Monday, March 31, 2008

AVG 8.0 on Eee PC Running Windows Vista

Previously, I have reported 2 errors (March 15 & 16 2008) with AVG 8.0 on my Eee PC running Windows XP. Since now I am running Windows Vista on my Eee PC, I decided to test AVG 8.0. The installation went smoothly but after update online, Windows Security Center still reported that AVG reports that it might be out of update. A restart also did not resolve the issue. Opening Firefox reported an alert as shown and AVG search shield did not work.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Comparing Asus Eee PC & Everex Cloudbook with Vista

Eee PC 4G
Celeron M
Via C7 M
Memory (RAM)
Gaming graphics
1.0 1.0
Primary hard disk
Windows Experience Index (lowest score)
It seems strange that even though Cloudbook has higher RAM but the score is lower.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Windows Vista on Eee PC

After using Windows XP on my Eee PC for many months without any issues, I decided to install Windows Vista since Windows Vista SP1 has been released.
You need to use vlite to reduce the size of Vista otherwise you need 15Gb of free space to install. After removing the unnecessary components from Windows Vista Home Basic and creating a bootable DVD from the 535MB ISO image, you only need 3.8GB of free space to install.
Initially, I used a Sony DVD+RW disc but I removed the modem driver and my Huawei E220 HSDPA USB modem did not work after Vista installation. So, I have to use vlite again to re-create the ISO image but Vista installation reported an error. After many attempts, I changed to a Verbatim DVD+R and it worked. I can only conclude that you can only use Sony DVD+RW disc only once to create a bootable ISO image.
The Vista installation only takes 30 minutes which is shorter than Windows XP which requires over an hour. The free space available after installation is 1.05GB from the initial 3.72GB SSD. As shown, Windows Experience Index shows 1.0. This is expected since Windows Aero is not supported on the Intel integrated graphics 915GMS of the Eee PC.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Personal Computer World May 2008

  1. £999 Laptops
  2. Draft-N Wifi routers
  3. Convergence or chaos?
Cover CD (Free Paid Full Version)
  1. Nero 7 Essentials
  2. Ashampoo Multimedia Pack 1
  3. Avira Antivir Personal Edition Premium 2008 (180 days trial)

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Australian APC Magazine April 2008

  1. Fixing Vista
  2. Windows Server 2008
Cover DVD (Free Paid Full Version)
  1. Paragon Partition Manager 8.5 Personal SE
  2. novaPDF Lite 5.3
  3. Duplicate Finder 1.01 (Windows XP/Vista)
  4. Password Depot 2.6.1

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Intel Processors in UMPCs

Previously, I have compared Via C7-M ULV with Intel Atom processor on March 14, 2008. Now, let's compare all the Intel processors used in UMPCs.

Eee PC 4G
preloaded with Xandros Linux
Kohjinsha SH811WS
preloaded with Windows Vista Home Premium
Sharp Willcom D4 preloaded with Windows Vista
Home Premium SP1
Celeron M ULV
Pentium M ULV
Graphics Chipset
945GU Intel Poulsbo
L2 Cache 512KB 512KB 512KB
Clock Speed 900MHz
Front Side Bus (FSB) 400MHz
Thermal Design Power (TDP) 5W 3W 2W
Architecture 90nm
90nm 45nm
Core Speed
Windows Experience Index with Vista
2.1 ?

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

UMPC Eee PC Killers - ECS G10IL, MSI Wind, HP Compaq 2133 or Intel Netbook


MSI Wind

HP 2133 Mini-Note

Intel Netbook

Display 8.9 or
7 or 9"
CPU & Chipset Intel Atom
Intel Atom
VIA Chrome
Intel Celeron M ULV
Linpus Lite 9.4 Linux/
Win XP
Win XP
Novell Suse Linux/

Win XP

USB ports
1 slot up to 2GB
1 slot
1 slot
up to 1GB
4 cell/
6 cell
3 cell
3 cell/6 cell
4 cell
3 hours
1.3MP CCD 1.3MP
Sep 08
Jul 08
Apr 8 08 (US)
May 15 08
24 Mar 08
56k modem,
3G modem,
4-in-1 card reader
259 x
180 x
VGA out
Gigabit Ethernet,
optional bluetooth,
SD card reader
254 x
165 x
28 (mm)
2-in-1 card reader
221 x
185 x
S$859 US$499-

Monday, March 24, 2008

Installing PCLinuxOS 2008 MiniMe to USB Using Windows

As documented on February 20, 2008, the PCLinuxOS 2007 live CD does not work on Eee PC. It booted on Lenovo Z61t with no graphical interface. You can test PCLinuxOS 2008 MiniMe by installing on a USB flash drive with minimum 552MB of free space. But, it also gave the same results on Eee PC & Lenovo Z61t.

However, I can boot up PCLinuxOS 2008 MiniMe from my USB flash drive on Compaq TC1000 with support for the wired network adapter. I can surf the Internet using the Konqueror browser but there is no support for Java Runtime Environment (JRE) and flash.

The advantage of using a USB flash drive over the CD is that any changes can be made persistent.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Norton AntiVirus 2008 with Antispyware

I installed this software and found the following:
  1. During installation, you need to enter a product key and the software will stop working in 15 days if it is not activated.
  2. Since I am using Sygate Personal Firewall, you need to turn off Internet Worm Protection so that Security Center in Control Panel will not complain of 2 firewalls.
  3. You need to allow NDIS as shown so that you can access Internet.
  4. The software shows Norton Antivirus Version and date of Protection Updates. It does not show a progress bar in percentage during live update so you won't know how long it will take. You also won't know what files are updated.
  5. The installation CD is bootable and it can boot to scan for virus but it supports FAT16 or FAT32 partitions only. The software can only be installed in Windows XP & Windows Vista. But if you format your drive with NTFS, you won't be able to boot up from the CD to remove the virus in the event that the virus causes your operating system to be unbootable.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Running Pendrivelinux on USB from Windows without Rebooting

  1. Windows XP or Vista
  2. USB flash disk or hard disk with at least 432MB free space
  1. Download QemuPDL1.1.0.exe & extract to a folder QemuPDL
  2. Run LaunchPDL.bat to run Pendrivelinux
  3. Follow instructions to install QEMU Accelerator Module 1.3.0pre11
  1. Can only connect to Internet using wired network and not wireless network or USB modem

Friday, March 21, 2008

Protecting Yourself from Identity Theft

The following is a list of 12 ways from an online article:

  1. Guard your personal information

  2. Don’t Leave Personal Information Unattended

  3. Shred Personal Information

  4. Keep your bank account details to yourself

  5. Protect your Credit Card

  6. Take All Receipts

  7. Be Aware of Billing Cycles or Missing Mail

  8. Cover Keypad Entry when entering PIN Numbers

  9. Use difficult passwords

  10. Avoid Writing Down Passwords and PINS

  11. Hang Up on Telephone Solicitors

  12. Check your Credit Report

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Maximizing Security in Internet Explorer 7 and Firefox 2

IE7 for Vista
  1. Enable Protected Mode for all zones
  2. Turn on Phishing Filter
IE7 for XP
  1. Turn on Phishing Filter
Firefox 2 for Vista/XP
  1. Click Tools > Options > Tabs & click "A new tab" under "New pages should be opened in"
  2. Type about:config in address bar & change dom.disable_window_open_feature.location to true.
  3. Type about:config in address bar & change network.http.sendRefererHeader from 2 to 0.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Paragon Drive Backup 8.5 Special Edition

I installed this version 8.5 Build 1681 SE 29/3/2007 from the CD of Personal Computer World December 2007 on Acer Extensa 4620Z. This allows me to create an image of Windows XP installation with all drivers, empowering utilities and software as well as a recovery bootable DVD. On booting the recovery DVD, it will show version

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Acer Extensa 4620Z 3A1G16Mi

This budget laptop has the following configuration:
  1. Intel Pentium dual-core processor T2370 (1.73GHz, 533MHz FSB, 1MB L2 cache)
  2. 14.1" WXGA LCD
  3. Up to 252 MB (Vista) or 384MB (XP) Mobile Intel Graphics Media Accelerator X3100
  4. 1GB DDR2 (1 slot free)
  5. 160GB HDD
  6. DVD-Super Multi DL
  7. 802.11b/g Broadcom WLAN
It comes pre-installed with Windows Vista Home Premium. Since it does not come with any recovery DVDs, I have to create the two recovery DVDs with Acer eRecovery using factory default. After completion, I tested them by restoring Windows Vista. It ran successfully but on reboot after recovery, the screen went blank. In the end, I have no choice but to install Windows XP Home Edition which is more stable. The XP drivers are available online and you can install in this order - audio, chipset, VGA, wireless, LAN, modem & card reader.
You can also install Launch Manager 2.0.091 from Acer XP empowering technology & utilities. The other downloads are so slow so I install older versions from the CD of my Acer TravelMate 2420 and the following works fine:
  1. Acer Empowering Technology framework
  2. Acer eSettings Management
  3. Acer ePower Management
  4. Acer eDataSecurity Management 1.00.21
  5. Acer eLock Management
  6. Acer ePerformance Management
  7. Acer ePresentation Management
To watch DVD, you can install the free AVS DVD player 2.4. To create CDs/DVDs, you can install Nero Express Essentials

Monday, March 17, 2008

Computer Shopper May 2008

  1. Banish the Broadband Blues
  2. Linux for Beginners
  3. Windows XP and Vista Service Packs Revealed
Cover DVD (Free Paid Full Version)
  1. Serif Creative Suite
  2. Norton Internet Security 2008 (90-days license)
  3. Radiotracker 4.1

Sunday, March 16, 2008

AVG 8 Advanced Settings Error

When I clicked on Tools -> Advanced settings, the following error appeared. It looks like this new version is still buggy.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

AVG 8 Update Manager Error

Update Manager reported this error after successful update last evening: @UPDATEMGR_Short_state_text_check_failed. The Virus DB is 269.21.7/1328 which is similar to the latest update available on AVG website but the last update was 11 March 2008 and not 14 March 2008.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Via C7-M ULV vs Intel Atom Processor

Via C7-M ULV

Intel Atom
Model 772
L2 Cache
128KB 512KB
Clock Speed
1.2GHz 1.6GHz
Front Side Bus (FSB)
Thermal Design Power (TDP)
Via C7-M ULV 1.2GHz is used in Everex CloudBook, Pioneer DreamBook Ultra Mobile PC 650, Pioneer DreamBook Light CE26 & Maxdata Belinea 1 etc. Intel Atom will be used by MSI Wind etc.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

PC Advisor May 2008

  1. Designer PCs
  2. PC Repair Kit
  3. What's next for laptops?
Cover DVD (Free Paid Full Version)
  1. Zoner PhotoStudio 10 Xpress
  2. Roxio Easy Media Creator 10 Basic
  3. Guardian Data Backup
  4. Avira Internet Security 90-day license
  5. Agnitum Outpost Firewall Pro

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

McAfee SiteAdvisor vs AVG LinkScanner Lite

In Google search results, the first symbol indicates AVG LinkScanner Lite (green tick, orange !!, red x or white ?) while the second symbol shows McAfee SiteAdvisor (green tick, yellow !, red x or black ?). AVG LinkScanner Lite status takes longer to appear since it is a real-time scan whereas McAfee SiteAdvisor just retrieves the status from previous check.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Checking CPU Information Without Installing Windows

If your BIOS does not provide all the information, you can use the System Information tools in UBCD 4.1.1 that consist of
  1. AIDA 16 v2.14 (CPU clock speed & Processor type) Note : L2 cache is incorrect.
  2. NSSI 0.59.14 (CPU L2 cache & Processor type)
  3. PC-Config 9.33 (CPU clock speed & L2 cache) Note : Processor type is incorrect.
  4. ASTRA 5.31 Demo Version (CPU clock speed, L2 cache & processor type)

ASTRA provides the most information without installing Windows. The above tools work with Asus Eee PC but not Acer Extensa 4620Z.

Monday, March 10, 2008

i.Tech Clip II mini Bluetooth Clip Headset

Tested this device with Nokia E65 & HTC Touch. It weighs only 16.5g and supports Bluetooth Specification v2.0 class 2. The built-in rechargeable battery supports up to 6 hours talk time and up to 120 hours standby time. The main selling points are:
  1. connect to 2 phones
  2. built-in call alert buzzer (You can clip it anywhere whereas for other bluetooth headset, you have to wear it on your ear all the time for it to work.)
It comes with a free car charger but I found that during charging, you won't be able to pick up calls. This defeats the purpose of a car charger since the full charge takes 3 hours and you can't drive and use at the same time.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Australian PC User April 2008

  1. Broadband Bonanza
  2. Top 50 Vista Tricks
Cover DVD (Free Paid Version)
  1. Kaspersky Internet Security 7.0 (6 months licence)
  2. CyberLink PowerProducer 2
  3. Ashampoo Photo Commander 5 (Windows 2000/XP/Vista)

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Widescreen LCD Monitor on Eee PC

I tested a Philips 220EW8FB LCD monitor on my Eee PC. It is 21.6" with response time 5ms, resolution 1680 x 1050, contrast ratio 1000:1 and brightness 300cd/sq m. Also, it is HDCP ready and accepts dual input VGA & DVI. The resolutions supported by Eee PC are as follows:
  1. 800 x 600
  2. 1024 x 768
  3. 1152 x 864
  4. 1280 x 720
  5. 1280 x 960
  6. 1280 x 1024
  7. 1400 x 1050
  8. 1440 x 900
  9. 1600 x 900

Friday, March 7, 2008

Personal Computer World April 2008

  1. Ultimate desktops vs ultimate laptops
  2. Colour laser MFDs
  3. The evolution of PC gaming
Cover CD (Free Paid Full Version)
  1. McAfee Internet Security 2008 (90-days license)
  2. PC Tools Desktop Maestro 2.0 (1 year license)
  3. Ashampoo Photo Commander 5

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Australian PC Authority April 2008

  1. eBay Exposed! Friend or Foe?
  2. Windows Home Server
Cover DVD (Free Paid Version)
  1. Avanquest Driver Genius 6
  2. Magix Music Maker silver
  3. Large Software PC Tune-Up
  4. Bluesquad PC Booster
  5. Webroot Desktop Firewall 5.5
  6. Reallusion Crazytalk Messenger
  7. Steganos Safe One

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Putting Ultimate Boot CD on USB Flash Drive

If you're buying a Linux/Mac laptop without a built-in optical drive, it is impractical to bring along an external optical drive for running Ultimate Boot CD (UBCD) just to check for defective pixels on the LCD screen. The solution is to put UBCD on a USB flash drive with at least 114MB of free space .
  1. Download ubcd411.iso and burn it to a CD.
  2. Test booting the CD to make sure it works.
  3. Copy all the contents of CD to the USB flash drive.
  4. Download and unzip the files to c:\syslinux
  5. Click Start -> Run & type cmd.
  6. Type cd c:\syslinux\win32
  7. Type syslinux -ma u: (replace u with your USB flash drive letter) to make the drive bootable.
  8. Restart computer and set your BIOS to boot from your USB flash drive.
  9. Select Mainboard Tools, Peripherals Tools & CHZ Monitor-Test
For Windows laptop, you can run Dead Pixel Buddy or UD Pix directly from the USB flash drive without installation.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Checking Defective Pixels on LCD Screen

There are three types of pixel defects:
  1. Type 1 - a stuck bright white pixel which is constantly illuminated (Hot pixels - always on)
  2. Type 2 - a fixed black spot which is not illuminated in any way (Dead pixels - always off)
  3. Type 3 - a pixel which shows up as a fixed single colour (not black or white) (Stuck pixels - one or more sub-pixels are always on or always off)
To check dead pixel, you can download Dead Pixel Buddy or UD Pix. UD Pix also allows you to rejuvenate Type 1 and 3 faults by flashing colours across them rapidly. Both programs run on Windows OS only.
How do you check the LCD screens for Linux/Mac laptops? If these laptops have a built-in or external optical drive, you can still boot up from Ultimate Boot CD and run CHZ Monitor Test 1.01 to check.

Monday, March 3, 2008

PC Advisor April 2008

  1. Faster, safer Wi-Fi
  2. XP to Vista
Cover DVD (Free Paid Version)
  1. Ashampoo AntiVirus (Windows XP/Vista) (6 months of free updates)
  2. Serif PagePlus 8.0 PDF Edition
  3. CrazyTalk 4 SE

Saturday, March 1, 2008

AVG 8.0 Released

Grisoft now AVG Technologies has released AVG 8.0. For home users, the products are AVG Anti-virus, AVG Anti-virus plus firewall, AVG Internet Security. The differences are here. I decided to test AVG Internet Security which includes Anti-Spam and System Tools. System Tools consist of Processes, Network Connections, Autostart, Browser Extensions & LSP Viewer. After installation, I tested the effectiveness to detect malware using eicar. It detected automatically when you download but you have to scan manually after downloading to detect, & With AVG Active Surf-Shield disabled in LinkScanner, I proceeded to test whether exploits can be detected. As shown, Internet Explorer 6 SP2 and Mozilla Firefox failed as expected. But when I enabled AVG Active Surf-Shield in LinkScanner, only Mozilla Firefox passed with a pop-up message while IE6 SP2 failed completely. I have not installed AVG firewall as Sygate Personal Firewall is more effective. The leaktest failed when Web Shield is active and AVG Active Surf-Shield is enabled in LinkScanner. In the end, I rather have a working firewall than Web Shield and Active Surf-Shield. Unlike LinkScanner Pro, AVG 8.0 does not have the ability to check any web links for exploits by right clicking the links although AVG Search-Shield when enabled does check web search results automatically when using Google.