Thursday, October 06, 2011

Steve Jobs has passed away


In deep sorrow, I feel sorry for Apple and all the Apple users out there. We have lost a genius tech guy.

You can check from Apple website.

We all know that this day will come soon. We just don't know when. When I received the news this early morning, I was shocked. Is just 1 day after Apple launched iPhone 4S. The biggest news is not the new release iPhone.

Steve Jobs has died at the age of 56, he has contributed more than 30 years of his life to the IT (and IT-related) industry.

The news will be everywhere.

Sunday, September 04, 2011

The best moment of Steve Jobs on stage



Unfortunately that day has come.

On August 24 (2011), Steve Job resigned as Apple CEO.

In a letter from Jobs to Apple board and the community:
I have always said if there ever came a day when I could no longer meet my duties and expectations as Apple's CEO, I would be the first to let you know. Unfortunately, that day has come. (more) 
This is a shocking news, but we all know that this day will come. Since Steve Jobs taken his 3rd medical leave on this January for an unknown period.


Do you still remember the best moment when Steve Jobs on stage? We will all miss that. 


Some people will choose the moment when Steve Jobs introduce iPod nano and the first iPhone. iPod and iPhone both taken the IT world by storm. 

iPod nano introduction on Apple Music Special Even 2005


"Anyone wander what is this (small) pocket for? I always wander that." 


"Now we know... because this ..." (Steve Jobs take out the iPod nano) 



↵ Use original player
YouTube
← Replay
X
i




Refer how Sony introduce the Viao P notebook. 


Introduction first iPhone on MacWorld 2007 


"This is the day, that I have been looking forward for two and a half year." 


"Today we are going to introduce 3 revolutionary products."


"An iPod, a phone, and an internet communicator... an iPod, a phone... are you getting it?" 



↵ Use original player
YouTube
← Replay
X
i




I just want to add in 1 more, something in the air.


MacBook Air on MacWorld 2008


When Steve Jobs taken out the first MacBook Air from the envelop. It is so dramatic and impact. 



↵ Use original player
YouTube
← Replay
X
i




No matter which one is the best moment of Steve Jobs, we will miss him on the stage. 

Saturday, September 03, 2011

Cheaper IDD call to Philippines

My family want to make a call to Philippines, I let them to use my Skype account. I seldom use my Skype-out account after I top-up.

After my family make the call (to Philippines), I check the balance. I got a shock, half of the credit gone. It was much more expensive than I expected. I check the call rate from Skype. Yeah, call rate to Philippines is Euro 16.1 cents per minute, while other Asia countries like Malaysia, Singapore, China and Hong Kong call rate is just Euro 1.9 cent per minutes. Philippines call rate is 8 times more expensive than

I am calling from Malaysia, so I check the iTalk IDD call rate. Call to Philippines is RM 75 cents per minutes at normal rate, for both land line and mobile. Other Asia countries cost . For promotion rate please check the iTalk Whao! website.

I have tried iTalk before but not this iTalk Whao. Seems like iTalk Whao can purchase online. Normally iTalk came with a number with some prepaid credit (eg. RM10), you dial the iTalk number before you dial the number you call. The call will be charged on iTalk call rate and iTalk credit.

The iTalk 75 cents is still slightly more expensive or similar with the Skype call rate.



I check the DiGi Cakap-cakap call rate for the prepaid (prepaid only, not available for postpaid). Call rate to Phillipines is 50 cents per minute (25 cents per 30 seconds block), from 9pm to 9am. This call rate is for all prepaid except DiGi Easy prepaid and DiGi prepaid campus. Confusing right!? You have to know which prepaid you are using.



For postpaid users, the rate will be about 75 cents, not too bad. You save to trouble to get another IDD account.

Any cheaper call rate? Please let me know.

Reference:

i-Talk call rate
DiGi Chatz call rate (75 cents per minutes)

Thursday, September 01, 2011

WebCamp KL for homeless August 2011

Yesterday is Hari Raya and Merdeka (Independence) day of Malaysia. The WebCamp KL for August carry on usual, expect most people will go for the long break, but the attendance is better than expectation.

WebCamp KL for the homeless!

The event started at 6pm, much earlier than usual, some beer and pizza were served for those who didn't go for the Hari Raya celebration. Food is not the main point, is the people there who make the event interesting.

There are just 2 speakers:

Richerd Chan from Canada

Richerd Chan (@richerd) from Canada. Richerd is a young and adventurous iOS developer, back pack and moving around in Kuala Lumpur. Richerd talks about his homeless experience sleep on Kuala Lumpur street.

Richerd is planning for his start up which traveling in Malaysia. Good luck, Richerd! 


Mats Engstrom on electronics

Mats Engstrom (@matseng) from Sweden (if I am not wrong). Mats is an experience electronic expert, previously he was working in Dubai, now staying in Malaysia and working on his new startup. Mats' topic on electronic experience, "from idea to market". Mats share his experience on how he design electronic kits for the hobbyist.

If you are interested check out his QuarterK electronic kit. QuarterK on youtube check here

The WebCamp end at 7.30pm, much earlier than usual. Not much about web technology? Yeah, not every time they talk about web, they are quite free and open.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

HP to drop webOS and TouchPad


HP just announced that to stop support on webOS, that marks the end of the Palm (or Palm Pilot when it was first started).

HP TouchPad first on July 1, 49 days later on August 18 2011, HP announced will discontinue TouchPad and webOS. This is so dramatic.

I heard there are 200,000 unit of TouchPad to be return back to HP from BestBuy (refer here, and here). Other that the form factor (too heavy, muck thicker etc.), pricing of the table, lack of application is another factor why TouchPad is hard to sell.

First I would like to talk a little bit about HP here. HP share price drop as much as 20% on 20th August trading day. HP announced a series of plans includes plan to spin-off PC business, stop TouchPad, stop webOS, and to buy Autonomy, a company to provide enterprise solutions. Some analyst say the 10b takeover for Autonomy is overprice.

As HP may spin off the PC business (which is the largest in the world) and switching to enterprise market, has disappointed some share holders. It could be a right decision as PC business is unclear in the future.

I would like to talk more about webOS and Palm. I have not been following Palm and webOS news, as Palm disappointed me.

I am not surprise Palm ended this way, but I am surprised HP stop webOS (and TouchPad), the latest Palm OS which HP acquired for 1.2b USD last year.

webOS is the latest Palm OS with web 2.0 capabilities release by Palm in January 2009. As a successor of Palm OS, webOS target on multi-tasking and better media capabilities. webOS is a rewrite of Palm OS which base on Linux kernel.

It might not exactly right to say that webOS is a successor of Palm OS, because Palm OS was spin off as PalmSource and sold to ACCESS (company who create NetFront browser) in year 2005.

Now I don't see how Palm worth 1.2b, and how HP spend the 1.2b easily without a good planning, or very bad execution of the plan. HP management should know better than me, I don't understand they make the decision to buy Palm. Just like the decision Palm buy BeOS.

I have talked about how bad is Palm doing for the pass few years as a Palm user and consumer point of view.

Palm has no way out before it was acquired by HP. Palm should license their Palm OS, like what Google is doing for Android. Google license Android for free, almost every mobile phone makers (except Nokia) use Adroid for their smartphones.

Things change when Google acquired Motorola Mobility. For mobile makers like Sony Ericsson, Samsung HTC and etc. may not be so confidence with the Google Adroid system for 3rd parties, but they don't have other choices for smartphone OS.

HP will continue to grow (there are rumors saying Oracle may buy HP), that's the end of Palm on HP's hand. 

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Is new MacBook Air 2011 worth buying?


Apple just release the MacBook Air on last Thursday (21 July 2011), together with Mac OS X 10.7 Lion and new Mac Mini.

The new MacBook Air 2011 has almost the identical design as last year 2010 model. The new MacBook Air came with thunderbolt, backlit keyboard, new cpu, and NO it doesn’t start with 4G ram and 128G flash storage, but started with the same price USD999. The 4 different model selling at RM3099, RM3699, RM3999 and RM4999.

Is the new MacBook Air worth buying?

The short answer is YES! But is still depends on your need.

Who will not buy MacBook Air? Apple haters don’t buy MacBook Air. Users need all in one notebook don’t buy MBA, users need powerful notebook, no budget? Don’t buy MBA. The list grows from here. Other than the list, you can continue reading this.

Is less than 12 months after the previous MacBook Air release, normally it takes longer than that for a new refresh. The outlook form factor is not much changes compare with the last release model, the only thing that you might notice is the mini port has changed to thunderbolt socket.

The outlook might not change a lot, but the hardware specification is quite different. While the earlier version of MBA using core 2 duo (L9400), and majority of the other notebook at the same time use core i3, core i5 (or core i7) CPU, previous MacBook Air was being criticized for using an out dated CPU. This is true for Apple case, it doesn’t look like Apple style. Apple usually use the latest hardware specification.

The new MBA using the latest Sandy Bridge 2 core CPU, which is at least 2 generation from core 2 duo. Sandy Bridge CPU is the latest 32nm CPU release by Intel early this year, it is the second generation of core i5 (or i7) series, new MBA is using the 17 watts ULV series and not the 35 watts which is commonly seen out there, the core i5 ULV (2557M) should just being release on 2011 June. Some reports saying that the new MBA performance is 2 times of the previous MBA.

Unless you want to wait for 22nm Ivy Bridge, or an A6 processor for the Air. Macbook Air is a good buy.

Reference:
Is MacBook Air worth upgrade?, maccrazy. 
Apple could adopt ARM, Arstechnica.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

WebCamp KL 7 2011

You should attend the WebCamp KL 7, it was fun. Those first timer should feel interesting tonight, there are still people commented that is a bit too technical. The turn up is good, about 50.

What is WebCamp KL? A meetup for people who are interested in web related stuff, for technical and non technical as well. The meetup is quite casual, they even talk casual topic which is not web related as well. They have monthly meetup at Mindvalley, Wisma UOA, Bangsar. Is just besides Bangsar LRT station.

I did blog about WebCamp five before. You can check out their facebook group and coming up event.

They try something different this time, the Pecha Kucha 20x20 presentation. What is Pecha Kucha presentation? Is to present 20 slides, each slide in 20 seconds. You have to finish the presentation in 7 minutes time.

I really like it, because presentation in casual event like this shouldn't drag too long.

Brief list of the presentations:

1. Symbology by Shue from qnack.com.
2. Ruben Tan on Development Workflow.
3. Jern on web related stuff.
4. Diving presentation by Wu Han.
and an adhoc presentation by BuZz
5. What's wrong with the game industry.

Is not the end yet. Follow by karaoke pecha kucha presentation. Someone just present a talk with a random give slide, unknown topic and unknown content, just for fun:

First volunteer on "How to do presentation" (I can not remember the exact topic), second volunteer is Kelvin Francis on "25 Bollywood Movies", follow by another 2 presentation. Is just for fun.

Someone has do some video recording, should be posted in the facebook group.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Rumors on MacBook Air 2011

There are rumors floating around about the new MacBook Air. The latest saying that it will be released this week (this Wednesday), but who knows?

The following are few of the rumors that I head:

1. The new MacBook Air should be ready, just waiting to release together with Mac OS X Lion.

2. It came with thunderbolt, the very fast I/O interface.

3. Backlit keyboard is back.

4. Started with 4G ram and 128G flash.

5. The ULV Sandy Bridge runs at 17 watts. So it will has the same long life battery time as before.

What I am more concern about is the price. Will it be the same as before with all the features added?


Thursday, July 14, 2011

New media don't lie

Newspaper, TV and radio is not the only media available. More news are available on facebook, twitter and internet.

Everyone should learn about new media and internet, especially the minister.

Few days back, Health Minister Liow Tiong Lai claims that police did not shoot tear gas and water cannon into Tung Shin Hospital on Bersih 2.0 rally day.




More and more evidence on photos, video and witnesses showing that it did happened. (here, here, here and here)

Is time for those minister to spend some time on internet.

Friday, July 01, 2011

X-Men First Class as OO example

How do you describe X-Men First Class as object oriented? This is just a question, but no specific answer.

Mutants (X-Men) has superpower, at least one superpower, but some may have more than one superpower. I just pick a few character from X-Men First Class.




Erik (Magneto) play by Michael Fassbender

1. Erik aka Magneto, magnetic force fields to control metal.


Charles Xavier play by James McAvoy

2. Charles Xavier aka Professor X, telepathy power read and control others people (or mutants) mind. 

Emma Frost (by January Jones)

3. Emma Frost, telepathy and diamond state power. 

Raven (Mystique) play by Jennifer Lawrence

4. Raven aka Mystique, shapeshifter power allow her to morphing into other mutants or human form.

Emma Frost does not has nickname but she has more than one superpower. Emma has telepathy power and can turn to diamond state. She can not use both of the mutant power at the same time. For example, Emma can not use telepathy in diamond state, but she stop Charles Xavier from reading her mind in diamond state too.

The superpower of the above mutants are telepathy, diamond state, shapeshifter and magnetic force fields.

Tips:
1. All mutants has (at least 1) superpower.

2. Majority of the mutants has nickname, nickname may related to the superpower

3. There is no specific answers on how you classified or implement the object

My solution:
I am using Java-like syntax, you can use any syntax which is suitable or familiar for you.

// abstract class, because it has an abstract method, userPower() 
abstract class Mutant { 
    String name; 
    String nickname;

    Mutant() { }; 

    Mutant(String name) { 
        this.name= name; 
        } 

    Mutant(String name, String nickname) { 
        this.name= name; 
        this.nickname= nickname; 
        } 

    String getName() {
        return name;
        }

    String getNickname() {
        return nickname; 
        }

    abstract void usePower();
    } 

class Magneto extends Mutant { 
    private static final String name= "Erik Lehnsherr"; // inheritance override 
    private static final String nickname= "Magneto"; 

    Magneto() {
        super(name, nickname);
        }

    void usePower() { 
        System.out.println("move the coin"); 
        } 
    } 

class Telepathy extends Mutant { 
    // no specific name here
    Telepathy(String name) { 
        super(name);
        }

    Telepathy(String name, String nickname) { 
        super(name, nickname);
        }

    void usePower() { 
        System.out.println("read the mind"); 
        } 
    } 

class Shapeshifter extends Mutant { 
    String name= "Raven"; // inheritance override 
    String nickname= "Mystique"; 

    Shapeshifter(String name) { 
        super(name); 
        } 

    Shapeshifter(String name, String nickname) { 
        super(name, nickname); 
        } 

    void usePower() { 
        System.out.println("transform to another human or mutant"); 
        } 
    } 

class FirstClass { 
    public static void main (String [] args) { 
        Magneto erik= new Magneto(); 
        Telepathy charles= new Telepathy("Charles Xavier", "Professor X"); 
        Telepathy emma= new Telepathy("Emma Frost"); 
        Shapeshifter raven= new Shapeshifter("Raven", "Mystique"); 

        
        System.out.println(erik.getName() + " aka " + erik.getNickname()); 
        erik.usePower(); 
        System.out.println(charles.getName()); 
        charles.usePower(); 
        System.out.println(emma.getName()); 
        emma.usePower(); 
        System.out.println(raven.getName() + " aka " + raven.getNickname()); 
        raven.usePower(); 
        }
    } 

$ java FirstClass 
Erik Lehnsherr aka Magneto
move the coin
Charles Xavier
read the mind
Emma Frost
read the mind
Raven aka Mystique
transform to another form


I didn't implement second superpower for Emma Frost, left it for you to do it.

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

WWDC 2011 Lion, iOS 5 and iCloud summary


Apple Worldwide Developer Conference 2011

Steve Jobs is not going to miss this WWDC 2011, but I am still surprise that Steve Jobs presenting the keynote. Steve Jobs suppose to take medical of absence since January 2011 for unknown period of time. Steve Jobs appear on the stage to introduce iPad 2 this March.

For the opening of WWDC 2011, Steve Jobs is presenting the keynote again, the keynote contents like iCloud was announced officially much earlier this time.

A brief summary of the keynote. I may have skipped some features and products. Apple has release the keynote video.

If you lazy to watch the video, there is a live blog from Engaget.

The keynote talks about OS X (10.7) Lion, iOS 5 and iClouds. Lion and iOS 5 was presented by other managers, iClouds keynote by Steve Jobs himself.



Mac OS X Lion. 250 new features, they just pick 10 and shows it. I just pick a few. Before that, just a few  statistic (from Apple keynote), Mac has grown for the pass few years, but PC shrink 1 percent last quarter.

Lion use more multi-touch gesture like scroll and zoom. Not on the display screen but on (notebook) trackpad. It should works on Magic Trackpad, if you are using the desktop.

Be it multi-touch gesture, Mac App Store or Launch Pad, Lion brings the user experience from iOS to the desktop. You may have probably get the sneak peak of Lion in the last year 'Back to the Mac' media event.

Autosave and version. Autosave is not new, it save and keep the old version. Modified history is not stored on the document. That means if you send the document to the others, they can not check the modified history from the receiving document file.

AirDrop (is AirDrop an Apple version of Dropbox?). Share document within users on the same network.

Lion will be available (only) through Mac App Store for USD29.99 (than normal price $129), available July 2011.

iOS 5, has new notification system, which looks like Android. Apple should came out something different, not just looks like Android notification system.

iOS 5 with build in twitter integration, reminders (todo list). Apple made some enhancement to the camera features, like using the volume button as the press and shot button, the crowd seems to like it.

iOS 5 is PC free. You don't need a PC to sync iOS 5 devices. Software updates are OTA (Over the air).

After watching WWDC 2011 keynote, there are people saying on the internet, Apple is going to put a few companies out of business, companies like twitter client, dropbox, BlackBerry, Instapaper, Evernote, Remember the Milk etc. I think companies need to improve themselves to compete and survive.

iCloud. Apple is going to sync data on iOS devices to the internet, and name it iCloud. iCloud will replace mobileme, and iCloud is free (for 5G storage).

Apple already have a mobileme service which sync contact, calendar and mail data information to the internet, iCloud sync these data and more.

iCloud sync and backup data includes apps, iBooks, photos, setting, apps data, documents. Photos will be keep in iCloud for 30 days and it will sync to all your devices.

One more thing... small thing, iTunes match.

iTunes match is a service to 'backup' your songs to iCloud, it cost $24.99 for 5,000 songs per year. It will take a long time like weeks to upload your music data to iCloud, Apple write a software to scan and match the songs with Apple Music Store library. It doesn't upload the music if is already in the library, it only upload those which is not.

iCloud service will be available when the i-device upgrade to iOS 5.

If you check your App Store, you already can down your purchased applications from iCloud.

That's it for the keynote summary.


Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Post processing mp4 with Subler Mac OS X

Subler is an open-source mp4 muxer and editor software on Mac OS X. I use it to edit soft subtitles, chapter information and add movie (or video) information.

What is soft subtitles? 

Soft subtitles are subtitles that are not embedded in the video or image. It can be turn on ond off by the software.

In VLC player, enable from main menu - Video - Subtitle track. In Quicktime player, enable from main menu - View - Subtitles.

In iPhone/iPod video player, there is an extra icon if the mp4 video has soft subtitles.


If the mp4 video does not have soft subtitles, the icon will not appear.



The subtitles can be added into the mp4 video when you create or convert the video. Or it can be added after the mp4 video was created.

I have tried to use muxo and iHex editor to add in the subtitles. Using Subler is much easier.

Subler quick tutorial 

Add soft subtitles

To add a soft subtitles, click on the (+) button, choose the external subtitles (current support srt format). If you are using double byte subtitles file, prefer to save it as UTF-8 encoding.

If the subtitle not sync with the audio, you may need to adjust the offset of the subtitle. Select the subtitle track, menu - edit - offset. Adjust the time with +/- value (in milliseconds). eg. +1000ms will delay the subtitle by 1 second.

Movie info and artwork

You can add your video (or movie) description into the mp4 file, by clicking the (+) button at the bottom. The information will be displayed at iOS players or iTunes software.


To make your job easier, you can get movie information online, from menu - File - Import Search metadata online. Search the movie information by name, if the movie is found, the information and artwork can be downloaded from the internet.



Create chapter info


The last function I want to show here is to create chapter information using Subler.

Chapter information supported by VLC, Quicktime and iOS player. The chapter information can be added in when you create the mp4 file. 

create chapter info with handbrake software

Sometimes chapter information is not available, you can add in using Subler, from menu - Edit - Insert a Chapter Every (nn minutes).



If the chapter information created by the software (eg. handbrake) is not supported by Quicktime or iOS players, save the mp4 file with Subler again will solve the problem.

Conclusion

Subler is powerful and easy to use open-source software. I just show a few feature of the software. There are more features and functions came with Subler, you need to explore it yourself.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

P1 vs Yes Wimax marketing plan

Both P1 and YTL Yes are Wimax internet service providers. Even though Yes marketing themselves as 4G network provider and follow by P1, they are just Wimax service providers. I think is a confusing the consumers like us to name themselves as 4G network. I don't really care if they are 4G, 3G or WiMax, as long as the can provide a good and reliable service.

For those who doesn't know what is Wimax. Wimax is just like WiFi. WiFi (normally) cover 100m range, but Wimax cover few kilometers area. Home usage, we use WiFi, to cover a larger area like a city or district, is better to use Wimax.

Wimax and WiFi are not compatible. You need different modem for WiFi and Wimax. Your notebook which is WiFi enable are not able to connect to Wimax network, unless your notebook is Wimax enable. Most desktop, notebook, and mobile devices out there are WiFi enable but not Wimax enable. Normally you need to purchase a Wimax modem from the service provider.

P1 started to provide WiMax internet service back in 2008, I have tried and very disappointed with them, including the network quality and front desk support (read my story here and here). The P1 service seems to be improved when I visit them again about a year ago, but too bad that I have decided to drop P1 and go for Streamyx again.

I have not tried Yes mobile internet service, so I don't comment on the network quality. By looking at the marketing plan as a consumer, there is a big gap between P1 and Yes.

Yes has flexible prepaid plan. With Yes, you just paid for what you use, 3 cents per MB (reference price is RM1 per MB). If you are a frequent user, you can subscribe to 30-days value pack at any point of time with even cheaper rate. What you need is just a Yes ID to acces to their service, to maintain the Yes ID, you need to use RM30 per month. P1 has prepaid and monthly postpaid plan, but the postpaid plan still came with a 12 months contract.

Yes has multiple choice of devices. You can get a home base modem (Zoom), usb modem (go), portable WiFi (huddle), WiMax mobile phone (buzz) and even software phone (Yes Life). You can check the devices available here. P1 only have home base modem and usb modem. I believe P1 will came out with more devices like Yes, but we have to wait and observe.

Yes ID came with a mobile phone number. You can purchase the specialize buzz phone to use the mobile number or you can download the Yes Life software to use as a VoIP phone.

Yes looks more like a mobile network operator than just a internet broadband provider. P1 started at least 2 years ahead of Yes, but what Yes is doing now really gave P1 a slap on the face.

Monday, May 30, 2011

YTL Wimax Yes Life on iPhone and iPad

My friend just remind me to try out the Yes Life for iOS devices (like iPhone and iPad), if you register a new account with Yes using the mobile App, you get a 14 days free trial and RM5 credit, the promotion end 12 July 2011. (check here)

Now available on Apple devices

Yes Life is a VoIP phone software like Skype and Viber, but Yes Life came with a valid local phone number in Malaysia start with prefix 018. You can receive voice call and SMS from other mobile phone, and make voice call or SMS to other phone, quite similar with Skype-In and Skype-Out service. Yes Life not just available on iPhone and iPad, it available on Mac OS X and Windows operating system as well.

Is nothing special with software VoIP phone. For Yes Life you need to pay for the call charges, as well as the internet data charges (unless your internet data line is unlimited package). Other than a cheaper call rate, there is no reason for most people to use a software phone with local numbers. If you are going to oversea, a software phone with a valid number could be useful.

Roaming charges are still very costly. Software phones with a local number is convenient for those people who travel oversea but still need to communicate with his company colleagues or friends. It may save the roaming charges provided you are using the software phones with free or low cost internet access.

It sill doesn't make sense for some people, because you can use other way of communication like MSN, Skype, Viber, email, if you already have internet access. A software phone just gave you another alternative. For example if you are doing online banking at oversea, most online banking may need a TAC number for fund transfer transaction. The TAC code will send through SMS only, the Yes Life which has a valid phone number will help you to solve the problem when you are oversea.

Yes Life came with the 14 days trial. After the trial period you need to top up RM50 as prepaid credit to continue using the Yes ID account. The account will be suspended or deactivated after the trial period.



Convert iPhone movie with handbrake

iPhone support Quicktime and mp4 (H.264) video format, which is not common as rmvb and avi (divx, xvid).

There are many video converter software which turn various video format to mp4. I was using MediaCoder before, but I prefer handbrake. Handbrake is much simple and easier. (A quick tutorial was shown at the later part of this post)

A common problem with convert iPhone (iPod or iPad) video is, only specific parameter setting (eg. video resolution) will be accepted by i-devices. Sometimes we converted a mp4 (or m4v) file, but it just rejected by the device. We have to put the specific parameter, especially the display resolution and audio format. Is difficult for normal user like us to get the right parameter for the i-devices.

Handbrake is an open-source software which convert mp4 file, it makes the job so much easier. Handbrake is available on Windows, Linux and Mac OS X. If you ignored the subtitle, multiple audio track and other advance features. Convert iPhone video is just as easy as one click operation with handbrake software.

Handbrake came with some preset profile like iPod, iPhone. The handbrake version 0.9.5 support iPad profile too. Handbrake convert variety of video format, but I always have problem to convert rmvb (real video to mp4) with handbrake. For real video, I suggest to try MediaCoder, another open-source video converter, it has specific iPod (iPhone) preset profile version.

A quick tutorial for handbrake.

When you first launch handbrake, it will ask for the source file. Or you can click on the source file icon on the upper left corner of the software.


Choose the iPod, iPhone or iPad profile listed on the right.


Click start and then wait, that's it. It could take some time to convert the video file, it depends on the machine speed, size of source file, size of target file. It may takes 15 minutes to more than 1 hour time.

This is just a short and simple tutorial to convert mp4 video, hope I can share more next time.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

TenFourFox Firefox on Mac OS X PowerPC

I want html5 on my old mac which running OS X 10.4. When Mozilla announced new version of Firefox browser 4.0, they also announced to drop support for Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger.

This is no big deal for most people out there, except for just a small group of users who still using old PowerPC Mac. I miss the html5 features on my OS X Tiger, espcially location and video playback features.

For some of the Tiger users out there, they may still need the latest web browser, especially for the html5 support. The latest browser that can be installed on OS X 10.4 Tiger is Safari 4.1 and Firefox 3. Both doesn't support html5. Luckily TenFourFox came into rescue.


TenFourFox(10.4Fox) is Firefox 4.0 code base run on OS X 10.4 Tiger, especially for PowerPC Mac. TenFourFox is not just a recompilation for OS X Tiger, it replace some framework coding like CoreText framework which doesn't work well on Tiger. (check the technical differences)

Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger is the last OS X version that you can install on a PowerPC G3 machine. PowerPC G4 and G5 user still can upgrade to Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard.

Is make sense for Mozilla to drop support for older OS X, so they can focus on new framework which came with the later OS X version. It doesn't make sense for some users, if Firefox still works on old Windows XP (2001), it should works on OS X 10.4 (2005).

Again, we saw the power of open-source. With 10.4Fox, I can use location base feature on my OS X 10.4 Tiger on iBook G3.

You can get the latest version here.

WebCamp five 2011 Kuala Lumpur

I just attended the WebCamp five, the 5th WebCamp event of year 2011, few days back.

This is the first time I attended the WebCamp. The venue at Wisma UOA, easy accessible. It is located just besides Bangsar LRT station.

The event is free of charge and is a "bring your own cup" event. The response is quite good, around 50 people turn up. Normally this type of event, majority is male members, but I saw a few female members there as well.

Most surprisingly I met familiar faces (like Michael, Wing, Aaron, Hanxue, Mats, Swee Meng), the people that I know from MyOSS meetup, hackerspace and startupweekend.

There are total of 4 presentation (plus 1 inspiration talk). I have miss the first presentation, the following are (presentation titles are not really match) :

Database presentation by Colin Charles.
Real-time web by Kamal
The History Of the Future by Shaolin Tiger.
Performing Arts go Digital.

Last talk is by the host Wu Han on Education and Digital Publishing.

The WebCamp event is good, if the presentation can cut short or controlled in 20 minutes time will be better. I will vote for the presentation by Shaolin Tiger, is simple and easy.

If you are interested check out WebCamp KL facebook page, next event will be hosted at other places.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Microsoft acquired Skype

Microsoft is buying Skype for 8.5 billion in cash.

The is a headline news! Why?

1. This is Microsoft's biggest acquisition ever.
2. Skype user, like me may be disappointed.

Skype started in year 2003 and acquired by eBay for 2.6 billion at year 2005.

Few years later, eBay sell Skype to an investment institution lead by Silver Lake Partners and other parties included the original founders (of Skype) for a total value deal of USD2.75 billions (detail refer here).

Now Microsoft willing to pay 8.5 billions for Skype, it sounds like a good deal.

I am just worried that Skype will only available on Microsoft platform and eventually kill Skype in the future.

Skype was started as an VoIP software and services, today we know there are a lot more competitors, especially on mobile platform. I just name it, Google Talk, FaceTime, Viber, Tango.

Most available VoIP software can't match with Skype, in terms of voice quality, user interface or value added services. Skype provide more services other than just VoIP call, like SkypeIn and SkypeOut services. Most importantly Skype available on multi-platform which include Windows, Linux, Mac OS X, Windows Mobile, iOS and many more.

Theoretically Microsoft will kill any the development other than Microsoft related platform. It might not happen now, might not be these 2 years. No one can grantee it wouldn't happen.

Reference:
Microsoft buys Skype

Monday, May 09, 2011

Startupweekend KL 2011 commentary

Just watched the movie "The Truman Show" (Jim Carrey) on HBO.

The story is interesting. Truman live in a TV show, from the first day he was born. Everyone thing and people around Truman are props and actors, Truman doesn't know that. The TV show was live on TV, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Startupweekend like a game, but is so real. The goal is to create a startup in 54 hours, like Social shout out and Find middle.

In real life, is hard to find someone to sit down with you and work on a real startup business, but at Startupweekend is much easier. Is easier to work with other people, even you just know him/her for the first time. They have join in the game and allocated their time for the 2.5 days.

When the game finish, you can't even get a few hours time in the real life.

Startupweekend Kuala Lumpur 2011 thoughts

Startupweekend Malaysia 2011 Kuala Lumpur event just ended.

Startupweekend is a good idea, 2.5 days (54 hours) of startup event camp is the time that most people can squeeze out from their busy weekly schedule. It started from Friday 6pm and ended on Sunday night.

People group together, pitch ideas, vote for the ideas, look for marketing and technical people, form team and startup!

Is 2.5 days enough for a startup? Yes, is possible.

social shout out website, rank the users by their activity in the social network like facebook, twitter. They given out an iPad for the ranking number 1 user in the startupweekend event.

The best part is you have opportunities to meet VC and SME CEO. They spend some time with the groups, gave valuable comments and suggestions. You will meet other great people there too.

Most people will complain the wifi at event venue (Universiti Tun Abdul Razak) is slow, when a lot of users login together. I have to use my mobile broadband, which is working fine.


My overall rating for the event is 3 out of 5. 




Saturday, May 07, 2011

Programmers are precious?

Lack of programmers, always.

At Startupweekend Malaysia KL 2011, out of 60 attendees, only about 6 are programmers. Half of the programmers saying that they are 'rusty'.

Software developers in Startupweekend are precious, not in Malaysia.

Either programmers are mostly not interested to startup, or there is not much programmers in Malaysia here.

Never-mind, we can get programmers from Bangalore, the silicon valley of India. Or Hyderabad.

What? You need marketers? No problem, we have a lot here.

Friday, May 06, 2011

Startupweekend Malaysia 2011

Launch a startup in 54 hours.

I am going to attend the Startupweekend Malaysia KL 2011 event on this weekend.

I am not familiar with the startupweekend, it was introduced by one of my friends who have attended the last year startupweekend event. Last year startupweekend is the first startupweekend event in Malaysia.

The startupweekend event is a global event like the meetup.com. It will be organized by a local party, if there is one near by your place. It is a 2.5 days (54 hours) events, it started on Friday evening about 6pm to Sunday 6pm.

Attendees pitch their ideas at the beginning of the event, a few preferred ideas will be voted out. Groups will be formed depends on the number of attendees. Each group find their own members, build products and launch startups during the 54 hours weekend. There are mentors who will guide the new comers of the event.

Is a paid events, anyone can join the events even without any ideas. You can listen to others' ideas, and join them if they sound interesting to you.

Check out the Startupweekend Malaysia website, or the facebook page.

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Apple iMac update 2011

As expected Apple refresh iMac desktop computer with Intel Sandy Bridge CPU, the second generation of core i5 (and i7) CPU.


What's new with the iMac Sandy Bridge:

1. Quad-core i5 (or i7), Sandy Bridge architecture.
2. AMD (ATI) Radeon high performance graphic processor.
3. Thunderbolt, the high speed IO.
4. FaceTime in HD.

Price starting as USD 1,199 (as usual), RM 3,799.

As US dollar waken to USD:RM 1:3, RM 3,799 price is high. I believe price below RM3,500 sounds more reasonable and attractive.

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

ExifTool to extract photo exif info

ExifTool by Phil Harvey


ExifTool is a command line application which extract exif data from photos (eg. jpeg file), available on Windows and Mac OS X, you can download it from here.  Windows GUI is available as well.

What is exif data? The exif data in a digital photo file store information about the photo and camera which include date, time, caption, camera, lens, focal length and a lot more.

If you upload your photos on flickr, you can check the exif detail information. The ExifTool is an easy way to extract exif data from the photos.

After install the ExifTool, execute the program from Terminal or command prompt:

$ exiftool photos.jpg
ExifTool Version Number : 8.23
File Type : JPEG
Camera Model Name : Canon DIGITAL IXUS 60

I just list a few exif data here. If you use the exiftool, there is a lot more information available.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Knight's Tour

I read it many years ago, it suddenly came into my mind, while I was working on Rainbowduino. Rainbowduino has a 8x8 RGB display matrix, I think is suitable to display Knight's tour solution.

Knight's tour (or Journey of Knight) is a mathematical problem. Is common exists in computer science study. The problem can be solved by a computer program.

Given a 8x8 chessboard, the knight is place on arbitrary point, find a route for the knight to travel all the 64 point without repeat according the the chess rule. That means, the knight will only visit each point once.

Journey of the knight is like Rubik cube for me, I don't know how to prove the solution exist. There is ready solution on the internet, just write the provided algorithm into codes.

The Warnsdorff's algorithm should be easy to understand. For any given point, there are maximum of 8 routes to choose. Choose the one with least possible routes.

Take the example from the Wikipedia. The start point has 6 routes to choose, each route has 3, 7, 7, 7, 5, 2 possible route. Choose the least possible route, which is 2.

By following the algorithm, I write a program which print out the following result:

14 27 16 51 12 29 34 63
17 52 13 28 55 62 11 30
26 15 54 59 50 33 64 35
53 18 25 56 61 58 31 10
24 1 60 49 32 45 36 47
19 40 21 44 57 48 9 6
2 23 42 39 4 7 46 37
41 20 3 22 43 38 5 8

Friday, April 29, 2011

iPad 2 selling fast in Malaysia

iPad 2 started to sell in Malaysia this morning 9am. Long queue at those popular Apple retail store like KLCC and Mid Valley.

We are at Mid Valley on the morning of iPad 2 mania! Check ou... on Twitpic
Queue at Mid Valley Megamall

Seldom saw such an overwhelming crowd queue to pay for an electronic device, at least not for other tablet (for example Galaxy Tab). All available iPad 2 stock should be finish by today.

From what I heard, white color, 3G version and 32G model will be sold off much earlier. I heard from the iPad statistic, normally people go for the highest end (64G model) or the lowest end (16G model). Malaysian don't prefer the 64G model, may be pricing issue, and most people don't really need 64G storage.

iPad 2 price list for Malaysia:

Wifi version: 16g (RM1,499), 32g (RM1,799), 64g (RM2,099)
3G version: 16g (RM1,899), 32g (RM2,199), 64g (RM2,499)

In my opinion, the device is not expensive, is the accessaries which cost more. Apple has set the iPad price so low that, other competitors have to lower down their table price. That's why Samsung has lower down the Galaxy tab price to below RM2k compare with price at RM2,699 (without contract) when Galaxy tab first launched in Malaysia last year.

If you need USB or external storage support, get other tablet than iPad.

If you have apply leave today and couldn't get the iPad 2, may be you can spend your afternoon watching the Prince William and Catherine Middleton wedding live on TV, and order your iPad 2 through Apple online store.


Thursday, April 28, 2011

iPad 2 will be available in more countries this week

Finally the news was officially announced by Apple. iPad 2 will be available in Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia and few more counties this week. Check the announcement here.

iPad 2 will be available in Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia this Friday 9am local time. Online order through Apple Store will be available 1am.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Win 7 total security alert

My friend's netbook pop out a win 7 total security alert, shows that it found 31 virus on the Windows 7 system.

A sample of the message looks like this:



After scanning the system with other anti-virus software, found nothing. Spend some more time search through the Internet, seems like the win 7 total security alert is the virus (malware). It gives false alarm about virus, spyware and malware on the system. It may appear as different name like Win7 Anti-virus, Win7 Anti-spyware, Win7 Internet Security 2011... check here.

How to remove? Use other virus/spyware/malware scanner. Manual step by step instruction is available as well, check the website here, here and here.

You can try use Superantispyware and Malwarebytes, a solution from Yahoo answer.

If you think the steps are too complicated, ask help from your friends, or you may consider re-install the Windows.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Apple quarterly earnings up 95%

Apple share price raise after announced their quarterly earnings has raised by 95% to 6 billions and revenue is 24.7 billions. Read the news here and here. Almost half of the sales contributed by iPhone sales.

Last year October (2010), Steve Jobs made a special appearance at Apple quarterly earnings conference, which he normally don't. That is the first Apple 20 billion quarter.

Last October, Apple share price is $300, just another 6 months pass, is $350 now. Some analysts target price at $450-$500, what do you think?





Monday, March 21, 2011

Pre-paid mobile internet Australia

My friend is going to Australia for a trip. My friend was being warned not to turn on Internet roaming, because there are people who has been charged for few thousands on data roaming on the telephone bill.

Roaming is always expensive, be it voice or data charges. I will always recommend to get local pre-paid mobile package.

I simply do some research on Australia mobile operators, and share these information. These information get from Internet and just for reference. Please double check with the local mobile shop for detail information, as mobile packages are very confusing.

The top 3 mobile operators are:
1. Telstra
2. Optus (Mobile bridge alliance)
3. Vodafone

There are a few cases below, one of it may fit into your needs:
(If not stated, prices are in AUD)

a. Mobile internet only. If you have disabled data roaming and need a pre-paid internet for iPhone or iPad, get Optus iPad prepaid data plan, it came with micro-SIM card.








Optus iPad prepaid data plan $30 came with micro Sim Starter Kit 3Gb data for 30 days.

Vodafone has an iPad starter kit, detail information is unknown.



b. Local voice and mobile internet. Get Vodafone. Flexi Caps cost $29 came with 500Mb data.



c. Local voice only. Use Telstra. starter pack start with $2, without any credit, need re-charge.


Data roaming

d. For Maxis customers, use Bridge Alliance data roaming. It has 1 day, 3 days and 5 days package. 5 days Bridge DataRoam Unlimited USD$40, roam on Optus network. There registration and subscription is here.

Make sure you only roam on Optus network, your mobile device should have an option to set.

If you are confused and don't know what to do, just disable the data roaming on your phone and follow case a or case c.

e. For Digi customer Internet roaming Max36 on Telstra network. RM36/day.

I will recommend just get local prepaid mobile or mobile internet, it will be much cheaper than your roaming.


Thursday, March 03, 2011

Apple iPad 2 2011


Finally iPad 2 is launched on 2 March 2011(US time). As expected it is thinner, lighter, faster and with FaceTime. It came with A5 dual core CPU and dual camera. The first version of iPad is about USD 100 cheaper by now.

What unexpected is Steve Jobs appear on the event and present the keynote. I though he is on medical leave!? Steve Jobs looks much better than the description by recent news. Is clear that Apple is not ready to have an alternative than Steve Jobs yet.

iPad which launched last year, had been sold for a total 15 million units by the end of year 2010, reported by Steve Jobs at the start of the keynote. Expected to generate 9.5 billion in revenue by iPad alone.

iPad 2 is thinner and lighter, thickness is just 8.8mm (previous is 13.4mm) , even thinner than iPhone 4. I am expecting the iPhone 5 will be thinner as well compare with iPhone 4.

Apple design a new magnetic case for the iPad 2, attached magnetically to the device. The thin leather cover protect the screen display without increase the thickness much of the device. The cover can be used as the standing support for the device as well.

iPad 2 is able to output display to HDTV through HDMI connectors. User need to purchase a HDMI connector separately. User can output everything on the iPad device on HDTV (and not just video only for earlier iPod Touch, iPhone). User can do a presentation through the iPad and output to projector.

There are people saying that no new revolutionary factors for the new iPad 2. If you already have an iPad now, you might not need to upgrade.

What makes iPad 2 different from other tablet (or the previous iPad) will be the design, the software and the price tag. The 16G Wifi version will be selling at USD499, same price as the first iPad.

iPad 2 will be available 10 March (for US). Other countries have to wait till 25 March or later.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

iPad2 rumors summary

There are a lot of rumors about iPad 2 out there. The latest is about the release date on 2 March 2011.

I don't really care about the launch date, but it should be at the beginning of the year.

This is what I think about the rumors of iPad 2.

iPad 2 is smaller and thinner. Thinner because it has a flat back plane. Smaller doesn't mean is 7-inch. It still be 9.7-inch display, may be the frame just smaller. I will came with camera (for FaceTime), some expect there will be only front camera, but some expect front and back camera.

The device will use a newer and better CPU--A5. Current iPad use A4 CPU just as your iPhone 4 CPU but running at higher 1GHz speed. Just not sure the performance of the new CPU.

iPad 2 will have a larger speaker, expect a better sound quality.

This is what I think it may not happen in iPad 2.

SD slot and USB. I don't think so, not an Apple or Steve Jobs style.

Retina display? The iPad will have 2048x1536 display resolution. I think is a bit too high for current specification. I heard iPad 3 will have a better display.

I may miss out some rumors. Like my friend says, there is no attractive new factors for buyers. May be is Steve Jobs presentation.



Saturday, February 26, 2011

MacBook Pro 2011 with i7

On the day of Steve Jobs' 56 birthday (24 February), Apple announced the new MacBook Pro. It came with a faster processor, better display, FaceTime HD and a new I/O port.

The 15-inch (and 17-inch) MacBook Pro upgraded to quad-core i7, 13-inch model use dual-core i5 and i7 processor. Apple claims that new MacBook Pro double the performance. 13-inch starts at USD $1199, 15-inch starts at USD $1799 and 17-inch starts at USD $2499.

New MacBook Pro came with Thunderbolt. Thunderbolt, the new external I/O port back by Intel. It was name light peak, Apple name it Thunderbolt. Is 20 times faster than USB 2.0.

Friday, January 14, 2011

The new mobile community website

Latest community website don't build on web. They build on mobile.

Users register, access through mobile platform (iPhone, Android). Store photos at third party website like flickr, Instagram... Status and blog through twitter, finally publish to Facebook.

Users may not need to access to the website. A few good examples of the new mobile community website will be Whatsapp, Viber, Instagram (and more will come). Location base website like Gowalla and foursquare has a web version, but most of the time, users access through the mobile platform.

Whatsapp is a mobile application (available on iPhone, Android and BlackBerry), allow users to send SMS (to another mobile application) for free. Viber is the audio version of Whatsapp. Both application register through mobile platform, access the contact list and build a community.

Instagram is a photo sharing community on iPhone. You take a picture, add a filter to it, and share it out through other community website like flickr, facebook, twitter and etc.

Everything just done on mobile application, cooperated with other website to build a bigger community. New community website don't really need a website access anymore.