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Archive for the ‘IT’ Category

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Touch – Review and Impressions

Posted by mikeg on February 21, 2013

A bit of history: I’ve been a long time Dell user until I got tired of dealing with the quality problems and decided to switch to a Lenovo ThinkPad. It came highly recommended but the fact that Fn key was the left-most key was a showstopper for me (I am very much into shortcuts and really like consistency when working in docked mode and undocked) . Luckily Lenovo made it possible to swap Fn and Ctrl key mappings to match regular keyboards.

It was a good move – everything that long time ThinkPad users were promising was true: solid build, solid drivers, no crashes, great keyboard, etc. Paired with a great Lenovo System Update utility that allows one to easily update all the drivers it was a great experience. Keeping Dell’s drivers updated was a project in itself…

In early 2010 I purchased T420 with SSD and Windows 7 – had no problems and didn’t have to reinstall the OS since then (where Dells and Windows XP would be on 6 mo re-install cycle). It worked and continues to work great but I was ready for a new toy:

  • The promise of light ultrabooks with long battery life was very appealing
  • Windows 8 was released with pretty good reviews (including my personal experience with consumer preview)
  • USB 3.0 and Bluetooth 4
  • Posibility to have a touch screen on a laptop was interesting

After doing a bit of research (my thought process matches this post pretty well), I decided to purchase Lenovo X1 Carbon Touch. It is a popular option these days so took a bit of time to get it. Here is are my findings:

Things I liked:

  • Light weight but well built
  • 14 inch screen (1600×900)
  • Large touchpad
  • Nice matte finish that doesn’t feel plasticy

Things I didn’t like

  • The biggest issue is a need to use USB Docking Station if you want to connect multiple monitors. I plan to do a separate post but the issue is that it is notebook CPU that is responsible for handling this, instead of hardware. It is powered by DisplayLink and the performance wasn’t great: it constantly takes up anywhere from 10 to 30% of CPU depending on what is happening and quality of output is not great at times – I saw pixelation and at the amount of time I spend in front of monitors I want my eyes not to strain any more. I am also using Microsoft wireless keyboard and mouse and with receiver plugged into the Dock it didn’t work very well – as if USB interface was being overloaded by video signal. Once plugged directly into notebook the issues went away
  • According to reviews, touch screen consumes quite a bit of power, with battery lasting more than an hour less than non-touch version (X1 Carbon)
  • Screen has a type of protector that makes it a bit unclear – it was so distracting that I even considered trying to remove it (and I am not the only one). What’s interesting none of the reviews I’ve read mention this
  • Maybe I need to play with settings but I didn’t like the touchpad – mouse moved seemingly randomly sometimes, right click wouldn’t register consistently, drag-and-drop was difficult
  • Hard drive is custom (common in Ultrabooks) and is not user-upgradable. You are stuck with either 128 or 256GB which is not much.
  • While matte finish is nice it is much easier to leave oily thumb/finger prints all over

Next steps: I am specing out T430s to replace my X1 Carbon Touch. As much as I enjoyed my T420, I am pretty sure I will be happy with T430s – USB 3.0, Bluetooth 4, faster CPU, more memory, Windows 8.

Separate post on my experience with Windows 8 is coming up

Posted in Gadgets, IT | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Hyper-V, an Introduction on

Posted by mikeg on June 13, 2009

Very detailed introduction by Jaap Wesselius,-an-introduction/

Microsoft Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V was released in the summer of 2008 and is Microsoft first real hypervisor virtualization solution. It is not an emulated environment like Virtual Server or Virtual PC, but as a hypervisor solution it “sits” between the hardware and the Operating System. With the Integration Components installed you can fully use the functionality offered by Hyper-V. You have to secure the Parent Partition as much as possible to prevent compromising the complete system.

In the next articles I will talk more about the Hyper-V best practices, deploying Virtual Machines, using the System Center Virtual Machine Manager (VMM) 2008 and the “high availability” options and why these aren’t really high available in the current release of Hyper-V.

Posted in IT, Virtualization | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

We don’t do porno sites and a professional windows server administration :).

Posted by mikeg on June 13, 2009

We were asked by a client to find an offshore company to do 24×7 network/system monitoring/administration. Clients runs Windows network/servers. Title of this post is a quote from one of the responses. Very funny.

Posted in Funny, IT | Leave a Comment »

"Quick Removal" of USB drives

Posted by mikeg on March 24, 2009

I’ve been using USB drives and thumb drives for some time, but this is the first time I ran across the following dialog. I tried to format an 80GB drive and got this message.

The interesting question is how do you enable “quick removal” and what limitations does it have.


Posted in IT | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »


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