Wednesday, December 31, 2008

HP mini 1001TU hardware

Bought a HP mini 1001TU last two weeks at PC Fair. Normally it was called HP mini 1000, 1001 should be an Asia model, mine one should a China model, because there are some China stickers on it.

HP mini 1000
Black Imprint Swirl version.
Originally uploaded by eeepcnews

Spec in short:
Intel Atom N270 1.6Ghz, 1024Mb Ram, 60Gb hard disk (4200rpm), 10.2" display 1024x600 wide screen, wireless WiFi & bluetooth, 1.11kg

Refer HP site for detail of the spec.

Please take note: I can't find the 56K modem. Upgrade to 2g ram is possible.

Taiwan launch 2 models, a black Imprint Swirl version and a red Vivienne Tam limited edition. The one I have is the black version. Vivienne Tam version is slightly more expensive.

HP mini 1000 Vivienne Tam
Vivienne Tam version.
Originally uploaded by hpproducts2008

This HP mini 1001TU normally refer as 1000. The 1000 model has few configuration with different screen size and SSD, the 1001 I have is with 60G HD, and no other different configuration for 1001.

I was a EeePC supporter, I prefer Asus because they are pioneer in low cost sub-noteboom (or netbook). My prefer model is 901 and S101, but why I finally bought an HP mini? This HP mini 1001 is the second generation of HP netbook. The first generation is 2133 which is famous for its good looking and bigger keyboard amoung all netbook, but a bit expensive.

Since 901 and S101 is not availble in Malaysia now, and I think Asus slowly losing their direction in netbook market (refer here). HP mini 1001TU is selling about RM1699, which meet my target price.

If you like bigger and comfortable keyboard, get HP. If you think battery life is important, get Asus EeePC. I really like the HP keyboard, so I give up the battery life. If you need do a lot of presentation and connect to projector, you must take note that this HP do not have VGA output. You need an extra cable for VGA output, which doesn't came with the package. I heard the cable will only start selling at the beginning of year 2009.

Summary:
Pros:
Keyboard is easy to type
Altec Lancing speaker
Nice looking design

Cons:
only 2 USB
3 cells battery life might not last as long as expected
some people find the glossy display is hard to see

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas eve 2008

Today is Christmas eve.

Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Google add task application to Gmail

Google have added task application to Gmail, it can be enable from Gmail setting - Lab. Even I am not hurry to try it out, but is a big news, because with task application, Google has a complete PIM application on web.

What is PIM? PIM is Personal Information Management. Back to old days of Palm, it normally refer to Datebook (Scheduler or Calendar), Contact (Address book), Task list and Memo application. These are the four applications that Palm defined by default, assign to the four access button on a classic Palm (New Palm has made some changes to the access button).

You can install more applications on a Palm PDA. For my case, the PIM applications listed above are the most frequently used applications. Top 2 is Datebook and Contact, and I am still using it everyday. Yahoo has added PIM in Yahoo! Mail many years ago. If you login to Yahoo! Mail classic, you will see four tab label with Mail, Contact, Calendar, Notepad, which is almost like the PIM on Palm except the Task list.

Google already have Calendar, Contact and Google Notebook (you almost forgotten about it right?), now with the newly added Task list, next to have just a missing sync application.

By the way, Google already have the sync program for Calendar to Outlook.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

星洲,別搞砸了

This is about a short story of exchanging a Sin Chew Daily newspaper, written in Chinese character.

傍晚回到家裡,拾起送到家中的星洲夜報,很薄。首頁印上了斗大的四個字--誠摯道歉

由於生產程序出現間題,影響報紙出版,敬請大家寬諒。本報同仁為此向讀者及廣告商誠摯道歉。
星洲日報啟

國際與國內主版僅有三大開,共十二版。正常印刷出版應該約有三十二版。友人說,才那幾頁,上大號還沒結束,就看完了。就是打電話向派報的投訴,對方怕事,要我們直接打電話到星洲總社。

可是電話打到星洲總社發行部,沒人接聽,轉到接線員處,又幫不上忙。我問說,"不知道可不可以換一份完整的星洲日報?” 友人說,“星洲日報是一間大企業,不會在意讓你換一份。”

由於家住靠近星洲日報總社,決定開車到那兒去碰碰運氣。說真的,一元三毛一份報紙,我開車過去換是虧定了。不過這不是錢多錢少的問題,我就是想試試星洲這一個大企業,是不是如我朋友所說,不會在意。

夜晚十點,我們在星洲總社守衛亭,播了電話到總社辦公室,接電話的財哥說,對不起,無能為力,一來因為電腦故障,報紙還沒印好。二來,我們應該找派報者負責。最令我氣憤的是,財哥還丟了一句話,“你們只好自認倒霉。”

開什麼玩笑,這像是一間上市大企業對待忠實顧客應有的態度嗎?

世華媒體(原星洲日報,後與香港明報合併後更名)是在香港與大馬兩地上市的中文媒體集團。除了擁有香港明報集團與旗下報刊外,在大馬控制了星,明,中,商四份中文報紙,幾乎壟斷了大馬的中文報業。

別告訴我,這就是星洲對待兩位親自上門想要更換一份完整報紙的忠實讀者的方式與態度?

報紙出版問題,可以寬諒,可是待客態度不佳與推卸責任,卻無法被接受。

難道報上刊登的“誠摯道歉”是虛偽的。今日我最大,我要犯錯,你奈我何?所以你只好自認倒霉。

媒體出版也應該有社會責任。

星洲,別搞砸了。

New HP mini 1000 and Asus S101

The first generation of the 7 inch (display) EeePC 701 looks like a toy for me, but carrying a light weight "toy" around and giving you the ability to access to the Internet easily, is still better than your 2 to 3 kg notebook or the overpriced UMPC (Ultra mobile personal computer).

Recently more notebook vendors started to release 10 inch netbook products, most notable are the Asus EeePC S101 and latest HP mini 1000 netbook. 10 inch notebook is the ideal size for me to carry around, both notebook look attractive for me.

HP mini 1000
Tanaka Chie and HP mini 1000.
Originally uploaded by Andytn

Compare HP mini 1000 and Asus S101, both using Intel Atom N270 cpu (which is commonly found on most netbook, like Acer Aspire One), has a bigger keypad (92% of full size keyboard), so is easier to type compare to most netbook available in the market. HP mini has only 2 USB compare with S101 has 3 USB (USB is important for netbook). HP mini using HD, and S101 use SSD, but I believe this storage can be changed as an option in the future. Pricing wise HP should be cheaper.

I have not seen these 2 products available on the market yet, may be will check out on this coming PC Fair. Asus S101 has been launched in Asia for more than 2 months time, but I have not found any Asus dealers are selling this product. I think Asus should improve their support and distribution in Malaysia. HP has a much better local support.

I am a great fan of Asus EeePC, because they are the first to launch a small, light weight and cheap (USD299) netbook. Most importantly they choose Linux for their low cost netbook. Even though cost is the main concern that Asus use Linux for their EeePC netbook, it need a lot of courage for a company to choose Linux as the operating system. Xandros has done a good job to customize a Linux version for Asus EeePC.

With all latest release of EeePC runs on Windows, the only reason left for me to buy EeePC is just the battery life or the Asus brand name.

The specification of S101 and HP mini 1000.

The down side for HP mini 1000
- 2 USB port only
- glossy display
- slow HD or SSD access
- fan always on

Link:
HP mini 1000 vs EeePC 1000H

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Convert iPhone movies nightmare

I have some movies that I want to put into iPod Touch. These movies are in Xvid (Divx) format, since iPod Touch support quicktime and mp4 (H.264) format, but not Xvid, I need to convert it into mp4 or qt.

iSquint is a freeware, easy to use, but development of the software seems has stopped. ffmpegX is open source software, it need another few open source software like mpeg2enc, mencoder, mplayer to work. These binaries can be downloaded from the internet easily.

I have tried iSquint and ffmpegX, both software seems to take forever to complete. To encode a 100 minutes move into a H.264 mp4 media file, on my iBook G3 700Mhz processor, estimate takes 10 hours or more. (Ya, may be I should upgrade)

The encoding processing time is not the worst nightmare. I prefer to add in subtitles. I have tried Submerge, is a shareware cost $9. Submerge add the subtitle directly into the movie file, that means I can't disable the subtitle.

I prefer to have soft subtitles on the iPod Touch, means I can show and hide the subtitles, whenever I want. mp4 support timed text, you can save the subtitle as text into the mp4 file, normally I have the subtitle file as a separated file. With timed text, just need 1 mp4 file.

I found handbrake and muxo, is free and is open source software (that's great!). Muxo fail to run, it doesn't like my G3 cpu.

Never-mind, I found another open source software-- mp4box, which do the same thing, add timed text into mp4, unfortunately it runs on Windows. Since it is an open source software, I believe there are binary compile for Mac. I search around but only found binary for Intel Mac, and my G3 is ppc.

I have to give up, for now. I should have compiled the software myself as before, but not now, may be next time.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

ACM 2008

Came back from ACM 2008 (Asean Communication & Multimedia expo).

All the four main celco is there, Maxis, Celcom, Digi, U mobile. Other exhibitor includes RTM, TM, Motorola, Sony, Measat, Jaring, Kasturi, Cyberview, Wimax P1, Astro. The full list you can get from ACM Expo website.

Is like those years, they are there, but you don't know what they are doing there. Promoting 3G broadband? Selling SIM pack? or just promoting their brand? Is worst than last few years, where Maxis promoting their 3G network together with their service and solution partners.

I notice 2 company is promoting WiMax, other than Green Packet's P1, Amax is another company to provide Wimax service, pricing is almost the same. I test their broadband with youtube streaming, both performance are good, but Amax seems to be faster and their modem are smaller. Anyway I don't trust demo, you have to try it and find out yourself.

As I describe in ACM2006, most companies spend the money but doesn't know how to promote themselves. If they can't explain well with their products, show some demo is good, or at least get some pretty promoters to give out some freebies.

When I try to take some photos with these pretties with their company logo at the background, they just turn around and facing me with their back side! Some promoters just talking with each other, not even giving out freebies or entertain the visitors, just chit-chating and sitting there watching visitors playing games.

chit chat
happy chit-chating

I would like to give credit to the Sony models, showcase their HD video camera (like last year). When they notice that I am taking photos, they look at the camera and smiles, that's what I call professional.

Sony models
Smiles, Sony models.

Less and less interesting products for me in ACM, hope they can do better next year.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

MyOSS October meetup 2008 Openmoko

It rains in the afternoon, traffic is bad, I was late to the MyOSS meetup at AeU, Dataran Kewangan Darul Takaful.

It was almost three years, I have not join the meetup. Saw some familiar faces like Kaeru, Ditesh, Aizat and ... I meet new people like Kai Jen, Sean, Poh Lim, Michael, Wei Liang... Almost 30 members attended, consider good and successful.

The topic today is Openmoko mobile, the speaker bring some demo phones, it runs on Linux, the interface looks quite nice. Probably most people are not impress with it, because they will compare it with Android phones.

I am not going to blog about the meetup event here, I believe Aizat will do it, he already upload the photos here.

After the meetup, have supper with Michael and Wei Liang in Bangsar. Wei Liang says I look like a tourist because I take pictures of the banana leaf supper.

banana leaf
Wei Liang says I look like a tourist by taking the photo

Is really nice to meet with the open source people again.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

901 and EeePC strategy

EeePC 901 is no more selling in Malaysia

This is what local sales person told me, it was replace by 900 and 1000H. 900 is using Celeron CPU and 1000H is using Atom CPU but with a SATA hard disk (80G or 160G), selling price around RM2000.

I ask the sales person, since 1000H is using SATA hard disk, will it consumes more battery power compare with 901? The sales person told me, both 1000H and 901 battery life is the same. Later I found out from Asus's official specification, 901's battery last 1 hour longer than 1000H.

I feel like Asus EeePC strategy slowly losing their direction. Asus EeePC 701 as one the first successful sub-notebook, is getting popular because is light weight (less than 1 kg) and low cost (selling less than RM1k, now is about RM800).

If you look at the 1000H model that the market is selling now, the weight has increase to 1.45kg compare with the original 0.99kg. The price has been increased from RM1300 to RM2000, about 50%.

Using Intel Atom CPU is a good move, because it almost double the battery life. Using HD (as in 1000H) and selling with a higher price, I don't think is necessary, even there could be a market for it.

With RM2000 budget, I rather add a few hundred more, get a HP mini than EeePC 1000H. HP mini looks nicer and with a bigger size keyboard.

Personally I think 901 suit best for me. The weight is 1.1kg, using Atom and SSD storage, 6 cells battery which last for 4.2 to 7.5 hours. Just the price is slightly over my expectation, or else is just a perfect sub-notebook (without full size keyboard).

Too bad, Asus is no more selling 901 now.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Twitterrific on Mac OS

These days, the first thing I do after I login to my Mac is launch Twitterrific.

twitterrific
Twitterrific on Mac OS

I like twitterrific because twitterrific integrated with growl notification system. Twitterrific is a simple desktop application, with a nice user interface, and is configurable. It has an iPhone version as well.

For Microsoft lover, a twitterrific clone call MadTwitter is available on Windows platform.

More twitter client can be found here.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Google says is right time for Google browser

Google says it by release Google Chrome

While I am still wandering is Google going to create their own browser, and yes, Google release their open source browser Google Chrome, which base on WebKit and Mozilla.

Since Google has a close relation ship with Mozilla Foundation (Mozilla Foundation earn 10 of millions through partner ship with Google, refer here), Google is no hurry on releasing their own browser. Seems like Google is not satisfied with Firefox and can't wait to release their own browser, Google will do it when the time is right.

Should not be a surprise, since Google already building their own browser on Android platform. A desktop version of Google browser will be released, if not now it will be the in the future.

Some website says Google Chrome was accidentally announced, but I think it is a very good marketing after 1G Gmail account. There are more that 700 (now over 2000) news reporting on Google Chrome, is one of the top keywords on twitter search.

Another unavoidable browser war for Google and Microsoft has just begin, and this is just a warm up.

Google Chrome can be downloaded from here.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Why do you buy an iPod Touch?

Why not?

I told my friend, I want to buy an iPod Touch.

"Why don't you buy HTC Touch Diamond?", my friend ask me.

"I don't want to buy a mobile phone, I just want to surf net."

"HTC Diamond can surf net as well."

"The screen is too small."

"Too small... hmm... why don't you buy a Sony PSP (PlayStation Portable)?"

(huh!?)

"I don't want to play games, I just want to surf net."

"PSP can surf net as well."

Ok. I know. I want to buy iPod Touch because it is using Safari browser. Safari use WebKit html render engine which is one the fastest render engine and it support AJAX.

What is AJAX? AJAX is asynchronous javascript and xml.

What is javascript? Javascript is not java, is a scripting language which runs on browser.

What is xml? xml is extensible markup language.

What is markup language?... err...

I just want a portable device which is good enough for me to surf internet. I really hope there is something which better than iPod Touch.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Why do I upgrade to Tiger

Tiger is Mac OS X 10.4"

I was using OS X 10.3 (Panther) for quite a few years, finally I decided to upgrade the OS to 10.4 on my iBook G3. iBook G3 is a very old hardware, I should upgrade my hardware.

Most software doesn't support 10.3 any more, it stated for 10.4 or 10.5 (Leopard). The following are the list of software that I frequently use but not able to upgrade.

The number one on the list is Firefox browser. When Mozilla release version 3, I heard it improves in memory management, I would like to try the software, but the software refused to install because it need OS X 10.4 or above.

Safari browser on my OS X 10.3 is version 1.0, the latest version of Safari is 3, it needs 10.4 as well.

Picasaweb (Google's photo sharing site) has a uploader for iPhoto, but it needs a later version of iPhoto which available on OS X 10.4.

VLC is a very popular video player, version 0.8.6c is the last version which work on my OS X 10.3, even though it didn't stated that it needs 10.4. VLC 0.8.6d (or above) just don't run on my iBook with OS X 10.3.

Limewire which is a Java application for p2p file sharing services, theoretically it should base on Java platform version and not the OS, surprisingly the latest version of LimeWire needs OS X 10.4. The old version 4.12 still runs on 10.3.

I can still using the old version for some of the applications on OS X 10.3, which still working fine. Upgrade to 10.4 allow me to try more software. New release software like MySQL, php and a few others only package for 10.4 (or above).

One day OS X software may only runs on latest version of OS X and intel (x86) platform, like Joost TV and Divx codec for quicktime. When the day comes, hardware upgrade will be the only way.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Install OS X 10.4 on iBook preparation

I have an iBook G3 (dual USB version) which is currently running OS X 10.3 (Panther), I need to upgrade it OS X 10.4 (Tiger). My iBook G3 doesn't came with a DVD drive, the OS X 10.4 is a DVD disc by default, how do I install the OS X 10.4 on my iBook?

There is a few solutions to solve the problem:

1. Use CD installer
When Apple release Tiger OS in year 2005, it came as a DVD installer by default. You can send back the DVD and exchange the CD installer for USD9.95, the service end at 19 March 2007.

2. Get external firewire DVD drive
You must get external firewire DVD drive, usb drive probably will not work, because openfirmware in Apple machine only support firewire. Even if you get external firewire DVD drive, make sure it is boot from your machine, you have to try it.

LaCie has a firewire DVD drive, and D2 DVD drive support both usb and firewire, but the usb+firewire DVD drive is bulky.

3. Target disk mode
By holding 'T' key while booting the Apple machine, will go into target disk mode. This is a great invention from Apple, the idea is turn you Apple machine into a external drive, connected to another machine as a external storage using a firewire cable.

You need another Apple machine with DVD drive. You can turn you target machine (the machine without dvd drive) as target disk mode, install from another machine with DVD drive, or you can turn the machine with DVD drive as target disk mode, so it can be access as a external DVD drive.

The detail process for target disk mode, refer to the Internet. Remember to backup your data for both machine. I will try it out with I am free.

System requirement:
G3/G4 CPU, 256MB Ram (512MB recommended), occupied 3G (with X Code need 4G) HD storage, Firewire port.
To save hard disk space, skip 1.6G printer driver.
Machine without firewire port can try this software, XPostFacto.

Note:
Mac OS X 10.4 available on PowerPC and Intel platform, it came with 2 different DVD, there is not universal installer. Only OS X 10.5 (Leopard) came with universal binary.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Video streaming on mobile phone

There are some people thinks that video streaming could be a big hit on mobile phones, but I don't think so, at least not in the near future. The near future means two years time, three years time, or longer, depends on how the technology grown.

There is a few reasons why I said so.

1. Bandwidth. To perform video streaming, need a lot of bandwidth, and bandwidth is always limited. Even 3G has a broader bandwidth, but wireless capabilities always limited by location, implemented infrastructure. We don't always get the ideal bandwidth, lagging video is common when we stream on mobile network, even on 3G network.

May be WiFi and WiMax can provide a faster video streaming, but we might be referring to a different device from mobile phones for accessing the internet using WiFi and WiMax.

2. Screen size. Mobile device display is getting bigger and bigger, but watching video on a small screen size is not a good experience, especially when you compare it with the large display like iPhone. iPhone is a good mobile device for watching video, but iPhone is the one and only product from Apple, there are a few other mobile phones which came with large display screen size like HTC diamond, but majority of the mobile phones still came with a smaller display.

A device with a 3.5 inch display are too big for many mobile users.

3. Battery life. Today's mobile CPU is good enough to process video streaming, but when you put in more functionalities into a mobile phones, build a bigger screen, it consume more power. A good example will be Nokia N95, it was marketed as a mobile PC, can browse internet, send email, it even cames with GPS, but it drain the battery too fast. Two of my friends get a N95 but can't wait to sell it, because the one day battery life for their normal usage doesn't meet their expectation.

Battery technology will improved, I believe so. I have heard about it since 5 years ago, but it still can't meet most people expectation as for today.

Conclusion
A mobile phone is a device for you to carry around to make phone calls, or receive phone calls. If a mobile device is too big, or the battery life can not last for a day or two, it defeat the purpose of being a mobile phone. iPhone is a good device for video streaming, but is still new and yet to be proven.

I believe the day video streaming on mobile will come. For today, let text application on mobile phones and video streaming by another portable media player device, it sounds more practical.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Olympic schedule and result website

If you need to get Olympic schedule and result, you can access Olympic Beijing official site.

If you are on the move, you can access to this mobile site, if you can't remember the long url, try http://tinyurl.com/2008oly.

If you have a iPhone or iPod Touch, try iOlympic, not just a mobile site, but specially design for iPhone.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Olympic Beijing 20080808

Olympic Beijing 2008 open ceremony tonight 8pm.

Google homepage has change to Olympic Beijing theme as well.

olympic2008
Google Olympic Beijing 2008

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Interesting Internet company logo

A brand name is recognize by its name, icon, color, and how they write their company or product name.

There are some interesting logo about Internet company.

Yahoo & Google
Yahoo! originally use red color, and now purple. Google use multiple colors. The 2 fonts which used by Yahoo and Google is different.

Yahoo normally ended with a exclamation mark, font looks a bit like cartoon style, and the words are not align horizontally.

Google font with little 3D effect and very light shadow.

If you mix Yahoo and Google logo together what it will looks like?


Google in Yahoo style



create by log54.com



Yahoo in Google style
created by funny logo


Delicious

Delicious logo is a square with four color, simple and nice. Website name separated by dot del.icio.us, it becomes a very unique way to write their name, even though is hard to remember where to put the dot.

When Yahoo acquire delicious, delicious started with y.ah.oo! in their blog post announcement.


Flickr
Flickr use blue and light red colors, the blue color is normally in front, last 'r' is red color.<

Flickr ended with a 'r' without vowel, application which related to flickr use similar name like
fastr, a flickr game
flippr, flickr wallpaper
retrievr, expose flickr photos
mappr, tag flickr photo on the map


iPhone icon
iPhone icon is a square with round corner, with bringht, sometimes mirror-like or glossy color.


Twitter

Twitter use blue and white color. It use a small letter 't' which doesn't cross through. Twitter sometimes show little bird in their website, normally simple use the 't' to represent Twitter. The emoticon 'o_O' seems to be used quite often in Twitter too.


Twitter and Apple


Apple on twitter


twitter on Apple iPhone

Do you find the difference? iPhone icon will have round corners.


Conclusion
Web 2.0 internet company is creative with their logo as well.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Maxis backup service graphic looks like zyb

Maxis has a contact list backup service, which was launched not long ago.

maxis backup
Maxis contact list backup service

Don't you think is looks like zyb homepage?

zyb home
zyb is a web 2.0 website for mobile backup service

zyb is a online backup service for mobile phones, it use SyncML technology to backup the contact (or address book) on the mobile phones. It was acquired by Vodafone on May 2008.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Check traffic online

These two days, police setup road block causes massive traffic jam on Federal Highway.

You can check the road traffic from ITIS (Integrated Transport Image System).

Federal Highway
Traffic jam from PJ to KL, 9:27am
the opposite lane is clear

The system seems to be unstable sometimes, you will get a blue screen.

video lost
Video lost

They provide short video streaming as well, but I don't think video streaming is a necessary, is just a waste of bandwidth.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Sunway Aeroline bus station

You can book online for bus ticket to Singapore

This morning send a friend to Aeroline bus station at Sunway, my friend is taking the Aeroline bus to Singapore. The Sunway bus station is the latest Aeroline bus station added on the existing 4 station.

Aeroline is a luxurious bus service from Malaysia to Singapore, the ticket price is slightly more expensive than the normal bus to Singapore. The Aeroline Lite single deck coach cost RM60(SGD40), double deck coach cost RM80(SGD47). Can book online, through Malaysia Aeroline website, or Singapore Aeroline website. Ticket can be purchased through Aeroline bus stop ticket counter as well.

lounge
Aeroline lounge.
Originally uploaded by Enoch Kawai

My friend recommended me to take the double deck coach, is comfortable. The bottom deck is a small lounge, passenger can take a tea break and chit-chat with friends there. The lounge provide power socket for passenger to charge their mobile phone or work with their notebook, but not confirm WiFi service is available.

There are a few Aeroline bus stop in Malaysia. Other than the Sunway, is Penang, Kuala Lumpur, Bandar Utama and Petaling Jaya. The bus stop is not at Pudu bus station or KL Sentral, but is strategic location. In Petaling Jaya is at Menara Axis, near Asia Jaya LRT station. In Kuala Lumpur is in-front of Corus hotel, opposite of KLCC, just two blocks away from Avenue K.

The Sunway Aeroline bus station is located at Sunway Pyramid shopping mall, just opposite of Sunway Lagoon water park. We reach there early so I take a look at the office and passenger waiting room. Is a new office, clean and comfortable, the waiting room is spacious, with instant coffee provided. If you are boring you can watch TV or surf Internet with their free WiFi.

I think is a totally different experience with taking long distance bus in Kuala Lumpur Pudu bus station, which is crowded and messy.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

The number is 21

Apple iPhone 3G launch on 11 July 2008 at 21 countries

Yesterday (11 July) Apple's iPhone 3G started selling at 2221 countries, the first country selling iPhone is New Zealand, then Asia, and follow by Europe and America.

As usual, media reports iPhone 3G as an important news, some TV reported the event at the very beginning of the news.

People still crazy queuing to buy an iPhone, but may be not in US. As reported a few people stated to queue up in-front of New York 5th Avenue Apple store, but these people are not Apple fanatics, they are from organization to support organic farming (refer here). May be they just came to catch some media attention.

The other reason is, iPhone 3G is just about one year after Apple start selling the first version of the their iPhone in US. For other countries iPhone 3G is the first time for its official launch, many stores start opening at 0:01 midnight to sell the Apple iPhone 3G.

long queue at willington
Long iPhone 3G queue at Wellington.
Originally uploaded by mangee

More photo here and here.

iPhone always tie up with the celco operator, it was first launched June 2007 in United State only, must be activated through AT&T network. Hackers able to jailbreak the phone to work with other network, but you are not able to update the firmware officially through Apple support.

Definitely there are iPhone lovers and there are iPhone haters. You might like it for its outlook, design, the huge 3.5" display or the coverflow (virtually flip through album to choose songs). You might hate it for hard to type in the virtual keyboard, too many functions or hard to look for name in the contact list. Apple iPhone 3G launch, is the news you should never miss.

The twenty one countries which launch iPhone 3G on 11 July 2008, as listed in Apple website is:

1. Australia
2. Austria
3. Belgium
4. Canada
5. Denmark
6. Finland
7. Germany
8. Hong Kong
9. Ireland
10. Italy
11. Japan
12. Mexico
13. Netherlands
14. New Zealand
15. Norway
16. Portugal
17. Spain
18. Sweden
19. Switzerland
20. UK
21. USA

As you can see from the above list, is 21 countries, but some news reported as 22 countries, even stated in wikipedia as 22 countries. Asia countries are Japan and Hong Kong, countries like Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia is not on the list. Singapore will be the next round to launch iPhone, and rumor says iPhone will be launched in Taiwan soon but was not confirmed officially by Apple.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

DictCN dictionary plugins for Firefox

I found another Chinese dictionary plugins for Firefox, it work with the latest Firefox 3.x, is DictCN.

DictCN
DictCN, dictionary plugins for Firefox

When you move the mouse cursor to the english word it will display the explanation as floating tips display, it support simplified chinese and traditional chinese. It support english audio as well. It can be configured by the right click on the 'D' icon at the status bar as well.

I think is a good replacement if you don't like Oak dictionary.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

How to load J2ME jar file on Palm OS

use IBM J9 manager on Palm

Fernando leave a comment on my earlier post How to run j2me application on Palm. Fernando pointed out that you can use the IBM J9 VM manager to load in jad or jar file.

This is step by step how to install j2me program on Palm OS:

1. Launch the IBM J9 VM manager.

2. Install program from URL.

url
Install fremtris

3.

install
Installing...

4. Launch

fremtris
Just another Tetris

Is easy right?

Sunday, June 29, 2008

The Google Android software stack in brief

The Google Android platform for mobile sounds like a very promising platform and software design. It address some of the common problems that the industry had encountered before. Android use Java as its main application development language, to make sure application is portable on all mobile devices. Android use Linux kernel which already proven as advance and stable.

There is a good Androidology video, explain on Android software platform.

Why Android sounds good?

The Android system contain 3 part of software layer:

1. Application, build by Java.
(I merge application and application framework together)
2. System library written by C and C++.
3. Kernel is base on Linux kernel 2.6.

Application layer. Java language was chosen as the development language. There is a lot of mobile developers out there already know Java language (mainly J2ME which is for mobile devices).

Java is a proven technology, portable on different software and hardware platform. Java is already available on majority of the mobile phones, only some old and low end mobile phones will not have Java included.

Current Java on mobile (J2ME) has a lot of limitation, so major mobile phone company will add in their own extension to the Java library, this make portability of Java application on mobile more difficult. Normally Java was used to create Java games on mobile, many other applications are still build on the native OS and not on the Java layer.

Sun has been pushing Java technology on mobiles for years, it was successfully deploy on most of the mobile phones, but lacking of standardization make it difficult to go further.

If there are rich and standard API stated in Android, developers can use those API to develop games and applications, integrate well into mobile phones, and Java will make Android application portable on all (Android) mobile phones.

The Java program don't run directly on Android, it was converted into Dalvik byte code. Basically Android not just can run Java but other application as long as it can be converted to Dalvik byte code.

The Linux kernel. The Linux kernel was chosen because it was proven to be stable and powerful. Linux has good memory management, process management and already build in with many other functions like tcp/ip networking which is necessary for an operating system (especially you need it to connect to data network on your mobile).

For a new hardware mobile manufacturer, the first thing to do for building an Android platform is to build the device driver on the Linux kernel, there should be a lot of developers around which already know how to do it.

There are a lot of companies try to build mobile phone operating system base on Linux kernel before Android do, but not very successful. Palm and PalmSource is a very good example, they have been working for years to develop a new Palm OS, but unable to deliver.

Even Motorola and Nokia has release some mobile and internet devices which running Linux operating system, but it was not very successful as well, like the Motorola A series phone started with A760. Nokia has an Internet Table device (N770) which build using Linux operating system too. These devices are not popular on the market, even on smart phone market.

In technical point of view, Android use Java + Linux is a smart move. Both Java and Linux is proven technology, and provide portability for mobile application on Android platform.

The system libraries. The system libraries on Android mainly build by C and C++, it should be fast and efficient. Since the library is run on top of the Linux kernel, there should be a lot of available software which ready to run on Android.

Open source. Android has use a lot of open source software to build their platform. Linux is open source, SQLite (in library layer) is open source, the WebKit to build the browser, is base on KHTML, which is open source as well.

The advantage of using these open source software, help to build up the the platform more quickly. All these open source software already proven to be usable, stable and powerful. Most important thing, these open source software will be improved in the future.

Since Android is still under development and there is no real product implementation yet, we will observed in the future how good it will be.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

The tag is brain drain, exodus and Yahoo

After Flickr co-founders Stewart Butterfield and Caterina Fake is leaving yahoo, Joshua Schacter, the founder of Delicious is confirmed leaving Yahoo too. Flickr and Delicious are web 2.0 website acquired by Yahoo in these few years. I like these two websites, and I think these two websites are two of the few potential web services which play an important part in Yahoo's future. Yahoo even close down its own online photo service and replace with Flickr.

After Yahoo rejected Microsoft bid and turn to Google, Yahoo senior executives were reported leaving one after another. Qi Lu (executive vice president of engineering for Search and Advertising), Vish Makhijani (senior vice president of search), Brad Garlinghouse (senior vice president of Communications & Communities), and more... TechCrunch run a long list of Yahoo executives who leave yahoo since January 2008, and the list keep updating very frequently.

Jerry Yang was pressured from angry share holder like Carl Icahn, criticized by writer like Joe Nocera, now facing executive exodus widely reported by news and in many blog posts, is really a hard time for Yahoo and Jerry Yang.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Apple WWDC 2008 is almost there

One more thing, 2008

Another few more hours will be the Apple WWDC (World Wide Developer Conference), what will Steve Jobs announce in the event? The development of the next release of Mac OS X 10.6 (snow leopard)? Or a 3G iPhone?

There are rumors reported that sealed boxes shipping to Apple Stores, will not be open up untill Monday (Apple WWDC).

MacRumors will have a live event coverage.

Another interesting thing to be observed is, will twitter survive through the high trafffic during Apple WWDC event? Recently twitter website experience some down time, because the system can not handle the high volume traffic. These days people like to use twitter to report during Apple WWDC(Will wwdc break twitter), it will be a critical load test for the twitter website.

Twitter official blog has a post on the Apple event as well.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

OpenSolaris 2008.05 Installation Screenshots

The following screenshots show step by step, how to install OpenSolaris 2008.05.

Boot as LiveCD

LiveCD
Boot as LiveCD

Before you install, you can use the Device Driver Utility to check for hardware compatibility.

Click on "Install OpenSolaris" to install. Make sure you backup your data.

Step 1: Disk
Choose Disk
Choose the disk or partition to install

Choose which partition to install, set partition type to "Solaris". You can choose "Use the whole disk", then all data on the disk will be erased.

Step 2: Time Zone
set time zone
Set time zone

There is a world map for you to choose the time zone.

Step 3: Locale
choose locale
Choose locale

You have english, chinese, japanese...

Step 4: Users

Create the root password and a normal user(optional).

Step 5: Installation
installing
The installation may take 30 minutes

Just wait, normally it will take about 30 minutes, but depends on your machine.

Once is done, eject the CD and reboot. Is easy right?

Sunday, June 01, 2008

First glance at OpenSolaris 2008.05

After three years of incubation development, is the announcement of OpenSolaris 2008.05 release. OpenSolaris 2008.05 is the first official OpenSolaris release with support, but I expect there will be more release update after this. I take a quick look at it before the end of May (while it still fresh and hot).

OpenSolaris 2008.05 is LiveCD for desktop (but Solaris is always a server OS than a desktop OS), you can use the same LiveCD for installation as well. The 700Mb (685Mb) iso image can be downloaded from opensolaris.com, or opensolaris.org website.

With the release of OpenSolaris 2008.05, it also mark as an end of SXDE (Solaris Express Developer Edition). OpenSolaris is the quick peek at what may look like in Solaris 11. OpenSolaris should be binary compatible with Solaris 10, that means your device driver for Solaris 10 can be used in OpenSolaris as well(*).

If you are able to install OpenSolaris without much problems, congratulation. You may have nVidia video card and plenty of Ram. There are some problems that I have encounter that I want to share with you all.

1. Bloated desktop? The LiveCD running very slow on 512Mb Pentium 4 machine. May be the Java Desktop Environment take up a lot of Ram, but don't blame it on Java. Java Desktop Environment is not Java, is just a marketing term, is actually Gnome. I think Gnome are bloated. That's why some Solaris distribution like Belenix use XFCE for the Desktop.

2. Limited Driver support. Don't expect it work like Windows, boot successfully on most desktop hardware, even ubuntu linux will have better support than OpenSolaris 2008.05. For display, tested and work well with Nvidia and Intel video chipset, but ATI display may have some problem (a blur screen display).

Network is a very important device other than the video display, it could be much more important than the display. A very common Intel PRO100/VE network card is not included, even through driver provided by third party is available.

3. Limited installation mode. Unable to use VESA VGA or text mode for installation, if you can't get your display setup properly, you are in trouble.

4. Unable to load extra driver. Unable to load extra driver disk, if hard disk controller card (eg. HP Smart Array) is not supported, it was unable to install.

After all the bad comment, does OpenSolaris has any good? Yes.

New package system (IPS, Image Packaging System), may improve software installation process. There are more... which I am not listed here.

Not everyone need OpenSolaris, don't get it just because is open source. I have told you my reason here, so what's yours?

* You might need to change the name from 10 to 11.

Reference:
Review on zdnet.
Another installation review.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

OpenSolaris 2008.05 release

I am not surprise Windows users don't like Solaris, because is unix and is difficult to use. Unix is like DOS, text base, do not have a easy to use installer. Some Windows users find that unix is difficult to use, because they can't locate where is the C drive, unix use a directory name for each data partition and not using alphabet to name the disk drive.

OpenSolaris
OpenSolaris release 2008.05 is free for download

I am surprise Linux users don't like Solaris, for the same reason -- Solaris is difficult to use. Even Linux and Solaris are unix base operating system, there are some minor differences. They have a different name for network device, the configuration file setting could be different, Solaris name their X-windows as openwindow, but basically both Linux and Solaris is quite similar.

Solaris is difficult to install. Yes, it could be difficult for new Solaris users, especially when they experience a driver problem (most common is the network driver problem). Without a rich driver support as Windows, install an operating system is always a problem. Linux is easier to install because the Linux users were using Red Hat 9.0, Fedora or Ubuntu. If these Linux users are using Linux since Slackware, they will have a different definition on what "difficult" means.

Install a software (including the operating system) is not really a big issue, it only need to be done for the first time, and sometimes it was done by the hardware engineer or system support engineer. The worst nightmare for software developer is, the piece of software that you write, keep crashing for an unknown reason, it could cause by your application, it could be the operating system, or may be is an unstable system API call in your coding.

I use Windows, I use Linux and I use Solaris. Solaris is my prefer software for server end operating system because Solaris is very stable. I have experience on using Solaris to run heavy loaded software for years without shutdown, it has good performance while running on old and low end Sun machines, eg. 50Mhz sparc CPU.

Sun Microsystems has release Solaris as open source and free for use, that is OpenSolaris, and it runs on x86 platform. So is easy for software developers to try it on their machine. The latest is 2008.05 release, available at opensolaris.org website, try it out today.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Powerful earthquake at Sichuan China

A 7.8-magnitude earthquake happen in Sichuan China this afternoon about 2pm.

When such a news and event happen, is time to test how fast the internet media can responds.

Shanghai citizen evacuate
Shanghai can feel the earthquake too.
Originally uploaded by 2 dogs

The earthquake happen in Sichuan but Shanghai can feel the earthquake as well. More flickr photos here.

I search photobucket, but can't find related photos.

Hope the 900 students buried and trap under the collapsed building at Dujiangyan (都江堰) will be saved, let's pray hard for them. Another news here

Dujiangyan is a historical city which has more than 2000 years.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

墨魚飯風波

日前香港發生一件社會小插曲,事情的經過在網上被廣泛地報導,引起網民的熱烈討論與媒體的關注。事情應該發生在四月中,約於四月二十九日在互聯網上被廣泛地報導。

事件過發生在香港某一港式快餐店,一位女顧客點了一客墨魚飯,可是椻台告之說沒有單賣墨魚飯,或許可以點六寶飯,內有墨魚。可是這位女顧客卻相當堅持地說,以前曾經點過墨魚飯,而且又只想吃墨魚飯。僵持了一陣子,快餐店員建議點六寶飯或是叉燒墨魚飯,最後女顧客就點了叉燒墨飯,不過卻要求叉燒與飯要分開置放,快餐店也允許這麼要求。

後來準備食物的阿叔又誤將叉燒與墨魚飯放置在一起,早前與椻台已有爭執的女顧客又再次與這位快餐店阿叔起了爭執,而這位阿叔脾氣亦不好,兩者互相對罵,而且越罵越兇,一發不可收拾。後來,女顧主將對罵的片段上載到 youtube 網站,引起軒然大波。大部份的網民都認為女事主小事化大,反而同情被調走的快餐店阿叔。

由於此一事件與早前“巴士阿叔“事件類似,所以又被稱作“快餐店阿叔“事件,或又稱為“墨魚阿姑“事件。這位女事主除了將錄影片段上載到 youtube 之外,也在網上說明經過,發表不滿。後來受到大批網民的口殊筆伐,就將文章與影片撤走,不過影片已經被其他人下載後,又再次放在 youtube 上。



從這次事件,我們又再次看到互聯網這種新媒體的力量。這些社會小插曲,若是投書到報紙與雜誌,可能不被受理,因為傳統的媒體畢竟受到版位的限制,沒有辦法報導每一個事件。而在互聯網上的媒體,“幾乎“沒有有版位的限制問題。事主選擇了在網上披露事情的經過,其影響也超越了傳統媒介。大部份網民非但不支持女事主,而且轉向支持快餐店阿叔,倒是女事主所始料未及之事。

香港網絡大典的快餐店阿叔事件說明
女事主的事後聲明,轉貼在此
網民在討論區對事件的回應

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Microsoft drop Yahoo offer

After Microsoft withdraw Yahoo offer, Yahoo share price drop more than 10% to $24.

Yahoo share price
After Yahoo reject Microsoft's $33 offer, is now $24.

Microsoft offer $33 for Yahoo, make it a $44.6 billion deal, but Yahoo think they worth more than that.

Google share price
Google share price is almost 600.

Google share price is almost $600, compare with 54x about 2 weeks ago.

Friday, April 25, 2008

OLPC may switch to Windows?

I read a news today on OLPC's XO notebook may use Windows. Is using Windows easier for both vendor and consumer?

Basically OLPC project is not very successful until now, because it was not able to deliver a good product for mass production, is still far far away from Nicholas Negroponte's dream, a USD100 notebook for the developing country. OLPC project is a great dream, to achieve it, is never been easy.

OLPC notebook should be portable, WiFi enable, low power consumption and is cheap, target price is USD100 for a notebook. Currently they are selling at USD188. The cost can be lower if you get the right vendor to manufacture it. Taiwanese can make it cheaper, OEM manufacturer like Asus, Quanta or Foxconn(Hon Hai Precision Industry) is capable to manufacture low cost electronic parts with high quality. Notebooks from Dell and HP, Apple's iPod are manufactured by these companies.

People can't wait to see the dream comes true, even hardware vendor can not wait. Intel can't wait, so Intel start selling Classmate PC, which is a low cost laptop mainly design for education purpose. Asus can't wait, recently Asus launch low cost 7" notebook EeePC 701, is very successful in the market. These companies who is good in hardware design, is going into the sub-notebook market.

OLPC have good hardware design too, OLPC's CTO Mary Lou Jepsen, invented an ultr-low cost display, which is readable under sunlight. Mary left OLPC on January 2008, other top executive in OLPC is leaving as well, like Ivan Krstic and Walter Bender. Walter is a great fan of open source, OLPC sweet talk with Microsoft should be the main reason for his departure.

Forget about the hardware and management, let's talk about software. People always think that Windows are easier to use than Linux, but things change these days. To cut down the cost of OLPC notebook, the free and open source Linux was chosen as the operating system software, Nicholas first in favor of using Red Hat Linux (may be he needs Red Hat's funding), but Red Hat Linux could be far too complicated, so Sugar Linux (base on Red Hat/Fedora) was created for OLPC.

Sugar Linux
Sugar Linux on OLPC's XO-1.
Originally uploaded by karindalziel

Linux are getting easier and easier to use, and there is a lot of choices other than Red Hat. As desktop PC, many of my friends commented that Ubuntu Linux is easier to use compare with Red Hat Linux. Asus EeePC's Linux is another good examples, EeePC's Linux is provided by Xandros. Xandros Linux is base on Corel Linux, acquired from Corel after Corel decided to left Linux market in year 2001. Corel Linux is base on Debian (yes, Ubuntu is base on Debian too). Corel build in an easy to use installer on it, is just as easy as like installing Windows (but too bad that I always encounter problem while installing Corel Linux). The Xandos Linux used in Asus EeePC is a tab base version, simpler and is easy to use.

EeePC Linux
Tab base Xandros Linux on EeePC.
Originally uploaded by Renegade Buddha

Linux is easy to use, if you don't believe, try the Linux on EeePC. OLPC may switch to Windows simply because Microsoft has a better marketing plan and Windows are more popular.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Turbo Pascal on DosBox

Do you still remember the time?

There are at least 3 version of Turbo Pascal free for download (version 1, 3 and 5.5), I suggest to download Turbo Pascal 5.5.

Tutorial for Turbo Pascal 5.5.

1. download the software from here.

2. extracted the software, there are two directory DISK1 and DISK2, basically you just need DISK1.

3. run the software
> turbo

Turbo Pascal 5.5
Turbo Pascal running in DosBox for OS X PowerPC.


You can run the program direct from Windows terminal, if you are using Linux you can run it under a simulator. I am using the DosBox simulator.

You can download DosBox from sourceforge.

After running the DosBox, create the C drive by:
> mount C c:\tp55
or
> mount C /home/user/foo (unix system)
(the second parameter is your Turbo Pascal program path on your real hard disk)

4. Write your first pascal program, File, New.
Program hello(output);
begin
    writeln('hello world!');
end.

File, Save as, hello.pas.

Compile the program shows ok, but if you run the program, you don't see the result. Actually it display the result but it was clear once the program terminate.

5. Make some modification
Program hello(output);
var
    n: Integer;
begin
    writeln('hello world!');
    readln(n);
end.

Run:
hello world!
1
(input anything thing and just press enter)

6. Make it to executable
Alternatively you can make it into executable
a. from IDE
Menu, Compile, Destination (set to Disk)

b. from dos prompt
> tpc hello.pas
> dir hello.exe
hello.exe


Take a look at the executable, how small it is, just about 2k in size.

What's next? May be you can try to compile the Mario clone.

Legendary Turbo Pascal Compiler

Do you still remember the time?

Recently Borland stock price down to bottom as USD 1 plus.

Borland share price
Borland share price goes down.


Borland was co-founded by American technology entrepreneur Philippe Kahn in 1983 (or 1982?). Borland was once a top 10 software company in the 80s, famous for its compiler tools, most remarkable is Turbo Pascal compiler. Borland once change their name to Inprise but later change back to Borland. Philippe Kahn left Borland in 1995.

Turbo Pascal from Borland is one of the easy to use and fastest pascal compiler available on PC during the 80s. Turbo Pascal is an IDE (Integrated Development Environment, integrate editor, compiler and linker together) compiler, even though running on DOS as text base program, it was a break through, because its performance is fantastic even running on a 4.77Mhz IBM PC. While other compiler software was selling as USD one thousand to two thousand, Turbo Pascal was selling for only USD49.99 when it first release in 1984. Very quickly the software was sold over million of copies

Why Turbo Pascal can perform so well (especially on old 4.77Mhz IBM PC)?

1. It is small. As for Turbo Pascal version 5.5, the IDE and the compiler is about 200k to 300k. Software at that time is all very small in size.

2. Everything was done in memory. Normally before the program can be executed, it will be compile into an object (normally .o file), store on the disk. Then it will be link as executable file, before it can be executed and show the program result. Turbo Pascal compile and generated the executable code all in Ram, and didn't need to access to auxiliary storage (5.25" floppy disk), so it is very fast.

3. Optimized compiler core. Turbo Pascal creator Anders Hejlsberg, have spent a lot of effort in optimizing the compiler core. The compiler was written so well that it was still being used in the first three version of the later Delphi compiler.

Borland has release the earlier version of Turbo Pascal as free for use, you download from here.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Google stock soars on profit reported

Google stock price just goes up almost one 100 USD (+20%), after the company report a 31% increase in profit for the first quarter. Is 540 now, wow!

Google stock price
Soar on profit report.


Saturday, April 12, 2008

To create or to inherit 1

Don't read this if you are not software developer., is boring

Programming is an art, like writing a novel or drawing a picture. You need creativity, but to create is difficult, so sometimes look at other developer's code, will improve your programming skills. Is nothing wrong to borrow some ideas from other software developers, just avoid copyright infringement.

Most software developers that I know, especially talented software developers with strong programming skills, hate to maintain or make improvement on other software developers' work. They always think that create their own code and program is easier that maintain and make improvement over others' code.

Create is more easy? How can it be? One of the main problem with today's software developer is, the codes are very badly written, and there is no developer guide documentation (so how do I start?). Sometimes I don't even find one line of comment in the code, and no proper indent for code block (eg. code in if (condition) { } block are not inline).

If you examine other programmer's coding, there are signatures inside the program. Everyone have their own style of coding.

An easy and simple example of coding style is, how you place your parenthesis ( '{' and '}' ) for condition block?

1.
if (condition)
{
    statement 1;
}

2.
if (condition)
    {
    statement 1;
    }

3.
if (condition) {
    statement ;
    }


There are more examples... and you can name it.

Which style do you prefer? Your style of coding will be your signature in the program even without putting your name in. So learn other programmers coding style, use it within the same program, so the program code looks consistent.

Another example of coding style is how you name the variable and functions. Like user_name, UserName, or userName? Normally naming convention will be stated in the developer guide. Some programming language will have their prefer way for naming convention, like Java's function and variable name always start with a capital letter for each word, except the first starting alphabet (eg. userName).

To maintain the original coding style, you have to make it look consistent, this is another difficulty to continue others work, or else the next developer after you, will drop all your hard work and create their own program as a start.

Netscape navigator codes are difficult to maintain, that's why there is a lot of bugs and problem after version 4. Netscape 5.0 has never been released, it was scraped and rewritten as Netscape 6, but a lot of users started to switch to IE browser during that time.

To create or just continue with existing code (in software development), both is not easy. To avoid the hard work source code scrap in the future, a good software developer should know how to create, to continue, and write code which is easy to be maintained.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

DiGi and EeePC promotion

Come on, DiGi, you can do better than this

My friend show me a DiGi data package promotion. There are two package, both are ASUS EeePC + data access plan, with slightly different. Let's look at the package, is it worth getting or not.

Package A
1. Data only SIM (RM66 x 24 mths) = RM1,584
2. WiFi (AirZed) server (24 mths) = RM2,232
3. Asus EeePC = RM1,599
4. Asus data modem T500 = RM1,199
Total RM6,614

Promotion price now RM2,952

Total savings RM3,622.

But unfortunately there is a lot of misleading information here.

EeePC selling at RM1299, not RM1599. If you have the budget and need a Windows version, you may consider Twinhead's E10 or HP Compaq 2133.

I don't know how they compute the WiFi charges, because if you subscribe to DiGi unlimited data access, WiFi access should be free.

The only thing you are getting extra is the T500 data modem (I am wandering how to connect to EeePC), some says you can get a data modem for RM400, but I am not so sure about that.

So is this a good deal? You don't really save much. Don't forget if you subscribe to the package, you tie up with the data access for two years.

For the WiFi access, there is a easier and better plan, even without subscribe to DiGi unlimited data access. With pay per use with DiGi, you can get a 1 day access for just RM3.

DiGi always came out with good package with flexible plan, like RM10 prepaid card, RM1 top up (for prepaid). Come on DiGi, you can do better than this.

CSS naked day 2008

Recently I was learning some javascript and CSS (Cascading Style Sheet). I accidentally found this CSS naked day website (http://naked.dustindiaz.com/). CSS naked day in on 9 April, the idea is to promote standard and plain html web page presentation, so remove all your CSS on this day.

Personally I don't like CSS, no doubt it is powerful, to master it is another story.

BTW, I found this image cropping script interesting. No flash or java applet needed.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Sun at Microsoft Server 2008 launch event

Sun is your Eco-friend

Just drop by at Microsoft event at Kuala Lumpur Convention Center during lunch time. Microsoft launch its Windows Server 2008, Visual Studio 2008 and SQL Server 2008.

I saw Sun Microsystems there, what is Sun doing in a Microsoft event? They are promoting their SUN X4150 Quad-Core x86 1U server, which run Solaris, Linux and Windows operating system. On such an event, they only mention Windows, they more emphasize on the server's compact design, 1U server but with 8 hard disk, power saving. So Sun is eco-friendly. I didn't follow up with server price recently, Sun says they are giving a promotion price for the server, RM8,888.00 for the basic model, limited quantity available, I think it is a very competitive price.

Sun also showing their blackbox project, which is a mobile datacenter installed in a standard cargo container. It is using a water cooling system which is eco-friendly as well. Not many people attended Sun's briefing session, they are giving out 2 16Gb iPod Touch to those who submitted the lucky draw form and attend the session. They have draw more than 10 forms to get a winner (most of the name called, but they were not there), one of they guy sitting right behind me, get 1 of the iPod Touch, he is really lucky.

Sun X4150 server is comparable with HP's hot selling DL380 G5 server.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Internet the new media

Yesterday night having a steam boat dinner with some friends, after the dinner, we site down in-front of TV, watching the live broadcast of Malaysia Election 2008 results.

We read news from in internet too, like merdeka and Malaysia Kini. The news from the internet is faster than the TV live broadcast.

Malaysia largest political alliance Barisan Nation win federal, but lost 5 state (Kelantan, Penang, Kedah, Perak and Selangor) to the opposition. The is the best result ever scored by the opposition.

All the newspaper were sold off early in the morning. The 7-11 shop keeper say, already request to send in more newspaper, but all swap by the customer once the newspaper reach the shop.

For those who is able access to Internet, still can get the latest news update. When there is such things happen, is an opportunity for those new media to become popular.

Just don't forget Internet is the new media.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Not anti Microsoft

Tomorrow is election day for Malaysia

You must be hearing me talking a lot about open source, Linux, Mac OS, Solaris, Palm OS, but I seldom talk about Microsoft Windows, I am not anti Microsoft. In fact I was using Microsoft products since MS-DOS, I am still using Microsoft products like Windows and Word, because my office is using it.

I just want to support the minority, give other company (other than Microsoft) a chance, Microsoft already have enough supporters. All those software that I mention above are good products.

Palm is a successful commercialize PDA, it has a simple, easy to use and working user interface, even it is different from those software that we have used before. Spend just an hour or two with the new operating system, you will learn how to use it.

I have been developing software on Solaris operating system for many years. Solaris is unix, unix is powerful and Solaris is very stable. I am having a lot of fun with text base telnet to the Solaris machine.

I was always not an Apple supporter until I meet OS X. There are 2 things that attract me, the aqua interface and OS X is unix. If you read Mac OS history, the very first Mac OS (with graphic user interface) runs on 128k (yes! only 128k) Macintosh machine, you will surprise by Apple's technology and their innovative invention.

I know Linux and open source for many years. I am so excited about it, because I can get software for free (free beer is important for a poor user like me at that time), is unbelievable. Richard Stallman (open source evangelist , Free Software Foundation founder) has great vision, Linux is a great invention.

Frequent Microsoft users, please give other software company a chance.

Google calendar sync with Microsoft Outlook

Google always write some good, simple but useful application. Google release an application to sync your Microsoft Outlook schedule with your Google calendar.

The instructions on how to setup and sync Google calendar, refer here.

Just download a small application and install on your Windows desktop, configuration is easy, you do not need to specified where is your outlook located, just specified the sync method, one way or both way. You can just copy Google calendar to Outlook, copy Outlook to Google calendar, or sync in both way. If you want to change the configuration, right click on the Google calendar sync icon on the task bar.

I do a quick test, it work fine without much problem.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

A mobile phone that never been off

My friend has a Nokia 6510 mobile phone that he never turn off, even while he was sleeping. So I ask him, did he ever off his phone? He says, only when the phone hang or not function properly, then he will off and restarted the phone, normally it can last for weeks or even months. He just need to restart the phone a few times a year (That's amazing, for a computer user like me).

Most people that I know, off their mobile phone when they go to sleep. The professional will suggest you to do so (off the phone), to cut down the wave and radiation which may affected our brain and body. The main reason is, we just don't want others to call our mobile phone and disturb us while we were sleeping, except for those who are on call 24 hours.

That's is not my main subject here. Why phone can on for months, but why can't I do the same to my desktop PC for weeks? Sometimes I need to reboot my desktop every week to get a better performance. The answer is simple, because the system runs on you phone is much less complicated that your desktop's operating system.

Is easier to write a stable software to perform some simple task, desktop PC's operating system design and implementation are complicated, especially for a mobile phone users. In simple words, desktop PC has more functions, more complicated, and not so stable compare to a mobile phone.

These days mobile phone are not just mobile phones, they have added more functions, and thus more complicated, and not so stable. My friend just told me, he need to reboot his new phone (not the Nokia 6510, and I don't want to mention the model here) every few days, or else the phone will become unstable. He just reboot his phone everyday to make sure it works properly, this is normal especially for smart phone users.

The system (including Symbian and Windows mobile) runs on your smart phone, can perform complicated task 'almost' like your desktop PC. You have calendar with notes and reminder, electronic dictionary, media player, games... on your smart phone, but I still miss the stable system on the old dummy phone which can only make calls and sms.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Macworld 2008 Steve Jobs keynote

Most rumors and predictions are quite correct. There are the new products announced by Steve Jobs at the Macworld 2008 keynote:

1. MacBook Air
A 13 inch (13.3 inch), the thinnest notebook ever, about 2cm thick, without sacrificed the performance.

Macbook Air
Apple Macbook Air, very slim and thin.


I would like to see Apple release a MacBook mini, a 10 inch or smaller than that, but cheaper in price, like the Asus eeePC. This most likely will not happen as the direction for Apple now is, they make smaller device, but bigger memory and storage size.

2. iPod Touch. More application for iPod Touch, 5 new application, Mail, Maps, Stocks, Notes, and Weather.

3. iTunes movie rental. You can get movie by all major studio like Touchstone, Miramax, MGM, New Line Cinema, Fox, Warner, Disney (sure!), Paramount, Universal and Sony.

4. Apple TV take 2. The new Apple TV doesn't connect to the computer, but build in with a new software. You can rent movies with the new Apple TV.

Refer to my Pre-Macworld 2008 post, which I just summarize on what others people predicted. There is no 3G iPhone, Mac software is on new Microsoft Office, and nothing much. Slim macbook, iTunes video rental, new Apple TV is what other people predicted.

Updates:
If you are lazy to watch the 90 minutes keynote, mahalo has a summarize version here.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Pre-Macworld 2008

Macworld 2008 is coming very soon, January 14 to 18. What new products do you think Steve Jobs will announce this year? 3G iPhone? Or an ultra slim macbook?

Other than the above 2 product, most people will predict iTunes video rental, but I am not so interested on it.

New Apple TV. The Apple TV is not selling well, if Apple is not going to drop the product, is time for an upgrade.

For sure Apple is going to upgrade their software, Mac OS X, iLife or whatever it is.

So stay tune for great news from Apple Macworld 2008.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

SE M600i is not a smart phone

I have a Sony Ericsson M600i phone. I am not satisfied with the phone, may be it is not a phone, it is just a device in between a PDA and phone.

M600i is not a smart phone, because it is not smart. If you try to search from the contact application, you can only search from the Last name, unless you didn't key in the Last name, then it will search from the First name.

Let say you have a contact entry, John Smith. If you key in as:

First name: John
Last name: Smith
Display: Smith, John
(Name display will depends on sorting sequence)

You will not able to search it by key in John, unless you key in Smith. If,

First name: John Smith
Last name:
Display: John Smith

You will be able to search it by key in John, but again you will not able to search the contact by Smith, and you will not get the right entry by key in John Smith.

This is only happen in those five years old phone. Today's phone, should have smart search capability. The smart search here means you can search John Smith by John, Smith, ohn, mith or even JS (John Smith).

M600i is a PDA. It has a large display, high resolution, touch screen, it is good for PDA usage. Take a look at the Schedule application, the monthly view display are just too small, is hard to click. When you change the date and time of your appointment, is not user friendly, compare it with Palm's Calendar application, you know what I mean.

M600i can install Dictionary and Timer application, but the basic application like Contact and Scheduler, is not easy to use. M600i is a PDA, but still not so good as a PDA.

By today's standard, M600i is not a phone. It don't even support profile setting (and many other basic function), if you are a Nokia phone user, you should know what is profile setting.

In Nokia, you can have a different profile for pre-set ring tone and message alert, eg.

Indoor, ring tone with no vibrate.
Outdoor, vibrate and ring tone set as loud as possible.
Meeting, silent with vibrate, or just a beep sound will do.

By preset profile, you can switch to different phone mode by just one or 2 click.

M600i is not a smart phone, is more like a PDA, or a device between a PDA and a phone.