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!

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!