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Archive for January, 2011

Upgraded Gateway LT25 Netbook RAM

January 25th, 2011 60 comments

I wanted to have access to a machine that would fit in my backpack. Laptops were out, as I don’t want to lug around something heavy, and the iPad was a bit too underpowered for my needs and was lacking the keyboard. I was going to run Ubuntu Netbook remix on it anyways, so the Apple OS was not a great draw for me.

I decided on the Gateway LT25, which is essentially similar to an Acer Aspire One.

It comes with 250GB (more than enough space) and a celeron-like (but power-conserving) Intel Atom processor, and has a 6 cell battery, which means that it would last me most of a day’s work (even if I did not have access to power, or was moving around).

The only thing I did not like about it was the limited RAM. 1GB did not cut it for me. It was also a big sluggish due to the paging taking place when I ran my DB, webserver and firefox.

So I decided to do something about it, and ordered a 2 GB RAM stick.

The RAM I ordered was the Mushkin 2GB PC2-6400 DDR2 SODIMM for Notebooks. However, any PC2-6400 memory should work with the Atom N450 processor. More than 2GB probably will not be useful, and in any case, the CPU will be the bottleneck at that point.

Upgrading the Memory

To upgrade the memory, you have to open the netbook (essentially voiding the warranty). It’s a lot simpler than it appears when you start it. I’m writing this point up, with a few picture, to make it easier for the next person attempting this.

Please place a pillowcase or some other cloth under the laptop when carrying out the operation, otherwise you will scratch your laptop’s exterior casing. You may also want to either use a static-protection wrist-strap, or touch the metal on your sink to protect your system’s sensitive electronic components from electrostatic discharge damage.

Step 1: Remove the battery.

Flip the netbook over, and remove the battery.

It is held by two clips on the back. Move them towards the outside of the case, and the battery should be easy to pop out.

Step 2: Remove the keyboard

Turn the netbook over again (the right way) and open the lid so that you can see the keyboard. Using a credit card, push the little tabs in that are holding the keyboard in place. Don’t use a screwdriver as you may end up scratching your case (or damaging something or another). I’ve marked the location of the clip (tabs) in red circles in the picture below:

Step 3: Release the screws holding the back plate in place

Thre are four screws holding the back plate in place. You’ll need a jeweller’s screwdriver to remove these. This is smaller than your everyday screwdriver, and is used for things like jewelery and eyeglass frames.

Step 4: (Optional) Remove the keyboard data cable

I removed the keyboard data cable, which is probably something that you don’t need to do. You pull the little white plastic clip slightly out and gently slide out the data cable. This would allow you to remove the keyboard entirely.

Step 5: Remove back plate

Push a pen (or the screwdriver) through the hole to push out the back plate. The back plate should pop out, and you can then flip the netbook over and remove the back plate entirely.

Step 6:Remove the Existing RAM

The RAM is in the slot on the top left. Gently pull the tabs away from the RAM and the chip should pop out. Make sure that you have drained any electrostatic discharge before attempting this step (touch something grounded, like your bathroom sink’s tap’s metal part). You may want to keep track of the notch at the bottom of the chip, to ensure that you replace the new RAM in the same place (using the same orientation).

Step 7: Insert the new RAM

Gently slide in the new RAM unit, and pop it into place. The tabs should securely hold the RAM in place.

That’s it, you’re done. Put everything back in the reverse order, and boot up the machine.

Go into the bios (by typing F2 at startup) and the machine should have automatically picked up that it has 2 GB now.

Setting a Price for Your Product

January 17th, 2011 No comments

As I’m getting close to the launch of my product, I’ve been struggling with the question of how much to charge. There are a number of models, with differentiated version-based subscription being the overall favorite for online services. However, other models do exist as well; you can charge based on percentage of spend, have a consultancy based component (which is usually more than you would charge for the product).

However, you do not want to charge too much (which would mean ‘no-deal’) and not too little (which would imply that you are leaving money on the table and which ultimately can threaten the viability of your concern).

A happy medianĀ  does exist though. If you can figure out the value that your product provides to the customer, you can charge accordingly. Even if your product is not the most sophisticated, it is worth something (as long as it does not provide negative value).

Just start charging for what you have today, and work on improving the value you provide to to customer. There is a nice 45 degree slope that you can climb, whereas as long as you provide increasing value, you can charge a higher price.

Satisfaction

January 5th, 2011 No comments

Information technology solutions are very powerful. If properly planned out (with the goals of the customer paramount), they have the potential to save time, effort, expenses and grief.

I get a high when I see my customers using my product, especially as I know what they used to go through before the solution was in place. These moments of satisfaction are what keeps me happily chugging away through the my grueling, crazy-packed schedule.

A bit of extra effort and due diligence will ensure that my customer (and therefore I) am happier and more satisfied tomorrow. It’s well worth the effort and time put in.

.. and I like to be a happy person :-)