Category: Hardware

I really liked my Nokia E65, I’ve had it for ages now and it’s treated me very well but the time came to move on. I opted for a HTC HD2. Yes, I know a Windows Mobile device. Shock horror. Well pardon my French but screw you guys! I’ve never actually owned a WinMo device and I prefer to make my own judgements. There is a new HTC phone I’ve got my eye on, the Supersonic which runs Android but it’s not coming out for months and I wanted to try at least one WinMo device before jumping on the droid fanboi wagon.

I’m not going to review my new phone as there are already a zillion reviews out there which are probably better than anything I can write. This is a post about how I got my phone, was screwed by the original owner and have had to jump through the sim unlock and custom rom hoops to get to the final stage of my phone truely being mine.

Continue reading “My HTC HD2”

The other day my satelite dish went on the fritz and I had to call Sky to sort it out. Turns out the simple fix in the end was to unplug the box from the mains and then plug it back in. The operator told me that sometimes when switching channels the LNB on the dish can get locked in the transition. Sounds a bit flimsy to me but whatever, it worked.

During the call though the first thing he did was guide me to the hidden service menu. This is for the Sky Amstrad HD box, it’s a different code then with the non-HD box. To get to the hidden menu press Services on the remote, then press 0 0 1 Select. You should now see all the new menu options. I haven’t really looked at any of them as I was being guided on the phone at the time. I just thought someone else may like to have a look around sometime. I will the next time I’m watching TV and it hits the adverts.

I bought one of these a while ago. It kicks ass. Like totally. One thing I have run into which is really annoying is that if you have a HDMI input source like an XBox 360. If you then use the optical audio output to connect the TV to an amp it will only ever be in stereo, you’ll receive no DTS or Dolby Digital. It seems the TV has something built in that means it only outputs a stereo signal baring two exceptions . The two exceptions are (a) watching its FreeSat channels or (b) watching something using its built in Media Server channel. Note that it also only outputs stereo for the standard Digital Aerial based channels. I’ve tested this out firsthand. No menu option to control any of this. I tried looking through the “hidden” service menu. Quite dissapointing for what I thought was a highend TV. The annoying thing is that you know it “could” do it but they’ve actually set it not to.

It’s got a youtube viewer built in so naturally the first thing I saw playing on my new TV is a 50″ Star Wars Kid vid 😋

My shiney new Creative Zen arrived today, after the 4 hour initial power charging session I started trying to transfer tracks to the player. All the mp3 files copied as expected but my m3u Winamp playlist files were ignored with the device stating it was an unsupported file type. That sucks since I have hundreds of m3u playlists. I found that the sync tool does the playlist convertion but it means I have to copy the music to my system (from my server) into the sync directory and then manually initiate a sync. It’s not too bad but it does double the file copying time and add a small bit of complexity to the process. On the bright side it does mean all my playlist files are still useful 😀

Continue reading “Creative Zen and Winamp Playlists”

Note: This has all been made redundant by the latest release of the Broadcom software that is available here. That installs and works straight away with no problems for me on Vista x64.


I purchased a Belkin USB Bluetooth adapter (Model F8T013uk) a few days ago from Amazon. As expected it came with a driver CD stating version 6.0.1.5400. A few reviews mentioned it worked on Vista but none mentioned 64 bit. I tried using the installer from the CD via the Autorun menu and it failed to install. I then explored the CD and found an x64 directory. I installed from there via the setupx.exe file and thought all had gone well. The driver itself installed which I could tell because Device Manager now showed a Belkin USB Bluetooth adapter. The installer said it had to reboot to complete the installation. After a restart nothing happened. There was no desktop or startmenu icons so I manually navigated to the installation directory and tried running the tray icon tool. Nada. It showed up under Task Manager but refused to actually appear in the tray.

Alot of sites link to a dev-hacks article which details how to modify the drivers to work, I didn’t want to do this as drivers have to be signed to work properly in Vista 64 and even though you can disable driver signing via the boot-up F8 menu I simply couldn’t be bothered doing that each time I wanted to use a Bluetooth device. So began the adventure of getting my Sony Ericsson W850i mobile phone to talk to my PC via Bluetooth without hacked drivers.

Continue reading “Belkin USB Bluetooth Adapter On Vista 64”

I’ve been using a Wacom Volito 2 for about a year now and have loved it. It worked great on XP and just as well on Vista 64 although potentially it could be much better thanks to all the new tablet functionality built into the OS. One thing that has been missing over the past few years of using pen tablets has been the scroll wheel that is now a standard feature on mice and trackballs. The new Wacom Bamboo range caught my eye as they sport a scroll wheel at the top of the pad along with four big customisable buttons. There are 3 Bamboo models; the “Bamboo”, the “Bamboo Fun” and the “Bamboo One”. Mine just arrived today so I’ll give you low down on how it handles.

Continue reading “Hardware Review – Wacom Bamboo Tablet”

If you read my last posting you’d see that I recently overhauled my machine. The motherboard I chose was an Abit IN9 32X-MAX Wi-Fi which was my first Nforce board and as it turns out; will probably be my last. I’ve had an endless stream of issues since it was installed, the majority of them to do with it having a highly flakey bios and the rest being how picky it is with regards to memory. The latest incident saw the bios getting totaly corrupted which resulted in a 6+ hour mission to repair it afterwhich I discovered that the 3rd and 4th memory slots had been killed. The system refused to boot with any memory in them. Having reached the end of my rope I decided to return the board and try something else. The rest of this post will show you how I transferred my current Vista 64 install to the new motherboard without having to fresh install as well as explain how I decided on my new board which was far from an easy feat.

Continue reading “Death to the Nforce. Long live the X38”

I bought a PSP a couple of weeks ago for a trip down to London. 4 hours in both directions ..ig.. It came with firmware 2.71 installed when I purchased it. If you turn it so the back is facing you and open the UMD drive it has 1009CT printed on the circuit board on the left hand side. The “CT” is horizontally flipped. Mine is not what is known as a TA-082 model.

I’d decided to switch to the Open Edition firmware by Dark_AleX before I’d even bought it. At the time and for the first week of ownership I was under the impression that I would need Grand Theft Auto: Liberty Cities to downgrade the firmware. I found out that this is no longer the case.

Continue reading “Upgraded my PSP to Open Edition 3.40”

I love playing Battlefield 2142 but my keyboard seems to hate it! My reason for saying this is due to the F1-F12 keys not functioning ingame which makes switching seat positions impossible in game. This has a number of drawbacks such as if you’re in a battle mech and are getting attacked by a helojet then you can’t just press a key and switch to the anti-air guns. The other drawback and in my opinion biggest drawback is when playing in titan mode. If your squad leader hasn’t placed a beacon on the enemy titan then you end up being at the mercy of any lucky pilots that manage to land a transport on there. If the F keys worked then you could get in a ground transport, press a key and switch to a seat with a built in eject pod which will shoot you straight up to the titan.

Continue reading “Battlefield 2142 vs the Microsoft Natural Multimedia Keyboard”

So the title is a bit over dramatic but it got your attention didn’t it 🤣 I recently did a Windows Update to receive this months bounty from Microsoft. Along with the usual bunch of security fixes and updates there were two hardware updates. One of them, which I chose to install was entitled “Via Bus Master Controller” which turned out to be a total screw up which luckily I was able to fix.

Continue reading “Via Hyperion 5.11a hates Abit AV8-3rd Eye”