Posts Categorised: Misc Hardware

0Fixing a slow Amazon Fire HD 8

A couple of xmases ago I bought my bet­ter half an Amazon Fire HD 8 tab­let as she wanted a budget tab­let to read books on at night, and to play free android games like clash of clans. The Fire seemed an ideal option as it would link into her Kindle account without any hassle, and is also android based. It was also pos­sible to get a good sized device with­in the price lim­it we set each oth­er.
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0Asus E35M1-I Deluxe Wi-Fi AMD Fusion Mini-ITX MotherboardFixing stability issues with Asus E35M1-M Pro

The basis of my main HTPC is an AMD E350 Brazos in the form of an Asus E35M1-M Pro. I had quite a lot of prob­lems with the sys­tem when I first built it, which were caused by issues with the Seag­ate Momentus XT stor­age drive I used. These were fixed a good while ago via firm­ware update from Seag­ate, and since then the sys­tem has largely worked without any issue.… Read Full Art­icle

1CoolerMaster Elite 335 PC CaseThe end of regular PC price drops?

I reg­u­larly build PCs for people, and have recently been look­ing at a high end spec for someone.  I star­ted, as I often do, by look­ing at what I’d got for a high end sys­tem about a year ago, to see if it was worth mov­ing up the the new gen­er­a­tion, or if a sub­stan­tial drop in the older spec made it tempt­ing to repeat.  In the past the year old sys­tem has always been sub­stan­tially cheap­er, so I was quite sur­prised to find that this time it wasn’t.  … Read Full Art­icle

0Sony VaioDrivers for Windows 7 on Sony Vaio FZs

This is just a quick post to men­tion an excel­lent guide I recently used when installing Win­dows 7 on an old Sony Vaio VGN-FZ31Z laptop. I was hav­ing sig­ni­fic­ant dif­fi­culty installing sev­er­al drivers, in par­tic­u­lar those for the nVidia GeForce 8600M GS (hard­ware ID: PCI\VEN_10DE&DEV_0425&SUBSYS_9005104D&REV_A1) which was stub­bornly remain­ing a “Stand­ard vga adapter”. Sony don’t provide any Win­dows 7 drivers, and the gen­er­ic nVidia drivers don’t recog­nise the hard­ware ver­sion in the Vaio, instead offer­ing the unhelp­ful error “The NVIDIA setup pro­gram could not loc­ate any drivers that are com­pat­ible with your cur­rent hard­ware.  Setup will now exit.”  There is no good reas­on for this — the drivers have been dis­abled in soft­ware purely because OEM’s like Sony don’t want users installing drivers from nVidia that they (Sony) haven’t checked on their spe­cif­ic hard­ware con­fig­ur­a­tion. This would be under­stand­able if Sony actu­ally bothered to provide sup­port for their old hard­ware, but since they don’t this situ­ation really isn’t accept­able.

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0PSU LogoEfficient PSU Upgrades: HuntKey Jumper update

I spot­ted a much cheap­er 80+ gold PSU in the ebuy­er xmas sales, and decided to look up some reviews.  I found a review on anandtech which I must have some­how missed in the past.  In light of this dis­cov­ery, I’ve updated my pre­vi­ous art­icles about PSU effi­ciency to include the HuntKey Jump­er 300G (aka R90).  The price of this PSU changes the con­clu­sions of 2 of the 4 scen­ari­os I’ve pre­vi­ously detailed, and I have in fact ordered one at the dis­count price of £20, for use in my cur­rent serv­er!  After tak­ing into account that my cur­rent serv­er PSU (an Ener­max Nois­e­Taker 475 from 2004) is approx­im­ately 80% effi­cient rather than the 70% worst case I use in the art­icles, I’m hop­ing to net sav­ings of around £20 per year.

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70Canor CanoScan LIDE ScannerGet your old scanner working with Windows 7 x64

In recent months I’ve encountered sev­er­al prob­lems where people have con­tac­ted me ask­ing for help get­ting their USB scan­ners work­ing on new PCs.  In each case the new PCs have come with Win­dows 7 x64, and the scan­ners have been USB devices pro­duced by Can­on and Nikon.  Both of these ima­ging spe­cial­ists have ser­i­ously dropped the ball on sup­port­ing products, includ­ing some quite expens­ive premi­um kit from not all that long ago.  … Read Full Art­icle