Wednesday, December 29, 2010

AFF Suzuki Cup 2010 Final 2nd Leg Indonesia vs Malaysia

So glad that the much feared violence didn't occur. The winner tonight is football, even if the game was "beautiful" for only short periods.

The first goal in this game was really befitting of the occasion. A defence splitting pass, followed by a deadly finish.

Malaysia really deserved to win this year's tournament. A solid defence, confident midfield, and 2 deadly strikers up front. Very tactically astute too...

Fujitsu LifeBook T580 Convertible
Yeah, the first review of the recently launched T580 has been published...

Monday, December 27, 2010

Microsoft to Reveal New Version of Windows
A version of Windows that supports ARM chips natively will really be something leftfield from Richmond. If this comes to fruition, both iOS and Android will be threatened, especially if it comes with phone functions.

AFF Suzuki Cup 2010 Final 1st Leg Malaysia vs Indonesia

The standards of football in our region has really improved; sad to see Singapore going backwards instead.

Anyway, this match was really nice to watch, with great football skills, tension (game was stopped for a while due to laser pointers being pointed at the Indonesian keeper), and a fantastic atmosphere at the Bukit Jalil stadium.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Slow Going for Beginning Runners

Runner's World
Have been slacking since my last IPT session. Hope to start exercising again to build up my fitness. Some great tips from Runner's World, e.g. running without a watch, or that the 2nd week will be slower than the first.

But the rainy weather isn't helping...

A Year And A Half In The Life Of Metallica

Just finished an epic 2 DVDs-worth of how Metallica recorded their 'Black Album' and their antics on tour then.

Not sure how much is real, and how much is vamping it up for the camera, but it seems Jason Newsted was still a little bit outcasted by the group...

Friday, December 24, 2010

Your Questions Answered | FUJIFILM FinePix X100

Nice touch by Fujifilm to respond to various comments made after the X100 was announced.

The stresses of modern life

Was at Orchard Road on 2 occasions recently; it was super-crowded, and the experience wasn't something I would want to repeat.

The company was great (one occasions was with friends for a wedding, the other was with friends for a dinner gathering), but everything else was just a little too rushed.

What are the symptoms of the stresses of modern life? Well, some that I can think of...
  • insufficient sleep
  • too many distractions
  • multi-tasking
  • do more with less
  • too many people
  • everything wheezing by at lightspeed
I think many of us yearn to be able to slow down and smell the roses. Instead we are forced to speed up and squeeze into the train to smell someone's armpits. Argh...

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Top Gear special episode

The segment shot in New York was pure class. Brought back nice memories of my visit to the US about a year ago.

Top Gear - [15x07] - 2010.12.21

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

QWERTY smartphones - an endangered species?

I must have been daydreaming; How could I be considering the Dell Streak or HTC Desire HD?

The tactile quality of a hardware QWERTY keyboard cannot be replicated. But then, how come Singapore gets a raw deal regarding QWERTY smartphones?
  • the Samsung Epic 4G is CDMA (cannot be used in Singapore)
  • the Motorola Droid 2 is still stuck somewhere
  • the Motorola Charm is underpowered (600MHz CPU, Android 2.1)
  • the HTC Desire Z is strangely reduced in specs (800MHz CPU) and seems to have build quality issues.
Other non-Android QWERTY smartphones have yet to be released (e.g. Nokia N9, Dell Venue Pro, Palm Pre 2, HTC 7 Pro).

Strangely, what's left is the Blackberry Torch. Not many apps available on the Blackberry platform, but I like its Universal search function.

(EDIT) Oops, just found out that the Blackberry OS does not support Flash. Guess I have to continue looking...

Monday, December 20, 2010

So close, yet so far - Opera Mini

The Opera Mini is still the fastest browser out there, whether it be Symbian (my old E71) or Android (my current X10 Mini Pro).

But it's still missing some key features. The most recent update (version 5.1) has strangely removed keyboard shortcuts for page down and page up. The iteration in Opera Mini 4.2 worked the best, with the left and right arrow button serving as the page up and page down keys.

Version 5 changed the mapping to the numbers 2 and 8 respectively. On a QWERTY keypad, this meant having to toggle the persistent numeric key-entry mode first (normally 2 presses of the Function key), and then the number. Still, it was tolerable.

The page formatting isn't exactly fantastic too, but the speed (and speed is the most important factor for browsing) is blazing...

The real Christmas No. 1 - Biffy Clyro - Many of Horror

I first heard this song on BBC's Radio 1 Rock Show, where they also played a short clip of the cover version by Matt Cardle.

Watch and listen to how Biffy Clyro do it.

It's so sad that Matt Cardle's version went to Number 1. See his version below, and you can hear him struggling to hit some notes. The producers even had to add in accompanying vocals at certain portions.

How commercialised the music world is. I really hope Biffy Clyro get some justice.

Dell Streak Review

Dell Streak Review – ‘Ferrari red’ revisited with Android 2.2 (Froyo) | KitGuru
Finally the Dell Streak is available. Still thinking if it is suitable for me. Nice review with lots of video in the link above...

Friday, December 17, 2010

Metallica - Turn the page

Just watched a powerful and moving music video; will post up the link later.

Tears almost ran from my eyes after watching it.

One of the best Metallica music videos...

Update: link here.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Saturday, December 11, 2010

What we can learn from procrastination

The New Yorker
I first came across this article a few months ago while researching about procrastination. But I didn't manage to finish the whole article. :)

Finally read through the entire piece today, and learned some useful lessons, summarised below
- procrastination can be bargained with: working now will let you watch more television down the road
- rely on "the extended will" - external tools and techniques to help the parts of our selves that want to work; one software mentioned that cuts the Internet for up to 8 hours is Freedom
- dividing projects into smaller, more defined sections helps

Fujitsu T580 available in Indonesia

Using Google Alerts can be painful sometimes. Often, the alerts are just reposts of articles, or even worst, spam posts trying to capitalise on popular search terms. But once a while, some gems can be found using this method.

One of the alerts I received brought me to an Indonesian webpage highlighting a Kompass (a newspaper from Indonesia) ad below.

The advertised price of Rp10,980,000 translates to almost S$1,600. Note: this is the i3 version, and most likely does not come with the 3G modem...

Wonder when it will be available in Singapore.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Astrid gets tweaked again
Astrid, my to-do-list of choice on Android, has been updated again. Version 3.6.1 brings back the timer function, and introduces a new way to select the due date (this is explained in the link above).

It's still not perfect though. The app ignores the "Quiet Hours Start" setting; what that means is that I still get buzzed after 11pm, the time that I set for alerts to stop.

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Jose Mourinho's tactical influence in AFF Suzuki Cup

I wonder if I'm reading too much into what I've seen from the performances of the Philippines and Indonesia in the AFF Suzuki Cup.

In both their second games (against Vietnam & Thailand respectively), they seemed to be employing Jose Mourinho's tactics of defending in numbers and waiting for counter-attacks.

I saw more than a few occasions where the strikers retreated to their own half, and defended from the front. This also meant ceding possession of the ball for sometimes long periods.

On the flip side, this was paired with quick counterattacks, but also meant few shooting chances. However, both teams were still able to score (& win), as the strikers did not waste their chances with deadly finishing.

The most famous example of this tactic till date is Inter Milan's win over Barcelona in the Champions League final under Jose Mourinho. Since then, several teams have used it in World Cup 2010, with varying success.

It can be a little negative at times (Vietnam's coach commented that the Philippines parked a bus in front of goal), but the counterattacks can be breath-taking at times...

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Flash 10.2 Beta works well on the Eee PC

Lifehacker: How to Get the Flash 10.2 Beta Working in Google Chrome
My Asus Eee PC is getting a second lease of life after installing Windows XP on it. One niggling issue that remained was the playing of Flash videos. Videos above 360p were jerky, and made the whole system slow down.

Just installed Flash 10.2 Beta, and activated it on Google Chrome using the instructions in the Lifehacker link above. Seems to be working well, with 480p videos being playable on it.

Dell Streak inbound

Dell Singapore
The Dell Streak is coming to Singapore via Starhub. Price without plan is $938.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Monday, November 29, 2010

Trying out SwiftKey

With so many soft keyboards out there, it can be hard to find one that works well, especially on the small screen of the Sony X10 Mini Pro.

The X10 Mini Pro's physical slide-out keyboard works well, but doesn't offer any predictive text function. Also, the native keyboard in portrait mode is a numeric T9-styled keyboard.

Tried a few QWERTY keyboards, e.g. AnySoftKeyboard, and came across SwiftKey. The predictive text is eerily accurate, even offering the next word before I typed anything.

Trying out the 2-week trial now...

p.s. 50% of this post was typed using SwiftKey.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Heroes on Both Sides | The Clone Wars Episode 10
The latest episode of Clone Wars reminds me of the situation facing the US on the war in Afghanistan.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Dell Streak coming to Singapore? And with Android 2.2

Just saw the news (ST Digital Life) that the Dell Streak is coming to Singapore soon, and with Android 2.2. Wonder what the price will be like...

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Creating new Google Docs from your mobile

Official Google Docs Blog
Yeah, google docs can now be edited on mobile phones. Just tried it out on my X10 Mini Pro (recently upgraded to Android 2.1). Creating new documents work, but editing existing google docs seems not possible...

BTW, I'm thinking about the Galaxy Tab...

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Convertiblet tablet roundup

I've being waiting for a 3G convertible tablet for the longest time.

Current models (some have yet to arrive in Singapore)
- HP TM2
- Gigabyte T1125
- Acer 1825PTZ
- Fujitsu T580

The above list excludes netbook convertibles (a.k.a. netvertibles) as I find them a little too sluggish.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Dell Inspiron Duo finally official

After hearing the bad news that the Gigabyte T1005M has only so-so battery life, this piece of news brings hope that I can find a convertible tablet with respectable battery life. Wonder what's the battery rating of the Inspiron Duo, and whether it comes with built-in 3G...

UPDATE: oh no, look what's mentioned below
The memory isn’t expandable, there’s no optical drive, and the battery isn’t removable. Dell’s Will Koch told me the battery life would be “about 4 hours, based on a range of uses”.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Ideas + Energy = Change

The Do Lectures | Ideas + Energy = Change
Came across this lecture series via one of David Allen's podcasts. Looks interesting, maybe a bit like the TED talks.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Android 2.1 on Sony Ericsson X10 Mini Pro

Managed to drop by the Sony Ericsson service centre at Wisma Atria recently to update my phone from Android 1.6 to 2.1.

The process was quite smooth. You hand you phone over and collect it back after an hour.

Some of the changes made
  1. phone is unlocked by sliding on the screen (no longer by pressing the Menu button)
  2. slight changes to native Google apps (e.g. browser, Gmail, youtube etc)
  3. slight changes to layout of settings page
Besides the above, Android 2.1 also opens up the ability to install some apps which were unavailable in version 1.6. Just installed Pocket Informant, and will try it out.

One bad point. The built-in backup programme does not seem comprehensive, as some apps disappeared after restoring the backup, e.g. my paid app, Documents To Go. Will try to figure out how to get that back.

Meanwhile, the HTC Desire Z has landed in Singapore with a retail price of $780...

Friday, November 05, 2010

Panasonic GF2 - the specs look disappointing

Maybe it's a bit too early to put down the replacement to the wildly successful GF1, but it's sad to see Panasonic move this model range downwards (to a compact-like class) instead of upwards (serious-user class).

The removal of the top dial (and drive mode lever) on the GF2 is disappointing.

Many GF1 users were hoping for a better sensor, maybe a built-in viewfinder. But it didn't materialise...

EDIT (7.22pm): video intro at this year's Salon de la Photo, looks like it has a feature that allows a photo to be taken by touching on the touchscreen. Availability is Feb 2011...

GF2 1st test, Salon de la photo, Paris, nov. 4th + GH2 + Voigtlander 25mm 0.95 from Seb Farges on Vimeo.

X100 here I come :)

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Update to Android 2.1

After some painful delays, the X10 family is finally getting the update to Android 2.1. Still waiting for the magical "message in the notification bar" to appear on my X10 Mini Pro.

Quite a few apps need at least Android 2.1 to work, including the Pocket Informant beta.

Hands on: Gigabyte T1125N

Finally, an update on the T1125. The info on the 7800mAh battery is significant. Hopefully the battery life will be respectable.

EDIT (3-Nov-2010): Just saw this press release. USD$1,299, that's almost S$1,700. Ouch!

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Autocar rendering of next MX-5

What beautiful lines. Even if it's not an official drawing from Mazda, I hope that the next generation MX-5 will look something like this.

The ugly duckling - Mercedes E-class

Short rant. The Mercedes E-class is super ugly. There are uglier cars, but none are in such high circulation. Also, this class has been consistently ugly ever since the first "Big-small eye" headlight design crept in.

Hopefully, Mercedes can make a sleek E-class. They have no lack of pretty cars in their stable.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Help us improve Tasks

Official Gmail Blog
I've used Gmail tasks since it first started, so I'm glad that Google is asking for feedback on how to improve it. It's still a little lightweight on features at the moment...

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Star Wars - The Clone Wars, Season 3

I wonder if there is such a thing like a "nostalgia effect". I ask this because Season 3 of the Clone Wars has been really sucky.

There's no other way to put it. It started off with a couple of "prequel" episodes, with each episode expanding on a particular episode in Season 2.

Then there were a few "political" episodes with little or no action scenes. They couldn't even do a "normal" episode (Episode 7 - Assassin) properly.

Really sad when you see a great series losing its touch. A bit like seeing Rooney with such poor form and betraying everyone with his "stunt"...

Dart Center for Journalism & Trauma

Cool. A university project looking at how to cover news stories involving violence.Dart Center for Journalism & Trauma

Monday, October 25, 2010

Thursday, October 21, 2010

We forgot that smartphones were first designed for business

Why is it so hard to find a smartphone with a good todo app/system?

And don't get me started on the flood of touchscreen-only devices on the market.

I just want an app with the following
- reminders that go off even after the deadline
- sync with desktop or website

I just need a browser that does the following
- mobile mode (no need to scroll left and right)
- fast (like Opera Mini 4.2 on a Nokia E71)
- support Flash

The search continues...

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Disconnect to Connect

Ajay Banga, New MasterCard Chief, Wages ‘War on Cash’
Interesting directive implemented by MasterCard's new CEO.
"For example, Mr. Banga shook up the company by declaring that any request to headquarters not acted upon in two weeks would be automatically approved — a directive meant to speed decision-making."
Though I wonder how much of the above is advertising puff...

Friday, October 15, 2010

Fujifilm Finepix X100

The camera that caught my attention during the recent Photokina product announcements was the Fujifilm Finepix X100.

Everytime I use my Pentax K100D for street photography, I find it difficult to stay discreet, which is one of the key conditions required for producing quality candid shots.

With so many developments on the mirrorless interchangeable lens-format front, I was looking intently at the Panasonic GF1 and the Samsung NX100 (also announced at Photokina).

But the Fujifilm X100 showed that there was still space for a new category in digital photography. Granted, Sigma already had a line of APS-C fixed focal length cameras, but reviews of the DP1 & DP2 weren't encouraging.

Also, the X100 had an extra trick up its sleeve, which was a hybrid optical/electronic viewfinder.

One of the minus points that held me back from buying a micro Four-Thirds camera was the lack of a optical viewfinder.

Now, I can only hope that the X100 isn't too expensive. Of course, I would still need to check its quality. Last but not least, I hope it will be available in an all-black paintjob (not a fan of the silver/black retro look).

Amazon Kindle 3 WebKit Browser Review

Boy am I tempted to buy the Kindle after watching this video. Trendsmobile is selling at S$369...

Monday, October 11, 2010

Why I deleted my Facebook & Twitter accounts

My standard answer to friends and colleagues... "They were taking up too much of my time".

But maybe another reason is more technical. I was using both as advocacy tools. I was putting up various human rights related content.

But it wasn't working. Both systems were "closed"; postings were not searchable via internet search engines. The search functions in both systems didn't do any better. I was constantly trying to find "that post" which I had highlighted something important.

For a while, I tried a hybrid solution. Post on Blogger, and a plugin allowed those posts to appear in Facebook. But it still wasn't an elegant system...

Hence the decision to remove myself from Facebook and Twitter. 2 months on, and I must say that I enjoy time away from them.

Star Wars The Clone Wars 3x05 - Corruption

The latest episode of the Clone Wars was weird. And I was not the only one who felt it.
Posted by: Son of a Bith | October 9, 2010 12:28 PM
Did anybody else besides me get what this episode is really saying? It has a hidden message: DON'T DRINK THE TEA!Ponder that phrase for a second.
The reference to the current socio-political situation in the US wasn't just limited to the Tea Party. There were quite a few comments on big corporations, and their harm on common folk.

Monday, October 04, 2010

The Pitfall of Productivity Porn

Great to see Lifehacker being conscious of the dark side of seeking better productivity. Quite a few of the apps that I uninstalled (see here) were productivity apps that I never really got to try out. Ouch!

X10 Mini Pro - App culling

My X10 Mini Pro has been getting slower by the day. So I decided to bite the bullet and cull some apps. As I am still hesitant about rooting the handphone, I could only uninstall the apps that I had installed myself. Full list below. Hopefully, this massive extermination will help my phone run a little faster.

google translate
bugme! lite
note everything

BTW, I just encountered another problem. After a reboot, the phone seems to think that it is new, and asks me to confirm my language and also complete setup & importing of contacts. I have to cancel the process, and all is ok again. It's quite annoying.

Saturday, October 02, 2010

Star Wars to the rescue

I was just writing in my diary that I was tired of writing about the same stuff all the time, mostly negative stuff like the lack of time, insufficient sleep, feeling alone, etc.

Then I suddenly remembered that Clone Wars was back (Season 3). Managed to view episode 1, which featured an apt theme; teamwork.

Maybe that is the key to breaking the cycle of negativity & despair. :)

Friday, October 01, 2010

Mood altering songs

Was criticising the musical taste of a DJ, but all was forgotten when Duran Duran's Come Undone came on.

That was one of the first english pop songs I heard when I was a teenager.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

X10 Android 2.1 updates delayed

Update on Updates | Product Launch Blog
Yet another setback in my experience with the X10 Mini Pro. It's sad that users are still stuck in Android 1.6.

WNYC Street Photography Project

Cool street photography webpage by a New York radio station. The videos showing how the photographers go about their shoots are very informative. There are flickr & youtube pages to explore too.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Gigabyte T1125 specs and prices finally emerge


After a long wait, another milestone has been reached, with Gigabyte announcing the final specification of the 2 versions and their prices.

The specification is pretty much expected, except for the unavailability of the 3G antenna in the i3 version. The prices also seem a bit steep.

Quick video from the launch event (video in Mandarin). Target availability in November.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Virgin 106.9 Radio Ottawa

A radio station that plays Metallica's Master of Puppets can't be that bad.

Indeed, I have been listening to Virgin 106.9 via its online stream regularly since I discovered it by accident a few months ago.

They play the rock classics from the 70s all the way to the latest rock songs.

Added on 21 Sep: I just heard 'Welcome to the Jungle' followed by 'Smells like Teen Spirit' on this radio station. Power combo!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Reboot - Luna Sea 20th Anniversary World Tour

I was watching Dir en Grey videos on youtube; was suddenly inspired to look for Luna Sea clips, and came across this piece of great news. Luna Sea will reunite to tour again at the 4 cities above, plus 2 shows in Japan.

Dir en Grey - The Pledge

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Sony Ericsson X10 Mini Pro - More thoughts, mostly negative

After using the handphone for almost 3 weeks, I have more thoughts on it. My initial thoughts here.

  1. Google syncing works seamlessly (e.g. contacts, calendar, email)
  2. keyboard works well (but can't beat E71 keyboard)
  1. internet speed is slow
  2. touchscreen a little hit & miss along the edges (E.g. I can't enable "Mobile View" in Opera Mini 4.2 settings page as the checkbox is near the edge of the screen)
As mentioned earlier, I'm really put off by the slow browsing speed, either via the native browser, or Opera Mini 5. Opera Mini 4.2 is slightly faster, but it's touchscreen sensitivity is a problem.

What now? I'm thinking of buying a new phone to replace the X10 Mini Pro, but there are currently no phones in Singapore that have the features that I require.
  1. touchscreen + QWERTY keyboard
  2. good to-do app like Astrid

Monday, September 06, 2010

How to put the genie back into the bottle?

The Star - No more the most open
The article documents the overpopulation problems facing Singapore. How do we tackle this problem? There are no easy answers. Chasing away the new immigrants seems like the most direct method, but do you do it humanely?

Thrice - All The World Is Mad

Sunday, September 05, 2010

The Basic Guide to Troubleshooting Common Windows PC Problems

Useful list; maybe I should print and distribute a copy at work...

Another sad day for motorcycle racing

Last week, Peter Lenz died in a support race during the MotoGP weekend in Indy. Today, Shoya Tomizawa passed away after an accident in the Moto2 race in San Marino.

RIP to both of them. Motosport is a dangerous sport, and it's tough to see how these guys go out week-in week-out to risk their lives when such sad things occur.

Brings back memories of other racers that have passed on since I started watching motosport racing; Senna, McRae, Burns, Kato...


A new variant of the T1125 convertible notebook? Comparing the specs on the Gigabyte website seemed to indicate that both have the same specs, but the T1125N has a new product photo showing the standing dock that was previously seen in the M1022.

Fujitsu LifeBook T580

Not sure how useful 4 finger multi-touch is beyond playing with a screensaver, but good to see another new convertible tablet on the market. The form factor is new too, pairing a i5 ultra-low voltage CPU with a 10-inch screen.

More food for thought, but I need a new laptop to bring overseas for use by the end of the month...

Friday, September 03, 2010

Gigabyte T1005M

Just saw the brochure appear online at Bootstrike.

Selling at $999.

Still waiting for the T1125.

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Motorola Milestone 2 officially announced

Motorola Media Center

Finally, the Milestone 2 has been officially announced. Only available in the 4th quarter, and who knows if it will reach Singapore then. The X10 Mini Pro isn't exactly performing up to scratch, and I've already checked its trade-in value ($200 on Singtelshop).

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Testing battery life - Sony Ericsson X10 Mini Pro

15 hours 18 minutes 2 seconds.

This was the duration shown on the X10 Mini Pro when the "10% battery left" warning came up.

Quite a disappointing figure, even though I knew earlier that battery life could be an issue with a meagre 930 mAh battery.

Settings on my X10 Mini Pro during the "test"
  1. Full screen brightness, 1 minute screen timeout
  2. Gmail autosync off, calendar & contacts autosync on
  3. Astrid on 15 minute sync
  4. normal internet usage, surfing the net, checking email, visiting Android Market, etc
According to Android's battery statistics, the screen was the major battery "eater". Not keen to turn down the brightness, so I will try setting the screen timeout to 30 sec to see if the battery life improves.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Android Apps

Lifehacker Pack for Android: Our List of the Best Android Apps
I've already installed quite a number of the highlighted apps, but there are still a number of gems that I didn't know about. More apps in the comments too...

Sony Ericsson X10 Mini Pro - Initial Review

After almost 1 week of use (including usage overseas), I think it's time I pen some quick first impressions.

  1. Touchscreen not accurate (the 2.5-inch also makes it even more difficult)
  2. UI inconsistent, not user-friendly
  3. Milky screen under sunlight (made worst with a translucent overlay under the apps)
  4. Language bar blocks some buttons (resolved by using alternative keyboards, but that causes other issues)
  5. Snappy sliding motion, but the 2 sliding portions wobble when in the closed position
  6. System sometimes pauses before reacting (OS lag, Processor lag, or Memory lag???)
  7. Quick search bar does not search within files
  1. Astrid (powerful to-do app, yet to explore full features)
  2. Camera (decent, but not a Canon S90)
  3. Handcent (nice looking presentation, but causes double sms alerts)
  4. Soft-touch back
Overall, I'm a bit concerned about the lag on the phone. Due to the nature of the Android OS, apps do not close, but are "minimised". The slower 600MHz processor and 128MB RAM could also be at fault here.

I also wonder if the HSDPA/3G modem could be another choke-point, as Opera Mini on my E71 zips along at a super-fast rate, while Opera Mini (both version 4.2 & 5) on the X10 Mini Pro seems to be as slow as the native Android browser...

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Not a handphone, but an app device?

I'm missing my E71. I didn't really had a chance to properly say goodbye. Weird, I know, but it was my trusty sidekick for almost 2 years.

The X10 Mini Pro isn't a direct replacement. The applications are the main "actors", and not the basic phone functions like calling & sms-ing.

I chose Android because of the availability of apps that extend the desktop to the mobile realm. Tools like Remember the Milk, Evernote, Dropbox, Wordpress, etc.

The other reason is because of the open nature of the Android OS, which is why I didn't get an Apple iPhone. The iPhone is too ubiquitous anyway.

A new tool takes over

With a dying battery, I had to quickly change my Nokia E71 to another handphone. After finally reaching the 21 month milestone, I swapped over to the Sony Ericsson X10 Mini Pro. Still getting used to some quirks (and the occasional freeze). This post is done on the device itself.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Try Android OS on the desktop PC (includes Android Market)

How-To Geek
This emulator is fully functional, including the ability to install apps. Great fun, and useful for people thinking of jumping ship to Android for their next handphone.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Security Secrets the Bad Guys Don't Want You to Know

PC World
Useful tips for internet security. The article talks about
  • scripting
  • fake anti-virus offers
  • using less popular software
  • online scans for virus
  • keeping programmes updated, including plugins and extensions
  • password tools
The part about using less popular software is a bit weird for some users, but it does make sense. Strength in diversity.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Sony Xperia X10 Mini Pro - Teardown and Analysis

Unboxing is so yesterday, this teardown is much more interesting, showing everyone what's in the guts of one of the smallest Android handphones around.

Monday, August 09, 2010

Gigabyte T1000M variant?

The T1000P has yet to arrive in Singapore, but it seems there is a higher-end model in this series. According to this PDF brochure, the T1000M will come with a capacitive screen, plus a dual-core N550 Atom CPU. However, I'm still a bit unconvinced about the usability of a Atom CPU, dual-core or not.

It's bigger brother, the renamed T1125 (with i5 CPU), seems to have disappeared, with no recent updates. :(

How to Succeed With Your New Boss

HBS Working Knowledge
A very informative and useful article for me :)

Sunday, August 08, 2010

Billy Talent - Saint Veronika

note: this is not the official video, it's a great effort to tell the story in the song...

Saturday, August 07, 2010

Finding a replacement for the Nokia E71

I have been struggling with battery issues with my Nokia E71 for a few months. Basically, the battery quickly goes flat after any 3G usage. Since my 2-year contract was ending soon, it was the apt time to think about replacing it instead of buying a replacement battery.

I wanted a touchscreen + QWERTY handphone. The touchscreen for easy web navigation, and the QWERTY for quick text input. The only few smartphones with such a spec were the following
- Motorola Milestone
- Sony Ericsson X10 Mini Pro
- Nokia N900

I wasn't too keen to consider a Symbian handphone, as a newer version (Symbian^3) was already in the works.

But the 3 handphones above all had their own "issues".

The Milestone has keys which look too flat, the X10 Mini Pro has a tiny screen, plus its QWERTY keypad did not support predictive-text, and the N900 had some UI quirks, and was expensive, as it was only available as a phone-only purchase.

There are a few handphones in the pipeline that could fit my requirement, e.g. Nokia N9 (with Meego?) and the Samsung Galaxy Pro, but non have been confirmed at the moment.

I also toyed with the idea of buying a big-screen handphone (4-inch & above) which may negate the requirement for hardware QWERTY keys, but the few available in Singapore again have their own "issues". The HTC HD2 runs on an old OS (Windows 6.5), the Samsung Galaxy S has a quirky UI (TouchWIZ), and the Sony Ericsson X10 has had bad reviews.

I'm now waiting for the Motorola Droid 2 to be confirmed. That could be a suitable choice...

Leeenux on the Asus Eee PC 701

After using the default Xandros OS for quite a while, I finally took a plunge to try another OS. I first tried Ubuntu, and finally settled on a Ubuntu-variant called Leeenux. It has given a new lease of life to the Eee PC.

Monday, August 02, 2010

Facebook May Get a Real 'Delete Account' Option

Deleted my facebook account over the weekend. The above article helped quite a bit. The direct link to delete is here.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Gigabyte M1125 will be renamed T1125

Interesting news from the UMPC Forum that the Gigabyte M1125 will be renamed T1125, and that it will be "released end of September".
Hello Gigabyte Team,

I'm a keen user of the M912 Netbook since it was released and was very interested in buying the M1125. I've recognized that you removed the M1125 from your homepage and I'm worried that you might have cancelled it. Now my question to you is if the M1125 is still scheduled for release 2010 (or at all) or has been cancelled.

Thanks in advance

Thank you interesting in GIGABYTE products.

About your Problem
We have changed the name of M1125 to T1125.
It is scheduled to be released end of September.
Thank you.

Kind Regards,
That means I have to go ahead to buy parts to repair my home PC. My home PC became faulty recently, and I was thinking of buying the M1125 instead of replacing the faulty parts on my PC...

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Recalibrated Formula Eases Women's Workouts

New York Times
The commonly used formula subtracts a person's age from 220. But based on the data collected in the Chicago study, the right formula for calculating a woman's maximum heart rate is a little more complicated: 206 minus 88 percent of a woman's age.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Gigabyte M1125

Engadget for Mobile
The M1125 looks like a competitor to the Acer 1825PT. Interesting to see the inclusion of an optical drive, but that could drive up the weight.

EDIT: optical drive won't be on the notebook, but in the docking station.

Toolkit for producing content for citizen journalism

CNN iReport
Useful tips on how to write, shoot photos, take videos, and record sound for an article. Further links are also provided under each tab.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Nokia N8 video walkthrough shows off messaging, internet and maps

Nokia Conversations - The official Nokia Blog
We finally get to see the N8 in actual operation. Looks nice, but I won't be going back to a touchscreen-only handphone anytime soon...

Friday, April 30, 2010

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

SNaP by yhtomitc

A nice set of street photography using the Ricoh GR Digital III.

ASUS Eee PC T101MT review

Bad news. Engadget gives both the T101MT & the previously reviewed S10-3T the thumbs down. Wonder what they think of the Gigabyte T1000P...

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Film Riot

A nice wacky internet show on film-making...
Film Riot is a how-to trip through filmmaking from the hyper-active mind of Ryan Connolly. From how to make great effects to following Triune Films through production, Film Riot explores the art of filmmaking in a way you've never seen.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Digital Detox Week


More convertible tablets reach our shores

After reading a HWZ forum thread that mentioned the local availability of the HP TM2, I visited the Challenger store at Funan to take a look. The model on display was TM2-1011TX, meaning a 1.3GHz SU7300 CPU & a 512MB ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4550 graphics chip. Current price is S$1,599.

But I was surprised to see the Asus T101MT at AAAs & South-Asia Computer (selling for S$798). I noticed the battery was located in front, below the keyboard. I suspect this will preclude a larger capacity battery. The screen was not too glossy (nice), and the chiclet keyboard made it look modern and sleek.

But I'm still a bit concerned about its puny N450 CPU...

Friday, April 16, 2010

Losing Weight, Ending Procrastination Top List of Most Popular Goals

These results are quite expected; maybe schools should start to teach students on how to deal with these issues, so that they are armed with solutions at an early stage.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Asus EEE PC T101MT review

Asus EEE PC T101MT second review
A review of the super-delayed convertible netbook from Asus. It seems more & more users are no longer willing to accept the slow Atom processor. I hope more manufacturers will exploit this and come out with more models with CULV chips. (currently HP TM2 & Acer 1820PT)

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Taxi experience in Manila

Just arrived in the Philippines for a 1-week training workshop in Quezon City. I did some "homework" before leaving Singapore, but I was still annoyed at the bad experience in the taxi ride from the airport to the hotel.

I chose the yellow "airport taxi", as feedback online seemed to indicate that they were not likely to scam foreigners.

I provided the hotel address to a lady at the counter outside the airport. She wrote the details down on a form, and passed it to me to give to the taxi driver.

First problem. As usual, the taxi driver "appeared" to not understand the address details, even after I had given him the form mentioned earlier. I had envisaged this earlier, and had written down the address on a piece of paper that I could give away (with another copy safe in my bag). I tried to take note of the carplate number while inside the taxi, but couldn't see any labelling inside the car.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Can South Koreans survive without the web?

BBC News
The question might as well be fired at yours truly, who is online most of the day, either on the home PC, netbook, or the mobile phone.

I'm going away to the Philippines for a week to attend a training workshop; maybe this is a good opportunity to try it for myself. For one, data overseas roaming is exorbitant, so that's one down automatically.

I've recently cut myself off facebook (switched off email notifications, removed RSS link to my blogs) and I've not missed it much (yet)...

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Lenovo IdeaPad S10-3t review

Another review of the lenovo "netvertible". With the Viliv S10 likely to retail at a high price, this model is looking quite attractive. Pity that it has a super glossy screen :(

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

A fresh pair of UM2 eartips

Dropped one of my eartips this morning. Managed to get a replacement pair at Jaben in the evening. What a difference a new pair of eartips make. More bass, more isolation. And more details. Pure bliss while immersed in trance music while travelling in the MRT...(posted using Opera Mini on Nokia E71)

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Gigabyte T1000 vs Lenovo Ideapad S10-3t vs Viliv S10 - Netvertible Comparison

Sascha ratters on quite a bit, but the video shows 3 "netvertibles" (netbook convertible) which I'm eyeing...

The convertible market is getting interesting with CULV & netbook versions posing a threat to conventional convertible tablets like the new HP TM2 highlighted earlier.

They are placed at different price points, but each provide their own pros & cons...

Sunday, February 21, 2010

BBC Raw - Skills for everyday life


The concept is roughly a "How-to" guide to all things. BBC Watchdog, the programme focusing on consumer protection issues, already has some similar content. But BBC Raw expands on the range of topics to various issues such as planning a celebration, how to use a computer, to even how a Formula One manager uses maths at work.

Audi R8 V10 vs Skoda Octavia 1.4 on a wet track

A strange comparison, with unexpected results. The 4WD of the R8 should have made a significant contribution to faster speed around the corners. Perhaps it was due to the wide tyres, as mentioned in the video...

Monday, February 15, 2010

HP TouchSmart TM2

Mobile Tech Review

New convertible notebook that features a Wacom digitizer, CULV processor, and offers 3G options. Another one to look out for...

Monday, February 08, 2010

Dell Latitude 2100 Netbook

Dell Singapore

Missed this when it was launched in mid-2009. The netbook specs belie the cool optional features like touchscreen, and Ubuntu OS.

The low starting price of $550 sounds great too. Loading it with the desired specs results in a price of $687.23. Too bad the local Dell site doesn't let choose Ubuntu with touchscreen, or provide SSD options...

Checkout the cool review done by WIRED together with a 11-year old kid.

Monday, February 01, 2010

How is disorganization and clutter affecting your job performance?


Pertinent info for work-life :)

New Year's resolutions for sports nutrition

Ask the Sports Dietitian

Good tips in the above blog post. A lot of people are still mistaken that exercising on its own will result in weight loss. Actually, one still needs to cut down on food intake to slim down.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Google Docs now allows uploading of all filetypes

Google Docs help - Uploading any file

Originally, only office-type documents could be saved in Google Doc (e.g. doc, xls, ppt, pdf). Some resorted to saving other files (e.g. jpg, gif, exe) in Gmail, or used other tools like Evernote (which had its own set of file restrictions).

Hopefully, the next step will be auto-sync. Files located in a designated folder on a computer will have copies of them synced online. This would enable the most updated version of a file to be easily available wherever there is internet access.

N900 MicroB Browser

WAP Review
With the Nokia N900 having such a good web browser (see link above), it's sad to hear from CNET Asia that this mobile may not come to Singapore at all. I hope Nokia changes its mind.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Skyfire 1.5 For Symbian

Wap Review
New version of Skyfire for symbian phones. Working well on my E71, but still cannot beat Opera Mini.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Browser Speed Tests: Firefox 3.6, Chrome 4, Opera 10.5

I have been impressed by Opera 10.50 pre-alpha, and it seems the perceived sense of speed is validated by some of the measurements done by Lifehacker. However, the lack of support for Google Toolbar is still the major issue stopping me from jumping from Firefox. I wonder how Firefox 3.7a1pre would fare...

Sunday, January 17, 2010

S-WRC - the next generation of World Rally Cars


New set of rules for 2011. Highlights include the switch to smaller 1.6litre turbocharged engines, and smaller cars (supermini).

55 minutes of jogging to expend 1 slice of Bak Kwa?

Health Promotion Board (HPB)

Quite shocking figures from a table in the above HPB article. I wonder if food intake can be directly compared to physical activity in this way...

Germany issues Internet Explorer (IE) warning


It looks like IE's slow speed may not be the only reason for switching to another browser...

Saturday, January 16, 2010

New Toyobaru concept revealed

The Toyobaru (Toyota-Subaru) concept evolves further. Also click through to see photos from this year's Tokyo Auto Salon.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Hands-on with Palm Pre Plus, Palm Pixi Plus

CES 2010 - CNET
Palm upgrades its 2 models; I almost bought a Treo Pro the last time I went handphone shopping, and the touchscreen + QWERTY format continues to appeal to me.