Friday, May 29, 2009

More Mini9 Misadventures

Since the Dell came with bluetooth, I thought about trying it out with the Apple Mighty Mouse so I went into the BIOS and enabled bluetooth and disabled "legacy USB support" as suggested in the Dell Mini forums and it worked like a charm. Easy to pair. The only problem was that there was no way within the OS to turn off bluetooth. Normally, there is an option to turn off bluetooth in the task bar. As you all know, if you fly with bluetooth on, you may inadvertently take over the control of the jet. Why else would they want you to disable such a low power radio. Anyway, the option was missing. Looking at the forums some more, there was a posting of how someone did it on 10.5.5 so I thought that I would give it a try. The last step was to delete a file that pointed back to the configuration file. I'm not sure how the file was supposed to get recreated but after deletion, the Dell would no longer boot. I killed it. Safe mode didn't work either. In fact, in the middle of the boot process, it would decide that it had had enough and just power itself down. I guess that's pretty safe though not the desired behavior. So the logical thing to do was to was to reinstall off of my Time Machine backup then reinstall the boot code. The reinstall would never complete. It would stop at some point with just the spinning beachball (the Mac equivalent of the Windows hourglass) and just sit there. I tried several times and even tried a new install but kept getting the same thing. Then I noticed something that I had never had to use before. The USB external optical drive had 2 USB cables coming off of it. Apparently, if it couldn't get enough power off of a single port, you would just plug it into a second port. I tried this (fortunately the Dell had 3 ports) and everything worked just like it's supposed to. I restored from the backup that was done just before my bluetooth experiment, reinstalled the boot code and it now works just as before. I am using to type this post. i did turn on two finger scrolling again and since I figured out what was confusing the software. I just need to have my fingers nest to each other oriented horizontally. If they are at an angle, the software gets confused.

I've convinced my middle son to get the Dell Mini 10v since he had managed to destroy his last laptop hauling it around in his backpack all of the time. I think that it should sturdier than a normal laptop mostly because of the lower weight. The Mini 10v doesn't have the benefit of the SSD but for him, I think it should be a good fit. He mostly needs the computer for listening to music and the Internet. No game play, and he already has a dvd player so for the price of a bargain laptop, he now has a Dell netbook on order complete with all the options such as speakers, mouse, protective pouch, etc. He even ordered the Product (Red) version but mostly for the color rather than the donation to fight Aids in Africa. It isn't going to ship for about 3 weeks but he's fine with that which kind of surprised me. I think the red colored ones get manufactured less often. It took quite a while for mine to get shipped as well. This one will probably be left on Windows XP and not try the whole hackintosh thing since his is a more "production" application than my experiment.

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