28 February 2010

Compaq CQ61-420US Review

I have recently purchased a Compaq CQ61-420US from Staples for $399.

  • Official Specs on HP's website
  • AMD Athlon II X2 M320 2.1GHz
  • 3GB DDR2 Memory
  • ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4200 Graphics (shared memory)
  • 250GB 7200 RPM Hard Drive

  • Price
  • Keyboard has a dedicated number pad
  • Large bright 15.6" Display
  • Built in Wireless N support
  • Windows 7
  • Responsive, quick web browsing
  • Touchpad switch to turn off touchpad when using external mouse
  • Processor supports virtualization

  • No latch to keep screen closed
  • Screen has a shiny finish instead of matte
  • Microsoft Office Nagware
  • Norton Anti-Virus Nagware
  • 3 DVD writable media to create backup disks
  • Keyboard has half size arrow keys
  • Keyboard is not backlit
  • No HDMI Out
  • No Bluetooth
  • No built in webcam
I am very happy with my purchase. Most of the negatives are just things that are omitted to just keep the price low. The laptop excels at web browsing and word processing. It has average battery life at about 2 hours.

12 February 2010

Word to PDF conversion removes links

A fellow co-worker of mine was the problem that when converting a Word document to Adobe PDF a link to a webpage would become no longer clickable. Well as it turns out when using the File->Print to PDF option all links are removed and only the links that look like www.example.com are then made clickable.

However this is when we came across a second problem. Using the 'Adobe PDF'->'Convert to Adobe PDF', Adobe PDFmaker would then stop responding after Processing Tag Information. The correction for this was quite simply unchecking the option 'Enable accessibility and reflow with tagged PDF' in 'Adobe PDF'->'Change Conversion Settings'.

The document then converted like a charm, links and all.

08 February 2010

How to repair a Windows XP installation

I came across a problem where windows XP would not boot, but would blue screen giving me a stop error about a registry hive file being un-readable. I could boot into safe mode with networking by pressing F8 at boot, but even after using system restore the system would boot normally once and then the problem would reappear.

So I created a slipstreamed XP SP3 CD using Autostreamer and then followed these simple steps:
  1. Place the CD in your CD Drive.
  2. Reboot or Turn on your PC.
  3. Press a key when prompted to boot from CD.
  4. Press ENTER to setup windows. You DO NOT want to use the Recovery Console.
  5. Accept the License and have setup search for existing installs.
  6. Select the windows installation directory (normally C:\WINDOWS).
  7. Hit 'R' to repair this installation. If this option does NOT appear Exit Setup immediately!
Now since I was using a SP3 slipstreamed CD, I got several file not found errors that I just skipped, but the install worked great!

  • This will require you to type in your Windows CD Key, so make sure you have it ready before you begin.
  • Always backup your data before proceeding!