Saturday, March 17, 2012

I remember my frustrations now...

I have this HP laptop, that I want to do my development on. It is a tx-1000 series, a tx1220us specifically. This seemed to be the best choice at the time I bought it. It was a convertible to notepad (screen rotates to cover the keyboard), and it has a touch screen. I thought it would be a great navigation tool in the airplane. I already had a bluetooth GPS. I just need some moving map software, and I'd be all set.

As it turned out, this laptop didn't live up to my expectations. The screen was very glossy, looked great in the store, but when I got it outside, it was unreadable. If you look around the web, you'll find this laptop is problem ridden. The WiFi and Bluetooth cards just quit! The screen sometimes just quits. The repair from HP is not permanent, so when they quit, you only get usability for an even shorter period of time. So far my laptop has lost the WiFi and Bluetooth. The screen has held up, but I am not using it as a notepad hardly ever. If you look back a few posts you'll see the hard drive gave up, and had to be replaced. I've been using various USB WiFi connections, but none has been 100% reliable either.

It runs Microsoft Vista. I don't know how much of the weird stuff is that OS and how much is the flakey hardware. Dumb things like Firefox locks up when playing videos, and keyboard just flakes out. If I am using firefox, and want to play a movie, I have to open IE (eeew!) or Chrome.Software updates scare me, since sometimes they make me revert to a prior update, and a 1 hour productive session takes two hours to make the computer at least functional, without any productivity.

Before the HD crash, I was running Linux on it (dual boot). It was setup well, always reliable, and only had background updates that worked. Once the WiFi problems started, I was kinda stuck, since most of the USB WiFi connections didn't work without a kernel recompile, so again, productivity was going backwards. I do have an ASUS WiFi connector that works out of the box on Linux, drivers were included, but the distro just worked without 'em. But by now, I don't have the Linux side working 100% now, it seems I gained something and lost something with each kernel change.

Before the HD crash, I had the Android development kit installed, and working. It is COTS software, why would I back that up, I can just get new, and start over. Besides, a newer version would be better anyway. Talk about confusion, the SDK doesn't work with some version of eclipse, and others need this or that version of Java. Last summer, I struggled with getting the Android SDK installed. I set it aside for a while and worked on my 3D printer idea. I got real familiar with the Arduino.

So the last couple days, I have been struggling to get the SDK installed. Things are unreliable, and I can't run the simulator. It runs, it never gets past the boot up screen. The console was showing a bunch of errors, this version not compatible with that library. More updates, and more install issues. Now it comes up, the console stays clean, but it still never gets past the startup screen. Is it the laptop, the OS, the installation, or something else?

Now I want to put it aside again. Maybe if I get some time this evening, I'll try installing on this ancient desktop. I don't know if this thing is up to the task, but it might be another viewpoint.

Wish me luck.

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