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Patiently Working Hard

The X60 Tablet

The last few weeks have been fairly crazy, mostly just working and studying. I am guessing another few weeks and everything will be back to normal. The weather has been pretty awesome this weekend, closer to seventy. I saw quite a few bikes out over the weekend, which was very tempting but I patiently continued worked hard so I wouldn’t fall back on things that need more attention.

According to UPS package tracking, the tablet PC left Oak Creek for Madison Saturday morning. Oak Creek is only about hour and a half away so I am pretty sure that it is sitting somewhere is Middleton waiting to be delivered tomorrow. I could have called UPS yesterday and picked it up but I am going to have to wait till at least Monday before I can do that. Why? Because I found a coupon yesterday that would save me about four hundred dollars on the exact same machine. So, I wanted to call Lenovo and make sure that I could use that on the unit that they have already shipped me, because if they say no then I will probably have to return this and place another order. Lenovo charges 15% restocking fee for opened items. I don’t see why they won’t just adjust the price on the already shipped unit but I didn’t want to waste that much money on some unexpected policy :-/

Oh, and I briefly went to Best Buy yesterday and decided to check on the price for upgrading the Vista Business that was coming with the tablet to Vista Ultimate, guess how much the upgrade costs? $259.99+tax!! I was expecting upgrades within Vista, i.e. Home > Business or Business > Ultimate, to be cheaper but I guess the versions are already complicated enough that adding another pricing tier probably wouldn’t be worth their time.

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The tablet PC is on its way!

Before ordering my tablet on Saturday I read online that previously Lenovo had delayed other people’s orders, sometimes on the day that the tablets were supposed to ship. I was a little disappointment to read this but I still went ahead and placed my order. Knowing about the delays and an expected shipment date of 2nd April, I was expecting the tablet to arrive somewhere around the 12th of April, but guess what? Today I received an e-mail saying that the tablet was shipped today!! This is awesome!! Lenovo will be putting up the shipping number tomorrow so that’s when the real countdown will start. I went for UPS ground shipping since I was thinking that I would have to wait for almost half a month anyways, but now I can’t wait! :)

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Just ordered the Lenovo X60 Tablet!

Lenovo X60 Tablet

I just ordered the Lenovo X60 Tablet! =D After spending a lot of time researching the tablets and the options, I ended up with the X60 because of my target use. Part of this was the MBA, which I will be starting either this Summer or this Fall depending on which school I get in. I wanted the machine to be light, quiet and ultra-portable, and X60 was one of the best options. Now I am going to anxiously wait for it to arrive by the 5th of April! :) I will definitely be blogging more about my experience and maybe even a review is in line :)

Below are the specs and explanation for my choices.

  • 12.1” MultiView + MultiTouch WVA XGA TFT and Intel Core Duo L2400 LV (1.67GHz, 2MB L2, 667MHz FSB)
    • I opted for the lower resolution XGA screen (1024×768) because the SXGA (1400×1050) did not have the MultiTouch feature.
  • Genuine Windows Vista Business
  • 1 GB PC2-5300 DDR2 SDRAM 667MHz SODIMM Memory (1 DIMM)
    • I wanted to get 2GB RAM but that made this a little too expensive. So I went for the little cheaper option of one 1GB DIMM leaving myself room for an additional chip if I see the need. My first plan is to try ReadyBoost through an SD card.
  • 60GB Hard Disk Drive, 7200rpm Serial ATA (2.5”)
    • I spent quite some time researching the 7200rpm vs. 5400rpm option and finally settled on 7200rpm. Most of my friends with tablet PCs pointed to hard drive speed as a major bottleneck which helped with the decision; but in the end this was hard because the added speed will definitely sacrifice the battery life.
  • Intel PRO/Wireless 3945ABG (US/CAN/LA/AP)
  • ThinkPad X61 Tablet 8 Cell Li-Ion Battery
    • Another thing that my friends pointed out was that a lot of times you end needing the adapter in long meetings, which defeats one of the main purpose for having a tablet. So I went the greater capacity 8-cell battery which should last at least four hours but more like five or six if I use power throttling.

Useful Resources

Below are some links that helped me with the decision, you might find these useful.

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Done with the GMAT!

Today was an interesting day, it came and it went. Last night I slept at around 11pm but somehow was up around 5:30am. Knowing that I had to take the GMAT at 9am, I tried to go back to sleep so that I wouldn’t get tired, but I had no luck. After unsuccessfully trying for an hour I gave up and decided to start the day. After shower and a very nice breakfast I was out the door at 8am headed towards the testing center. On my way there I debated whether I should get coffee to get my concentration level up, thinking that I especially needed it since I was missing some sleep from the day before and since I got up so early. After two traffic signals I decided to skip on the coffee and go straight to the testing center.

Once I got there I had to check in, which included things like presenting the ID, getting my picture taken, finger printing, and DNA verification. OK, the DNA verification part is not true, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it becomes a standard procedure in a few years :) A few minutes later I was sitting in front of a Dell OptiPlex staring at a CRT monitor that was running a full screen Java based application; also known as the GMAT test.

After concentrating on the quantitative section a few weeks ago I decided that it was time for verbal section. So, I spent quite some time brushing up my grammatical skills and practicing those questions. My last few days before the exam were spent on the verbal section so my quantitative side started to lack a little bit. Thinking about it now, I would have done even better if I would have spent a little bit more time on the quantitative section in the last few days.

Anyways, back to today. The next few hours went by without me realizing, and around 12pm or so I was finishing up the Verbal section. Surprisingly I had exactly three minutes to finish my last verbal question, which ended up taking almost two and a half minutes. I was really surprised that I did so good on the timing of the verbal section; unfortunately, the quantitative section was a different story :)

All in all, when the program asked me whether I wanted to cancel the score, I reflected upon the last few hours and decided that I would go ahead and see how I did. The next thing I said was “Yeah!” Well, not really, because that wouldn’t have been fair to the other poor souls that were still taking whatever exams they were there to take. I did better than I had done in the practice exams, but very close to what I expecting and hoping :) This concludes the GMAT chapter of my MBA book. Next up is the actual admissions process.

On a side note, one of my friends mentioned that the captcha image for the comments on this site isn’t showing the actual text. Looking at the production log I didn’t see any errors, and tracked the problem down to a recent RMagick installation issue. I am working with Site5 on getting that resolved, but until then I am thinking about putting in a workaround, which I hate to do because then I will have to manually cleanup the comment spam.

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Ready for GMAT?!?!

So, tomorrow morning I will be sitting in front of the computer for almost four hours straight. The difference tomorrow will be that I will actually be frantically trying to solve GMAT problems!! :) I was scared last night when I started seeing symptoms of flu; which should not have been a surprise to me considering that almost every other person that I have met in the last week has been sick. Luckily I was able to skip work today and rest, this rest seems to have really helped me so far, and tomorrow, hopefully, I should be OK. Wish me luck!!! =D

Once the GMAT chapter is over, my goal is to fix the damage that I have done to my body in the last few months by neglecting all exercise and good posture. I don’t know how I let it happen but now is the time for me start before I get in the no-coming-back zone :) Well, at least until I start my MBA in fall. Oh and I have setup Beryl on ArchLinux, and just for kicks I am planning on doing a five-minute video version of the fairly popular Capistrano tutorial (see the articles section). That will be popping up on this website within the next month.

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Looking up Hostnames using WINS

A quick note, if you would like your Linux machine to lookup other machines using NetBIOS names (sometimes a.k.a. Windows host names) then all you have to do is change /etc/nsswitch.conf and add 'wins’ to the 'hosts’ line. Your 'hosts’ line will look something like “hosts : files wins dns”. Enjoy!

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Reminders Not Working on Your Windows Mobile 5 Device?

Have the reminders suddenly stopped showing up on your Microsoft Windows Mobile 5.0 based device? If so then you have come to the right place. I found the actual solution buried in this thread (post by rcmccart on 06-18-2006, 16:52) so I thought that I would try to make it more obvious and come up with reasons. This worked for me and I am hoping that this will also work for you; please let me know if it does or does not (post a comment on this blog entry). First, the solution.

  1. Figure out when this problem started happening. If you vaguely remember when that was then that’s great, otherwise you can use something like MemMaid to find that by browsing the Notification Queue.
  2. Set the date on the device to one day prior to when the reminders stopped appearing.
  3. Soft reset the device.
  4. Set the date to one day ahead of the date that you set.
  5. If there was a reminder for this date then it should show up now. If you know there was a reminder but it just didn’t show up, then I am sorry this probably is not going to work for you. Oh, and make sure you pay attention to the time. If the reminder was set for 3pm but it’s currently 2:30pm then it is not going to show up because it is still in the future.
  6. If you did see the reminder then you are on your way to getting the reminders back.
  7. Change the date to the next day, soft reset and repeat until you reach today.

Now, the explanation. Please note that the following text is my explanation of what might be happening, I haven’t verified this with anyone, it’s all just me applying my logic :) The problem seems to start with conflicting reminders; I am not sure of the exact reason, but whatever it is, causes a past reminder to be left on the Notification Queue as “new.” I am thinking that the reminders are saved in a chronological list, i.e. the earliest reminders at the top, followed by the later ones. Additionally there has to be some additional piece of data that is set the first a reminder is shown (some kind of “new” flag). The “notification daemon” then checks the earliest new reminders (i.e. with that piece set) and sets up an interrupt that will be called when the correct time comes. In this case the problem is that the earliest reminder will never come because the time has already passed. This causes the newer reminders to never come up because they are waiting in line for the earlier ones to appear. Considering the solution, this is what I think might be going on under the hood, but I am probably way off :)

I thought about creating a small utility that would get rid of the past notifications but as my last post mentioned, right now I am really, really busy. Maybe I will get to it in a month.

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February = A lot of work

This month has been crazy for me. I have started working on a new .NET project at work that is really exciting to me, most of customers are in full swing, and lots of other stuff on the side. To complete everything in time I have sacrificed my exercise schedule and blogging activity. I am hoping that the workload will go down towards mid-March, but until then there will probably be very little blogging :-/

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