A computer on which Windows 7 has been deployed via a clean install can stop responding completely after the second restart. This issue also affects Windows Server 2008 R2, Microsoft informed, and is related to the 1394 bus driver.

According to the Redmond company, machines running Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008 R2 can also stop responding when customers enable or install a 1394 device. The IEEE 1394 is a serial bus interface standard most known by the following brands FireWire (Apple), i.LINK (Sony), and Lynx (Texas Instruments).

Microsoft even offered an example of the hardware configuration on which users have been experiencing this problem. The software giant notes that the issue affects PCs with nVidia MCP7A-GeForce 9300 rev B1 motherboard that also feature an LSI Logic FW533 or an FW643 1394 Host controller. Disabling and then enabling, as well as uninstalling and then installing the 1394 host controller will render the machine unresponsive, as will restarting the computer, or putting it to sleep and then waking it.

“This issue occurs because the 1394 bus driver in Windows 7 does not issue an Open Host Controller Interface (OHCI) Soft Reset command to the 1394 host controller when the computer enters a low power (D3) state. When the 1394 host controller later enters a high power (D0) state, it may generate an incorrect PCI-Express packet. In this situation, the motherboard chipset stops responding,” Microsoft explained.

Ahead of Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2, the 1394 bus driver in Windows platforms generated an Open Host Controller Interface (OHCI) Soft Reset command to the 1394 host controller concomitantly with the moment when the PC was entering a low power state. Microsoft doesn’t offer users an update to fix the issue.

However, the company does have a hotfix available for download via Microsoft Support. “If the 1394 host controller is an add-on card, remove the card from the system before you install Windows 7. After setup is complete, apply this hotfix, and then re-enable the 1394 host controller,” the company advised affected users.

When I bought my Sony Reader, I planned to buy e-books from Sony’s on-line ebook store. But I soon realized that a lot of ebooks are available on the internet for free.

Project Gutenberg offers thousands of titles (mostly fiction) in txt format, while manybooks.net provides an impressive array of books in Sony format (as well as several other formats).

The motherload of free ebooks, however, is books.google.com. The Google folks are busy digitizing every book they can get their hands on. As of this writing, they have reportedly digitized over 10,000 public domain books, which anyone can download for free in pdf format. More »

The cool guys over at DeviantArt have made a plethora of iPhone theme skins for Sony Ericsson phones. That includes a lot of the popular SE models.

For your convenience, below you will find direct links to each of the skins, categorized by model numbers.

- K610i iPhone Skin
- K700 iPhone Skin
- K750 iPhone Skin
- K750i iPhone Skin
- K790/K800 iPhone Skin
- K790i/K800i iPhone Skin
- s700i iPhone Skin

Below you can see previews for some of these skins. Enjoy!