 on Acer Iconia tab W500

by Shijaz Abdulla on 20.09.2011 at 23:05

Credit goes to fellow techie Ahmed Ali Ibrahim of Qatar for his inputs.

Here’s how we installed Windows 8 Developer Preview on an Acer Iconia tab W500.

  1. Extract the 32-bit Windows 8 Developer Preview ISO and copy the files to a USB thumb drive.
  2. Shutdown the tablet.
  3. Connect a USB keyboard to the tablet.
  4. Press and hold down the Windows button and the Power button, when the machine starts, press F2. This will display the BIOS setup.
  5. Change the boot order to boot from the USB HDD. WP_000069
  6. Save changes and exit BIOS setup, plug in the USB thumb drive, and restart the computer. You can disconnect the keyboard at this point.
  7. The computer boots into Windows 8 setup from the USB drive. DSC_0545DSC_0547DSC_0549
  8. Windows 8 automatically installs all the drivers, except for the Bluetooth and the G-Sensor. You can download these drivers from the Acer website. You also need to download the “Device Control” application from the Acer website (it is listed under applications). The screen rotation will not work both the G-Sensor driver and the Device Control application are not installed.DSC_0550

If you had installed the 64-bit version of Windows 8 Developer Preview, the G-sensor will not work as the driver on the Acer website is only for 32-bit versions of Windows.

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Setting up a Windows 7 Media Center

by Shijaz Abdulla on 06.12.2009 at 07:31

I’m setting up a Windows 7 Media Center at home and thought I’d share feedback on how I went about getting it done. Being a tech enthusiast, and NOT much of the movies/music person, I went for something very modest and inexpensive.

 

The PC: Acer Aspire Revo R3600

 

  • Very sleek, black, ultra small form factor, can be mounted on the back of a flat panel TV or mounted on its own footing. Both mounting kits are provided in the package.
  • Intel® Atom 230 processor @ 1.6GHz (intel’s smallest processor)
  • 2 GB RAM, expandable to 4 GB
  • NVIDIA ION chipset
  • NVIDIA GeForce 9400 upto 896 MB
  • HDMI output, VGA output
  • 6 USB ports,
  • 4-in-1 card reader
  • eSATA port
  • Built-in wireless adapter, Ethernet port
  • HD Audio 7.1

The Display: Videocon Haute 32” Flat Panel LCD TV (VBL32HBG-FLA)

  • 32” LCD, 16:9 aspect ratio, 1366×768 resolution
  • 2 HDMI ports, VGA with audio jack
  • 3 RCA inputs
  • Proudly made in India :) 

videocon

Human Interface: Microsoft Wireless Optical Desktop 1000

  • Media Center keys
  • Spill resistant (living room/coffee table use)
  • 6 month battery life. (I recommend using rechargeable Ni-Cd batteries for keyboard and mouse)
  •  

    I would have preferred a keyboard with built-in trackball instead of a mouse for living room coffee table convenience, but I couldn’t get hold of one.

    desktop_1000

    Webcam: Microsoft LifeCam VX-6000

    LifeCam CinemaI used the LifeCam VX-6000 only because I had a spare one lying around. For those buying a new webcam, I would recommend the LifeCam Cinema, a great webcam that I had evaluated:

    • 720p HD widescreen @ up to 30fps!
    • Auto Focus
    • Digital microphone

    The LifeCam VX-6000 that I used is an older model, that has the following features:

    • 71 degree Wide Angle Lens (good for living room set up)LifeCam VX-6000
    • High Definition video
    • 3x digital zoom
    • Up to 30fps
    • Built-in microphone

    Why a webcam on my Media Center PC? OK, I like to use the living room computer for video conferencing with relatives, because this way the whole family can be on the couch *and* within frame :)

    TV Tuner:

    I am still looking for a good, locally available external TV Tuner/Capture card that is on the Windows Media Center Hardware Compatibility List (HCL). The ones that I found locally are from Lightwave – and that’s not listed on the HCL. I already have an STB with RCA composite output and RF out jack, and I’m looking for a capture card that will receive one of these and display it in Windows Media Center. I will post an update when I finally install a TV Tuner. :)

    Meanwhile, if any of you have got Lightwave TV tuner cards working with Windows Media Center, please post a comment and let me know of your experience.

    For now, the only thing I watch on my PC is Internet TV from IslamBox.TV.

    Other hardware:

    • Since the Acer Aspire Revo R3600 comes with no bluetooth, I have a USB bluetooth dongle plugged in.
    • The Revo comes with no DVD player/recorder and you might want to buy one. For me, I already have a DVD player hooked to my LCD TV, and I have other computers in my Windows 7 HomeGroup that have DVD recorders. Installation of Windows 7 on my Revo was done with a USB stick.
    • I had to buy an HDMI cable because neither the Revo nor the Videocon LCD TV came with one.

    Audio: HDMI output

    The audio from my TV is good enough for me. You can always connect a sophisticated audio system if your TV supports it. The Revo only has a headphone jack.

     

    Setup:

    • Unpack and set up the Revo as per the instructions enclosed, initially use the wired keyboard and mouse supplied with the Revo
    • Connect the HDMI cable between the PC and the LCD TV.
    • Power on both units, get connected to the internet, install updates, antivirus software, etc.
    • Install the wireless keyboard and mouse as per the instructions enclosed and unplug the Revo’s wired keyboard and mouse
    • Install the LifeCam as per instructions e
      nclosed. Plug the device in only when prompted by the installation software.
    • Uninstall any useless software that was pre-installed by Acer (some games, utilities and trial software)
    • Upgrade the Revo from Windows Vista to Windows 7 using a USB stick.
    • Connect your TV/STB to the TV tuner card and do the installation. Run through the Windows Media Center setup.
    • Set up a Windows 7 Homegroup to better share
    • Try not to mess around with the display resolution too much. I use 1024×768.

    Here are some pictures of my living room computer :)

    SNC00830 SNC00833

     

    What next?

    The next things on my list:

    Installing Windows 7 on a netbook without a DVD drive

    by Shijaz Abdulla on 02.12.2009 at 12:47

    I recently purchased an Acer Aspire Revo nettop for my home Media Center PC. Since the purchase was made before the official launch of Windows 7, the computer came pre-loaded with Windows Vista. The nettop itself is really cool, it comes with a tiny form factor and can be mounted on a mounting stand or stuck behind a flat panel TV. More on that will follow in another post.

    acer-aspire-revo-photo-gallery-2acer-aspire-revo-photo-gallery-9

    Today I decided to upgrade the nettop to Windows 7. There is however one serious consideration to be taken – like most nettops and netbooks, the Acer Aspire Revo comes with no DVD drive!

    Windows 7 comes on a DVD and I have no intention of buying a DVD drive :). This is why I am going to use a 4 GB USB flash drive for the Windows 7 installation.

    1. In order to prepare the USB drive, run DISKPART on any Windows computer. Type DISKPART on the Start menu and hit ENTER. 

      Note: DISKPART utility is usually available by default on your Windows installation. If you don’t have DISKPART download it here.

    2. Plug in your USB flash drive. You need at least 3 GB of space, I recommend you use a 4 GB flash drive. All data on the USB stick will be destroyed so make sure you don’t have any important data on the USB drive.
    3. Type the following commands inside the DISKPART command line utility:
      • LIST DISK (to see all physical drives on your computer)
      • SELECT DISK 1 (assuming disk 1 is your USB drive. Make sure you select the right drive here! Refer to the output from the LIST DISK command)
      • CLEAN (to wipe out any existing volumes on the USB drive)
      • CREATE PARTITION PRIMARY (creates a new primary partition on the USB drive)
      • ACTIVE (Marks the newly created primary partition as ‘active’)
      • FORMAT FS=FAT32 QUICK (formats the newly created primary partition in the FAT32 file system. The QUICK parameter saves time by doing a quick format)
      • ASSIGN (to give the new partition a drive letter)
      • Close DISKPART
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    4. Copy the contents of the entire Windows 7 DVD into the USB drive (drag and drop).
      image
    5. Eject the USB drive, and plug it into your nettop or netbook, boot from it. (You may need to change the boot sequence to get your netbook or nettop to boot from USB). In the Acer Revo, hit the F12 key to select the boot device. The computer will boot from USB and you can continue the Windows 7 installation.
    6. If you are upgrading from Windows Vista, just plug it in after Windows Vista has started and do an upgrade.

    Watch out for my next post on how to set up a Windows 7 Media Center PC at home.

    Video Blog: Windows 7 performance on older computers

    by Shijaz Abdulla on 23.10.2009 at 20:18

    A few weeks ago, I installed Windows 7 Ultimate Edition RTM on my brother’s Acer Aspire 5571 laptop, which is at least 3 years old and has an Intel 1.6 GHz processor, just 1 GB of RAM, and initially came preloaded with Windows XP.

    Not only did the machine boot up amazingly fast, it also enabled the Windows Aero theme and the performance was great!

    Check out the video:

     

    click to enlarge

    This is my first video blog. The video was composed on Windows Live Movie Maker using a Microsoft LifeCam VX 6000. Please post your feedback!