Sunday, November 16, 2008

MySMS -> SMS Character Counter, Forwarding and more on iPhone 2.1

Ever wonder why your iPhone doesn't have a character counter while SMS-ing and you always end up exceeding the max 160 characters and sending more than 1 message? Wanna delete individual messages instead of the whole conversation? Message forwarding? MySMS has the answer for you! Available on Cydia and I've just installed it the other day and have tested well on it to write my own Personal Review.

It comes in 2 versions: Free/Demo and Paid version. What's the difference? Well, first of all the paid version cost you USD4.95. Besides that, the Demo version has the full functionality as the paid version except

1) you'll get a reminder you're using a demo version
2) 20% of the messages that you text will have a delay of 30 seconds

On the Springboard, your icon will look like the screenshot below. Paid version will have a blue tint on the icon instead of orange...or is it yellow? Arghh...I'm colourblind...sorry :-p

App icon on Springboard

The launch splashscreen

Before going into the detail of the SMS functionality of the app, let's look at the customizations offered in the Settings. From sorting of contacts to the skin of the texting UI, basically you can configure most of the stuff here. One thing to note is the option for the "Phone number length". This is useful if you've saved all your contact numbers in the format of "0123456789" (Malaysian mobile phone number btw) instead of "+60123456789". By decreasing the "Phone number length" to 10, MySMS will ignore the preceding "+6" of the contact numbers and therefore, the app will recognize your contacts based on the format that they're saved. Nice touch there...and you don't have to edit all your contacts, adding "+6" in front of every number in your Contact list.

If you have trouble understanding the info of each toggle available, just tap on "Help" and all the explanations are there :-)

And if you like the app so much, you can even set it as the default SMS client on your iPhone.

The main SMS UI of MySMS is almost identical to the stock SMS client available

By tapping on each individual SMS, you can choose to Delete it, Forward it to other contacts or to Call/Save any numbers in the message.

And voila!! First time on your iPhone....SMS in landscape mode!!! Should you find the keyboard in the default portrait mode is too small for your big thumbs, you can tilt it sideway and now you'll have everything in landscape mode :-)

SMS in landscape mode :-)

And from the screenshot below, you get character/sms counters in text edit mode. I'm sure this answers the prayers of many iPhone users :-p

Character/SMS counter -> Nice touch :-)

All in all, MySMS looks promising as a standalone SMS client, fit enough to replace your stock one.

My final personal verdict:

Lots of customizations available
Landscape mode
Message forwarding!!
Character/SMS counter in edit mode!!!
Demo version has full functionality


Full version not free
Irritating reminders asking you to register
30secs delay on about 20% of the messages you send
Scrolling of conversation history still not as smooth as stock SMS client


Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Chronus -> TimeCapsule for iPhone 2.1

For those who are complaining about the lack of a 3rd party backup app ala TimeCapsule on 1.1.x for their latest 2.x firmware, worry no more for Chronus is here to save the day :-)

Yup, the guys at Databinge had finally ported the TimeCapsule to work on FW 2.x, giving it a new name: Chronus. From the screenshot below, Chronus still has the same icon as the good ol' TimeCapsule.

Main App launching icon on SpringBoard. Should be familiar to you if you have used TimeCapsule on 1.1.x before :-)

The main app splashscreen...minus the list of other apps by Databinge, i.e. WildEyes etc, unlike on 1.1.x

The main interface of the app looks exactly the same as the one on TimeCapsule where on the main screen you'll have the list of almost all the apps (including AppStore apps) that you have on your iPhone. To do a backup of the data for each app, just tap on the app of interest and you'll be directed to the backup option screen.

Main screen once you are in the app

For demo version of the app (free), you can only save a single backup copy for every app that you have. To be able to save more backup copies or for more backup options, head on to their website and purchase the full version. But if you wanna stick with the free version but still intend to store multiple backup copies, I think the best way would be to use programs like iFunBox to copy the backup folders out from the iPhone and store them on your computer. The backup folders are labelled chronologically so you won't get confused on which one is the latest copy. Once you've gotten the folders onto your computer, just perform the backup again using Chronus. This method is the easiest that you can get if you do not want to buy the full version.

Sample of the backup copy that you have in Chronus (only 1 for demo/free version)

You still have the same controls over the backup that you've saved in Chronus

If you tap the little blue arrow located on the right of the backup that you have in the previous screenshot, it'll direct you to the backup files together with the directory they are stored in your iPhone, making it easier for you to look for them should you choose to transfer the backups onto your computer.

Individual backup files with directory labelling

All in all, Chronus is just TimeCapsule with a new name and ported to work on 2.x. Besides that, they both function the same and are useful and encouraged for each jailbroken iPhone owner to install, especially when 'nature calls' for a system restore or a firmware upgrade :-)


Monday, November 10, 2008

The Inaugural Testdrive

Reached home around 4+ after extending Noir's warranty by another year, changed to my jogging gears for my... well, evening jog la... when Mom called out,

Mom: Wait till 5pm. If Dad is awake by then (Dad was on leave), he brings you to testdrive the Innova. So don't go jog first.

So Dad woke up precisely at 4.45pm and off we went to the super big Toyota showroom next to the super big Old Town White Coffee. Cheras glory mah :-p

My verdict on my inaugural testdrive of any commercial vehicle:
Large (almost as big as the Estima), comfy ride, quiet engine, great air-cond system (the system
warms up quite fast to cool down the cabin. What an irony :-p ), but lacks a tad tad bit of horsepower when going uphill, but still ok lah.

Hadn't much time to discuss with the Home Finance Minister (That's Mom , and I'm the Deputy :-p) on the car since they were off to Jusco to spend the Gift Vouchers I got from Monash :-) Will probably discuss tomorrow as part of the family meeting over dinner...

What an experience in my first testdrive...hahahaha Next drive -> Civic or the Mini :-)


Sunday, November 9, 2008

Booked & Taken Before The 'Divorce'

Howdy? Great Sunday and woke up at 11am :-p Managed to recharge some crucial battery levels of mine hahaha Taking a break now from writing my paper...

So what's this divorce thing that I wanna blog about? nyek nyek nyek Well, at the moment I'm definitely not married to anyone nor do I have a girlfriend to date with, so my only 'wife' for now is Belle hehehe and 3 individuals have already expressed their interests to 'spanar' her from me :-p Yuan Wu and Yoges have already agreed to pay good prices for Belle should I decide to sell her off.

And the 3rd person is Dad hahaha

Dad: When you switch to a new phone, just leave your iPhone with me :-)
Me: Whoa, I never knew that you have interest in your 'daughter-in-law' all this while :-p

And we both laughed :-p

So when the time comes to get a new phone, of which I hope it will not happen so soon since money doesn't grow on trees, most likely I'll hand Belle to Dad :-) At least I could still see her everyday :-p

Dad's gonna retire next year and I will be the sole breadwinner for the family should he chooses not to extend his employment contract with the company. I think that will be a good time to contribute more and repay them for what they've done for me. Parents have sacrificed so much to pay for my tuition fees that they let go their intention to get a new car and to extend the fish pond in the garden. I have actually volunteered to fork out the RM1000 to renovate the fish pond and Dad was both delighted and touched hahaha Dad o'Dad...

Was talking to mom the other day and I already told her that once I come out to work, I'll push my dream of getting a Honda Civic or even a Mini Cooper aside to get a new car for Dad and I'll just take his Kembara. The Iswara that I'm currently driving has been giving me loads of problems lately, from the leaking roof to the unbearable sounds that it makes while going through rough roads.

So Mom and Dad went to look at the new Innova and Grand Livina today and Dad thinks that the Innova is a better car, and of course he likes it very much (he has been dreaming of owning a MPV for a long time now :-) ). So I was asking him casually...

Me: Choose 1, Innova or CR-V...
Dad: Innova...

So be it. That will be his new car next year, courtesy of his son, if everything goes on well as planned in my head. In exchange for that, Mom said that maybe they will subsidize a small amount of money to help me get the new MacBook so that Sis can get to have Noir to herself since the PC at home feels sluggish and laggy now and I really hate the wires that are occupying most of the space here. Furthermore, Dad has been asking me to get the new MacBook since its launch day.

Hmmm....seems like 2009 will be a great transition year for the Ng's (just like in US keke) and I pray that it will be a great year for all of us :-)

To Mom: The deadlines that you gave me... I'll try to work hard on them :-p

To Sis: Pray that you get hold of Noir soon and I'll surely get you the LeeHom's latest album :-) And pray super duper hard that I strike a lottery soon to sponsor you to his concert :-p But probability is less than 10%, so don't put too much of a high hope la ya hahahaa


Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Mark's Believe It or Not?

Welcome to the inaugural forum of "Mark's Believe It or Not?"

Do you ever believe in supernatural powers?? I don't...Well, if you say that David Copperfield has supernatural powers to enable him to fly, to be cut into half by a saw and re-attached back or even to walk through the Great Wall of China etc etc, to me all those would not have happened without great help from countless mathematicians and engineers working day and night with super duper crazy calculations in the background.

But what I found over here is truly amazing...a man by the name of John Chang (not his real name) who's called the Magus of Java somehow has supernatural powers, well something like that. Claiming to be the direct heir from an ancient lineage of sages called the Mo-Pai, John, shown here in 2 Youtube videos was able to perform some supernatural stunts that were truly astounding. Just do a Google search for "Qigong" and "John Chang" and you'll find lots of websites featuring him.

If what he did/still does is true, this shows that his manipulation power and concentration on the projection of Chi in his body is immense. And he said that he achieved all this by meditating everyday...simply powerful...

Here, watch the videos and judge for yourself :-)

So, if all of these are true, this means that someday, someone will be able to achieve such great powers to match those of the Jedi Masters in Star Wars :-p After all, I've read an article in The Star before that Jedi Masters are indeed Qigong practitioners....aiks Does that mean Darth Vader aka Asthma Boy got his 'sickness' due to too much Qigong?? :-p Or maybe we are able to achieve powers like Neo had in The Matrix...wahsai!!! hahaha started to talk crap here kekekeke

So, what say you on "Mark's Believe It or Not?" :-p

To my fellow Crap Gang: Wanna start attending Qigong classes now?? I'm sure YW will be the first one to raise his hands :-p



It's 5th November today and I somehow recalled this movie that I watched only early this year after it was released some years back...yup, you guessed it right...V for Vendetta...

On this same day in 1605, Guy Fawkes was caught in the cellars of the House of Parliament with several dozens barrel of gunpowder. His plan to betray the government was foiled and bla bla bla the story goes on till the cows come home. But a great story though. However, what really caught my interest was the movie itself, with Hugo Weaving and Natalie Portman leading the cast, is a darn great movie...with great plot and great actors. And oh how I've always enjoyed watching Hugo Weaving on screen, be it as a blind man in Proof, as Agent Smith in The Matrix Trilogy, as Elrond in Lord of The Rings Trilogy and of course as the guy with the Guy Fawkes mask on in V for Vendetta. Truly a great actor who deserves the Oscar award.

Have you watched V for Vendetta?? I'm watching now...again :p but...not as many times as The Matrix though hahaha

Remember remember the Fifth of November

Gunpowder, treason and plot.
I see no reason why gunpowder, treason
Should ever be forgot...


Largest Mouse??

Got this off the net while surfing for new gadgets on the planet.

Looks quite sleek to me

This new creation, by designer Weston Boege called the Glide Keyboard functions as both keyboard and mouse. Well, from it's shape and size and the numerous buttons, it's quite easy how it works as a keyboard but as a mouse??? Hold on a second....

Well, the keyboard has built-in low-friction pads so that you can slide the keyboard up/down/left/right to move your mouse cursor on the screen. And as you can see, the 2 black pads at the front of the keyboard represent the left and right mouse buttons.

Slide...slide....and away!!! :-p

To me, this thing looks cool when it comes to factor. But on the practical side, I think it will be too tiring to move your keyboard all the time unless you wanna build some nice biceps and triceps :-p But anyway, it's something new and different...but I'll surely try it out if it reaches the Malaysian shores here :-)