//Nathan added a topic in General Chit ChatKeyboards work in WinSetup & 7 but not XPOK, here's the deal. I got Windows 7 (RC 1, build 7100) a day or two after it first came out, whenever that was. Earlier this month? Last month? Anyway, I love it, but it's got some issues that bother me a bit, memory leaks I guess, and bad/slow caching of thumbnails, making media and app directories nearly impossible to navigate. I added an extra 1GB of RAM (1GB to 2GB now) and it didn't help, so I figured I'd just go back to XP. The keyboard was working fine in Win7. In Windows Setup, it still worked fine (e.g. entering the serial), but when I went to start Windows XP itself, the keyboard would not work.
The keyboard is a Microsoft Comfort Keyboard/Mouse combo, both wireless, and the hub has a USB and purple PS/2 plug. It will work without the PS/2 plug but I guess the PS/2 port is just there for legacy operating systems/software that wouldn't support a USB keyboard but for some reason would support a USB mouse? I keep them both plugged in just to be safe.
So I tried with just the PS/2 plug (not smart, since the hub draws its power from the USB), just the USB, and both, all three configurations after a reboot. Then I got a straight PS/2 keyboard and tried that, also after a restart. Nothing. In all cases, the NumLock would be locked On, and could not be turned off. Caps Lock did not toggle the light on the keyboard for the straight PS/2 keyboard, nor the hub for the wireless, which is very strange, since obviously power is getting to the keyboard/hub.
I checked my BIOS and it had options for USB Keyboard and USB Mouse. Both were enabled. I disabled USB Keyboard and restarted with the straight PS/2 keyboard plugged in. Still nothing.
So I reinstalled Windows 7 and everything works fine. It's not the batteries in the wireless keyboard. I didn't change them, and I'm typing on it now. No problem whatsoever. And of course Windows XP used to work fine with the keyboard, as y'all were giving me hell for my long posts in my other topic. Pretty sure I had this keyboard then, I've had it a few years at least.
I bet if I could log on to Windows XP I could get it sorted somehow. I could at least get the on-screen keyboard from PortableApps (or another free source, but that's the one I know about) and use that, but most stuff in Windows can be done with just a mouse. It's funny that to call the on-screen keyboard, you gotta hit WinKey+U (IIRC). That's about as dumb as that old error, "Keyboard not found, press F1 to continue."
So... any ideas?
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//Nathan added a topic in General Chit ChatPortable ApplicationsI've found that one of the coolest things you can do with a computer these days is portable applications. If anybody remembers me when I was really active up here, I was reformatting my computer a LOT. I got to where I enjoyed it. Even reinstalling all the apps and configuring them. Then I got married, and my wife found it far less amusing than I did.
While there are a few commercial ways to go portable, from the really expensive (e.g. Thinstall, nearly $8,000) to the affordable (Ceedo) but one's free (PortableApps) and open source to boot. I think I read about them in Maximum PC. They have a simple menu that simply scans the folders, and apps which don't install, so much as set themselves up. The launchers are NSIS, installers, yes, but they work as anti-installers, sort of, sandboxing the application environment and cleaning up after the app when you're done with it. They aren't totally stealthy (and don't claim to be) but they don't leave any personal information behind, as a rule.
The common application is obvious. Get a USB flash drive (they get cheaper and bigger all the time - I got a 4GB Corsair Readout on Newegg for $11 and then a 16GB Corsair Flash Voyager, also on Newegg, for $30) and put the menu and Portable Firefox on it. Then take your bookmarks and settings to school, work, whatever. There's also VLC Portable, a couple other media players, Notepad++, a few games... PortableApps only deals with free, open source stuff. There are others who use the same format... I found one offering illegal stuff (like Photoshop) but figured AdAware would be OK... long story short it wasn't. But there are other non-Open source, freeware apps that work well with launchers or just run out of a directory. That game I always liked, Deus Ex (my avatar is the logo), works portably, with the catch that loading maps takes about 30 seconds. Saving takes up to 5 minutes, but I can redirect the save folder to the C drive in the INI and save a lot of time.
But flash drives are slower than hard drives, so you trade off performance for convenience. No more. I've installed the apps on an external hard drive, in some cases two copies (like Firefox and Pidgin) as my wife and I each have one. They run just as well as installed apps. But now when I reformat and reinstall Windows, all I gotta do is make shortcuts on the desktop to my wife's Pidgin and Firefox, and she doesn't get on me about not being able to do her online stuff. It's just that easy.
I still have to install some stuff. Drivers mostly. And antivirus. And there are a few programs that just have to be installed. But I'm trying to move to free, open-source, portable software. I had to install MS Office because my wife only knows MS Photo Editor. I'm trying to get her to learn XnView, which does a little more actually. She uses Firefox and Pidgin, which is a great start, and for Office stuff I have Open Office. So far no complaints.
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