HP Mini 1000 gets 3G Support, Hack

HP Mini 1000 with SIM

Shortly after they reviewed the HP Mini 1000, LaptopMag decided to pull apart the machine to get a closer look at the blood and guts of the tiny netbook. They discovered two major things – the RAM was easily upgraded via a plastic door covering the pre-installed DIMM and there was a slot in the battery compartment that fitted an AT&T SIM card. Assuming that the netbook lacked the internal hardware to support the 3G network, they just wrote this off as a possible future feature.

However, someone over at Pocketables Forum – after spending some time on the phone with both HP and AT&T – figured out how to put that SIM slot to work. Apparently the HP Mini 1000 does support the 3G network, all you need is a Multi-WWAN driver from HP and your SIM card from AT&T. The user, dplxy, divulges the rest of the setup instructions in his post. So far there doesn’t seem to be a driver for Linux users, although I’m sure anyone willing to dig around might be able to come up with one.


New Laptop: Dell Inspiron 1318

Let’s face it, I haven’t exactly been the social light of the interweb for the past four or five months. This has mostly been due to me working constantly, but another factor was moving in with my girlfriend at her parent’s place. I didn’t have room to haul a 90+ pound, watercooled, monster PC into our room. So for the past few months I’ve been using their family PC, which is an older P4 machine.

Yesterday I was finally able to gather up enough cash to go get myself a decent laptop. Although, I didn’t splurge $1500 like I would have in years past, I got a pretty good deal on a great laptop at a place I usually wouldn’t be caught dead buying from. . . Best Buy.

The laptop I got is the Dell Inspiron 1318. It boasts 3GB of DDR2, an Intel Core 2 Duo T5750 (2.0gHz), 250GB Hard Drive, built-in web cam, bluetooth, and some other great features. Oh, and it’s only 13 inches in size (ala those tiny MacBooks).

Downside: It didn’t come with a battery. I know, the point of having a laptop is to compute on the go, but for the price I got this thing, I could care less about being tied to my power cord until I order a 9-cell battery from Dell.

Upside: The price tag of an Open-box, battery missing, display model. $367 after tax. Plus $60-100 for the battery. Good deal. These things run $700+ brand new.

Microsoft and Intel – You big dumb-dumbs

vista-crappable2Seems that Intel “bullied” Microsoft into labeling some of it’s hardware chipsets as “Vista Capable”, although, they were barely able to run Vista’s most basic features. Now there’s some sort of legal dance going on, and it seems that both parties are about to get into some serious trouble over this issue.

I’m not surprised this happened, hardware vendors will try anything to get you to buy a product even if it means lying to you about the capabilities. Microsoft may seem like an innocent party, but in reality they probably agreed to marking lower-end hardware Vista Capable to get customers to purchase their bloated, hardware intensive operating system.

Read More: Microsoft “caved” into Intel in Vista “Junk PC” scheme

Best Buy Trade-In: Dude, You’re Getting Ripped Off!

Best Buy has officially launched a couple new services, one of which is a new online trade-in center for your old PCs, Game Consoles, and more. When I first read about the service, I thought to myself “This is a great idea, maybe I won’t have to worry about reselling my old hardware on Ebay anymore!”. Boy, was I ever wrong.

Here’s what my setup includes:

  • EVGA 680i Chipset motherboard
  • Intel Core 2 Duo E6600 @ 3.6ghz
  • XFX GeForce 8800GT
  • 500GG+ of Hard Drive Space
  • A Very Freaking Expensive Watercooling Setup
  • 2GB of OCZ DDR2 800

That’s just a quick run-down of what I have in my PC, here’s what the configuration on the Best Buy Trade-In center website looked like (click for full size):

Best Buy Trade-In Specs

Yeah, for all that hardware, they wanted to give me $400.96. Not even enough to cover the resale value of my video card, motherboard, and memory; much less the entire PC. . . .

680i Won’t Support Quad Penryns

I wrote about this on my new tech-only blog, ThisIsTech.org, but I wanted to give a bit more of a personal rant about this announcement.

Here’s the simple gist of what was announced by a forum moderator on EVGA’s support forums:

EVGA 680i users,

The EVGA 680i SLI motherboard will support 45nm Wolfsdale (dual core) CPU’s with an upcoming BIOS update. 45nm Yorkfield (quad core) CPU’s will be supported on upcoming nForce 700-series SLI motherboards.


This really pissed me off. I’m not going to be smug about it, I spent $230 on a motherboard that I had researched and was told would be completely compatible with the Intel Penryn 45nm CPUs. Nowhere during my reading did anything state that it would only be the dual core Penryns.

I’m not the only one angry about the situation. If you read the thread linked, many users are demanding that Evga extend the step-up period for their 680i motherboards because their own support pages claimed general Penryn support.  Now this puts me in a situation. I was planning on switching out my year-old E6600 for something a bit more. . . quad core. . . but now I own a motherboard that isn’t compatible with the CPU I was planning on buying. 😦

Of Logitech & XTracPads

I’m one happy go-lucky geek right about now. Last week I decided that I needed to finally purchase a mouse pad and a new keyboard. The cheap piece of junk Logitech media keyboard I have been using for about a year now has overstayed it’s welcome on my desk, and the lack of a mouse pad is sometimes. . . frustrating during online gaming.

So, I have with me today, a shiny new Logitech Wave corded keyboard, and a rather large, suede-feeling XtracPads mouse pad. Both of which I am very happy with indeed.

Logitech WaveThe Logitech Wave is probably the mose innovative keyboard of today. It sports an ergonomical design, without splitting the keyboard into two halfs and requiring me to change my bad typing habits in order to use the device. Instead, it has a “wave” design, the center keys being the peak of the wave at about 4mm higher than the lowest point. Yes, the wave isn’t extreme, but it’s slight enough that while typing this mini-review, I haven’t had one cramp or had to shift positions in my chair; something I often experienced with my regular Logitech Media keyboard.

Besides the wave, the Logitech Wave also has several really useful features. The top row of “F” keys is completely customizable in the Logitech Setpoint software (included with the keyboard). I now have a key to launch Firefox, a key to launch Gmail, and a key to launch Pidgin. Needless to say, I need to browse through the lacking Windows Vista start menu less frequently during my time at my PC.

I’m not saying the keyboard is perfect. As you can see in the picture, the “comfort pad” doesn’t look like it will be too resistant to normal usage and might end up being a dust magnet. It’s a little hot in my room right now, and just having slightly sweaty palms left clear palm prints on the pad. Something that isn’t very attractive, not at all.

Mouse PadMy new mouse pad, well, how many paragraphs do I need to write on that. The only really good thing I have to say is that the size does matter. Too often during online gaming do I run out of space on normal mouse pads, forcing me to lift the mouse off the pad and shift it’s position to continue moving the cursor in one direction. I actually taught myself to play at super high sensitivities in order to counter act this problem. Now I think I can safely return to my old, low sensitivity game play, because I have enough room to do a 720 degree turn around at the lowest sensitivity settings.

Progress With Hardware Testing

I don’t have the budget to use “extreme” cooling solutions like LN2, nor the budget to build or buy a phase change cooling system. The best cooling my budget has allowed for is a high-end water cooling setup, but even this is still limited by ambient temperatures. So how do I overclock my hardware even farther, without running the risk of overheating components?

Well, it just so happens that I live in the beautiful mountains of North Carolina. I live at the base of Marion Mountain, and every morning I get to wake up, stand on my back porch and enjoy the cool mountain air. . . . That’s right, with a little help from low-tech mature nature, I can push my high tech computer system to it’s limits, without breaking the bank on temperatures.

The past few days have been fun as an overclocker. At night, temperatures have been dropping near freezing, as low as 34F. Using a $10 window fan (and a jacket, sweat pants, and hot cup of coffee after hot cup of coffee) I achieved some pretty amazing temperatures and thus some pretty amazing test results.

Continue reading “Progress With Hardware Testing”