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Please direct all Sony U questions to the Sony U forums listed below.
Greyhat does not have any Sony U drivers or software available from this site for download, except for Uaddict's UBoard.
All Sony U drivers and software are provided in the posted external links, except for Uaddict's UBoard.
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The Sony U50, U70P, U8G, U8C, U750P, and U71P FAQ
The Sony U, the Original UMPC
Microsoft UMPC Homepage: link
Micrsoft UMPC Hardware Specifications: link
Windows XP Tablet PC Edition 2005 OS
Approximately 7" diagonal display (or smaller)
Minimum 800 x 480 resolution
Approximately 2 pounds
Integrated touch panel
WiFi- and Bluetooth-enabled
Sony U Background Information:
The Sony VGN-U50 and VGN-U70P was, at its release on May 30, 2004, the smallest personal computer running Windows XP and most powerful high-end Palmtop available at the moment. It is smaller than two DVD cases stacked on top of each other. At this small size you have the power of a Pentium-M 1 GHz with a 800x600 passive touch screen (which can be manipulated with a finger and any type of stylus) , internal 802.11g Wifi, sound, trackstyk, and the expandability through a Compact Flash and a Memory Stick slot, and a small docking station that can be used to connect desktop peripherals like a large LCD, printer, keyboard and mouse, and other USB 2.0 and Firewire devices such as DVD dual layer burners.
There are six different variants of the U series, varying on CPU speed, memory, hard drive capacity, and area availability. The first of the series to come out was the U50 and the U70P in Japan. The American model is the U750P. A U8G model was introduced for some south Asian countries.
With the extended battery, the U series can operate 5.5 hours without being recharged and can operate for almost an entire day using Standy and Hibernate mode. Instant on operation can almost be achieved by using Windows Standby, requiring just under 3 seconds for the U to be fully operational.
Sony U Model Number Decoder:
U - Designates Model U
X - Designates Asian Model
XX - Designates Japanese Model
XXX - Designates North American Model
XN+1 (N=0) - Designates Next Model
P - Designates XP Professional Operating System
Sony U Specifications
Basic Features of Sony U Models: (by release date)
VGN-U50 Released in Japan, Intel Celeron-M 900MHz, 256MB RAM, 512KB cache, 400MHz System Bus, 266MHz Memory Bus, 20GB hard drive, XP Home
VGN-U70P Released in Japan, Intel Pentium-M 1.0GHz, 512MB RAM, 1MB cache, 20GB hard drive, XP Professional
VGN-U8G Released in Singapore and is a re-branded VGN-U50 with the same specifications
VGN-U8C Released in China and is a re-branded VGN-U50 with the same specifications
VGN-U750P Released in North America, Intel Dothan Pentium-M 1.1GHz, 512MB RAM, 2MB cache, 20GB hard drive, XP Professional
VGN-U71P Released in Japan, Intel Dothan Pentium-M 1.1GHz, 512MB RAM, 2MB cache, 30GB hard drive, XP Professional
- 64MB Shared VRAM
- Intel 855GM Chipset
- 5 " SVGA TFT
- 800 x 600 internal resolution
XBrite display using an Intel 855GM chipset capable of some 3D graphics
- Sound blaster compatible audio
- *Gunze passive touch screen
*Passive touch screen means that no special pen is required for input. A finger can be used on the screen, but overall accuracy is less than a active digitizer. Although the passive touch screen implementation on the Sony U is very accurate and costs $699 to replace (so don't drop any liquid on the U).
Integrated I/O and peripherals:
- 100BASE-TX / 10BASE-T LAN via provided dongle
- 802.11 b/g Wireless LAN with on/off hardware switch
- Stereo headset input (no audio/microphone input);
- CF Card Slot;
- Memory Stick slot
- USB 2.0 x1
I/O and peripherals on the docking:
- USB 2.0 x4
- i.Link (Firewire) *This is a problem if you are a photographer looking to use the U since most high-end digital cameras only come with a Firewire port. Consider carrying a no-pc required Firewire enclosure such as the X Drive II+ (below)
- VGA Out
Dimensions and Weight:
- 6.57 x 4.25 x 1.03 [inch]
167mmÃ— 108mmÃ— 26.4mm
- 1.21 lbs / 550g (with standard battery)
Power and Misc Features :
- Tablet-style uPC/handtop
- No integrated keyboard
- 24W (100-240V) or Sony Yellow tip power adapter
- Standard Battery: 2 .5 hours
Enhanced Battery: 5.5 hours
- Windows XP PRO
- Standby button
- Screen rotate button (screen and mouse/touch screen rotation supported in portrait and landscape orientations)
- Docking station
- Stereo headset with control unit
- Display/LAN adapter
- Case for U and external USB keyboard
- Wireless on/off switch
- Power switch
- CTL-ALT-DEL reset button
- Bios reset button
- Directional buttons
- Mouse and trackstick buttons
Sony U, Sharp Muramasa, and HP iPAQ 2215 Review and Comparison
U101 and U50
U101 (open) and U70P
Sony U750P, Moleskine, Sharp Zaurus SL-C3000, and Toshiba e800
Sony U70 and Leapster
Sony U, HP iPAQ 2215, Apple iPod, Nokia 3660, and US Dollar Bill
Sony U and Sony TR
U50, U101, PCG-TR2L, and NX80
Considersations Before Buying uPC - Handtop:
Sony U Maintenance
There have been several reports that the U thumbstick becomes sticky and breaks off.
Replacement caps are available from Sony for $29/pack. (message 5210 at YahooGroups)
The cap sensor is the correct part for replacing the white part of the trackstick.
The part number for the cap sensor is 4-681-950-01 and it costs $7.22 USD plus tax & shipping.
Sony parts: link
The pointer is one assembly that consists of a circuit card with a plastic track point.
The exposed parts are listed as two different part numbers. It isn't clear from the picture what these two are, but the "cap" appears to fit over the end of the track point stick and the "cover" a part that sits over the "cap". Thus it would appear that the "cover" is the part with the white rubber center.
Regular glue does not fix this.
Fix: Replacing the cap sensor requires significant disassmbly of the unit; however, it is a simple operation once the U is opened.
Quick Fix: A fix report was made that did not use the replacement part and no need for disassembly. Remove the chrome ring and the lower rubber parts (which deteriorated) and clean out the sticky green stuff. Then I simply put one of the black Sony U101 thumbstick tops onto the bare brass pointer rod. These fit well, as if this part had been the originally intended configuration. The style is different than the OEM thumbstick, but it provides better feeling and control
than the original thumbstick, probably because of a more rigid finger/thumbstick coupling.
*The thumbstick is not the cover sensor, which is the round silver piece.
Is available for $7 from Sony (message 5212 at YahooGroups)
Firewire CDrom Boot Issue Resolution
If you remove the battery from the back of the U, there is a small pinhole (for a paperclip). Stick a paperclip in the pinhole and this will reset the bios settings. Depressing this button has allowed several users to boot from their PCGA-CRWD2 or PCGA-CRWD1 devices.
This issue has been reported only a few older machines, but, once appears, manifests very quickly and appears to be heat related. After waking from hibernate mode, the screen acts strangely--the screen goes sort of grey with a scrolling white line that leaves a trail behind it or the colours start to look like a negative image. Users report that they never turn off the U, instead using hibernate mode, so the unit would become quite warm. Sometimes, a little pressure on the unit makes the screen issue go awaym but only for a minute. When the U is turned completely off and cools down, the problem disappears.
Resolution: Replace the screen.
Temporary fixes: Turning the machine off instead of putting it in hibernate mode also helps because it lets the U cool. Appyling a little pressure to the top of the device also seems to fix it.
Sony U Repair:
For U750P: Call Sony USA
For any other model:
Repair Option 1: One must go back to the country of origin where that specific U model was sold.
*You're out of luck if you are not in the country of release and do not speak Japanese.
e-mail-- sales chiby dot com
*Greyhat has no relationship with Chiby, but there are various positive reports at YahooGroups (message 5554) and they are a well-known and trustworthy Japanese import technology company.
Repair Option 3: A single positive report has been filed at YahooGroups to Laptopteks in Florida (message 5597).
The YahooGroups reported that a U that wouldn't power up cost $250 plus bi-directional shipping.
VGN-U50, U750P, and U71P Death Watch
The U750P (North America) and the U50 and U71P (Japan) are the current models of the Sony U-series.
This section exists to track the availability of the Sony U from Sony, other retailers, and importers.
Current U750P US links:
The U750P is no longer available for purchase (as of 073005)
The Double capacity battery is no longer available for purchase (as of 073005)
(Sony Vaio U Learning Center)
(Sony Vaio U Learning Center Accessories)
U Retailers (North American)
(Discontinued selling U750P as of 3/05)
(Discontinued selling U750P as of 3/05)
(No longer available online and low in-store stock)
(No longer available online as of 10/05)
(No longer available online as of 10/05)
(U750P no longer available online, but some accessories still available)
Best prices for Asian models (no import, but great for reference): link
Sony U Sites and Forums
DailyGadget Blog: link
iCube VAIO Type-U Forum: link
JKontheRun Forum: link
JKontheRun Blog: link
Kemplar U Forum: link
Leog Fujitsu Forum (U70): link
PDABuyersGuide Subnotebook Forum: link
Tablet PC Buzz Forum: link
NO LONGER IN OPERATION (as of 05/05)
UAddict Forum: link
NO LONGER IN OPERATION (as of 05/05)
Wikipedia - Sony U Wiki: link
YahooGroups U70 Forum: link
Original Sony U Models (pre-2004 integrated keyboard-style uPCs)
PCG-U1 Released in Japan, Transmeta Crusoe TM5800 867MHz, 256/384MB RAM, 20GB hard drive, 6.4" XGA TFT, ATI Mobility Radeon-M chipset, 1024 x 768 pixels @16bpp, Type IIx1 CardBus compatible PCMCIA, integrated USBx2, integrated 4-pin Firewire, integrated 10/100 Ethernet, Microphone, Headphone/audio-out, Memory Stick Slot, and dimensions of 7.3" x 5.5" x 1.2" at 1.8 pounds.
PCG-U3 Released in Japan, Transmeta Crusoe TM5800 933MHz and 256/512MB RAM. Equivalent specs to U1.
PCG-U101 Released in Japan, Mobile Intel Celeron 600A, 256/512MB RAM, 30GB hard drive, 7.1" XGA TFT, integrated 802.11b, and dimensions of 7.5" x 5.5" x 1.3" at 1.94 pounds. Remaining specs equivalent to U1 and U3.
More information on older U models:
THE REST OF THIS GUIDE WILL BE DEDICATED TO THE CURRENT SONY U MODELS
Sony U Facts:
- The U is not pocketable, but is ultraportable and powerful enough to be a notebook replacement.
- All U-series models look the same, have the same dimensions, and have the same weight.
- The 5" screen is surprisingly crisp with readable fonts (standard PDA screen is 3").
- The U screen is brighter than the OQO 01/01+ period (we own both devices).
- Transreflective screen excels in sunlight, office light, and in the dark, with or without backlight.
- Native screen resolution is 800x600 for all models with a 4:3 aspect ratio.
- External monitor screen resolution is 1600x1200 using the docking station or the included VGA/Ethernet adapter.
- Can be used in multi-monitor mode and in dual display mode.
- Passive touch screen (Gunze) does not require a stylus and can be manipulated with a finger (similar to a PPC/PDA).
- Built-in portrait and landscape viewing modes (screen rotation) using built-in U hardware button.
- Screen rotation works for various games such as MAME.
- Hardware buttons can be reassigned using Sony Notebook Setup or by vaiouup_e.exe
(able to map the button in one way automaticaly when you launch an application A and in a totaly other way when we launch an app B).
- Built-in resolution zoom option from 640x480 to 1600x1200.
- Integrated 802.11b/g wireless card has very good reception.
- There is no integrated keyboard, making the Sony U-series more of a PDA/PocketPC-style device or a mini-Tablet when XP Tablet Edition is running.
- Sony does not offer the option to install XP Tablet Edition on the Sony U.
- Allows convenience and portability to leave the keyboard and CD drive behind if you do not intend to use them.
- No built-in microphone or microphone jack. If needed, an external USB microphone adapter or USB microphone is required.
- For video conferencing, integrated camera and a microphone USB Webcams are available.
- No built-in Bluetooth. If needed, an external USB or CF Bluetooth card is needed.
- No built-in modem. If needed, an external USB or CF modem card is needed.
- No PCMCIA slot.
- The PCMCIA controller that runs the CF Slot is Cardbus, although U Cardbus cannot be used because the CF interface is only 16bit.
- A CF-to-PCMCIA adapter will allow 16bit PC Cards to function in a U.
- Test results
show that there is essentially no difference in CPU performance between the U50 and the U70P, where the only difference appears when running multiple applications and the additional 256MB RAM in the U70P assists performance.
- Hardware scroll keys are 4 way only.
- Hardware scroll keys are the only hardware keys that will bring the machine out of standby; turning on key-lock will disable this.
- Center "enter" button in the middle of the hardware scroll keys is hard to push without clicking on a direction as well, you have to use a thumbnail to use this key.
- Sony docking station does not work without power.
- The first button on the docking station is for Gigapocket Video Download Manager.
- The Firewire (1394) port is located on the docking station only and is an unpowered 4-pin Firewire port.
- U70P should have slightly better battery life than the U50 because its Centrino CPU uses less power when on "idle" and "sleep" modes.
- U750P should have slightly better battery life than the U70 because the Dothan CPU is more efficient and uses less power than the Centrino.
- To get a feel for the overall size of the Sony U-series, fold an 8.5" x 11" piece of paper to one quarter of its size and add 1" to the length.
- The U1, U3, and U101 are a completely different type of larger Sony U device with an integrated keyboard.
- The Sony U cannot be charged via the USB port.
Assumptions with U use:
- Sony makes excellent gadgets, but they come at a price, gadgets and accessories are very expensive, and parts may be of limited supply.
- In order to use the U and unlock certain features, it's best to have a Sony Firewire, PCMCIA, and USB CD or DVD drive.
- Sony products are made for the fast-paced Japanese market, do not expect U models to last more than 6 months and U accessories to be available after 1.5 years.
Sony U Model Notes
The Sony U50, U70P, U8G, U8C, U750P, and U71P models all share the same accessories:
- Lithium-ion Battery (VGP-BPS1 and VGP-BPL1)
- Stylus and strap (A-1074-714-A) $62.95
- Docking station with port replicator (VGP-PRU1) $230
- VGA/Ethernet dongle
- AC adapters (VGP-AC16V7 - Sony tip 16V) $50
- Fold-up USB Keyboard (VGP-KBC1) $220
- Remote control and headphones (RM-VSC1)
- Multi-pointer replacement caps for the keyboard above
- XP drivers
*Sony software is device locked, so application recovery CD drives for the U750P will not work for any other model. There are hacks, but Sony has done a good job in making extraction efforts difficult. Greyhat has seen successful Sony application CD extractions for Sony Picturebooks.
**The performance of the U50 appears to be similar to the U70 where the additional 256Mb memory difference of the U70 provides a performance advantage over the U50.
Sony U FAQ:
It is a known occurrence that the multi-pointer cap breaks on the Sony U (search Yahoo Groups: Cap broken off multi-pointer) as the cap is held on by a green gel. If the Sony U is under warranty, Sony will fix the unit, but it has to be shipped to them. The cap can be held in place by using some type of silicon glue or gum ;) .
Greasy look on screen, bubbles under screen film, condensation in the screen, and any dark spots in the screen indicate a problem with the touch screen. The Sony U screen needs to be replaced. Typical cost is $800 for the Sony Service department to fix the U.
DIY Issue: Thumbstick becomes sticky and basically wears off.
Fix: Remove the white rubber completely and clean it out. Then increase the sensitivity. It'll work ok (thought not as
well as before).
Configuring the Sony U CPU Speed/Performance
Start --> Program Files --> Sony tools -->VAIO power management --> VAIO power management viewer
Change the system's thermal control and performance should increase as temperature is increased (the hotter it is, the faster it goes)
Sony U Input Methods
Since the U does not have a built-in keyboard or thumboard, alternative input methods are required in order to use the Sony U.
Input Methods (listed in order)
1. USB Keyboard
Since these are not integrated to the U, a desk or other flat surface is required for typing. Couch or lap-only use (or Errr...bathroom use) is difficult with this accessory.
- Sony U OEM USB foldable keyboard
- Fellowes USB foldable keyboard
- Other USB foldable keyboard
2. Hand Writing Recognition (HWR)
Learning is required and has recognition accuracy around 95% at best and 90% on average; therefore editing is required to ensure proper input. Input of mixed case, numeric, and symbols (e.g. inputing a userid and password) is very diffifult using this input method. HWR also allows one to use the U in one hand, use the touchscreen or HWR with the other hand and can be used at a desk, on the couch, or on the "thrown". Both HWR software packages are excellent, although all reports and personal experience proves that XP Tablet OS HWR is superior.
- Windows XP Tablet 2005 (XP SP2) is excellent and free with the operating system. There have been comments about performance issues, but we have not experienced "performance issues" running Tablet. XP Tablet OS is expensive and requires an MSDN license.
- ritePen 2.5 is an excellent XP companion and worth the additional money for the U50, U70P, and U71P. ritePen 2.0 comes with the U750P (only English model), but the upgrade to 2.5 is worth the money for more accurate input and for editing.
3. Bluetooth Keyboard
This is another keyboard. Input accuracy is good. The pitfalls to this device is carrying around another device roughly the size of an OQO with the Sony U for input, pairing of Bluetooth (there may be drops), and battery life (as this device requires its own power).
- ThinkOutside BT Foldable Keyboard
4. USB Thumboard
This device is almost too small, missing essential keys for "full" keyboard or thumboard use, is a standalone thumboard and does not have an attachment for the U, and does not have sticky keys (e.g. performing CTL-ALT-DEL is like playing Twister with your fingers...it's a gymnastic effort).
- dreamGEAR MINI-key USB Thumb Board
5. Voice Recognition (VR)
Learning is required and has recognition accuracy around 90% at best and 80% on average; therefore editing is required to ensure proper input. Input of mixed case, numeric, and symbols (e.g. inputing a userid and password) is almost impossible using this input method.
- IBM Dragon Naturally Speaking
Sony U50 Memory Options
The additional 256Mb memory for the U50 only sold in Japan and costs $400 (the difference in the retail price of the U50 and the U70P).
*If you are a U50 owner looking to upgrade your memory, you need to find a supplier selling the OEM Sony U memory. Perhaps we can get a importer helping the U50 owners?
Looks like Conics.net is selling the Sony U 512Mb memory module for $426: link
The Sony U50 and U70P do not use a SODIMM connector, they use a stacking connector.
Photo of the Sony U memory module: Here
NOTE: The problem in finding memory for the U50 is that it is unclear that any other device uses a memory module with this sort of connector for there to be 3-rd party suppliers. (Thanks A.Anuff)
****DO NOT buy the memoryx.net memory below (Yahoo Groups message 4684 indicated that this company gave a U owner a hassle for returning the inappropriately listed memory).
The following website (memoryx.net
) claims that they sell the elusive memory upgrade, but Yahoo Groups users have reported that this memory does not work
with the U50: link
-Additional info added regarding non-compatible memory upgrade from memoryx.net - (Thanks R.Cohen for buying it and verifying that this memory does not work with the U):
"I bought one anyway to try, and I can confirm, the memory module sold by MemoryX does not work with the VGN Ux Vaios. It is completely wrong, not even close. The SODIMM is significantly larger (like, nearly 1/2" too large) than the space provided in the Vaio, and the edge connector is totally wrong, besides.
Note, I did a search of the U70 group on Yahoo and wasn't able to find any comments one way or the other regarding this memory. You should update your web page to reflect the information provided above. The comment as-is will probably lead others to waste their time and effort giving it a try, too!"
We have not confirmed whether or not the following sites offer the 256Mb memory upgrade for the U50:
*If any one would like to try them and report back to us, that would be appreciated.
- satech.com (appears to only sell Compact Flash memory for the U50)
- kahlon.com is not clear on whether they have the special U50 memory
Arch Memory (below) DOES NOT work with the Sony U and Greyhat has a confirmation that Arch stands behind their memory guarantee (good job Arch for being honest).
"The archmemmory for the Sony u50 which is listed on the Greyhat site does not work. The connecter is on the end and not on the bottom like the Sony ram. Just wanted to let you know so you could update the site." - J. Rhodes
062103 Update: "ArchMemory has given me a complete refund including the original express shipping costs for the incorrect Sony U memory. They stated that Sony gave them the wrong specs." -Jon Rhodes
- DOES NOT WORK: Arch Memory appears to guarantee their memory and claims to have the memory available for $128.99: link
512MB DDR333 Microdimm AM51660
512MB 172pin DDR333 (PC2700) Micro-DIMM - Major Brand
- DOES NOT WORK: 1gb memory for U50, U70, U71, U750 from NotebookdrivesOutlet: link
Several suppliers have claimed that the U50/U70 can use the same "Micro-DIMMs" that work in the PCG-U101 and the Panasonic R2, which is incorrect.
The module on the page you linked is just a standard SO-DIMM, used in regular full-size notebooks. No way will it fit in the U50. The U50/U70 etc. use a special RAM
module (not a DIMM) that AFAIK is not used in any other device. -C.Ferebee
Standby, Hibernate, Power-On Information
Instant On (Similar to the PocketPC and PDAs)
U70 running XP Tablet Edition 2005 (SP2)
Bootup time (through auto-logon): 1 minute 41 seconds
Wake from Suspend (Standby): < 2 seconds
Go to Suspend: ~3 seconds
Wake from Hibernation: ~10 seconds (in /out)
Standby and the Docking Cradle
Standby and the docking cradle have been proven to work in 2 modes:
1. U can be running and removed from dock without issue.
2. U can be placed in Standby while in dock, later removed and unsuspended, and the U resumes without issue.
*In general, it is safe to put the Sony U into standby and then remove it from the docking station, power it back up, use it, return it to standby, return it to the docking station, and then power it back up.
Sony U70 Autopsy
Sony U p0rn pictures of U50, U8C, & U70P disassembled
U8C: link 1
(3 pages in Chinese) link 2
(8 pages) Very detailed pictures, but slow download times (be patient).
U70: link 1 link 2
Disaster story about detailed account on how to disassemble a U quickly: link
Interesting Sony Included Software
VAIO Media: link
Software of interest U50/U70P: link
OpenMG - Copyright management, protection, and online distribution technology for digital content such as
music (i.e. for playing recording MP3 and ATRAC3 by Sony).
Do Vaio - Japanese only multimedia software for playing MP3 music.
Standalone Sony Software:
Sony U Hardware Buttons:
Button label and photos: link
Rotate Button - Rotates screen to native landscape and portrait (directional button are at the bottom)
Zoom Button - Allows user to focus in on a specific area of the screen
Wireless LAN on/off Switch - Enables/disables Wireless card
Brightness Control - Controls backlight and screen brightness
Scroll/ Right Click/ Left Click/ Cursor Keys/ Enter - Directional button
Function selector Button - Launches U and XP applications
Mouse Button (Left/Right/Middle-Center-Scroll)
Standby (instant on/off) Button - Mapped hardware button to immediately wake and suspend U from operation
Hold Switch - Prevents button pushes and screen from changing the system
Power on/off Switch
Ctrl+Alt+Delete - "Reset" hole has the same effect as Ctrl+Alt+Delete and is the tiny hole on the right side of the U near the WiFi switch
Bios reset - Tiny unmarked button resets BIOS to factory default settings located under the battery in the center of the U
Sony Notebook Setup (aka reassigning Hardware Buttons)
Download SNS that works with the Sony U: link
Overview (wrong version but helpful): link
This program allows you to:
-Access nearly all of the BIOS options right from Windows XP including device boot order, power-on password,
-Assign hardware buttons (Normal, Portrait, and Docking Station),
*For the Sony U English conversion for XP Tablet OS, the NextText button (#6) was reassigned to the XP Tablet Input Panel (TIP).
- Change Bass boost,
- Modify resolution, and
- Assign Desktop settings.
Information on Utility Plus: link
Rotate Button limitations (Display)
Rotates 0 (Landscape)
Rotates 90 (Portrait)
Rotation halts most games.
Things not to lose
Proprietary Sony VGA/Ethernet Adapter
This device makes the U very portable, providing external monitor or projector connectivity (for presentations) for the U and 10/100 Ethernet network connectivity while away from home, in the office, or on the road.
sell this as a separate part (as of 070705 thanks Stan M).
VAIO U VGA/LAN dongle
VGA CABLE ASSY (S)
Accessory Number: A1068876A
Unit Price (in USD): $103.01
Sony Parts Center: link
*You can also replace this adapter is by using eBay.
Tritton SEE2 USB 2.0 USB SVGA Adapter
External monitor display alternative $80: link
*This adapter only provides extended Windows display in two modes and does not support mirroring (although the Sony U provides this ability using the included VGA/Ethernet adapter):
- Sony U screen primary and external monitor connected to the U as the extended display.
- The external monitor connected to the U as the primary and the Sony U screen as the extended display.
*AC Power Adapter is actually OK to lose because it is a generic supply (see below for more details Compatible Power Adapters).
Interesting Applications of the Sony U
Aibo, Home Security, and Web Conferencing: link
Car Mounting Solutions:
*Car GPS setup changed from a USB Earthmate to a SIRFIII CF-based card. For others who want to repeat the experience, it needs the external antenna to get a fix.
Virtual Bluetooth Keyboard Sony U750P
Sony U Cases
Case comparisons at YahooGroups U70 messages 2376, 2490, & 3220
There are 2 strap holders on the top left and right sides (number 14 and 18). link
The Stylus comes strapped to the U50 on the right side.
You could easily find a purse, glasses, or case strap to carry the U750P exactly like a laptop case if you want to wear it like a sign (or purse).
Other options not specifically made for the Sony U:
- Very small 6" x 3.75" leather planner (e.g. Day Runner, Franklin Covey, etc.)
- Scott eVest
- Cargo pants/shorts
- Fanny pack
- Pygmy Pouch: link
- The Sony U's fit in Gameboy cases: link
- PDA Plus link
- Small messenger bag such as a Tumi Leather Small Travel Tote #TU912: link
- Paragon Sports Zurich Mini Sling Pack: link
- Alternative Cases (joke): link
Also if you want to carry the Sony U keyboard, when folded it is roughly 170x120x17mm which is the same length and width as the Sony U itself.
- Untested on the U, but should work with velcro
Dash Mount Table Stand Document or dreamGEAR MINI-Key Holder Keyboard Stand
The Fin Stylus that comes with the Sony U is interesting, but feels awkward so you will most likely replace it.
The Sony U-series does not have a stylus slot.
The U-series stylus is attached to a lanyard through an available eyelet on the top, right and left corners of the U.
Any PocketPC or Palm PDA stylus can be used on the Sony U touch screen.
There are 2 lanyard posts on the top right and left of the U.
Coach electronics lanyard: link
Sony U-series Standard battery VGP-BPS1 (1800 mah)
Sony U-series Enhanced battery VGP-BPL1 (3600mAh)
Note-NSN022 (after market 4200mAh battery): link Greyhat has not tested this, but YahooGroups post 5111 and 5113 indicates that it fits, works with the U, and feels cooler with the U, but provides only comparable battery life.
ELSN020MO1 (after market 2100mAh battery): link Greyhat has not tested this. If someone purchases this battery, please email us to confirm that it works.
*Comparison Photos: link
**The Sony U battery and AC power adapter as hot swappable. As long as the unit is powered by either/or/and a battery/AC power, the unit is useable.
***When the U is in hibernation, the battery can be replaced without AC power.
****The Sony U cannot be charged via the USB port. You must use a power supply.
U50 w/standard battery VGP-BPS1, Wifi on, and with Ultimate battery setting lasts about 2 hrs 30 min
U50 w/enhanced battery VGP-BPL1, Wifi off, and with Ultimate battery setting lasts about 5-5.5 hrs
*Battery life with 802.11b/g enabled/disabled do not appear to affect overall battery life.
**This is a good article to prolong the life of the Sony U Lithium-based battery: link
All rechargeable batteries have a finite number of charge-discharge cycles.
For Lithium-ion batteries, half charging is better for the battery than full charging.
For the Sony, it has been suggested that it is best to keep it on AC whenever possible and never run all the way down.
Battery Life Comparisons
The Sony U standard battery is only slightly better than the OQO standard battery.
Although the Sony has an extended battery which should effectively double the mark to 326, which is close to 3x the OQO. OQO does not have an extended battery.
Battery life (Higher numbers indicate better performance)
BAPCo MobileMark 2002 battery life in minutes
- Sony VAIO VGN-U50 - 163
- Sharp Actius MM20 - 148
- OQO Model 01 - 135
* Information obtained from the following source: link
Targus (tip 19)
Compatible Power Adapters
- The Sony power supply is 16V at around 2 amps (e.g. Sony AC16V8, VGP-AC16V7, etc.).
- Charge in the car, at home/work, and it also can be plugged into a boat or airplane.
Kensington Universal Power Adapter (Sony power adapter tip)
Targus Universal Power Adapter (Sony power adapter tip #19 as reported on YahooGroups)
Sony 16V 3.75A Power Adapter PCGA-AC16V1 AC Adaptor: link
Fujitsu AC adapter P/N S26391-F2496-L400 for the Lifebook S60XX / T3010 series
IBM P/N 85G6734
Targus supply (CompUSA)
iGo Juice (above) - Doubles as both an AC and DC adapter
Compatible Auto Power Adapter
U50 with an inverter: example
Kensington auto model 33051: link
*Sorry for the incorrect info sandiwayfong.
Alternative Auto Power Supply
Using one of the Compatible Power Adapters above, a power inverter can be plugged into the cigarette or power ports of an automobile and the standard 120V AC adapter can be plugged into the Power Inverter.
APC Part Number : PNOTEAC350 ($60)
APC Mobile Power Auto DC to AC Inverter, 0VA/350W, Input 12VDC/Output 120V: link
Hard Drive Upgrade Options
Officially, the Sony U can only fit 54mm (1.8") width and 5mm thick hard drives.
*The original drive in all but the U71P is the 20GB Toshiba MK2004GAL 1.8" hard drive with100MB/s Ultra DMA transfer rate, 4200 RPM, and 15ms average seek time.
5mm Hard Drive Upgrade Options:
Toshiba MK2004GAL 20GB, 54mm x 78.5mm x 5mm Available (Google search for it)
Toshiba MK3006GAL 30GB, 54mm x 78.5mm x 5mm:
Toshiba MK4007GAL 40GB, 54mm x 78.5mm x 5mm Not Available (can be stripped from an iPod)
8mm Hard Drive Upgrade Options:
-Not a perfect fit and requires U internal modifications or, at most, a 1mm gap in the Sony U case.
Drive Solutions, Inc.
SONY VAIO-VGN-U70P Hard drive Upgrade 40.0 GB ATA/100 4200 RPM 8mm
15MS 512KB: Available $185
*There is room for a 6.5 or 7mm drive, but the 8mm drive causes a slight gap (1mm) in the outside plastics of the U. The top portion of the drive rests against the back of the LCD on the 8mm drives. It has been reported by several different upgraders that it does not impact use or function.
Toshiba MK6006GAH 60GB, 54mm x 78.5mm x 8mm Available
for $268.48USD (or can be stripped from an iPod)
Toshiba MK8007GAH 80GB, 54mm x 78.5mm x 8mm Not Available
**Alternative to internal drive replacement: USB 2.0 external hard drive enclosure
: link 1 link 2
YahooGroups message 4256 reports that a user has cannibalized a 60Gb iPod for its Toshiba MK6006GAH drive, but required much sanding of the metal surfaces, hard drive metal casing, and removal of gaskets in order to close the U (no 1mm gap). Overall, the operation was difficult, not for the faint of heart, and placed the U in risk of damage.
YahooGroups message 4548 reports that a user has cannibalized a 60Gb iPod for its Toshiba MK6006GAH drive, simply opened the U, removed the old drive, replaced the drive with the 60Gb iPod hard drive, closed the unit, left a 1mm gap, and the U is fully operational. Overall, the operation was simple and was able to reuse the 20Gb U drive in the iPod. The user reconfirmed his experience in post 4590.
Toshiba 1.8" Hard drive model number decoder:
If the model number ends in GAH, it's 9mm thick.
If the model number ends in GAL, it's 5mm thick.
More information on hard drive replacements and the replacement process: link link
Detailed Steps to Replace Hard Drive
*Read the Disclaimers below
There is very little you can do to make more room inside the U and very little you can do to the drive to slim it down. After this operation, there will be a small gap from the bulge of the larger drive in the side gasket of the U.
Recommendation: Use a piece of shipping tape with the sticky side up to keep track of the screws and their relative place on the U (make sure that you place them on the tape in roughly the same position that they came out). This will help you when you go to put it back together.
Instructions for the Toshiba 60GB MK6006GAH Hard drive replacement:
1. Remove the battery and all of the first screws are underneath.
*With the battery removed there are screws with arrows pointed at them (similar to most other Sony hardware), indicating they are the ones to be removed for servicing.
2. Remove all of the screws from the bottom of the U.
3. Remove last external screw from under a small label with Japanese writing on it.
4. Take bottom panel off.
5. Carefully remove the side gasket from the bottom of the U.
- The gasket is one piece and goes around the entire edge of the U with the power connector going through it.
6. Remove the screws holding the bottom circuit board.
7. Disconnect the two ribbon cables running from the bottoms the circuit board by lifting up the quick release connectors and pulling the cable out.
8. Move the bottom circuit board outward so that you expose the hard disk drive.
9. Remove the screws holding the cage that holds the hard drive.
10. Remove the hard drive cage.
11. Slide the hard drive away from the motherboard pins.
12. The drive will have a rubber insulator on each edge. Since the drive is thicker, the insulators have to be left off.
13. Remove the cover on the new drive over the drive's circuit board.
14. Install the new drive into the connector.
15. Insulate the drive from the hard drive cage using a piece of rubber (reuse a portion of the brown rubber insulator).
- Since the insulator is no longer holding the drive off of the Sony's circuit board, the drive will sit lower against the Sony
than the original drive.
- This is necessary because the larger drive has a raised portion where the second hard disk platter is that sticks out
of the cage holding the drive to the U. This raised portion sits against the back of the LCD panel, so you want to get it as close to the Sony as possible.
Additional Pictures of Replacement Procedure:
*Review Sony U70 Autopsy pictures above.
**This operation is not for the faint of heart and requires some finesse.
Portable External Hard Drive Options
Mini Hard Drive Mini Roundup and Reviews 03.03.05: link
- The Sony U provides ample power to drive most USB 2.0 and 1.1 hard drives in enclosures.
- Since the Firewire port is only available on the Docking Station, we recommend a USB 2.0 external hard drive solution.
- The cheapest option for external disk is to purchase a USB 2.0 2.5" enclosure and a 2.5" notebook hard drive (5400 rpm hard drive)
Sony U Memory Compact Flash and Memory Stick Pro Slots
Warning: Sandisk MS Duo adapter
are slightly too big for Sony MS reader and might break the pins of the MS slot of VGN-Uxxx computers! Use Sony MS Duo adapters instead: link
Any size Compact Flash Type I and II card should work. (e.g. 12Gb CF Type II, Hitachi 4Gb Microdrive, etc. work well in the CF slot of the U)
Any size Microdrive card should work. (e.g. 4Gb, 5Gb, 6Gb, 8Gb, and 10Gb)
Any size Memory Stick card should work.
Any size Memory Stick Pro card should work.
Sony - Memory Stick, Smart Media and Compact Flash media do not appear when inserted into the computer: link
* OEM versions of Microdrives will not work in the CF slot of the U: link
** Memorystick, Compact Flash, and Microdrives are not bootable on the U.
*** Microdrive WARNING:
iPod and other MP3 player microdrives are not the same as regular microdrives. They have been crippled over the past few years so that they cab only work as IDE devices in MP3 players. Most believe it is a firmware restriction; there is no way yet for common users flash a microdrive's firmware. More info: link
Report: Sony U Compact Flash Has Slower Performance Compared to USB 2.0 Card Reader
"The CF slot bus speed is slower than the USB 2.0 port and a USB 2.0 card reader.
Transferring a 4Gb MPeg2 movie from my Microdrive to a server on my network was slower using the CF slot in the U than using a card reader and the USB2 port.
The same 4Gb MPeg2 video was transferred for the "test" from the same Microdrive.
The transfer time for (roughly) a 4Gb file with the Microdrive inserted in the Sony U CF slot is 54 minutes.
The transfer time for (roughly) a 4Gb file with the Microdrive inserted a USB2 card reader connected to the USB2 port of the Sony U is 23 minutes.
The only difference was the CF slot was used instead of the the USB 2.0 reader."
- Sony iLink is Sony's version of Firewire.
- The Firewire ports are located only on the included Sony U Docking Station.
- When connected to a supported and powered optical drive, the Sony U can be booted using a Sony compatible drive.
- Sony iLink uses a 4-pin unpowered Firewire port.
- Normal Firewire ports have 6 wires, with 2 wires for power and 4 wires for data.
- The iLink on the Sony Docking Station has extra pins for power, but they will only fit a special cable that connnects to specific proprietary Sony iLink DVD and CD drives. link
USB 1.1 and 2.0
USB 2.0 - Hi-Speed USB - FAQ: link
Sony - Enable USB support in the BIOS: link
Sony - ERROR: HI-SPEED USB Device Plugged into non-HI-SPEED USB Hub: link
Alternative USB Port Replicators & Docking Stations
* Sony Docking Station (VGP-PRU1) is very expensive, so this would be for your desk at work.
UniXpress - USB Port Replicator with Video (Model USB-DOCK-VGA)
USB 2.0 Universal Port Replicator with VGA and Dual PC Support
- 1 VGA Port (HD15 female)
- 5 High-Speed USB 2.0 peripheral ports (USB Type A female)
- 2 High-Speed USB 2.0 host ports (USB Type B female)
- 1 Ethernet Jack (RJ45 socket)
- 3 Audio (3.5mm) Jacks (speakers, microphone, line-in)
Video Modes :
- Duplication mode (mirrors the notebook computer's screen)
- Extended mode (doubles the notebook computer's screen)
- Primary mode (acts as the only display)
Targus Universal Notebook Docking Station with Video (Model # ACP50US)
* Has everything to replace the Sony U Docking Station except for the Firewire ports. This is different than most other port replicators because it offers a VGA port and XP drivers.
- (1) Monitor/Video Port (15 pin D-Sub)
- (1) 10/100 Base-T Ethernet (RJ-45) Jack
- (1) Serial Port
- (1) Stereo Audio-Out Jack (3.5 mm for speakers or headphone)
- (1) Mono Audio-In Jack (3.5mm for microphone)
- (4) Hi-Speed USB 2.0 Ports (two Power Ports and two standard USB ports both are backward
compatible with USB 1.1 devices and support transfers up to 480Mbps)
- Primary Video Mode: use external monitor or LCD as your primary display
- Extended Video Mode: use both your notebook screen and external monitor or LCD for
- Mirror Video Mode: replicate notebook screen onto an external monitor or LCD
- Video resolution: supports resolution up to 1024 x 768 16-bit color
USB 2.0 Dock
- USB, PS/2, Serial, Parallel Ports $19.99: link
(no longer available at eCost but available elsewhere on the Net)
- Four (4) USB ports
- One (1) 25-pin Parallel port
- One (1) 9-pin Serial port
- Two (2) PS/2 ports
*MISSING: Sony U-owners, don't forget to bring your Sony proprietary interface VGA/Ethernet adapter with you. Connect this docking station to the USB 2.0 port on the side of the U plus the Sony VGA/Ethernet adapter to the bottom of the U (as pictured below), and you have an inexpensive and more portable docking station alternative for the U-series.
iConcepts Mini Docking Station
- New mini portable design
- Use full size accessories and peripherals when docked at home or the office
- Connects 3 USB devices, 1 PS/2 Keyboard and 1 PS/2 Mouse
*MISSING: Sony U-owners, don't forget to bring your Sony proprietary interface VGA/Ethernet adapter with you. Connect this docking station to the USB 2.0 port on the side of the U plus the Sony VGA/Ethernet adapter to the bottom of the U (as pictured below), and you have an inexpensive and more portable docking station alternative for the U-series.
Other alternative portable port replicators:
Toshiba Audio/USB Hub: link
Targus PA070U USB Mobile Port Replicator: link
Targus PA090U USB Mobile Port Replicator with Ethernet
Targus PAEPR090U Mobile Port Station
Trendware Usa TU2-ET200 USB Docking Serial Parallel 3-USB 2.0 1 Enet 2X PS2 Trendnet
Portable USB Keyboard & Mouse Adapter: link $4.99
USB 1.1 to PS/2 Cable Adapter
2 downstream PS/2 connectors
Hig power device on a current 500mA
No external power needed
USB Keyboard & Mouse Adapter Bytecc BT-2000: link $10
*MISSING: Sony U50 owners bring your VGA/Ethernet dongle and you will have a mobile docking solution with PS/2 ports for a larger keyboard and regular mouse and external Monitor and Ethernet connectivity at your desk.
External Physical Keyboard and Mouse Options
Bluetooth Motion E0678
- Works with the Socket CF Bluetooth Card
- virtual-laser-keyboard.com (VKB) $199.99
- Expansys.com (i-Tech Virtual Keyboard) $159.95
- TigerDirect (i-Tech Bluetooth Virtual Laser Keyboard ) $199.99
- Works with the Socket CF Bluetooth Card
* No numeric pad and requires its own power source (batteries)
USB TouchStream Mini Keyboard:
FingerWorks TouchStream Mini - Portable One-Handed USB Keyboard: link
*Expensive but nice. Sony should have used integrated this design into the U, similar to OQO and FlipStart.
- Recognized as a Thumb Board on the U
- Provides an add-on keyboard to the U
- Almost too small with the U but inexpensive
- Fairly cheap plastic feel
- No sticky keys, so Windows button (remapped) + anything is a 3 button acrobatic move
- One needs to hold the U and
the MINI-key, needs stand like the Multipivot
*Use ZDnet Tradekeys2
(formerly ZDKey) or SharpKeys (below) to remap thumboard keys to remap missing keys.
Tradekeys2 key mapping:
You cannot perform the Ctrl-Alt-Del function, but there is a reset button on the U for this. Two-key combinations such as Alt-F4 work. With these mappings, Alt-F4 is: Fn+F8+F4 (all at the same time, just make sure to hit Fn+F8 first).
*The biggest problem with this thumb board is that the Function and Symbol keys are not sticky (they must be held down in order to access the Function/Symbol keys). In order to use the mapped CTL key to perform CTL-C (copy), one must depress the Fn key while also depressing the F7 and C-key (a thumb twister). Some have reported that they are use to this with other thumb board devices such as the BlackBerry or SideKick. While using this very tiny (almost too small and thin) device, one must determine the most ergonomic and feasible way to hold the Sony U.
Wireless Keyboard with Touchpad
Vaio VGP-WKB1 Wireless Keyboard With Touchpad $150: link
Eleksen Fabric Keyboard: link
Portable USB Keyboards:
- Ergonomic, one-handed keyboard
Think Outside Stowaway XT Portable Keyboard for USB: link
*For the Asian U models, the Sony U-Series Foldup Keyboard will be read as a Japanese keyboard with the wrong layout.
Follow these instructions to correct this:
Keyboard Remapping Software
Display to External Display Only:
- While using the cradle, push the second button on the front from the left on the cradle.
- While using the VGA/Ethernet adapter, push the button on the adapter.
Mirror Internal Display to External Display and Display on the Sony U simultaneously:
- Press the Function Selector button on the lower right hand side of the Sony U
- Select "Change Where to Output"
- Select "LCD + Monitor"
- The display will now appear on the Sony U screen and on the external display.
*Greyhat suggests reviewing the Sony U Power Point Presentation Strategy below.
Dual Display Support:
The Sony U supports extending the internal Sony U display to an external display for an expanded view on both screens.
In order to use the dual display feature (where your desktop is extended over a larger area on both screens--the U and an external monitor) then go into display properties, settings, and you will see a second display sort of greyed out, click on it, and you will see options below that say "extend windows desktop to this monitor."
For some users, change the system font size from 96dpi to 120dpi to reduce eyestrain.
Start-->Settings-->Control Panel [in Classic View]-->Display-->Settings-->Advanced
For more information on readability and font sizes: link
*Warning: Not all applications use (or respect) the Windows setting for text DPI. If you increase the font size in display properties, some of the text and dialogue boxes may be too big to fit the screen.
Portable (Tiny) External Projectors
Mitsubishi Pocket LED DLP Projector (weighs less than a pound): link
Mitsubishi PocketProjector (the smallest and lightest projector available): link
HP MP3130 Portable Projector: link
Holo projector for mobiles: link
Microtek MS4 - 11" x 3.8" x 8", DLP at 1200 lumens, SVGA and XGA resolutions: link
Heads Up Display (HUD)
Eyetop Centera: link
*The Virtual Keyboard
would augment the HUD and the Sony U to make a wearable PC.
Low-Power Interactive Display (LID)
LID-like functionality - GameOptics LCD Display: link
- Hitachi HD44780 compatible LCD character display
- Communicate over USB interface with attached 4' cable
- Customizable hotkeys for quick and easy control
- 16 columns by 2 lines text display with font size 5x7 dots
- Built in characters plus 8 user defined characters
- Black Text on Yellow/Green Background
- "Always Scrolling " feature continuously scrolls a message across the display automatically
- Electroluminescent backlight
- Also includes velcro attachment
Supported Media and Communication Software:
- Winamp 2
- Winamp 5
- Apple Itunes
- Windows Media Player 9
- AOL Instant Messenger
- Yahoo Messenger
- POP email checking and reading email headers
- Unique IM interface to reply to messages while inside a game or other application
- Song search by title, artist, or track number for supported media applications
- UltraSeek feature which automatically previews tracks in the middle of the song
- Audio volume adjustment for system and supported media applications
- Stock Ticker with detailed stock information
- Network bandwidth usage
- System information (CPU usage/Memory usage/IP information/Disk drive usage/Processes and thread usage/Uptime)
- Local Weather information and 5-day forcast
- Quick Memo
Sony U Input Methods
Onscreen Keyboard Options:
UAddict - Nostram Studios UBoard Transparent Fullscreen Fingerboard for the Sony U series:
UBoard is an on-screen, transparent keyboard that is specifically designed for the Sony U with keys large enough that allow typing with the fingers. The keyboard is attractive and responsive and very easy to use. UBoard autosizes to fit the width of the screen and works in both portrait and landscape modes. UBoard also has a user configurable transparency level, so even though UBoard is filling most of the screen you can see right through it.
*Flaw of this software is that there is no sticky key function, in that the multiple key presses are impossible with this keyboard (e.g. CTL-ALT-anything is not feasible).
With the help of jk, Nostram Studios (aka Pete, UAddict, and Digitized Life) has allowed Greyhat to provide an alternative download location for the donationware UBoard:
*Greyhat does not support this software, please refer all questions to the appropriate forum. Digitized Life posts at Yahoo Groups
, so we suggest that you post issues and enhancement requests for UBoard there.
**No explanation has been given for the UAddict site outage.
UBoard Installation Software Requirements:
The Microsoft .Net v1.1 Framework is required
in order to run UBoard: link
The Microsoft .Net v1.1 Framework service pack is also recommended: link
*The Microsoft .Net v1.1 Framework appears to be included with XP Tablet edition.
DIGITIZEDLIFE has also posted the donationware UBoard application at the YahooGroups U70 Board: UBoard_Keyboard_Setup.exe
*This requires a Yahoo Account and membership to U70 Group.
Hand Writing Recognition (HWR):
XP Tablet Edition
*In ritePen there is a "use separate letters mode" setting in the recognizer menu. This will help write mixed things that don't appear in the dictionary like "3L33T K1D5.#". Words like this can also be added in the dictionary. This all comes with a word of caution as modern convention independent HWRs like TabletPC or ritePen rely on lexical context to recognize things. None of the HWR are going to recognize the '1' in K1D5 as a 'one' rather than a lowercase 'el' unless the lexical context predicts it.
*BT headsets are not recommended for voice recognition by eMicrophones.com: link
This is a missing integrated feature in the Sony U and needs to added through the Compact Flash slot or USB port.
* Many people have reported problems with simultaneous use of the Think Outside Stowaway keyboard and Think Outside Bluetooth mouse. If you use the Think Outside Stowaway keyboard and a different BT mouse, you should be fine.
** The Billionton BT CF card appears to be the most universally interoperable BT CF card, the Ambicom has been reported to mostly work with various BT peripherals, and the Socket has been reported to have the most interoperability issues with devices such as the ThinkOutside BT Foldup keyboard, headsets, and headphones.
*** The BT USB adapters have had the most success functioning on the U with various peripherals, costs less, and sticks out as far as the leading CF cards.
**** An enterprising individual at Yahoo Groups (message 4294) has reportedly soldered the circuit board of a D-Link DBT-120 vA1 to the USB port connection on the U motherboard in order to have integrated Bluetooth. After the initial report, the user admitted that use of the USB port for other devices was no longer functional, but the soldered on BT chip was functional. Message 4296 reported that the same user broke the Wireless LAN power switch. Perform this operation at your own peril. Greyhat recommends the CF or USB BT options.
Idea on how to integrate Bluetooth inside of the Sony U using an Orange Micro Blue2 Bluetooth Adapter (any takers?)
DIY Hack to integrate Bluetooth in the Apple iBook Bluetooth Installation: link
U50 Internal Photos to determine where to locate a naked version of this adapter: link
An alternative solution is to add a FlexUSB
(from Radio Shack
) and used to reposition the Bluetooth adapter flush to the side of the Sony U to look like an antenna and not stick out
More information on Bluetooth: link
Bluetooth info and Security site: link
How to establish a Bluetooth wireless connection using Microsoft Windows XP with Service Pack 2 (SP2): link
Bluetooth Compact Flash Cards and USB Adapter Options
Bluetooth Compact Flash Cards:
Ambicom Air2Net Bluetooth Wireless CompactFlash Card
*Reported non-functional with the U
AmbiCom BT2000D-CF card: link
*The XP drivers only work on AmbiCom hardware with the serial number BT2342XXXXXX.
Support for XP is discontinued, so any XP patches may potentially disable this card.
BELKIN Bluetooth compact card
No problems reported linking to TRUST MI-5300M mouse,Sony Ericsson T610 mobilephone,and microphone (NOKIA. YahooGroups#4753
Billionton CFBT02-B2 CF Bluetooth Card: link
*Most reliable card with Sony U and XP, works with BT Headsets, Headphones, Think Outside Keyboard, a different manufacturer BT Mouse, and various cellphones.
- There are reports that the Billionton BT CS card has some issues with the Think Outside Stowaway Bluetooth mouse BT500 when the Think Outside Stowaway keyboard is also connected. The solution is to use a Bluetake mouse instead while using the Think Outside Stowaway keyboard.
Brain Boxes CF Bluetooth Card: link
Socket Bluetooth CF card: link
The Socket BT CF card had issues up until October 2005, but the drivers are now fixed for XP. The card is a little more expensive, but it is the only CF card that mounts flush to the U. The card now works with all BT mice, keyboards (Thinkaway included), and with everything else using the 1.6 and 2.0 drivers. More info: link
Why Socket Bluetooth cards suck
Socket WinXP woes- a followup: link
History of Socket with the U:
(pre-6/29/05) Drivers flakey under XP and in development, but only CF BT card that sits flush with the Sony U CF slot making it almost invisible.
*Bluesoleil software does not support headset profile and this card has problems pairing with BT Keyboards: link
Socket support information on new drivers
**YahooGroups#4770 reports some success:
Uninstall the Billionton SW, reboot, install the BlueSoleil SW from the IVT website (version 18.104.22.168) which requires a reboot, and insert the card, and it mostly works --pairing successful with a ThinkOutside BT Stowaway Universal keyboard and ThinkOutside BT Stowaway Travel mouse. Both work great simultaneously.
Not working - Bluetooth headset with the bluesoleil 22.214.171.124. It pairs, but there is no sound.
- More expensive solution at $40 list w/o shipping
- Protrudes 0.5" out of the top of the U (in the CF slot)
- CF slot not available in many computers (reuse)
Bluetooth USB Adapters:
- ANYCOM Bluetooth Adapter USB-240: link
(supports headset profile and 7 simultaneous devices, $39 US)
- Belkin Bluetooth USB Adapter: link
- BlueWiFly - USB 2.0 802.11g WiFi and Bluetooth 1.2 wireless adapter $89: link
- D-Link USB Bluetooth dongle
- Orange Micro Blue2 Bluetooth USB Adapter ($15 shipped and it comes with the Jabra BT Headset drivers): link
- Sony USB bluetooth adapter ( PCGA-BA2 ) $99 US from the Sonystyle site: link
(no BT headset profile)
- Xterasys Bluetooth USB Adapter (UBT-2K) $17: link
- Much cheaper
- More support for various Bluetooth profiles such as headphone, headset, GPRS modem, serial modem, and general HID profiles
- Can be used in any other notebook since they are USB 1.1/2.0
- It protrudes 0.5" from the right of the U
Bluetooth CF/USB Adapter to Bluetooth Cell phone pairing:
Couple a Bluetooth CF or USB adapter, the U, and a Bluetooth phone, and you have a very compact mobile Internet solution.
*Preferred method of obtaining cellular wireless Internet access for the U.
Bluetooth cellphone with cellular data plan, Billionton Bluetooth CF card (top), and Sony U70. Add Large battery and you have 5-6 hours of pure mobility with laptop-like Internet access.
Pros: Wireless, so you can carry phone in your pocket or bag or anywhere even while connected. Don't have to remember to carry cable. Many Bluetooth phone options from all of the major vendors (except Verizon).
Cons: Slightly more expensive, have to buy bluetooth adapter, have to remember to carry bluetooth adapter (usually not a big issue, but since it sticks out on the U for most adapters, sticks out of the U for most adapters, can be affected by other wireless transmissions in the same frequency (e.g. 802.11b/g, 2.4GHz phones, microwaves, etc.), and data performance is usually maxed out at less than 1mbps (something like 960kbps or even slower on different model phones).
Cellular Data Services
Generic CF Cellular Wireless GSM Cards:
Enfora Quad band GSM CF card (GSM0110) $229: link
- PC Based supporting Windows 2000/XP with drivers
- PDA Based
- Quad band card (850/900/1800/1900MHz)
- Includes PCMCIA sleeve for use with any notebook computer, but the card should work directly in the CF slot of the Sony U
Review of CF GSM card: link
YahooGroups user review (Mesage 5341)
AT&T Cingular Sony-Ericsson GC82 Edge-GPRS PC Card
- Requires Semsons CF-to-PCMCIA adapter, but works with the Sony U with AT&T/Cingular dialer
Sprint CF2031 Compact Flash Card
Cingular 860 Aircard (PC Card) which works on the HSDPA network. The speeds are a little faster than the EVDO speeds tested. This card requires the Semson CF to PC adapter because the Aircard is a 16 bit PCMCIA card.
T-Mobile Sierra Wireless GPRS PCMCIA Card
- Requires Semsons CF-to-PCMCIA adapter
T-Mobile (non-official, but working) Compact Flash Cards
Ambicom Unlocked Tri-band GSM/GPRS Compact Flash Card (P/N GPRS-CF-G1R1): link
Enfora GSM/GPRS Compact Flash Card (P/N GSM0110-00): link
Rogers Wireless Audiovox RTM-8000 CF Card
- Supports 900,1800,1900 bands and works nicely.
- The drivers were available from original CD for Windows, including a GPRS connection wizard.
- No Edge or 850 band support
Bluetooth Cellular Wireless Options
Use a Bluetooth CF or USB card on the U plus a Bluetooth enabled mobile phone to get Internet connectivity.
- Most simple and clutter-free solution
- Data rates vay based on BT Card used and mobile phone
More information on cellular wireless: Howard Forums
*WiMax (802.16) and EV-DO are only available through vendors with CF, 16bit PCMCIA cards, and through Bluetooth-to-cellphone connectivity.
U132 USB2 to Cardbus adaptor: link
The U132 has been developed especially for this type of PCMCIA wireless modem card. We are not sure it is in general release as yet but appears to be due for launch in the UK in February 2006. Early reports state that it works with Aircards (555, 775 and Merlin 200).
(can be used as a microphone, but not recommended)
Nextlink AX (smallest available BT headset on the market): link
ANYCOM Bluetooth HS-790 Headset: link
i.Tech Dynamic: link
Jabra Bluetooth Freespeak: link
USB Microphone Adapters
This is the best price for one of the essential, but missing components in the Sony U-series: link
USB 2.0 to Audio Adapter w/Microphone Jack
5.1 Digital Surround Sound
Generic iMic clone: link
The specs and packaging look A LOT like the Griffin iMic and it's only $16.
Many Sony U owners have complained about poor sound quality with BT headsets plus CF BT cards.
No reports have been filed on sound quality from Bluetooth USB adapter and BT headset pairing.
GN 6210 VoIP headset package: link
Plantronics CS50-USB: link
Plantronics DSP100 noise canceling USB microphone and headset: link
USB Sound Cards
Creative Labs Audigy 2NX.(large, but powerful): link (Thanks J.Agee)
Ezonics ESound 5.1 Headphones: link
Turtle Beach 5.1 USB dongle ($17): link
USB Virtual 5.1 Channel Sound Adapter ($10): link
Zalman ZM-RS6F 5.1 Headphones: link
Comments on use of these type sound cards with the U and Home Theater: link
USB Gaming Options
KiKi Joy USB Game Controller: link
Logitech Dual Action Game Pad: link
*Any Windows XP/DOS-compliant USB joystick, gamepad, Flight Yoke, Driving Wheel, etc. should work on the U.
USB IrDA Adapter
- BATTERY powered 4-port USB hub
Unpowered USB Hub
*Any USB 2.0 should work, but look for one with additional power to drive anything USB 2.0 because the Sony U USB 2.0 port may not provide enought power to drive the USB 2.0 device.
CF-to-PCMCIA Adapter Option
Semsons Compact Flash to PC Card Adapter: link
- Connect PCMCIA cards to the Sony
- Supports 16bit PCMCIA cards (Cardbus cards do not work with this adapter although the Sony U CF slot reads cardbus-ready, Sony has limited the slot to 16bit-only support).
Compact Flash Modems
Pretec 56Kbps CF Modem
Hawking 56Kbps CF Modem
*Both modems have been reported to work on the Sony U.
Compact Flash GPS
Haicom HI-303E Multi-Mode GPS Receiver CF type I
Alternate GPS solution: Billionton BT CF paired up with a Holux GR-236 Slim GPS. Establish a fix in less than a minute from a cold boot and Holux can stay in glove box, without hindering the GPS.
Best GPS Combo System:
Billionton CF Bluetooth card and a Holux Slim G236 GPS along with iGuidance GPS software.
802.11b (Wifi) Wireless
*The Sony U has 802.11b/g built-in, but this utilities can help you locate Wifi access points.
Wireless Access Point
The Sony U can be used as a wireless access point using XP ICS, the U, and the VGA/Lan adapter.
Other users can use the Internet through the U.
Windows XP Internet Connection Sharing: link
XP ICS - Client Setup Using the Network Setup Wizard: link
Entering the Sony U Bios
There are two methods:
1. USB Keyboard
- Attach the Sony U foldup USB keyboard
- Press F2 immediately after the Sony -Phoenix Bios splash screen
2. Tablet mode
- Hold down the Rotate button for 5 seconds during the Sony -Phoenix Bios splash screen
- While in the Bios, the touch screen is active so there is no need for the keyboard.
Alternate instructions from alcuin2k:
method 1: Turn on unit. When you hear the sony chime, hit the rotate
method 2: Plug in usb keyboard. Turn on unit. When you hear the
sony chime, hit f2.
Sony U Bios
U50 Bios Screen Shots: link
U750 Bios Screen Shots and Bios Dump: link
Flashing the U50 or U70P Bios with the U750P Bios:
Reason: So that the English U750P restore DVD/CD, drivers, and application will work on the U50 or U70P.
Update: At this time, there is only speculation on doing this, but no one has reported on successfully doing this. YahooGroups has an active discussion regarding this (message 4418)
- The conclusion of all the discussion is that the bios in the Yahoo files section will not flash.
- If a Bios flash goes bad, it is a $2000 gamble because the Sony U *may not* be able to recover using the USB Floppy or CD/DVD drive restore because the Sony Bios allows the USB Floppy boot or Sony Firewire CD/DVD drive to boot. If the Bios is hosed, any external boot may not be possible rendering the Sony U a $2000 paper weight.
Compatible Bootable Optical Drives: link (LINKS ARE DEAD, see below for cached link)
Non-compatible Boot Drives: link (LINKS ARE DEAD)
* If it is not in this list (below), it is guaranteed not to boot, even if you used a firewire to 4-pin adapter cable. It is not the cable, rather the electronic handshaking that enables booting. The cheapest option would probably be to look for a Sony PCGA-DVD1/A on eBay.
The Sony U bios can boot compatible Sony Firewire (1394) CD and DVD drives, so that Sony owners can perform fresh operating system installs (e.g. English XP, XP Tablet, XP Media Edition, Linux, PearPC/MacOS, etc.).
These optical drives are very expensive. The best place to obtain them are from other Sony notebooks, on eBay, or from used parts shops.
Any Firewire or USB drive can be used for everything else except booting.
* Memorystick, Compact Flash, and Microdrives are not bootable on the U.
Since there have been frequent questions about this in forums and support emails alike, here's a brief list of those drives that DEFINITELY boot the new U series:
:: iLink (4-pin Sony) Drives:
Other forms of iLink (Firewire) drives, including many Sonys sold in the U.S., will not boot. The iLink drive must use Sony's special 4-pin iLink and DC power connector to boot.
Sony PCGA-CRWD1 (older CD-RW/DVD-ROM w/ 4-pin iLink/DC plug.)
Sony PCGA-CRWD2 (CD-RW/DVD-ROM w/ 4-pin iLink/DC plug.)
Sony PCGA-DVD1/A (older DVD-ROM w/ 4-pin iLink/DC plug.)
Sony PCGA-DDRW1 (older, slower DVD-RW w/ 4-pin iLink/DC plug.)
Sony PCGA-DDRW2 (newer, faster, blacker DVD-RW w/ 4-pin iLink/DC plug.)
Sony PCGA-DDRW3 (newer, faster, DVD-RW w/4-pin iLink/DC plug.)
:: USB Drives
For the record, the Sony U70/U50 doesn't like to use external USB optical drives to boot. USB floppy drives should boot no problem, but none other.
SmartDisk FDUSB-TM2 (USB 3.5" Floppy Drive)
TEAC FD-05PUB (USB 3.5" Floppy Drive)
Sony PCGA-UFD5 (USB 3.5" Floppy Drive)
TDK FDD-100 (USB 3.5" Floppy Drive)
Toshiba PA2680U (USB 3.5" Floppy Drive, confirmed by Brett from Conics)
Now, from the list of those that seem to be having problems booting:
Sony MPF82E-U1 (USB 3.5" Floppy Drive)
SmartDisk FDUSB-B2 (USB 3.5" Floppy Drive)
Mitsumi D353FUE (USB 3.5" Floppy Drive)
Oh, yes, and for the unitiated: the U70/U50 doesn't come with a PCMCIA slot, so no PCMCIA drives. No word yet on if the CompactFlash slot can be made to boot. Likely not.
The SmartDisk FDUSB-B2 has problems booting. It's a re-badged Mitsumi D353FUE.
iomega Floppy USB-Powered Drive is bootable drive, detected by bios and bootable... but wired, it require its own driver installation in order to use it on XP. otherwise XP can't even detect it
Alternative Boot Options
Compatible USB Floppy Drive: link
- Targus Slimline USB External Floppy Drive (model PA905U)
USB Flash Drives
- Must emulate USB Floppy boot and not USB hard disk boot
- NETAC ODH series USB Flash drive is the only confirmed Flash drive that support this mode
- USB Microdrives have not been successful as boot devices: link
Network boot disks: link
*You need to load this on a Floppy or bootable CD drive
*The Compact Flash and Memory Stick slots are not bootable. They appear to be ignored during the boot process.
Sony Re-Installation Notes
There is a hidden 2Gb Sony Recovery Partition (3Gb on different models) with the Sony U System Recovery software.
Warning about the hidden partition and clean XP installs: link
Method 1: Repartition the hard drive using FDisk.
- Backup contents as needed.
- This method is recommended with a Fresh OS installation (as described by Sony)
- Greyhat recommends creating 2 partitions for Ghost or True Image backup purposes later.
Method 2: Repartition the hard drive using Partition Magic
- This is a very straightforward process.
- Delete the 2Gb hidden recovery partition on the U series hard drives and increase the C drive partition size by that amount.
-Use the Resize Wizard to set the C partition size up to the maximum size possible. This creates a batch job that, upon reboot, immediately expands the partition and moves all of the files into the new partition space.
- This process takes about an hour and then requires a final reboot.
* We are not proponents of Partition Magic.
For as many people that swear by it, there are a lot of horror stories.
Method 3: Sony Method
How to remove the recovery partition and reclaim that space on the hard drive: link
Before you perform a fresh install of an operating system, always consider performing a backup of your system.
Sony System Recovery:
Sony includes a System Recovery partition and System Recovery software that allows a user to recover to a CD or DVD drive or recover directly to the hard drive.
*This software was written in the native language where the specific Sony U model was sold. The System Recovery software on the U70 is useless to English-speaking owners.
NOTE: If you leave this directory alone, you can recover the original Sony recovery using this partition. This is handy for people wanting to change the language or operating system, but want to be able to recover the the native Japanese or English language that came with their U. Also, the VAIO Recovery Wizard on a Japanese U can be used create and burn
backup DVDs of the original operating system.
There's no Recovery CD/Application CD included on the U750P. You have to make it your own using the CDRW2 - 1 hour for 1 DVD and 1 CD OR 6 CDs (15 mins ea).
HOWTO: Use Japanese Windows Vaio Recovery Utility Program (in English): link
Handtop Backup Strategy
1. One should copy the core/OEM files needed. If there is a secondary partition large enough to save a Ghost or Acronis Image, back up your system immediately.
2. Install a Fresh Windows/Linux Core Build.
3. Ghost/backup this new core image.
4. Install other daily apps, patch, and then image.
5. Make incremental backups monthly.
6. Make full backups as needed.
7. Burn DVDs or spanned CDs of the various back ups, just in case your back up drive fails or you want to use the DVD image file directly for a restore using a DVD drive.
* There is no ActiveSync restore process on a uPC. A uPC is very susceptible to failures and major
loss of important data similar to the loss of data on a notebook. Notebook back up procedures on a uPC should not be taken lightly: jk crash jk back up
(sorry to use you as the example)
- Ghost back up for 4Gb of used c: disk takes 20 minutes to back up with compression.
- Ghost recovery for the compressed c: drive image takes 20 minutes to restore. Consider how long it took to perform a Fresh XP Tablet install, add correct Sony U drivers, patch the system, and install essential and daily-use applications--Imaging and back ups are a very good idea and worthwhile endeavor.
Acronis TrueImage: link
Symantec Ghost (more advanced and integrates Powerquest Drive Image): link link
Ghost Backups on the Sony U
Greyhat suggested method--Dual boot with DOS 6.x+ (for large drive support) and WinXP on the c: partition. We're old school using Ghost and Acronis is simpler to use according to many sources, but we'll stick to what has worked for us.
*Warning - You will be wiping the currently installed Sony U and starting over, losing all information on the internal drive. Backup what you need, including drivers and data that you need from the Sony Recovery Partition.
**The first time you do this, you will need a compatible Sony CD or DVD drive. Once the paritions are built and the proper boot sector is built, you can recover from even a catastrophic disk or Master Boot Record (MBR) failure (if you continue to keep good backups) without a compatible drive.
***Ghost bootdisk creation is sometimes unreliable, Greyhat suggests using any of the DOS 6.x+ bootdisks: link
or the Microsoft Boot listed in the Download Driver section.
- You will also need to copy the utilities--fdisk, format, mouse.com, and Ghost--on this bootdisk (mouse.com is located in the c:windows directory of any Win98+ system).
- If you do not have a compatible USB floppy for the Sony U, create the bootdisk on a desktop or notebook with a floppy and burn a CD using Roxio or Nero to create a bootable CD using this floppy.
- The maximum size of CD-R discs is 700Mb. Ghost can create backups that span multiple CDs (to stay under the 700Mb CD size limitation)
1. Using a compatible floppy or CD/DVD drive, boot the Sony U to DOS.
2. Use fdisk to delete all of the Sony U partitions.
3. Use fdisk to create a 27Gb (U71P) or 17Gb (all other U models or un-upgraded hdd U models) primary partition and a 2-3Gb restore partition. A reboot is required.
4. Format the c: and d: drives. Format c: and d: in the following manner:
format c: /s (this creates a bootable DOS partition on the c: drive allowing the system to boot directly to DOS).
format d: /s (this will also make c: a DOS bootable drive).
-You will need this if your c: MBR has problems and will not boot.
More information on the /s format switch: link
5. Copy the Ghost boot floppy into the c: drive (or simply the DOS Ghost executable)
6. Modify any autoexec.bat pointers to the c: drive
- This will allow the system to boot to DOS
7. Perform a fresh XP install on the Sony U
- Your Sony U will have the option to either boot to DOS (step 6) or XP.
- If you ever have a boot failure and cannot get to SafeMode, you can at least boot to DOS for recovery or clean up.
For restores or backup on the Sony U, after the Bios splash screen you select DOS boot, run mouse.com, and Ghost and backup/restore the partition (you can add mouse.com and Ghost into the autoexec.bat file to automate this).
Neither a floppy or the expensive Sony CD/DVD drive is needed for this.
As an added backup, when you boot to XP afterwards, transfer the Ghost image to a file server on the LAN that has all of your Ghost backups and then burn a DVD image of the backup (or spanned CD image that is up to 700Mb per image CD disk or the capacity of your CD). Let Ghost run a full partition backup to d:, copy it over the network to a backup server, let Ghost explorer create smaller (<700Mb files), and then burn back up spanned CDs. We only burn backup CDs once or twice a quarter...the likelihood of a bad hdd crash requiring these CDs is low.
At the event of a crash or something prevents boot bad enough for a restore, use the DOS 6+ bootable CD, boot to Ghost, and recover the c: partition with the good Ghost image. That's it.
For bad disk crashes, use the spanned Ghost CDs. Replace the hdd (hdd replace procedures above), format both partitions on the new hdd (format c: /s and format d: /s), boot using the DOS 6+ bootable CD, and then copy each of the spanned CD Ghost back ups to the new drive, and then recover.
All of this requires a compatible Sony CD or DVD drive only in the beginning. Once the hard drive is formated, you do not need the compatible CD or Floppy. Even the new hdd backup method can be performed using a USB enclosure on another system to recover the good Ghost image to the new hdd, prepare it offline in a hdd enclosure, and then install it into the U after the recovery.
Further reading on backups on the U -
Make sure you back up your UPC and Tablet PC Properly: link
Ghost Backup Procedures #2 (More detailed instructions that works with OQO, USB,and Firewire drives)
- Sony U or OQO
- A USB CD-ROM drive (Asus SCD-2408-D used for verify directions)
- A self-powered Firewire hard drive with a 4-pin connector
- A Windows PC with a floppy drive, a CD burner, and Internet access
- A copy of Symantec Ghost 2003 installed and patched with the latest updates
- A blank floppy
- A blank CD-R or CD-RW
1) Create a Ghost bootable floppy on the Windows PC
- Insert a blank floppy
- Run Ghost 2003
- Run the Norton Ghost Wizard under "Ghost utilities"
- Select "Standard Ghost Boot Disk" then click Next
- Select USB 1.1 Support and check FireWire Support then click Next
- Follow the instructions to create a Ghost bootable floppy
2) Copy the entire content of the Ghost bootable floppy (including hidden and system files) into folder C:ghostfloppy on the Windows PC
3) Install software from the Internet on your Windows PC
- Install cdrpack v1.3
into folder C:cdrpack on the Windows PC
- Install the elghost v2.0 add-on
into folder C:cdrpack on the Windows PC
- Install ASPI you v1.5
into folder C:cdrpackbin on the Windows PC
- Install the ASPI driver
into folder C:cdrpackbin on the Windows PC
- Install BCD v1.1.1
into folder C:BCD on the Windows PC
- Install DD
into folder C:BCD on the Windows PC
- Copy the file C:BCDbinmkisofs.exe into the folder C:cdrpackbin (overwrite the older file)
- Copy the file C:BCDbincygwin1.dll into the folder C:cdrpackbin (overwrite the older file)
4) Create a CD-ROM bootable floppy on the Windows PC
- Insert a blank floppy (you can reuse the Ghost bootable floppy from step 1 above)
- Follow the "Auto-create the boot disk" instructions here
(scroll down the page)
5) Create a hybrid (Ghost/CD-ROM) bootable floppy on your Windows PC
- Insert the CD-ROM bootable floppy from step 4 above
- Delete the following files from the root of the floppy
- Copy the FWR folder in C:ghostfloppy to the root of the floppy
- Create the following config.sys file in the root of the floppy
STACKS = 32,512
device=binhimem.sys /testmem:off /v
shell=command.com /e:1024 /p
DEVICE = fwraspi1394.sys /int /all
6) Create a hybrid bootable floppy image on your Windows PC
- Insert the hybrid bootable floppy from step 5 above
- Open a command prompt
- Go to the C:BCD folder
- Run "DD.EXE A: cdrom.img" (replace A: with the letter for your floppy drive)
7) Create the bootable CD image on your Windows PC
- Rename the file C:BCDCDROM.IMG to C:BCDcdrom.img (remove caps from the file name)
- Copy the file C:BCDcdrom.img (hybrid bootable floppy image from step 6 above) into the folder C:cdrpackcdselghostdisk1isolinux
- Copy the GHOST folder in C:ghostfloppy into the folder C:cdrpackcdselghostdisk1
- Copy the file C:ghostfloppyguest.exe into the folder C:cdrpackcdselghostdisk1GHOST
- Delete the file autorun.bat from the folder C:cdrpackcdselghostdisk1
- Create the following autorun.bat file in the folder C:cdrpackcdselghostdisk1
- Optional: Copy any other useful files like Ghost images (up to about 650 MB) into the folder C:cdrpackcdselghostdisk1
8) Burn the bootable CD on your Windows PC
- Insert a blank CD-R or CD-RW
- Open a command prompt
- Go to the C:cdrpack folder
- Run "run.bat"
- Select the appropriate CD burner from the list
- Enter the burn speed
- Select "Build & Burn" from the main menu
- Then select "elghost"
- Wait for the burn to complete
- The bootable CD should be ready
Sony U Operating Systems
The following Operating Systems have been posted and shown (mostly) working at various sites:
XP Tablet Edition
XP Media Center Edition
*XP Media Center edition 2002 and 2004 and XP Tablet 2004 and 2005 are based on XP Professional and share the same core and run decently on the Sony U.
**XP Media Center is crippled in that it cannot join a Windows domain.
Debian GNU/Linux and NetBSD 1.6.2 on Sony Vaio U50/70: link
Fedora Core 2 Linux install for the U: link
Suse 9.1 (Vadim)
- U70/U50 Installing Suse Linux OS: link
How to install Linux and NetBSD on the SONY VAIO U50 and U70: link
- Sony hardware support is not fully supported, but U70 is mostly functional
- Issues with touchscreen and calibration
- Full wireless not fully supported
- Issues with the Speedstep
- Sony key drivers: http://popies.net/sonypi/
- Linux driver for Gunze touch panel used in U70P/U50 merged modified Gunzets driver: link
- Standard Linux USB mouse driver works under 2.6 kernel
- Gunze driver in 2.6: link
Linux touchscreen drivers for the U50, U70P, and U750P: link
XP Driver Downloads
- Sony does not provide driver downloads for the original drivers included in the each of the U series. A recovery partition on the Sony U contains the original drivers.
- The recovery partition drivers are localized to the country in which the U was sold. The U50, U70P, and U71P recovery partition only contain Japanese recovery software.
- A recovery CD/DVD can be purchased directly for the U750P and is only available in English.
- Upgrade drivers can be downloaded from the various Sony sites below for all models.
- All models share the same drivers because every component is the same except for the CPU drivers (e.g. SpeedStep application)
*Sony software is device locked, so application recovery CD drives for the U750P will not work for any other model. There are hacks, but Sony has done a good job in making extraction efforts difficult.
Microsoft XP boot floppy images from Microsoft's website (KB article Q310994): link
Sony U50 & U70P
That's Fresh U50/U70 Mix of English/Japanese Drivers and Conversion Guide: link
Official Sony VGN-U50/U70 Support: link
Sony Official U70P Support Site: link
Japan Rush U50/U70P Downloads: link
YahooGroups U70 Drivers: link
YahooGroups U70 Drivers mirror: link
Synaptics USB Drivers: link
Gunze Touch Screen Information: link
Non-official Drivers and Apps: link
Non-official U50 Apps: link
Sony original U750P drivers: link
Sony U750P original and update drivers: link
*It does not apper to be missing any of the U750 drivers any longer, but it is missing application downloaded such as LiquidSurf and Sonic Stage. This is a lot better than it previously was.
The current version from Intel's website is 126.96.36.19984. Newer versions should work fine, although we have not tried them.
Original Drivers - Microsoft Windows XP
ADI SoundMAX Audio Device Driver
Texas Instruments Driver Utility For Memory Stick
Intel Chipset Drivers Installation Utility
Intel PRO/100 VE Network Connection Driver Utility
Notebook Control and Utilities
Sony Notebook Control Device Driver
Synaptics PS/2 TouchStyk for VAIO Driver
Sony Shared Library Utility
Sony Programmable I/O Control Device Driver Utility
Gunze USB Touch Panel Device Driver
Intel 82852/82855 GM/GME Graphics Controller Driver
Sony 802.11g Wireless LAN Module Driver
Sony U750P Support Site: link
Microsoft Windows XP Service Pack 2 Network Installation Package for IT Professionals and Developers: link
English XP Install Guides
Works for XP Tablet install
Methods to install XP Tablet Edition using an MSDN license with XP Tablet software
Run an upgrade (slipstream
) using the XP Tablet CDs and an XP Tablet license: link
*The Tablet CDs and license are the only additional components to upgrade the U750P from XP Pro to Tablet OS.
**NOTE FOR UPGRADES
The U50, U70P, and U71P have the Japanese version of XP Pro installed. The upgrade to XP Tablet from XP Pro can only work in the same language--English XP Pro can be upgraded to English XP Tablet and Japanese XP Pro can be upgraded to Japanese XP Tablet . The upgrade has difficulties dealing with the different languages during an upgrade.
Greyhat suggested English XP Fresh Installation Guide:
Drivers (BeyondtheTech Sony U English Drivers mirror): link
Remzi install guide: link
* Updates to this install method will reflect recent updates as of 4/5/05 and based on jk and Greyhat recent Fresh XP XP Tablet 2005 installs. (stayed tuned for updates)
- Many driver sites have changed, thus changing driver locations.
- Japanese U and U750P installs vary based on a few different or updated drivers specific to the U750P. (stayed tuned for updates)
1. Connect a regular USB keyboard to the Sony U USB port (on the U and not the docking station).
- A USB to PS2 keyboard and mouse adapter may be used to connect a PS2 keyboard and PS2 mouse.
2. Connect Sony Firewire CD or DVD drive to the Sony docking station Firewire port and insert Sony U.
- XP Tablet install is straighforward, just install disc 1 of the XP Tablet SP1.
3. Delete the Sony partition since it is the Japanese version of XP Home for the U50, U70, U8G, and U71.
4. Partition the hard drive with 2 partitions, saving at least 2Gb for a backup partition.
- After all the effort to install the U and upgrade to XP SP2, you'll thank us for this backup partition.
- Advanced users, install a Fat32 partition and dual boot with DOS, Windows 98 command line, and/or Windows XP
command console. In a pinch, this will provide access with a CD or floppy drive to recover the Sony U.
5. Follow the Remzi XP installation instructions to load drivers and Sony support software: link
- For XP Tablet install disc 2 of the XP Tablet SP1.
Caveats to the Remzi install guide:
- Any USB peripheral including mice, keyboard, etc. function on U if the latest Synaptics drivers
are loaded: link
*Before 10/04, this was broken and the Synaptics drivers needed to be loaded/unloaded as newer USB devices were connected to the U or the docking station.
**This solution corrects early reported problems with external USB mice and keyboards being recognized after English conversion.
- The Gunze touch panel drivers need to be installed and calibrated. Without this step, the edges of the touch screen (e.g. the Windows Start Menu) are inaccessible.
Gunze Touch Screen Install: There are 2 specific and [crazy] Human Interface Drivers (HID) that you need to hunt down and correct:
a. Install Gunze drivers
b. Start-->Settings-->Control Panel-->System-->Hardware-->Device Manager-->HID Devices
- Go into each HID device properties-->Details
c. Locate and change to HID Device (Gunze USB HID Device): 5&2A8D3CAA&0&1
d. Locate and change to Mouse (Gunze USB Touch Panel): 6&169CD8A8&0&0000
e. Start-->Settings-->Control Panel-->Touch Panel-->Calibrate
f. Reboot and the remaining Gunze drivers will load.
Setting Gunze Touch screen right mouse click (tap and hold)
Modify the Gunze Touch Panel setting to hold the pen longer to perform a "right mouse click".
The Gunze digitizer on the Sony, like most tabletpc digitizers and tablets, reports back to the OS as absolute coordinates; therefore wherever you touch, thats where the mouse cursor is going to end up. If you want something like a laptop touchpad digitizer, which reports back relative coordinates, therefore a drag from right to left will have the mouse cursor move to the left relative to where the cursor started. This issue/feature has been a part of most TabletPC's, and most owners have either worked around it by using an external mouse or using alternative programs: link
6. Install Sony Notebook Setup for button and battery life settings
*There are missing instructions to getting this essential software to fully for on the U.
For now, follow the Yahoo Groups instructions to get this working.
7. Windows Media Player Remote configuration requires:
*Refer to the Media Remote Control Installation #1 section below to complete this installation.
8. In order to emulate the Floating Tablet Input Panel (TIP) in XP Tablet on the Sony U Passive digitizer touch screen, download the floattip.exe and tip.exe files from YahooGroups, place in a directory on the U, and place the floattip.exe program in your Startup directory
*When you click in a text area a TIP icon appears (e.g. Address bar in Internet Explorer), clicking on the TIP icon shows a floating Tablet Input Panel for handwriting entry. When using handwriting, additional lines appear as needed. The trick that floattip.exe uses is tabtip.exe. Even when using "tapping the icon opens input panel", it is expecting an active screen and so expects to see a "pen in range of the screen" message. Floattip.exe sends this message to tabtip, so tabtip thinks the pen is in range of the screen. Then it all seems to work correctly using this software.
**The floating TIP is a natural part of TPC 2005. It appears naturally on any Tablet with an active digitizer which can operate in hover mode. The Sony has a passive digitizer and thus needs the float-tip utility to emulate the hover. It makes TPC functionally identical to an active digitizer device.
9. Once the basics are installed, run Windows Update to obtain XP SP2 (aka Tablet 2005)
10. Backup: Ghost or TrueImage your C: drive to your D: drive.
*There is a known memory leak problem with the TIP in XP Tablet SP2.
Update Memory Leak in Tablet OS FIXED:
Kurns & Patrick Sony VGN - T70/50 Windows XP English setup: link
Another XP Tablet install guide: link
Media Remote Control Installation #1 (latest working instructions as of 3/05)
Works with Sony U part number RM-VSC1 ($112 SonyStyle) and RM-MC35ELK ($35-$50 eBay)
Functions supported by configuration:
- Displays the Song, Album and Artist with icons on the remote display,
- Controls Play/Stop/Pause/Forward/Reverse/Next Song/Back Song,
- P.mode enables track/disc repeat and shuffle,
- Volume control works by rotating the end sleeve,
- Sound button enables/disables MegaBASS, and
- White text on a black dialog box appears when the Stick Remote Commander is plugged/unplugged.
- Special remote features listed below.
- Use of Winamp is still available without the remote for streaming Internet radio (Shoutcast). Greyhat suggests that you do not load the Yahoo Groups DLL for Winamp at this time as Winamp becomes unstable while using Shoutcast.
*This is a very light-weight and legal remedy to get the Stick Remote Control fully operational and running with the built-in Windows Media Player. No additional Sony bloatware is required such as Sony SonicStage, Vaio Zone, etc.
VAIO Power Management: link
VAIO Wired Remote Commander Service: link
VAIO Wired Remote Commander Service Plugin for WMP: link
Install the four packages in order and then go into Windows Media Player
View -> Plug-ins -> Other -> Plugin for Stick Commander
Ensure that this is checked.
Next, go to Start-->Settings-->Control Panel
Stick Remote Commander
Select OK to enable the Stick Remote Commander
The following remote controls work with the Sony U, but the display does not work:
Change the Stick Remote Commander settings (Knowledge Article C357818): link
Additional Feature: Displaying the Clock on the Remote Control: (Stephen Furr)
Holding down the DISPLAY button brings up a menu on the remote's LCD with three choices:
001 - Standby
002 - Current time
003 - Exit from menu
Scroll through the menu using the FF and REW buttons and select a function by pressing the PLAY/PAUSE/ENTER lever (IN) or pressing the FOLDER + button. The current time from the PC is displayed on the Remote Control in military format. By pressing the FOLDER - button, by selecting option 003, or by holding the DISPLAY button for another three seconds returns the control's display to the default display.
Winamp 5.08e Update with this method:
Bad news, Winamp became very flakey and crashed after copying the Yahoo Groups Winamp plugin gen_sonywa.dll into Program Files. This DLL also only provides Winamp display, but no controls.
After a few Winamp restarts and Shoutcast channel selections, Winamp played without crashing but it seems to either crash during Winamp initialization when:
1. The Winamp Play List or the Media Library windows appear OR
2. What Greyhat suspects to be the problem, Winamp almost regularly crashes after each song change. We believe that the gen_sonywa.dll cannot handle the Shoutcast Internet radio station name change as the songs changes.
When the gen_sonywa.dll plugin is deleted from the Winamp plugin directory, Shoutcast and Winamp are again stable.
Prior to the copy, Winamp and Shoutcast were solid playing Internet radio streams from Shoutcast.
The good news is that the Stick Remote Control displays the Shoutcast information with this DLL, but there's no other type of control.
At this point, gen_sonywa.dll is suspect. Winamp and Shoutcast work without the remote Sony Display software loaded and WMP and the Stick Remote Control work with the working Method #1 listed up at our site.
Directions for Winamp: (if you would like to try it any way)
With the Yahoo Groups Utilities-->Plugins for Remote Control File:
Copy DLL into the directory c:Program FilesWinampPlugins
Inside of Winamp 5.08e Options-->Preferences-->Plug-ins-->General Purpose
There is a reference to SonyDisplay 1.0, so this shows that the Winamp Plug-in is only for Display...no controls like WMP.
Media Remote Control Installation #2 (old directions)
Sony U part number RM-VSC1
Use SonicStage or the Media Remote Control Installation #1 section above to use the Stick Remote Control. (thanks vsc, Vaio Zone does not come with the U750P)
- Without any drivers, the Media Remote Control works with Media Player, iTunes, and Winamp, but no text is displayed.
- The Media Remote Control Installation #1 section above will provide full control of the stick.
English Media Remote Control File Downloads:
Files of importance:
sonywmp.dll - plugin for media player
gen_sonywa.dll - plugin for winamp
Windows Media Player Support:
- Displays longer than 20 character titles
- Supports the volume and sound button without "VAIO Wired Remote Commander Service" or "VAIO Entertainment"
- Requires "Vaio Event Service"
- All of the controls work properly--Text display, Play, Pause, Fast Forward, Rewind, Hold, Sound, Play Mode, Megabass, and hold down the enter key on the remote and shutdown the U remotely
Displays rotating disc icon when music is playing
Displays U's battery level on remote
- Volume twist knob causes pop-up volume level indicator to appear while it's being turned
Windows Media Player Installation:
Downlod sonywmp.dll to c:Program Fileswmp
At a command prompt: regsvr32 c:Program Fileswmpsonywmp.dll
Dialog box appears "Dllregistersaver in sonywmp.dll succeeded"
The plugin should appear after that next time you run Windows Media Player it should be there:
Download to winamp plugins directory c:program fileswinampplugins
Install VAIO Wired Remote Commander Service
Additional Remote Media Controls that work on the U with these plugins:
Sony RM-MC38EL - identical to RM-VSC1 except silver
Uaddict Vaio Zone Installer: link
*All of these various methods to utilize the Sony U Remote Media Control have issues with various remote features working/not working with the Asian U's, YMMV. We recommend U750P owners use the bundled SonicStage software.
Tablet OS on the Sony U
Tablet PCs have an active digitizer screen. Only a special pen works on them and tapping them with your finger, plain stylus, etc. won't register a tap like it does with the passive touch screen like the one on the Sony U. An active digitizer requires the special pen, not the hand, to manipulate the screen.
The conseqence for this is that with a Tablet PC, you can rest your hand/wrist on the screen while you write without it registering a tap. You can rest your hand on a piece of paper when you write on it, but only the pen/pencil will mark up the piece of paper, an active digitizer and special digitizer pen can only mark up the active digitizer screen. If you had a 10" or 12" screen, like most Tablets, and a passive screen, it would be very hard to avoid inadvertant taps.
Despite the Sony U having a passive digitizer, it does not have this problem because the screen is so small and your hand does not rest on the screen.
Also with an active screen you can "hover" the pen above the screen and the mouse follows it around, a very handy feature. This is similar to moving your mouse over a link and Windows displaying the link information details prior to clicking on the link. The Sony U cannot provide this functionality.
An active screen also supports additional buttons on the sylus such as a right click buttton or an eraser on the end of the stylus. The Sony U cannot provide this functionality, although Tablet OS and the Sony U provide a tap and hold feature that emulates the right mouse click.
Tablet OS Notes
Buy an MSDN subscription: here
- The installation process is almost the same as installing any XP Pro software.
- All functions that work in XP Pro (device drivers, sony utilities, etc) will work the same in XP Tablet.
- All the Sony software that works in XP Pro are working on the Tablet OS.
- XP SP2 has added a lot of improvement on Tablet-related functionality.
Pros for Tablet OS:
- The Text Input Panel (TIP) works well on the U
- The Tablet OS 2005 handwriting recognition (HWR) is much better than anything else on the U
- Tablet OS accesses "for Tablet only" features within MS Office 2003, MSN Messenger, MS One Note, and other Tablet software (e.g. Instant Messaging can be sent in ink using MSN Messenger)
- Windows Journal is a very good way to capture information on a Tablet
- XP Tablet PowerToy Snipping Tool is an excellent screen capture tool
- Tablet Enhancements for Outlook (TEO) greatly improves Outlook use
Cons for Tablet OS:
- Cost of MSDN license ($699) is expensive.
- Performance is slightly slower on XP Tablet because it runs on top of XP
Using Your Tablet PC for Networking and Working Remotely While Traveling: link
Tablet Collaboration Strategies: link
Tablet and XP Performance Guides
Acronis Resources Center
Reviews and information about increasing computer performance including tips & tricks, case studies on data storage and disk partitioning.
c|net Speed up Windows XP: link
HickoryHacksXP - Windows XP how-to and performance help: link
Customize Windows XP for Power Tablet Use: link
Handtops OQO performance enhancements (Sony U can use these same concepts): link
TabletPCQuestions FAQ: link
Office 2003 Tablet PC Update: Improved Ink Recognition: link
Windows XP Tablet PC Edition 2005 Recognizer Pack (Multi-language): link
Turning off recognition in the Tablet TIP: link
Tablet Must Have Software
EverNote is a great program because it is a great productivity tool! The current beta is free and very functional.Greyhat loves the ink notes and the ability to convert to text choice scribbles to utilize as keyword identifiers. This allows you to index and search your handwritten notes without converting them completely to text, which is a big time saver. This program looks very promising and works quite well at meetings. One can search through my notes based on keywords/timelines/categories/ etc.
Writing with OneNote and a Tablet PC: link
- ClearType tuner (great for 5" U screen), Alt-Tab Replacement, TweakUI, and Image Resizer.
XP Tablet PowerToys: link
- Calculator and Dictionary Tool.
Experience Pack for Tablet PC: link
- Each can be loaded independantly
- Snipping Tool is a must (replaces SnagIT and more effective than PrintScreen)
- Free Tablet Alt-Tab replacement Task Switcher when you can't reach Alt-Tab: link
Tablet Software of Interest
Screen Annotator (free): link
PowerPoint to OneNote Converter: link
- Provides additional functionalities to the Tablet PC Input Panel. It offers the ability to make the Tablet PC Input Panel semi-transparent. It also prevents the Tablet PC Input Panel to move or resize the visible windows: link
TIPex - Requires Microsoft .NET Framework
Version 1.1 Redistributable Package: link
Transparent Input Panel
- Make the Tablet Input Panel (TIP) semi-transparent either all the time or when the pen / mouse passes over the TIP: link
- Ink-enabled screen saver application for Tablet PCs: link
Other Tablet PC Software: link
Handwriting Tips for Tablet Use (for Novice Tablet Users)
There are 3 windows:
1. Writing Pad is the top area
- By far the best writing area for its speed of entry.
- Write in cursive and fluidly. Don't worry about sloppy handwriting, the recognition engine looks like it guesses the word. It makes mistakes but you can teach it what you meant and go back and revise what had been transcribed.
- Writing mixed case, numbers, symbols, and letters in this area is more prone to error (e.g. inputting passwords).
- None of the Palm or PPC handwriting shortcuts work. It looks like Microsoft completely rewrote their handwriting recognition intelligence for Tablet OS.
- Write your sentence quickly here and edit in using the Character Pad.
2. The Character Pad is far more precise for character entry.
- Case, numbers, symbols, and letters are more accurately deciphered in this area so this area is much SLOWER to write in, but will provide a better method to go back, review, and edit what was transcribed from thought to digital ink to actual text on the tablet.
- Once you are comfortable, this area is best used for userid and passwords on Websites.
3. Onscreen keyboard (aka the last resort)
- If neither the writing pad nor the character pad can achieve your word, use this area.
- At first, this area was my crutch making me wish there was a physical keyboard, but in the last month I find that I rarely use it.
- If you find yourself after a month of use, tuning, and practice reaching for this area, A TABLET MAY NOT BE FOR Y0U.
Also take the time to tune the Character and Waiting pad Options.
There are already several FAQs on how to do this.
Also, we loaded XP Tablet on a Fujitsu B-2175 touchscreen laptop, but that experience is not even close to this experience.
The Sony U was meant to be running XP Tablet OS.
The U passive digitizer is nice because it does not necessarily need a stylus to interact with the screen and we find ourselves using left and right index fingers to interface with the desktop.
The 800x600 resolution screen is also the minimum screen resolution that Tablet OS should be running on because the writing area takes up a lot of room. We could not imagine using the smaller resolution of 800x480 for inputting and viewing as what is available in the OQO.
Sony U Power Point Presentation Strategy
- When in Power Point, enable presentation mode
- Hold pen on screen
- Select Pointer Options
- Select Pen
When this mode is selected, you can give a Power Point presentation and mark up your presentation screen, providing a more collaborative presentation, drawing on the presentation, take notes for users, and/or capture topics that arise during the presentation.
This is a tablet technique that is much more difficult to do on a normal notebook or PC, and is optimized for a tablet like the Sony U.
You can change the Pen Color to better view your markings.
When pen mode is enabled, use the hardware arrow keys on the upper right hand side of the Sony U to move forward and backward through the presentation.
OrangeGuava Desktop: link
GUI Enhancement Discussion: link
GUI Applications for the U (TodayScreen apps)
Ghrone - Translucent Desktop Clock: link
Jarnal - Note taking, sketching, keeping a journal, presentations , annotating a document, or collaborating: link
tinySpell - Small utility that spell checking in any Windows application: link
MobileMeter - Displays CPU speed, CPU temperature, HDD temperature and battery charge/discharge rate: link English link
MountFocus Keyboard Designer - Tool for creating onscreen virtual keyboards: link
Remote Task Manager - Systems control interface that can be run from a remote Windows system enabling control over most aspects of a remote environment: link
True Launch Bar - Quick Launch bar replacement suited for a tablet: link
Wizmo - Screen blanking utility and more: link
uPC and Notebook Software of Interest
Neowin list of free programs and utilities: link
Tinyapps - Guide to very small software for your PC: link
The Great Software List: link
The 46 Best-ever Freeware Utilities: link
Pricelessware - List of what people have voted as "the best of the best in Freeware" by the participants of the "alt.comp.freeware" newsgroup: link
- Keyboard, joystick, and mouse remapper, word auto-complete, hotkey/shortcut scripting tool to record macros, and macro recorder that can create EXE scripts: link
See what programs are configured to startup automatically when your system boots and you login, and shows full list of Registry and file locations where applications can configure auto-start settings: link
Battery Eater Pro
- Measures the minimum operation time of a notebook: link
Identify unknown open ports and their associated applications: link
Hard Disk Indicator
- Displays a light in the system tray to show when the hard disk is active: link
- Microsoft's free ImageResizer lets you resize images directly in Windows Explorer: link
- Cross-platform podcast receiver that provides customized scheduling of podcasts: link
- Expands the capabilities of Internet Explorer to make your web experience more productive: link
- Notepad replace and offers development line counter: link
- Light, basic text editor for Windows, very much like Notepad but is much better: link
- Instant Messaging (Version 7.0 added video calls): link
MS Office suite replacement that can open and edit common Microsoft Office files: link
- Find out what files, registry keys and other objects processes have open, which DLLs they have loaded, and show you who owns each process: link
- Rename filenames in bulk: link
RegScrubXP - Free Windows XP/2000 System Registry cleaner: link
- Basic note application with Blowfish encryption that requires a password to access it: link
- Allows users to quickly tweak various security and privacy related settings in XP: link
- Extends Windows Explorer "Send To:" functionality to every application: link
- Use your desktop's or notebook's keyboard and mouse to control your Handtop
from over the network. Handy tool for slate Tablets or when you don't have access to your Tablet's keyboard. You can also display the screen of the server you are working on: link
- Free Internet telephony: link
- CPU frequency control for notebooks running Windows XP: link
- Sun Microsystems supported MS Office replacement application suite: link
Taskbar Repair Tool Plus!
- Repair and customize the Quick Launch, Taskbar and Notification Area inWindows XP: link
- Encrypted Instant Messaging that works with AIM, MSN, Yahoo, Jabber, etc.: link
-Enhancements for XP: link
*The Vaio Optimization setting in the Powerpanel may interfere with this application.
Wikipedia (Internet Encyclopedia)
Complete Wikipedia Encyclopedia on your handheld or notebook: link
CIA - The World Factbook: link
Opera - Very fast, configurable, and tabbed browser that can fake being IE 6.0: link
30 Days to Becoming an Opera7 Lover: link
VMWare functions under XP Tablet on the U50 and other U's at 800x600 resolution.
- Ethernet support only (wireless issues)
- Touchscreen not supported
- Hardware buttons not fully functional
The Sony U needs at least 512MB RAM to run a virtual operating system.
We can confirm that Redhat 9.0 and Fedora Core 2 and 3 within VMWare. VMWare virtualises all USB devices and detects non-bootable NEC DVD burners as bootable devices under virtualization which means that you are able to boot from non bootable DVD burners and install other operating systems on VMWare.
U Synchronization Software
- synchronizes all Outlook items
- an interactive directory (path) synchronizer for windows: link
Keep your PCs in sync with FolderShare
How to use Windows XP Briefcase: link link
How to make a file available offline: link link link
- Synchronizes all network files during domain logon
How to copy files and settings from one computer to another using the Files and Settings Transfer Wizard: link
Browser Bookmark Synchronization:
- Backup Firefox and Thunderbird e-mail settings, bookmarks, saved passwords, email filters, and contacts for easy restoration (free).
SiteBar - The Bookmark Server for Personal and Team Use
A9.com Toolbar - Saves bookmarks, browser history and searches stored centrally using toolbar
Viewing Web pages Without Being Connected to the Internet
(aka AvantGo Replacement for Handtops/Notebooks)
This article describes how to make Web pages available for offline viewing using Internet Explorer.
When you make a Web page available offline, you can read its content when your computer is not connected to the Internet.
How to Make Web Pages Available for Offline Viewing: link 1 link 2
- Web site copier which allows you to browse a Web site offline: link
Remote System Access using the Sony U
- Use your desktop's or notebook's keyboard and mouse to control your Handtop
from over the network. Handy tool for slate Tablets or when you don't have access to your Tablet's keyboard: link
XP Terminal Services (XP Pro and Tablet Only) - Remote control the Sony U from anywhere or use the Sony U to remote control other systems: Info Configuration Guide 1 Guide 2
Running Terminal Services on top of IIS (Web Server) using SSL: link
*From anywhere on the Net, you can use an RDP Client to have full desktop control using an encrypted connection.
*Enable SSH Server on the server/host and use this software to map drives over the Internet using SSH encryption.
- SSH Tectia Client (Windows) provides an easy-to-use graphical user interface for file transfers and configurations.
- The intuitive file transfer window includes separate views for the file folders in the local and remote computers, as well as transfer progress and history views.
- Stream data compression for slower-speed connections.
- SSH Tectia Client is free for personal and educational use: link
*You can still download the SSH Secure Shell 3.2 non-commercial source code and Windows Client free of charge from various anonymous ftp sites around the globe for purposes of EVALUATION, NON-COMMERCIAL USE, AND UNIVERSITY USE as defined in the license agreement.
Example SSH and secure file transfer GUI using any SSH server and SSH Tectia client
How to - Share your music via iTunes on the Net: link
Depreciated Solutions and Potential Security Threats:
Virtual CD Programs
The Sony U does not have a built-in CD drive.
The only bootable CD and DVD drives are Sony iLink/Firewire drives.
Only the docking station has a Firewire port.
Some programs (such as games) require a CD drive, the following software emulates the CD/DVD drive:
Daemon Tools (freeware): link
DVD and DivX
VideoLAN Client (VLC): link
DivX Player: link
Guides on DVD and DivX
Digital Digest: link
DVD Shrink: link
Backup and compress DVD to fit hard drive
* The Sony U is very powerful and can play MPeg-2 and MPeg-4 video with MP3 and AC-3 codecs.
uPC - Handtop Essential Security Software
Agnitum Outpost Firewall - free for personal use: link
Kerio Personal Firewall - free for personal use: link
Microsoft XP SP2 Firewall - free, built-in
Primedius Personal Firewall/Anti-Spy ware - free for personal use: link
Sygate Personal Firewall - free for personal use: link
ZoneAlarm Firewall - free for personal use: link
AntiVirVPersonal Edition - free for personal use: link
Avast! Home Edition - free for personal use: link
AVG Free Edition- free for personal use: link
BitDefender Free Edition - free for personal use: link
VCatch Basic - free for personal use: link
AntiVirus - HandyBits VirusScan Integrator - free for personal use and launches several A/V solutions: link
Ad-Aware SE Personal Edition - free for personal use: link
Microsoft (formerly Giant) AntiSpyware - free for licensed Windows cutomers: link
Spybot Search and Destroy - freeware: link
- Always run WindowsUpdate.or enable Automatic Update: link
- Do not forget to separately update Microsoft Office and other standalone software packages.
Home PC Security Recommendations: link
Thunderbird on a stick: link
Wireless Security - 802.11 and Bluetooth
Wireless security whitepaper: link
Bluetooth security whitepaper: link
*There are whole libraries of books written dedicated to discuss the various security pitfalls regarding wireless technology. These links are meant to remind you that 802.11a/b/g/n, 802.16 (WiMax), EV-DO, GPRS, CDMA, Edge, and Bluetooth networks are full of security pitfalls because they are wireless, untethered networks that are more easily susceptible to attack than wired networks. Take caution and practice fundamental security controls per wireless technology in order to minimize the overall security implications of each technology.
Games Working on the Sony U
Gaming on the Sony U review: link
Uaddict.com has released Mame32 Plus for the Sony U750. Mame32 Plus for the Sony U750 is a version of Mame32 Plus that has been tweaked to run on the Sony U series. Download HERE. For liability reasons, Greyhat will not host a download link to this abandonware, but has pursued others hosting these files.
What is Mame you ask? Read on...
MAME (pronounced as the word 'maim' in English) stands for Multiple Arcade Machine Emulator. When used in conjunction with an arcade game's data files (ROMs), MAME will more or less faithfully reproduce that game on a PC. MAME can currently emulate over 3000 unique (and over 5400 in total) classic arcade video games from the three decades of video games - '70s, '80s and '90s, and even some from the current millennium.
The ROM images that MAME utilizes are "dumped" from arcade games' original circuit-board ROM chips. MAME becomes the "hardware" for the games, taking the place of their original CPUs and support chips. Therefore, these games are NOT simulations, but the actual, original games that appeared in arcades.
The version available here has been tweaked to run smoother, and to use the buttons, and pointing stick on the U. Just install, add roms, and go!
- List of some great titles that no longer require a license
Command & Conquer Red Alert 2
StarTrek Bridge Commander
Star Wars Rogue Squadron 3D
Doom 3 (lowest settings had to disable some windows services)
Quake II (And all the mods)
Return to Castle Wolfenstein (highest settings)
Need For Speed Underground 2
Unreal Tournament (Original)
World of Warcraft
Game review on the U50: link
Game Demo downloads (Half Life 2): link
The Sony U cannot handle any pixel and shader graphics functions, so most of the advanced games will not work properly and most of the upcoming games that are quite intensive graphically will not start. For example. Splinter Cell it uses pixel shader so heavily that it does not work. Specifically, if any game like SC ( http://downloads-zdnet.com.com/Tom-Clancy-s-Splinter-Cell-Chaos-Theory-single-player-demo/3000-7505_2-10367364.html ) says that it requires GeForce 3+ or ATI Radeon 8500+, they won't work. Even more, it requires too a 1.4Ghz machine, so normally it would let the game start if it detects a slower machine. There's a program called 3danalyze that lets you simulate pixel shader, but the success with this is quite random. Download link
eReader Pro: link
Microsoft Reader: link
eBook Protection Support: link
Convert PDF documents to text: link
Read headlines and other information in RSS 2.0 format:
*If you are using Microsoft SharePoint Products and Technologies, you can get RSS feeds delivered to your SharePoint site by using an add-in such as Tim Heuer's RSS FeedReader Web part
(smilinggoat.net). The RSS FeedReader can be placed on a Web part page in an Office SharePoint Portal Server 2003 portal site or a Microsoft Windows SharePoint Services site.
General FAQs and HowTos
Ultranote Sony U FAQs: link
Enable or disable a startup item in the System Configuration Utility in XP: link
Error: Unable to locate recovery partition occurs when attempting to use the VAIO Recovery Wizard (Knowledge Article C327906): link
Establish a Bluetooth wireless connection using Microsoft Windows XP with Service Pack 2 (SP2): link
Introduction to Creating Reader Documents - Part 1: link
Introduction to Creating Reader Documents - Part 2: link
Read Web Comics on a PlayStation Portable (can be used for the U): link
Reset the BIOS to its default values (Knowledge Article C94679): link
Safe Removal of Plug and Play Devices (USB and Firewire): link
Setting Up a Wireless LAN, Part 1: link
Setting Up a Wireless LAN, Part 2: link
Use Gmail account as a personal file server: link
Windows Shortcut Keys: link
Tips for Handtop Owners
Greyhat is requesting that a uPC Handtop community Wiki is started for this...
How to maintain a healthy Windows System
Solutions for XP and XP Tablet: link
Windows XP tips review: link
Windows Explorer Hacks - Check out "No to all": link
Registry Edits for Windows XP - "Tweaks and Tips": link
Great with a Handtop
Pocketable Digital Hard Drive-based Camcorders:
JVC GZMC200 - 1CCD
JVC GZMC500 - 3CCD recording at 50i (almost HDTV quality, but at DVD quality): JVC link link
Possible U Solar power solutions: link
Scott eVest SOLAR SeV: link
- Wearable solar panels that will power any USB rechargeable device (except U)
More Solar Power discussion: link
XM Radio Online
- Stream XM radio to the U over the Net using your Browser and XM Player: link
Streaming Internet Radio
Shoutcast - Streaming Internet Radio (requires Winamp): link
Use Winamp to listen to Shoutcast Internet Radio.
*Requires and Internet connection, Winamp, and access to Shoutcast Website.
Compact Flash Radio Does not work on the Sony U:
Prolink FM201 CF Radio
has been tested and does not work with the Sony U: link
- Limited to PocketPC support
Untested Prolink FM203 CF Radio
, but should work since it has software available for XP.
Streaming Internet TV
Ideas on Watching TV on the Sony U
Watching TV on your Pocket PC: link
BroadCatching using RSS + BitTorrent to automatically download TV shows: link
Encoding and Streaming to your Pocket PC: link
- Increase the speed of the Rotate button function, disable the button text overlay in Sony Notebook Setup.
Watch Live TV stations broadcasting on the internet: link link
Streaming movie and video: link
Web TV List - World's largest collection of Live internet TV: link
Live Television from Around the World: link
TV-ZAPPER - Free Internet Television: link
Interesting Online Utility Sites
BugMeNot - Bypass Website registrations: link
Gadget Sites: link
Google Maps - See satellite photos of your destination: link
Mapquest Maps and Directions: link
T-Mobile Coverage Maps - Search T-Mobile coverage locations: link
Sprint Tower Maps - Locate Sprint Service Locations: link
Wi-fiHotSpotList - Enter address or Zip code and locate hotspots: link
Wifi Freespot Directory: link
WorldTimeServer - Calculates the time for any place on the globe: link
xe.com - The Universal Currency Converter: link
YaGooHooGle - Simultaneous Yahoo and Google in one search: link
We also thank jk for his insightful journals on the Sony U since its release:
We also thank YahooGroups, Kemplar.com, Handtops.com, and Uaddict.com and the countless other folks (especially skfurr) for providing many useful tips, tweaks, and hacks that contributed to this FAQ and opportunities to share and learn about unlocking the potential of the Sony U platform.
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These Web pages are intended to provide information only. Greyhat and its directors shall not have any legal responsibility for the information contained in them. Greyhat shall not be liable for any consequences arising out of or in connection with the information provided, associated links, or other actions that you will take or have taken (or not taken) by yourself based on the information provided. Greyhat is not liable for any modifications to your hardware. The information and directions provided are provided as is, without warranty of any kind, and for educational purposes only.
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