Jumat, 30 September 2011

Time to rethink the Android tablet?

Amazon's Kindle Fire has laid down the gauntlet, the powerful dual core Kindle Fire cuts down on some features, which I do not think will be missed (and a few that might), but it got 95,000 pre-orders in one day, and it only sells in the US for now. It would have been at least 95,001 if they let me order it from the Philippines. 

The gauntlet has been laid, a 7-inch Android tablet costs US$199. In apparent response prices for the HTC Flyer and BlackBerry PlayBook has dropped with some retailers to US$299.

When I saw the specifications for the Xoom, last February, I was thinking, what was Motorola thinking. It turned out, these specifications became the standard for the industry. In the end, there is too much fat on an Android tablet, and this does result in higher costs.

An Android tablet (and an iPad for that matter) pretty much mimics all the capabilities of our smartphones, except for call and text functionality. Some tablets are actually fully capable phones. The question is why. I think it is fair to assume a tablet owner would also own a smartphone.

Drop the primary camera. Maybe we need a secondary camera for video calls, but why have a primary camera? A smartphone is really a more convenient size for taking pictures and video. 

Drop GPS. A smartphone also makes a better navigation device. Imagine cradling your 10.1-inch tablet on your cars dashboard. Apps requiring location can get the info from cellular towers and WiFi signals.

Rethink the 720p screen on smaller tablets. The 600 x 1024 screen on the 7-inch Samsung Galaxy Tab is good enough and the one on the 7-inch BlackBerry PlayBook is gorgeous.

Decide what it is for, and build it for a dedicated purpose. With laptops, you have high end gaming machines and lower end general purpose device. Each tablet coming out embodies the latest technology the market has to offer. This could be replicated having dual core gaming and media tablets, and single core web browsing tablets with less RAM. Yes, you can have your uber tablets too with 3D camera's, a 3D display, GPS and a 1080p screen.

Lower end tablets do exist, but from manufacturers which make us think, twice and thrice about the source.

In the end all this might just save a few dollars, but people expect Android tablets to be cheaper than iPad's, and smaller tablets cheaper than larger ones, so every peso (or dollar) does count.

Nokia 500 - Take Symbian for one last dance?

With the release of the Sony Xperia Mini in the Philippine this month we saw our first smartphone powered by a 1GHz processor priced at under Php10,000. The Sony Experia Mini has a suggested retail price of Php10,500, but a little smart shopping should net you one at just under 10K. Now Nokia joins the fray of 1GHz  budget phones 

This phone which is a successor to the C5 series is well equipped for the price. It has a 3.2-inch nHD (360 x 640) capacitative display, 2GB or internal storage, WiFi and 3G (HSDPA/HSUPA) connectivity and GPS, all for Php9,000. I am not sure that the suggested retail price on this model is, but it can be found in the market for 9K, with an official Nokia warranty.

What might be a concern to many is the amount of RAM at just 256MB. That is not a concern, since the phone runs Nokia's Symbian operating system which really does not need a lot of RAM to run efficiently. The other point of concern is the operating system. It is a Symbian Anna device, which will be getting upgraded to Belle by the end of the year. While Symbian S3 was positively Jurassic and Anna was a definite improvement, Belle is a very impressive operating system.

The problem is Nokia already committed to move the Windows Phone 7 platform and Symbian devices will be phased out over the next two years. This means you can expect third party app support to diminish over time.

If Nokia had come out with this last year, I think things might have been very different today. No Windows Phone 7 and Nokia and its Symbian OS would be in the thick of the fight for smartphone supremacy.

If you are an Android, Bada, BlackBerry, iOS or Windows phone user, it is hard to recommend this phone or any other Symbian Nokia phone for the matter. No point moving to a ecosystem which is about to be phased out soon. On the other hand, if you are a long time Nokia user, and rely on Nokia apps and services, this phone is priced low enough so as not to make you regret not investing in a different ecosystem earlier. It would be the perfect phone for one last dance with Symbian.

Samsung Galaxy S2 Official Android 2.3.5 Gingerbread Update I9100XXKI3 Stock ROMs

The official release of Android 2.3.5 Gingerbread for Samsung Galaxy S II I9100 is finally rolled out by Samsung. The firmware build number is I9100XXKI3 same as the  leaked version. The first public released was pushed out already over Poland, Hong Kong and Taiwan. Other region all over Europe and the rest of Asia will get the said official update sooner and this report has been confirmed by samfirmware kies update.
The firmware build date was still the same from the leaked version which is September 15, 2011.

Galaxy S 2 Official Android 2.3.5 Gingerbread Update I9100XXKI3
The below files are the Android 2.3.5 Gingerbread I9100XXKI3 update that has been pulled and filed by Intratech over XDA-Developer. These files were the original, official and unmodified version since Intratech is one of  most knowledgeable about Galaxy S2 firmwares.

Firmware info
Version: Android 2.3.5 Gingerbread
Buld Date: 15/09/2011

XEO (Poland): http://www.multiupload.com/XTRG43JVEG

XXKI3 Stock Kernel: http://www.multiupload.com/6XT83N1LLN
Password: intratech@XDA


Hong Kong I9100ZSKI3/I9100OZSKI3
Taiwan I9100ZSKI3/I9100OZSKI3

Firmware info
Version: Android 2.3.5 Gingerbread
Build Date: 23/09/2011

TGY (Hong Kong): http://www.multiupload.com/LAWZ135UF3

ZSKI3 Stock Kernel: http://www.multiupload.com/RH5K6JPH44
Password: intratech@XDA

Languages: The XXKI3 default is Polski for this firmware was officially released in Poland and other European languages are as follows:
- Čeština
- Dansk
- Deutsch (Deutschland)
- Deutsch (Österreich)
- Deutsch (Schweiz)
- English (Australia)
- English (Ireland)
- English (New Zeland)
- English (Sout Africa)
- English (United Kingdom)
- English (United States)
- Español (España)
- Español (Estados Unidos)
- Français (France)
- Hrvatski
- Icelandic
- Irish
- Italiano
- Kazakh
- Latviešu
- Lietuvių
- Macedonian
- Magyar
- Nederlands (België)
- Norwegian
- Polski
- Português
- Română
- Slovenčina
- Slovenščina
- Suomi
- Svrnska
- Türkçe
- Ελληνικά
- Български
- Русский
- српски
- 한국어
Note: this may contain errors.

 The ZSKI3 default language is Chinese since this was also an official released in Hongkong and Taiwan and other languages from Asian countries were also included. You can use and flash the said stock ROM to any Global version of Samsung Galaxy S2 I9100 by  using Odin multi-downloader tool.

Kamis, 29 September 2011

Arabic Android 2.3.4 Gingerbread S5570JPKQ8 Stock ROM for Samsung Galaxy Mini S5570

The Arabic stock ROM Android 2.3.4 Gingerbread for Samsung Galaxy Mini S5570 is now available and released by samfirmware.com. It's been a while ago since the two Arabic 2.2.1 Froyo versions like S5570JPKA3 and S5570JPKC1 until this update stock ROM is finally revealed.  The firmware build number is S5570JPKQ8 with a default  multi-CSC file of S5570OJPKQ7 for all Arabic Regions and with dated build of  September 16, 2011.

Firmware details:
S5570JPKQ8 - for Arabic region
Version: Android 2.3.4 Gingerbread
BOOT: APBOOT_S5570JPKQ8_CL583440_REV02_user_low_true.tar.md5
PDA: CODE_S5570JPKQ8_CL583440_REV02_user_low_true.tar.md5  
PHONE: MODEM_S5570XWKQ5_CL552983_REV02.tar.md5 
CSC: GT-S5570-MULTI-CSC-OJPKQ7.tar.md5
OPS: TASS_v1.0.ops

To install this ROM you may need to load and then flash all the specific binary files like OPS, BOOT, PDA, PHONE and CSC file on Odin downlowder program. The stock ROM file packaged above comes into multiple files since it's now with a new bootloader of Android 2.3.4 upgrade, the bootloader will replace the old bootloader of your device if it runs from 2.2.1 Froyo versions like S5570JPKA3 and S5570JPKC1.

Note: If you want to upgrade or update your Samsung Galaxy Mini  you may need to back-up all of important data stored on the phone for this stock firmware is a full version  and will wipe and clear all data stored on it.

Android 2.3. 4 Gingerbread S5570JPKQ8 - for Samsung Galaxy Mini S5570 Arabic region via samfirmware link and the password is samfirmware.com

ODIN Multi Downloader v4.38

Quick step on how to install and upgrade Samsung Galaxy Mini to Android 2.3.4 Gingerbread by using firmware S5570JPKQ8 via ODIN.

 Disclaimer: Proceed at your own risk. We are not liable if anything happens to your device by using this method.

1) Download and extract the S5570JPKQ8 file.
2) Run Odin v4.38 on PC's desktop
3) Load the necessary binary files to their specific slots in Odin.
  a. in OPS button load the TASS_v1.0.ops.
  b. in BOOT button load the APBOOT_S5570JPKQ8_CL583440_REV02_user_low_true.tar.md5
  c. in PHONE button load the MODEM_S5570XWKQ5_CL552983_REV02.tar.md5
  d. in PDA button load the CODE_S5570JPKQ8_CL583440_REV02_user_low_true.tar.md5  
  e. in CSC load the GT-S5570-MULTI-CSC-OJPKQ7.tar.md5 

Once all the necessary files already  loaded see that the Auto-reboot and Protect OPS were checked, only the One packaged checkbox remain unchecked.

4) Set the Samsung Galaxy Mini into Download Mode, by turning it off or removing the battery for a while.
 Then press and hold the Volume Down + OK + Power button together. 
 Then connect it to the PC when the download mode screen appears, so that Odin will detect it and it's COM:PORT box will turn to colour yellow and says that the device was  "Added".

5) Then hit the "START" Button  to begin flashing. Just wait around 2-5 minutes until it successfully completes. You will then see a word "PASS" on Odin and the Galaxy Mini will reboot automatically.

6) Once the reboot finishes, un-plug the phone from PC then do a full wipe or factory reset by typing this Code *2767*3855# to get a fully fresh firmware update installed.

New iPhone on Oct. 4, new Nexus on October 11

October 2011 is going to be one interesting month. On October 4, we expect to see Apples iOS5  and the new iPhone's. We are expecting to see the iPhone 5 and a modified iPhone 4, with the new name iPhone 4S. I am not sure what the "1" in the image released by Apple indicates. Some have speculated only one iPhone will be announced on October 4.

A week later, on October 11, Google will launch its Samsung built Nexus Prime, with Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich). After that we expect to see HTC's and LG's own Android 4.0 devices.

Let the games begin.

Rabu, 28 September 2011

The Amazon KIndle tablet - An Android tablet done right

Amazon has launched it long awaited tablet, the Kindle Fire. The Kindle Fire is a Android powered tablet with a 7-inch (1024 x 600 resolution) screen, a dual core processor, 8GB of internal storage which uses WiFi and Bluetooth for connectivity. The Android operating system on the Kindle Fire is heavily customized by Amazon.
The Kindle Fire does not have 3G connectivity, GPS, cameras and a mic. From a hardware standpoint, it does not compete with the Apple iPad 2, RIM's PlayBook or any of the Google Android Honeycomb Tablets. It makes no pretense of being a productivity device, and squarely defines itself multimedia entertainment device which hardware wise is more of a competitor to the Nook Color. 

As a multimedia device the Kindle Fire offers much more than the Nook Color and  does take aim at Apple iPad market with its access to Amazon Books, Movies, TV shows, music and Android apps. While Amazon's Kindle Fire does not compete against Apple iPad 2 in terms of hardware, it does so content wise. At US$199 the Kindle Fire takes aim at the iPad for US$300 less.

The Kindle Fire also offers an interesting web browser service with Amazon Silk, which seems to offer a server side compression, similar to what Opera provides for its browser, which Amazon promises will give users an incredibly fast experience. This is the first device specific service implementation of that kind of service that I know off.   

I do not know if the Kindle Fire will affect Apple iPad 2 sales. I am sure a fair number of people who were thinking about buying an iPad 2 will look at Amazon's offer and will consider it a better deal. What the Kindle Fire is sure to do is broaden the tablet market. It is the first Android tablet done correctly.

The Apple iPad was released as a multimedia device. With the popularity of the tablet, Android Honeycomb tablets, the iPad 2 and RIM's Playbook, have been marketed more and more as the modern personal computer heralding the "post-PC era". Newer tablet designs replicate the technology already found in our mobile phones. Some Android tablets even offer voice call and SMS functionality.  Other Android tablets designs try to replace laptops.

Biting into this "tablet frenzy", tablet manufacturers seem to think the consumer will be willing to pay nearly any amount of money for a shiny new tablet for as long as it bundles it with more and more cutting edge features.

The Kindle Fire makes a nice addition to your smartphone and personal computer and is priced as an accessory device.  While I expect the Kindle Fire to take a fairly large bite off the Apple iPad market share, it really will put more pressure on Android tablet manufacturers.  The Kindle Fire redefines the tablet as to what it originally was, a dedicated multimedia platform and not the overpriced post-PC device many have been making it out to be. 

In the end, the post-PC era is not about replacing the PC, but just that the PC really is no longer the only game in town as a tool for web access. It really means little more than that. All the rest is tablet hype. Amazon seems to understand this better than anyone else right now, and it will sell millions of these things.

A Linux users rant

Does Linux have a future on the desktop? I think not. My opinion is Linux users are very intelligent but very fickle bunch. I happily run Ubuntu, but if there was no Ubuntu I would not mind using Fedora, or Mint, or Debian, or SUSE or Mandriva, or something else. They all work.
The Gnome 3.20 desktop
My preferred desktop environment is the Gnome 3.20 shell, but am no less productive using the (busy) Unity Shell on Gnome 3, the older Gnome 2.x, KDE or something else. Yes, they all work too.

The Unity Desktop Environment

With Windows and Mac users, well they may not like some changes, but ultimately they adjust to the new OS or desktop. With Linux, when the users start to get agitated by change, a fork is on the way.
What you have is a operating system with over a dozen desktop and scores of distributions. Android fragmentation is nothing by comparison. 

Maybe one day, Linux users could agree to rally around one flag, or a company can create enough of a stir to get the majority to rally around one distribution. If that happened, Linux on the desktop might stand a fighting chance. One could expect better driver and hardware support. Mainstream app developers would find the Linux environment friendlier The consumer oriented distribution are kick-ass and user friendly operating systems, in all their iterations.

Rant over.

Selasa, 27 September 2011

Is the tablet at toy?

Sara Yin of PC Magazine has an interesting article entitled "Tablets Are Still Seen As Toys, Survey Says". I am not replicating all the data reported there in this post, so you may want to read that article first before this commentary. 

The article cites data from a CitiGroup survey. The most important findings I think are the following:
"Sixty-two percent of the 1,800 consumers surveyed said that if they do buy a tablet within the next 12 months, it's because they want a new "toy or a gadget." That figure is even higher than the sentiment captured in November 2010, when only 44 percent of those surveyed checked the "toy or gadget" box.
A large portion of the buying public has always questioned whether tablets are really serious tools for doing work with good reason. 

First is the absence of a keyboard. Sure there is a virtual keyboard, but that puts us back to the situation of typing on a small cramped device. Many of us never enjoyed typing on netbooks, why would we enjoy typing on a tablet. 10-inches diagonal is just too small for a proper keyboard.

Second, although this is limited to the Apple iPad, and not tablets in general, is that it does not even have a built in file manager. No way I could keep track of the 4,000+ documents I have on my laptop there (although Dropbox can fix this problem to a great degree for this willing to go the cloud route). 

So, is it a toy or not. I think it depends on who you are and what you do. If you spend a lot of time on documents and spreadsheets, well a tablet is not going to become your primary work machine. If you need a device to do on-line research,  taking notes in meetings and conferences and the like than it could be a very productive tool. They should really bring back the stylus though.
"Citigroup surveyed 1,800 users interested in tablets from the U.S., U.K. and China. Those in China signaled the most interest in buying a tablet; 26 percent said they were 'very likely' to buy a tablet, compared to 12 percent in the U.S. and Britain."
From this I gather that where tablet penetration is greatest, the interest in tablets declines. People who have not owned one and only tried one for a few minutes are impressed by the new device. Many owners eventually find out they really wont replace their laptop and its track pad, relegating the tablet to a alternative device that serves no particular purpose.  

In the end, it is more of a big smart phone than a PC replacement.
Between my wife and I, we have three laptops (one serves the function of a desktop), two smart phones, a feature phone and a tablet. The tablet gets the least use among the three, but it does go with us pretty much wherever we go. Being a small 7-inch Samsung Galaxy Tab it is always tucked in my wifes handbag. 

So while not used to much, its greatest value is that it keeps the laptops at home more often serving as a less than capable device that can sub for a laptop when a unexpected need arises. That being said, if it broke, well we probably would not replace it. If one of laptops our smart phones died on us, they would be replaced in 24 hours.

In sum, I do not see a tablet as a toy. Whether it is a toy or not, depends on the needs of the user.

One issue not covered by the Citigroup survey is whether there is a tablet market or just an iPad market. The dominance of iPad's does hint at the toy theory, that people just want a tablet if it has an apple on its back. I think it is not that simple.

The demand for non-Apple tablets is really going to be less by nature. Let me explain.

1. Those who are comfortable with the Apple ecosystem do not really have low cost laptops as an option. The cheapest MacBook cost 50K here, and the cheapest iPad is less than half of that at 24K.  Those not invested the Apple ecosystem could get a 24K (or even cheaper tablet) or a 11.6-inch AMD Fusion powered ultraportable for 24K or less. An Apple netbook might sell really well too.

2. iPhone users do not really have larger screen options. I think the iPhone's being limited right now to 3.5-inch screen actually boosts iPad sales. Android users who feel 3.2 to 3.7-imches is not big enough constant use, might simply opt to get a larger 4.3-inch to 4.7-inch smart phone which they might find big enough to do and forgo a tablet. If Apple started offer monster iPhones, some iPad buyers may feel that it big enough.

Basically, people invested in the Apple ecosystem have the best reasons to buy tablet. Windows users and Android users really have more hardware options. 

Around the web: Mobile phones

iPhone 4S &5. PCMagazine reports that the invitations have been sent out, Apple invites the tech elite to "Let's talk iPhone" to be held on October 4, 2011 (US time). Exactly what it coming out is speculative. Pictures of Otterbox iPhone 4S cases which leaked on the net would seem to indicate that there will be an iPhone 4S, which is similar in appearance to the current iPhone 4. Leaked pictures of a Casemate case seen to indicate something completely new. Basically, I am expecting two phones to be announced, an iPhone 4S and iPhone 5.

We also do know that the new iPhone will be getting iOS 5 and the commands (hence the "Lets talk" thing).

Windows Phone 7 Mango. TechRadar reports that Windows Phone 7.5, a.k.a Mango, is officially out. While we did see the new HTC Titan and Radar and a new Samsung W phone this month, there was much less fanfare than expected. With the new iPhone coming out in a few days, Windows Phone 7 will soon be forgotten. I cannot help but feel that Microsoft missed a critical marketing Window and Nokia is moving too slow. 

Such a pity, because Windows Phone 7 is an amazing mobile phone operating system.  Engadget has a good review of Windows Phone 7.5 at this link.

Android Ice Cream Sandwich. While there is not word of the exact date of the release of Google's Android 4.0, another Ice Cream Sandwich phone has been announced, the Samsung Galaxy S II HD. The Galaxy S II HD boast a 4.65-inch 720 x 1280 Super AMOLED display, a dual core 1.5GHz processor and LTE connectivity.  

Clash at 13-inches: Acer Aspire TimelineX 3830T-2412G64nbb, Sony Vaio S VPCSB26FG and 13-inch MacBook Air 128GB

Three interesting options for someone looking for a laptop small and light enough to carry around and big enough to be your daily driver: the Acer Aspire TimelineX 3830T-2412G64nbb, Sony Vaio S VPCSB26FG and 13-inch MacBook Air 128GB. 

Apple slim and light MacBook Air

Processor. All three laptops are state of the art Intel Sandy Bridge laptops, all powered by Core i5 processors. The Acer and Sony have faster Intel Core i5-2410M processor running at 2.30GHz with Turbo Boost up to 2.90GHz, while the Apple has a slower but cooler running Intel Core i5-2557M processor running at 1.70GHz with Turbo Boost up to 2.70GHz  In terms of pure speed, the Acer and Sony units are faster. If you don't need all this power, there are cheaper options powered by lower power Intel Core i3 processors.

Winner: Acer/Sony 

Acer's value minded TimelineX 3830T

Price. These three laptops are at different price points, such that the selling price would be the deciding factor for many buyers. The Acer is priced at Php37,900, which is much lower than the Php54,999 price for the Sony and the Php65,990 price for the Apple. 

Winner: Acer

Weight. Laptops are meant to be carried around, so the weight does matter. The Acer is the "heavyweight" of the three weighing in at a light 4.1 pounds (that is half a pound less than a MacBook Pro). The Apple is the lightest at 3-pounds. The Sony weighs in a 3.8 pounds although it has a lot more kit than the other two, but more on that latter.

Winner: Apple

Endurance. Battery life is important in a portable. Among the three the Apple has the largest battery at 6800 mAh which can deliver on the promised 7 hour battery life. The Acer has a smaller 6000 mAh battery. The Sony comes with a disappointing 4400 mAh battery, which will be hard pressed to deliver on its 6 hour battery life. Four hours in real world use is more likely. 

Winner: Apple

Operating system. The Acer and Sony are Windows machines. The Acer runs Windows 7 Home Basic while the Sony comes with Windows 7 Home Premium. The Apple of course runs Mac OSX, in this case the newest 10.7 Lion. 

Winner: Apple/Sony 

Display. All three laptops have 13.3-inch screens, the Acer and Sony have 1366 x 766 displays, while the Apple comes with a higher resolution a wonderful 1440 x 900 display. The only issue about the Apple's screen is that Mac OSX seems to be optimized for 1280 x 800 resolution screens at 13-inches so some menu's and buttons on even pre-installed Apple software (like Safari) seem a bit too small. Still, overall the Apple has the best display.

Winner: Apple  

Storage. The Acer has a 640GB hard drive. The Sony comes with a 500GB hard drive. The Apple has a smaller capacity 128GB drive, but this is a faster more power efficient SSD drive. If I could chose to configure a system with one of these drives, I would select the 128GB SSD. For many the 640GB drive on the Acer is the better choice as it offers far more storage.

Winner: Acer/Apple  

Sony portable but powerful Vaio S

Graphics. All three laptops come with Intel HD 3000 graphics. The difference is the Sony has a discrete graphics option, the AMD Radeon HD 6470M. When more power is needed, the Sony can deliver more graphics punch at the flick of a switch. 

Winner: Sony

Connectivity and ports. All this laptops have WiFi, Bluetooth and the usual ports you find in a laptop. For high speed data transfer the Acer and Sony come with USB 3.0, while the Apple comes with as Thunderbolt port. While Thundrebolt is faster, you wont be able to take advantage of it for lack of accessories. USB 3.0 accessories are getting pretty common these days. 

The Acer and Sony have  HDMI out ports. The Apple needs an adapter to connect to a HDMI device.

Winner: Acer/Sony

Optical Media. While I am not big on optical drives on laptops, since I have found no need for one in three years, the Sony has a DVD-RW drive while the Acer and Apple do not have optical drives. Still, a OD is still useful to many people. 

Winner: Sony

Others. The Apple and Sony have back-lit keyboards, and the Sony also has a finger print reader.

Winner: Sony

Conclusion. In the end there is no winner. Each has its own merits.

The Acer is 17K less than the Sony and 28K  less than an Apple. In terms of productivity, there really is nothing you can do with the Apple that you can't do with the Acer, and these is little you can do with the Sony that you can't do with the Acer. In terms of money for functionality, the Acer is king.

As a pure portable, the Apple is the smallest and lightest with the longest battery life, at the highest price. 

The Sony is the most powerful and best equipped of the three at a price point in the middle. 

Senin, 26 September 2011

Ubuntu 11.10 to include Gnome Classic?

I installed the Gnome Shell on the latest beta release of Ubuntu 11.10 and I noticed that the Gnome Classic interface option seem to be available again.

There are a few glitches with this interface, notable I could not get the Bluetooth icon to display properly, but it did work. Underneath, the Gnome "Classic" shell is Gnome 3.

Update: I was informed this is the Gnome 3 shell fall back mode which Ubuntu just now calls Gnome Classic.

How to Fix a Frozen, Hang in Logo Problem on Samsung Galaxy S II / S2 I9100

 The Samsung Galaxy S2 is a high-end Android device because of it's1.2 GHz dual-core System on a chip processor. It also features 1 GB of RAM, but sometimes it also experience some hang or frozen problem. It just sometimes freezes without no means, and this reportedly happens very rare. This may occurred due to the phones memory getting too, low like for example, running multiple applications,  scrolling down long texts or phone book that happens once in a while, etc.
Samsung Galaxy S2 hang frozen fix

Once your Samsung Galaxy S II is frozen it become unresponsive, the first thing you only have in mind is to restart the phone. You may either pull out the battery and insert it back again, or just by pressing the power button will also do.

This are just simple tips  on how to solve on a Hanged or Frozen Samsung Galaxy S II:

A.  You may need to reboot the phone by pressing the power button until the device turned OFF and reboot automatically.

B. Perform a factory data reset. This will restore back and reset the Galaxy S2 to its factory default settings.
1. Select Settings then Privacy
2. Select Factory Data Reset
3  Select Reset Phone
4. if the password is prompted just enter it then select Erase Everything to confirm.

C.  Hard reset the device by way of button combination- this can be useful if the procedures above doesn't fix the problem.  Just ensure to have a back up copy of all of your important data stored on the device for this will wipe and delete all of it.

-Press and hold the Volume Up and Home button
-Then press the Power button
-Release the Power button until the device Turns On.
-You will then see a window called "recovery menu" on your Galaxy S2.
The options is in there to, Wipe Data/Factory reset, Reboot. Just select Reset Factory. Then reboot.

If the above procedures like factory reset or hard reset doesn't fix the frozen problem.
Our next option for this is by restoring the device original stock-firmware. This will clean up and return the phone to its original factory fresh like the way you bought it brand new. A Samsung flasher tool called ODIN Multidownloader can do the job.  You can find some tips on how to restore back the device Firmware flashing or downloading procedure on Samsung Galaxy S2.

Sometimes there are severe hang or frozen problem that is due to hardware issue if the device suffered  wet or water damaged, heavily dropped and oxidation build ups inside the phones PCB board, and this problem can only be fix by hardware calibration. A mobile phone technician in a service center with a good soldering skills can only fix it.

Minggu, 25 September 2011

Sony Vaio S VPCSB26FG

Sony seems to be trying to make a push for a bigger marker share in the Philippines, opening up concept stores and more importantly more aggressive pricing on their current YB, E and S series laptops. The new AMD E-450 power Sony Vaio YB and AMD E-450 and Intel Sandy Bridge powered Sony Vaio E's are 10-20% less than the previous models. 

Sony Vaio S VPCSB26FG
Given that Sony Vaio laptops are very nicely built, albeit at a premium price, the lower pricing is very welcome. The new Sony Vaio S model have also been released with a lower price. Particularly, interesting is the 13.3-inch Sony Vaio S VPCSB26FG which is now priced at Php54,999. The is S VPCSB26FG is identical to the older Vaio VPCSB16FG, but the new model comes with a larger 500GB hard drive and is priced Php5,000 lower.

Sony Vaio S VPCSB26FG

I previously compared the Vaio VPCSB16FG to Apple popular MacBook Pro, and preferred  the Vaio VPCSB16FG because of several reasons. First, was the discrete  AMD Radeon HD 6470M graphics which scores 5185 points in 3DMark06 verus  Intel HD 3000 which does 3760 in the same test. The Radeon adapter also gives you DirectX 11 support. Second, the Sony Vaio S was 0.8 pounds lighter. Third, the Sony Vaio S has a USB 3.0 port. 

Sony Vaio S VPCSB26FG

With the new Sony Vaio S VPCSB26FG being Php5,000 cheaper, which makes it now all of 7K cheaper than a MacBook Pro, and with a larger hard drive, I think the Sony Vaio S VPCSB26FG may well be the best 13.3-inch ultraportable business laptop in the Philippine market. 

Sony Ericsson Xperia Ray

The Sony Ericsson Xperia Ray is now available in the Philippine market for as low as Php16,200. The Xperia Ray is another Google Android phone, running on the Android 2.3 (Gingerbread). It is a rather unique offering. With a high resolution 480 x 650 LCD display, 1GHz Scorpion processor, Adreno 205 graphics and 512MB of RAM, the Xperia Ray's specifications equal or exceed other mid-level Android like the LG Optimus Black, Samsung i9000 Galaxy S and HTC Desire S. The 8MP camera on the Xperia Ray is actually the best in the price range.  What makes it different from other mid-level Android is a small 3.3-inch screen. This allows the phone to be built on a small 111 x 53 x 9.4 mm case.  

Is this the phone for you. I would think most buyers would prefer the larger 3.7-inch screen of the HTC Desire S or the larger 4-inch screens of LG Optimus Black, Samsung i9000 Galaxy S. But if you want a small Android with higher end features than the Sony Ericsson Xperia Ray is the only game in town.

Another reason you may want the Sony Ericsson Xperia Ray. Smaller screens mean longer battery life. With a relatively small 3.3-inch display and a 1500 mAh battery, the Xperia Ray should have move endurance than other mid-level Androids. 

How to flash/install I9100XXKI3 Android 2.3.5 Gingerbread on Samsung Galaxy S2 via Odin

Here's the step by step guide on how to update or upgrade the Samsung Galaxy S II to Android 2.3.5 Gingerbread with the firmware build version I9100XXKH3 and multi-CSC OXAKI3. This guide is a manual flashing by way of using Odin multi-downloader tool.

Some changes on the I9100XXKI3 Android 2.3.5 Gingerbread gathered from most users who already flashed it via XDA forum.

- the vibration notification icon is always shown when vibration is enabled. it's smart also, because the user can see than vibration on !
- instead of the apple patented overscrolling, there's now that ugly blue overscrol effect 
- the homescreen cycles now, if you're at your last homescreen you will jump to the first one and vice versa (looks a bit awkward due to the background "reset")
it's NEW blue overscrol effect ! and I love it ! it's much sexy OVERSCROL than we got before
- It's super smooth and responsive, font smoothing is also improved.
- Definitely better than previous releases.
This leaked version is an original (unmodified) Wipe Package from Samsung has:
Download the  I9100XXKI3 stock ROM or via Intratech's packages here:

ODIN Downloader software:
-Odin3 version

A USB data cable for Samsung Galaxy S II

 Procedures in flashing the I9100XXKI3 Android 2.3.5 Gingerbread on Samsung Galaxy S II:

Disclaimer: We shall not held responsible if something happens to your device, Proceed at your own risk.
Note: This is a full wipe version, you may need to back-up all your important data srored on the device for it will all cleared or deleted. This is a leaked version and not a final official firmware version, Anyone who does not prepared flashing with odin can wait for the official Samsung Kies server update which we don't know when to be push out by Samsung.

1) Extract the downloaded file you will the eventually see the files as follows:

CODE_I9100XXKI3_CL577579_REV02_user_low_ship.tar.m d5
MODEM_I9100XXKI3_REV_02_CL1062028.ta r.md5

2) Run ODin multidownloder tool on you PC's desktop.
3) On Odin window,  DO NOT CLICK the REPARTITION Checkbox. Only the AUTO REBOOT and RESET TIME remain to be checked.

- Tick on the PDA button then browse to the CODE_I9100XXKI3_CL577579_REV02_user_low_ship.tar.m d5file that you extracted and load it.
- Tick on the Phone button then select and load this file
MODEM_I9100XXKI3_REV_02_CL1062028.ta r.md5
- Tick on the CSC button then select and load this file
Odin flashing android 2.3.5 I9100XXKI3 stock ROM

4. Turn OFF the Samsung Galaxy S II, then switch into DOWNLOAD MODE.
 by Pressing and Holding the VolumeDown+OK+Power together. You will then see on the screen that indicates in downloading mode.

Samsung galaxy S II flashing 04
5. Connect the phone to PCB USB cable and wait for the ID:COM box turn yellow to know that the handset is connected to the PC properly. If you still do not get any results, try another USB port on your computer.

6. One all set above, Click "START" button to begin flashing. Do not touch the phone or interrupt while flashing,. Just wait until the flashing process successfully completes, it may takes around 3-5 minutes depends upon the speed of your PC. You will see a word "PASS" once it finishes and the phone will then reboot.

Remove the phone from USB then do a full factory reset to get  a fresh firmware update. You can check the firmware update version of your phone via about phone info.

I9100XXKI3 Android 2.3.5 Gingerbread ROM for Samsung Galaxy S II / S2

The ROM leaks for Samsung Galaxy S2 I9100 has been leaked and released by samfirmware. The said ROM update with a build number of I9100XXKI3 with CSC file I9100OXAKI3 and the build date of September 15 2011. This is the first Android 2.3.5 Gingerbread that leaks for Samsung Galaxy S2, and been reportedly released by samfirmware and darky's team.

Samsung Galaxy S II android 2.3.5 gingerbread update

So, any advance user can now flash the I9100XXKI3 Android 2.3.5 Gingerbread stock ROM and upgrade the Samsung Galaxy S II system firmware by using ODIN downloader tool. We will update this report for any enhancement and improvements, bug fixes etc. regarding this leaked I9100XXKI3 android 2.3.5 update firmware

Firmware Details:
Phone: I9100XXKI3
Build version: Android 2.3.5 Gingerbread
Model: Samsung Galaxy S2 I9100
Builddate: 15.09.2011

  1. # begin build properties
  2. # autogenerated by buildinfo.sh
  3. ro.build.id=GINGERBREAD
  4. ro.build.display.id=GINGERBREAD.XXKI3
  5. ro.build.version.incremental=XXKI3
  6. ro.build.version.sdk=10
  7. ro.build.version.codename=REL
  8. ro.build.version.release=2.3.5
  9. ro.build.date=Thu Sep 15 13:53:07 KST 2011
  10. ro.build.date.utc=1316062387
  11. ro.build.type=user
  12. ro.build.user=se.infra
  13. ro.build.host=SEP-55
  14. ro.build.tags=release-keys
  15. ro.product.model=GT-I9100
  16. ro.product.brand=samsung
  17. ro.product.name=GT-I9100
  18. ro.product.device=GT-I9100
  19. ro.product.board=GT-I9100
  20. ro.product.cpu.abi=armeabi-v7a
  21. # Samsung Specific Properties
  22. ro.build.PDA=I9100XXKI3
  23. ro.build.hidden_ver=I9100XXKI3
  24. ro.build.changelist=577579
  25. ro.product.cpu.abi2=armeabi
  26. ro.product.manufacturer=samsung
  27. ro.product.locale.language=en
  28. ro.product.locale.region=GB
  29. ro.wifi.channels=
  30. ro.board.platform=s5pc210
  31. # ro.build.product is obsolete; use ro.product.device
  32. ro.build.product=GT-I9100
  33. # Do not try to parse ro.build.description or .fingerprint
  34. ro.build.description=GT-I9100-user 2.3.5 GINGERBREAD XXKI3 release-keys
  35. ro.build.fingerprint=samsung/GT-I9100/GT-I9100:2.3.5/GINGERBREAD/XXKI3:user/release-keys
  36. # Samsung Specific Properties
  37. ro.build.PDA=I9100XXKI3
  38. ro.build.hidden_ver=I9100XXKI3
  39. ro.build.changelist=577579
  40. ro.tether.denied=false
  41. ro.flash.resolution=1080
  42. # end build properties
  43. #
  44. # system.prop for asop5000
  45. #
  46. rild.libpath=/system/lib/libsec-ril.so
  47. rild.libargs=-d /dev/ttyS0
  48. ro.sf.lcd_density=240
  49. dalvik.vm.heapsize=64m
  50. # Samsung USB default mode
  51. persist.service.usb.setting=0
  52. dev.powersave_fps=0
  53. #
  55. #
  56. ro.url.legal=http://www.google.com/intl/%s/mobile/android/basic/phone-legal.html
  57. ro.url.legal.android_privacy=http://www.google.com/intl/%s/mobile/android/basic/privacy.html
  58. ro.com.google.locationfeatures=1
  59. ro.setupwizard.mode=OPTIONAL
  60. ro.com.google.gmsversion=2.3_r6
  61. media.stagefright.enable-player=false
  62. media.stagefright.enable-meta=false
  63. media.stagefright.enable-scan=false
  64. media.stagefright.enable-http=true
  65. media.stagefright.enable-rtsp=false
  66. dev.sfbootcomplete=0
  67. ro.com.google.clientidbase=android-samsung
  68. ro.url.legal=http://www.google.com/intl/%s/mobile/android/basic/phone-legal.html
  69. ro.url.legal.android_privacy=http://www.google.com/intl/%s/mobile/android/basic/privacy.html
  70. ro.com.google.locationfeatures=1
  71. keyguard.no_require_sim=true
  72. ro.config.ringtone=S_Over_the_horizon.ogg
  73. ro.config.notification_sound=01_Sherbet.ogg
  74. ro.config.alarm_alert=Good_Morning.ogg
  75. ro.config.media_sound=Media_preview_Touch_the_light.ogg
  76. ro.opengles.version=131072
  77. ro.secdevenc=true
  78. ro.wtldatapassword=true
  79. net.bt.name=Android
  80. dalvik.vm.stack-trace-file=/data/anr/traces.txt

Stock KI3 Kernel:

via samfirmware.com   password is: samfirmware.com

Jumat, 23 September 2011

Impressions on Windows 8 Developer Preview

I used to think there was some kind of conspiracy between Intel and Microsoft. Intel would create faster processors, and Microsoft would release new operating systems and updates which needed more and more resources. I am sure that someone uses all the new features that they have placed in the new operating systems, but I never really appreciated all the new features. All things considered, I would be perfectly happy reverting to Windows XP. In the end, all I really want is an operating system that boots fast, resumes from sleep quickly, shutdowns in an instant and launches applications quickly and get out of the way as quickly as possible. On laptops and desktops, the operating system is really just a platform to launch apps. It is the apps that we really use to be productive.

With the failure of Windows Vista, Microsoft realized that it cannot continue to expect customers to continue buying and upgrading hardware just to runs Windows. With the need to get into the tablet space, I think Microsoft has realized the need for a lighter operating system. After a few days on the Windows 8 Developers Preview release, it think Windows 8 is shaping up to be a worthy successor to Windows 7. Lets forget about the Metro Interface for a bit, you really should not spend to much of your time staring at your operating system.

This early Windows 8 release boots 3-4 times faster than Windows 7 and uses less RAM. In other tasks it does not really feel all that much faster than Windows 7. But if Microsoft is able to cut down application launch times, that would be enough of an improvement I think. I also have not encountered stability problems running Windows 8 on a laptop natively. 

Going back to Metro. Some will like it, some won't. All-in-all I think Metro is a good next generation interface for Windows. Replacing the start menu with what is effectively a full screen start menu, is beneficial to laptops with smaller screens. 

I think the biggest challenge to Windows 8 is how it will handle the ecosystem of Metro apps and traditional desktop apps. It seems to make a lot of sense to give users the option to actually use it without Metro and revert to the traditional Windows Start Menu, as an option

AT&T (USA) I997UCKI4 Android 2.3.5 Gingerbread ROM leaks for Samsung Infuse 4G SGH-I997

The Android 2.3.5 Gingerbread ROM for Samsung Infuse 4G SGH-I997  AT&T US carrier is now available on stock ROM. This firmware build number is I997UCKI4 with default ATT CSC file and a build date of September 2011. This is the first Android 2.3.5 Gingerbread update that is finally hits only for AT&T Infuse. The ROM was first release by samfirmware along side-by-side with T-Mobile's Samsung Galaxy S 4G SGH-T959v which also got the first 2.3.5 T959VUVKI1 update.

You can grab the stock rom here: I997UCKI4 via samfirmware.com links.
Model = Samsung Infuse 4G SGH-I997
Provider = AT&T USA
K = 2011
I = September
4 = Version

Odin Guide: Install T959VUVKI1 Android 2.3.5 Gingerbread for T- Mobile Samsung Galaxy S 4G

Here's a  step by step guide on how to upgrade the Samsung Galaxy S 4G to Android 2.3.5 Gingerbread T959VUVKI1 firmware update. This guide covers for manual flashing by way of using ODIN since this firmware is a stock ROM, a leaked and not a final Gingerbread version so far. Anyone does not any knowledge about firmware flashing can wait for the T-Mobile official push out via OTA/KIES update.

Disclaimer: Proceed at your own risk, we are not responsible if any problems may happen to your device.

What you'll need:
- Desktop/Laptop Computer Running 32bit Versions Of Either Microsoft Windows 7, Vista, or XP
- Anti-Virus Programs Should Be Disabled- Administrative Privileges Required To Download & Install Software Including Drivers
- An Available USB Port On The PC S That Support 2.0 USB
- Fully Charged Battery
- USB Data Cable

- Back up all important files, SMS,Contacts etc. Use a back up tool like Titanium back up.

Samsung Galaxy S 4G ODIN flashing procedure:
1) Download the Galaxy S 4G T959VUVKI1 Android 2.3.5 Gingerbread Stock ROM and extract it.

2) Run ODIN v1.7 or v1.85 on your desktop.

3) On ODIN click on the PDA button and then select and load the: 
T959VUVKI1-REV00-home-low-CL579207.tar.md5 file in the PDA field.

Ensure that the RE-partition is not checkedOnly the Auto Reboot and F. Reset Time are checked on each checkboxes.
DO NOT USE a pit file and CSC file on it. Leave it empty.

Odin Install T959VUVKI1 Android 2.3.5 Gingerbread Update for T- Mobile Samsung Galaxy S 4G

4) Turn your Galaxy S 4G off. Press and hold the VOLUME DOWN and POWER Button
- then plug the USB to your PC. This will reboot the phone into Download Mode. You should see a BIG yellow triangle on the phone said Download mode, and the ID:COM box on ODIN will indicate that the phone is already connected or detected.

5) Once all set, hit the "Start" to begin the firmware flashing.

Wait.... until the firmware flashing process finishes. You will then see a word "PASS" when it completes and then the phone will then reboot. It only takes around 2-5 minutes max depends on your PC speed. Once finish, unplug your device from PC. That's it!

Is Windows 8 a modern day Janus?

In ancient Roman religion and mythology, Janus is the god of beginnings and transitions. He is depicted as having two faces on his head, facing opposite directions. Symbolically Janus looks simultaneously into the future and the past. Windows 8 represents the most major transition in Windows since Windows 95. Part of it hold on to its past and rich store of applications. Part of its looks to the future, giving a nod to modern touchscreen devices.

Windows 8 adopts the new Metro interface, from Microsoft's own Windows Phone 7 devices. But it is more than that. It is like having two different desktops with their own apps running on one operating system. One example is Internet Explorer. You have Internet Explorer for Metro and the desktop version of Internet explorer. Here is how the two look like displaying the same information.

Internet Explorer

Internet Explorer for Metro

I really do not have a problem going from the desktop apps to the Metro apps, but I spend so much time going from one operating system to another, I am pretty much OS agnostic. With the desktop apps you have your menus, minimize, maximize and close controls on the right side and the familiar task bar at the bottom for multitasking. With Internet Explorer for Metro all the control are hidden and are revealed (on a non-touchscreen device) via a right mouse click. You get fewer options than on the desktop version but get nice big finger friendly buttons.

A user could use Windows 8 with the traditional desktop apps or in the future rely fully on Metro apps. But I think many will use both not realizing which are Metro apps and which ones use the traditional interface. Does Microsoft have a firm eye on its past and its future, or do you think this will just cause confusion among Windows users?

The iPhone 5 Buzz

It is expected that Apple is going to release its fifth-generation handset iPhone 5 by the end of October this year 2011. It seems as if Apple intentionally delayed the introduction of iPhone 5 for a couple of reasons. Firstly, the holiday season is around the corner and the masses have been hearing a lot of rumors regarding iPhone 5. People would love to have this new handset as gifts of Christmas and other events. Market has been greatly occupied by Apple due to this delay. Secondly, Droid Bionic is a recent entry in the market with much improved camera results. Apple had to figure out some way depending upon this market response with something even better. Also, there had been issues of reduced sales due to antenna problems with iPhone 4.

Specifications of the Apple iPhone 5

Though Apple has not disclosed any information about their upcoming product, yet the market is stuffed with a lot of matter on iPhone 5. Apple has been in the lead in the smart phone business and hopes to strengthen this lead with release of iPhone 5. The bright line of this entire buzz around is that it is going to ignite competitiveness in the smart phone business arena. Some of the specifications of iPhone 5 are mentioned.

1.       New design
2.       Smarter
3.       NFC support/Bluetooth 4
4.       Hybrid GSM/CDMA
5.       Voice Controls
6.       Better speaker and camera
7.       iOS 5
8.       Miscellaneous

1-New design: It is expected that this handset will be put in the market with a teardrop case design, i.e. the new iPhone 5 will be thicker at one end as compared to the other.

2-Smarter: It has been reported the Thunderbolt connector has been used in the design of this handset. So, iPhone 5 is supposed to be about 10% thinner than the previous models.

3-NFC support/ Bluetooth 4: iPhone 5 may come up with Bluetooth 4 implementation or with NFC support as Apple has been working on this for quite some time now.

 4-Hybrid GSM/CDMA: It is expected to come up with hybrid GSM/CDMA facility which is most likely to offer advanced integrated artificial intelligence and reality support employing Siri Technology. In other words, user will be able to connect to most of the available networks using a single device. AT&T and Verizon are expected to be hit by iPhone 5 simultaneously along with reaching CDMA networks.

5-Voice Controls: An application known as Assistant is employed in new iPhone which will improve the voice controls. One will be able to send texts, make Face-time calls as well as speak music requests. 

6-Better Speakers and Camera: Speakers being placed inside the new mobile device are very much improved. This handset is supposed to carry 8-megapixel camera from the Omnivision with camera modules being about 20% thinner than the previous models along with much improved LED flash light system and front camera.

7-iOS 5: Another feature is the iOS 5 on which Apple has been working quite hard. It I going to integrate with iCloud for access of computing services from anywhere.

8-Miscellaneous: Of course, enhanced processing and storage are necessary in new models. iPhone 5 comes with 1Ghz Dual-core A5 processor, 512MB RAM, up to 64 GB of storage, full HD support and above all approximately same price as existing models.

Crystal J. Briscoe is from Exams Expert. Looking for 250-370 exam help? Let’s take advantage of Exams Expert self paced  250-365 training and pass your IT exams on first try. Prepare yourself for world Top IT Certification with Exams Expert, outstanding exam practice software provide you everything that you you require for Exams practice.

T- Mobile (USA) Samsung Galaxy S 4G T959VUVKI1 Android 2.3.5 Gingerbread Update

The first Android 2.3.5 Gingerbread for Galaxy S 4G updates finally  here, the firmware build number is T959VUVKI1 with a default CSC file of TMB and build date September 15, 2011. Folks using a carrier branded T-Mobile Galaxy S 4G SGH-T959V that runs on Android version 2.3.3 or 2.3.4 T959VUVKF1, T959VUVKG4 and T959VUVKH2 can now upgrade to T959VUVKI1 which is now packed on Android 2.3.5. Other fixes and improvements- This update version will improved network performance for the Galaxy S 4G, fixed bluetooth bug, improved Gmail application .

Build info.
  # autogenerated by buildinfo.sh
    ro.build.date=Thu Sep 15 18:20:37 KST 2011
    # ro.build.product is obsolete; use ro.product.device
    # Do not try to parse ro.build.description or .fingerprint
    ro.build.description=SGH-T959V-user 2.3.5 GINGERBREAD VUVKI1 release-keys
    # Samsung Specific Properties
    # end build properties

This firmware was released by samfirmware.
Download the rom here: T959VUVKI1 passcode: samfirmware.com
Model = SGH-T959V Samsung Galaxy S 4G
Provider UV =  T-Mobile (USA)
K = 2011
I = September
1 = Version

How to update Samsung Galaxy S 4G using the T959VUVKI1 via Odin.
This is for advance users only, everyone can still upgrade for the official OTA update release.

1) Download the stock ROM  .tar file.
2) Extract  the .tar file you just downloaded, the password is samfirmware.com. It will become .tar.md5 file extension then.
3) Start Odin downloader
4) Click "PDA" and load the .tar.md5 file you just extracted into it.


5) Turn off the Galaxy S 4G then set the device into download mode - Hold Vol+Up & Vol+Down button,  then plug it in to the PC and Odin will recognize it.
6) Once detected in Odin, hit Start and wait for your phone to flash, reboot, and load to a lockscreen
7)  Turn your phone off and disconnect it from USB.

Acer Travelmate TimelineX 8372-484G50Mnkk

Acer has released a very nicely priced thin-and-light laptop in the Philippine market, the 13.3-inch Acer Travelmate TimelineX 8372-484G50Mnkk. The laptop has the following specifications:

  • Linux O.S.
  • Intel Core-i5 480M, 2.66GHZ, 3MB Cache, 1066FSB (35W)
  • Mobile Intel® HM55 Express Chipset
  • 4GB DDR3 1066MHz Memory, with two memory slots up to 4GB max
  • 13.3"  HD 1366 x 768 pixel resolution, high-brightness LED-backlit TFT LCD
  • Intel® HD Graphics with 128 MB of dedicated system memory
  • Integrated High-definition Audio support with two built-in stereo speakers
  • 500GB SATA HDD
  • 8x DVD SuperMulti Double Layer Drive
  • Built-in  Fingerprint Solutions
  • 2.1kg (4.63 lbs.) with 8-cell battery pack
  • 87W 6000 mAh 8-cell Li-ion Standard Battery pack
  • Up to 6 hours battery life
  • Integrated Gigabit Ethernet 10/100/1000, Wake-on-LAN ready
  • Integrated Wireless 802.11a/b/g/Draft-N Wi-Fi CERTIFIED® Network
  • Multi-in-1 card reader (SD™, MMC, MS, MS PRO, xD)
  • Acer Crystal Eye high-def webcam, 1280 x 1024 resolution
  • With Bluetooth® 2.1+EDR
  • Three USB 2.0 ports
  • HDMI™ port with HDCP support
  • External display (VGA) port; Ethernet (RJ-45) port; DC-in jack for AC Adapter
  • Headphone/speaker/line-out jack; Microphone-in jack
  • 13.5 x 9.6 x 1.03 to 1.31 inches
  • 4.6 pounds
  • Multi-gesture touchpad, supporting two-finger scroll, pinch, rotate, flip
  • Acer Carrying Bag

At a retail price of Php29,999 it is very reasonable priced even if the pre-isntalled operating system is Linux. Notable are the 4GB of RAM and the 8-cell 6000mAH capacity battery. This is a 2010 model or early 2011 model, and is not a Sandy Bridge laptop. Still at 30K, it is a very good deal.

Kamis, 22 September 2011

Windows 8 goes mobile: Another desktop environment says "hi" to the touchscreen world.

Another desktop environment says "hi" to the touchscreen world. I am pretty much an operating system agnostic. I am happy with the Mac OSX interface on my MacBook. If it has any real weakness, it is that is relies to much on fancy gestures, when a simple keyboard shortcut is more comfortable to use. Past two months I have spent most of my time on Fedora 15 and Ubuntu 11.10 Beta 1 Linux, both running the Gnome 3 Shell desktop environment. Gnome 3 is my favorite operating system desktop environment, it does not appear to be very popular. If Gnome 3 Shell ceases to be a viable option  I have no problem switching to Ubuntu Linux and the Unity Desktop environment. The one operating system I have not used in over 9 months, is the most popular of all. Microsoft's Windows. I recently installed Windows 8, and like the Gnome 3 and Unity desktop environments, it has also migrated to a more graphical desktop which could be used for both devices that rely on finger manipulated touchscreens and physical keyboards.

Gnome 3

The old guard is not happy. When you talk of desktop environments, in Linux at least, you find scores of angry voices objecting to the new graphically oriented Gnome 3 Shell and Unity Desktops. Apparently it is the same on the Windows side. With the new touchscreen and keyboard friendly Windows 8, the sentiments seem to be the same. For many the preferred desktop for Linux was Gnome 2, which is actually rather similar to Window 98 or XP in form and function.  

Windows 8 goes mobile. I have a strong suspicion that those who object to the new desktop environments spend most of their time on computers with large screens. You can manipulate font and icon sizes in Windows 7 for smaller screens, but in the end there is only so much you can do, and it really works better on larger screens. Install Windows 8 on a 14-inch or larger machine, and you will think it looks different. On small 10 to 11  inch laptops, Window 8 really shines. 

And I think this is the correct way to go. With internet having gone mobile and prices highly portable devices having dramatically gone down in the past few years, more and more computing will be done on "the road" with devices with smaller screens. At this point in time, how many people really want a large desktop sitting on a desk attached to a large screen, when you can plug any modern laptop directly to your giant LCD TV via HDMI?

For the average Joe, having a interface on their phone, nearly identical to the one in their tablet and which looks almost the same as the one in their desktop would be preferable.  

Windows on the Phone
Windows on the desktop

If you are the kind of person who reads blogs like this, having one unified desktop environment may not seem that important to you. Why change what had worked well for so long? 

Canonical (Ubuntu), Gnome and Microsoft are going with one size fits all interfaces. This may not be too appealing to old hands who have been using computers for the better part of one or two decades and cut their teeth on a big bulky 14-inch desktop. The new interfaces target the new younger generation of users who will cut their teeth computing on a small 3-4 inch screen. 

It's a whole new world. Get used to it.

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