Vista & HP1740 LCD Panel Driver – WARNING!!!!

Well interesting weekend with Vista. On Friday I checked on Windows Update and there were updates for my HP nw8240 laptop hardware up a new graphics driver for ATI Mobility FireGL and the HP 1740 LCD I have connected to my docking station at work. So what does a good Vista person do, but opt to download the updates in order to get the ‘BEST” Vista experience.

Well on Friday all seemed to go well and after the update (no reboot now required for graphics driver updates which is really cool) and I continued to work happily with my 2 screen setup. Coming out of standby at home it was a different matter however, suddenly I could only run at 1280 x 1024 on the laptop panel (normally 1680 x 1050) and kept getting a ‘you have have no privelege to change settings’ followed by ‘this is an invalid display configuration’ whenever I tried to change the display setting.

So obvious thing is to suspect the updates I installed on Friday and I went to the graphics adapter and opted to rollback the driver – no change! Obviously I can’t rollback the LCD panel driver as since it isn’t attached I can’t access its driver properties from anywhere. Let’ts try looking at the installed updates from Control Panel – only shows the Windows updates installed and not those for drivers or other in-built apps (such as Windows Mail which also got an update).

Well didn’t need to do much over the weekend so got with weekend stuff and then back in work Monday to fix this. Well now things gets really messed up since once I bring up the laptop on the docking station I can only have a display on the in-builf LCD and am not able to show anything on the second display (you have no rights, etc, etc). So let’s just roll back the Hp1740 LCD driver now we have access to it under devices  in Computer Management.

WHAT! Now I have 2 screens showing the same content running at 640 x 480! Go back, update the ATI graphics driver again, try a reboot, nope still 640 x 480 – You have no rights, etc, etc. Have you ever tried Vista in 640 x 480, it REALLY doesn’t look good.

THINK! OK. open Computer Management, go to Devices, select the HP1740 LCD from the displays list and opt to uninstall it (include selecting to delete driver software). Screens go blank, wait for drive light to stop, press standby button and then bring laptop back out of standby and we are back in hi-res mode. Now bring up display properties and opt to extend desktop onto second monitor and we are back in business.

Moral of story:-

[1] Always create a restore point when updating drivers (I didn’t in this case)

[2] Avoid the HP1740 LCD driver like the plaque if you value your sanity

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The iPhone Interface – How new is it?

I was pointed towards this presentation by Jeff Han at TEDTalks today and here he talks about research into dual-touch user interfaces. Lots of talk about two finger guestures to zoom in/out etc pretty much what the iPhoner is supporting. And David Pogue in one his blog posts also mentions Jeff’s work with Jobs implying that Apples came first.

Now this would not be the first time that Apple has looked at research and assumed this as its own would it? So who came first, and how long has research been going on in this area. How do you get 200 patents on one product and just how many people have been working on patents just for the iPhone. Think how much more Apple could of done if they weren’t writing up 200 patents, believe it is a slow and resource intensive process. How much manpower was just consumed writing and pursuing patents, and now we wait for the lawyers to start trying to enforce them (assuming they get approved of course).

The iPhone is not a Phone!

Just been reading up on the Apple iPhone announcements and it looks really cool. BUT it is not a phone, what phone requires you to press a button before you start dialing and I still didn’t see in Apple’s videos how to get a dial pad up quickly.

Now my Windows Smartphone my have its problems but if I want to dial somebody I just dialing their number or entering their name on the keypad and in a few presses I can dial their number. The iPhone UI looks cool but seems to me that it forgets to be a phone so really it is an iPod Phone, i.e. a music player first and a phone second, and that is what this post on it being a PDA done right argues as well. Not so sure about it being a full PDA yet though, what about over the air email sync?

So cool, good first try, but not a phone.

Hardware Virtualization – It’s Starting

Just noticed today from a link David Marshall’s VMBlog site that Hitachi now have a blade based server platform with virtualisation built into the hardware so how long before IBM, HP et al follow suit.

This is what I talked about in November and makes incredible sense for the hardware vendors since they intimately understand their hardware architecture and can optimise it for virtualization. So between them and the operating system vendors (Microsoft with Verdian and Linux accepting virtualization enhancements into the kernel) where does this leave VMware in the future? Their future lies in management systems for the virtualization space and you can see they fundamentally understand this through their acquisitions. It is not going to happen overnight but over time virtualization will become a commodity item built into the core platform architecture.

New Year, New Header

Time to update the picture header in my blog, finally got round to some customisation. The picture if one of many we took of the Roman ruins in Budapest from our long weekend there in October 2005.

The ruins were not something we expected to find when we went to Budapest but were well worth the bus trip out to see and just reminded us what a large empire the Roman empire was at one point.