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January 12, 2010

Using the HDMI output on the Acer 1420p

I've been messing a bit more with the Acer 1420p that Microsoft provided us during PDC09. I noticed that it had among other things a DVI connector and while I assumed it was a DVI output, I didn't recall the specifications in the hardware guide (or frankly if it even came with one).

We use Hefito's XBox 360 to watch on demand Netflix movies but I was thinking wouldn't it be sweet if I could hook the DVI connector to the TV in the office and stream a Netflix movie to the TV using the 1420p?

The Setup

The setup was pretty simple. Find an HDMI cable lying around and connect it to the TV. That was a simple enough task, The Toshiba TV in the office has an HDMI connector so I connected up to that. Next I selected the HDMI input on the TV input selector. Then I connected it to the notebook.


The Result

The picture only filled the inner 2/3 or so of the screen and a warning message popped up and suggested I change the settings to 1360x768. I made the change and wasn't that impressed with picture


I right clicked the desktop and Intel Graphics Media Accelerator panel. I then dedicated the display and got a better selection of display settings to use with the display. The display was a bit overdrive, but I'm thinking I can probably adjust these sizes on the TV using some of the TV built in adjustments.

I started the Netflix streamer and the picture was actually pretty darn impressive. What was even more impressive was that I was using the wireless network for the data transfer. Sweet. Now I can stream a flick while the kid is playing Halo Wars.

Posted by Hefe at 04:57 PM | Comments (0)

January 08, 2010

Setting Up 3G on an Acer 1420P (The PDC Laptop)

I was at PDC09 this year and while the conference was quite good, I think it's safe to say that the high point of the conference was the giveaway of a brand new Acer 1420P laptop. The laptop is pretty awesome, it came loaded with Windows 7 Ultimate and Office 2010 Beta among other things. It also has a touch screen and other interesting sensors.

I was intrigued by the "3G" sticker and tried to figure out what that meant. I thought perhaps I could trade in my iPhone for a notebook that could make all my calls, but perhaps that is a bit over the top on the geek scale. I did figure that since I have an iPhone with 3G I could probably figure out how to make it work with my notebook.

Here is what I did.

I went to the Acer site and poked around for drivers and/or tools that might be useful I also poked around in the device manager to try and figure out what 3G device I have installed.


I have the HUAWEI Mobile Connect card. Never heard of them, but they must be big players in the 3g card space.

Armed with this knowledge I downloaded a tool called Mobile Partner that was recommended for my device. I installed the software and gave it a test run.


I shut down my laptop, removed the battery and found the slot for the SIM card. I shutdown my iPhone and pulled the SIM card from it and put in the PC. I then replaced the battery and powered it up.

Now when I ran the Mobile Partners application it recognized the card and I was on my way. I selected the tools->options menu item and poked around a bit. I found profile management and created a new profile for my AT&T account.


All I really had to do was to correctly enter the APN and then save the profile. Then simply connect to the 3G network using the Connect option on the main page (selecting the new profile of course). And just like that, I was surfing the 3G network using my PC. What was really amazing was how fast the 3G network was as compared to my iPhone which is quite a dog on 3G. So there it is. 3G using your AT&T iPhone SIM. How cool is that?

Posted by Hefe at 08:08 PM | Comments (0)

January 03, 2010

Hefe's Sabbatical


Well, devoted readers, the Hefe is back. That's right, just like good old General Doug MacArthur I have returned.

So where exactly have I been? Sadly nowhere, just not here writing. My writing was getting a bit splodgey (sp?) and it wasn't so much that I was losing interest or running out of topics, but what was really happening is that I finally realized that nobody (no humans) actually read my blog. It was one of those "is this thing even turned on?" moments that made be wonder why I was spending time writing.

So I decided I needed to take the proverbial year off and see if I really missed the creative outlet. So a year has passed, there were no great uproars at my absence and here I am contemplating a return to the land of Hedgeek. There are certainly other outlets that I could use to express myself and would be more widely seen, but whatever, I've carved out this little spot and I'm going to stick with it. Over the past year I've collected some interesting things that I've wanted to post and although some of these will be a bit out of context and perhaps disconnected time wise, I think they still have merit and will be worth a good read.

And for those readers who have been rereading my last post from 2009 and waiting eagerly for my return, I am pleased to be back and I won't disappoint you.

Posted by Hefe at 07:53 PM | Comments (0)