Toys and Gadgets

September 13th, 2007

Packing for LA

» , ,

mybook.jpgAlmost done packing my luggage and preparing to leave for LA. The last week was really busy for me as I was running around doing errands, meeting people, and making sure things still go on while I am away.

Speaking of errands, I bought a NAS 500Gb MyBook yesterday. A minute after it is booted up, I got SSHD running (courtesy of Martin Hinner). I tested compiling some stuff on it and the CPU is really slow. But on the other hand, I have a shell :-) I will play with it more when I am back.

Oh and wave to Michael Everson who just fly in yesterday. He is in Indonesia the last couple of days doing some Javanese scripts and now in Singapore with Uli Kozok working on another Indonesian script. We have wonderful sashima dinner yesterday and man, I am still full from last night.

August 24th, 2007

GPRS on OSX in Singapore

» , , , ,

Back on the OSX, I find myself in a confusion trying to use my Mobile Phone (Nokia N80/E60) to access the Internet. There wasn’t any problem connecting my Nokia Phone via Bluetooth to the Mac and iSync works great over Bluetooth too. However, all attempts to access the Internet via my Nokia phones failed.

I googled around and found some obscure instructions, and nothing specific for Singapore. But after some trial-and-error, I managed to get it working :-)

Here is how I did it.

1. Mac OSX does not comes with all the scripts (including Nokia N80 and E60). But luckily you can download the necessary scripts for your modem from Ross Barkman. After downloading the appropriate scripts for your mobile phone, you have to copy them to Library:Modem Scripts.

2. Go to System Preference:Network and then select Show: Bluetooth*. Then click on the “Bluetooth Modem” and you can select the appropriate modem script you downloaded from Ross Barkman.


In my particular case, I using Singtel GPRS so I tried Nokia 3G CID1.

Read the rest of this entry »

August 16th, 2007

MacBook Pro

» , ,

macbookpro1.pngJohnny Malkavin send me an IM this afternoon.

2:27 PM johnnymalkavian: i smell adium
2:28 PM me: ah yes
2:28 PM johnnymalkavian: adium smells… good.

Haha. He is fast :-)

Yes, I just got my new Mac last night after 24 months of Windows. Not just any mac, but the 15″ MacBook Pro 2.4Ghz Dual Core with 256mb GeForce 8600M, upgraded 4Gb Ram and upgraded 7200rpm 200Gb Harddisk.

It is probably as good as it can get. I am happy :-)

In case you are wondering how Johnny knows, Adiumx is the Jabber client I use on Mac. It uses /Adiumx as a Jabber resource and Johnny picks it up from his end.

November 13th, 2006

More FON and giving them away


fon-base-station.JPGSince I blog about FON two week, I got some enquires about whether I could get some for them too. Sadly, as mentioned, they dont shipped to Singapore yet. So a few days ago, I decided to email my friends at FON. Well, they replied and send me a box of 20 FON routers. It just arrived today (thanks :-)

For those who dont know, FON allows you to share your broadband via wireless in exchange for a cut of the revenue (‘bill’ model) or allow you to use others broaband for free (‘linus’ model).

I counted that after giving them to friends and the handful who asked for it, I probably still have 10 left over. So I am giving them away for free* in Singapore or Kuala Lumpur. If you are interested, drop me an email at

* Condition: You pick it up at a place of my choosing. Bloggers will have priority.

Update 14th Nov: I just notice the FON price went up to 30USD. But yes, I am still giving it away since they gave me for free. I still have 5 sets.

November 10th, 2006

Samsung WiBRO Mobile Phone



Just read on Crunch Gear that Samsung is showing off their WiBRO Mobile Phone.

But the one which everyone talking about (and has being waiting for since June) is the one below: Samsung SPH-P9000.


It is really more of a PDA with a fold-out keyboard. Beside the interesting form-factor, it support EV-DO as well as WiBRO* (Tech Spec).

Samsung must be working very hard to make sure they are in the running with the Sprint US$2B WiMAX project. I have no is great for the industry to see someone finally driving the CPE side of WiMAX :-)

* These days, when Samsung talks about WiBRO, it is not certain if they are referring to Korea WiBRO or the (going to be) harmonized WiBRO with Mobile WiMAX.

October 28th, 2006

My little Fonera


fon-base-station.JPGI met Martin in Japan few months ago where he talks about working with Taiwanese manufacturer to make customized base stations for FON. Downloading firmware into WRT54g may be fun for a technie but perhaps not for the masses. So why not make their own boxes? Afterall, you can easily find a manufacturer for US$20-25 (or less depending on the volumne).

Then FON went silent for a few months and then come back with this niffy fonera base station for US$5. So technie see technie do, I ordered one but nooooo…they dont ship to Singapore. :-(

But thanks to some friends in FON and pulling some string, I just got this in the fedex :-) Oh boy, cant wait to plug this in….

October 20th, 2006

Nokia E61


Nokia-E61.JPGMy new toy, Nokia E61, the supposingly Blackberry-killer from Nokia. Got this yesterday and took sometime to play with it :-)

I love the full keyboard. It is actually usable! (and does not take too long to get used to)

I also like the big screen. I feels really good to read email on such big screen.

Aboveall, I love the unlimited data plan. I realised the impedence to use data disappear!

How about pulling all my gmails onto the phone? Why not? Set to auto-retrieve too!

The cool AgileMessager IM client that I wanted to try for a while? Sure, lets play with it. Keep the connection on too!

Or why not use Nokia Podcast to subscribe and download some podcast like The latest show is 12mb? Heck, why not!

Someone once told me that if you want some service to be popular, then just reduce the number of buying decision (not neccessary the price). Pay per use = decision every use vs Unlimited usage = one decision every month. Guess which wins?

October 7th, 2006

Enzer E6068


enzer-E6068.JPG  enzer-E6068-setup.JPG

enzer-E6068-thumbdrive.JPGJust got a new DVD player: Enzer E6068. What so cool about the DVD player is that it comes with a USB port as well as a multi-card reader. You can put in a USB thumbdrive (or an SD card) into the DVD player and it will play the avi :-) Yes, it support DivX too even though it is not stated on the manual. (Actually the manual said nothing about what it can do with the USB…I took a risk and buy it anyway)

“But but..lots of DVD players can do that already”. Yes, but this is retailing at S$99 (~US$60). The other DVD players that comes with USB port is over S$300. The irony is that the thumbdrive I bought is more expensive then the player itself. ;-)

No more burning DivX onto CD before watching it anymore. Ho Ho Ho.

* Enzer is a local Singapore company making very cheap DVD players.

August 4th, 2006

MacOSX on Intel


mac-on-hp.JPG   photo-hp-mac.JPG

A few days ago, I got a few hours spare so I got myself a new Mac…well, kind of. I got Mac OSX running on my HP Pavillion.

Nope, it is not those hacks you do to make your Windows look like a Mac (I did that two years ago). Or the super slow PowerPC Emulator, PearPC.

This is a hack I read a couple of months ago about how to get Mac OSX for Intel to run on non-Apple machine by disabling the TPM checks. I got the patch lying around but never got to trying it until now.

Oh boy, I am surprised how well it goes for me. Almost all the hardware works out of the box, including sound, DVD-RW and even the build in Bluetooth! My ATI Radeon X700 video card has some problem but was quickly fixed with some quick binary hack. The only thing that does not work right now is the Intel 2200BG wireless (wifi) but someone is writing the device driver for that.

I suppose this is the inevitable the moment Apple decided to release Mac OSX on Intel. Despite having TPM that prevent OSX from running on non-Apple hardware, it does not take long for the community to work around it.

True, Mac OSX shipped with fairly limited of hardware support so even if you get it running on a normal PC, it is likely is a lot of your hardware dont work. But since Mac OSX is based on BSD (an open source project), it does not take much to take the open source Linux driver and hack it into BSD/Mac OSX. The few non-open source portion of OSX could also be reversed engineered, given sometime.

I am not going to share how I did this. I probably broke some (Singapore) laws by doing this hack so I am not going to encourage you to do this. Now that I blog about it, I probably should remove the partition and revert that back to Linux. It is a fun thing to do for an afternoon, fun to show it to friends but without the wifi support, it is not exactly usable.

But one day, I hope Apple would releaase their Mac OSX for PC. I know, I know, Apple is a hardware company. But you know, it is a business decision between selling 100M software license vs selling 1M hardware. So never say never. (esp. for those who claims Apple will never release a mouse with more than one button).

May 27th, 2006

Nokia N80


nokia-n80.JPGFinally went to Singtel shop yesterday and upgrade my SIM to a 3G USIM card. At the same time, I also got myself a brand new phone, Nokia N80.

So far, it is like the Series 60 phones that I had before so I am pretty at ease with the interface. Most important of all, the N80 comes with WLAN so I can use my home wireless lan or hotspot. It also comes with the new Nokia Open Source browser. I tried using it with GoogleMail (Mobile) and it works out very well. So far I am impressed.

Transfering contacts was also a breeze with the new transfer tool provided by N80. The apps provided allows me to transfer contact info from my old phone to this one via bluetooth directly. It was amazing…never had I got all my contacts over to a new phone so quickly.

I am going to try some of my staple Series 60 apps I use from Lonelycats, particularly their profimail (a much better email client) and smartmovie (xvid player :-) later today. I dont forsee much problem (except the upgrade in the processor which would help smartmovie a lot :-)

There is only one complain: They changed the power plug for the phone so it is not able to use the standard Nokia charger. They are nice enough to provide one converter but why change it in the first place? They just rendered my 7 chargers I had useless* >.< * Okay, not so useless since my wife still can use it with her Nokia 8800.

** The another phone I wanted is the Nokia E61 but they dont have it then.