Asus Transformer Prime is charged but screen does not turn on.

I recently purchased and Asus Transformer Prime, and I love it. However a couple of nights ago I was sweating bullets thinking it might be dead. I had charged it up but the device appeared unresponsive when I attempted to turn it on.

I decided to hold the power button down for about a minute to see if I would get a response. Sure enough after about 40 seconds the unit vibrated, though the screen remained off. I recalled that it vibrates when turned off. I left it off for another minute, then I pushed the power button and was greeted with the boot screen. A minute later my Transformer was back on line and ready for use.

TiVo hard drive upgrade

So a while back I posted that one of our TiVo's was freezing up and that I was planning to upgrade the hard drive. Well I did indeed do that. I would like to say it resolved all of the issues, but it did not. I think that there was an errant software upgrade.

Any how on to the upgrade, at one time I thought about documenting all the steps, but to be honest there are some great documents on this already. In fact, I have to give credit to for a great installation guide. In fact, if you are looking for a complete kit, or to have someone perform the upgrade for you, this is a good place to go.

    So for my system I did the following:
  1. Picked up a Western Digital 1TB AV-GP SATA drive from
  2. I wanted to clone my drive, so I also picked up an external SATA hard drive dock from Amazon. I went with a dual one by StarTech, which allowed me to have both the old drive and new drive plugged in at the same time for easier duplication.
  3. Followed these PDF instructions compliments of
  4. I also downloaded a ISO bootable image with a file called WDIDLE on it to disable energy saving feature on the WD hard drive. It is important to do this with this drive, else it will not soft-reboot correctly and you will have to yank the cord and go through the boot-up phase multiple times. You will have to do some Google searches to find this. Also, at least one image I found, did not boot correctly for me, but I did find one that worked.
  5. Before installing the new drive I cloned the old one using an application called WinMFS, available for free at:
  6. Finished following the instructions on installation of the new drive.

95% of this went really smoothly for me. The most time intensive portion was finding a copy of the WDIDLE app with a bootable image that my laptop would recognize and the time it took to clone the drive. I had a lot of HD video on the old drive and it took a good 6 hours to clone. Fortunately you can leave this running unattended.

Once I had all of that done, and the new drive in the TiVo, it came up swimmingly. The response time is a bit better, and I now have about 120 hours worth of HD video space as oppose to about 20-25 hours.

We did still have a few issues with the system rebooting, but this was greatly reduced after I placed an a valid copy of WDIDLE on the drive and set a really long time delay on when to "sleep." There is supposedly an older version of this utility out there that will let you completely disable the sleep function, but I was unable to track it down.

TiVo freezing up (again)

So we have two TiVo's and oddly enough the newer of the two has given us fits off an on for a while now. I believe the issue is related to the hard drive. It is either badly fragmented and the built-in cleanup routines are not completing -OR- the drive itself has some bad sectors or other physical defect.

So after doing a little research, I have found the basic steps required to replace the hard drive. Looking at a web based company that specializes in selling replacement drives, I was able to determine that a Western Digital AV-GP drive would be a good replacement. I ordered a 1TB drive to replace the factory drive last night. It should be in, in a few weeks, as I opted for free shipping. I am planning to document my TiVo upgrade process on my blog here, for both my own log of it as well as to share with other TiVo fans that are not afraid to get their hands dirty.

Consider I have built, broken down and rebuilt dozens of PCs, I don't think it will be too complicated.

Guitar gear

It occurred to me today that though I've been meaning to blog about my guitar gear, I never actually have.

I have two guitars, and I suppose you could say that I have been playing since late 2007. I think hacking around on them, attempting to play a complete song is more accurate.

My first guitar, "Laura", is an acoustic Gregg Bennett Guitar (, built by Samick. This was a gift from my wonderful wife back in 2007. It is a great guitar and I think it is particularly great for hobbyist. It has some nice features like a built in tuner, and pickup, plus it sounds awesome... especially in the hands of someone that knows how to play well.

My second guitar is a Fender Telecaster Blackout. I purchased it in late May. It is my first electric and I love it. It has a black body with a black pick guard and oak neck. It is similar to a Nashville Telecaster in that it has three pick-ups, but unlike the Nashville Telecaster it has two Telecaster pick-ups and one Strat pick-up.

To go along with the Telecaster I picked up a Line-6 Spider III 30w amplifier and it has more than enough punch for my practice space. I also have a Little Smokey pocket amp which is fun for playing around with out on the back porch with either guitar.

Second Tivo HD -- Install Issues Part 3

I'm a bit late with this, but here is a follow-up to some of the Tivo install issues I ran into in November/December of 2008. (See: Second Tivo HD -- Install Issues Part 2)

I had to switch my original Tivo-HD to two S-Cards, as we had done in our secondary Tivo-HD. Since I switched to the two S-Cards, everything has worked fine on both boxes.

Also, I've tried out the Netflix via Tivo, and it looks good. I've watched two hour long episodes of Dr. Who and two 30 minutes tv shows so far. The stream and picture quality has been great.

Second Tivo HD -- Install Issues Part 2

Ok, so after getting a second CableCard for the Tivo HD, I had the same issue: Local Channels but not cable channels. I could also get the music channels. Basically anything in "the clear."

So I had a Comcast tech come out on Sunday, and they still could not get the M-Card to work. So he decided to replace it with two S-Card's and we were able to get this working. However, as I was in a hurry to meet my wife for lunch, I did not take the time to check our Tivo upstairs. This was a mistake, as later in the day, I discovered that when the central office took off my second M-Card they also disabled my primary on. As a result, I now only have channels that are in the clear on my primary Tivo. (argh!)

Second Tivo HD

Well I liked the first Tivo HD so much, that I decided to replace our downstairs Comcast DVR with another Tivo. It is really cool to be able to transfer shows between the two. All that said, I have ran into one glaring issue this time around.

The installation of the cablecard (M-Card) has not gone too smoothly. Earlier today I swapped out the first Cablecard I got, because after pairing it would not show any channels past 23, except for the local channels in HD that are "in the clear". Later I put in the new cable card, called in and asked them to pair the card. But no dice. It looks to me like it is an issue on Comcast end, as the Conditional Access screen only show's three lines, whereas my upstairs Tivo HD shows much more information on this page.

As much as a I hate to do so, I must give kudos to two of the Comast phone tech's. I talked to two individuals that were extremely friendly, and has actually performed some Cablecard initializations before. The second guy, was even better because he had work with Tivo's, and knew where they kept their internal documentation on such.

With a little luck, I will be able to get this worked out this weekend.

Tivo & Netflix Partnership

For those of us that are members of both Tivo and Netflix, there is good news on the horizon. Look's like the pair are partnering up to offer streaming Netflix flicks to your Tivo. (happy! happy! joy! joy!)

Read more at:

Hello Tivo

For years I have had a Comcast DVR and I have even attempted to build my DVR, but as of a couple of days ago I have delved into the world of Tivo.

So why Tivo? For me it was a combo of:

  • It is networkable and networked Tivo's can share recordings.
  • Hooked to broadband, you can download content from third parties like Amazon's Unbox and other services.. it would be really cool if it would talk with Netflix.
  • I've always heard that it has a better interface than Comcast's DVR
  • I'm tired of renting equipment that has periodic increases -- even though I did not get new equipment when the price was increased. Thanks Comcast, love you too!
  • All that said, I'm also an HDTV junkie. I have a problem, I really do. I have three HD set's and only two of them have HD service. But that will be a problem of the past as soon as I get my digital cable card installed into the Tivo box.

    With a little luck, and perhaps some kool-aid, I will probably be a Tivo devotee(sp?) a week from now. ;-)

    iPhone WiFi Tip

    As I blogged earlier, I purchased an iPhone in late January. While setting it up, I ran into an issue with the WiFi. The problem was that while the iPhone could see my network and it could ping other devices on my network, it could not access the internet via my router.

    As it turns out the issue was related to my DNS setup on the iPhone. By default the iPhone had registered the IP address of my router (or gateway, if you will) in addition to the DNS entries I had listed DSL modem configuration. I decided to remove all of the entries, except for my router's IP.

    Ba-da-bing, ba-da-bam! That did the trick. All of a sudden I was merrily surfing over my WiFi connection. It's been smooth sailing since then.

    I have ran into the same issue at some open WiFi spots around town as well. So keep this quick solution in mind.

    Stung by HD-DVD

    OK. I know I'm late in reporting this. But in February, Toshiba shuttered HD-DVD. With the loss of Warner Bros. it was hard to blame them.

    In retrospect I should have seen this coming. I seem to be a champion for ill-fated on-the-cusp electronics. You see last fall I championed the idea of a HD-DVD player as a good Christmas gift idea. Low and behold, Ms. Claus was kind enough to pick me up the HD-A2 player. I was thrilled. Movies on it are spectacular. It does a great job up-converting regular DVDs and true HD-DVD movies are stunning. Plus the sound rocks.

    Never-the-less, I am a bit bummed about the demise of the format. Since the announcement, I've been debating over should I pick-up a second player on the cheap and invest in some more HD-DVD flicks as retailers reduce them to get rid of them. Or should I simply bide my time, save my cash and wait for a reasonably priced Blu-Ray player?

    In the mean while, I'm enjoying HD-DVD flicks from Netflix, while I can.

    Take a bite out of the Apple iPhone

    I recently took a dive into smart phones with an Apple iPhone 8gb model.

    Why I bought one:

    1. It has a large view screen, compared to the competition.
    2. My old MP3 player was starting to crap out (technical term).
    3. A full web-browser, even if it is Safari. (I prefer Firefox).
    4. It can connect to WiFi.
    5. It looks cool.

    Things I wish it had (the early list):

    1. G3 capabilities
    2. A SD or Compact Flash card slot
    3. 3. Ability to replace the battery
    4. A better user/getting started guide in the box
    5. Ability to drag & drop files from Window's Explorer -- that is unchain it from iTunes.

    Early Issues:

    1. Connecting to my WiFi -- I will blog on this soon, hopefully it will help someone else out.
    2. Music "Synch" being set to "ON" by default instead of set to manually manage. When set to "synch" you cannot drag & drop music from iTunes to the iPhone

    I've had the phone a week and once I got past my early issues, I have really enjoyed it.

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