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Archive for May, 2009


I’m putting my blog entries in my main scargill blog/website now so please visit the site now

Windows 7 on the EEE

Just a little update for those considering putting the Windows 7 release candidate onto their computers – and in particular for those using the EEE computers by Asus.

My 904HD is the one that comes with Windows XP and a hard disk, while remaining almost a pocket-sized computer (if you have very large, slack pockets.

First of all, why would you want to install Microsoft Windows 7? After all there’s nothing wrong with Windows XP, right? Well, yes, but eventually we’ll have to move on – Vista has been out for a long time now and Windows 7 is just around the corner – and we all like something new!

Some time ago I tried putting the Windows 7 beta on it and it worked, kind of – except for the video camera, which was a non-starter. A couple of programs crashed and I thought – you know what – XP works just fine.

And so it was that a couple of weeks ago just before heading off on holiday and with the release of Windows 7 RC1 having had some good reviews, I thought I’d give it another try.

Simple enough – download the ISO file – bang it onto a DVD and if you happen to have an external drive for your EEE – install off that – if not, look at solutions involving memory sticks!

So did it work – yes. The installation went through without a hitch – the only issue I had was the screen coming up in the wrong resolution and that was rapidly resolved by looking up windows 7 EEE screen issues on Google – and a few minutes later I was installing the Intel video driver.

Camera works, mic works, screen, sound – all work.  I am sitting here typing this on an external monitor at higher res, with an external keyboard and mouse (because the EEE keyboard is frankly rubbish) and I have already installed Spotify, Windows Live Writer, Audacity, Skype, my Vodafone 3G dongle, MWSnap (a freeware screen-grabber), Firefox and a host of other programs without a single hitch.  I am CONVINCED this is running faster than XP was and am up to now quite happy to leave it running until for licensing reasons it needs replacing with the genuine article.

Helicopter Flying Day for Maureen Scargill

tmpE7On Friday gone, Maureen had her first helicopter flying lesson. After several stalls due to bad weather we finally managed to get up to the Newcastle flying club along with grandson Rory yesterday afternoon and after some delay due to the helicopter being late coming in… off she went. The session lasted half an hour during which she learned all about the controls and even had a go at controlling the flight itself.

tmpE6The helicopter was TINY but Maureen and the instructor had no problem fitting in and taking off. It’s really neat seeing these things take off at close quarters.  Her trip took her from the flying club (a stone’s throw from Newcastle Airport) down to Tynemouth and back – meanwhile in that time Rory and I in the car hardly managed to get past Dinnington and back!!! Amazing what you can do if you travel in a straight line without hindrance!

tmpE8Anyway, here are the photos and a Video of Maureen’s first helicopter flight. An exciting weekend all in – we dropped Rory off and then set back home to get packed to go to Spain… 3am start, friend Louise came over at 3.30am Sunday and we set off for Spain – all in all a pretty effortless flight sadly dented a little by the complete incompetence of GoldCar who managed to blow an hour or more of good sun tanning weather for us! We arrived in Malaga airport around lunchtime and around teatime arrived in Galera, Andalucia to finish off a cracking weekend. More about our trip at the bedrock site

A welcome break

tmp5FI have to say I’m quite looking forward to a week in Spain. The weather here in Wark has improved but it’s still only 60F in May for heaven’s sake! As long as you only go out at lunchtime it’s fine but the evenings are COLD. I’m looking forward to sitting outside in the dark with a glass of wine staring at the heavens. Hopefully this afternoon Maureen’s helicopter flight is still on – though the clouds might put the kybosh on that… then in the early hours we’re off. If it goes ahead I’ll put a video in here.

For the first time I’m turning everything off, having just about mastered getting GMAIL to work with MS Outlook properly and as a trial before we go off in the summer for several weeks. Currently downloading the Windows 7 beta to try out on the little EEE laptop (I know – BRAVE).  Updates on our travels at the Spanish blog