Archive for gadgets

Installing a New Tivo Hard Drive

So, I had this really crappy week a while back where my ipod, my Tivo and my laptop all died on me.  The ipod I fear is toast, as the connector won’t connect to a pc anymore no matter what I try.  It is two years old, so I think I will have to suck it up and buy a new one.

The laptop needed a new battery, easy to buy and fix.

The Tivo though, that was interesting.  It basically started spontaneously rebooting itself.  If you have ever had to sit through this, you will understand how quickly this becomes painful.  After several calls to tech support and trying different variations on a reboot. . they determined what I already knew to be true, my hard drive was gone.  Their recommendation, a refurbished unit for $160.  A new unit, with about 160 hours of space, is about $299.99 . . . so I figured I would look around a bit and see what I could find on my own.

I did find a couple of sites that sold replacement 160GB drives for about $100, so I decided to give that a shot.  Since it was a hard drive, I figured even if my Tivo never works I can reuse the drive in one of my PCs.  I purchased my drive from DVRUpgrade since they are somewhat local for me, and did the swap last night.  My Tivo was still working on getting all of the programming last night, but it appears to work just fine.  The swap was simple, made even simpler by the Torx driver they sent with the replacement drive, and their instructions are right on the money.

I am still bummed about the iPod, but at least I won’t have to miss any more of my favorite shows.  I have missed Grace, Brenda, and Dr. Brennan, not to mention all the new greats like Leverage, Lie To Me and Dollhouse!   Thank goodness for Hulu.


Smartphone won’t sync with Exchange 2007

I really like Exchange 2007.  My most active smartphone user has a Motorola Q that uses ActiveSync and he called in a panic the other morning because for about 12 hours his phone would not sync with the server.  He could send mail out, but he couldn’t get anything new in.

My first response was to have him reset his device, but that didn’t help.  So I went to the server, not really expecting to find anything there.  What I found were two consistant error messages in the Event Logs:  Event ID 1008 and Event ID 4999.

Here is the exact error for MSExchange ActiveSync Event ID 1008:

An exception occurred and was handled by Exchange ActiveSync. This may have been caused by an outdated or corrupted Exchange ActiveSync device partnership. This can occur if a user tries to modify the same item from multiple computers. If this is the case, Exchange ActiveSync will re-create the partnership with the device. Items will be updated at the next synchronization. . .

So I went back to the server to check the settings under Manage Mobile Device and noticed that I could “Remove Mobile Device Partnership.”  Since it wasn’t working anyway, I gave it a shot.  What do you know, after the users next sync he was ready to go.  Seems the partnership had corrupted and removing it and forcing a new one fixed our issue. . for now.

New Cell Phone

I had to get a new phone and the first phone DH chose for me (yes, I let him pick because at first I didn’t really care what kind of phone I got) was the Verizon Voyager.  Wow, what a GREAT phone. It has a touch screen and a keyboard that was very easy to use for texting. Here is a little demo of that phone:

HOWEVER, the Verizon site said this was compatible with Microsoft Exchange Servers, which it is not. myblackberry1When I called tech support for help they were quick to point out that Verizon does not own any software that will push from a Corporate Exchange Server. So, since the folks at work were willing to pay for the phone and service if I got another phone, I began looking for a Blackberry or Windows Mobile phone. I chose the pink Curve and am happy with it. It is not quite as fun to text with, but it does have all the functionality I need. Now if I could just find a case for it that I like. . .

Treo 680 with Exchange E-mail Configuration

I had to setup my first Treo 680’s today for a couple of our new sales guys.  It wasn’t too difficult, but the instructions I was given by our AD Admin were a bit off so I wanted to document the steps here for the next time I need to setup these up.

1.  Install the SIM and batter and charge the battery.

2.  Call the support number to initiate the phone number.

3.  Install the Palm Software (via a disk in the box) on the user’s desktop.

5.  Connect the device to the desktop.

6. Setup e-mail by going to Mail, Menu, choose Microsoft Activsync from the provider drop down  and continue filling in the information as you get it from your e-mail administrator.

iPhone and Exchange

It only took a few days to find what I needed to know about Exchange and the iPhone.  I guess in all fairness, I was not looking super hard, but still it seems like it was hard to find information about this.

Anyway, it seems that ActiveSync will not be available until June for the iPhone.  That is not a big deal to me, I have a Blackberry.  But, for our graphics guy here who just got his cool new iPhone, it is a bit disappointing to have to wait so long just to check his work email account.

According to a blog by Peter Cohen over at Macworld ActiveSync, which is software that is used by Exchange to push email to mobile devices, will be released in June during a major software update.  We are already using ActiveSync here to push e-mail content to our Treo users, so I know this will work, but JUNE?  Wow.  I wish I would have known this when my user first came to me asking about whether or not he should get an iPhone.  Again, sure they are cool and all, but come on, if I am paying that much for a “smartphone” it darn well better be smart enough to deliver my mail.

Ah well, June it is.

Iphones – They May Look Cool, But Try Supporting Them

What a week.  I have my first Iphone inhouse, and it has been a pain trying to setup the little buggar to access our Exchange E-Mail.

According to an article I found on Apple’s site, you need to do the following:

Open port 993
Installl a digital certificate
Open port 587, 465, or 25

No problem, sounds easy, right? WRONG. Our network guys refuse to do the first one, assuring me that I should be able to use ActiveSync. Of course, ActiveSync isn’t available yet for the Iphone really, but when it is, this should all work quite nicely.

What a pain!! I am still searching to make sure I haven’t missed something. . .but for now. . .I have told my user he is out of luck, but I just hate that answer.

Blackberry Outage – AGAIN

It seems yesterday was another tough day for RIM, and a tough day for those of us who support these horrible little devices as well.  As many of you must know by now, yesterday at roughly 3:30 pm most Blackberry customers were without service for several hours.

Now, I don’t know about you, but this meant many calls from upset customers for me.  And as a tech, there is nothing more frustrating than not being able to help folks who rely on you.  This is the second time in about 10 months when I have been scrambling for answers to the question “why did my Blackberry stop delivering e-mail?”

I was already thinking of encouraging our users off the Blackberry, now I expect I will be a bit more animated about it.  There are too many other devices out there now that do a much better job, have more features, and are just cooler technology.  The iPhone comes to mind, but there are plenty of other gadgets out there that are better than the Blackberry, and seem to have less problems at this point.

For a really good review of some of the top Smartphones check this site out.

Best Gift I Got For Christmas

Of all the gifts I got for Christmas, I have to say that my favorite may just be the one that wasn’t on my list. TomTom

We got a Tomtom One for Christmas from my DH’s company, and I use it all the time now.  I’ll admit, when it comes to directions, I am not the best.  In fact, I usually can’t find my way home from a new location without a call to DH asking for help.

 Imagine his joy at my getting this gift.  Now, I simply put in the destination and the Tomtom One tells me exactly how to get home and even allows me to chose alternate routes if there is a street I want or need to avoid.  Not only that, she will also tell me where all the Dunkin Donut shops are along the way.  Now that is awesome.

As a busy mom with active kids, this is the perfect toy to have.  I can put in all the locations of the football games, swim meets, mathlete competitions, band events and college visits and get there without having to google a location, printing a map and then trying to read a map while I drive, drink coffee and try not to hit anyone.  Now I mount the Tomtom One on the windshield enter the address and go.

The Tomtom One comes with 4 voices by default, but more can be downloaded.  We opted for a very nice British woman’s voice, very James Bondish.