Found this blog about Oracle JInitiator very useful when tracking down an IE8/Jinitiator problem! Thanks for the tip – no wonder it took so long to figure it out.

The basics are that Oracle no longer supports JInitiator v1.3… So users who are forced to upgrade to IE8 are having issues as it triggers the Data Execution Prevention security feature in IE8.

To fix this, simply download Sun Java JRE (link from Nitesh’s Blog) – install, then grab the jvm.dll file from C:\Program Files\Java\jre1.5.0_13\bin\client and copy it into C:\Program Files\Oracle\JInitiator 1.3.1.XX\bin\hotspot

XX being the minor version number of Jinitiator… I found .9, .17, .21 and .22, it depends on how old the app you are trying to access is! Some people have multiple installs of Jinitiator as they use different versions for different products.. In this case copy jvm.dll to all \bin\hotspot folders.

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Windows 7: Safely Remove Hardware

I’ve been using Windows 7 for a few weeks now, and I’ve got to say that Microsoft seem to have done a pretty good job with it… However one thing that has annoyed me is that my Safely Remove Hardware doesn’t seem to work correctly.

Anyway – I figured out a way to get it working today – so I thought I would post it here for others;

The problem: When I click Safely Remove Hardware – it doesn’t appear to do anything.

The solution: Close all windows, right click on the desktop and Choose New>Create Shortcut. A window will appear asking for a location – cut+paste the following into the box;

RunDll32.exe shell32.dll,Control_RunDLL hotplug.dll

Click Next, and then type a name, eg. “Remove Hardware”.

You will now have a blank button on your desktop that you can click to get the familiar XP/Vista style hardware-stop window back. Just use this ‘shortcut’ to remove the hardware correctly.

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Netbooks grow up: Advent 4213 has a 3G sim card slot

A few posts earlier on this blog – I was aching for an EEE with a 3G sim slot… It looked like they were going to add one – with the sim card solder-points on the new 901 model – but as far as I know – they haven’t got there yet.

But the good news is: PC World – AMAZINGLY – have managed to deliver the product that no-one else could… A mini notebook with a sim card slot!


.. with sim card slot!!!

.. with sim card slot!!!

Price is listed as £349.99 – specs are:

  • Intel Atom N270 (Same as EEE 901 and MSI Wind/Advent 4211)
  • 1GB RAM
  • 160GB HD
  • Windows XP 
I think they’ve hit the nail on the head with this one – personally I’d prefer an SSD and Linux.. But an old-skool HD and XP is tried-and-trusted… Even for a techy – get one, shove VNC, Putty, Firefox, Thunderbird and Wireshark on there and you’re sorted!
I’ll report back here when I get more info!!
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Google Chrome: Good or Bad?

I’ve been reading about Google Chrome for a while now — and have been patiently waiting for it’s release on the google site… Anyway – to all those waiting: It’s out now!!

I’m a web developer – and have to keep up with the latest developments. I’ve got to say – when I heard Google were going to release a new browser – I thought “Oh no – not another browser to test!”… But after reading about what they aim to do in their browser ‘comicbook’ – I have to say I was more than interested!

I’m not a big supporter of Google — they’ve pissed me off multiple times… One time they chucked me off adwords for no reason – and took all my £30 earnings.. I appealed – waited 2 weeks – but they said “Nope – we’ve decided you can’t have your account back”. Other things have happened – which I won’t bore you about.

But… The ideas behind Google Chrome are to force more competition in the browser-wars… IE and Firefox *do* seem very used to their position… IE8 is failing the acid-tests and neither firefox or IE seem to get much closer than 85% EVER!!

Anyway – I’ve been using Google Chrome for a couple of hours – and I’m more than impressed. It seems to perform really well… I’ve had one or two unexplained ‘pauses’ – but the default new tab page (AKA your fave sites) is a really good idea.

I’ve got to say the overall feeling is that Chrome is a bit faster – and considering this is a beta release it makes you wonder what can be done with a bit of tweaking!! The designs are very basic – but a nice looking interface will come with time – and obviously it’s been designed to be functional rather than pretty (a common coder occurence!).

The problem with firefox is that a lot of home users have never heard of Mozilla or Firefox and are (rightfully) dubious about installing new programs with weird names for best bluetooth helmet…. But “Google – The browser” might just be the killer product to replace IE!

I’ll report back on how my browsing goes on with this pretty cool new browser.

Update: Google Chrome is REALLY fast… Just what users will need with the overloaded multimedia-laden web of 2008! This is an amazing first release. Just not sure about the vista-ish buttons on the interface.

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Acer Aspire £199

Just been reading that the Acer Aspire is being offered for a snip at £199 at pcworld. It comes with the Atom N270 processor, 0.5GB RAM and 80GB hard drive, comes installed with a Linux OS.

Acer Aspire One

The offer can be found here – I’m presuming it won’t be on offer for long!!

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I got back off holiday last Sunday, and had loads of things to sort out… Tanned and relaxed – I was ready for the week back at work with a million things needing to be fixed. Then I spotted an account of mine with £3000 missing – taken out over the last week.

It looks like one of my (windows) PCs has been hacked and used whilst I was away.

I’ve moved my various sites to new servers, and I’ve reported the details to the appropriate people etc.

… And now I’m spending the weekend mopping up the mess.

Just shows you can’t be too careful these days.

Edit: As I said above – I’ve moved my various websites to other servers, so there might be some slight issues with DNS updates etc. The DNS changes may take a while to propagate – but the sites should be back online fairly soon.

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Net access abroad

One of the reasons for purchasing my EEE PC was so that I could use it whilst out+about… I don’t really see the reason to torture myself with it’s small keyboard whilst at home – I have an all singing and all dancing for use at home.
I’ve been wanting this ability for years – I purchased an old Toshiba Portege years ago but ubiquitous web access was a no-no… When wifi became mainstream – I purchase a few 802.11b cards – but no one had AP’s yet!! As the years moved forward – the ability to have an internet connection wherever I happened to be came closer and closer.

The ultimate ‘net access whilst out+about’ is whilst in a foreign country…. The thought of using the internet in a far flung country has been on my mind for years. It’s been possible to use dial-up etc. and in later years even GPRS… But the cost has been enormous.

As soon as I saw the EEE PC – I knew I had to have one. It was perfect for travel-internet usage… A low-power, small and easily carryable laptop with USB and Linux for a cheap price… Almost cheap enough that if it gets damaged in transit it’s not too much of a loss.

I arranged to go on holiday to Italy and Sweden this year — and after a bit of searching realised that a 3G modem from the Three UK network — would be the ideal companion. The reason being — the same network has coverage in these countries too — so you can roam on these networks as if you were at home… Quite good when you have ‘mobile broadband’ of 1/3/5/7GB per month to use.

Question of tariff

There are various tariffs available – from PAYG to 7GB on a 12, 18 or 24 month contract.

Usually I’m contract all-the-way, however the PAYG has certain properties that make it much more desirable than the contract offerings… To put it basically – the PAYG allows you to buy a chunk of data and use it for the next 30 days… However if you’re a heavy user (like me) – once you’ve used the chunk you can buy the next chunk.

In comparison – the contract offerings are simply “You have 1GB to use over the next 30 days. After this there’s a fixed price per meg.”.

So — the key with the PAYG is you top-up with £10, buy 1GB of data (your account now sits at £0)… Once you’ve used your 1GB allowance – the net access suspends (because you have no credit left) and you have to top-up… This allows you to get out of the larger “£X for 1MB” charges. And then you can buy the next 1GB of usage.

The only problem – on PAYG you have to pay to buy a 3G modem.

As an existing customer of Three – I was able to get the best of both worlds: A free huawei E220 modem on an 18 month contract for £5/month – but I also had a spare PAYG sim so I could swap and change.

Anyway – to cut a long story short I’ve been using my EEEPC with my 3g broadband in Italy – and it works really well. I’ve been here a week – I’ve been browsing digg/slashdot/theregister/bbc/reading emails etc…. all my normal stuff and watching my dogs in the kennels on a webcam… and streaming ogg’s from home via winamp through XMMS and I’ve used just 400MB. It’s pretty amazing really.


As I said in my post earlier in my blog – this thing really does need an integrated Huawei  E220 – it deserves it!! But until then – I’ll stick with my 3G dongle – it’s worth it for the time being.

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EEE-alike from pcworld

PC World have released an EEE PC competitor – the Advent 4211 – with the new Intel Atom chip that the EEE 901 will come with… Amazingly they appear to have managed to get this baby out before Asus!!

Specs are interesting: 80GB Hard drive, 1GB RAM, 10″ screen, Windows XP, Bluetooth, wifi etc and are priced at £280.

Advent 4211 Pcworld

Apparently they are released now – but a quick check around the main stores show they are all out of stock… But it is available for home delivery. Looks a very nice machine!

You can buy them here.

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EEE Box write-up

According to theregister – ASUS has been demoing versions of the new EEE Box – the EEEPC for the desktop.

They are slated to sell for £167 and come with a 1.6Ghz atom processor, 1Gig ram, 80gig drive, gigabit net, 802.11n wifi and DVI.

Interesting future for the ASUS EEE product line – not really sure about the wood-effect though! I’m getting very interested in these new Atom processors that everyone keeps going on about — are they really that much better than the equivalent celeron (eg. the one in the eee 900)?

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EEE 900′s in EU have lower powered battery

It has come to light that the EEE PC 900′s in Europe are being shipped with 4200mah batteries – compared to USA EEE’s are rated 5800mah… This means USA users get 1/3 more power than UK users :(.

ASUS have hinted the lower powered battery is due to the cost of providing a longer EU warranty.

Apparently there was a similar problem in Hong Kong and ASUS replaced the batteries free-of-charge… Could the same happen in the EU?? I doubt it – due to the amount of sales, however an alternative would be to provide a voucher to use against ASUS products in future as good will?

Update: Have just spotted you can buy 5800mah or even 6600mah EEE batteries on ebay for about £20-£30.

Update Update: Looks like ASUS have back-tracked a little, and are offering a battery upgrade for £10.

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