Data Charges for HTC Dream (Not on Data Plan)

This is horrendous. The data charges came up to RM200 for just one month! It was fortunate that it was brought down by postpaid discounts given to me by my carrier (Digi). When I checked my bill, I have to say that the horrors I heard were ture; HTC Dream is a data camel. It really streams data at every hour or so, and I suspect it was to do with some of the applications which I installed (the security ones that prevents a thief from using my phone, should they successfully snatched it from me). Can you imagine that 1MB was downloaded at intervals of 2 hours or so? That really explains the huge slap on the bill for this month. See below:

digi

Anyway, it is scary that I utilise only Wifi connection when I am consciously using the phone, I do not use the data connection (GPRS/EDGE). Because of the stealth like nature of HTC Dream and Android OS in accessing data for who-knows-what reason… it is timely that someone like this: http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=541380 is coming up with an Android Firewall to prevent applications on Android from accessing the data services, instead relying on local Wifi connections.

I applaud such a move. Support it. This person needs to get this done, for Google assumes that everyone will have an unlimited or a spacious plan for their phone.

Other benefits? Better battery usage (no wastage).

Anyway, be careful of your HTC Dream usage if you do NOT have a Data Plan. If you are like me, then join me in taking away the APN settings for my data provider. I prefer to add an “xxx” to the information settings, just in case I need it in the future for emergency I can quickly set it without much hassle πŸ™‚

Holidaying with My Rooted HTC Dream – JF 1.5.1

This will be updated when I get back to KL tomorrow. But I have to say that my phone is now ‘usable’ and is now ‘cool’ to me. I think this is still a very viable and good business PDA phone. All those Mac-addicts who like to splash their money can say what they want, but this is worth every ringgit spent. I have bothΒ a soft-keyboard and a hard-keyboard. I have multi-touch for browsing. I have everything I ever will need, except a faster CPU chip on this phone.

Even that is being tweaked with an overclocking software. If you did not know, the reason why HTC Dream has been quite sluggish in the multi-tasking department is because the CPU clock speed has been maxed out at 384Mhz. The chip allows for up to 528Mhz (as advertised). Interesting is it not? Now I get slightly faster performance by fixing it at 528Mhz.

Mind you, I did not bring my laptop for this trip. I did everything on my phone. It was adequate, as long as I do not have to write a wrong document or something.

The other thing which I am very happy about is the camera and camcorder functions that has made taking pictures and video a delight. Down side of the camcorder? Well, it would be the file format which is 3gp. I am sure future revisions to the firmware will improve these minor annoyances.

The fear of rooting my phone and installing another ROM that is ‘cooked’ by someone out there was unfounded. This worked wonderfully without any glitch. If you have been thinking about ‘freeing’ your phone… my current advice would be… just do it πŸ™‚

Funny Superman & Batman Picture!

World's Finest#2

Click for a close up. Basically, it’s Batman trying to talk to Lois while keeping Superman at bay with a Kryptonite! Very funny piece from my favourite comic book artist, Travis Charest. Hmmm… Might not be fair to call him a comic book artist since he seems to be doing more covers and one-off pieces rather than a monthly anymore. The last released was only a few pages for the widely anticipated (including me) Metabarons. But that was overdue and they had to get another artist to finish the book because of Travis’ ‘perfectionist’ work style. Seriously, it is a business world, and no publisher would wait that long unless you are the top (uncontested) artist OR you just self-publish.

Regardless of what I think of his work style and productivity, his art is still one of the best out there. But the rules and players are changing, and I hope Travis realises that many excellent artists are coming up with styles that are on par or better, at a faster pace. Now that’s something!

(Even John Romita Jr. has upped his ante with pencilling 60 pages in one month! Read that from: http://www.digitalspy.co.uk/comics/a164066/romita-jrs-has-spider-man-marathon.html)

LG BL40 New Black Label & Sony Ericsson Raphael Android

From GSMarena:

The screen is said to have an extremely peculiar aspect ratio of 21:9 and a resolution of 800×345 pixels. That is quite wide, much wider than your typical HDTV. How this ties with “maximizing usability” (if that’s even true) we don’t know , but it’s sure to come with its own set of advantages and burdens. Another rumored spec, one that’s less iffy is a 5-megapixel camera.

My wife has the 3rd Black Label series LG phone… the Secret. I have to say that it is a very nice phone and good enough for her daily usage and more. The 5MP is excellent. The down side of Secret is the applications (as is most medium range phones). It is a hassle to transfer files and move them around.

This new BL40 “Chocolate” model looks very enticing for those who are into these sort of stuff. It is very weird to see a different resolution though, 800 X 345 pixels. I guess they want it to be a HD movie player phone or something. But I have to say that the UI has certainly improved from LG’s Secret model. Thumbs up! But I prefer Sony’s Android phone, code named “Raphael” (as in the artist, I assume) at the moment πŸ˜› Take a look below. The UI (User Interface, if you have not guessed) is perfect! Very enjoyable for the person who is new to smartphones.

rachael

At last, Sony is really making something noteworthy after the flopped Xperia. πŸ˜›

Spiritual Blog

blog

I have decided to separate my writings into two separate blogs. Not that I think there is anything wrong with mixing secular thoughts with spiritual ones… It is more for convenience sake. If you want to read some of my spiritual reflection and meditations on the Book of all Books, then head over to http://www.erlern.net. I probably will be putting some interesting items there too. It’s all hush, hush at the moment, but it will get more interesting (to me) as time passes.

I cannot dispense with this blog. I have to confess that there is still a desire to ensure that I do not lose touch with the IT progress. I have been raised up with technology at the forefront of my childhood life. My growth has been much influenced by the many changes that technology had to offer to new consumers like me (at that time). Therefore, this blog will still be my sounding board for things that are definitely not spiritual in focus. I like to look at it as a hobby πŸ™‚

It can be useful to just write something different each time (back and forth between both blogs). I would not want to be trapped in a particular mindset that makes me lose context with the people of this world, whom I am staying with for the next few years till my departure πŸ™‚

http://www.erlern.net

My personal spiritual blog.

HP Challenge Answered by Creative Graduates

HP – invent from Tom and Matt on Vimeo.

The excerpt from the video posted reads:

Response to D&AD Student Awards brief set by Hewlett Packard.

“Present an idea which promotes HP Workstations ability to bring to life anything the creative mind can conceive.”

I thought the work was excellent. A very painfully long drawn out process. But creativity takes passion, and passion takes away the dread of time waste πŸ™‚

Adaptations by Pheh It Hao

The exhibition is held at the Concourse, Bangsar Village II from the 2nd till the 12th of July 2009. A very nice collection of snippets of the artist’s travel to the ‘land down under’. Take a look at the photos of our visit there on the 4th of July 2009.

An excerpt from the booklet (which you can view in the gallery above – beginning from photo 24 of the collection):

His latest discovery is the “land down under”. Australia is to provide the inspirational thrust that will be instrumental in shaping his new collection of works entitled “Adaptations”. His recent visit to Melbourne has rejuvenated him; the city’s temperate climate and amiable people have had a positive effect on his creative side. The country’s nature, especially that of the Great Ocean Road, with the crushing waves and strong winds, has immensely humbled him.

I enjoyed the show, more so because it invoked many fond memories which both ML and I had in Melbourne. His work has steadily been better over the years, but than I may be biased since both of us took classes under him for nearly half a year πŸ˜› It is certainly worth the visit just to break from the monotonity of life. Art surely is a good retreat for the mind when it is so stuck in the routine chores of life.

Enjoy the virtual tour, and if you can make it, do go!

Computer Games

When I was much younger (during my early teens), I would dream of playing ‘revolutionary’ games that were not available to kids like me then. Remember, those were the days of x286 processors and CGA (16 colours) or EGA (64 colours) screens. Actually, I never had a computer with EGA graphics. I had to endure playing in a sick blue/white hue for years during my primary school days.

Alleycat
This is what I had to endure for 6 full years of my primary school. Sob, sob!

With all the advances in computer games, I thought that my childhood dreams would have been fulfilled and kids would be able to enjoy the type of games I could only envision during my free time (which seemed available quite often :P). Boy, was I wrong, and still wrong. Computer games have reached a ceiling block. Sure, many would argue that console gaming is where the innovation is taking place (e.g. Nintendo Wii, DS and DSi), but seriously, it is all becoming very predictive.

The best they can offer is an immersive storyline and physics type gameplay. Where is the elements that spark the imagination of the player? Where is the gameplay that makes one feel competitive and wanting to test other strategies? Where is the fun? Instead, we have repetitive button/key pressing that only varies at times to change the ‘difficulty’ levels.

It is hard making enjoyable computer games. I admit it. I am not a programer or a game designer. I am just an ex-gamer who has stopped playing computer games (in an addictive manner) for 9 years now. But it is intriguing that old games are making a comeback with old gameplay. Adventure games are cautiously coming back (albeit in episodic format, like the recent Monkey Island continuation). Point-and-click games are sorely missed for they rely on wit and humour (most of the time).

Nowadays, to make a game successful, story elements can be distilled into two things; zombies and robots. Hahahaha. It is very true. Maybe I should make a game story out of the two? πŸ˜› And maybe sell off the story somehow. Hmmm… A robot/mech (ala Battletech/Robotech) type of military empires fighting it out, only to be caught by a swarming invasion of zombie aliens intent on destroying everything. Maybe it should focus not so much on the single player, but on multiplayer elements of duking it out between universes (each computer host one type of unique universe).

We can dream. Still πŸ™‚

The Hunt for Gollum – Fan Made

I have to say that this is a very well done short-film. It is free for viewing and costs less than USD5,000 to produce. Very good quality indeed πŸ™‚ This takes place in between Gandalf finding more information about Bilbo’s ring and his coming back to the Shire. The actors resemble (to some degree) the original ones, but seriously, for the amount it took to make the film, this is considered amazing!

Thumbs up! Some violence to be noted (the same as the film trilogy).