Quadro: Standing in a Smaller Window

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Quadro's Smaller Screen provides special challenges to my workflow during stand-in operation

The 1024 x 768 pixel display on Quadro, a Tablet PC, requires some adaptation in carrying-on activities that are ordinarily carried out using a 24” 1920 x 1080 display.  The crowding of icons onto the left side is a concession to when the screen is rotated into portrait orientation for use.  The icons are in an area that is never cropped, squashed, or rearranged when the screen is rotated from one aspect to another.  Although Quadro has a DVI port, I would rather use the 24” display with the new machine at once and not depend on it for the stand-in.

Desktop Stand-In Support

While my main desktop system, Scampo -- a 2005 model Gateway 831GM Media Center PC,  is failing and is being decommissioned, I need to be have essential functions on my Tablet PC, Quadro, until the replacement machine is fully installed and configured.  The Tablet PC was already going to be kept in reserve for those web-development function that I have not been able to replicate under Windows 7.  The decline of Scampo accelerated the establishment of the necessary software on Quadro.

Essential Functions

There are many functions on the desktop system that I do not require on the Tablet PC as a working stand-in.  I can exclude photo-processing, video-development, and audio-processing software.  I can also exclude software-development software such as Visual Studio, development SDKs, and MSDN Libraries.  What I need is a means to ensure perpetuation of essential communication, access to files and documents, and web-site development.

  1.  Access to Files and Documents
    Quadro is already tied into the Centrale SOHO LAN and the Windows Home Server.  All material that is moved to shared space on WHS is available to Quadro and will simply be used from there.  Quadro is also backed-up to the Windows Home Server every day.  Quadro is also tied into Windows Live and has shared access to the contacts and calendars maintained there.

    I have Microsoft Office 2007, Acrobat Reader, and OpenOffice.org 3.2 to handle my immediate document needs.  I have not installed Microsoft Money Plus; I will if I need to update accounts and monitor balances as part of month-end activity. 
    I also have WinZip and jEdit for document forensic work and operating with XML documents, should that be required.
  2. Essential Communication
    All of the Outlook PST files that were in use on Scampo have been moved to the Windows Home Server.  I have completed use of Outlook from Scampo and archived the files for the last time.  I brought the files into the appropriate directory used by Office 2007 Outlook on Quadro and made them the PST files in use.  I also installed the latest version of Outlook Connector to complete the tie-in with Windows Live Hotmail Contacts and calendars.

    I also have, on the Windows Home Server, all of the Favorites and shortcuts from Scampo that make it easy to find internet accounts and resources that I need on a regular basis.  The password safe form Scampo is replicated on Quadro, which is now the master version.
  3. Web-Site Development

    For blog posts, such as this one, I have Windows Live Writer configured for posting to blogs hosted on nfoCentrale and already converted to Movable Type.
    For editing web pages I have FrontPage 2002 installed and operating properly with the
    Internet Information Server on Compagno, the old laptop that holds my web-site development and that was the first to be retired and migrated until Scampo began to fail.
    Also, Visual Source Safe 2005 client is installed and operating successfully with the VSS repository that is also on Compagno and used for automatic version control of the web-site development via the integrated FrontPage extensions.
    This is sufficient to provide continued web-site development and also serve as a stand-in during the retirement of Compagno and movement of web-development server operation to the Windows Home Server.

Fortunately all of this was achieved in time to take over my day-to-day operation before Scampo failed irrecoverably. 

The Prequel

I work almost exclusively over the Internet from home.  My Toshiba Satellite Tablet PC, Quadro, was acquired in 2006 when I anticipated heavy use for note-taking and diagramming while digging around in university research libraries.  While that might happen again, the current us of Quadro is for occasional out-of-office meetings and travel.  When not traveling, Quadro inhabits the Centrale SOHO LAN so it is available for light, connected work while the production system is engaged in some uninterruptible task.  Quadro in slate configuration is also useful as a reader: I have used Kindle for the PC as well as other document-reading software that way.

Because it is not critical to my day-to-day operations, Quadro tends to be the victim-of-choice for beta releases of software.  Originally shipped with Microsoft Windows XP Table PC Edition 2005, Quadro was saddled with Windows Vista and Windows 7 beta releases.  It was also subjected to Office 2007 and 2010 previews.  Toshiba has long since ceased to provide driver updates for later operating systems, making the machine unacceptable as well as under-powered for serious production use on operating systems beyond Windows XP. 

Once the Windows 7 beta expired, Quadro was restored to its original Windows XP configuration (fully updated to SP3 and with regular updates beyond that, of course).  Its continued duties are as a standby for important XP-based functions that support nfoCentrale development while other machines are retired Windows 7 computers are introduced.  There are some web-development operations that I have not managed to preserve using Windows 7 and Quadro provides working functions until I can resolve the Windows 7 limitations.

With the sudden deterioration of the Scampo desktop system, having Quadro as a stand-in was required sooner than expected.  Quadro was in a rather haphazard state (also reflected in the peculiar accumulation of icons on the desktop), and I needed to ensure complete stand-in capability before dismantling Scampo or it failed completely (whichever were to come first).

Fortunately, it has been easy to switch over those functions that I must preserve while Scampo is retired and the Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit workhorse, Astraendo, is installed in its place.

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The late decline of Scampo, my deteriorating desktop PC, was marked by a succession of near-death experiences.  These events all occurred at either start-up or shut-down.  Somehow, I was able to extend the operation of the machine well beyond... Read More

While the Scampo death-watch continued, it was necessary to organize affairs and make sure that all of Scampo’s estate was inventoried and identified for disposal or preservation.  I organized a review by examining the existing sources of inventor... Read More

Wholesale upgrading to Microsoft Windows 7 on the Centrale SOHO LAN breaks the existing nfoCentrale web deployment model.  Until I can resolve that problem, I must keep a Windows XP PC system operating well enough to sustain the web-deploymen... Read More

When the inventory and backups from Scampo, the failing Media Center PC, were complete, I needed to do some final cleanups.  I had uninstalled all Windows-programs that I could while remaining in operation.  Now I needed to scrub the disk,... Read More

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Dennis E. Hamilton published on January 27, 2011 12:02 AM.

Scampo Vigil Day 2 was the previous entry in this blog.

Microcomputer Tear-Down: Tandy 100 is the next entry in this blog.

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