Thursday, December 3, 2015

Dell Venue 8 Pro (32GB) - Upgrade to Windows 10

Late last night, I impulsively decided to upgrade my Dell Venue 8 Pro 32GB, (model 5830) tablet's OS from windows 8.1 to windows 10. I promptly got online searching for issues/challenges and quickly realized I had to deal with the age old "short on disk space" issue again. Even though I only had a few apps installed on top of windows 8.1, there was only 3.5 GB left on C: drive. And it seems windows 10 upgrade requires roughly twice that amount of free space on C:.

So, after searching online, I was thrilled and my hopes soared when I read this page and thought I could use my microSD card to get through the installation. So, I immediately downloaded and started the upgrade and promptly selected external microSD card and hit refresh, but unfortunately, installer stalled and continue to give me the error message saying something like "You need an additional 3.25 GB on drive C:\". I tried multiple ways without any success.  

Then I thought of heroically removing the recovery partition, free up the space and go with the upgrade. Thank god I did not act on that plan with my sleep deprived state of mind.  Instead, I ended up using windows recovery disk creation tool, which also simultaneously moves the recovery files from your local recovery partition to the external media and in the end wipes out the recovery partition on your tablet, all in one shot. See this tutorial (or simply google for "create windows recovery drive"), and make sure you select "copy the recovery partition from the PC to the recovery drive" check box. Of course you need an external USB thumb with min of 8 GB capacity and the USB dongle for venue pro to get through this, and I was in luck. 

Once I freed up the space by removing recovery partition safely, rest was straight forward. Windows 10 upgrade utility proceeded without a hitch, and I went back to sleep as it took long time before coming back up with brand new windows 10. 

Though I haven't given it a full try, I immediately noticed that I am sorely missing the Metro App style flavor of IE present in my previous windows 8.1. The latest Edge explorer resembles traditional  desktop app version, which looks and behaves really sloppy and sluggish on Venue 8 compared to previous metro app. May be I should give it  more time, but right now I am hating it. 

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

My Choice Tablet - Dell Venue Pro 8

Like so many others, after agonizing over the myriad of available choices across OS, form factor, features, brand etc., finally, last week I ordered two Dell Venue Pro 8 tablets, one for my self and another for my college going niece. Both of us need a tablet, not just for content consumption/entertainment, but also for everyday productivity as well. I am looking for a tablet that I can take on an occasional business trip/office visit, or my niece to a class room on a daily basis, and for getting some work done, while relaxing on a sofa. Also, all my book purchases in recent years on Amazon, as well as most of my local library borrowings, both are in Kindle format. I also subscribe to Zinio monthly service for magazines. So, I need a light weight tab that fits easily in one hand, and allows me to read comfortably in bed. My previous 10" tab isn't very convenient for heavy reading.  Given these specific needs, after weighing pros and cons, an 8", light weight, windows productivity, with light note taking capability seemed the way to go. Finally, I did not want to spend too much on one device, and be stuck with it for too long, but rather let my 4 years old upgrade to this from his current Acer Iconia A500 tab :-)

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Linksys E3000 Router - Upgrading to latest Toastman TomatoUSB build

These are instructions for upgrading your older Toastman build on Linksys E3000 router to the latest firmware version. If you have never installed a TomatoUSB on this model router, you may want to start here first.

Upgrading is straight forward if you follow these simple steps..

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

How fast is your Home Network?

Typically, most of us, at some point or the other, get concerned or pay attention to our internet connection speed at home. If you haven't done already, there are good online tools like to measure the throughput from your ISP. So, it's a good idea to use these occasionally and check you are getting what you are paying for (though keep in mind, speeds at your end will never be 100% of the service level you are paying for. 80-85% of contracted max is a reasonable expectation). For long, I know i am not getting any where near the reasonable performance from my ISP. So, finally I picked up the phone this week and lodged a complaint.

Flashing TomatoUSB on Linksys E3000

This thanksgiving weekend, i bought a Linksys E3000 router. Besides upgrading my home network, one of the things i was excited to try with this box is to replace the factory installed firmware with either DD-WRT or TomatoUSB and turn it into a really cool router.  So, after long research, i decided on TomatoUSB instead of DD-WRT. Unfortunately, Tomato is light on detailed documentation and hence i couldn't find all the information I need (specifically installing on E3000) on a single page for flashing this specific combination. I had to jump around and a lot before i felt confident to start risk turning the brand new router into a paper weight. So, now that i have done, here it is..