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If you are a developer or designer who is creating cutting edge user interface experiences using Microsoft Expression Blend you've just found a great resource!  The purpose of this site is to share our experience with this brand new product.  As with any new piece of software there is a ton to discover.  Bugs will be revealed and workarounds discovered, hopefully this can be a resource to share in the discovery process!

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 Dell Latitude D820 Minimize
Location: BlogsSean Cullinan    
Posted by: Sean Cullinan 12/20/2007 12:14 PM

I've been humming along with Vista on my Dell Latitude D820 for over a year now and have been pretty pleased.  However, one thing I noticed was that if I tried to play a .wmv file it took about 5-10 seconds to load up and begin playback in Windows Media player.  Annoying when working with media elements!  MPG and AVI files did not experience such a delay which led me to believe something was wrong with the .wmv codec on my system.  After playing around for quite a while I started to think about possible issues with hardware/drivers.  Sure enough, if I right clicked on the speaker icon an selected "playback devices", then right clicked on the headphones/speakers output device and selected properties, then checked "disable all enhancements" on the enhancements tab my .wmv files started to play immediately as expected!

A colleague of mine who does a ton of windows media stuff had reported the same problem with his D820.  Dell gave him a new D830 an the problem went away.  Knowing now that the problem was related to the sound chip I was surprised to discover that the D830 had the same sound chip as the D820.  When I checked my colleague's machine however, he had a newer version of the Sigmatel driver.  Sure enough, on Dell's website, they have a new version of the driver for the D830 but never posted it for the D820.  I set the enhancements tab back to its default state by unchecking "disable all enhancements."  As expected with the old driver WMV's took a while to load.  I then upgraded to the D830's driver and the .wmv files started playing back without delay!  Another colleague with a D820 also reported that he was having the same problem with MP3's which was very annoying and this fixed it.

I decided to look at what other driver updates were made available for the D830 that was not made available for the D820 even though they share a lot of the same hardware.  I discovered that the Gigabit network adapter also had a newer driver under the D830 that works on the D820 and upgraded that.  I wasn't having networking issues per-se but I like having the most recent drivers, and now I do.

I'm not sure why Dell isn't making the updated drivers available for the D820.  The sound card one fixes a bone-fide problem that we've confirmed on multiple machines.  I will point Dell to this blog posting and hopefully they will rectify the situation!

Hope his helps any D820 users out there.

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