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.
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:
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:
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:
Well, I don’t really blog about every mobile software I find interesting on the net, but this one’s special. I own a Windows Mobile device, and although version 10 beta has been out for quite sometime, I just happen to try it out a couple of weeks ago when I flashed my device with a custom firmware.
Opera mobile 10 is faster with smoother UI and will max out your device’s power. It loads pages quicker and renders them fast as well, as compared to the previous 9.x versions. Today, consumer-ready versions of Opera mini 5 and Opera mobile 10 are released. Not much changes from the beta, except for some bug fixes. Head down to the official site and download a copy for your device today!
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.
As 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!
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.
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.
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.
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).
Ok.. I knew many of us saw this coming. From the moment we had out mobile phones from China, followed by food, vehicles and probably almost anything else. We also know that stuffs made in China suffers from quality and safety. Think about the excess dangerous chemicals asserted into food products!
The economy is so bad and cheap labour is treasured right now. Even planes are being made in China! I understand that safety and quality is paramount when building planes for passenger in particularly. Even a 0.5% crash-rate is considered disastrous for any airline. Well, Airbus decided to assemble its A320 plane in China.
AIRBUS delivered its first plane assembled outside Europe to its Chinese owner yesterday as the world’s largest plane maker and rival Boeing seek growth in major developing markets to combat weak demand at home. Another 10 planes will be assembled this year in China and production there will be ramped up to four aircraft per month by the end of 2011.
Airbus began assembling the A320 in the port city of Tianjin, near Beijing, in September from parts shipped from Europe.
The plane maker has estimated China will need more than 3,000 large aircraft by 2025, including 180 super-jumbo passenger jets.
One of my friends actually called such planes as “Flying Coffins!” Well.. we can only hope for the best. Will you select your airline/tickets based on where the plane is assembled?