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The HP Mini Twins

I've been toying with my new HP Mini 5102 for a couple of days. It'll take a little longer before I can get into the details of it, but it's a nice little machine. Here's a pic of the Mini…

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Simple, Economical Ways to Refresh An Old Laptop

My primary laptop is an HP 8510w. It’s about thirty months old..and I don’t yet hate it…which is a sure sign that it was truly a nice machine when I first got it. This was my second HP laptop after a long history of using Dell models. Given any choice at all I won’t ever go back to Dell.

Under normal circumstances my employer would agree to replace the machine after three years (36 months) use. Some companies, like Exxon-Mobile where my brother-in-law works, would push that out to 48 months. When a laptop gets to be four years old it’s usually very slow & compared to current technology. It becomes a source of frustration. At least for my activities, which are graphics heavy, there’s a very real argument for a 36 month upgrade cycle.

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One Mans Decision: Netbook vs iPad

On this weekend that Apple is launching their latest revolutionary wunder-device, the iPad, I find myself thinking about the past year carrying a little netbook.

It’s about a year ago that I bought my first netbook, the HP Mini 2140. I pondered that purchase for several months wondering which model netbook was best suited to my needs. There were and remain are so many models, so very similar in most ways. In particular I needed insight into using the smaller keyboard.

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Choosing A Router/Firewall For A Small Office

net4801_2_lOne project that I’m am about to start is moving from my m0n0wall router to a new one build around pfsense. The motivation for the project is the integration of our Comcast Business Class internet service into the rest of the household. At present there are two separate networks, with only a few devices enjoying the high speed cable service. The pfsense system will be configured for dual WAN, accessing both the cable service and Covad DSL circuit.

My existing m0n0wall runs on an old Soekris Net4801. In service for many years, it has been extremely reliable. If m0n0wall does what you need I have no hesitation in recommending the software. Support from the user community is tremendous as well.

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Traveling Light The Rest Of The Week: Mini 2140 & Win7

hp-compaq-8510pLast Friday my trusty HP 8510p laptop developed a serious problem. The connection between the LCD and the motherboard went bad rendering the display useless. The system is only about 16 months old so it’s not quite time to replace it, at least according to my employer.

Thankfully I bought a 3 year extended warranty so HP is going to take care of the trouble. Monday I spent half an hour on the phone with HP support getting the case logged and ordering a return shipping box. Initially they didn’t have the extended warranty on file, but I had the receipt to prove it. The system was ordered from their SMB Depot so all the records are email, which I could immediately produce as proof.

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Hulu, VoIP, Hospitals & Ineffective Network Filtering

This past weekend it happens that I spent a day at Memorial Hermann Northwest Hospital. The why is a long story and not especially important for the moment. I was pleasantly surprised to find that the facility has an open guest Wifi network. That allowed me to do some work, blogging, etc while I was there.

A little later in the day we were moved to a room without a TV. Since we were going to be waiting a while I pulled out the Mini 2140 and logged into Hulu so that we could watch some TV. We watched last weeks episode of Terminator: The Sarah Conner Chronicles.

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