Friday, June 19, 2015

Parking Penalty Notice review request

This morning I submitted this request to the government.

We will place the penalty on hold while we investigate it. Please allow up to 21 days for a reply.

You are the person responsible for the offence.

Reply to you at preferred address.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Kogan Atlas x14fhd laptop teardown and upgrade HDD to SSD

OK, this is not the worlds greatest teardown, but such as it is I hope it to be a helpful resource. You get a preview of what is inside the box. Before I went at it, I had found nothing useful on the internets, and when I contacted Kogan for a Service Manual all I got was a link to the User Manual. BTW, this follows my previous post, expressing the joys of my latest acquisition.

After receiving the laptop, testing it with Ubuntu via a USB boot, installing Ubuntu on a temporary basis along side of the preloaded software, installing Ubuntu with a clean format, my next step was to go inside and swap the HDD with an SSD from my previous laptop. So did that, and rebooted with F2 into BIOS. The SSD was detected on the first tab, but not in the boot tab as a bootable drive. It could not boot. I expected it to be boobable because it was bootable on the previous laptop from which it was pulled. After wasting about an hour looking for solutions, I had realized that I should simply install Ubuntu. Win! BTW, the motherboard has 2 memory sockets, so I will probably upgrade the memory at some point.

Opening the case was a bit tricky. This is expected on the first attempt with an unfamiliar device. Here is what you need to know:

  1. Flip it over and remove all 12 screws.
  2. Start with the left side (the one with the 2 USBs / HDMI / VGA / NIC / power). Pry the front edge with a thin flat head screwdriver, or even knife, gently. The case will start to snap open.
  3. Then here is the tricky bit. The right side has round audio connectors which do not give way easily. Either carefully pry around the audio connectors to get them past the case holes, or try to pry the back edge there there are snaps as well. The back edge looks like it is a single piece that wraps around to the the top, but it actually separates along the grove half way up, and snaps apart. If you unsnap the back edge then you can just lift the back cover away from the audio connectors quite easily, but on the first attempt this was not obvious to me.
Here are some pics I took along the way with my phone. If you click to enlarge, you will get a pretty good idea of what to expect.

I must say that my first time experience in opening this laptop was much better than what I got with my previous Acer netbook, some three years ago. I'm still loving this new box :) So currently I'm using a Kogan Agora android and laptop, and loving it!

Remove all screws

Pry the back cover off

Original HDD

Replacement SSD

A look around inside the box

before // after
Read 101Mb Write 80Mb Access 9.58ms // Read 236Mb Write 167Mb Access 0.24ms

Tuesday, June 09, 2015

Kogan Atlas x14fhd laptop

About a week and a half ago, I snagged this great deal! Although this was after a one month wait/cancel order of a chromebook that they sold out of.

Still to swap out the HDD for my SSD, and get back to work.

Ubuntu works fine after install but with quirks: sometimes boot freezes, pressing enter on boot menu helps; wifi does not connect to the home router via N2.4GHz but does connect at work via N5Ghz (go figure) (... so I use a spare USB NIC at home, or bluetooth tether to my phone). (Later it turned out to be to do with my wifi router setting being set to N only, whereas the better setting was a/b/g/n, live and learn.)

I was procrastinating addressing the issue of my aging netbook for over a year now, being petrified by/of Secure Boot. That fear had just gone away, finding that Secure Boot is just a BIOS setting, and everything else works as it always had, and there is no problem booting into Ubuntu (Ubuntu Linux is where all of my work related software comes from, so it is essential that I have a work station with it -- it is a case of formatting a laptop purchased with Windows to convert it into a laptop with Linux which in the end looks kind of like a Mac).

Day 1, very happy with it!

  • Speakers HD Audio
  • Webcam 0.3MP
  • Bluetooth 4.0 LE Ethernet Yes - 10/100 Mbps USB 1 x USB 3.0
  • 2 x USB 2.0 Wi-Fi Intel 802.11 b/g/n/ac
  • Dimensions 34.0 x 24.0 x 2.3cm Weight 2.0kg
  • Native Aspect Ratio 16:9 Resolution 1920 x 1080 Size 14.0" Type FHD
  • Line In/Microphone Yes
  • HDMI 1 x HDMI with HDCP Headphone 3.5mm VGA Yes
  • Architecture 64-bit Battery Removable 4 cell Smart Lithium-Ion battery pack, 32WH CPU Intel Pentium N3540 processor CPU Speed 2.16GHz GPU Intel HD Graphics OS Windows OS Version 8.1 RAM 4GB Dual channel DDR3L 1333Mhz
  • Battery Life 9.5 Hrs
  • Card Slots 9-In-1: Supports MMC / RSMMC / SD / Mini SD / SDHC / SDXC / MS / MS Pro / MS Duo Internal Storage 500GB 5400RPM HDD
  • Cache 8MB

So this will be my work station for the next 3 years hopefully. I look forward to the awesome processor upgrade (from atom 2 core to pentium 4 core), ram (from 2 to 4), and 2k display (from 1k), usb3.

My work station linage
Kogan Atlas
Acer Aspire One D270
Asus Eee PC 1015PX
Acer AAO 543h
Asus eee pc 701
Acer Aspire laptop
OEM laptop
OEM desktops

[ check out my next post ]

Oh Ubuntu. You are my favorite OS.