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Posted on 15 August 2010 @ 3:15 pm GMT+8

Whoa.. first of all, I gotta apologize on not posting for quite a while. 5 months to be exact! This is what happens to a non-regular blogger who is taken over by social networking!! I’ve been more active on Facebook and Twitter as it’s so easy to post and share that I’ve forgotten that I actually own a blog. My bad.

Ok, now for some updates. I have finally broken free from Windows Mobile after 9 years. I started out in 2001 using that bulky “gameboy-ish” Casio E-125 with Windows CE all the way to HTC HD2 with WM6.5, going through all iterations of Windows mobile from WindowsCE, PocketPC 2003, 2003SE, WM5, WM6/6.1 and finally WM6.5.

pda_list

I’ve been eyeing on Android OS for quite a while and I felt that due to it’s age, it’s got to have the best of Windows Mobile and iOS (Apple). There were 2 things that were stopping me at the time. 1) No front facing cam phones, 2) Lack of apps. Well right now, I can safely say that those barriers are off. Android growth has been awesome, with the app market bustling with all kinds of apps everyday. Also the fact that Android is available on almost all mobile phone manufacturers says that the trend is gonna be uphill for a long time, unlike some fruity company.

Behold, the Samsung Galaxy S. Besides it having Android in it, the main thing that caught my attraction for this device is it’s hardware. It’s super AMOLED screen is one of it’s kind, making it thinner and more energy efficient. Not to mention it being brighter and more viewable under sunlight. Secondly, it has a front facing camera. There’s hardly any other Android device like it. I don’t think Android 2.1 (Eclair) comes with video-calling. This goes to show that Samsung did put some effort into adding this functionality. Lastly, it has a hummingbird Cortex A8 processor running at 1Ghz.

Not impressed yet? It prolly performs as good as the Qualcomm 1Ghz processor that was on my previous HD2 but the Hummingbird has a PowerVR SGX540 GPU that churns out 90 million triangles! Check out this chart for comparison. If numbers don’t work for you, check out the video below that compares this monster against the HTC Desire running with the Snapdragon:

I’ve played Quake 3 on it, and yes, it’s amazing. Here is the detail comparison article. Ok, now for all the downsides (as always). This phone tends to be laggy at times due to poor IO design by Samsung. The geniuses at XDA-dev managed to come up with a fix for it that sure does improve the situation and makes the phone a whole lot faster. However, we are all waiting for Samsung’s official new firmware with the new Android 2.2 (Froyo) which supposedly address this issues.

Secondly, GPS isn’t as good as it was on my previous HTC devices. Galaxy S variants on other continents faced bigger issues, but I didn’t think it was that bad for me here in SG. My first fix happens within seconds most of the time. However, I feel that the GPS is not that sensitive to environment changes. Car stopping in front of a fly-over can cause loss of signal for a while. In the whole, it’s still very usable for me. I just need to find a suitable GPS software. Lastly, the device feels “plasticky”, due to it’s lightness and also it’s plastic gloss back. I’ve never been a fan of glossy surfaces on mobile devices so I went on to G-mask it! Check out the pics of G-mask clear leather surface:

galaxy_leather

Frankly, the light weight doesn’t bother me. If it feels right, it grows onto you. Despite having a G-mask skin on, I somewhat felt like having some kind of case to protect the back better. This phone being thin (9.9mm) and light, I can afford to have something unique on! I ordered one of these from Ebay:

galaxy_mesh_case

I should be expecting this case within a week. Hardware aside, Android is very much polished in terms of UI and speed of use. Everything is all very fluid and looks fantastic. I’ve never seen so many high resolution icons on my mobile device before! Multi-tasking works in a subtle manner. Some apps stay in the back like music player, e-buddy messaging client and some just terminate when you hit the back button. Some have to be manually exited to terminate certain functions likle Ndrive (GPS nativation) and some games. 3D games play like they do on a PSP!

Well, being a Windows mobile fan, you might be wondering why I didn’t wait for Windows Phone 7. Reason.. I can’t wait! Furthermore, WP7 UI seems to look crappy for now. I also don’t wanna search high and low for apps. Android is definitely worth trying out for anybody. The iPhone on the other hand has restrictions like music synching through iTunes and no widget support. Besides, iPhone is more of a fashion device rather than a geeky tweak-able device.

Allright.. this is all I have for now. Not sure when I’ll be back to blog again.. LOL. To end this, here’s a picture to all the iPhone fans out there:

android_apple



Posted on 21 February 2010 @ 7:41 pm GMT+8

I was in JB yesterday, doing the usual (shopping, food, etc). I went to Tebrau city and Giant hypermart at Southern city. As I was finding a parking lot at Giant hypermart, I came across an unusual sight at the carpark:

jb_carpark1

The red car was parked out of a lot, all the way back against another black car. Yes, I mean parked, as in no driver in it at all. It’s ass was pressing against the black car such that the black car wouldn’t be able to get out of it’s lot. Also, the actual lot where the red car supposed to be remained empty. I guess people didn’t want to park there in case the red car driver decides to pull another stunt!

jb_carpark2

It’s probably the red car driver was pissed with the black car driver and didn’t want him to leave. Most unlikely the car malfunctioned after hitting the black car… but who knows eh? This scene was there for sometime as I saw it when I was about to leave the place a couple of hours later.



Posted on 6 January 2010 @ 5:16 pm GMT+8

If you’re so passionate about movies, why not decorate your room with movie posters? Well, I for one is getting my new entertainment room ready and I thought having movie posters on my wall will give my room a more cinema-like feel.

One problem I had was that it’s pretty difficult to get posters here in Singapore. I wanted to order them online but posters are something you need to see and feel before purchase. Besides, I can’t wait for shipping time!

Then I realised a few years back, there was a shop in Suntec City selling posters and movie stuffs. A quick search in Google revealed that the shop has shifted to the Esplanade in recent times. Behold, PopcornPop!

popcorn_pop
Despite the higher price of posters on it’s website, I decided to hop on to their shop. It’s a relative small shop but full on variety for movie fans. Their in-store catalog seemed to have more posters than their online catalog (for the case of “The day after tomorrow” poster, which I couldn’t find online).

The service is excellent, and their staff are young and friendly. They’re not “over-friendly”, so you get really comfortable taking time to browse their stuffs. Looking at the size of the posters, I got myself 3 original posters (see below). They’re all directed by Roland Emmerich and I’m a disaster movie fan.

movie_posters
They sell 3 types of posters. Original prints (mostly double sided for light boxes - for cinemas), Commercial posters (for retail, lower quality and slightly smaller) and Value prints (similar to commercial, but in high volume for mass market).

Prices vary a lot due to the demand of the movie itself. They also sell other movie memorabilias like key chains, magnets, etc. Look through their webby to know more. Frames for the posters turned out to be more expensive than the posters themselves, so I decided to get them from IKEA for much cheaper price.

Stay tuned for a segment on my new entertainment room, that’s when I’m done with it! Lastly, wishing all my readers a Happy 2010!



Posted on 29 November 2009 @ 1:41 pm GMT+8

I’ve been really busy that I only found out about the on-going Sitex (Singapore IT Exhibition) on the first day it started. The first thing I did was to check out my favorite online exhibition price-list site. It was time to get a new LCD monitor. No, my trusty Dell FP2001 LCD hasn’t died on me yet. In fact, it’s still working the same way it did when I first bought it some 5 years ago. Now that’s $1600 well spent! I am going to setup a new system for my dad and thus passing this LCD to him. (Gives me an opportunity to indulge in new wide screens!)

From my previous post, I am trying to achieve in making my PC greener, with less power consumption and noise generated. Therefore, LED back-lit monitors were very attractive to me, despite the price. In Sitex, there were 3 LED back-lit models that I saw. LG, Samsung and Acer. LG and Samsung design was very glossy, and the monitor looked more like televisions. It looked more like a fashion item than a techie item. Finally, the Acer S243HL caught my eye with it’s unique design.

acerledAs you can see, the monitor stand is right-aligned with it’s controls and light embedded in it. Also, the whole screen have a very flat look from the back. There are no curves whatsoever and that gave a consistent 1.5cm thickness to it throughout. How much power do I save? Well, my previous Dell 20.1″ used 90 watts. This Acer model uses only 17.15 watts. Not only the design that caught my eye, this monitor was cheaper as well. I got it for $438, as compared to the rest, which were around $490+.

I’m looking at it as I type right now. The colors look good, and thankfully I did not get any dead pixels. There are some features that were not available like wall-mounting, rotation, height adjustment, USB hub, etc, but none of them were that important to me. Sure.. it’s an Acer, but if they’re so bad, how come they’re at shows year after year? Go figure!

Check out the official page.



Posted on 28 October 2009 @ 1:28 am GMT+8

It’s been a pretty long time since I last posted here! (a very long time, actually >3mths). For a moment there, I almost forgot that I do have a blog.. LOL.
Well, a lot of things have been keeping me busy lately like daddy-hood, getting a house, etc.

Let me get to the post now. Ever since I shifted my gaming to the Xbox360 console, I realized that I can easily do away with PC gaming and save a lot of money upgrading on PC hardware. Not only PC gaming hardware cost quit a bit, they generate a lot of heat and uses a lot more energy to run compared to your standard Dell office desktop.

Thus, I was planning to build a “green” PC using the Intel Atom solution. Knowing my needs to play HD movies and also the need to have 2 screens for my average use, I was contemplating on on whether to go on with the purchase or not. Just that moment, I got excessive graphics corruption on my PC and I told myself perhaps it’s more cost-effective to slowly convert my current system to be more green and energy efficient.

First, I looked at the 2 hottest stuff in my PC. They happen to be my WD Velociraptor 150GB running at 10K rpm and my beloved Leadtek GeForce 8800GTS 320MB with it’s humongous fan-sink. The graphics card definitely has to go, due to it’s malfunction (or maybe it’s just overheating).

I was keen on getting a low-power card that could be powerful for my media-centre needs like playing HD movies and also be fan-less. After scanning through Sim Lim Square, I found that the only one that fits my requirements was the XFX 9400GT 1GB. There was this 8400GS too, but the card was out for quite a while and it’s nicer to get an updated series. Damage: $99.

xfx_gfx_card

Looking at the power requirements, a system with a 8800GTS would consume about 125W, compared to the same system with a 9400GT that will consume about 87W. That’s an instant 30% gain, not to mention the fact that I got a fan-less unit, so there’s no extra current required for passive cooling. Overall casing temperature and noise is much lower now :)

Next, I moved on to change my WD Raptor. I felt that spinning at 10K rpm all the time just isn’t that green. The heat on it is enough to fry an egg! Speed-wise, I’ve been dreaming about owning a solid-state drive (SSD) ever since I heard about it. Well, guess what.. I splurged on an Intel X25-M 80GB SSD.

ssd_in_bracket

You have no idea how cool it runs! (Wait a minute.. Am I suppose to brag about it’s speed first?) My Windows 7 loads really fast and I don’t have those grinding noises I got from my Raptor anymore. The drive is tiny and allows good air-flow in my casing. A Raptor consumes about 4.35W of power when idle, as compared to 0.06W of the SSD. That’s a 98% improvement! Even when you look at average power consumption, the Raptor uses 6.08W compared to 0.15W. Damage: $420. The picture above shows the SSD mounted to a bracket which seems that only Silverstone makes. The bracket has a good finishing, but cost me $20.

ssd_in_casing

Ok, so now what? My casing is the NZXT Zero that comes with 7 fans all round. 4 on the side, 2 at the back and 1 on top. I plan t shutdown the 4 side fans and shift one of the fans to the front instead. That way, I would have reduced my system fans by 3 and definitely make it more quiet.

Energy efficiency is appropriate for me not only because I’ve left PC gaming, it’s also good for the times I need to run my PC non-stop for weeks (downloading spree).





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