Searching for the Moon

Shannon Clark's rambles and conversations on food, geeks, San Francisco and occasionally economics

Archive for April 3rd, 2007

Setting up a new laptop – Tablet, Windows Vista

Posted by shannonclark on April 3, 2007

My new Lenovo X60 tablet arrived today.

In this post and likely some follow on posts, I will document what I have done to make the tablet functional for me – for anyone less technical than I, this is by no means an easy or simple process, and very likely there are some steps I haven’t yet done that I will learn about and do in the upcoming days.

After picking up the box and carefully opening it, here is what I did.

1. Opened all parts of the new laptop and confirmed that everything was there and as ordered. I then carefully removed any packaging from the tablet and installed the battery (I ordered the 8 cell battery that does stick out a bit, but gives much better battery life)

2. Booted up the system (and then quickly also plugged in the power to charge up the battery to full – possibly I should have run it down to zero and then done this but too late now).

3. At boot for the first time I was prompted to set up a few key things – my main user account (with admin privileges), the machine name, my name etc.

4. Though I did get a few minor errors initially (from the sidebar for example which didn’t work well without a connection active), once I told the tablet which SSID to use and the wep key for it, I was good (and the connection very very fast).

5. I then had to run a bunch of updates and configurations. For the fingerprint system (which required system reboots – and which is still not fully functioning, more on that later), and then for the first of many windows updates. I also had to set the schedule for the system to check for Lenovo updates and turned down some offers from Lenovo.

6. Norton Internet Security tried to insist on me updating it and running it for a 90 day “free” trial. I have not as my plan is to remove Norton entirely and replace it with better, more friendly and accurate antivirus tools.

7. I went to and downloaded Firefox.

8. I went to the preinstalled (on my request) Microsoft Office OneNote (2003 – a mistake on my part) and activated it (entering the key).

9. I then went to the Microsoft updates page and installed the microsoft updates tool (which though I had thought was already installed and running apparently was not), this time it found 9 more updates that were needed

10. All this required a number of reboots.

11. I customized the sidebar, removing the Lenovo ad, the feeds set to pull from somewhere random, the large analog clock, etc. I added the weather for San Francisco and the contact widget (which I’ll have to see if works well once I get my addressbook data installed here).

12. I went and installed the Google Pack and deselected their anti-adware and antivirus offerings and their screensaver. I added skype. After running and updating my pre-installed version of Google Desktop was updated, Skype was installed, Picasa 2, Google Earth etc.  This in turn required yet another reboot for everything to install.

13. I downloaded Mindmanager for my new tablet (trial of the latest version, assuming it works well in Vista I’ll use it frequently.

14. Having been given a license to Microsoft Office 2007 (full) from Microsoft a few weeks ago, I am now in the midst of following their installation instructions for that and then for Groove 2007 as well (which since my Uncle Lou is now the PM in charge of the next release of Groove I figure I should take a look at and try).

15. Once Office is done installing, is activated, and I do yet another cycle of updates at Microsoft to make sure it is fully patched. I open Outlook 2007 and start configuring it. I will also make sure that however it is installed the features of the tools I will be using are for the most part installed – and won’t require me to go to the network to get (such as dictionaries for spellchecking when I am next working on a plane etc).

16. I also tested that the dock I purchased works and that my old CDRW/DVD drive from my last ThinkPad T40 did indeed work with this new one via the dock. So I won’t have my cd drive with me most of the time, which will be one thing to keep in mind – though increasingly companies do not give me software on cd but ask that I download it anyway. I will, however, probably invest in at least a 2 gb, probably even a 4 or 8 gb flash drive to have with me most of the time (and/or will set up my iPod to use a few gigs as a disk).

After I install Office 2007 I have many more tasks to do on this machine to make it really work for me.

1. Make the fingerprint security system fully functional – so that my stored passwords can be accessible only with my fingerprints

2. If iTunes Vista issues have been resolved, install iTunes on this machine.

3. Install Microsoft’s Expression suite (they gave me a license at Barcamp Austin)

4. Install one of my two Visual Studio licenses on this machine, not that I will use it heavily but just in case.

5. Download and install the same Java IDE which my business partner uses so my laptop can work as a development platform.

6. Install better security software than Norton.

7. Migrate my key data from my old laptop/imac desktop to this laptop. In a few cases also investigate how to keep the datasets in sync in some manner (i.e. my archives of business documents, business plans, financial spreadsheets etc). Most complex, yet also most important, is my Outlook archive assuming that with Outlook 2007 I once again use Outlook to some degree (I have been mostly using gmail for the past months)

8. Migrate my core bookmarks. Also, for my own sanity, visit most of my primary sites and store key passwords (such as for my blogs, for google reader, etc)

9. Install the google reader subscibe link in firefox on my new machine

10. Install the Google toolbar for Firefox and look at what other (select) extensions would be worth installing.

11. Migrate my photos and decide what, if any, of my media to migrate to the laptop (not enough room for all my files, but may decide to keep my current podcasts here?)

12. Speaking of podcasts, look for a podcatcher that is both good, fully functioning and runs under Windows Vista (may not exist).

13. Once set up, try syncing my cell phone with the tablet (i.e. testing sync capabilities of Vista). If it works, look for updates/bug fixes to the version of Windows Mobile now running on my phone. Also look at how to sync/update my phone’s addressbook.

14. Call T-mobile and cancel my paid subscription (for at least the next few months they are running a special for Vista users to get free access, so why pay for it?). And on a related note, do more research into EVDO options including Rev A (and the pending Rev B) vs. the possibly rollout of Wimax etc)

15. Look into what, if any, training is needed for the handwriting recognition to work better. Also learn how to use ink (and probably start subscribing to blogs covering ink and tablets generally).

16. Configure my tablet for access to our corporate VPN.

17. Look for drivers for my current network printer for Vista. If they do not exist (a possibility, it is an older Panasonic laser printer and not very common), then I will likely have to start researching color laserprinters with duplex options (black and white would be manageable but having a color option would be great – and a network printer is strongly my preference).

18. Configure the power options on the laptop and test the battery life claims. (and repeat again when my extra batteries arrive in a day or two).

19. Test that my camera will connect.

20. Download and install the Flickr uploader tool on the tablet.

21. Make sure that all my external drives work smoothly with the new tablet. Also decide on one that will be my backup drive (or buy a new one for this specific purpose) and make sure it is left plugged into the quickdock all the time. Ideally also schedule a backup to run – and then get in the habit of putting the thinkpad in the base all the time. (I may decide to buy another charger so the base is always powered and I have a travel charger with me at all times).

22. If Microsoft Expression suite does not come with the tools to do so, install an SVG editor, for example Inkscape (though since that requires X11 may be more complex).

23. Install a couple of simple, mental break, games on the tablet (vista business edition does not seem to preload ANY games)

24. Install a vista compatible version of Trillian and configure Gtalk on the tablet.

25. Look for a vista version of Twitterrific (and/or get my IM configured for twitter)

26. Set my default home page in IE and in Firefox to something at least as useful as myYahoo.

27. Assuming there are versions for Outlook 2007, considering adding the toolbar, possibly (though less likely) the bar as well.

So quite a list. And I’m sure I missed many things. I’ll add to this over the next week as I explore more of my laptops capabilities and what I am missing having at my fingertips (and now pen).

Posted in digital bedouin, geeks, mobile, tablet pc | 5 Comments »