HP TouchPad – In my hands!

Chris Brooker
July 7, 2011

A week or so ago I get an email asking if I want to come to an exclusive blogger event with not a lot of details, I checked my calendar and had nothing so I said sure. A few days after that I got an email that said it was for the the HP TouchPad and I got excited! I’ve been dying to play with a WebOS tablet for a long time. I was thinking kewl, I get to play with it, see how it feels, and see how WebOS behaves on a much larger screen.

The event was at the always wonderful Marben Restaurant on Wellington in Toronto. I got there and headed downstairs.

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Get downstairs and am greeted by the lovely ladies from Hill and Knowlton; Courtney and Rachel. Get my name tag and chat for a bit (cuz they’re wonderful ladies), then head on in.

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The food at Marben is just fantastic. These little burger quarters are so unbelievable that I had to ask about them, they’re braised beer ribs wrapped in ground beef. All the food was amazing but these really stood out.

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After a grabbed a quick bite and a beer, I found someone showing off the TouchPad, as I really wanted to see it in action pulled him over and finally got some hands on time.

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I had to end my demo short as the event was getting started and I needed to take my seat.

Then they dropped the bomb, everyone gets a TouchPad!!! I was seriously shocked and super excited.

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I tweeted “#TouchpadTO pulls an Oprah, everyone gets a touchpad!” and my phone blew up with replies. This is a hot commodity in Toronto.

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We unboxed them and started booting them up, we were told we needed them setup and activated for some of the events later in the evening. Here’s mine turning on.

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Created a WebOS account and it’s setting itself up and rebooting. Time for a few more mini burgers and some beer.

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Sorry about this photo Erin, I’ll just assume you were thinking about kissing the TouchPad.DSCN2101

After we all got the TouchPads unboxed setup and running they did a quick demo so we all had an idea on how to use it. Which is good cuz boy did we need it for the next part of the night.

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Up came Marty and Kirk from Brass Facts who run a super kewl trivia night at Brass Facts at The Ossington. This was by far the best and most brilliant way to get people to engage with the new device of any event I’ve ever been to. Kirk and Marty had a series of very difficult trivia questions and we had to use the TouchPad to do research to come up with the answer. First prize was a $100 gift certificate to Marben Restaurant. This was so much fun and I used the TouchPad constantly during the entire contest.

One of the awesome things I discovered about the TouchPad during this quiz was it runs flash!! Yes, flash! The questions was “On the website for the company who’s slogan is ‘Impossible Is Nothing’ there is a pop star, name her husband”.

The company was Adidas and of their website is in flash. (So it doesn’t drive you crazy, it’s Katy Perry and the answer is Russell Brand, you’re welcome).

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You can see the answer sheets on the table. I came in 3rd, argh so close.

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I’d been pawing at it, it’s now all finger printy. You can see my quiz sheet open on the table.

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Some rocking top Toronto people, Casie Stewart, Wes Bos (or WebOS 😉 ), Raymi the Minx, in the back OakleyInc. I also see a nice Louis bag.

Wow, what an incredible night. Thanks to everyone at HP, Hill and Knowlton and Brass Facts you guys really blew my socks off.

I used the TouchPad for most of the night when I got home and a bunch today. I’ll do another post about the device and my impressions a bit later when I really have it as part of my life. Looking forward to trying the WordPress App!

Towels are a laptop’s best friend? (HP TX1220US)

Chris Brooker
August 7, 2009

You might have heard last week that my laptop died :(. I would turn it on, the lights would light up, but then nothing, no beep, no POST screen, nothing. It would just hang like that forever.

It was a very sad time and I didn’t know what to do. I checked and the warranty had run out and the extended warranty on from my credit card had also run out. I was completely on my own.

I hit the forums to see if anyone had had similar problems. Turns out it’s quite a common problem, damn!, but it usually manifests sooner and would be covered by the warranty. The problem is related to the nVidia chipset getting micro fractures in the solder preventing it from making a solid contact with the motherboard. There is a recall on this particular problem on many, many HP laptops, but they won’t admit it for my model.

As I had nothing left to lose, I decided to try the forum suggested xBox360 Red Ring of Death towel trick. For the 360 the trick goes, take the 360 wrap it up in towel blocking all vents, turn it on, and let it bake. This overheating  causes the solder to slightly melt and reestablish the connections broken by the micro fractures.

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(In this photo I have the screen turned 90 degrees for better towel coverage [it’s a tablet])

I grabbed my laptop, removed the HD, DVD drive, etc anything that could be damaged by the heat. Wrapped it up completly in the 2 towels and turned it on. I let it sit there for about 6 hours. The towels had gotten very hot. As soon as the sun through the window touched the “package” the extra heat caused it to shutdown from over heating. I took it out and let it cool.

I came back later and with little expectations, I turned it on. At first it looked the same, then, all of a sudden it POST’d! I couldn’t believe it!

It’s now been a week since I did this trick and have used my laptop for at least 20 hours total for scretches as long as 6 hours, with no problems what-so-ever.

I’m so very happy to have my friend back!

UPDATE (Nov 24, 2009): This trick has now resurrected this laptop twice! It’s still working to this day.

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