Nothing is easy with Windows! (HDMI to DVI Display)

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Male DVI connector pins (view of plug)

Male DVI connector pins (view of plug) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

So I figured my monitor has a DVI in, and my relatively new laptop has a HDMI out, why not get an inexpensive HDMI to DVI cable to get the benefits of digital display, instead of the VGA‘s analog cousin.

As usual I did my research about HDCP’s issues (High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection), which prevent you from dubbing HD contents digitally, and I found none. So I bought the cable at Amazon. The cable arrived and semi-excited I plugged the receptors in to their corresponding acceptors, and booted my laptop: Froze on boot!

So first,I checked BIOS. No option with display adapter. Un-plugged and booted into Windows 7 , 64X  , and no monitor shown after re-plugged HDMI- DVI cable. Tried varies combinations and permutations, no luck. I gave up.

Unhappy with the cable purchased, I went on Google, and not surprising tons of posted problems not so much with HDMI to DVI connection, but the problems lie with Intel 3000 graphics card on the motherboard that Intel never solved the known issues. So as usual, downloaded the most current driver to see if it would do anything! Once again, as usual, went through installation, and after two to three minutes, it said my laptop was not compatible with the driver version downloaded, I need to contact OEM!  WTF! Oh, yes, it did pre-warn me that if the driver was OEM installed, then it might not work. I thought Intel should support future upgrades regardless! I guess THEY DO NOT, so BUYERS BEWARE! looks like it is now all up to the Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs), in other words, if Gateway does not buy the licenses from Intel I am out of luck to use any latest drivers! This is game changing!

Anyway, another frustrated ending. Still not convinced, I Googled again, and in Intel communities’ forums, I finally found a temporary solution:

1) Unplug HDMI cable, and boot laptop

2) Once booted and log-in to Windows, plug your cable in, and go to Control Panel > Harware and Sound >Device Manager; Display Adapters > Intel (R) HD Graphic Family, right-click and select disable, and Yes, don’t worry about what it says or warns.

3) Repeat step 2, but select enable this time.

Caveat: Screen-saver will kill the setting and you have to redo step 2 and 3 to get multiple displays again : (

You should be able to peruse both displays.

So here is my point, if I am not semi-technie, I will be frustrated as hell! But one thing is sure, I have been putting up with Windows and hardware and software issues for so long that nothing is really surprising. Unfortunately, the annoyance variance is still far less than the premium demands of a Mac! (Mac has its issues too)


P.S. Result: DVI is better than using VGA! Essentially (very broadly) DVI is the same as HDMI, except there is no audio.  Also, my monitor does not have HDMI-in.

#AppBoxLite makes you a smart shopper!

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Like us the 99% ( I trust the 1% will never notice that I post this), perhaps, you will find this useful when you go grocery shopping. In addition to the thousands of brands, and millions of nutrition labels to process, the last thing you want is to worry about prices as well. A package with three chicken breasts at $10.25 looks right, a bag of carrots $2.50 sounds good, a 250 g box of blueberries at $1.99 is right on for some natural disease-fighting antioxidant… This is what I call shop-like-the-retailers-want-you-to. Now, if you want to shop-so-that-your-hard-earned-money-is-not-wasted, the AppBox Lite (iPhone) is certainly handy to make sure that you get value-for-money.

Fig 1: AppBox Lite homepage

AppBox Lite

The Price Grab is what I use often to get unit prices comparisons. Like in Fig 2, I compare the price/ml of Coke package in 2L bottle and a six-pack of 710ml each. I 100x the price so that the app will show more meaningful unitized prices. So with this example, I want to buy the 2L bottle.

Fig 2: example use to compare different Coke packages

The other use is conversion of weight measurements, like pounds to kilograms. If you don’t pay attention, you will be fooled when something seem to be a great buy. When you are at the meat section in Canada, the retailers love to confuse you with per lb advertisements, but with actual kilograms packaging. Remember 1 kg is more than 1 lb, or exactly 2.2046 lbs (use 2.2 or just 2 as proxy), so if sirloin beef is advertised at a steal of $5.99 a pound, you will see $13.20/kg on the package, so a $16.99 package shows you the weight of 1.2871 kg. To understand what you are paying, always base it on the per kilogram or the common weight measurement, and you will be surprised the un-advertised cut with better quality may be a better buy: $10.99/kg rib-eye vs. $10.99/kg T-Bone…

Fig 3: Units conversion

I know I love this stuff because I am an accountant, but it is not rocket science either to save money while getting the best value for what you buy. To me, it is more a game to out-smart the retailers.


P.S. Why do it in my head when I have a handy helper?!