Communication and power – do not ever be without them these days…

This is very true in both literal an practical sense.

I still remember the time when mobile cellular technology began its life back in the 90s. Conversation between a husband and a wife – wife at home and the husband doing shopping for her – err what colour is it… there is this one which is very soft and rubbery, green is it ok?….a minute later he called again. And it repeated over a few times. At that time, we saw this as a total waste of time. But these days, it is a normal scenario people do not make fuss about anymore. And the communication is now further enhanced with the brilliant photographic abilities of the smartphone and all those instant chat apps that has become indespensable whether at family level, socially or even for work. Communication is never better.

One of the bottleneck is the power. Most smartphone, despite the advanced lithium technology do not go beyond 24 hours, of course they can last longer in standby or off-data mode, but then that’s not what they are for! Most people spend their days staring at the screen of their smartphones almost all the time, and you could be one of them. Amazingly, such a previously an abhorrant behaviour is now becoming an acceptable way or even necessity, for example some people do their works merely by skimming through and replying whatsapp!

Anway, my point today is how to ensure you do not run out of power. Yes, bring your charger, or better a large capacity powerbank. Most people do, in fact very few who don’t, and they could end up miserable or looking like a fool, when they were needed on the other end and not available, lame reason given – phone is dead! No, this is no longer an acceptable excuse these days.

So today, I left the 3 kids at home, to join the convoy to Cameron Highland (?again), well this time we got an important mission to set up the continuous education and training – usrah for the members of the organisation, I joined mainly for the interest in ride and helping the number.

Since the wife was away, I have to rely on the big brother to take care of the two young ones. The sister, Nawal got a horse riding class later in the evening, somewhere far away at Denai Alam. Harith will be driving them, a good chance he is going to need the GPS apps, using his own phone. So, in order to ensure he does not run out of power in the middle of navigating, I gave him a loan of my own powerbank. This is an awesome 10,000mA powerbank which I got for free from the company, could charge my phone at least twice, more for the iPhone.

Of course I need one for myself. I was sure I could use the big powerbank cum jump starter kit (used to power up car or motorcycle when the battery run flat). It so happened Harith borrowed the jump starter in the morning to rescue his friend’s car. Following the usage, I recharged, thoug fairly briefly, since I had to rush out for the journey shortly.

I only found out later in the evening, when I was about to charge my phone, that the powerbank cum jump starter was flat! I was baffled. Yes, it happened before for reason I did not understand. This powerbank is a bit different than the normal one, coz once you used it to jump start a car (or bike), it will drain out the power completely. This was something that I did not anticipate. So I was left without power!

I checked my phone, 38% left. That should be enough if I use it occasionally for messaging, or short calls, and the rest standby time. The phone had this power saving feature which you could set to a max, means you will improve the standby time 3 or 4 times more, however, at the expense of slowing down or no 4G data at all, means you won’t be instantly receiving whatsapp messages and no data-operated app like Gmaps or Waze.

With the power saving, I was still able to keep my whatsapp communication, and did take a limited number of photos, no GPS nav of course, luckily I did not need this since I could rely on the rest of the group as guide. I did bring my iPad, but the Whatsapp does not work on iPad unless the phone remains on. Though, if my phone is dead, I could still communicate using Telegram, Twitter, FB messenger. And I could also make calls using the Skype to any landline or mobile phones around the world. So, somewhat I did have a second line or third line backup here, thanks God. By the way, 38% at around 3pm and I still have 14% left when I got home around 9.30pm, not bad with the Samsung intelligent maximum powersaving (used to be called ultra power saving).

How to access FB & Youtube in China

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Yes it is possible to unblock network restriction when you travel to some places like China, where access to FB and Youtube is restricted.
the answer, use VPN. Once such site is GFWVPN link where it tells you step by step how to activate your VPN connection. You can try it for free for 24 hours access, for longer, just purchase a one month or other package access, at a reasonable price, well at least not that costly to relieve your FB addiction!
It works with you PC and Mac, iPhone, iPAD, Android etc. Different instruction for different device, no worry the site tells you in detail.
There are other ways, you may google them, but I found this is the easiest and most practical, though not free. It said you can use up to two users simultaneously, but when I did this for my iPAD and Mac, one of them refused to connect.

 

Hit & Miss with Galaxy Note 2 – personal experience

At last I found the way to hide the multitask tab on my new Galaxy Note 2. Multitask tab is a useful apps that you can activate while running any app, then you can open another app for the so-called multitasking windows (2 apps run simultaneously on split windows) – a useful feature e.g when you want to have a quick look at any app without existing your current one.

Just press and hold the back button for a few seconds, will bring up the multitask tab, press and hold for few seconds again will make it disappear. As simple as that, but none of my techno wizard friends could figure out this, till I accidentally found the trick myself today!

Hmmm anything else…? When roaming, you got that little R letter above the network  signal bars, means you are roaming. There is no network name displayed, and if you open setup it is not a straight forward matter to find the network that you are currently roaming to. Puzzled? Usually when at home, I just swipe the top screen, and the network name appears just below the shortcut. But, when I am roaming, the network name appears at the very bottom – sorry it sounds silly but I had difficulty figuring this out for a good while…another way to check network name quickly is just put your finger at the top screen, hold a few seconds, network name appears just under the shortcuts icons.

Another thing, yes, this is one thing that I am always having trouble with, despite frequent attempts to achieve perfection, that is screen capture. You may find frequent need to do this for various reason – and be aware now a lot of time people do screen capture FB wall post as evidence…well I would screen capture for different purpose eg transaction slip from online banking, newspaper cut etc. Since I could easily, and predictably do it on my late iPhone, it can be annoying sometimes doing multiple palm swipe in vain. The secret is, you have to swipe super fast! Place palm briefly on the right or left of screen, swipe fast, it should work most if not all the time.

New iOS6 cookies mix-up? Why I could not log in to web-based Yahoo account….

Do you like cookies? May be some do, but the I think those browsers, especially my new iPAD IOS6 does. I have been noticing something funny before but, yesterday my wife called me saying that she repeatedly failed to log in to her Yahoo mail using the Safari browser. I was startled, I thought I did have similar problem before but resolved upon restarting or resetting the device. She performed the reset to no avail.

When I got back the iPAD I open the browser and tried to log in on her Yahoo account. Yes, a failure message such as this came out.

The solution – clear the cookies (found in the Setting). After the cookies are cleared I was able to log in as usual. But the trouble is, I have to keep clearing the cookies everytime a different user or different account is used for the Yahoo login. This also applies to other apps that requires log in, multiple accounts/users appear not to be happily supported anymore. Well, at least there is a solution, even if it means lots of inconvenience…

When you iPAD went mute…..

How did my 3 year old son managed to turn the iPAD sound off? Suddenly my iPAD went mute. I can still play music and it will read the Pages, but games, dictionary, story telling and Arabic Quiz all have no sounds. I turned the volume up,nothing happen. I also reset the iPAD several times and nothing happen either! Checking the Setting, General, Sound, there is only volume button for ringtone which has nothing to do with the whole thing. Finally I googled the thing and found this useful answer from the Apple comunity forum.

It’s something to do with the system sound. Unfortunately the System sound control is not found in the Setting, instead you have to do something unusual, ie double tap the home button, task bar will appear at your bottom screen. Swipe your finger all the way to left till you see the ‘sound’ icon, enable it…

The Apple community forum full answer on this link

Automatic connection from Wifi to server…

I got confused now.
We have been fighting to get internet access from our desktop computer. Funnily this particular desktop is locked by the administrator, allowing users to use the computer but make no changes such as installing new application or changing internet access. Therefore we are stuck.
This time we tried again, asking the IT guy to install the eternet cable then enable the networking. They reportedly failed due to the same adminstrative restriction. So much for security.
Therefore I decided to install a Wifi dongle. I did install this before and run the installation software I think. Thus, when I inserted the dongle in the USB port, automatically the device was detected and installed.
More surprisingly, an automatic connection was established once I chosen the network, bypassing security page! Usually, once connected to the network, a pop up window appears asking for username and password. However, this time nothing appear, but, when I click Mozilla or Explorer, it worked straight away, and hence I was able to post this note on my blog… I assume this is due to the fact that the eternet cable is partially ‘functioning’, since, if I disconnect the Wifi dongle, the connection was lost again.
In any case, a big problem of not having internet access is now solved! Hopefully for a long term…

Help! My Satria Neo had crashed my laptops!

If you drive a Satria Neo, or any other Sports car with hard suspension, beware, coz, your laptops may suffer. Recently, our third laptop had a damaged LCD screen after a short travel in the Satria. This is the third time it happened. Coincident? Yeah, third coincident may be….

The first time it happened to my thin and ultralight Sony Vaio VPCX (Atom processor), when I was travelling to Kuantan. I had described this in full somewhere else. The laptop was safely kept in a bag, loaded into the boot of the hot-hatch car. On arrival, I noticed the right side screen hinge was broken. In addition, several small spots of leaked LCD liquid detected around the screen, causing permanent cosmetic effect. The damage had upset me by RM400, but the laptop was never back to its original look.

The second, just happened three weeks ago. My wife’s 15in Toshiba laptop, packed in the laptop bag. I took it from home to her school which was just over 10 minutes drive. When my wife turned on the laptop, there was massive area of screen wreckage, in fact it was not possible to see anything on the screen. We had to connect to an external monitor to run the PC. On this occassion, the laptop bag was seated in the cabin during travel, though not on the seat, to be precise, on the floor, seated vertically. Prior to that we traveled on a Starex, then there was some possibility that the bag was carried by small kids. However, at all times, the laptop was kept in its bag. At this point I wasnt utterly sure, I thought it was unlikely that the short travel distance in Satria had caused the wreck. But it certainly is possible.

The third, happened to our Sony Vaio 11in laptop. This time, it was kept in my backpack bag, together with my MacPro and iPAD. Again, the travel in the Satria was from an office in Cheras, to home, then taken on another car (a Merc) to my wife school. On this occassion, there was a large area of ‘blotch’ on the right side of the screen, impairing vision when operating Word or doing graphic intensive work. The damage was not severe, therefore the laptop is still operating to this day. I joked with my wife, when she asked, how come out of the three items, only the Sony Vaio was affected? I said, well, as for the MacPro, it requires it to be hit by a train to inflict damages. Both MacPro and iPAD are well protected, one because of the aluminium casing, as for the iPAD, it is covered in a hard thick PVC envelop. I gather, both of the Mac products are more resistant to shock and vibration.

Any thought? Do I need to find special protective cushion to be placed in the boot of Satria to prevent future accident?

A reflection…
Today I had an opportunity to visit Malaysian Silicon Valley aka Low Yat Plaza. Went to this service centre called APAQ, at level 3. The guy told me that screen damage is not generally covered in warranty – I wonder there is special insurance package that covers screen damage…is it worth taking when this kind of thing has happened so many times – though on a different PCs. Fortunately, unlike the Sony Vaio, the display screen structure was intact, it was purely the LCD film damaged. Therefore they were able to replace it with a generic one that cost me RM330. I guessed the display quality is not that great, though it should do for general purpose and short office works the kind of things my wife does.