The Surface 2 has a micro HDMI output, however some cables will not work correctly due to the angle of the port.
I picked up a Surface 2 the other day. Loving the tablet, except had few annoying issues. The first was that when I connected it to my TV via a micro HDMI to HDMI cable I picked up on Amazon here I found that it did not work properly. An LG TV worked fine, but a Samsung did not detect the input. It turns out that this is because of the angle of the port, and the fact that the cable needs to be fully pushed home to work properly. Once I worked that out, it was a simple fix with a knife to trim some of the cable shrouding off on one side, allowing the cable to push further in.
Here is the cable after the mod, with one side shaved off, now works perfectly:
The second issue I had, was that my display settings kept getting messed up, either changing the resolution, or making the desktop and start screen much smaller than it should be. This was because I had a Windows 8.1 VM logged on with my account, and it kept syncing the settings. Modifying the sync settings to not sync display settings resolved this one.
Update: Turns out that this was indeed a good deal, John Lewis have now put the 2520 up to £399 again!
So it looks like the price reduction in the UK for the Lumia 2520 is permanent on the John Lewes site. I have attempted to compare 3 similarly specced tablets with 32GB of storage, and all with 4G LTE, this being one of my main requirements. I also tried to add in some Samsung Android tablets, but they are such a confusing mess of similar products (Galaxy Tab Pro 10.1, Galaxy Note 10.1, Galaxy Tab 3 10.1), and some even come with different types of CPU, which then affects whether or not 4G is available. I gave up in the end.
So we are left with 3 decent devices, the Kindle HDX, the Lumia 2520 and the iPad air. The Kindle has a smaller screen but benefits from low weight, however once you specify 32GB of storage, 4G and no ads version, the price really mounts up. The iPad as everyone knows is reassuringly expensive. Note that I have no considered the Surface 2 LTE as this is not yet available in the UK.
|Tablet||Kindle Fire HDX 8.9||Nokia Lumia 2520||Apple iPad Air
|SD slot||No Ads version||Yes||No
|CPU||2.2GHz quad-core||2.2GHz quad-core||1.4GHz dual-core A7
|4G/3G||4G LTE||4G LTE||4G LTE
|Notes||No Ads version||Includes Office||
What seems amazing is that the Nokia is £150 cheaper than the nearest rival if you want a 4G large current gen tablet. Not only that, it includes Office which would require a £75 a year subscription on iPad, albeit that is a touch version. Most people are already invested in an ecosystem, so this probably doesn’t make that much difference, but to me this is pretty amazing value. The Nokia is a damned fine device and for this price is very tempting, if you can handle the lack of apps in the store. It is also the only device with expandable storage.
Windows 8 and Server 2012 have an annoying default installation process which forces you to enter a product key during installation. Often you may want to paste this in later, or just not enter one if you are installing a demo or test system, having to type one in manually is a massive pain. Luckily, you can easily modify the installation so that it lets you skip the requirement for entering the product key. The easiest way to do this is by creating the ei.cfg file in Sources folder in your ISO or USB media.
For Windows 8 or Server 2012 – this is the file that I normally create using notepad and save as ei.cfg in the Sources folder.
This works using MSDN or Technet (RIP) keys and media. I don’t bother entering the version, since I often may want to choose that during installation. By not entering the version you can choose if you want Standard, Datacentre etc.The format of the ei.cfg is as follows:
[EditionID]: This is the version of Windows that you want to install. This varies by OS. You can use Dism /Get-ImageInfo and specify the image file to get the editions available from the wim file e.g. Dism /Get-ImageInfo /imagefile:I:\sources\install.wimValid options are:
Windows Server 2012:
Note that there others, e.g. Foundation and Essentials for Server 2012.
There are several ways to create bootable USB media if you have an ISO. You can also do this using an SD card if you have a USB adapter for the memory card. For windows 7 a 4GB drive is fine, for later you will need more than 4GB.
Microsoft Windows 7 USB/DVD download tool
The easiest method is probably the Microsoft Windows 7 USB/DVD download tool http://www.microsoftstore.com/store/msusa/html/pbPage.Help_Win7_usbdvd_dwnTool
This is simple and easy to use, and should work with Windows Vista ISOs or later.
ZOTAC WinUSB Maker
This is another nice tool from http://forums.mydigitallife.info/threads/47012-ZOTAC-WinUSB-Maker-Official-Support-Thread, and works with Windows Vista ISOs or later.
If you don’t have the ISO or want to do this manually, you can also use diskpart to prepare the drive and then copy the contents over. This is the way I normally end up doing it for some reason, the advantage being that you don’t need any other tools if you are running a Windows OS. Risk of formatting the wrong drive if you don’t know what you are doing with diskpart, so be careful.
Format the Drive
Run cmd.exe as Administrator and type the following:
- list disk (Note which one is your USB disk – make sure you get the right one!)
- select disk 2 (assuming that it was listed as disk 2)
- create partition primary
- select partition 1
- format fs=fat32 (Note: Quick format does not work)
Copy the files
Mount the ISO or insert the DVD, and then copy the Windows files to your drive.
Modify the below example depending on your drive letters:
xcopy d:\*.* /s/e/f e:\
OR easier using Robocopy:
Robocopy d: f: /e
Note that you can do something similar on Linux using http://www.pendrivelinux.com/
The preferred method of installing multiple wireless access points in a large house or office, is to use the same SSID for all of the access points whilst separating them onto different channels as much as possible. However, not all wireless clients will automatically switch to the strongest signal as you roam around the environment. I recently discovered a setting on Intel wireless cards that does just that, and has increased my connection significantly. My laptop no longer stays connected to an access point with poor signal, it switches to the nearest one very quickly.
The setting is called roaming aggressiveness, and can be found on the Advanced settings or your network adapter. Just change this up to 5:
See the following on the Intel site for more details:
I am also interested in how IOS devices (iphones and ipads) handle WiFi roaming, in my experience the answer is not very well. There is a support on the Apple site
iOS and OS X: Recommended settings for Wi-Fi routers and access points http://support.apple.com/kb/HT4199
This recommends setting the same SSID on all routers, but doesn’t mention what settings to use on the client (there aren’t any).
Microsoft overhauled the Mail app in the 8.1 release this year. One of the obvious improvements to the Search feature was that you could now search in both the current folder, as well as All folders:
However, you can also do much more advanced searching, similar to the features found in Outlook, for example to find all messages from someone or with a particular subject. You could use Favorites in the app to see all messages from a favorite contact, or the People list, but you may want to just look for from:microsoft.com or something. I havent seen this documented anywhere, but what you can do is enter search strings similar to Outlook but in a different format:
Note that this differs to Outlook which uses the format: from:(microsoft.com)
I haven’t had time to find more than this, but some of the more advanced Outlook ones don’t seem to be present. But these are the the most important ones that I use, and make using e.g. Windows RT more usable as a daily mail app. You can see the difference with the functionality below, a search with the word Samsung picks up another email for something I was watching on ebay (which had the word somewhere in it), but if I use the subject of Samsung I only get the relevant results. Now if only they would actually fix my fridge…
More refined results:
Some of you may have encountered this annoying error when saving an Microsoft Office file, for instance Word or Excel, to a Skydrive folder on Windows 8 or Windows 7. What happens is that you edit the file, click save, and an annoying error pops up almost every time saying: ‘SAVE AGAIN We need to refresh your file with updates. Click Save to try again.’
There is also then an error using Skydrive explorer:
Thankfully there is a simply fix for this. Just go into the Righyt click on the Skydrive app in the system tray, choose settings and disable Office save:
If you want to relocate users folders on a locally managed PC, one (somewhat painful) way is to just right click on each folder, choose Properties, then change the location on the location tab:
But, a much easier way is simply to cut and paste the folder. This works even if the destination exists, and has the added benefit of removing the folder from a C: drive. So it is the ideal way to do this if you keep user folders on another drive and have formatted your primary OS drive.
– Navigate to C:\Users\username
– Right click on each folder you want to move, choose cut, and then go to the destination you want e.g. D:\Users and choose paste. This should work on Windows Vista or later. XP probably won’t want to merge the folders.