Wow, I’m so close to fully functional Vista-based UMPC that I can taste it! I’ve put in a good 8 hours over the past two days sorting out problems and doing research. A little help from great folks in the community has also helped. So, where are we at and how did we get there? Just to recap since the last update, things that weren’t working or tested were:
- Hardware buttons / screen rotation / screen resolution changes
- Floating tip
- Application installs and usage
What was working:
- Ethernet connection
- Bluetooth connection
- AVStation on the Windows XP Embedded Partition
- Windows XP Tablet Edition on a separate partition
Touchscreen fully calibratedor was it? Read on…
Let’s talk about the screen as it appears I spoke prematurely in the last update. Yes, I did get the touchscreen calibrated as stated, but I found out the hard way that the success was short-lived. As in about a minute or two. If the touchscreen was unused for more than a minute or two, it would stop responding to touch, which is a complete showstopper. I came up with two workarounds that were abysmal:
1. If you have a mouse or keyboard attached, run the Draw Test in the Touchkit calibration tool. Then again, if you have a mouse or a keyboard, why have a touchscreen, right?
2. Less painful, but still a short-term workaround: using the power button, put the device in Sleep mode, which takes about one second. Use the power button to wake the device back up and presto! You’ve got touchscreen.
Luckily thanks to a jkOTR reader tip from Quentin, there’s a registry key for a timeout setting on the touchscreen. I set the value of these two keys to "0" and now the touchscreen works all the time:
- [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESYSTEMCurrentControlSetEnumUSBVID_0EEF&PID_00015&3b27c391&0&1Device ParametersIdleTimer]
- [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESYSTEMCurrentControlSetEnumUSBVID_0EEF&PID_00015&3b27c391&0&1Device ParametersIdleMode]
Quentin got this info from Egalax, which is the company that makes the touchscreen controller and driver. I should note that I did NOT get the most up to date driver from Egalax but instead used the one available from Samsung, which is 126.96.36.19922. The latest driver provided some additional functionality, but continued to give me problems during calibration; namely, it would sit at the "Reading Parameters" dialog box and then just disappear. No matter, the touchscreen is now fully functional.
WiFi is now working, which is great since there isn’t always an Ethernet jack handy, right? Turns out that after I updated the drivers, the WiFi still wasn’t working, which just shocked me. The error message when using the Networking Troubleshooter in Vista said that the WiFi radio wasn’t enabled and that I should look for a switch to turn it on. Well, there isn’t a hardware switch for the WiFi on the Q1 and I hadn’t yet attempted to install the Samsung on-screen utilities for the WiFi. Then I got to thinking. There’s a setting in the BIOS that controls the WiFi. The settings are Always On, Always Off, and Last State.
I’ve kept that BIOS setting as "Last State" because I didn’t like how the Q1 would automatically turn on the WiFi radio when returning from a Sleep state if I had the radio off before the Sleep state. I know, I’m such a control freak. On a hunch, I changed the BIOS setting to "Always On", rebooted and sure enough, I can connect to WiFi networks in Vista. I’ll be looking into this setting again the future, because ideally, I’d like to control the WiFi at the Operating System level and not the BIOS level.
Next up on the agenda was the floating tip. I figured this would be the easiest fix; just install floattip.exe, right? Wrong. The application "runs", but just doesn’t work. Try as I might, there’s no floating tip when I tap into a text entry box. Since the program isn’t working properly in Vista, I did the next best thing. I made sure that the TIP shortcut shows in my Taskbar, for starters. I also have the TIP configured to hide on the edge of the screen so that I can quickly tap there to have the TIP float over. It’s not the best solution, by any means, but it does allow for a relatively quick usage of the TIP.
With this info combined with my WMDC and PDANet tinkering yesterday, I’m actually using Vista on the Q1 this very second. Really…this post just went live from a Vista-based UMPC and EV-DO. While we’re on that subject, here’s a shot of a speed-test with Vista recognizable in the background:
Screen rotation and resolution switching still aren’t working, nor is the Samsung on-screen display. I think we’re SOL unless Samsung updates their utilities. I’m not giving up on these functions just yet, but I think those are the last few items left to "fix" for pure Vistagami! Heck, I’m even listening to podcasts and watching videos in Media Center! Sounds like we need a video to show this puppy off, especially since I trained the Speech Recognition late last night…..ah….a bloggers work is never done…..