Vaio P Challenge: Day 2

November 10, 2010 Leave a comment

Today was utter failure. Outside of checking my e-mail in the morning I was on my MBP for the entire day, and will be tomorrow as well. Maybe it was the wrong week to start the challenge. Oh well, we’ll get it worked out eventually. Heck, I’m posting on my iPhone! Fail!

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Vaio P Challenge: Day 1 (Tues)

November 9, 2010 Leave a comment

vaio p

I’m off to a fairly descent start, but not without some roadblocks.

A busy Tuesday, lead me to use my MBP for the afternoon. It had all the files that I needed, and didn’t have the time to copy everything off. I also wanted to use MS Word, which is only on the MBP. I’m still not used to OpenOffice or what capabilities it has. After coming home from the office, I had the MBP with me, so I just ended up using it to write a blog post to be published tomorrow.

On the positive side, I woke up this morning and the Vaio P was the one I booted up to check my e-mail and twitter. This evening, I installed Picasa and edited the photos I’m using for said blog post, then uploaded them into WordPress, and added the final edits to the post. So far, I think everything will work out fine for a smooth transition to the P.

Tomorrows barrier will Adobe PDFs, anyone know if Adobe Reader is able to save filled in PDF forms like OS X’s Preview? I guess, I’ll have to try it out.

Image Source: yugatech.com

Categories: Mobile, Technology, Vaio P Tags: ,

Vaio P, my personal challenge.

November 8, 2010 Leave a comment

Sony Vaio P Gold Color

Are you the type of person that buys stuff just because it’s new and cool, perhaps there’s something nostalgic that draws to you buy? If so, you’re like me.

Before my fate purchase of my custom Vaio P, I had pipe-dreams of days long ago. Upon returning from Japan many years ago, my computer setup was a Vaio PictureBook VR-BP, severely underpowered but small and compact. I installed a 60 Gb hard drive, and given my computing habits it was fine for what I wanted to do. Eventually, moving into a new job, it chugged along as my work machine and in order to effectively use Microsoft Outlook, but I had to hook up to an external monitor for more desktop space. Skip forward to more present times, and in order to reduce “stuff” and offset moving expenses I had to depart with my beloved PictureBook.

Today, I find my much loved Vaio P in dire under-use. An expensive paperweight, it sits on the side of my desk plugged in waiting for me to need some ULTRA-portable computing, as my main computer is a early 2010 13″ MacBook Pro. Last week, I contemplated making a little switcheroo, temporarily using my Vaio P as my main machine. Only, with all my data on my MBP and being so used to OS X now, I’ve just been procrastinating. Thinking about it, there’s no reason for me not to be able to just swap out; the barriers are only mental. I can use two computers if I needed, heck my iPhone is synced to my MBP and I’m not going to change that.

So what do I normally use my MBP for?

  1. Net surfing (check)
  2. E-mail (check, use browser or install mail client)
  3. Addressbook and calendar (hmm… must look into)
  4. RSS (check, use browser or install software)
  5. Skype (check)
  6. Writing (check, online or OpenOffice)
  7. Twitter (check)
  8. Movie watching (check)
  9. Music (can do, but limitations)
  10. Photos (can do, but limitations)
  11. Video editing (can do, but difficult and limited)

So let’s take a look at items 9 through 11. Basic music playing and photo editing should be just fine on the Vaio P, but the big limitation is hard disk space. With only an 80 Gb hard disk, there’s not enough room for my current music and photo libraries. I’m not about to crack this baby open, and replace the hard drive, so one option would be an external disk. It would be a lot of work to manage the different libraries across OS’s, something I’m not interested in doing at the moment. For the time being my iPod and internet radio can fill the gap, but for photos I’ll need to work out photo management for my blogs and personal library. For video editing, I use QuickTime X to cut clips from my digicam and Sony Bloggie and upload them to YouTube. I’m sure there are options for Windows 7, but I have not investigated them and I’d imagine they will not be as easy or may too taxing on the P’s Intel Atom.

On the hardware side of things, the high-resolution of the Vaio P’s screen is great, but I have the resolution lowered for non-eye squinting reading. On the desk, I’ll be hooking it up to a 20″ widescreen LCD sitting unused. Around the house or on the road, as-is will work just fine. Touch typing on the P’s keyboard is fine with my small hands, so I’ll just have to get used to the small right-shift key. And although I do not mind the touch-point nib mouse while on the go, at the desk I’ll be relying on my compact Bluetooth mouse. I do have the feeling I’ll miss the MBP’s multi-touch track pad.

The Vaio P is an amazing piece of hardware, and I cannot sit around any longer for it to fall into obsolescence. Reading the forums, there seem to be quite a few people using the Vaio P to its fullest potential, and I’m excited to join that crowd. Let’s see if I can get my act together and set everything up tomorrow. Stay tuned.

Any tips to help guide me or to share your experiences, please leave a comment.

iPhoto 09 x iPhone 3G

June 9, 2010 Leave a comment

With over 300 photos accumulating on my iPhone, it was time to off load them to iPhoto. Recently, I’d purchased a new MacBook Pro (Snow Leopard 10.6.3), and although I’d synced to iTunes, it was the first time for iPhoto. However, when I opened iPhoto 09 and then connected my iPhone, nothing happened. Looking into Image Capture, it said I didn’t have a camera connected, however it was sitting there in iTunes perfectly happy.

After much  troubleshooting involving changing settings in iPhoto, trying to edit .plists (non-existant on my system), and other crap suggested on other sites, I finally found the answer. This blog hit the nail on the head, and my problems were solved.

It appears that something in either the iPhone or iPhoto code doesn’t like pictures downloaded to the camera roll. In my camera roll, I had downloaded some photos from the internet and also some photos from emails. After searching for those images and deleting them, my iPhone showed up in iPhoto 09.

Strange.

Categories: iPhone, iPhone Photos

Skype is happy now.

February 22, 2010 Leave a comment

After installing Windows 7 on my Vaio P, I ran into a huge problem. After getting into a video call on Skype, usually a few seconds into the call I’d get a BSOD, and the P would reboot itself. Searching for a solution, I checked the video driver version and realized the stock Win 7 upgrade disks from Sony installed a very old GMA 500 driver: 7.1.4.1.0.1076. While everything ran fine, including video calls in MS Live Messenger, Skype hated it.

Since my Vaio is a Japanese model, I headed over to the driver download site, and downloaded the new GMA 500 video driver:

VGN-P*1、P*0「Graphics Driver(Intel) Ver.8.14.10.2011 for Windows 7 32bit」アップデートプログラム [Updated 2009/10/22]

I believe there are newer drivers floating around the interwebs, but this version solved my Skype problems. No more crashing.

If you’ve installed the Sony provided Windows 7 upgrade, definitely check your video driver version. If it’s the old one like mine was, upgrading would probably be a good thing.

Categories: Vaio P Tags: , ,

Vaio P + Win 7 trouble

February 6, 2010 Leave a comment

After a couple days playing with Windows 7 and liking it, I ran into my first roadblock.

As you can see, the stock Windows 7 upgrade for Vaio uses the 7.1.4.1.0.1076 driver (dated 2008/10/04 !!) for the intergrated Intel GMA 500 video card. I didn’t think anything of it until this morning when trying to do a video chat in Skype. Both times I turned on video, I got the dreaded BSOD, and my ‘puter rebooted. Since there are some newer drivers, I’m gonna try them out.

Not being able to use Skype is a deal breaker for me, so these drivers have gotta work!

Categories: Vaio P Tags: , ,

Vaio P: Windows 7, first thoughts

February 5, 2010 Leave a comment

After some errands in the morning and afternoon yesterday, I prepared myself for the long Windows 7 installation process. To my surprise, the Windows 7 install was quite fast, seemed a lot faster than an XP install. The Sony driver and software updates did take a long time, but not the 5 hours I was expecting. In the end, the whole installation probably took about 2 hours.

As, I previously wrote, my install is Windows 7 Home Premium Edition (Japanese) Upgrade as part of the Sony Windows 7 upgrade campaign. The package came with everything needed to get my Vaio P up and running with all hardware functioning.

My first impressions are very promising. I’m able to run the software I need to, and everything is running smooth, albeit just a hair slower than XP. I really like the look and feel of the new interface touches, but am having a little trouble getting used to the new task bar. Things like having Live Messenger minimizing to the task bar instead of the tray are strange.

One of the really nice things I’ve noticed is the text seems a lot easier to read on the P’s crazy 1600×768 resolution. On XP, I bumped up the dpi to 125% but it was still difficult to read. With Windows 7, I’m at 100% dpi and have no problem reading most things without straining my eyes.

Lastly, my main concern was with video performance. I’m happy to report that Windows 7 faithfully plays my 720×396 res files fullscreen without hiccups, unlike Vista. Windows Media Player also supports DIVX codecs out of the box, which was a nice surprise.

I think I’ll play around for a little longer, and do a reinstall next week. I’m interested in trying the upgrade with a blank partition, and I’d also like to see which of the Sony Warez I can get rid of without giving up functionality.

Categories: Vaio P