Ejblap2-build-diary

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ejblap2 Build Diary

Introduction

My Dell X1 ultraportable was not able to run software I wanted to run, and the display is not really good enough to do adequate photo editing, so I upgraded to a Toshiba Core I3 based 13 inch thin and light notebook. This is a little bigger than the old one, but about the same weight, and it has an optical drive, which the Dell does not. Because I had already built a Windows 7 desktop, I had a head start on building this one.

The new machine (Toshiba Portege R705-35)

  • Intel® Core™ i3-370M Processor
  • Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit)
  • Mobile Intel® HD Graphics
    • 64MB-1696MB dynamically allocated shared graphics memory
  • 4GB DDR3 1066MHz memory (some of this used by graphics subsystem)
  • 500GB HDD (5400rpm)
  • DVD-SuperMulti drive (+/-R double layer)
  • 13.3" widescreen
  • HD TruBrite® LED Backlit display with Intel® Wireless Display Technology
  • Supports 720p content, 16:9 aspect ratio, 1366x768 (HD)
  • Microphone jack (mono), Standard stereo speakers, Headphone jack (stereo)
  • Webcam and microphone built into LCD bezel
  • Intel® 4G WiMAX™
  • Intel® wireless LAN (802.11a/g/n)
  • No Bluetooth (No Antenna)
  • No Modem port
  • 10/100/1000 Ethernet LAN
  • Memory Card Reader (SD)
  • 2-USB (2.0) ports, 1-eSATA/USB (2.0) combo port with Sleep and Charge
  • HDMI output port
  • Power supply 65W (19V 3.42A) Auto-sensing, 100-240V / 50-60Hz input
  • Li-Ion (66Wh, 6-Cell) removable
  • Weight starting at 3.2 pounds
  • Magnesium Alloy Casing

Besides the operating system, the included software on this machine is not very useful.

  • Norton Internet Security is only good for a month, so I decided to skip it and go directly to open source software
  • Microsoft Windows Live includes Movie Maker, which I had to download on the desktop machine.
  • Microsoft Office Starter has ads. I use Open Office instead.

Intel Wireless Display (WiDi)

This laptop is one of the first to support this new functionality in the Intel Core I3,5,7 chipsets. Officially called WirelessHD, this allows transmission of an uncompressed HD video and audio to a receiver connected to a display system. Effectively this is a wireless HDMI connection to our 720P TV monitor. Since it is running on the 60 GHz band, it is very short range and line of sight, but that makes it perfect for sitting in front of the TV and displaying the laptop screen. I also have a Netgear Push2TV adaptor, which is the other end of the link. So far it is working well for things like watching TV episodes we missed that are available on the web.

To get a pixel for pixel match, I have found the best approach is to use the WiDi connected TV as a second display, which defaults exactly to 1280x720 pixels instead of scaling the 1366x768 screen on the notebook.

Network setup

I set this machine up as ejblap2 (the old one is ejblap) on a dynamic IP

The workgroup is AMR to match our home network, named after the Intel Americas domain. Not worth changing at this point.

Now that we have more than one Windows 7 machine, I could consider using the Homegroup functionality, but have not found a use for it yet. It is still enabled on this machine, but not on the Win7 desktop

Printers

This laptop is set up for printing to these printers

  • The downstairs laser printer as a generic SMB printer through "local" port \\downstairs\p1. The drivers were installed manually.
  • The upstairs printers through a regular Windows 7 share because these printers are served by EJBDESK1, a Windows 7 machine
  • Beth's printer in Cambridge through Bonjour, Apple's sharing software. This printer is served by her IMAC, which I set up with for printer sharing so she can print from her MacBook.

While I was there, I installed the client software on this machine. Bonjour uses UDP port 5353, so the firewall needs to pass this.


Removal of stuff I did not need

I have not yet removed anything, because it does not get in the way often.

  • Norton keeps bugging me, so I am going to use it just for the month I get free, then uninstall it and use Avast

Installed Software

I went through the software on EJBDESK1 and installed the stuff that made sense on EJBLAP2, creating a parallel kits directly on the C drive. This directory has all of my license data with unlock keys. As I built the new machine, I created a new c:\kits directory with two subdirectories, c:\kits\installed-software for the stuff that is actually installed, and c:\kits\software-kits for the stuff that is not installed. This directory has shortcuts over to the installed kits so there is a complete list here. I am adding to this as I add software.

The software that has been installed is

  • acritum rename 3 - a powerful renaming tool from Russia (purchased shareware)
  • active perl - windows perl environment (open source)
  • Ad-Aware - spyware scanning tool (commercial free version)
  • Avast Antivirus- Antivirus tool (open source)
  • Autodesk Inventor - Mechanical CAD software. Autodesk allows running an additional copy on the laptop. Part of the reason I got this machine was to run this (Commercial watermarked education version)
  • AVS Video Tools - I use AVS Video Converter from this tool suite (commercial)
  • Better File Rename Handy batch renamer. Upgraded to the latest version because the old one did not run on windows 7. (purchased shareware)
  • BitTorrent torrent client (open source)
  • exiftool is a set of command line tools for manipulating picture file metadata. I use it for time shifting and renaming my photos (free university software)
  • FastPictureViewerCodecPack provides codecs to allow the Windows Imaging Component (WIC) to display images from a wide variety of file formats. In particular, this supports thumbnails for Nikon RAW files (NEF,) which I use for photo editing. (commercial)
  • FastStone Image Viewer is a good general purpose viewing tool that supports camera RAW files (open source)
  • FileZilla FTP client (shareware)
  • Firefox Web browser
  • Gallery Remote is a Java application I use to upload pictures to my Gallery2 installation on my web site. (open source)
  • Google Talk chat client. (commercial but free)
  • HP LaserJet 2200 drivers Windows 7 does these driver installs automatically, but I find it useful to have the drivers handy
  • Irfanview is a fast image viewer that works very well as a pop-up double click tool. (open source)
  • JAlbum is the main tool I use for creating photo albums on my web site. It uses the JAVA runtime. (open source)
  • Java SDK is the Java development platform from Oracle (open source)
  • Logitech Harmony is the software for programming the Logitech remote control (commercial)
  • MuseScore in a music score editing tool (open source)
  • Nero 9 free version for burning CDs and DVDs. I just re-installed the latest version. (commercial free version)
  • Netbeans is a free Integrated Development Environment I use for playing with Java. (open source)
  • Nikon Capture NX2 is my main photo editing software. I just installed it and ran the most recent update using my original license. (commercial)
  • Open Office is the open source office suite from Sun Microsystems. I just downloaded the latest version and installed it (open source)
  • PDFCreator is mostly a printer driver that creates a PDF file instead of physically printing. (open source)
  • Photoshop Elements 5 is my secondary photo editor. I just used the license from the old machine. (commercial)
  • PHPMyAdmin is used for managing MySQL databases on my computer. It is part of my overall web development toolkit (open source)
  • Quicktime is downloaded from Apple. I'm not sure I need it because VLC Media Viewer will play quicktime and MP4 files. (commercial free)
  • Sony Video Tools includes Vegas Movie Studio and DVD Architect Studio, which I could not get to work on the old machine. It works fine on this machine. The license is from the old machine. (commercial)
  • Thunderbird email client is my main email interface. Just downloaded the latest version to start. To move over my emails, server settings, and address book, I used mozbackup, and open source tool that makes a file containing all of that information and allows you to restore it on the new machine. The instructions are on ((http://mozbackup.jasnapaka.com/%7Con the mozbackup web site.)) Doing it more manually is too complex, and mozbackup worked well. (open source)
  • UltraEdit is my main text editor. The version I had on the old machine would not install, but after emailing the company (IDM) they sent me a pointer to a version that works. The latest version is $29.95 to upgrade, but I don't need it. (licensed shareware)
  • VLC Media Viewer plays just about anything. I just downloaded the latest. (open source)
  • WinDirStat is a disk space usage tool. I just downloaded the latest. (open source)
  • Windows Live is a whole system for communication, etc, provided free by Microsoft. It has a video editor that replaces Movie Maker. Came already installed. I only use the Movie Maker part of it (commercial free)
  • WindowPowerShell_English_Documentation is a separate download from Microsoft to document Power Shell, which in included with Windows 7 (Commercial free)
  • WinRAR is an archiving system that packs and unpacks just about any archive format. I have a very old license, but was able to download the latest and still activate it. (licensed shareware)
  • XAMPP is a package designed for local web development. It installs the Apache web server, MySql, the FileZilla FTP server, Mercury mail and Tomcat Java servlet container. I am using it work PHP/MySQL learning and development. (open source)

Recovery Disks

Toshiba supplies a utility for making a recovery DVD set. There are four disks labeled

  • EJBLAP2 Windows Recovery Environment (64 bit)
  • EJBLAP2 Recovery DVD Disc1
  • EJBLAP2 Recovery DVD Disc2
  • EJBLAP2 Recovery DVD Disc3

Apparently it is only legal to make one set of these.

Backup

Since Mozy eliminated their unlimited service, I switched to CrashPlan, which offers a family plan for all computers in the house, so I am now backing up this laptop to that service. This will catch anything that I don't have a copy of on EJBDESK1, and the server will eliminate duplication.