I've gotten over $200 in cash back from them at places I would have shopped anyway! Ebay, Staples, more! I put it at the top because they ROCK. Basically, you get a kickback from Ebates when buy.com or whoever pays them. Win-win. If you like throwing money away, don't use them!

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Windows 8.1 Clean Install on Miix 2 8": Where to get drivers, and notes on the latest versions.

I did this recently, so here are the notes:

1. Borrow someone's Windows Key to download the ISO from Microsoft. You aren't going to use it. Get the Belarc Advisor, and after you have Windows 8.1 installed you can use your OEM key that Belarc Advisor shows in the report.

I would save or print the Belarc report for future use.

The screen will 'blank' if you have the power settings set to turn it off until you get some drivers installed so set it to turn off 'never' when plugged in and 'never' if you have to run on battery power rather than a having to do a hard restart while you're in the middle of something.

So charge the battery to 100% before you do all this.

Windows 8.1 retail will install fine, and later you can change the key to your OEM key. I did not check whether it was using the UEFI key automatically, but I assume it was, IIRC Windows retail was activated but I went ahead and 'changed' the key anyway since I had borrowed the key to download from my firned.

To change the key, right click 'This PC' on the Windows desktop, then 'Change Product Key' in the lower right corner.

Notes on Install:
The touchscreen will start working at some point, but I used a powered hub and a USB keyboard and Mouse initially.

The latest drivers can all be downloaded from Lenovo. I let Windows install and update as much as it could, since I'd prefer Microsoft drivers, since they designed the OS, it makes sense.

The Lenovo Download page is here.

The 'Platform Driver' install looks pretty stock, but I had the Intel HD 4000 graphics driver FROM INTEL running on my Dell Venue 8 because the Dell drivers are a continual problem.

If you want to use the Intel version: I had to go into the device manager, and get the .ZIP here, then tell Windows to install it manually via the device manager.

After you 'force' install the Intel graphics driver (it's still signed, don't worry, you don't get any warnings) then the normal Intel installers will work.

The Lenovo 'Platform Driver' Installs graphics driver but you can get the .EXE from Intel which is which as of this writing has a filename of win32_153322.exe and you can get it here along with the ZIP.

Here is a big long list of Intel HD drivers: https://downloadcenter.intel.com/SearchResult.aspx?ProdId=3712&lang=eng

After intalling win32_153322.exe, you will have driver version and Windows will ask for a restart.

The audio driver from Lenovo appears to install a later version of the driver than Windows / Intel does.

Windows 8.1 or the updates will give you Broadcom WiFi driver version vs Lenovo's .97.181 which again, is why I let Windows install as much as possible. Generally, I'd rather have Microsoft tested stuff.

Windows will install a later version of the Bluetooth Audio driver AFTER you install the Lenovo version. (Which I can never find the driver version so someone please let me know. 'Bluetooth Radio' shows a Microsoft driver.)

If you have questions or comments, leave them and I will update this.

I got this case for it. A small piece of tape on the metal clasp part is recommended to avoid tiny scratches on the screen. Of note, the Miix 2 8 case does not have that issue. The magnet is embedded in the cover.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Coffee Pot Cleaner/Descaler

My Senseo machine is still going strong since I got it in March 2013. When it was 8 years old.

The Keurig is more popular, but the Senseo is more environmentally friendly, and cheaper to run.

The pods are just coffee sandwiched between two pieces of filter paper.

No plastic, like K cups.

I find them in motels more often so I take them home for free coffee.

But enough about that.

Have you descaled and cleaned your expensive coffee machine lately?

I just did, and the cleaner is cheap and ships free on Amazon.

I also have the Coffee Duck so I can use my own ground coffee. It's also easier to clean than the K cup gear.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Nissan Leaf Range

My car must be feeling good. 10 bar battery and 100 mile range?

Artoo increased the power!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014


Why don't pants go in a pantry?

Monday, August 11, 2014

Greatest Hits: Huey Lewis And The News $3.99

Just picked this one up. Had $2 of Amazon credit for MP3's anyway. :)

Lot of good music here, not all of it 80's. For example the duet Cruisin' with Gwyneth Paltrow. Why doesn't she do more singing? It's VERY good.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

OS X Sound Not Working


If your sound on your Mac has stopped working due to a hardware problem, this USB stick works on a Mac, at least under OS X 10.9

I tested it after taking it off my son's PC. Only note is that the volume is very sensitive but this could be fixed in a later OS update perhaps. I used the volume slider to control it vs. the volume keys but you could also be fine if your speakers have a volume knob.

Saturday, August 09, 2014


Money is the fuel for choices. - Dave Chapelle (paraphrased)

Red Bull Cheap Syrup Substitute:

I have the one in the silver bottle (top one in the widget below) and it tastes just like the sugar free Red Bull! One bottle makes TWELVE LITERS. That's more than you should probably drink in a month or two. They have some interesting flavors too like one with Cranberry. If you don't have a Sodastream, just add it to carbonated or even regular tap water.

Guardians of the Galaxy: Awesome Mix Vol.1 Soundtrack

Click the tape to open the playlist.

It's no surprise that this is the NUMBER ONE album on Amazon now. Even if it didn't remind you of the movie, and it will, it's a GREAT mix tape. I saw the movie twice on my recent Disney cruise by the way. :)

I got the CD for $1 more than the MP3 album. When you buy most CDs from Amazon, the MP3 album is usually IMMEDIATELY available for download.

And since I'm prime, shipping was free and I can put the unopened CD in storage.

I got it. I love it. Get it. You will too.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Friday, July 25, 2014

Tell All Mobile: $29 unlimited data/talk/text LTE Plans

Updated 25 July 2014. Will update as more details are released. This is an extremely new offering, but the network is T-Mobile's so do not be concerned about coverage or reliability.

First, here's the signup link if you want to be a customer:


Signup here if you want to be a dealer:

That link will also get you dealer-specific information.


1. What are the plans?

  • $29.99* Unlimited Talk, Text, Data with 1GB 4G LTE hi-speed, then slowing till next billing period.
  • $39.99* Unlimited Talk, Text, Data with 3GB 4G LTE  hi-speed, then slowing till next billing period.
  • $49.99* Unlimited Talk, Text, Data with 5GB 4G LTE  hi-speed, then slowing till next billing period.
  • $59.99* Unlimited Talk, Text, Data with Unlimited 4G LTE, never slowing.
*Plus state and federal taxes and fees. (Hey, we can't control the government alone. Contact your representatives.)

2. What are the features?
  • All plans include hotspot (use your phone to connect any WiFi device to the internet) and unlimited international texting from the US
  • Free music service streaming that DOES NOT count towards your high speed LTE data limit. Those include Pandora, iHeartRadio, iTunes Radio, Rhapsody, Spotify, Slacker, and Milk Music as well as anything T-Mobile adds in the future.
3. What is the coverage? Same as T-Mobile: http://www.t-mobile.com/coverage.html

4. I have a store, website, etc. How much is it to be a dealer? $10 enrollment, $10 monthly. It's very easy to make that amount back.

5. What's in it for me if I want become a dealer to refer people?
  • Free phone line every month if you have 10 active lines you refer. ($30 credit per month)
  • $10 bonus for every distributor you refer
  • $10 bonus for every line you refer
  • Residuals payments based on how many lines you refer (more info to come). They pay their bill, you get paid. Referring dealers gets you even more.
  • Anyone can sign up to be a dealer. Idea: If you have lot of business lines, or a large family, or have some way to share the custom site you'll get, you could make more than the $10 monthly cost easily by getting paid cash for each line.
  • If you hit the LTE high speed limit, turn off LTE in your phone settings. 4G will be fast enough if you get slowed down and your battery will last longer. But you can try both and choose.
  • Sign up as distributor if you have more than one line in your family to sign up. This gets you the $10 fee back to you that every line has to pay once for enrolling. So, the distributor fee pays for itself if you have two lines total (you and spouse) and beyond that saves you money. Plus you get your own referral link to refer others and make some money.

That link again to sign up to be a dealer is:


Customers who only want service go here:


Wednesday, July 09, 2014

Britney Spears Can't Sing. Well, at least she needs more warming up.

I didn't think it was THAT bad. Supposedly just a warmup track. I'm not a huge fan or hater, I'm mainly indifferent. But we like to keep it fair 'round here. So, here it is.

Headbanging Construction Worker: Metal Construction!

I've seen a couple versions floating around, but here's a longer better resolution video.

Metal Construction!

. \….\……….. /…./
…./… I….I..(¯¯¯`\
…\…..` ¯..¯ ´…….’
…..lo o o o o ol
…..lo o o o o ol
…..lo o o o o o|

Friday, June 27, 2014

Apple OS X Disk Utility Stops or appears to be incomplete on Boot Disk

Catchy Title huh?

The problem arises when you use Disk Utility to hopefully get those little green magic words "The volume 2TB Internal appears to be OK." or whatever you call your boot volume after you verify the disk.

This is while you are booted off the disk, not when booted off the DVD which should work every time.

A check on the whole disk works, but a check on the volume of your boot disk appears to fail.

(You do run disk utility to check your disk every now and then, right? And have a SMART Monitor running, right?)

Well the workaround fix is in.

Here's what worked for me:

"The volume 2TB Internal appears to be OK." will show up on my Mac Pro (10.9.3) if I do this:
1. Open a Finder window
2. Click the Disk Utility Verify button
3. Click on the open Finder window
4. Wait for the Disk Utility to finish verifying
5. Switch back to Disk Utility and the green (The volume Data appears to be OK.) is displayed.

The original thread showed it worked on an iMac also.
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