萬法唯心 – Impermanence

Sony Reader eBook – Chinese

January 30, 2009 4:49 pm

There aren’t many eBook readers to choose from in the UK that comes with e-Ink 2 display and Chinese support, and many like the Sony PRS-505 that doesn’t support Chinese ebooks. Since it’s a Linux based device like many others people have made patches to enable Chinese on this reader. Thanks to them you can add Chinese support to your eBook reader! Just google “PRS-505 中文” and you will find there are at least 3 methods out there now that will allow you to do that, some require flashing the reader and some doesn’t. I went for the one which require flashing the device since I don’t have to activate the patch everytime you reboot, but it’s safer not to have to flash the reader!

This eBook reader is quite ideal if you have a lot of ebooks ready to be put on. This works out quite well for me because all the Buddhist materials/books are for freely available online! There are many websites for Buddhist books and sutras, here is one that I often visit:

To read them on your ebook, you can either upload them to the reader as plain text or use a multi-platform software called “Calibre” to convert your (html) files into .lrf or .epub. Here is how I convert the ebooks.

  1. Pick a book you want to convert, e.g. 淨土十疑論
  2. In your browser, save page as html only
  3. Drag this html file into Calibre and click convert
  4. Upload to the ebook

Problems that I experienced:

  • Automatic table of content creation in Calibre – It will created the table of content but failing to link it to the right page! But it’s good enough!
  • Reader freeze on connecting USB to computer – need to reset to solve this problem, I believe it’s a problem with the Chinese interface that I’m using which is probably solved by now. But my advice is to use the original English interface!

Here are some photos of the eBook.

Sony eBook Chinese Sony eBook Chinese

LG Renoir – KC910

November 4, 2008 11:38 pm

My contract with Three UK ended 2 months ago, since I’m still quite happy with my K800i that I got 2 years ago, I thought I will just continue with the contract as what they’re charging me is quite reasonable (£10 per month). Last Sunday, they called me and asked if I want to upgrade my mobile, at the end I decided to get the LG Renoir. I surprised myself this time as I didn’t read any reviews before getting it, but since I am not intended to keep this phone for myself and they are charging me a one off £40 for it, I decided to get it.

The phone arrived today, it was packed in a very nice and a relatively small box, which is good because nowadays products tends to come with excessive packaging. My first thought was that this looks so much like the iPhone! I’m impressed by the phone, and here are some of the features that I like:

  • Wi-Fi – Can do without having a computer at home if all we need is checking email and some browsing…
  • GPS – Very useful for travelling especially when we are driving (not yet supported)
  • 8MP Camera – Since I’m using my K800i as my camera, this would be nice
  • 8GB SD card – Surprisingly it comes with that much memory, I can’t believe memory is getting so cheap nowadays!
  • Touch screen – I find touch screen a clever invention for human to interact with computers/machine, much more user friendly when implemented well.

There are also something that I think it can improve on:

  • GPS – only for geotagging at the moment, no software support for navigation
  • Speed – The interface can be slow at times
  • Touch screen – not quite sensitive enough, sometimes I’ve push it!
  • Application – As the phone is still quite new, many are not supported yet. The good thing is, most of the points mentioned here can be fixed in the next firmware.

All these features used to be what I want in a mobile, integrating everything that I need into one! It’s all nice to have, but none of these are necessary!

The world has changed so much, and our wanting never ends, so does our suffering. Often, we want something so much, and after much hard work, when we get it, how do we feel? Satisfy? Happy? May be for a moment, a very short moment! This phone remind me again that these materialistic things really doesn’t bring happiness, peace nor make us feel contented, all these are impermanence! After getting the object that we long wanted, moment later we often move on to wanting the next object, our wanting never ends! You may not agree with me, but try to ask yourself if these materialistic things give you long lasting happiness or does these wantings bring endless suffering.

On Sunday, I went to Amaravati Buddhist Monastery to join their Kathina ceremony this year. This is my third time attending this ceremony, the first time was in 2006. One of the points that I remember from the talk after the ceremony is that advertisements are decided to make us feel discontented! I found this very true myself, many advertisements often try to make us want more, make us feel unsatisfied and a feeling of lacking something, suggesting that buying their product would satisfy us.

Adverts are everywhere nowadays, even if we don’t watch TV, they are on websites, bus stops, train stations, you name it. Often we are not aware of what they are doing to us, no wonder why many of us always feel unsatisfy and wanting more all the time! I’m not blaming the companies for advertising here, it comes down to supply and demand again. If there is no demand, why would they advertise anymore. It’s ourself who is reasonable to watch our mind, as soon as we start blaming others, we are not doing ourself any good. I will share a quote from the Dhammapada (法句經):

 As a well covered house is not penetrated by a rain,  thus a well developed mind is not penetrated by passion.

如盖屋不密,必为雨漏浸,如是不修心,贪欲必漏入。

I still have a great interest in technology and it’s one of the things that I still do get affected by. I’ve to admit that I do like this phone, but I must watch my mind from wanting it! So I’ve decided to keep to my K800i as long as it lasts and not keeping the LG Renoir for myself. I still have much to work on!

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