Category Archives: Laptops

Thinkpad T60 wireless not working after windows update

The wireless card Intel Pro 3945ABG on a Thinkpad T60 stopped working after the latest Windows XP Update.  It showed as “working properly” in my hardware profile but neither the Windows Network Tool or the IBM / Intel Network Manager could pick it up and the Fn+F5 combination couldn’d switch the wireless back on. If you are a techy you know what to do next…. reinstall the device. Here are the steps if you need it.

1 – Go to START>ControlPanel>System
2 – Click on the “Hardware” tab then “Device Manager”
3 – Click on “Network Adapters” (to expand it) and then select the Wireless card (in my case the Intel Pro 3945ABG)
4 – Right Click on the wireless card and select uninstall from the pop-up menu.
5 – After uninstalling click on Action>Scan for Harware Changes and your device will be found and reinstalled
6 – Restart your computer and it should all work.

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I Want the Dell Inspiron 13 – but Not in Australia

I have been saving and planning on purchasing a new laptop. Laptops from Dell have always been high on my list of laptops and I had been interested in the Dell Vostro 1400 laptop, but Dell Australia changed the warranty options for their Vostro laptops (no CompleteCare past the first year), so I was instead looking at the Inspiron 14 (1420), which offers the option for CompleteCare for the full term of the extended warranty.

It’s been taking much longer than I had originally planned to finally be in a place to get a new laptop. Recently though my wife’s Dell Inspiron 2650 finally died after over 5-years of service. This has left us in the undesirable situation of only having one computer (that sounds a bit greedy after reading it, but I need one for work and she needs one for communications and support raising).

I’ve been looking at what Dell was planning to replace the Inspiron 1420 with and it looks like the Dell Inspiron 13 is it.

I reckon that the Inspiron 13 looks like a handy little laptop, and the reviews of it seem to say that for the price it’s a good value.

For the last few weeks I have been waiting for the Dell web-site in Australia to update their pages with the Dell Inspiron 13. They have had a fixed model up since the global launch of the laptop, but I don’t want their standard configuration.

Unfortunately it looks like for some stupid reason Dell Australia will not be offering customisation of the Dell Inspiron 13! According to comment #34 on this forum post they will not be offering customization on the laptop in Australia.

I tried to get confirmation of this by talking to a Dell rep, but all I was told was that I can’t customize the laptop at this time. They didn’t know if it would be possible in the future.

So now it looks like I will be waiting another 4 – 6 months and I will purchase a new Dell laptop when I get to Canada. The thing that I like the most about the Dell laptops is the International Warranties that you get with them. Because of that warranty I can purchase the laptop in Canada and get it serviced pretty much anywhere.

Installing OS X without a functioning optical drive

I recently gave my old powerbook to my sister in law. I had a lot of information on it and so I planned to transfer all my files and do a clean install. One problem the dvd drive on my old powerbook is broken. It would continually spit the installation disk out. Fortunately I have another mac which was able to help with this.

So how do I install OS X when the dvd drive is broken?

1. Connect the two Macs by firewire cable. One will be the host for the DVD drive and one will be the target which you will install OS X onto.

2. Start up the target computer you plan to install OS X on in target mode by holding down T when you restart the computer. This will mount the target computer as a hard drive on the host computer.

3. Put the OS X installation disk into the Mac that is your host computer.

4. You can now either open the installer on the DVD which will prompt you to restart the host computer. Or you can simply restart and hold down C which will force the Mac to startup from the DVD.

5. Once you have started up from the installer DVD follow through the normal steps. You will then arrive at the option to choose the destination. Select the hard drive of the target computer. You will probably have to change the options if you are not doing an upgrade.

6. Once you have finished the installation shut down the host computer and disconnect the firewire cable. You can now restart the target computer which will startup with a newly installed OS X.

*Note: If you are installing OS X 10.3 (panther) or earlier you can not use an intel based mac to use as the host computer. Both the target and host computers will need to be powerpc based and vice versa if you are installing on an intel based mac.

Lenovo X300 vs MacBook Air – Part 2

A while back I wrote about the new Lenovo X300 being a good competitor to the worshiped MacBook Air. Well I found this advert on youtube, it’s probably not as funny as the “I’m a Mac I’m a PC” ads from Apple but it does show that the X300 got it right where Apple got it wrong.

Dell Laptops Available at Office Works in Australia

I was in Officeworks this past weekend picking up some stationary for my son when I noticed that Officeworks now sells Dell laptop and desktop computers.

Although the practice of Dell selling computers in retail outlets has been common in North America for a while, it is a first for Australia. This change represents a large change in marketing for Dell, who until now has only sold computers via their web-site.

A quick look at the Officeworks web-site tells us that the following Dell computers are available:

  • Dell Inspiron 1520 – Intel processor
  • Dell Inspiron 1526 – AMD processor
  • Dell XPS M1330 – Intel processor
  • Dell Inspiron 531ST 5600 – AMD processor
  • Dell Inspiron 531ST 4800 – AMD processor

The prices look very similar, or identical, to what you can find on the Dell web-site.

By purchasing your Dell laptop at Officeworks you actually get to try it out first, which is a plus for many people. You are however limited in the configurations available compared to purchasing it on the Dell web-site.

ThinkPad X300 to Rival MACBook Air

The chinese company Lenovo bought the struggling giant IBM in 2005 and is now close to releasing the new ThinkPad X300 which is set to rival the so talked about MACBook Air. I know if you are a MAC user you will just say “pff another attempt to compete with a MAC” but this is serious competition. The Businessweek Magazine published an outstanding article about it and by the look of it the X300 will be a big fighter in the “ultra thin” laptop war.

The main features on the X300 are the presence of DVD drive, WiFi and Ethernet, removable battery and 3 USB ports compared to the MACBook Air with no DVD drive, Wifi only, 1 USB and non-removable battery. By the way it also fits in an interoffice envelope.

I’ll not attempt to rewrite the article so please read it in full here, also watch and intro video here.