Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Things to do with your new TouchPad: Part 1

(8/27/11 Update: I have made some clarifications below thanks to additional information that I obtained.)

Since HP had a fire-sale on its discontinued TouchPad, it has become the best selling tablet (after Apple's iPad). It is estimated that 500,000 units were sold. However, most people are not familiar with webOS so I put together a series of articles.  The first part will provide some tips on what to do first with your new TouchPad.  Part 2 will provide some recommended apps to have.  Part 3 will provide information on different "hacks" for your TouchPad.  Here is Part 1 of our series:

First thing to do is update the firmware (3.0.2). Before beginning this or the next few steps, please make sure your device is fully charged.  The last thing you want is for the device to turn off while installing which may cause damage.  Anyhow, the update improves performance in addition to providing some enhancements.  Details on what the update entails can be found here.  The tablet will either update on its own or you can manually update yourself.  To check if you have the latest version, go to Updates.  There you will see if an update is available.  More information is available at the HP webOS site; link here.  Note that this can take some time depending on your Internet connection.  (Update: If you have trouble updating the firmware (say you update but the tablet still shows 3.0.0), step 2 will fix this.)

Second thing is to get the latest webOS doctor.  Because webOS servers maybe overloaded with all the new TouchPad owners, it is best to go online (using your computer not the TouchPad) and log into your webOS Account.  After logging in, go to device options and select the webOS doctor.  Make sure the tablet is fully charged. Do not update if you have low battery.  Before connecting the TouchPad to your PC, turn off the device and plug the included USB cable.  Do not plug into the computer yet.  Hold the volume button while turning on the tablet.  You should see the USB symbol on the screen.  Once you run webOS, follow the steps until it tells you to connect your TouchPad.  Connect your TouchPad to your computer via the USB cable.  The update should take place automatically.  This will update and reset your device.  It can take as little as 15 minutes to maybe an hour.

Third thing to do is disable the event logging that the TouchPad does in the background.  HP felt that constantly logging everything would make fixing things easier but it actually slows down the TouchPad.  To disable the even logging, follow these steps:
  • Go into Settings and click on "Device Info"
  • At the top left menu (named Device Info), click on "Custom Application"
  • Enter the following: ##LOGS#
  • On the subsequent Collect Logs screen, select Change Logging Levels (should be the last on the list).
  • Hit the Set Logging To Minimal & confirm.
 However, this is not sufficient enough to prevent the debugging that occurs in the background.  The developer community has produced some hacks to strip these background services which will make your TouchPad fast. 

In order to install these developer patches, you need to follow the instructions closely and avoid shortcuts.  If you are not comfortable tweaking your device, please do not attempt.  Although the risks are minimal, you are responsible for any damage done to your TouchPad and TabletConnect is not liable in any way to whatever damage your TouchPad incurs. With that disclaimer out of the way, lets begin.  First, you need to install the Preware app which allows you to install homebrew patches, apps & hacks.  We will not explain how to install this.  Please refer to this link for installing the Preware using a Windows PC or this one for Macs.  Next, once Preware is running, install EOM Overlord Monitoring which will disable the logging in the background.  After installing that, install Muffle System Logging and Remove Dropped Packet Logging.  Remove Tap Ripple is another patch that you should install to make the tablet run faster.  Once you have completed these steps, your TouchPad will run faster than before.

Fourth, here are some useful links/tips:

(Update: Tip provided but do not have the source. "If your touchpad isn't charging when plugged into the wall, this could be because of an odd quirk of the charger itself. It can be split into two pieces by twisting it and pulling it apart. Try twisting the charger back into "locked" position and you should be back in business.")

- Box.net is offering lifetime 50GB of free cloud storage with the activation of the TouchPad.  See this post
- Using Box.net as a network drive.  How to map as a network drive on your computer.
- Using Flash in webOS.
- Using Copy & Paste.
- How to reboot your TouchPad.
- How to fix Yahoo email 1299 error.
- Resizing the virtual keyboard.
- To take a screenshot, hold down Home and then press the Power button.

The following case fits the TouchPad perfectly and looks very professional.



Hope you found this useful, check back for Part 2 of our series that deals with webOS apps that you should have.  If you have other tips or recommendations, please feel free and post them here.

4 comments:

  1. very useful bro...loving my new TP!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Glad you found it useful. If anyone has any tips that they wish to share, feel free to post.

    ReplyDelete
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