Archive for July, 2008

Attention Dell notebook owners – your system might need a BIOS update

Wednesday, July 30th, 2008

If you own one of the following Dell notebooks then you need to read on:

  • Inspiron 1420
  • Latitude D630
  • Latitude D630c
  • Dell Precision M2300
  • Vostro Notebook 1310
  • Vostro Notebook 1400
  • Vostro Notebook 1510
  • Vostro Notebook 1710
  • XPS M1330
  • XPS M1530

In response to a potential issue with some of NVIDIA's GPUs (Graphics Processing Units) used in the above notebooks (more info on this issue here, here and here) Dell has released a BIOS update that modifies the fan profile to help keep the GPU cooler and prevent future failures.

Links to BIOS update downloads can be found here.

In my opinion this solution is far from ideal but it'll do until we get some more information on the extent of this problem from Dell.

If you're seeing any of the following:

  • Multiple images
  • Random characters on the screen
  • Lines on the screen
  • No video

Then your notebook could already be suffering from a fried GPU and you need to contact Dell tech support.

Critical security updates available for RealPlayer

Tuesday, July 29th, 2008

An updated version of RealPlayer has been released which patches at least four pretty serious security flaws found in older versions of the media player.

RealPlayer versions 10, 10.5 and 11 for Linux, Mac and Windows systems are affected.

I recommend that you check out what version of RealPlayer. You can do this by clicking on Help > About from the menu. If you are a Windows user you can bring in the update by clicking Check for updates. Linux and Mac users can find their updates here.

I'm no fan of RealPlayer (the program is too buggy and serious security vulnerabilities are being discovered all the time) and if I ever need to handle streaming Real video I use Real Alternative instead.

Secure Gmail connection

Friday, July 25th, 2008

I came across a great tip today on Google Blogoscoped which described how you could set up Gmail to default to a secure HTTPS connection.

The process is pretty simple:

  1. Click on Settings in the top-left hand corner of the Gmail page.
  2. The page will open in the General section, which is the one you want. Scroll down to Browser connection and choose Always use https.
  3. Click Save Changes.
  4. You're done!

Microsoft offers unlimited, toll-free tech support to all Windows Vista SP1 users

Friday, July 18th, 2008

Got a Windows Vista problem? Not sure where to turn? Why not give Microsoft a call.

Microsoft is offering unlimited, toll-free installation and compatibility tech support to all users of Windows Vista SP1 until March 2009 (e-mail and chat support also available).

How do you take advantage of this fine offer? Here's how:

  1. Make a note of your Product ID (Don't know it? Click on Start and right-click on Computer and choose Properties.).
  2. Click this link and choose your location.
  3. Follow the on-screen instructions.


Wow! Apple really know how to apologize!

Thursday, July 17th, 2008

LA Times:

17-07-2008 12-14-03

That's some apology!

Seriously, there have been times when I've had my images mixed up (sometimes components all start to look the same) but this blunder is pretty obvious!