Monthly Archives: January 2009

Dell E4300 improvements

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After all of the frustration I have had with the WiFi and wireless broadband I have had with my E4300, things are a little better.  The really odd things I am not really sure why.  Dell was supposed to have a BIOS update on January 19th but as of the 29th, it has yet to ship.  I have been checking their web site daily.

I had taken the SIMM card out of my laptop to use in a Sony-Ericsson Z750 UMTS phone that I have and when I put it back in my laptop, I noticed that I didn’t have a BroadBand device listed with the Dell Connection Manager.  Very odd.  I cannot explain why it went away.  After dinking with it off and on for a couple days, I decided to reinstall the Dell Connection Manager software.

After doing so, my BroadBand card was recognized AND both my WiFi and BroadBand connections have been more stable.  I worked for almost two hours Saturday night via BroadBand without any problems.  Last night I used my home WiFi connection for several hours also without any problems.  I had also noticed that there was a newer version of the Dell Connection Manager (A11 vs A10) than I had installed so I have installed it as well and all seems to be well for now.

I will continue to monitor this and I am sure that now I have committed it to a blog post, it probably won’t work worth a crap tonight when I need it!

Audio Books and iTunes

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Off and on I have tried to get Audio Books which have been ripped from CD to work correctly in iTunes and on my iPod.  The best source I have found so is Aldo on Audiobooks which has been very helpful but I have yet to be successful.

I need to try the Audio Book Builder and see if that helps – right now I am to the point where the books show up correctly in iTunes, under Audiobooks and each one separate, but on my iPod, all of the tracks are all mixed together under the Audiobooks menu.  Bleh.  Makes it really hard to listen to more than one book when the tracks are all jumbled up.

There has to be a good solution to this dilemma.

I want an HTC S743!

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Why is it all of the phones I am interested aren’t carrier subsidized?  HTC unveiled the S743 at CES.  This phone is pretty much everything I want in a phone:

  • Windows Mobile Standard
  • Slide out QWERTY keyboard
  • WiFi and GPS
  • Numeric Keypad

It’s a phone first, PDA / email device second which is exactly what I want.  I really wish AT&T would pick this device up.  Looks like it will be north of $600 unsubsidized at Best Buy, CDW, etc.  Bleh.  I like this phone better than the Xperia X1 I have had my eyes on for a while.

My E4300 is driving me nuts

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I really like my new Dell E4300 laptop but it has an odd behavior which is driving me nuts.  When connected with either WiFi or BroadBand (I have the AT&T card) it will lose network connectivity after some period of time.  Sometime is takes an hour or more, sometimes it happens very quickly.  Once it  happens, I am usually hosed and need to reboot.  But not always.  It only affects WiFi and BroadBand.  It has no affect on the wired Ethernet connection.  As long as I am in the office or at home I am ok.

I have been round and round with our internal IT people as well as Dell on this issue and haven’t found any resolution yet.  A new BIOS update (A05) actually made the problem worse.  With the A03 BIOS when it happened I could still ping other computers and eventually full connectivity would come back.  But not now.

Reportedly Dell has a production stop on the E4300 to resolve a bunch of issues and a BIOS update is supposed to be available on January 19th.  I hope so – I am about to spend a bunch of time on the road for work and having an unreliable network connection is not ok.

If you are considering an E4300 I’d hold off for now and see if reports improve over the next couple weeks.  That is of course assuming that Dell actually delivers a new BIOS update and doesn’t delay it again!