Installing Windows 7 Ultimate on my HP dv9700t laptop

So, if you haven’t heard, Windows 7 is being released to the general public on the 22nd of October. I was one of the lucky people selected by House Party to host a Windows 7 Launch Party. Yesterday, my party pack arrived and I got to work installing Windows 7 Ultimate on my HP dv9700t laptop. This laptop is over a year old and had a Vista windows experience index score of 5.0. It took ~ 1.5 hours to do a clean install of Windows 7 over my existing Vista Ultimate installation. I took some photographs and shot some video which I will upload when I have the spare time.

For those new to the upgrading experience, I highly recommend backing up important data you may need like your browser bookmarks, work and personal files, et cetera. I completely forgot to back up my firefox bookmarks and as a result, I’ve lost over a months’ worth of painstakingly collected bookmark-data. Thankfully, my Roboform installation ensured that my passwords and login identities weren’t lost. My other backup plan was that I would be able to reinstall Carbonite (an online backup service) and possibly scrounge for my bookmarks there. However, according to a customer service agent I chatted with, Carbonite currently does not officially support Windows 7. Bummer.

Anyway, after I set up my user account and logged into Windows 7 for the first time, my screen resolution was a crummy 800 by 600, there was no Aero eye-candy and my hard disk was bursting at the seams because of the Windows.old folder. I was NOT happy at this turn of events because I had wrongly assumed that Windows 7 would perform a complete wipe and install. I was also NOT happy because I spent a pretty penny on tricking out my laptop and for me to not have the much vaunted eye candy was a slap to my face. To solve the first problem of my screen resolution, I simply right-clicked on my desktop and selected “screen resolution”. The option was available to take the resolution up to 1400 by 900 so I did and voila! Next, my Nvidia graphics card wasn’t automatically installed or recognized so Windows put up a generic VGA adapter. After trial and error, I discovered that the Windows 7 Action Center really knows its job and that given time, it WILL find the right solution to your problem! It led me to the right Nvidia driver for my graphics card (the GEFORCE 8600M card), but after installing, I still didn’t have Aero activated. Without wasting any more time, I fired up the Action Center and it alerted me that the desktop windows manager had been turned off and it ever so kindly offered to turn it back on for me. Once I did that, I was back in business with my beautiful transparent windows and such! ๐Ÿ™‚

I have to confess that working on Windows 7 feels like doing things thrice as fast as I would on Windows Vista. I was not too upset about the Vista operating system because I prepared myself for its shortcomings. Most of those shortcomings have been resolved by Windows 7. For instance, my computer feels much snappier because Windows 7 has been streamlined & thus can run on hardware that Vista would choke on! Also, my windows experience index score dropped to 4.6 because of my graphic card. I don’t know if that’s a function of the drivers available for it or what, but I’m not complaining because I only care about what I can feel and that is: my computer is a speed demon now. ๐Ÿ˜›

The last issue of the hard disk space was solved by going to the start menu and searching for “disk cleanup”. Now, all sites I looked at on getting rid of Windows.old did NOT help me. They swore up and down that the Disk Cleanup tool was the way to go. The “take ownership” of the Windows.old folder trick did not help me because it took too darn long! I started my installation at 8pm and I needed to get to bed at a godly hour! What they did not tell me was exactly what to do. Let me help you there:
1) Go to Disk Cleanup. It should pop up a box asking what drive you want to clean. If you’re like me, all you saw available was the C: drive (the one Windows is installed on) and the D: drive (where your recovery partition is)
2) Click on the C: drive and let it work. When the next box comes up, there should be a button for “clean system files”.
3) Click on “clean system files” and it should show a dialog box that’s scanning and detecting “previous windows installations”
4) When this box is done, it reverts back to the box in step (2) and you should see the huge Windows.old folder there like in this picture:
Oddly enough, according the properties of the Windows.old folder, the size displayed was 10GBs more. I need to call for help to find out where my hard disk space went!

Installing Nokia Maps 3.0.1 on the Nokia E71x

  1. Update: it appears that using the Ovi Suite software, you do need to go to the trouble of downloading the older version 2.0 Ovi Maps .sis files. Follow the instructions on installing version 2 first and then, installing version 3 per the instructions in my post. When that succeeds, download & install the Ovi Suite (to your computer) . The Ovi Maps application on your Nokia E71x phones should now be detectable and updated by the Ovi Suite software! Let me know in the comments if you aren’t able to install Ovi Maps on your Nokia E71x phone. See the latest comment from SkyWorker that prompted a revision.

Wow! The visits to my posts on tweaking the Nokia E71x, some apps for the Nokia E71x and my recommended gear and more applications for the E71x are insane by my very modest standards. This blog is a labor of love and at most, I get ~ 15 visits daily (5 of which are from Bots). So, seeing something in the neighborhood of 60 visits/day is pretty huge and no Bots there! ๐Ÿ˜€ It tells me that this is a market that can be tapped into and by Jove, I aim to please! I’m on Twitter as @janetalkstech and make sure you subscribe to my blog here and keep track of my Nokia E71x related postings.

So, what else have I discovered about my new Nokia E71x since I’ve had it? Well, here goes:

  1. The questionย  is not if your phone will get scuffed up, it’s when. Get a Otterbox case for E71x now or see the black beauty get scarred.
  2. Google Maps will not work without a data connection. If you obtained a Nokia E71x without signing up for a data connection AND you are able to use Google Maps, guess what? You are making a data counter at AT & T very happy. I’m dreading my phone bill because I didn’t realize that Google Maps didn’t work with Wifi and I had been playing rather heavily with tracking myself via Google Maps. Oy vey. Painful and expensive lesson learned.
  3. Nokia Maps 3.0 (now Ovi Maps) works on your Nokia E71x device. The road to getting it installed is painful, but it can be done. The best part about it? Nokia Maps 3.0 will work on your device without needing a data connection. For driving directions to work, you will need to purchase a license from Nokia. You don’t need Wifi connection for the turn-by-turn directions to work. Here’s I went through to get it working on my device:
    1. Download Nokia Maps 2.0 and 3.0 onto your computer using the files (Nokia_Maps_2.0_0701_3.2_u.sis> and Nokia_Maps_3.0_0302_3.2_u.sis which are actually for 6650 device, but apparently works on the E71x) from this website (here originally at FIRST, make sure your microSD card is in your phone. We will be dealing with a lot of data so check yourself. SECOND, install Nokia Maps 2.0 on your device via the Nokia PC Suite software and run Nokia Maps 2.0 once. Reboot your device after the install successfully completes. Ensure you are doing the installation using your USB cord. THEN, install Nokia Maps 3.0 onto your device through PC Suite and run it once as well. At this point, you may run into the “low memory” message and all that is needed is for you to go to your C:/ or E:/ drive and delete the Cities/ folder and a ‘qf’ file.
    2. If you don’t know what C:/ or E:/ drive means, I strongly recommend you get an AT & T data plan. If you do, thumbs up. Keep reading.
    3. After deleting the Cities/ folder (if you had a problem starting up Nokia Maps 3.0 in the first place), then start up Nokia Maps 3.0 again. Success! Restart your device to ‘clear its head’.
    4. Visit Nokia’s website and download two files: (i)Nokia Map loader for downloading the maps (ii) Nokia Map Updater for updating the Nokia Maps software. Hint: your device selection is the E71 in order to access the Nokia Maps Updater software.
    5. Connect your Nokia E71x phone to the computer in Mass Storage PC Suite mode and start up Nokia Maps Updater software. It should detect your device and prompt you to update your Nokia Maps 3.0 software to Nokia Maps 3.0.1. If you get this far, you’re looking mighty fine. ๐Ÿ˜€
    6. Then, fire up the Nokia Maps Uploader software (Hint: do the actual map downloading at a time when your network is least congested. I did the download at ~ 2am so that about 1.4GB didn’t take 2 years to download).I opted to download the entire US maps to my device. I’m hoping you realize that you must already have your microSD card (8GB or more) in your device because the US maps are ~ 1.4GB in size.
    7. When the download is done, exit and you are free to fire up the Nokia Maps software. In my experience, it takes a couple of minutes to get a GPS fix, but I’m not complaining because it’s free, right? You get what you pay for. In this case, I hear AT & T’s Navigator software is quite good, but again, I am averse to paying for convenience. lol.
    8. PS: Based on comments, I’m putting up a link to this site that points directly to the maps files for Ovi Maps 3.0 that reside on Nokia’s servers (in case the Map Loader software is not working as it should).
  4. Games:- Handango is pretty pathetic in its selection of games for the Nokia E71x device. However, I discovered that Gameloft has a mobile site and as I write, I’ve got Prince of Persia on my device!ย  However, their online payment system has hiccups. Something I’ve also discovered is that Handango is like an aggregator which makes resolving issues more complicated than it needs to if you need a refund issued. So, I’m trying to hunt down the actual game developers for the applications I purchase and get them from their website directly if they have an option to purchase online from them!.
  5. Thus far, all my paid downloads have been for useful applications like the Handy Converter and the Handy Expense tracker, Merriam Webster 3rd International Unabridged Dictionary with a Sound module, a paid KJV bible (along with 2 free readers from Olive Tree Bible Software and Mobipocket E-Book Reader), Call Recorder, Mobiola Screen Capture software, Twittix, X-plore, Quickoffice Premier 6, Adobe Reader LE 2.5 and Emoze Pro.
  6. Lastly, my entire series of Nokia E71x posts will not be complete without mentioning the guys at Nokia Experts who have been a key factor in getting me started on my way to emancipating myself from AT & T’s shackles. Go visit them and encourage them to keep posting more Nokia E71x tips and tricks!!

PS: Check my series of posts on Tweaking the Nokia E71x phone, more apps for the Nokia phone, recommended accessories and yet more applications for the Nokia E71x phone. Cheers!

Rocking my Wacom bamboo tablet :)

So, my tablet finally arrived. I was severely excited to be in possession of my toy. It didn’t break the bank but if has altered the way I use my computer. My main complaint has to be the fact that Firefox does not seem to be tablet-aware. Also, it has made me aware of how much my handwriting sucks! Unreal. It definitely has had an impact on the speed of my operations. For instance, I am composing this post entirely by hand. In any case, I have developed a greater appreciation for the fine art of writing legibly. Ha! Cheers to painfully relearning how to write beautifully. Oh, any typos are not my fault, I swear! ๐Ÿ™‚