Portable WiFi – You can take it with you

Just getting settled in at the vacation house, and got the Kyocera KR-1mobile router hooked up and running (basically plugging it into an AC outlet – <1 Minute) .  If you are not familiar with the KR-1, it is very similar to a standard WiFi router but instead of connecting it into a broadband connection (Cable modem or DSL), it gets it’s Internet connectivity through an EVDO cellular card – and it is AWESOME!

Even if I am the only one using the Internet connection and don’t need to share the WiFi with other users, I prefer using the KR-1 over just plugging the EVDO card directly into my X41’s PC Card slot.


  • Speed – even though it doesn’t make sense, the EVDO connection is faster (I’ve tested with online bandwidth tools) in the KR1 than it is directly plugged into a PC.
  • Location,Location, Location – Unfortunately EVDO has all the same nuisances of using a cellular phone – it works great in some parts of the house / office / hotel room, and in other areas it has little or no signal.  With the KR-1 I can place it in the strongest area (The web config utility actually shows signal bars), and then roam anywhere else in the area via WiFi and not have to rely on a cellular signal.
  • PC / Windows Issues – PC Cards are notorious for getting into bad states when the PC goes into a standby/sleep/hibernate mode.  EVDO cards are no different, and in many cases it requires a total reboot of the laptop or tablet PC to get the card working again.  5 minutes wasted.  The KR-1 removes this issue completely.
  • Reliability – The KR-1 reconnects on dropped signals automatically, no more pulling up the EVDO dialer app to manually reconnect (and wait).  Very cool.

I’ve been using the KR-1 for several months now, and it is a definite two thumbs up!  I am fortunate enough to have both a Sprint & Verizon EVDO card, and so far I have always been able to get a great WiFi spot going with one of them and the KR-1 – Including a recent road trip.  It was just so cool and uber-geeky having a mobile hotspot inside the car!

Off to Cape Cod

I’m on a plane now to Boston’s Logan, and then a 2 hour drive to the Cape.  Looking forward to a few days of R&R – but I am sure by this time tomorrow I’ll be restless and working on some project, or looking for something to do :-).

If you know of anything interesting to do in Cape Code, please let me know!

Microsoft XNA Game Studio Available

Like most of you, I saw the XNA announcement about a month ago, I had actually forgotten about it – or at least cataloged it into a back corner of the mind.

Well, I just saw an email from MSDN  that the new XNA game development studio beta is now available.  There is no support yet for the XBOX 360 yet, but they say it will be available later this year.

I really think once the 360 support is ready AND Microsoft figures out an easy way for smaller developers to promote and monetize these games (and apps), we’ll see an interesting ecosystem start to crop up here.

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Sling to the Rescue!

I woke up this morning to find my one-year-old Phillips Plasma TV dead.  Well, that’s not quite accurate it was one year and 12 days old (I dug out the paperwork to check) – nice how it just made it past the one year warranty from Phillips, huh?  Puzzling thing is, it turned off fine last night, no storms or other external forces were in the area, and all my A/V equipment is on a high-end surge and battery backup system. Odd.  The only good news is, that this was the first time in my life I have ever purchased an extended warranty.  I’ve always considered them a sucker warranty – but I am glad I did it this time.  The onlyreason I bought it is because I wanted someone else to deal with getting this monster off the wall if I ever did have a problem, but I must admit I was not expecting to ever have to use it let alone just a year later.  We’ll see how this whole extended contract works out, but I was impressed their service center was open today (a Sunday), and someone will be here Tuesday AM for service.

So I don’t really watch a hold lot of TV anyhow (who has time?), but if I don’t have my news and coffee in the morning, I just don’t seem to wake up.  So I (finally) hooked my sling player back up correctly – I had ripped out my Media Center PC and replaced it with a Tivo2 a while back, and never got around to getting the sling player right since I haven’t been traveling as much lately (whew!).

So several software installs and firmware updates later, I am back in business with my Slingbox.  I must say, the newer Sling player software is MUCH nicer, and has a better picture quality than I remember it having – very impressive updates on both the client side and the hardware.  So now I am able to stream my TV around the house (via 802.11g wifi), and catch my news on both my Lenovo X41 Tablet PC and my Q1 UMPC.  Sling even has a special skin for the UMPC  – very cool!  During the whole process, I actually came up with (what I think) would be a very cool UMPC app for the slingplayer, but unfortunately they don’t seem to have an API or any other exposed interfaces.  Maybe I’ll hack around and see what I can figure out.

Now I’m just wondering, Why didn’t I get around to getting this setup before?!?! 🙂

Tablet PC Hummer

Lora over at “What is New” had a nice post last night mentioning our Tablet PC Hummer.  Since I’ve already had an email about it, I figured I’d post some photos.  Who wouldn’t like seeing a Hummer with a GIANT Tablet PCon the side?

This is a vehicle Field2Base co-sponsored (the artwork) with one of our large resellers.  The Hummer makes it’s rounds to quite a few tradeshows, and is also one of the salesguys’ daily driver.  Needless to say, he gets quite a bit of attention,and questions driving this around. Right now there is always a Tablet PC in the Hummer for demos.  Future plans include a complete mobile office inside, including printer, GPS, scanner, etc..

The photos below show a company group photo with the beast, and me taking the Hummer somewhere I probably shouldn’t have in our office park 🙂





Ink Blog Plugin Beta 2 now Available!

UPDATE – Please note the newest version (v1.0) is now available here

I’ve just released an updated version of the Ink Blog Plugin, Beta 2 for Microsoft Live Writer & Tablet PCs.

There are quite a bit of new features here including:

  • More ink colors, including custom colors
  • Handwriting Recognition of Ink, which is posted in blog under the ink area
  • Various pens and line weights
  • Highlighters
  • Lasso tool / Move / Cut / Copy / Paste
  • Multi-level Undo / Redo
  • Text inside the ink region
  • Ability to re-edit ink before you publish
  • Vertically Expanding ink area – unlimited ‘paper’
  • Edit mode backgrounds for cleaner inking (Several line widths & Grid)
  • Recognition of shapes
  • And More….. 🙂


  • Windows XP Tablet PC Edition
  • Windows Live Writer
  • Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0
  • Microsoft Ink Update for Tablet PCs on .NET framework 2.0 / CLR

To Install the latest version on your Tablet:

  1. Download Here
  2. Close any open MS Windows of Live Writer
  3. Run Installer by double clicking on the downloaded file
  4. You will now have a “Insert Ink Blog” option in the Live Writer task pane, and on the ‘Insert’ menu
  5. Ink Away, and enjoy!

Important NOTES:

  •   If you get a warning message during the install, it is probably because you do not have the Microsoft Ink update installed (see above).  Continuing through the install is fine, but you will need to download and install the update for full & proper functionality.  (This is a good update to put on your Tablet PC either way to ensure optimum ink compatibility in other applications)
  • This beta build will expire on October 1, 2006 (Don’t worry, I should have another out long before then! 🙂 )

As always, please leave your feedback, issues, and requests as a comment here, or contact me directly.

 [UPDATE] If you are getting an error when you try to use the plugin that mentions the file Microsoft.mshtml please see the post here for a fix.

Ink Generated with Ink Blog Plugin - http://www.edholloway.com

Snakes in a Theater!

The National Ledger is reportingthat two live rattlesnakes were released in an Arizona movie theater during, yup you guessed it, a showing of Snakes on a Plane.

They believe it was done as a joke, but grabbing a deadly snake instead of my popcorn doesn’t seem too funny to me.

Lenovo X41 Tablet Performance Tweak(?)

I just saw Jeff’s post on his experience with the X41 for a month in the field.

One complaint he had is the performance – a big issue I had with mine too.  Even after upgrading to 1.5 Gigs of RAM, the machine was still considerably slower than my other tablets.  Since I love the form factor, and really need a keyboard at times, I spent some down time on a cross country flight playing with settings to see where the bottleneck was.

What I (eventually) found is that the “Thinkvantage Active Protection System” was the culprit.  This is the service that is supposed to lock your harddisk if it senses a sudden fall or jolt.  Great concept, and if it is something important to you, you may want to play with the settings rather than just disabling it like I did.

To disable it, open the app – locate under: Start/Program Files/ThinkVantage/Active Protection System and remove the enable check box (see image below), and reboot.  That’s it.

In my case, I felt like I was just given a new machine.  We have also recommended this tweak to many of our customers on the X41, and they have had great results too.

I mentioned this to one of our Lenovo technical contacts, and he assured me that this had been fixed on newer versions (he did not specify if this was newer hardware or software).  So if you have a newer X41 or have updated the app, you may not notice as much of a difference as I did.  For the rest of you, enjoy your new Tablet!

General’s Chicken & fried rice, but you wouldn’t care

I received one of Amazon’s “We thought you might like” emails today with a new book called “Nobody Cares what you had for lunch – 100 ideas for your blog“.  Looks like it could be a good read, but there are not any reviews yet.  I’ll probably check it out either way, I’ll let you know how it is.

I also thought it extremely intuitive that Amazon suggested this the week I started my blog – especially considering I haven’t ordered any blog books from them – one of the very few topics I probably haven’t ordered (Amazon Prime is evil!).  Did someone tell them I needed help? 🙂