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Surface 2 Diaries: day two

With a replacement tablet safely secured, the Surface 2 experiment is back on track and running surprisingly smoothly.

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Just as was I preparing to leave the office last Friday, Microsoft dropped off a replacement Surface 2, thus allowing this bold experiment to continue.

Sadly, it meant some of this morning was spent setting up the tablet again, but that exposed me to a rather strange little problem.

I found myself unable to sign in to my Microsoft account on the Surface 2 because of a '0x800b0101' error. After a bit of industrious Googling — or more correctly, industrious 'Binging It' — I discovered that the error occurs when the auto-set time and date is wrong.

For some reason my new Surface was convinced that we were stuck on Friday 13 September 2013 and that meant I couldn't sign in to a Microsoft account. It's not clear why either of those things are linked, but manually setting the time and date got me signed in and on my way.

The only other true bit of annoyance has come from trying to set up a network printer. I'm being told in no uncertain terms that the Active Directory Domain Services are currently unavailable and that's the end of the matter as far as the Surface 2 is concerned. We'll be Binging that tomorrow and seeing what comes up.

Otherwise, I've certainly been working at a reduced speed — mainly due to the lack of Firefox, which is the preferred browser for our in-house CMS — but the hardware itself feels good. It's a zippy tablet, rarely sluggish, and the Type keyboard cover is great.

It's worth noting that I have been working mainly on the desktop rather than the tiled Start screen. It's a little confusing that the interface for Explorer is different from one to the other, but the desktop is definitely the preferred mode for me when using keyboard and mouse. That said, swapping between the two is pretty seamless, and that's letting me use the native apps for Twitter and Facebook (which aren't particularly good, it must be said).

Still, after the (quite literally) 41 updates finished installing this morning (and I managed to sign in) it's been a fairly solid experience without anything too frustrating occurring.