Archive for August, 2007

Error Code: 66A when installing the Visual Studio 2005 SP1 for Windows Vista

I installed Visual Studio 2005 on Vista recently and got an error when attempting to open a new project. Not to worry, I rememeber a friend mentioning that I need to install Visual Studio 2005 SP1. I quickly downloaded Visual Studio 2005 SP1 for Windows Vista and install it, but it complain that it can’t find the Visual Studio 2005 software. Windows update also attempt to install Windows Studio 2005 SP1 for Windows Vista during the OS updates, which I assume to be the same file I just downloaded. It however failed to install, the updater list “Error Code: 66A”.

It turns out that there are actually two Visual Studio 2005 SP1. There’s Visual Studio 2005 SP1, which you have to download and install first. Afterwards, you can you Windows updater to install Visual Studio 2005 SP1 for Windows Vista. The SP1 for Windows Vista will not install until you first install SP1. Once I installed Visual Studio 2005 SP1 first, the error code went away when I installed Visual Studio 2005 SP1 for Windows Vista.

To further the confusion, Visual Studio 2005 SP1 has a separate updater for Visual Studio 2005 Express and Visual Studio 2005 Team Suite. Use the express installer for Visual Studio 2005 express, and the team suite installer for everything else. 

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August 30, 2007 at 7:50 am Leave a comment

Sending/Receiving pictures from a cellphone using bluetooth on Ubuntu 7.04 Feisty Fawn

I recently purchased an aftermarket bluetooth module for my Acer 3680. The only bluetooth device in my house is actually my cellphone. I figure I’ll try to send pictures to and from my cellphone. After a few hours of playing around, I got really frustrated.

The problem is that bluetooth have changed rapidly over the years in both architecture and interface. The documentation on the net tend to be a chaotic collection of old and new stuff. Most of the instructions are severely outdated. I even read an article recently on one of the Linux magazine on the newsstand which suggested that you enter gnome-bluetooth-admin to enable the gnome bluetooth integration. This feature has been implemented differently for quite some time even though the magazine just came out this month. Here’s a summary of what seemed to have worked.

What Needs to be installed

Ubuntu 7.04 seems to come with bluez integration built-in. BlueZ is the bluetooth protocol stack. The Gnome applet appears to be installed as well because as soon as I press the bluetooth button in front, the gnome-applet appeared. If I select the applet preference, I can see bluetooth connection options and my computer’s name. However, I can’t seemed to send and receive files. On the computer side, there seemed to be no program to send the file to the phone. The phone can see the computer, but when I send a picture, I get a “service not supported” message.

The package you need to install is gnome-bluetooth. There are two ways you can install this package:

  • Method 1: Select the menu item System->Administration->Synaptic Package Manager. Now, press the search button and enter “gnome-bluetooth” and press search. In the list return is “gnome-bluetooth”. Click on it and select “Mark for Installation” and then press the Apply button.
  • Method 2: Open a terminal window and type: sudo apt-get install gnome-bluetooth

If the software is install properly, you should see a “Bluetooth File Sharing” under the accessories menu.
Sending a picture from the phone to the computer

To receive a file from the phone, you need to turn on the Bluetooth File Sharing. Bluetooth must be working on both the phone and the computer.

  1. On the computer, select the menu Accessories->Bluetooth File Sharing. You should see a Bluetooth File Sharing applet on the menu.
  2. Send the picture from your phone. On the Motorola Razr, press the center button and select “Fun and Apps” icon. Go to the pictures icon and press OK. Select a picture and press the middle button. In the list of menu, there should be a copy option. Select the copy option. Your computer should be in the list. Press Select.
  3. On the computer, you will receive an option to accept the file. Press OK. The file is copied to your computer.

Sending a picture to the phone

This is actually easier since you don’t even need Bluetooth File sharing running. What you do need is to have bluetooth running on your phone and computer.

  1. On the computer, right-click on the picture you want to send and select “Send to…”.
  2. Set the Send as option as “Bluetooth (Obex Push)”. The send to should list your cell phone. If it does not, check to make sure that its bluetooth is active on the phone.
  3. Press the Send button.
  4. On the cellphone, you’ll be prompted if you want to accept the picture. Press Accept.

Keep in mind that these instructions are for the standard Gnome on Ubuntu 7.04. Users on KDE will probably have an entirely different set of tools.

August 26, 2007 at 10:14 am 2 comments

Installing an Aftermarket Internal Bluetooth Module on Acer 3680

All Acer 3680 have a bluetooth button on the front, but only some models of Acer 3680 actually have the internal bluetooth module. This has led people to spend hours trying to get bluetooth to work, only to discover that they don’t have bluetooth. This does mean that all or most model of Acer 3680 probably have a connector for the internal bluetooth module and an internal antenna. All we need to do is to find a compatible module to connect to the connector.

Acer does not sell the bluetooth module as a part. Since the connector is essentially a USB connector, I could have rewire a USB dongle if I can figure out the pin outs. However, I am not a hardware person and don’t really have the time to mess with solder and wires. I managed to acquired an aftermarket bluetooth module from a ebay vendor OldEgg Wireless. OldEgg mentioned that the part was not an original Acer part, but it was only about $34 with shipping. If it worked, the it was a much better option than USB dongle or PCMCIA cards. There are a few other vendors offering the part, but OldEgg at least was offering reasonable prices (one vendor wanted $150, why would I spend that much money for an accessory for a $400 laptop?)

The module arrived in a few days. The module is a tiny box size of a fingertip with a cable terminating in a 6-pin connector. There’s some double sided tape in the back of the box. I have no idea who the vendor is since the label on the box is in Chinese.

Internal Bluetooth Module

Installation is actually pretty easy for the Acer 3680. All you need to do is to remove the memory door panel, exposing a white 6 pin socket. All you need to do is plug the connector into the socket (it only goes in one way). You can remove the backing of the double-sided tape and stick it on some part of the motherboard. In my case, I just tucked into a crevice of the case.

Acer 3680 Memory Panel

To test it, I boot the laptop up and press the bluetooth button and the blue light lit up, indicating that it was working. After installing gnome-bluetooth under Ubuntu, I was able to scan and connect to my Motorola Razr from across the room. I assume that it probably works under XP and Vista, but I don’t have either OS on the machine to try it.

I assume that this trick will work on all models of Acer 3680, but you should open up your memory panel to make sure there is a 6-pin connector. I did notice that there seemed to be several models of Acer 3680, so there’s a small chance that this may not work with every model.

August 24, 2007 at 7:46 pm 75 comments

Installing memory on an Acer 3680 Laptop

The acer 3680 has two memory slots that takes DDR2-533/PC4200 or DDR2-667/PC5300. Because the Celeron M has a FSB of 533 Mhz, you’re limited to 533 Mhz even if you use DDR2-667. The computer typically come with a single 512 Mb module and can accept up to a maximum of two 1 Gb module for a total of 2 Gb. Since DDR2-667 and DDR2-533 are pretty much the same price these days, I chose a pair of G. Skill 2 x 1 Gb DDR2-667 from Newegg.

To install the memory, power off the laptop and remove the battery. Turn the laptop over. The memory module is located under the middle panel, the one with the Windows Product Key sticker. To remove the panel, remove the two screw on the bottom of the case. There is plastic washer underneath the panel holding the screw in. You will have to unscrew the screw all the way and then carefully use your fingernail to pry off the screw (be careful not to lose it).

Once you remove the screw, you will find resistance as you try to pry over the panel. The panel is actually being held in by plastic fingers that stick out to the back of the panel and some to the side. Pry open the cover gently so you don’t break the fingers. In my opinion, it’s a really bad design, since plastic get brittle with age and the fingers may break if you keep opening the panel.

Acer 3680 Memory Panel

After you remove the panel, you’ll notice 2 white plastic washers. Carefully remove them so they don’t get lost.

The memory module is toward the back. Examine the memory module carefully, you’ll notice that the memory module is being held by two clips. The clip fits into a notch on the side of the memory. Gently pry the arms of the clip outward, causing the memory module to flip up to about an 45 degrees angle. Remove the memory. Insert the new memory at an 45 degree angle and swivel the memory gently until it clicks into the clips. Since there is a notch on the connector, you cannot insert the memory in the wrong direction. Do not force the memory or you will break something.

Once the memory module is in, don’t close the memory door right away. Test it to make sure it works first. If you don’t get a BIOS welcome screen, then the memory is not installed properly. If you get a blank screen, don’t panic. Turn off the machine, remove the battery, and re-seat the memory. I find that I may have to re-seat the memory a few times before the memory works. If it still doesn’t work, try different combination of the memory module. You may have a bad memory module. Trying different combination allow you to discover which one.

Once everything is working, turn the laptop over again. Carefully put in the white washers on the screw hole. Reattach the memory panel door starting with the fingers in the back. Be careful you do not knock off the white washers. Once the panel is click in place, put the two screws back in.

Post Installation Booting Problems

After installing the RAM, I notice that occassionally, was unable to start up after a shutdown. Typically, I would turn on the machine. The power light would be on, but nothing happens. The problem is usually fixed by removing the battery and AC, killing all power to the laptop. After the power is restore, the laptop boots normally, only to have a similar problem again after shutdown.

After some research on the net, the problem is cause by a BIOS timing issue. According to Acer, the problem affects laptop with dual RAM. To fix the problem, download the BIOS 1.3505 or above (mines was originally 1.3502).

August 24, 2007 at 7:28 pm 36 comments

Getting VMWare Server to display in 1280×800

Recently, I have been playing around with Vmware server to run Windows as a guest OS to Linux. I did encountered a problem with the display resolution. Like many laptop, my screen resolution is 1280×800. After I install the Vmware tool, I find that I cannot set the resolution to 1280×800. The only option appears to be 1280×960, which is beyond what the LCD can handle.

To fix the problem, I go to the Vmware directory for my virtual machine (mine is at /var/lib/vmware-server/Virtual Machine. Locate your virtual machine and edit the vmx file in this folder and add the following line:

svga.maxWidth = “1280”
svga.maxHeight = “800”

After adding the lines, reboot the virtual machine. Now when you select the display resolution, 1280×800 will be available.

August 23, 2007 at 11:10 pm 9 comments


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