Getting thermal information on Dell Precision Mobile Workstations

If you have ever experienced thermal issues, other heat issues or general slowness on a Dell Precision Laptop then this little gem might be right up your alley. I can confirm that this works on a Dell M4400 laptop but I suspect it will work on a variety of other Dell laptops or mobile workstations as well. This may be useful if you are suffering suspected CPU Throttling, suspected heat issues, or anything else that may be related to the speed/heat/health of your laptop CPU.

WARNING: This should only be done if you are a savvy with IT and have knowledge surrouding the precice inner workings of the system. In other words if you are not an IT Professional/Expert you should NOT be doing this I guarantee it will not make any sense.

On your laptop keyboard (not an attached keyboard it must be on the laptop itself):

  1. Press and hold Fn (function key) and Shift
  2. While holding the above two keys press the following numerical sequence “15324”
  3. Let go of the Fn and Shift Keys
  4. The lights at the top of the keyboard should now be flashing or at least responding differently than they would normally
  5. Then you can press Fn and the letter R to get a wealth of information relating to the thermal health of the laptop.

I know that Fn + T will also work with some additional information I am not sure what other little gems are hidden under this mode.

PLEASE NOTE: I put this here purely for educational purposes, you go into such engineer modes at your own risk and I can not be held responsible for what you may break if you do.

Otherwise 😉 Enjoy


The iPad + Numbers with Microsoft Windows + Excel

Spreadsheets on the iPadHave you ever wondered how on earth you can export spreadsheets from Numbers on the iPad to Microsoft Excel? I have and much to my dismay I found the above combination of software may as well be known as a royal pain in the proverbial rear end. Recently I decided as part of my studies in photography I would use Apple’s Numbers application for the iPad to capture a series of information for each of the shots I was taking on a roll of film (yes that is correct, film… not digital LOL).

Much to my dismay I found that once I had filled out the spreadsheet, the only formats that I could export from the Numbers application were either to Apple Numbers, or PDF. However as my main computer is a PC I obviously don’t have Numbers as the iWork suite is only available for Apple OSX.

Therefore I found myself in the difficult situation of how to get the file across to my computer so that I could convert it and continue work on it in Microsoft Excel. In the end I figured out the only way was to do the following:

  1. In the Numbers application on the iPad select the cells you wish to copy and copy them by tapping on the selected cells once and select copy
  2. Open up a word processing application on the iPad, in this case I chose DocsToGo
  3. Create a new word document and paste the text in
  4. Email this to yourself and open it on your PC
  5. Copy the text by selecting it all and clicking Ctrl + C
  6. Paste this into a new excel workbook. Obviously you lose any formatting however you get the data over and it will correctly place it into rows and colums.

Until such a time as Apple enables the ability to export to a competitors format I would strongly recommend that you use a different app (such as DocsToGo) that natively supports the Microsoft Office formats so that you do not run into these issues.

If anyone has any other ideas I would welcome hearing how you get around this frustrating issue.

Fix: VMWare vSphere Host Update Utility for ESXi

Recently I ran into an issue with the VMWare vSphere Host Update Utility that was causing it to report that my ESXi server was up to date when I was well aware that several newer builds were available. After much poking around on the web and coming up trumps I had to set to work to attempt to resolve the issue myself. Therefore I managed to devise this procedure which should hopefully resolve issues when the vSphere Host Update Utility is ignoring updates or in other words simply not detecting that updates were available.

I found a relatively simple procedure which should clear the cache out and cause the vSphere Host Update Utility to do a complete rescan of the host and correctly detect that there are updates available. Due to the newest release of vSphere 4.1 which no longer uses the Host Update Utility this affects only versions 4.0 and earlier (though I was experiencing it with ESXi 4.0 U1 myself)

To resolve the issue follow these steps:

  1. Load up the Host Update Utility and remove the host causing issues from the list
  2. Uninstall both the VMWare vSphere Host Update utility and the VMWare vSphere Client
  3. Reboot your computer
  4. Install the vSphere client and Host Update Utility Again (for good measure I put these in a different folder to the original)
  5. Load up the Host Update Utility, add back the ESXi Host and scan for the patches (You should now see any new patches available).

I hope that this can help someone else out as I have to say it drove me up the wall for some time.

If anyone has any simpler way of this I would certainly welcome it.