Monday, April 16, 2007

Windows Vista on the ViewSonic Tablet PC V1250 - Getting Connected

I'm happy to say that getting on the LAN with my V1250 running Vista was a simple matter.  When Vista booted, it worked right off. 

Wireless was a different story.  Updates found a driver online for my Intel 2100 3B Wireless card, and though the initial report was that the driver couldn't install, it was working normally (I guess) after a reboot.  Still, it was a pain making the machine connect to my hidden, WEPped , MAC-restricted D-Link router. This, I was prepared for. As a beta tester, I'd been using Vista since September 2005, and I'd always had to configure and re-configure wireless settings 5 to 7 times before I'd actually get a connection with an IP address. To tell the truth, it's rather been the same with XP. Fortunately, I could copy the 26-character hex key and paste, paste, PASTE! After I got connected once, it usually would connect automatically afterward. I have had to be just about as persistent connecting to the wireless access point at work, too, but it seemed even more difficult with RTM than with the betas. Also, there have been problems getting back on when I come back home, but only a couple of times. After a couple of weeks, wireless issues seem to be just about non-existent now...with known networks, anyway.

I have had much less trouble getting the Cingular Sierra AirCard 875 to work.  I installed 3G Watcher, rather than the Cingular Connect Manager.  Sometimes I have had to disable and re-enable the AirCard to get Watcher to see the network, but once it gets connected, it usually stays that way.  This really sucks down the juice, though!

No abnormal issues using my Sprint PPC-6700 as a wireless modem, once I'd found this  forum thread.  During the Vista beta, I'd used the same inf file and dialer that I'd used for XP, but I guess things change.  Getting the phone properly recognized as a CDMA modem is something that takes persistence and patience for me, but that has almost always been the case, be the OS Windows XP or Vista (beta or final).

So far, though I have Cisco, Citrix and Netmotion Mobility XE (beta) VPN clients for accessing the resources at work, I have only tried the last one with Vista Final.  I have little desire to try the others, because Mobility XE is working well witih all networks; I don't have to run it; I just have to give it a password every once in a while (I think it's every time I log into the PC, as opposed to some VPN clients' requiring input of a password every time the machine gets onto a network).*  There seems to be a minor bit of fuss involved when using domain credentials to authenticate without actually joining a computer to the domain, but that's easy enough to fix. 

The labeling of different networks as home, work or private (and therefore safe or not for file sharing, etc) is a new thing on me.  I think I like it. 

While working without wires isn't the simplest matter in the world, I'm confident that my three year-old tablet can help me remain mobile and connected, even in the Vista era.


*The Cisco beta worked fine in Vista Beta 2. Citrix worked in Vista Beta 1 with Firefox (I couldn't get it to work with IE7), but stopped working. I've no idea if it is supposed to work now or not, but Netmotion's offering doesn't play well with other SSL clients, so I can't give it a try.




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