Searching \ for '[EE] Help with Christmas gift' in subject line. ()
Make payments with PayPal - it's fast, free and secure! Help us get a faster server
FAQ page: www.piclist.com/techref/index.htm?key=help+with+christmas
Search entire site for: 'Help with Christmas gift'.

Exact match. Not showing close matches.
PICList Thread
'[EE] Help with Christmas gift'
2007\12\26@011757 by Dr Skip

picon face
I need the list's engineering wisdom and help.

I just received a very nice Acer laptop for Christmas - 2 GHz AMD 64 bit dual
core, 2 GB ram, 17" screen, etc. However, it also comes with Vista, and as far
as I can tell on the net, if I were to try to retrofit XP onto it, I'd have to
do without some of the hardware for lack of XP drivers. It also has an
Expresscard 54 slot, not a cardbus or pcmcia slot...

My old laptop is no longer portable and out of steam, so this could be good...
However, can Vista be put on a diet and made to be more XP-like? I'm very
concerned about compatibility too. Any MPlab problems? How about interfacing to
the pickit2? Are usb to serial adapters invisible to software/programmers
written for a true serial port? Hmmm, it doesn't have a parallel port either...
Has anyone tried using a usb to parallel adapter to run as one of the
poor-man's logic analyzer?

I also have some special cardbus adapters - is there a reliable way to get them
interfaced to the expresscard slot?

There is also the issue of unsigned drivers. I run quite a bit of stuff that is
open source and not Microsoft blessed. I understand there is a problem with
unsigned driver installation in Vista. Is it do-able? Will all XP drivers and
code run under Vista fine somehow?

I'm assuming modeling software and any pure application type app will run fine,
as long as drivers aren't needed. Does it phone home and is it a security or
privacy risk though? I've read reviews, technical and otherwise, and so far I
haven't found much depth, but I thought there would be some that have it and
are pushing the limits on it on this list. ;-)

I could return it for a downgraded one, but if these are small fixable
concerns, it would be nice to keep. What would you do and how would you make it
trouble free (Vista and the stuff we on the list seem to all run)?

Thanks much in advance. Links, thoughts or advice appreciated.


2007\12\26@030407 by Xiaofan Chen

face picon face
On 12/26/07, Dr Skip <spam_OUTdrskipTakeThisOuTspamgmail.com> wrote:
> I need the list's engineering wisdom and help.
>
> I just received a very nice Acer laptop for Christmas - 2 GHz AMD 64 bit dual
> core, 2 GB ram, 17" screen, etc. However, it also comes with Vista, and as far
> as I can tell on the net, if I were to try to retrofit XP onto it, I'd have to
> do without some of the hardware for lack of XP drivers. It also has an
> Expresscard 54 slot, not a cardbus or pcmcia slot...

Actually I just bought a Compaq laptop for my wife yesterday - 1.8GHZ
AMD64 dual core, 4GB RAM (free Chirstmas promotion), 14.1" screen
and Vista Home Premium. After upgrading to 3-year warrantee, it is
S$1498 (about US$1000+).

> My old laptop is no longer portable and out of steam, so this could be good...
> However, can Vista be put on a diet and made to be more XP-like? I'm very
> concerned about compatibility too. Any MPlab problems? How about interfacing to
> the pickit2? Are usb to serial adapters invisible to software/programmers
> written for a true serial port? Hmmm, it doesn't have a parallel port either...
> Has anyone tried using a usb to parallel adapter to run as one of the
> poor-man's logic analyzer?

2GB RAM should be ok for Vista. You may want to remove the junk
Acer installed. I uninstalled Microsoft Office 2007 60day trial and
Norton Internet Security 60 day trial and some other junks as the
first step to prepare the computer. Then I installed AVG Free. Vista
UAC is a bit annoying but I only need to install very few software
for my wife and I think it is better to leave UAC on for her. I need to
further tune the computer along the way. But I feel Vista is not that
slow as reported once the RAM is enough. My wife does not want
me to put my junk on her computer so I would not install MPLAB
on her computer.

According to the report from Microchip Forum, MPLAB should be fine.
PICkit 2 should be fine as well. If you are having problems with MPLAB,
then try to disable VDI.
http://forum.microchip.com/tm.aspx?m=233933

Proper serial communication programs should be fine under
Vista using the USB-to-Serial converters. But you can check the
website to make sure.

As for parallel port, I do not think there are any cheap and good
USB to parallel converter as most of them are designed
for printers and not for I/O interfacing. I am not so sure if
giveio or similar driver will work under Vista 32 or not.
It will not work for Vista 64 for sure. Anyway, it is a good thing
if it indeed does not work under Vista 32. Go for USB.

Activewire is said to have one but it is not so cheap.
http://www.activewireinc.com/

> I also have some special cardbus adapters - is there a reliable way to
> get them interfaced to the expresscard slot?

According to the following website, they are not compatible.
http://www.expresscard.org/web/site/qa.jsp#13

>
> There is also the issue of unsigned drivers. I run quite a bit of stuff that is
> open source and not Microsoft blessed. I understand there is a problem with
> unsigned driver installation in Vista. Is it do-able? Will all XP drivers and
> code run under Vista fine somehow?

I believe you are running Vista 32bit. Then it is not a problem. The driver
signing issue is more with Vista 64bit and nobody in his right mind would
want to use Vista 64bit right now for PIC related work as it is not supported
by Microchip even though it is said that they will support it in the future.

Not all XP driver will work under Vista but those are in general not-so-proper
driver and I think it is a good thing for the stability of the system.

> I'm assuming modeling software and any pure application type app will run fine,
> as long as drivers aren't needed. Does it phone home and is it a security or
> privacy risk though? I've read reviews, technical and otherwise, and so far I
> haven't found much depth, but I thought there would be some that have it and
> are pushing the limits on it on this list. ;-)

No idea about this. I only played it for two hours and I think it is not bad.
It should be more secure than XP SP2 from what I learned.

Maybe others can comment further. Vista has problem with lower-end
machine (some Vista home basic machine only has 512M RAM, but
the shop here will at least update it to 1G RAM as they know 512M
is too little).

> I could return it for a downgraded one, but if these are small fixable
> concerns, it would be nice to keep. What would you do and how would you
> make it trouble free (Vista and the stuff we on the list seem to all run)?
>
> Thanks much in advance. Links, thoughts or advice appreciated.
>

Vista SP1 is on the road, so I think Vista should be fine. But if you are
afraid and it is possible to downgrade to XP without cost, then you
can still do it. As far as I am concerned, I think both XP and
Vista are fine choice for now. But I feel Vista is a bit more future
proof since the mainstream support of XP will end in 2009. I think
most user will use Vista then.

www.microsoft.com/windows/lifecycle/default.mspx
http://support.microsoft.com/gp/lifeselectwin


Regards,
Xiaofan

2007\12\26@083938 by Apptech

face
flavicon
face
> My old laptop is no longer portable and out of steam, so
> this could be good...

As well as all the good advice re the new PC, the cost of
re-steaming your old laptop should be quite reasonable -
various people here will install new cells in old LiIon
packs so I imagine many will in the US. Having it as a known
capability backup portable will probably help you be happy
about abandoning some of the things that Vista does poorly.



       Russell


2007\12\27@115729 by Dr Skip

picon face
Thanks very much for your advice. As a result, I've 'adopted' it. ;-)

So far, all has been OK and even though a lot of settings are moved about, it's
very tunable (and UAC is now off too). I only had to go look in the registry
after the first 2 hours. ;-) I'm now going through my 4GB of portable apps
first, then will try installing the more permanent stuff.

Thanks again.
-Skip

Xiaofan Chen wrote:
{Quote hidden}

2007\12\27@120023 by Dr Skip

picon face
Thanks. I did find a separate operate-through-the-power-jack Li-Ion pack that
would be better than lugging the lead gel cell I use now, but haven't found a
pack rebuilder for these packs with communication built in.

Anyway, I will be keeping this laptop for just this kind of thing.

Thanks.
-Skip

Apptech wrote:
{Quote hidden}

2007\12\29@024325 by Xiaofan Chen

face picon face
On Dec 28, 2007 12:57 AM, Dr Skip <drskipspamKILLspamgmail.com> wrote:
> Thanks very much for your advice. As a result, I've 'adopted' it. ;-)
>
> So far, all has been OK and even though a lot of settings are moved about, it's
> very tunable (and UAC is now off too). I only had to go look in the registry
> after the first 2 hours. ;-) I'm now going through my 4GB of portable apps
> first, then will try installing the more permanent stuff.
>

I just solved a problem with USB printer and USB storage device
by deleting the corrupted INF cache file C:\windows\inf\INFCACHE.1.

The first impression of Vista is not bad after 4 days of playing with it.
Now I am actually typing on the Vista notebook. My wife would like
me to use it first for sometimes before she starts to use it.

My fist impression about Vista:
http://mcuee.blogspot.com/2007/12/vista-first-impression.html

Xiaofan

More... (looser matching)
- Last day of these posts
- In 2007 , 2008 only
- Today
- New search...