thefrozencoder

Programming and Technology blog

HP Pocket Media Drive

A couple of weeks ago I purchased a HP Pocket Media Drive Model: PD2500s as a way to store large files (iso, vhd, gho, etc.) so that when I can:

  • Have a place to store my Virtual Hard Drives
  • Have a place to store my CD images
  • Have a place to store the last image of my laptop incase I need to restore
  • Have a quick place to do one off backups
  • Have a device that is small enough and large enough to store extra files I ma need on the road

So far the unit has performed flawless, I have no issues running my VM's or mounting ISO's from the drive and I don't really notice any performance issues.  The drive itself is pretty compact (being a 2.5" drive) and the case only adds about an inch more to the over all length of the drive.  The only issue I have is not with the drive but with the cable that came with it.

Most generic 2.5" drive enclosures come with two separate cables, one for data and one for power.  This drive comes with one cable but has two USB ends and one end that plugs into the drive (see Picture below).

 

The issue is the two plugs need two USB ports closer than 6.5” inches or you are forced to purchase an extension cable.  This is probably fine for most tower setups but a lot of laptops (older ones) don’t have two USB ports that close together.  Fortunately my HP does but I can see how this might cause issues for users who may have an older laptop.

Site up up up and away

Finally got a real site up, decided not to roll my own but try out a ready made blog engine.  I already rolled a home brew site willyd.ca which I will be slowly moving away from that site over time.

I have added some of my tech blogs from my other web site just for content, look for some interesting topics and items soon.

USB Flash Drives ...

Here in Canada Best Buy is selling 8GB USB Flash Drives from Duracell (who knew they made USB drives) for $19.99. Now I have seen drives of this size cheaper but to come from a "known" name brand like this made me wonder how good the drive actually was.

When I got home I tested the Read/Write speed using the USB Flash Drive Tester (found here). I also tested my 4GB ScanDisk Cruzer Micro as a simple control. While I am not sure if having two drives of different size matters the results were:
  • Duracell
    • Write: Tested total 7645.999MB in 0:11:52 with 10.741MB/s
    • Read: Tested total 7645.999MB in 0:08:59 with 14.177MB/s
  • ScanDisk
    1. Write: Tested total 3919.840MB in 0:14:46 with 4.431MB/s
    2. Read: Tested total 3919.840MB in 0:07:56 with 8.234MB/s
While I am not sure how acurate my tests were but it does make you wonder just because it is cheaper is it really cheap?

Been a long time running

Seems like during the summer time I have nothing to say, or rather I don’t usually do much blogging or coding. It is after all summer time.

Except for this weekend or rather today in general. As of lately I have been immersing myself in the world of the ASP.NET MVC bits (preview 4). I never really bothered with the earlier previews since I figured that they would be changing the framework so anything you learned in Preview 1 would probably be obsolete by Preview 5 and I was pretty much right based on some of the samples that I had downloaded.

My main interest is the idea of a pluggable view engine especially a Xml/Xsl transform view engine. A couple of searches via Google and viola I was redirected to the MvcContrib page on Codeplex. After downloading the source and samples I soon realized (probably like others to their amazement) there were no samples for the MvcContrib.XsltViewEngine. There wasn't even a documents page on the site.

So off I went again searching for any kind of help. I ended up finding one post on Google Groups for the MvcContrib that pointed to a blog post (link didn’t work of course). I ended up finding the actual person who created the actual library and the blog post about it and how to get it working (created in Dec '07 - oh boy this was not looking good already). In the end I did manage to get it working after updating the code to work with preview 4 and realized I would probably be writing my own.

And so I did, today actually (rather yesterday now).

More on that later, plus a sample working site with code. But I am tired now.

Windows 2008 Install Tip for HP Laptops

If you are going to do a manual install of Windows 2008 and or Vista on any HP laptop you probably want to burn the c:SwSetup folder to a DVD/USB Key before you begin. This folder contains all of the original software installed as well as all of the drivers. Once you have installed the OS you can copy the folder back to your C: drive.

Here is a little trick to make the install process easer, create a text file in the c:SwSetup folder and rename it to install.inf. If you are missing drivers for some of your hardware (audio, network lan and wireless) are the usual MIA drivers. Just use the Update Driver feature and make sure you browse for a location and select the c:SwSetup folder, because the *.inf file is present you can do this. The update driver feature will search all subfolders for *.inf files to find a matching hardware device id and install the drivers for it. I do this so that I don’t have to pick each folder separately.