End of An Era

You would have noticed how infrequent this blog has been updated over the months. Well, life has been extremely busy. I cannot afford the time to blog anymore. The demands of the ministry is growing weekly. It is with much sadness, and yet with some profound sense of happiness, that I end this blog as it is here. There are many sites that provide much better information on gadgets and even on religion. I do not think I have a place in the blogging world.

It has been a great ride reader. I doubt that I have any regular readers, yet I know some posts have been helpful for some. That is the reason why I choose to let this blog be as it is and not remove it entirely.

Thank you and God bless!

Windows 7 UMPC

image

I have been thinking and considering the benefits and virtues of getting an ultra-mobile personal computer in recent days. The truth is that work can be done in a more leisurely environment without the necessities of tables & power sockets, which is something commonly needed by laptop users. However, the pool of UMPC devices that excites me is really small. I wish to have one with full physical qwerty keyboard. But the latest devices seem to do away with this while relying solely on virtual keyboards. The best OS for productivity is still Windows IMHO. Unfortunately, I have yet to find one that is reasonably priced. Just the other month, I stumbled upon this device (please refer to picture) at our local Courts Mammoth. It is called Windpad by MSI. For its price it is definitely not worth it. The whole performance was sluggish at best! Typing was horrible and to me, that’s the deal breaker… If you cannot type smoothly and fast using a particular tablet, then it’s not the right one for you. However, if you can pair it with a Bluetooth keyboard then that might be different. But one thing about Windows tablets is the need for a real digitizer or a stylus… For nothing beats the note taking ease & scribbling stuff at the spur of the moment.

For me, the hunt for the perfect UMP still goes on…

A Phone Whatever You Call It

A good phone is one that does its primary function well. Phones are fundamentally communication devices. Speakers, voice fidelity, signal strength, SMS, MMS, screen display, ought to be good or very good. Anything less than good should not be acceptable. It is very sad that there are now compromises made on the main basic functionality of ‘feature phones’ or ‘smart phones’. Drop calls and poor signal strengths are unforgivable compromises that robs the value of having a phone around. Some could not be bothered (of course), but it is a matter of emergencies… when you need to make that important call, you do not want to be left in a lurch because your signal strength is affected due to poor antenna design. This is what makes the iPhone 4 and HTC Sensation a disappointment in my opinion. Never compromise on the main function. If you really want a game console, get an Xbox 360, PS3, or if you want a mobile console, get an iPod Touch or Nintendo 3DS. Why put yourself in a risk, and put others at risk too (if they are influenced by you in buying something they do not need).

A phone is a phone, and should be a phone first. Which is why I am starting to appreciate Nokia recently. They are slow in innovation and in applications, etc. But I never find myself questioning them on the areas that many are compromising on. Phones are now a toy for many. You get to play with it in many ways. But I hope people do think about the basic thing it ought to be first: a phone. Lives may depend on it.

Mytechnews.info

Well, this is one of my favourite local site for commentary on all things digital (very big scope) and well-written by one of our own (Malaysian). It is refreshing since there are more commentaries and opinions in here than of the ‘sales’ and ‘gimmicky’ kind. Just 2 months ago, it has fallen off the Net. I have no idea what happened, nor do I want to put it out even if I knew. But what I do know is that, the site receives an immense number of traffic visitors. Hmmm… would be lovely to have a revival of the site. The domain itself is now for sale. I wonder whether anyone picked it up yet? If I had the resources and time, I would have wanted to throw a bid on it. If I had those things that is :P But I don’t.

Anyway, for those who really miss the writer and reviewer of the said site, you can follow him now in his new site (I am sure of it, based on writing style, tone & also other social-media tell-tale signs), which is at http://www.hornygeek.net/. But be warned. This is really an independent, no holds barred, site. The language is blunt and vulgar at times. Otherwise, it is not much different from the previous. Update: (21/6/2011), as of today, having occasionally visited the site for a week, I would have to re-word my earlier statement. The language is (in my opinion) obscene, unnecessary and has a tinge of narcissism. If you like reading opinions that are littered by an uncontrolled tongue to vent off their ‘rage’ (for a lack of word), then by all means, it is an ideal place for you. However, for myself, I think I will have to find my daily dose elsewhere (somewhere tamer, like maybe soyacincau or another). As I mentioned in the comments of this post, if you do not like what is written in any websites/blogs, just don’t read. Simple as that.

Update (6/8/2011):

I have stopped visiting the site and noticed that the traffic there is more or less dead. I can more or less posit what is the problem with the new site; it is folly to think that vulgarity would really mean ‘truly independent’ on any level. I’m visiting soyacincau now. The majority of people would prefer a site that has proper moderation and control in its postings rather than a flood of uncalled for vulgarities. Anyway, that’s my opinion and my own verdict on this. Sad. Oh, how the mighty has fallen.

Biographies

I once made it a point to do three biographies a year for Youth Fellowship in my church. That did not go as it planned as I have been very busy with the regular series that I was doing (there were three of them). Nevertheless, at least one is delivered over the past two years during the annual church conference held locally in our local churches. So far, the list has been John Calvin and Charles Spurgeon. This year, it will be George Whitefield. Certainly, Whitefield has been a favourite of mine for many reasons that I am not inclined to put down here. However, during my preparations, I have come to see that there are many Biblical persons whose biography are equally, if not more, compelling to be delivered. This year, I am looking at the prophet Moses. I have not heard a biography given of him before (based on my own experience). Yet, I find Moses to be a very fascinating person. Someone the person on the street is able to relate to. Let’s see how this year goes.

Upgrade Issue (Passive Connection) using FTP for WordPress

This has been a recurring pain for my site (and all the sites hosted under my provider). I cannot seem to use the upgrade plugin, themes and wordpress function that has been introduced for quite a long time now. There has been plenty of updates given and fixes on this issue, but found them all inadequate for my particular problem.

The symptom is this:

Whenever I press the ‘upgrades’ for either WordPress, plugins or themes, I come to the FTP login page. I fill it up and press “Upgrade” only to find that it does nothing at all… it seems to be loading, but it will not refresh or change at all.

It happens no matter what ‘fix’ I employ.

Fix:

I found that I have to use Active FTP connection rather than Passive. What is the difference? I have no idea, for now (feel free to comment if you do know). What you need to do is make an amendment, very slight one as follows to this file: class-wp-filesystem-ftpext.php that is located in wordpress\wp-admin\includes

the original will have

@ftp_pasv( $this->link, true );

Change the “true” to “false” like below and re-upload the file to the appropriate directory on your ftp.

@ftp_pasv( $this->link, false );

Overwrite the previous file and try upgrading again.

Warning:

This works for me. Pretty easy, however, take note that if you do an Upgrade of WordPress, you will need to re-modify the new class-wp-filesystem-ftpext.php file again since the upgrade would replace the modified one. That is a minor annoyance.

All the best :)

Typing + Keyboard

One of the things that do a lot is typing. I type an average of 7,500 – 8,500 words weekly in the year 2010. It was a very exhausting work. Mind you that in uni days, having an assignment of 4,500 words would have taken the better part of the semester. Circumstances change, and for me, I am typing much more. What registered in my mind just this evening, as I was trolling the Digital Mall near my area, was this: do I need a more comfortable keyboard for work? Honestly speaking, after that self directed question, I found myself thinking hard on the occasions when I am doing what I am at this very minute doing: typing. Am I comfortable with the keyboard currently in use? What are some of the issues I have with this keyboard or what are the things I look for in a keyboard? I guess it is obvious to the reader that I have not been thinking much about these things, though they are important aspects of my work life.

As I perused through the many different models from Logitech and the nicely designed keyboard by Microsoft, I cannot help but wonder whether my typing and writing has always been affected in some manner by the keyboard in use. Honestly speaking, I am now feeling the weight of the keys and the resistance it gives me as I hammer down the keys with my fingers. Should I get a keyboard that allows my hands to rest upon a curved gradient design? Or should I just get one that is wireless, that gives me freedom to reposition the keyboard any way I want?

In the end, I did not get any of the sophisticatedly designed keyboards. Not because there is no use in getting one, but because I simply have not been paying attention on what I am looking for. Typing has been so natural and second nature to me that I have not cared much about the equipment used in writing. I should, because the comfort and tiredness of the hands come from all these small factors that are hardly raised up in the world. The way we input things have been taken for granted.

This will have an impact on us; especially in the age where companies are doing away with the physical keyboard and adopting the virtual one. No one has studied the impact such virtual ones would have upon us in the long run. Will the hammering against glass panels be more harmful than the pressing of physical ones that provide real tactile feedback, which would regulate the amount of pressure we put in typing? Only time would tell, but a total reliance on virtual typing would be foolish (yes, that applies to the new onslaught of Tablets).

Until I am a bit more certain of my own preferences, I will have to delay in upgrading or replacing my current ‘Prolink’ branded keyboard.