Friday, April 25, 2008

Unlocking the iPhone

My beloved new 'wife' is slightly more than a month old now and it has changed a lot since: I've installed lots of apps in it to justify its PDA capabilities, I've also adorned it with themes to get away from the default boring black blank theme, and most of all, I've upgraded its firmware to the latest 1.1.4 and have software unlocked it.

A lot of my friends asked me what is the best way to unlock the iPhone and at the moment there're a few software which help you to do that: ZiPhone, iPlus and iLiberty+ (which is actually a result by merging iPlus with iLiberty and therefore running the same engine as iPlus).

I would recommend using iPlus at the moment since iLiberty+ is still new and there were reports that some users were not able to save their Preferences Settings on their phones.

As for ZiPhone, version 2.5-2.6 of the software created some irreversible damage onto the phone which involves the IMAC address (big deal ppl) as what it did was that it set all phones unlocked with the software to have the same IMAC address (it's like everyone of us having the same IC no. That's a BIG DEAL!!! No, we don't want that).

Another thing is that ZiPhone uses the RAMdisk method to unlock the phone by loading everything into the memory of the phone and runs the unlocking from there - very risky as there's a chance that the files might get corrupted.

Also, if you have an iPhone with Bootloader (it's like the BIOS on your computer) v4.6, ZiPhone will downgrade it to 3.9 so that you can use the Locate Me in Google Map as well as to enable some hosts of stuff. But the problem is that once you have 3.9, you can't reset it back to 4.6! This is not good as future apps/firmware might require 4.6 to work. Unless they could find a way to upgrade it back to 4.6, the solution (or rather the damage) is irreversible. By using iPlus/iLiberty+ however, the software will downgrade it to 3.9FakeBlank and therefore, you could restore it back to 4.6 in the future if the need arises.

Hence, at the moment, iPlus and iLiberty+ seem to be the safer ways to unlock your precious Jesus phone.

This post is of no intention whatsoever to condemn/despise any method or software, but to present my humble personal opinion on the safest and hassle-free way to unlock the iPhone and also based on the feedbacks by users in some online forums. In fact, I do admire and am grateful for these developers who created unlocking software for us so that we could use the iPhone without being tied to a certain telco (round of applause to these guys and let us all drink to them...YAAAAAAAAAAAMMMMMM SENG!!!!! :-) ). But care has to be taken as any mishap might cause your iPhone to turn into an overpriced iPod Touch or worse, a door-stopper :-p

Go here for the guide to unlock the iPhone using Windows. The guide for Mac users could be found on the website too, just click the correct guide, that's all. Although it's a depreciated guide, but this method has been tried and tested by many users and has been proven to work so far. If you are daring enough, you could try unlocking with iLiberty+. It might has been updated to fix those bugs i mentioned. Once you've unlocked the phone, go here to look at the apps are available for you. Basically, these are the 2 websites that you need to go to for updated news about the iPhone (unlocked one that is.....:-p). Happy iPhone-ing and Unlocking :-)

With Summerboard Theme

Couldn't find one with 16GB...but it still looks good anyhow. Note the customized Maxis telco logo on top :-)

Thursday, April 24, 2008

LEGO in action!!!

Came across this collection of photos on flickr when surfing through a local online forum. Very creative photoshoot indeed. This proves that it doesn't need to always pair gadgets with petite girls in mini dresses. This guy here took 4 of his LEGO 'humans' and enacted an iPhone unpacking event. Great skills and great photos, and oh very cute too :-). Enjoy guys :-) Now where are my LEGOs :-p

Men hard at work :-p

Windows smashed!

With immediate effect, the price of the Windows Vista (Basic and Premium Eds) will be slashed by 10% - 50% (depending on how you obtain the software) nationwide. It seems that Microsoft Malaysia wanted to cut the price of the OS in line with the price drop in computer hardware. But I personally felt that they want to push for more converts from XP to the new Vista, i.e. increase the sales of Vista la. On the other hand, this is actually a good move to curb piracy among Malaysians, especially those who are using the 'Jack Sparrow' versions of the Windows....hehe. Unfortunately for them, I won't be parting with my money to get the new Vista because I'm using Linux - Free OS people!!!

However, I tried using the RC2 of Vista
on my laptop back in 2007. The visual appeal of the OS was enticing. Very clean and modern look compared to the old post-98 look of XP. Performance wise, it's a bit slower compared to XP since I have only 1GB of RAM, albeit not too slow to affect the overall productivity of everything. It's recommended to have at least 2GB. One thing that I hate about Vista is that it has this annoying security pop-up everytime I tried to run something in admin mode. Although you could disable it, but that defeats the purpose of Vista's claim to have better security compared to older versions of Windows. Having said that however, there're other built-in features which enhance the security of the system and this pop-up is just a small piece of the puzzle.

So if you have been planning to upgrade to Vista but had been let down by the price tag, now is the right time to do it. Or you could just switch to Linux and be free from all those software monopoly-control-tie-ups :p. Or better still, if you are using genuine Windows XP and see no reason to upgrade but is drooling over the whole cosmetics changes, you could try this - Vista Transformation Pack that will transform your XP to look like a Vista with up to 90% of accuracy. Although it consumes a tad bit more RAM, but at least you don't have to upgrade to 2GB :-).

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Fuel cells for your phone.....very 'eco friendly'

Hi guys, sorry for the delay since my last post. Had been very busy with my research work at uni. When your thesis supervisor has all your home, mobile, dad's, mom's, MSN and email contacts, it's very hard to slack and be lazy (hi Dr Edwin :-p).

Anyhow, I was updating myself with the latest technology breakthrough news on the web when I stumbled upon this thing here: It seems that this company has created a fuel-cells powered battery that could light up your handphones and even laptops. Yup, read this just a day after Earth Day, with all those "Save our planet Earth!!" propagandas spreading all over the ionosphere worldwide. "It seems, Life is not without its sense of irony" - Quote Morpheus from The Matrix 1 :-p.

With successful prototypes been tested since last year and the very first one available on the market in 2009, I wonder how this would affect the ecosystem (ok, I'm trying very hard to care for our world here haha). Anyhow, let's look at the tech-spec of this methanol-powered battery. According to the spokesperson of the company, the battery when attached to a SLR enables the photographer to snap between 2800 and 4000 ( Yuan Wu can celebrate with joy ERIKA!!! :-p) photos as opposed to 1400 - 2200 with conventional lithium-ion batteries that's been powering most of our gadgets for many years now. To recharge the battery, just squirt (do they have to use this word???) fuel into the pack or you could just replace the whole cartridge.

Now here's the interesting part, methanol fuel cells create energy when oxygen and methanol react with catalysts in a membrane inside the fuel cell. The byproducts are electrons, water, and carbon dioxide, though the amount of carbon dioxide is fairly small. But imagine this, the whole world is using these fuel cells to power their gadgets and this 'fairly small amount of CO2' would actually sum up to a substantial amount of pollution gas. If you still couldn't get it, picture this: 1 handphone using fuel cells for power will produce a fairly small amount of CO2 as a byproduct. But with an average of 1 Billions handphones sold every year worldwide, I think we would be getting fairly large amount of CO2 here. Unless there are enough plants to convert all of the CO2 into oxygen, I think it's time for us to train our lungs to absorb CO2 and exhale O2 instead, not to mention an increase in Earth temperature also.

So if you were to ask me if this is a Noble invention, I would say No. Although methanol is a natural gas and is biodegradable, I think that at the end of the day it would do more harm than good, where smokers especially are safer to stay away from this fuel cell. Imagine what would happen if you are to use your fuel cells powered handphones while lighting up a cigarette :-p. Maybe someone ought to create a water-powered battery instead to counter this idea :-p AND HEY!!! Someone is doing it already!! Kudos to you Samsung!! Not that I own your products.....haha but great job seriously.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Do you have a quarter millions to spare?

It happened yesterday in the afternoon when I was doing my work at home and my mom came back saying

"Ah Boy (yeah, my mom calls me that), there're two trucks with the 'Vista' labels parked outside the electrical shop next to the seafood restaurant opposite Leisure Mall "

Upon hearing that, I actually jumped out of my seat thinking,

"Microsoft Vista having a roadshow at an electrical shop in Cheras when there's a PC Fair going on at KLCC???"

Doesn't sound right, but worth a checkout anyhow. So we left early in the evening, planning to have our dinner after checking out the 'Vista' trucks. With hopes up high of buying a 'Vista' license at discounted price (although it sucks :-p) like what they did at APIIT and TAR (they sold each license out at RM10, no joke!!).

Reached that place and immediately my hopes fell like the Wall Street in USA. It turned out that the trucks was not labelled with 'Vista' but rather 'Viera'!!. Yeah, mom saw it wrongly and it's actually a roadshow by Panasonic to promote its latest range of LCD and Plasma TVs. So, since we're already there, might as well check it out-lah.

I wasn't disappointed actually. First of all, the DJ played some very nice songs from the 60s-80s (Beatles, Wham and the list goes on, I'm still stuck in the yesteryears :-p). The exhibition was held in 2 giant trucks connected together via a metal platform, quite a cool thing actually. Once we stepped into (or rather onto, there're stairs you see :-p) the truck, we were greeted by the largest Plasma Screen in the World. 103 inches!!! 3 inches more than the largest by Sony. Due to the limited space and still being 'shy' of showing my iPhone in public, I only managed to get only 1 photo (sorry guys :-) ), the one of utmost importance - the Price of the giant

YUP!!! It's priced at a whopping RM250,000. That's about RM2500 for every inch!! haha...technically speaking it is :-p There's no doubt in the greatness of the technology involved:- 1,000,000 : 1 colour ratio and so on. But a quarter mil for a TV is like paying RM1000 for a litre of sand from Sahara. I'm sure that ordinary homo-sapiens like me would rather spend that money on a property investment or even on a Mazda RX-8 (that's with lots of leftover somemore haha) while some rich people out there will find that the price is not expensive at all. After all, it's the largest plasma tv in the world. But I strongly discourage any of you to attempt to steal it since you'll have great difficulties in hiding the loot :-p. Furthermore, if you don't have a Blueray disc player or your collection of movies are not in HD mode, then I'm sure that you'll see a great amount of 'sand' on the screen hahaha

Therefore, with great technology (and size :-p) comes great price where only the rich and famous can enjoy. To them, happy watching (or rather counting sand :-p) on the TV and to us, a good old CRT/32' LCD is just brilliant. :-)

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Matrix Office Escape Phone Scene: Take #2

Was surfing the net when I stumbled upon this joke: A spoof on one particular scene in the first movie of The Matrix Trilogy. Enjoy....:-)

[Neo opens the FedEx envelope and dumps out the contents: a brand new iPhone. He stares at it in amazement. Then the phone rings.]

[The caller ID reads "John Appleseed"]

[Neo touches the screen to answer the call]

Ooops...wrong phone :-p

NEO: Hello?

JOBS: Do you know who this is?

NEO: [nervously] Steve Jobs?

JOBS: Yes, I've been looking for you, Neo. I don't know if you're ready to see what I want to show you, but unfortunately you and I have run out of time. They're coming for you, Neo, and I don't know what they're going to do.

NEO: Who's coming for me?

JOBS: Stand up and see for yourself.

[Neo peeks above the cube, sees "the PC Guy" from the "Get a Mac" commercials at the far end of the office.]

Agent PC :-p

[Neo swears under his breath, ducks down]

JOBS: Yes.

NEO: How do I get out of here?

JOBS: Well, fortunately, this phone has Google Maps built-in....

JOBS: Neo, you may exit at Eiffel Tower :-p

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

A solar what???!!!

Well, I'm sure you heard about the Earth Hour happening last Saturday in many parts of the world. So, you might ask me if I had played my part in the "International" event. Well, my answer is......No, simply because I was rushing for a paper to be sent to my supervisor and I need the air in my room to be well-circulated throughout the whole process. But anyhow, I'm sure that my usual power-saving practice is more than enough to cover the 'sin' that I had committed on that day :-p.

So, what do I gotta say today? Well, I was hanging out at the foyer of my campus (the campus I'm studying in la) when I stumbled upon this thing...

Yup, you saw that right. It's a doorless solar car with a trailer attached at the back where the 6m^2 of solar cells are resting (I mean working to collect sunlight :-p).

Once it's parked outside the Common Study Area (it's the library), I managed to capture better photos of it

Not bad for a solar car! It's doorless, it's a 2-seater and it's a 'convertible'!!! Well half actually, as the canvas is pulled down to cover yourself when it's raining....but hey, it's still a half-convertible :-p. And most of all, it has 3 where to get that in KL?? Come on! So what about the interior? Tada!!!

It doesn't have a radio and an air-cond system for very obvious reasons. But it comes with a very nice horn, one that sounds like a buzzer we used to build our electronic circuits back in Kemahiran Hidup during our highschool days. And the most interesting thing is that the steering wheel can be adjusted to either lefthand/righthand drive on the fly!!! Serious!! Just pull the clamp and you can 'steer' the steering wheel along the you can have it in the center too if you prefer the driving position ala McLaren F1 :-p. But 'do not judge a car by its canvas' here as this little 3-wheeler can go up to 90km/h in straights!!! And on a full charge, it can travel up to 400km. Not bad at all...a 100% clean car without compromising too much on performance.

And the man behind this invention is Mr Louis Palmer who goes around the world picking people up to ride with him (that's why they call it a taxi) and showing the car to the world that we don't need a single drop of petrol to travel. It's an eye-opener listening to his presentation about the awareness of Global Warming and why he is doing this 'adventure', and with his constant compliments on the car - "It works like a Swiss clock!". Well, since he is a Swiss himself, we can't blame him...:-p But I do admire his courage to promote Global Warming Awareness around the world and that efforts should start NOW before it's too late. And I truly hope that my country will have this solar car in the near future, but since we are still making money from harvesting petroleum, I doubt that will happen anytime in the near future or Petronas will run out of business real fast :-p.

So let's do our part in 'Giving Mother Nature a Break' - Mix FM. Even a weekly Earth Hour in every household is a good start. You can take your children to the park for a walk during that one hour so you won't feel the air-cond-less ;-)

For more information on the Solar Taxi, log on to