HP DreamScreen: recent developments

The DreamScreen is unwell. It’s Snapfish application is dying. Repeatedly. And it’s not showing the Snapfish albums when it does run….

I thought it was a weak Wifi signal, but after re-positioning the router to within 2 metres of the DreamScreen, I think its safe to say it’s not.

When starting the Snapfish application (why can’t it automatically “sleep” to this app?) it tried to download the list of albums. It seems to know how many albums I have, but fails to get the thumbnails, and the album titles. Trying to browse an album seems to again know how many items there are, but again the thumbnails fail. Trying to show a high res crashes the app, and the main menu screen is shown again.

Tut tut, HP:

  1. Your Snapfish app (HP’s stack on the dream screen hardware) doesn’t seem to be resilient enough to handle data returned to it and crashes. Bad.
  2. HP runs Snapfish – if that’s returning new/different data, then that’s Snapfish’s fault for modifying a “stable” API. Which is HP.  Bad.
  3. There is no diagnosis that I can access to see what the error is. Bad.
  4. There is no way for me to write an app onto this platform, still. Bad.

There was talk of an open SDK at one stage, but I’ve not seen any sign of it. Hum….

If HP doesn’t resolve this issue, or free the platform to let people develop more useful apps, then it will circle the plughole and die! An opportunity for a great product missed.

O2: Impressions after 2 weeks

I ordered O2 Broadband when we moved into our new flat. Promptly they sent us a Thompson TH585 v7 DSL router/modem. Within a few days the line was attached and the modem duly got connected. Yay.

Inital speed for the first few days was 0.5 Mbit/sec. Was a little disappointed when the 8 Mbit/sec line, which O2 estimated that at 0.3 of a mile from the exchange should have delivered 6 MBit/sec.

After a week, the speed did increase, nightly (between 8pm and midnight) gave me speeds of around 3 Mbit/sec. The other morning I tried testing at 7am, and got 6.2 Mbit/sec. Cool.

On the down side, the “O2 Wireless Box II”, that’s the Thompson TG575 v7, running firmware, seems to have a bad habit of spontaneously rebooting, around every 1 – 2 days! It is frequent enough to be annoying.

I spoke to the O2 support line (since the only “Ask Amy” KB was particularly useless), who advised me to re-flash the same firmware, which I’ll try in a  few days, but I don’t hold much hope. There’s a version 8.2.x release on the Thompson web site, but — as seems to b common with some DSL providers — the actual DSL login details are hidden, so changing to a non-branded firmware may prove difficult. Sky Broadband (a.k.a. EasyNet) did the same thing.