Thursday, January 26, 2012

Windows 8 Preview

Recently played with Windows 8 beta on a desktop PC.  Not impressed.

Window 8 puts a Windows Mobile-like GUI on top of a more familiar Windows 7-like desktop.  Furthermore, when you drill down to changes made to the desktop interface, it is sufficiently different (not better) from Windows 7 to be annoying.

It seems that Windows 8 wants to standardize the user experience across smartphones, tablets and PCs. Can it be all things to all people? Microsoft is not Apple. I am skeptical.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Administrator Mode on the HP t5335z?

I have a new HP t5335z Thin Client device with the annoying feature out of the box of going into suspend mode (?) after several minutes of inactivity.  Nobody on the HP support forums seems to know how to change that feature, so I thought I'd ask the easier question of how to get into the device as an administrator.  No replies from the HP community to that either, so I had to figure it out myself.  Here's the answer for gaining administrative access.
  • Install the HP ThinClient Smart Client Service on a computer on the same subnet as the thin client. 
    • Before installing, you have to have IIS running on the computer and .NET framework 3.5. See this link to get your server machine configured properly.
    • Download the software from here.  A default installation is fine. 
I installed the Smart Client Service on a Windows 7 machine, so here's what worked on that platform. Other operating systems may be different.
  • In the Windows 7 Start menu, navigate to the hp Profile Editor icon. Left-click and choose "Run as Administrator." Unless you Run as Administrator, you cannot save changes to the profile.
  • Go to the Registry Editor section of the Profile Editor. Select your platform and check the box for Show all settings.
  • Scroll down to users. Expand the folder until you get to users/user/apps/hptc-root-xterm. Select authorized and enter the value 1 in the text box.
  • Click Next two times and then select Save Profile and then Finish.
  • Find the file, profile.xml, on your computer and change the permissions. Right click on the file, select properties, select the security tab and click the Edit button to change permissions. Add "Everyone" and give them full control.
  • Turn off the Windows (or other) Firewall on your server machine.  If you don't, the thin client will not be able to grab the profile.  You can turn it back on after you update the profile on the thin client.
  • Boot the t5335z and it should connect to the server, download the profile changes you saved and run them. If it worked, and it did for me, you now have root access to the device through the xterm window. You get there from Settings/Additional Configuration menu (X Terminal). Good Luck (it shouldn't be this hard)!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

CES 2012 Impressions

Thumbs down on Smart TVs. Why do I want to buy a television with a computer inside. It will be obsolete in 24 months.

Why the buzz about Ultrabooks?  "Ultra portable" laptops you been around for years. This is another case of marketing over substance.

4K displays caught my attention. These are the next generation after hdtv.  Sharp and Sony had them at CES. 

4K refers to the number of pixels along the diagonal of the screen image.  Current hdtv provides up to 1080 pixels along the horizontal. But much of the hdtv content that is currently available is only 720 pixels wide.

Today, 4K displays cost $25,000 or more.  And there is no content available at 4K resolutions now or for the foreseeable future.  FYI, 8K displays are down the road.

Monday, January 09, 2012

Portable Computers

These are laptops, tablets, and smartphones.  And portable computing is the leading edge of change in information technology.
The movers and shakers in portable computing are Apple, Amazon, Google, Samsung and others. Not Microsoft, Intel, Dell, HP nor other established players.
Change is coming, and it's going to get messy.  Microsoft is trying to play catch up. HP doesn't know if it is coming or going.  Amazon is a ruthless competitor.
I'll be looking at the Consumer Electronics Show this week to see if there are any indications of changes to come.
Posted it from my Google Nexus S smartphone, running Android 4.0 AKA Ice Cream Sandwich.