Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Vulkano on an Archos 70

For those of you wondering how the Vulkano 010410VK All-In-One 8 GB Media Placeshifter, Black
media player for Android works on the Archos 70 - 8 GB Internet Tablet (Black), the answer is, unfortunately not that well.

I recently received the Archos 70 (which is identical to the Archos 101, so don't expect it to be any different), and my main reason for purchasing it was to use my Monsoon Vulkano placeshifter device.  Unfortunately, it does not work well.

First off, to even get the Vulkano Android player, you have to download the marketplace apk (sort of a hack, since it does not come from Archos pre-installed on the unit). First, you need to update your archos tablet to Froyo (android 2.2) which can be done from the settings update command.  Then, you need to go get the marketplace apk and install it. Instructions can be found here: http://forum.archosfans.com/index.php .   Once you get the apk installed, you can browse the android market and get the vulkano app.

I did not have any issues getting it installed or configured, but the first couple times I tried to access it, I got a force close.  Then, after a reboot of the archos device, I was able to access my Vulkano, but the quality is horrible.   The sound is not synced properly with the video, and the video is extremely choppy.
I tried both on my lan as well as on the wan, with both connections from Verizon Fios with the 50/35mb plans, so my bandwidth is not the issue.   I tried switching the stream quality to low, and it had no effect.

However, moving recorded programs from the Vulkano's DVR onto the Archos Android and watching them locally worked fantastic.

I hope the team out there working on rooting this device can also get the processor back up to its full 1ghz speed, so I can retest.  As it stands now, the Archos 70 and Archos 101 do not play well with Monsoon Vulkano.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Monday, November 1, 2010

Intel Pro/100 PCI NIC Card Driver for Windows 2007 32x

I recently did a fresh install of Windows 7 32 bit on an old emachine that had a PCI Intel Pro/100 Network card installed in it. Unfortunately, the windows setup installation did not have the drivers for it. A quick look at Intel's website showed that they do not have windows 7 drivers for the Intel Pro/100 PCI Card. I tried downloading the driver pack for Vista and running it in compatibility mode, but that did not work.
Fortunately, these drivers did: Intel Pro 100 for Windows 7
  1. Download the file
  2. Run the file (it will extract to Dell\Drivers Folder)
  3. If it does not install automatically, go to device manager and install from there, choosing the windows XP folder for the driver path. (from the update device driver button)
For Search Engines:
Windows upgrade advisor :
Intel(R) PRO/100+ PCI Adapter
Before installing Windows 7, go to the device manufacturer's website to download the latest driver for this device. After installing Windows 7, install the saved driver.

    Friday, October 29, 2010

    APC Replacement Batteries

    After a good five years, it looks like my APC SmartUPS 750 batteries have kicked the bucket on two of my servers. I was looking into a cheap alternative than the $200 newegg and apc direct sell for the sua750rm2u batteries and stumbled upon this on amazon: APC RBC22 Replacement Battery Cartridge #22.

    There is only one review, which is positive, but they claim that the batteries are not original APC batteries. I am looking to save a couple bucks, so I think I will pull the trigger, I will report back on my findings.

    hmmm, on second thought, I am thinking about buying a bigger ups instead of replacing the batteries. this one? APC Smart-UPS SUA1000RM2U 1000VA 120V USB&Serial 2U Rackmount UPS System

    Friday, September 17, 2010

    Monsoon Vulkano Placeshifter and Verizon Fios

    A quick review of the Monsoon Multimedia Vulkano device and using it with Verizon Fios.
    I recently purchased the Monsoon Vulkano placeshifter streaming device. The product is extremely new to the market, and it receiving very mixed reviews. I found it to be completely buggy, and confusing to set up (since there were no installation instructions). After thinking I had a dead on arrival unit, I finally realized that the first boot up of the box took almost ten minutes, and that is why my tv was showing no signal for the hdmi input.
    However, if you are a somewhat technical computer person, you should have no issues getting things up and going, it just requires patience as you install firmware, reboot the box, configure your router (if necessary).

    So, what I learned so far. (Running firmware from 9/15/2010)
    • The on screen programming guide absolutely sucks. It takes a while to load, and once it does, it only works typically one time. After that, the screen gets locked and you cannot scroll through shows. Monsoon claims that they are aware and working on this bug. The only resolution I have found to get around the on-screen programming (EPG) locking up is to reboot the device.
    • The IR blaster is a bit laggy but works okay.
    • Default settings of the player on the lan were losing a decent amount of frames for me. My vulkano is hard wired to my router, and my laptop is wireless connected (g speeds), so I dont see why this would be the case. It also is not even close to 720p resolution. I only played with settings for a minute, so I may be able to get it working better.
    • The DVR works well, and picture quality and sound are good. However, until the EPG gets fixed, it is kind of useless.
    • I did not have to configure my router at all, everything worked fine. (Actiontech Verizon Fios router). It even works on the WAN without any configuration.
    • Volume SUCKS on the streaming. I have to have my pc and the remote volume cranked just to listen to it.
    • For FIOS users, yes, you can access your multi-room dvr through the vulkano (that is connected to your cable box). In fact, for some reason, the dvr'd content coming from your verizon box seems to stream better than regular live tv.
    • For Fios users, using a digital box, in the intial configuration screen select fios. Then for the remote configuration, select Motorola as the manufacturer and then select Comcast 1375 as the actual unit. It works PERFECTLY as the remote/IR blaster for the Vulkano to the Motorola box. (I have the mototola qip 7100 cable box for fios)
    • For all users, if you have the inputs available on your tv, use them! I have my cable box direct connected to my tv via hdmi and also use the box's component video into the vulkano and the vulkano's hdmi to input 3 on my tv. This allows you to watch tv as normal when you are in the room without going through the horrible Vulkano interface (and lag with the IR blaster).
    • Would I buy again? Actually yes. The box is in its infancy, and yes it should not have been released as is. However, for someone that is technical, I will actually enjoy watching its progress and improvements.
    • If you are looking for a quick and easy plug and play solution, this device is not for you (yet)
    • Once the bugs are ironed out, and the new widgets are added, I will be extremely happy with the purchase.

    I can recommend that you purchase this today.  Get it now:  Vulkano Pro 010410VP All-In-One Media Placeshifter Includes 500 GB eSATA Hard Disk, Black

      For Search Engines:
      Vulkano Review
      Monsoon Vulkano Placeshifter
      Using Verizon Fios Remote with Vulkano
      Vulkano does not have Verizon Cable box listed

      Tuesday, August 17, 2010

      Restoring Original Tiffany Lamp Bases

      If you need your original Tiffany Lamp Base restored to museum quality, visit www.RestoringTiffany.com.

      Greg Williams, of G. Williams MFG has just launched his new website, and I am helping get the word out. His company provides professional restoration and reproduction services for Tiffany Studios Lamps and Antique Lamp Bases.

      Updated 4-2-18:  RestoringTiffany.com is now mobile friendly!

      Monday, June 7, 2010

      Replace Blades on Troybilt Bronco Riding Mower

      I recently had the need to replace the blades on my Troybilt Bronco Riding Mower  (Troy-bilt bronco nut size) that was purchased from Lowes. The manual was useless, as was the in-store help in identifying the size nut that locked the blades to the shaft. After some trial or error, the nut is a 15/16" nut that locks the blades onto a troy-bilt bronco lawn mower. Your obviously need a torque wrench or breaker bar to loosen/tighten the nut.

      Any of these tools should work:
      -Great Neck CO8C 15/16''Comb.Wrench Carded
      TEKTON 14251 1/2-Inch Drive by 15/16-Inch Deep Socket, 6-Point
      Wilmar 3/8" Drive, 15/16" Socket (W38030)

      I did not test it with those myself, so buy at your own risk.  If you don't have a big enough socket wrench to handle the sockets, you are better off buying the combo wrench.  You may still need to use a piece of pipe as a breaker bar to loosen the center nut on the blades of the mower deck.

      For search engines:
      What size nut on the blades of a bronco troybilt lawnmower?
      Troybuilt riding mower blade locking nut size?
      What size wrench do I need for troybuilt riding mower from lowes?
      Mower blades troybuilt troybilt nut size.
      Troy-bilt bronco nut size
      what size mower blades nut on troy-bilt bronco riding mower?
      Troy Built Bronco Bronco blades nut size.

      For those with an impact driver, this should work for you:

      Thursday, January 28, 2010

      Increase Laptop Audio for Movies or Music

      One of the most common complaints I hear about laptop speakers is that they simply are not loud enough. When listening to movies, or music, many laptop speakers just are not able to output an audible level of sound. However, there is a simple solution.
      Instead of using Windows Media Player to watch your movies or listen to your music, download VLC Media Player (http://www.videolan.org/vlc/).
      VLC, by default, allows you to increase the volume up to 200%. However, if you hold ctrl and press the up arrow, you can increase the audio (sound) up to 400%.

      Tags for search engines:
      Increase Audio in VLC Media Player
      Increase volume on laptop for movies
      increase volume on laptop for music
      increase sound for movies on laptop
      laptop speakers are not loud enough
      increase sound on laptop

      Friday, January 15, 2010

      Differences between Verizon Touch Pro 2 Windows Mobile 6.1 and Windows Mobile 6.5

      I recently downloaded and installed the approved Verizon Wireless Windows Mobile update for the HTC Touch Pro 2. Note, this is not a cooked rom, it is the official release from HTC and Verizon for the HTC Touch Pro 2. You can get the update and installation instructions here: Verizon Wireless HTC Touch Pro 2 Windows Mobile 6.5 Update

      The installation of windows mobile 6.5 took about 7 minutes for me, and then about 30 minutes to reconfigure it back to the way I wanted it. Surprisingly I did not have to reactivate my TP2 with Verizon after the update, as I have had to do with other updates to other devices in the past.

      Overall, there are not many changes to the device/gui.

      Here are the differences I noticed so far on the HTC Touch Pro 2 Windows Mobile 6.1 vs Windows Mobile 6.5 for Verizon Wireless:
      • A new unlock screen. Now when you lock the phone you can still see the time, date, and your next calendar appointment. The unlock feature has now changed from pressing two separate buttons to a locking slider, just like on the Droid Eris. Additionally, the lock itself indicates if you have any new emails. (This is my favorite update).
      • All of the icons on the TouchFlo3D Sense UI slider are now in color.
      • Setting up the synchronization with an Exchange Server works a bit better, as it is able to predict the name of your exchange server.
      • Options now exist to set up yahoo and gmail email accounts when you initialize the phone.
      • The home screen now has an animated flip clock.
      • The home screen now has GPS weather for your current location (current conditions, temp, highs, lows)
      • The HTC weather app now has a default weather graphic that uses GPS to show conditions (prior version was set to a static location).
      • The camera now allows you to set GPS coordinate tagging to photos if you choose.
      • A prior issue in which switching from wifi to verizon data would cause your opera to stop working has been resolved, it now switches between wifi on/off smoothly.
      • Pocket Internet Explorer had a HUGE update. It looks totally different, is much faster and has built in Adobe Flash Lite.
      • Apps installed by default: Everything it had before: Preinstalled Verizon TP2 App List AND now includes 'Bing', and 'Search Phone' (which allows you to search through emails, texts, files, etc.)
      • Opera 9.5 is loading sites much faster than before.
      • The notification bar now also shows you % of battery life remaining.
      Still to be determined:
      • I don't know how battery life is yet, I have heard some complaints that it is worse than before
      • I don't know yet if they used the same crappy bluetooth stack that they had before. I will find out later today when I pair it to my car. It seems they repaired the bluetooth stack. Now you are able to hang up calls using most cars and paired headphones (my Infiniti G37 was not able to hang up my calls prior to this update)
      Here are some tips before you update:
      1. Install Microsoft MyPhone on your cell phone before you update it. Synchronize your entire phone (pictures, docs, text and email if you are not using exchange). This will allow you to easily import the data back in your phone after your update.
      2. Any specific applications that you installed will be wiped out. Make sure you have a copy of them on your storage card (which will be unaffected by the update.
      3. If you are currently using the Windows Marketplace, and you install the update, simply access the marketplace again once the update is done and it will automatically let you reinstall anything that you purchased or downloaded on your old version.
      Tags for search engines:

      HTC Touch Pro 2 Windows Mobile 6.1 vs 6.5 Verizon Wireless
      What does the Verizon Touch Pro 2 windows mobile 6.5 give me
      Differences in Verizon Touch Pro windows mobile 6.1 and 6.5
      WM6.5 vs WM 6.1 TP2 Verizon Wireless