Samsung releases drivers for Windows 8 on Series 7 Slate

slateToday, Samsung have released drivers and guidance for installing Windows 8 Consumer Preview on their Series 7 Slate.

Included are firmware and driver update directions, system backup dirextions, an updated driver for the rotation sensor, and updated firmware for the touch screen.

All information can be found at

Upcoming events that I’ll be at

I’ll be attending TechEd North America 2011 in Atlanta, GA this year. As an IT Professional, I’m looking forward to all the sessions and networking to be had. (P.S. If you’re a vendor in the SMB space and will be at TechEd, send me an e-mail. (tom at tomontech dot com) I’m always looking for new things and would love to meet up.)


I’ll be attending the 2011 Imagine Cup Worldwide Finals in New York, New York this year. The Imagine Cup is an incredible event, with students from all over the world coming together and showing of technological solutions to some of the world’s toughest problems.

Microsoft Student Insider Training – Day 0 – Welcome to Seattle

Well, after about 4 hours of travelling today, I’ve made it to Seattle.

Over the next two days, I will be at Microsoft’s global headquarters, located in Redmond, Washington. I’ll be meeting with people from all across the company, and will have the opportunity to join the Xbox team for a live taping of 1 vs. 100.

Upon arriving at my hotel this afternoon, I was greeted with an envelope containing a welcome letter from Microsoft, and a backpack filled with tons of swag.

In the backpack were the following things:

– ASUS eeePC 1005HA Netbook

– Flip UltraHD Camcorder

– Made to Stick by Chip and Dan Heath

– The Twitter Book by Tim O’Reilly and Sarah Milstein

– MSDN Cup

– Some pens

– Microsoft Dynamics Pen / Flash Drive / Laser Pointer

– New Microsoft logo’ed backpack

After getting settled into my room, myself, along with two other Insiders who had arrived at the same time (Jeremy Bray of Global Geek News, and Ryan Bucinell of DreamInCode) decided to check out the Redmond Town Center area. After we walked around for a bit, we came back upstairs and chilaxed for a bit until Jeremy had to leave to meet some family for dinner.

Ryan, who had never been to Seattle until today, and myself decided that we’d go to dinner as well, and we made reservations at Anthony’s in Seattle. We had a great evening, great food, and great conversation!

Right now I’m working on getting my laptop all ready to go for tomorrow, and I think I’m going to get some sleep. We’re all heading to Microsoft at 8am.

To stay informed about what’s going on with me and the other Student Insiders, follow along on Twitter using hashtag #MicrosoftSI, and be sure to follow me directly, I’m @tziegmann, and to follow the blog feed, follow @tomontech.

I’ll be taking tons of pictures over the next few days, and you check them out by clicking here.


Welcome Back!

After an extended period of downtime due to my web server being hacked, Tom on Tech is back!

It is my hope that over the next couple weeks to get caught up with posts about Tom on Tech’s coverage of CES, as well as other tech news.

However, I’d like to take to this time to make an announcement. I have been asked by Microsoft to join a new program called the Microsoft Student Insiders.

Here’s the description of the program as provided to me by Microsoft.

Student Insiders is a new program that engages exceptional technical community leaders who voluntarily share their expertise. Insiders are a highly select group and represent the best and brightest technical students with excellent communication skills.  They are committed to community and to helping others. 

As early adopters of new technology, Microsoft Student Insiders actively communicate their experiences to countless of other enthusiasts. Through their extensive involvement and experience, Student Insiders solve problems and discover new capabilities, helping people get the maximum value from their technology.  Student Insiders engages passionate and inspirational students for a specific technology area and provides training for students to gain skills, network, and to grow their impact.

Myself along with 6 other students from across the United States will have the opportunity to work with Microsoft on ways to help you our readers in getting the most from your computing, gaming, and media experiences. While you might be thinking that this means that we are selling ourselves out to be mouthpieces for Microsoft, this is simply not the case. We, as individual blog owners, retain all editorial control over our blogs, and we can post content that is either favorable or unfavorable towards Microsoft. What we gain from the program is the networking and opportunity to become “insiders” in different areas at Microsoft, and we will use these opportunities to produce content that we hope that will provide benefit to our readers and the community as a whole.

I’d also like to take this time to disclose that as a part of the Student Insider program, Microsoft is providing me with an ASUS eeePC 1008HA netbook, and Flip UltraHD Video Camera. Microsoft is also flying me along with the other students to Redmond next week for training and to meet with people from different product groups. Microsoft will also from time to time invite us to different Microsoft-sponsored conferences, and if we attend, Microsoft will cover all expenses relating to conference attendance.

It is my promise to you, my readers, that I will remain as objective as possible, and will try to avoid bias (unless I’m writing a post where opinion is appropriate).

Look for more next week live from Seattle where I’ll be posting and tweeting as often as I can about the new Student Insider program!


First Impression: T-Mobile G1

Yesterday, I recieved a G1 from T-Mobile to try out and play with. The G1 is the first phone to offer Google’s Android Operating System.

The design and purpose of the Android operating system is to encourage openness and innovation.

The G1 is a 3G phone which means that data connections will be significantly faster than traditional EDGE connections.

So far after 24 hours of use, I’m impressed with Android and with the G1 itself.  The G1 weighs in at about 4.1 ounces and has a solid feel.

The G1 uses an HVGA (480×320) touch screen, and for someone like me whose has big fingers, the screen is very responsive, and I’ve had very few errors with using the on-screen keyboard.

This coming week I’ll be in Las Vegas for the International Consumer Electronics Show, and I’ll be making the G1 my phone of choice for the week.

Photo gallery will be posted soon and look for full review series over the new few weeks!

Litl : Unique and Innovative Webbook

The 'Litl' Webbook
In preparing for my first ever trip to the Consumer Electronics Show, or CES, as it’s commonly referred, I stumbled upon a company called Litl.
Litl makes a webbook. A webbook is a type of laptop computer that only has access to the web, and provides applications and other resources that require the internet. In some ways, Litl has done what Google will be doing down the road with their Chrome OS.
According to Litl, “…the litl webbbok was created with a fresh approach that makes enjoying online photos and using the web, simple, enjoyable, and fun.” 
This approach involves some unique features in design, usability, and the overall experience.
The Litl features a 12 inch screen, and can be used in laptop form, or in “easel” form, as illustrated in the photo.  In easel form, the Litl can be used to watch videos, photos, or even use it in the kitchen to look at a recipe while cooking.
Litl has partnered with several companies to create “channels” for the Litl. These channels can be used to display content in new ways. The Litl has a channel for Flickr and Shutterfly, enabling you to organize your photos, view your photos, and share them with family and friends. There is also a channel for Facebook that allows you to view your friends status updates and photos in new ways. The team at Litl has created a video about the Facebook channel, and I’ve included below for your viewing pleasure.
According to Litl, they are going to have a Software Development Kit available soon for any developers interested in creating channels for the Litl. No firm date has been set for release of the Litl SDK.
I’m going to be meeting with the folks from Litl at CES in January. I’ll have more details to share about the Litl in January. Until then, the Litl is available today at the Litl Store,

24 Hours with Zune HD

Zune HD LogoOn Black Friday, I went to the Microsoft Store in Scottsdale to check out their Black Friday deals and to chat with the store’s general manager about an unrelated matter.

While in the store, I couldn’t help playing with a Zune HD while I waited to speak with the manager (who as it turns out, I missed by about 15 minutes). As I was playing with the Zune HD, I was approached by a store employee and we began to chat about the device and its software, and then he mentioned a sweet deal. Buy a Zune HD and get a $100 gift card for use at the Microsoft Store. After he mentioned that, I was hooked. I purchased right there on the spot, and I even spent a little extra to have a custom skin made for my Zune HD.

The Zune HD uses the NVidia Tegra processor which allows for 720p HD output (which requires an optional dock). Also used is flash memory instead of standard hard drives, which help to keep the device small and lightweight. According to Microsoft, the Zune HD weighs 2.6 ounces, and I can definitely say that it is lightweight. I could barely feel it in my pocket.

Once I brought my new Zune HD home, I downloaded the software from, and then connected the Zune HD. The software told me that my Zune needed new firmware, so about 5 minutes later, my Zune was all set to have content loaded. I loaded about 1000 songs, and a few movies. I also configured my Zune HD for wireless syncing so I don’t have to use the cable to sync content.

One very cool thing that I noticed was that since  my Zune was configured to connect to my wireless network, the Zune loaded information about my content. For example, I listen to the Eagles. When I selected the Eagles in my artist list, not only did it show me the albums on my Zune, it also showed me their entire discography, bio, and related artists.

Something else that I like is the screen. The screen on the Zune HD is downright beautiful. It’s an OLED screen, requires no backlight, and colors look stunning.

So far I’m very impressed with the Zune HD. I’m working on a detailed review, and should have it and pictures up by the end of this weekend.

Lenovo IdeaCentre D400 – Photo Gallery

Lenovo IdeaCentre D400: In-Depth

After playing with with the Lenovo IdeaCentre D400, I think it’s time for an in-depth review. Before I go into the review, I’d like to answer a couple questions raised in my previous post. (Click here to read my first impressions.)

1. Is there warranty coverage if the user upgrades the amount of RAM in their server? The answer to this is no. While I understand why in some respects, I don’t like how there is not an option to either purchase an upgrade at the time the server is built, or an in-warranty option. HP does this (see here for details), I’m not sure about other vendors, but I think if one can do it, what’s preventing others from doing the same?

2. I was curious as to whether or not there was a product page on the Lenovo website as I was having a hard time finding it. Lenovo has sent me the link, and you can click here to go directly to the product page on their website.

3. I asked Lenovo about their feature set and am under the impression that they IdeaCenter D400 is designed to be a no-frills server. For advanced functionality like Photo Sharing, etc., you can go to WHSPlus ( and find add-ins for the server. In talking to Lenovo, they did drop a hint that sometime next year there will be an update to their offering. I look forward to what it is!

If anyone has any further questions, please let me know on Twitter (@tomontech) or e-mail (tom at tomontech dot com).

Now on with the in-depth review!


Installation and configuration of the IdeaCentre D400 is fairly straight forward. Put in the Client Connector Software disk, let the installer download the software from the server, answer some questions and you’re all set and ready to go. However, there is one thing that I do not like about Lenovo’s installer. There are three items on the disk (Home Server Connector, LightsOut Client, and Lenovo’s EasyAccess software). Lenovo does not make it clear on the menu of the installer that to install everything, they each have to be installed separately. I think some clarification on the menu would go along way. Either that, or provide some automation where the user selects which of the three to install, and then they are installed in order automatically without further intervention by a user.

Ease of Use:

Like all of the Home Server offerings out there that use Windows Home Server, this one is no exception to how easy it is to use. Because Windows Home Server is designed to be as consumer friendly as possible, ease of use is very important. Lenovo does a great job of making the server easy to use, with the only exception being the confusion on the software install menu. There is a piece of software that Lenovo includes called EasyAccess, and this software automatically makes the shares on the server appear in your Computer window. Their tab they add to the Windows Home Server Console is very well thought out, and presents important information very clearly.

Server Recovery:

In the event that something happens to the server and a reinstallation of the server software is needed, Lenovo provides a DVD that will perform the recovery. The recovery software is wizard driven, and is very straightforward.  Recovery does take some time, depending on network configuration, and other factors, so be prepared to go for a walk, drink some coffee, read a book, or watch paint dry.


I’m in love with the price point of the IdeaCentre D400. $499 will get you the 1TB model and $599 will get you the 2TB model. With the holiday season rolling around, there may be some deals to be had on the IdeaCentre D400.


Lenovo has a very strong offering here with the IdeaCentre D400. I like that it does not come preloaded with tons of potentially useless extras, and that documentation provided is very easy to follow. While I’m biased towards the design of the HP MediaSmart Server (been an owner since they were first produced), the design of the IdeaCentre D400 has definitely grown on me.  I definitely think that the IdeaCentre can be a great contender in the Home Server space, and I think that now that we have many vendors selling Home Servers we will see some great things in the future.

On a personal note, I’d like to thank the fine folks at Lenovo for providing the IdeaCentre D400 for review. Thank you Lenovo!

Introduction to Office 2010 Click-to-Run

Beginning with the introduction of Office 2010, Microsoft is introducing a new delivery mechanism for Office, called Click-to-Run. This technology enables a user to only download parts of the software that the need, rather then install everything at once.

As a part of the release of the Office 2010 Beta, you can download and try out Office 2010 Home and Business edition using the Click-to-Run technology. Click here to download Office 2010 Home and Business Edition.

The way that Click-to-Run works is that a user downloads a small file (2MB in size). This file contains information about the product to be installed, and creates shortcuts, sets file associations, etc. When an application in the suite is launched, it downloads certain parts of the software to allow them to be functional, and then downloads new features the first time they are launched.

Below are some screenshots of the Click-to-Run experience.