萬法唯心 – Impermanence

Google Chrome – Browser

September 4, 2008 12:12 pm

Can’t believe that google will now make it’s own web browser. I didn’t do much/any reading on it, but thought I will just donwload it and try it out. My first impression is that it keeps the interface to minimal which is what I like, all the common shortcuts works, responses is very quick and all the small little details are done right (for me anyway)! Just everything I need for a browser! I’m surely dropping firefox (at the moment I use it to check email since opera doesn’t load gmail nicely!). It’s difficult to not sure google since their products is so well decided, but there is a danger that I’m so dependant on google products!!! Would be nice when they release the Linux version!

Google Maps “My location” & Skype on K800i

July 14, 2008 7:50 pm

Google Maps Mobile – My location

If you want this function on K800i and found that it’s not supported after installing GMM, you will need to flash your phone with the latest firmware.

Google Mobile Maps (GMM) 2 recently introduce a new feature called “My location”, a function to find your current location using Mobile towers around for mobile without GPS. I’m surprise that my K800i from 2 years ago can run GMM, however to support this function the mobile need the latest firmware (at least not the one I have)!

I’ve version 2.2.0 installed and tried this function in Bracknell, I would say it’s not too bad. Most of the time it says it’s accurate to within 1.7km (probably better than it claims, I would say within 1km most of the time). However in places more urban the accuracy will be higher. I read somewhere that GMM uses data collected from mobiles with GPS, with increasing number of people using this function, it should get more accurate over time. The reason for finding out about this is mainly for travelling. GMM would be very useful in finding hostels, food and point of interests nearby…

Skype Mobile

Download the latest version from skype directly and it works fine on the K800i too but it’s not true VOIP. What it does is that it loaded up all the contacts and everything as expected, but when you make a call, it will dial a number (charged at local rate or deducted from inclusive minutes) to make that call. A bit like using a calling card I guess, but without entering the pins… So becasue of that I went on to searching for a true VOIP (SIP) client for K800i but couldn’t find one at this moment of time. However did found PennyTel which is slightly cheaper than skype and the good thing is, you can use any SIP phone or softphone like x-lite or ekiga in linux. Also the Skype that comes with 3’s X-series is actually a iSkoot, not Skype!

Three Roaming

Something that I only just found out, Three roaming is actually “free” with you are travelling in a country with a 3 sister network, ie. Austria, Australia, Denmark, Hong Kong, Italy, Ireland and Sweden. “Free” means you can use your inclusive allowance to call or text standard UK number + data allowance! However if you call a local number aboard, it will be charged as a oversea calls just like how it would be if you make the call from the UK!

Useful Appications

Software mentioned here are data intensive, unlimited internet access is recommended on your mobile!

If you are also on Three UK, you will find that 3 includes many download links in the 3 Planet page, but they are usually not the latest version!

  • Google Maps Mobile – http://m.google.com/map/
  • Google Mail Mobile – http://m.google.com/mail/
  • Skype Mobile – http://www.skype.com/m/
  • Opera Mini – http://operamini.com/

Google Notebook

September 20, 2007 11:54 am

I’ve been searching for a daily software for work for a few weeks now, finally find something that I like. All I want is a simple daily, more like a advance notebook with features that helps me orgainse the notes better, something like the Tomboy notes would do the job nicely, a online one would be even better. But I can’t use that since I’ve to work on a Windows machine at work. I also don’t really want to setup another wordpress blog for it since it’s not going to be public and I don’t need all that functionality, just need something simple.

This morning I found the Google notebook, it’s quite amazing, and I’m very happy with it. The functions it supports is just what I need + a easy to use interface and it’s online which means I can access it anywhere given that I have connection to the internet! It even has a firefox plugin that makes it even better. It also supports sections and different notebooks, before I found this I used to use gmail draft to just drop down something, now it’s a lot easier. Thanks google for another amazing application/software.

Other Google software that I like:

VMware

September 7, 2007 7:01 pm

Last week, I decided to install VMware to run Linux (Ubuntu) and Vista on the computer at work. The process was quite simple, installed VMWARE Workstation, configure the Virtual Machines that I want to create, load it up and start installing. After everything installed, I put the VM images on to my USB harddisk and took them home.

Everything ran ok with the VMware player under Windows which is quite impressive. I can still remember the time when I first formatted my computer to install Linux. But running Ubuntu on Linux is not what I really want, it make more sense to have Linux has the host since that’s the OS I use at home. However when I tried to play the images with the VMware player in Ubunt, it says that the version I’m using is older than the images :(. Still haven’t sort that out… but here is a screenshots in XP (with Vista theme)

VMWARE XP Vista Ubuntu

I’m also quite impress with the computer at work, not top of the range, but it’s a dual core Athlon 3600+ with 2GB RAM, it can run Ubuntu on VMware faster than my laptop running it direct. When I tried to run both Vista and Ubuntu at the same time on my laptop under XP, I think it took at least 10mins to load up Vista! Just can’t handle it. When I did the screenshot, I had the Ubuntu displayed on my Laptop screen (1024×768) and Windows on the main monitor (1280×1024). Will be the other way round when I get the VMW player working under Linux. Would recommend VMware if you want to try Linux but can’t escape from Windows :D, but I think a dual core processor + 2GB RAM is the min requirement to have it running smoothly.

— Update —

Found out that the VMware player that is installed by aptitude is version 1, that means the installation will have to be done manually. Downloaded the latest version 2.0 from the VMware website, installed it following a few steps and got the VM Vista running on Ubuntu 7.04 Feisty Fawn. Since the problem is solved, I used the workstation to install a XP. Did a update on Ubuntu, not very clever since that upgraded the Kernel to 2.6.20-16! Restarted and VMware player wouldn’t work anymore. If you have the same problem, just uninstall it by:

sudo ./vmware-uninstall.pl

and do the recompile/installation again since the kernel has been upgraded. However it didn’t went that smoothly for me, it gave me an error when I try to uninstall vmware:

Virtual ethernet failed

In my case, I need to disable the VMware Virtual Networking Driver with the Restricted Driver Manager, restart my comp and then run the installation or the reconfiguration tool:

sudo /usr/bin/vmware-config.pl

After that everything works fine :). XP is running a lot faster on my laptop than vista.

Vista and XP on Ubuntu

New HTPC

July 11, 2007 10:52 am

Since the computer at home (HK) has been 5 years old now and all the DVD players and recorders are out of order, we have decided to get a HTPC. It’s cheaper and more fun to put together one myself and that’s what we did. There is no need for the best components out there, the priority was

  • cost -> space -> performance

After looking at what was available in the Mong Kok Computer Center, the following components were picked:

  • 2thMax 7GJ3
    • Nice case, very small, came with a power supply and cooling was good
  • Intel Pentium Dual-Core E2160
  • Asus P5L-VM 1394
    • Should have got a more experience one which support DDR2 800 but nevermind
  • ADATA 2GB DDR2 800 (1GB x 2)
    • Cheap!
  • 啟視錄 E500 (Compro) TV card
    • Support everything we need + Remote + schedule power on function
  • Logitech EX111
    • Cordless keyboard & mouse, valuable and good for normal use
  • Grandmars ATI x1550 – 128 DDR2 – PCIE
    • Lower end – enough for normal use
  • LG 18x DVDRW – SATA
  • Hitachi 160GB – 7200rpm HD
    • from the old computer

All these comes to a total of around $3700 HKD, not much problem while putting it together except that I have cut the metal part of the grahics card to fit it in this low-profile case. Installed Windows XP and the program that comes with the TV card, i.e. ComproDTV, ComproDVD, ComproFM and scheduler. It is a lot faster than my Toshiba Tecra S1 in all aspects!

Out of all the components, I’m most happy with the case, I did look at many cases but most of them are very expensive and aren’t small enough. Could have gone for a barebone from shuttle but it’s generally too expensive. Other HTPC cases are usually a lot more expensive where this one is only $500 including the PSU. You can also choose to have it standing up-right or sideway too.

HTPC

Text to Speech (Text Reader) – Linux

February 28, 2007 11:57 am

This morning, Terry ask me how we get Linux to do read out a paragraph or sentence. I guess this is because he want to read Kamil’s blog on QuGee Friends but finding it too long. We did it before, but forgot how to do it, so after we found out how to do it I decided we will blog it for future reference or anyone else why want to try it. We are using Ubuntu, but similar for other Linux distribution.

We first need to get the software festival:

  • sudo apt-get install festival

Once it’s installed, it’s very easy, there are two ways to do it:

To read from a text file (in the directory):

  • festival –tts yourfile.txt

Or you can run festival first (type festival in the terminal) and then

  • festival> (SayText “Hello word!”)

or read out a text file:

  • festival> (tts “yourfile.txt” nil)

Enjoy!