| Wednesday January 18, 2006|
| 18:05 PM - kan|
|Found out that I had some time today to investigate on bktoh's “allegations” that Hardware One was sporadically slow for the past two days. I should have guessed that the slowness of Hardware One wasn’t his primary concern. He is more concern with his SG Evo Club forum which we are concurrently hosting on the same server. Darn, I’m disappointed with him. |
Anyway, he is right when I personally encountered the slowness in the early afternoon. Spent some time tweaking Apache and trying to find who is possibly trying to be funny with us (for what?). Finally the light came in when I saw the host nancy.astra-net.com doing an entire download of the the site (yikes!).
A visit to www.astra-net.com shows this: “Welcome to ASTRAnet – Your Highspeed Internet Service via Satellite!” It became apparent that we are probably hit by an unfriendly proxy caching server!
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| Sunday January 08, 2006|
| 15:25 PM - wymun|
|From Kan's earlier post, seems that he's even more excited over the Dopod 818 Pro than me!! |
Yes, my latest and first New Year toy, comes in the form of a Black Dopod 818 Pro. This happened soon after I found out that my O2 Mini could fetch ~S$500 at a mobile phone shop, which got me thinking and eventually upgrading to a new Dopod 818 Pro at the ~S$600 differential (without contract).
The Dopod 818 Pro comes in a variety of colours - Silver, Black, Lavender, Pink and Blue. But IMHO, the most striking and refined looking colours are either Black or Silver, where the control keypad aptly matches its body colour, unlike the rest.
I finally settled on a Black Dopod 818 Pro, as it seemed more popular than Silver (i.e. many didn't choose Silver simply cos it would resemble an older O2 Mini) and the Black may plausibly offer a higher resale in the future. Notably, some mobile phone providers are already pricing the Black higher than the Silver, due to shortage of stock...
In tandem with my purchase, I also picked up a 1GB Kingston memory card. Good thing about the Dopod 818 Pro, is that it uses SDIO memory cards, which are similar to that on my old O2 Mini and cheaper than those used in the O2's latest Atom.
So how does the phone fare thus far??
In general, reception and voice clarity is pretty comparable to most PPC devices (i.e. using my Mini as a benchmark). So nothing too much to brag about there.
But one thing that does stand out is its inbuilt camera, which is nothing short of excellent. The equipped lens is decently sharp, evident in some shots I took below, where even at full 2MP resolution, details are captured without compromise. Whilst the camera excels especially in good and even lighting conditions, it falls short in weaker lighting environments, which is aggravated by its lack of an accompanying flash. In such conditions, the camera even starts to lag in its refresh, probably finding it more challenging to auto-focus realtime. In addition, the default in-camera sharpening is set too high, with a tendency to blow out highlights & excaberate jaggies, which seems to be its main achiles heel (look at the pic of my car for such a case). Notwithstanding, I'm still amazed at the image quality in general, where the lens offers great potential for good shots. And as Kan already hinted, the macro mode is simply outstanding!
The Dopod 818 Pro uses an 195MHz TI OMAP 850 processor in its core, which is somewhat slower than the Xscale processor on the O2 Mini and new O2 Atom. Yet in my normal usage, I find it pretty adequate, unless I embark on a multi-tasking rampage (>5 apps at once). On the other hand, the slower TI processor offers an extended battery life (c.f. Old Mini) - lasting about 2 days with my normal usage - includes some WiFi activity, GPRS surfing, several SMSes and about 15 mins of calls.
The Dopod 818 Pro comes with the latest Windows Mobile 5.0, which was one of the key reasons I upgraded as well (O2 Mini did not provide such an upgrade path, though its configuration was probably up to it). WM5 is more user-friendly than its predecessor, but unfortunately, also offers compatability problems for some 3rd party apps. Guess I'll just have to wait a while, before 3rd party programmes become completely bug-free in WM5...
Lastly, the Dopod 818 Pro comes with both 802.11b/g compatibility, which has been flawless in my experience thus far. But one caveat is its limited support for security (i.e. only basic measures supported, such as WEP, WPA/PSK, etc), and may be less usable in highly secured office networks.
In short, I'm relatively pleased with my Dopod 818 Pro purchase. Fact is, the Dopod 818 Pro addressed most of my gripes inherent in my previous O2 Mini. Effectively, the Dopod 818 Pro is what the Mini should have been in the first place....
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| Saturday January 07, 2006|
| 13:18 PM - kan|
|Wow, Wymun just sent along this macro shot taken with his spanking new Dopod 818 phone. I must admit the shot looks freaking good!! I will probably leave Wymun to post a blurb on his new toy and in the meantime, here are some of the phone specifications:|
Hmm, this really makes me want to have one for my birthday *hint hint*. Previously I was using the O2 XDA IIs but eventually I gave up on the poor OS stability, poor reception and poor voice quality (the three "Poors"). Managed to sell it away and got myself a normal Samsung phone instead. So far I haven't rebooted the Samsung phone for ages, voice quality is excellent and it suits my needs - to be a phone! But then again, I do miss some of the features and functions (such as unlimited SMSes!) you get on a PPC phone. Sigh...
- Smart model: Microsoft Windows Mobile Version 5.0
- Frequency: GSM Quad Frequency (850/900/1800/1900)/EDGE EGPRS Class B
- CPU: TI OMAP850
- Colors: 65536 colors TFT screen
- Size: 2.8 inch
- Resolution: 320×240 pixels
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| Friday January 06, 2006|
| 09:26 AM - kan|
|Yup, Microsoft just announced the official patch for the WMF vulnerability that has been creating a storm lately. Hop over to Microsoft for more details on how to download and apply the patch. You should DO IT NOW if you haven't done so.|
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| Friday December 30, 2005|
| 14:47 PM - kan|
|Time flies and it’s the end of 2005 in just another two days. Looking back, it has been a rather uneventful year for me with a torn knee ligament and another corrective surgery last week to patch things up. A new job in between definitely provided the additional challenges to conquer.|
For those people who are using Windows, there is a new Windows WMF 0-day exploit in the wild. More information can be found at here, here and here. No patches are available from Microsoft at this point.
On the PC front, I just got myself a new AMD Opteron 165 dual core processor and some decent Corsair XMS3500 2GB memory sticks.
I also invested in one of those Shuttle SN95G5 small form factor PCs which will be running on Linux. Spent the whole of yesterday configuring the new box with all the geeky things before accidentally destroying the LVM filesystem with the ‘lvreduce’ command a few minutes ago. Looking back at exasperation, I should have read the MAN pages more carefully in future. Looks like I need to find some more time to reconfigure everything again.
I'm not sure what your Christmas wishlist is, but over here I am wishing to add this to my 2006 Christmas shopping cart. I particularly like the tagline "Challenge what is, Conquer what isn't". There are three ways which I can think of to achieve this:
1) Strike the lottery - difficult because I don't buy the lottery very often
2) Migrate out of Singapore - difficult
3) Get a better paying job - difficult
Hmm, what do you think? Anyway, let me wish all Hardware One readers and editors a Happy New Year. Take care and may all your wishes come true!
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| Monday December 05, 2005|
| 21:47 PM - wymun|
|Just today, I was taking a leisurely stroll in Funan to savour the Christmas goodies in store, and also to "catch up with the times". When lo and behold, I came across what must have been the most "engaging" little rodent - the Logitech G7!! |
With my fledging and bulky 3-yr old Logitech wireless optical, which also incidentally consumes batteries like a famished glut, warranted enough reason to reward myself with an early Christmas gift, notwithstanding its S$165 price-tag...ouch...
So after reaching home and plugging in the little critter, I must say it really ROCKS!! Apart from boasting a sumptuous 2000dpi for instant railing mastery in Quake 3, the G7 also features a wireless 2.4GHz connection, which communicates with a nifty USB plug/WiFi emitter provided. Moreover, it uses a state-of-the-art Laser (instead of Optical) tracking, which circumvents any surface reflectivity issues inherent with Optical devices.
In addition, the G7 mouse comes with 2 pcs of Li-ion rechargeable packs that are extremely light (seems to weigh < 1 x AAA battery), which makes gameplay a pleasure and offers unconstrained maneuverability!! Each re-chargeable can purportedly last for several hours of continuous gameplay, afterwhich it's a simple process of swapping between batteries. And for the energy conservatist, it saves resources by having a automatic switch-off/standby mode, even allowing one to manually turn it ON/OFF via a switch underneath
The USB plug/Wifi emitter itself, which resembles a thumbdrive, can either be plugged into the provided charger (which also connects via a USB connector), or direct into the PC.
Install was simply a breeze, which merely required charging up the batteries and plugging in the devices. WindowsXP detected it instantly, even upon first bootup.
So after 3 hours with the little critter, what can I say?? This rodent certainly exudes the looks (notice how the buttons are "hidden" - crafted into the entire casing), delivers the goods (the mouse is exceptionally responsive and easy to manipulate in Quake 3!! I'm having a "Rail"-fest of a time!!) and includes an array of practical functionalities (i.e. re-chargeable Li-ions are a god-send, with battery indicator as well and automatic StandBy mode)!! The "Back" button on the mouse (for internet exploring) is also a well-thought of feature, easily accessible and positioned next to one's thumb.
Even though some may be skeptics over the merits of WiFi connectivity, I'm just glad to say that I haven't noticed any drop-offs or slow-downs....Fingers crossed....
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| Monday November 28, 2005|
| 20:33 PM - kan|
|Today was a rather hectic day as I took some time off from work to RMA my faulty 200GB hard drive at Sim Lim Square. It's really amazing how fragile hard drives are nowadays! I had problems such as 100% CPU utilisation when copying huge files, data corruption and after a while, the whole unit just failed - along with my data. |
Was walking around when I popped by my favourite wireless shop and got myself a new 2.4 GHz Wifi 7 dBi antenna with a magnetic base. From preliminary testings, I seem to be able to achieve better range, but somehow the results still aren’t satisfactory. Maybe it’s time to do a mini shoot-out with the rest of the antennas we have.
Oh yes, we have also renewed the hardware-one.com.sg domain for another two years. Hmm, wonder who uses that domain anyway.
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