Friday, April 30, 2021

Gateway (Acer) Support for GWTN141-4

Received a new Gateway (Acer rebadge) model # GWTN141-4. One of the key features was an available m.2 port that is easily accessible via the bottom of the device via 2 simple to remove screws to open the port and then just the 1 screw holding the m.2 drive in place on it's standoff.

Should be easy enough to just pop in a drive and set it up in disk management then right? You would think... I've now tried 2 separate drives initially a Mushkin 250GB and a silicon power 1TB. Neither show up in disk management in Windows. I checked in diskpart. Nothing there either. Device manager doesn't see it... What gives??

Well the laptop comes with no manual and just a single page "getting" started guide that an 8 year old would find useless.

You might think, ah well just go into the BIOS and poke around in there and make sure you can see the drive in there. Well there BIOS is about as useful as a screen door on a submarine. Nearly every option is locked down. Want to disable secure boot? Good luck.

So seeing as the information included with the laptop boils down to how to connect a charger I thought I'd contact their support to see if they had a clue. Their chat support apparently decided to abandon the chat after taking forever to respond several times. Now it won't even load... Did they blacklist me for asking a question they didn't know the answer to??

After the wonderful support experience I received online I decided to call in to the support phone number listed and ask what was going on. Fortunately after just a short wait I was greeted by a person with a thick accent and little technical knowledge. I was delighted to learn that I bought the wrong brand SSDs. Good thing they don't actually provide you with their "supported" SSD list literally anywhere. Apparently Gateway "recommends" only 2 specific SSDs whose brand names I could not understand over the phone (pretty sure one is Phison?). I asked them to email me this information and show me where someone would find this out on their own without contacting support. That email has yet to come in.

Given this seems absolutely insane that it would only support these 2 random brands without mentioning that anywhere I asked to speak with a supervisor. I was told I would have to wait for a call back. Wonderful. I'm still waiting for that callback. Will update this with more information as it comes available.

Update 1:

Turns out you can access most of the locked features of the BIOS by setting an administrator password for the BIOS... After unlocking it there is an NVMe configuration section that is accessible. Guess what it shows regardless of either drive being installed? No NVMe device detected. Wonderful. So I'm guessing I got a laptop with a dead NVMe? Who knows. Still nothing from Gateway via email or callback. 

Update 2:

While waiting for any response from Gateway I took an m.2 SATA SSD and tried installing it in the m.2 compartment and what do you know? It appeared.... So the connector is keyed m.2 NVMe but appears to only support SATA over m.2.



Saturday, November 28, 2020

Chrome Extension to embed Amazon price history

I've used the site camelcamelcamel for some to check Amazon price history. Today; however, I came across a chrome plugin called  Keepa that display the price history right below the main product listing so you can quickly check the price history. This instapot for example was actually $10 cheaper from Amazon direct at the start of this month than on their current black friday deal.


Tuesday, November 03, 2020

Forget your WiFi password? Here's a trick to reveal it in Windows 10

Forget your WiFi password? Here's a trick to reveal it in Windows 10 from a command prompt or powershell run as administrator. To quickly start an admin power shell press the Windows Key and X together then when you see a popup menu in the corner of your screen press A (Win+X -> A). Once at an admin command prompt or power shell enter the following command replacing ReplaceWithYourWifiName  with your SSID.

netsh wlan show profile ReplaceWithYourWifiName key=clear 

Sunday, October 25, 2020

CyberPanel Force HTTPS / TLS / SSL

 If you have a CyberPanel website setup and want to force access via https go to the rewrite rules for the desired site and select from the select template dropdown Force HTTP->HTTPS...

This should add an entry to your rewrite rules that will force HTTPS

Friday, September 04, 2020

Rule of the thumb for headphone impedance

Headphone output impedance should be about  or less of the headphone impedance for transparent listening.

For example for a 160 ohm headphone would be ideally connected to a 20 ohm or lower impedance headphone output.