Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Access NetFront : provide feedback and get activation code for free

If you have a SymbainOS Series 60 'smart' mobile phone and wants to do some real web browsing, you can download the excellent Access NetFront browser for your phone.

I have been a fan of NetFront browser for Pocket PC since the browser provided by Microsoft is made my little kids. And I am happy to report that Access Europe GmbH has a page where users of NetFront for Series 60 can obtain a free activation code if they provide a feedback to Nokia.

Get it
here now. I am not sure how long this 'offer' will last but its good. I got my code from them last night and it worked.

Right now I need all the freeware softwares I can find. After spending loads on Pocket PC and PalmOS (not to mention the PC) I do not think I can afford to pay for commercial releases anymore.

My life classification

Found this site that classifies my life based on the British Board of Film Classifications (BBFC).

Apparently my life would be rated which is suitable for 15 years or older. I have a sister who is eleven. I wonder if I should bar myself from meeting her till she is 15 then. According to the site, I like to say 'fuck' alot, probably get to see all sorts of guns and shooting, but no open heart surgery and knife. Most 'R' rated films in the US fit into this category.

Examples: Alien, The Sixth Sense


PalmOS 6.1 news

If you look at the right panel on my blogspot you will notice that Palm Infocenter has a flurry of new PalmOS news the most important I believe is the announcement of PalmOS 6.1 (Cobalt) for smartphones. The GUI improvements are very evident.

PalmOS now natively supports VGA screens as well as well as landscape mode. PalmOS now supports multiple resolutions including the classic 320x320, 320x480, 240x320 and 480x640.

I can't wait. I hope the VGA implementation of PalmOS works well and hopefully not as crippled as the new PocketPC 2003 SE.

Palm Infocenter

Nokia 6600 impressions

Yesterday I brought the Siemens SX1 back to the shop (o2) and asked for the Nokia 7610 - not in stock. I then eyed the Nokia 6600. Well it had an odd shape. I remembered I saw this last year and hated the design but the size was very similar to the SX1. The next option was the RIM Blackberry 7230. But it costs £150 on my tariff and I wasn't planning to subscribe to the 5Mb GPRS service.

I asked for a working unit and tested the keypad. The keypad was fine and works like it should. I then weighed the options between the 6600 and 7610. The 7610 costs only £50 extra. Not much but £50 can buy me another 1Gb MMC card - or it could go into my next PDA purchase.

The 7610's design is way better than the 6600 in my opinion. The keypad was unusual but way better than the SX1. But it was a fashion phone. I do not like fashion phones as too many people seems to think I would be following a trend. The 6600 was a business phone. I like the idea of business phones as Nokia tend to support those longer. My father has a 6310i that came with his Mercedes and that was based on the classic 6210 design that came out eons ago. I suspect the 6600 platform will be supported for a long time.

It had a 1 Megapixel digital camera on the back compared to the 6600's VGA camera. Well I already own a 2 Megapixel camera so its not important. It also happen to use RS-MMC cards (Reduced Size Multimedia Media Card) which is more expensive than traditional MMC cards.

I then compared the screens. While the 7610's was slightly better it was not a big improvement over the 6600's screen which was viewable outdoors. The OS speed feels the same. Both runs on Symbian's latest version 7.0 although the 7610 runs on Series 60 v2.0. I am not sure what GUI version does the 6600 runs on.

So the 7610 is basically a 6600 in a different clothing with a slightly better camera and nicer design. Is that worth £50 extra? Maybe not. I already have a nice collection of MMC, SD, MS and SM cards and I will be damned if I needed invest in RS-MMC cards. So you would say that the MMC slot on the 6600 was the deal breaker. If the 7610 came with a MMC or SD slot then I would not mind paying the £50 extra.

Next was where it was made. Still Finland. Good. I know some of the components might come from Taiwan or Japan but still its reassuring that the construction of the mobile was in Finland than a nameless factory in China.

I exchanged the SX1 for the 6600 then. Felt like downgrading actually since the SX1 was better than the 6600 in many areas but it all comes down to the usability of the keypad.

What did I think of the 6600? Well apart from the extremely ugly and fatty look (it is the same size as my friend's Sony Ericsson P800) it was al right. I doubt the thickness has anything to do with its internal component and more to do with Nokia's designer trying to figure where to put the extra soft keys. The joy stick was easy to use.

What did I miss from the SX1? Well the black piano finish was one. The MMC slot was the other. The extra 12 pixels on the screen. The FM radio (though not so important). The free 128Mb card (the 6600 came with 32Mb). What you see is possibly the first person to downgrade first from a newer Sony Ericsson K700i to a Siemens SX1 and now a Nokia 6600.

But I like it (again apart from the ugly design - but it is no where near as bad as Motorola's upcoming MpX). It was useable and that is more important. I am sure I would get used to the look. Bad looks has its limit though and the 6600 was the limit. Anything worse than that (Motorola MpX) and they should fire the designers.

One grip. I still can't figure out how to implement mp3 as my ring tone so I can use my Carcass grindcore tracks as my alarm tones. I am new to this so called 'smartphone' mobiles but so far I am not finding S60 phones to be as good as being on PalmOS or Pocket PC.

Why didn't I get a Treo 600? Well o2 does not have them. And I still prefer to use a candy bar 'smartphone' rather than a PDA phone like the Treo or XDA due to I like my mobile to be voice centric rather than data centric. Any data fetching would happen on my proper PDA.

Update: I actually did finally go for the 7610. Felt guilty about it, but the 7610's size eventually won me over.

New mobile part one

Well I got a new contract for my mobile already.

Difficult at first since I wanted to continue my existing contract but they would not let me change my tariff. Bloody bastards.

So I had to sign up for a new one. Costs me £20 a month on o2 Leasure Time Plus (1000 minutes off-peak, 100 SMS etc). This was way better than my previous deal of 500 minutes and 50 texts. Anyway for the first six months of my year long contract I would receive double minutes and text!

I also sold off my
Sony Ericsson K700i and decided to get a 'smartphone'. The day I signed up I opted for the limited edition Siemens SX1. What a beautie. It runs on Symbian OS 6.0. The GUI would be Nokia's Series 60.

This limited edition version is painted in piano style paint. Very nice. It also comes with a 128Mb MMC card, FM radio, mp3 player and VGA digital camera. Basically the same as a normal SX1. The mobile feels fast enough and I really really like it. The design was so professional and the whole thing feels so sturdy and well made. It was made in Germany! No wonder.

Next time make sure your mobiles are built in Europe, Most of my new Sony Ericssons were made in China and had problems. My older Ericssons (T28, T39m) were made in Sweden and it never broke down. My first ever GSM mobile the Motorola StarTac which I got in 1998 was made in America and it died out after six months. So buy from Europe people! And I mean Western Europe.

It also came with a rather unusual keypad. I reckoned since I usually use my PDA to connect to my mobile (via bluetooth) to send SMS this would not be a problem. But what I did not know was there would be problems connecting it to my iPAQ. Tried it with Simple SMS - did not work. Next up was a trial version of smart GSM. Nope.

So I had to rely on the fuckin' phone for SMS. No problem. I can live with that. So I went sending SMS to my friends. And it was a fuckin' pain in the arse. I decided this had to go back to the shop.

Sunday, September 26, 2004

Film Review: Wimbledon

Another day another pointless film review. Full of spoilers too. Do I care? No.

Yesterday was Wimbledon.

And it was alright.

The film is based on a British tennis player, Peter Colt (played by the talented Paul Bettany) who will be playing his last ever tournament in Wimbledon. At 119th ranking, he was a wild card entry and is favourite to lose in the first round. He would then retire and start a new life as a director.

That is until he met young fresh and nude Lizzie Bradbury (Kirsten Dunst). The two unnaturally falls in love in a record time after only having eaten fish and chips (ah...the staple of British diet). It all bears resemblance to the other chick flick that is Notting Hill (where an American actress fell in love with a bumbling British book store owner in trendy Notting Hill).

Apart from outrageous fake tennis, the movie did have some highlights. First up was John McEnroe, the real life American former World champion who was commenting in almost every match. I am a keen Wimbledon fan and I have never heard McEnroe commented on the BBC's Wimbledon matches before. As far as I was concern he was a pundit. But still its nice having him around since he was the original tennis 'bad ass'.

Brighton was the next highlight. (I saw part of the filming last September when they were there) I love Brighton and often visit the seaside town. It is probably the best town in the South East outside London in my opinion. Hopefully this would raise Brighton's profile as an international recognisable town.

Bernald Hill as always was excellent - this time as Peter's mad father, Edward.

I am glad they got Paul Bettany to play the British guy. They actually intended Hugh Grant to play the guy. Now I don't hate Hugh Grant or anything but his acting is beginning to bore me to death with his posh accent. Come on man, can't you do a London accent?

There are problems with the movie itself and some technical one too. I frequently see the IBM serve board record only slightly above 100mph. Personally that is a bit too slow for professional tennis. I am sure speeds of 150mph has been recorded by such fine real life tennis professionals such as Andy Roddick and Roger Federer.

Kirsten Dunst plays an unbelievable tempered woman and it was lucky she could pull it off. In my opinion they should have got a more athletic actress to play the romantic lead - but hey they could have done worst. They actually wanted Reese Whiterspoon!

The ending was typical Notting Hill. They fall in love get married and have kids. Unlike Notting Hill which had the American moving to the fine life of London here we have the Colts moving to urban America (New York? Los Angeles?). Very disappointing... What is wrong with Brighton?

Paul Bettany will have an amazing career after this movie and I do hope he will overtake Hugh Grant since he is more talented. However I also wish that he would not be typecast into anymore romantic comedy leads. He has already proved that he can play Hollywood in The Beautiful Mind as the imaginary friend of Russell Crowe.

Overall I give Wimbledon a 5.5/10.

Saturday, September 25, 2004

Movie Report : Collateral

Caught Collateral yesterday at UGC West India Quay (Canary Wharf).

It was an interesting movie but the camera works was very inconsistent. It was like the director (Michael Mann) could not make up his mind whether to produce a DV style movie or a professional Hollywood techni-coloured film. In fact this film was reportedly filmed using a High Definition Sony camera.

The story circles around a taxi driver called Max (Jamie Foxx), a guy who cleans his cab every day and generally the world's friendliest taxi driver in the World. He is the good guy - the guy who has an ambition (to own a limousine company) and treats his customer well and not fleece them of their money by taking them through a longer route (or pretending to be lost - like most Malaysian and illegal London minicab drivers).

Anyway, he picked up this guy who calls himself Vincent (Tom Cruise). Vincent is a 40 year old with fake grey hair that looks like someone poured powder on his head (really!). He wants Max to take him to visit several 'clients'.

Vincent is actually a contract hitman who was hired to dispatch five people that night (six including Max). Max soon finds out about his plans and tries to change things. And pretty much by the middle of the movie, we have crazy inefficient Los Angeles police and the mobsters on their tail.

There are some comedic scenes but overall it is a violent movie. Not bloody violent, just plain old Hollywood violent. The ending was an anti-climate and the scene where Max tries to break into a building bears resemblance to a 'Fight Club' scene.

There are stupid scenes too. For example when Vincent was hunting Jada Pinkett Smith's character he in pure desperation knocked out the lights from the floor. But the Vincent we knew from the first four killings were icy cool. This was a guy who would hunt a person quietly only revealing himself at the end.

Overall it was a fun movie if not annoying due to the lack of visual directions. The guy who played the copper was as annoying as hell and totally unbelievable with his weird voice, pierced ears and 80s slicked hair. The make up on Tom Cruise was also inconsistent. Sometimes he looks young and on others his eyes looks like an eighty year old pensioner. And his hair! His grayish white hair is totally unconvincing.

But still is was enjoyable experience. Shame we only saw Jason Stam once.

I give this a 7.5/10

Thursday, September 23, 2004

Hardware Impressions: Fujitsu-Siemens Pocket Loox 720

A friend of mine showed me his new Fujitsu-Siemens Pocket Loox 720 today. Damn its nice.

Love the form factor. It is very similar to my HP iPAQ h4150's design albeit a little thicker. Its the same thickness as my Sony Ericsson K700i mobile.

There is a 1.3Megapixel digital camera on the back. The quality looks okay through the screen but we won't know for sure until its transfered to the PC. Personally I don't really care about the camera and wish they saved the money on something else instead (like faster processor and more RAM).

This might seem trivial but there is a standard 3.5mm earphone jack on the top. The SD and CF-II slot is also on the top. The stylus location is on the right side. The IrDA port is also on the top.

I really love the buttons. Its much nicer and easier to use than the one on my h4150. The is a button on the left side and another one on the right. There is also a scroll whell.

Stylus is almost the same size as my h4150. Still prefer the size of my T3's stylus. In my opinion, the perfect stylus size are the one that came with Palm's m5xx series.

The weight is alright. As heavy as my old Sony N770C/U but I have been spoilt by my h4150's feather weight. Even my Tungsten T3 is lighter! But I doubt its heavier than the hx4700 and Toshiba's e830.

The screen is beautiful. Of course at VGA resolution it has to be. The screen size is 3.6". Doesn't sound much but even when compared to my h4150's 3.5" it feels bigger. But its smaller than the 3.8" T3 screen.

Cleartype works well in portrait mode but do not use it on landscape mode. This is due to the nature of LCDs (where one pixel is made up of 3 portrait like coloured pixels), where Cleartype on Pocket PC is optimized for portrait mode only.

Performance wise I can't really tell since he hasn't installed much. He is still migrating from his h1930. But the built in programs were a little faster. The CPU runs at 520Mhz and is overclockable to 624Mhz.

I removed my SD card to installed it onto his new PDA. Launched Flux Challenge. Works great. He had a 4Gb Microdrive in it (he got it from his Creative MuVo) full of dance music. Nice.

The OS was a let down. There are no obvious GUI changes. The icons are sharper and the QWERTY keyboard looks nicer. It has an option to switch to landscape now but its quite pathetic and does not work as well as my T3.


The keyboard layout is at the bottom so it takes up almost half the screen when in landscape mode. It is really that bad! Pocket IE is still the same crappo o-ma-ma. Really crap especially in landscape mode. I also have to go through the control panel to switch to landscape and vice versa. (You can also set a button to rotate)

The Bluetooth connection to my K700i works very well and soon I was connected to my GPRS account. Of course I did not use PIE much since its really crap. Should have installed NetFront.

There are not WiFi hotspots in the tube so I did not test that.

The Loox also contains USB host functionality. I took out my 512Mb USB drive and it recognises it. But I do have concern that it would greatly impact battery life.

Well it was a nice 30 minutes. He played with my h4150 while complaining about how slow it was and how crap the screen was. I just sat there in the tube experimenting with his 720 and feeling my face go red.

It costs less than £400. You can order now from Clove or Expansys.

Will I buy it? Considering that I got my h4150 for only £230 (original RRP was £450), I am expecting the price of the Loox to drop down to that level in 6 months time. And I am still awaiting the release of palmOne's T3 replacement - the T5.

Electronic Arts unethical methods of crushing competition

EA has put up a notice asking people to uninstall Nero, Roxio and Clone CD. I can undestand why Clone CD is there but not Nero and Roxio. Is this illegal? Maybe...but I am not a lawyer. Perhaps Pamela at Groklaw can answer me but I am sure they are busy attacking SCO to give this any attention.

Should people uninstall those essential CD burner programs that they use to burn digital camera photographs to share with their family and friends just to play a game? Hell no!

To see this idiotic notice please go here.

The Sims 2 review...sort of...

Installed the 4 CD game into my PC the other day and when I attempted to launch the game, a program error came out asking me to stop running any CD emulation software. What!?

I have no bloody CD emulation software installed on my PC. No Alcohol 120%. I used to have Clone CD but has been uninstalled since 2003. I only have a legal copy of the excellent Ahead's Nero v6 that came bundled with my LG's CD-RW drive installed. I attempted to close all my background running programs including essential temperature tracking programs but to no avail.

Flicking through the manual to find a solution I found a completely ridiculous advice that EA Games seems to think its okay to give out. It advises users to shut down all anti virus and firewall programs before running the game. This is totally irresponsible of the publisher to ask users to disable security programs from their PC. But I did shut down my anti virus and firewall softwares since I have already disconnected myself from the local LAN because I had no choice. Was my Norton Anti Virus program a CD emulation program. I just had to find out.

No... It was not. What CD emulation software am I running I ask you EA? Can you e-mail me a list of all CD emulation software that your program scans for?

All this and it was the original copy of The Sims 2. Feeling angry I went to GameCopyWorld to download a patch executable in order to run the game (this even with the original game disc in my drive). But the game kept crashing every hour. Frustrated I took the game back to WHSmith (£32.99) and asked for a refund. I told them that the game was not playable due to the incompetence of the programmers at Maxis and EA and advised WHSmith to sue EA for selling faulty products.

I am now waiting for a sensible publisher to develop a The Sims 2-killer game. Have been an avid fan of The Sims but sadly I would not be joining The Sims 2's very small users of satisfied customers.

Note: Do not purchase your games at Electronic Boutique or HMV. They would not refund your money even if the game is at fault. The would attempt to get you to buy another game or DVD. WHSmith might not be a savvy place to purchase PC games but it has the best refund policy (30 days).

Update: I found out that it was likely that Sims 2 was scanning through my registry for Clone CD entries. It is possible that few remnant files from my old Clone CD was left behind when I uninstalled it. Still that does not give EA the right to sift through my computer looking at what I have installed. Isn't that illegal and invasion of privacy? Has EA become the Microsoft of the gaming World. First they made a racist game in the name of Command & Conquer : Generals and now this.

Update 2: Apparently, according to this bulletin board, Nero could be the culprit. Ahead is quite a big company and their software is bundled with alot of leading CD-RW and DVD burner packages.

Now what EA is doing is making us think Nero is a bad program and wants us to uninstall it. Is this legal? I actually think not. EA (and Macrovision) is actually dictating to us what we can have installed on our PC and what can't be.

If such a thing happened when people are installing Windows XP SP2 update (and the update asked users to uninstall Firefox or Netscape) then there would be an uproar.

Who wants to wager a bet that EA would be marketing a CD/DVD burner software in the near future? This is illegal and I hope someone sues EA for this.

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Fictionwise: Free e-books part two

The crazy people at Fictionwise has decided to give away another bunch of free e-books. All you need to do is to register, 'purchase' the books and check-out.

Source: Fictionwise

The US will not release Iraqi woman prisoner

The Iraqi government has decided to release her. But the Americans blocked the move.

So who is governing Iraq today? The Iraqis? Or the Americans?

Answer on postcard please...

Source: BBC News

Mark Thompson reviews Greg Dyke

An interesting review of Greg Dyke's (former D-G of the BBC) Inside Story, this one done by Mark Thompson, the current D-G of the BBC.

Monday's issue of the Evening Standard also carries a review of Inside Story by former BBC journalist Andrew Gilligan.

Both Greg Dyke and Andrew Gilligan resigned from the BBC after the Hutton (whitewash) report cleared Tony Blair's government of any wrong doing in the run up to the Iraq War. The Hutton Inquiry was launched after Dr. Kelly was found dead last year.

The family's pleas (uncensored)

The Foreign Office has attempted to silent the family of Kenneth Bigley, a 62 year old father and soon to be grandfather, who is being held hostage by Iraqi rebels.

Here are the pleas of Mr. Bigley's family as appeared on today's The Independent:

Mr. Bigley's son, Craig:
"I ask Tony Blair personally to consider the amount of bloodshed already suffered. Only you can save him now... Please meet the demans and release my father - two women for two men. The Prime Minister is a father - he has children. I am a child - I have a father... We ask him to help us."

Mr. Bigley's brother, Philip:
"We have seen the Prime Minister spending timeon the trains that can help a commuter save 14 minutes on a journey to London when he should be devoting his time to saving the life of my brother. We are not politicians. He is the political head of our country (UK). It is the Prime Minister who has the power to save Ken's life. Prime Minister, we as a family are begging you, please help us. The death of the American hostage has proved to us that if nothing is done then the two remaining captives will die by the most horrific means."

Mr. Bigley's brother, Paul:
"We have nothing to do with the military, with politicians. I don't like the policy of the present Government... I am not impressed with Mr Bush and his antics. I don't think anybody else is, in the whole wide world... Now, dare I say it, I think I am going to lose my brother. The whole attack on Iraq was absolutely ridiculous... I will not be told to shut up, not about an important situation like this."

Source: The Independent No 5595 22/09/04

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Bus and Tube fares increase

According to the Evening Standard, bus and tube fares are to increase by as much as 20% next year. The fares increase were said to be necessary to fund improvements to London's transport network.

Among the changes are daily bus passes would increase from £2.50 to £3 while single (non Oyster) would increase to £1.20 from £1.

There would be a new off-peak bus fare for Oyster Card users of 80p per single journey.

Single travel into zone 1 will increase by 10p to £2.30.

There would also be a new £1.10 fare for Tube travel outside of Zone 1 after 7pm and a not too bad £2 for single travel journey into Zone 1.

Atleast the new fares would only be effective from January 2005. Fares of buses in Brighton are even more erratic with fare changes (positive or negative) introduced every few months. A single bus journey went from80p to £1 to £1.20 to £1 then back up to £1.30 last April. Crazy!

Some not so relevant news

House prices fall in UK for first time in years :)

M&S sales slump continues Dull look, dull design. No clear directions. Expensive food. Unethical company. What do you expect?

Kerry & Bush square off on Iraq So what's new? One wanted the war, the other voted for the war. Both will continue its illegal war against other sovereign countries.

New slim Playstation 2 - PSTwo? Not a fan of consoles but anything that can beat Microsoft is welcomed.

Australia's corrupt ultra right wing racist Prime Minister wants option to pre-emptive strike on its neighbours WTF! What a bloody bastard! This is just one of the few Canberra's attempt to police Asia now. So far Malaysia, Indonesia and Philippines has rejected the 'offer'.

Chelsea's Mourinho branded as moaner How true!

palmOne launches new accessories, GPS bundle The keyboard with 5 rows of keys including a dedicated number row looks great.

Blogger spell check update: Today spell checker suggested I replace blogger with blocker! Yes blogger is not a real word but it is the name of this service!

PDAMill's 50% PalmOS games

PDAMill is running a 50% off promotion on all of their Palm OS products this week, that is the Palm OS versions of Snails, GameBox Asia, Classics, Gems and Solitaire. To use this special promotion you have to go to www.pdamill.com, add the item(s) to your shopping cart and enter 'PDAMILL' as the promotion code, then hit 'Recalculate'.

The promotion is only for this week and is limited to the first 200 buyers.

Monday, September 20, 2004

Cinema report: Open Water

Watched Open Water at a UGC Cinema today.

This independant US$130,000 movie is based on a true story where two scuba divers were accidentally left by their tour boat and subsequently drifted into shark infested waters.

Open Water, which was directed, produced and written by Chris Kentis, was shot using DV (Digital Video) style (ala Blair Witch Project, 28 Days Later...) and in my opinion was a good movie. The film while DV in style, I am willing to bet used a High Definition camera or even a proper 35mm cameras as the quality was still fantastic. It just did not receive the usual Hollywood 'clean up'.

The Lion Gate film is a breath of fresh air compared to the usual bland Hollywood movies (Blair Witch project included). In Open Water, the cast did their best to portray reality including nudity (couples DO sleep nude). I know of some people who claimed the nudity part was uncalled for and even if they wanted to shoot a bedroom scene, the woman should cover up. Excuse me, but couples are supposed to be used to each other naked.

Off topic: Take for example...uhm...what was that idiotic Tom Cruise movie...yeah, Vanilla Sky. He was sleeping with Cameron Diaz and when she wakes up she pulls up her blanket to hide her boobs. Note to Ms. Diaz, when you are acting as a couple, act like a real couple! And show some nudity please. It is not like you have not done nudity before. It is nice I have seen them.

The story begins with this couple who were on their vacation. There they went for a scuba diving trip. It was a nice trip but partly their fault and partly the organisers fault, they were left behind. As time goes by after being attacked by little fishes and jelly fishes, they drifted towards shark infested areas. They also started bickering just like normal couples do in tight situations.

Some critics dislike the idea. These same critics probably want a movie which features Goberner Arhnolt Swacknagger to jump out a plane and start blasting the little sharks.

Off topic 2: Or Jaws... I cannot believe that in this day and age people are still thinking that Jaws is a good movie. It was awful. It was fake. The special effects were crap. The acting was terrible. Face it Jaws sucks (IMO). Saying that Open Water (as some critics did) was fake while complaining that the director should follow the examples of Jaws is just plain stupid.

The director claimed that no special or digital effects were used. The sharks were real and the cast were wearing ancient-like chain mesh to protect themselves. The main cast also spent a total of 120 hours in the water. And they acted great.

If there is something that spoilt the movie, it was the music. Gawd are they awful. The musical interlude ranges from disco to rock music with little meaning except to fast forward time.

The movie was inspired by the
1998 true story of an American couple, Tom and Eileen Lonergan, who were both left behing by their diving boat in Australia. Before people start reasoning that since the bodies of Tom and Eileen were never found, how could the director know what happened. Simple - the movie was based and inspired by the event. It is still a movie and not a documentary as some might be led to believe.

The tagline was Blair Witch Project meets Jaws. I do not know who created the tagline but I have to disagree with it. Blair Witch Project was a hoax. The whole hype was a hoax. Many people left the cinema convinced that what the saw was real footages found. In Open Water, this is not the case. For example there were wide angle shots of the couple drifting which is not possible for a 'lost and found camera'.

Next - the comparisons to Jaws. I made it clear that I dislike Jaws but I am not going to let my prejudice ruin my views on this comparison. Jaws was a revenge movie. It was also about a big shark which was supposed to be very intelligent it can track human beings down. It also features a shark that can bring down a 30 feet boat. It was an action movie. Open Water is a movie based on two people's fear. It was not about how they die, but the fear of it, the fear of knowing that you will die and it was just the matter of when. The main cast for Jaws is a gigantic fake shark. In Open Water, the sharks plays no part at all until the end. In fact Open Water is not about a couple lost in an ocean infested by sharks, it is about a couple lost in an ocean.

The movie was rated 15 probably due to nudity and some mild language. There are no visible physical violance, but fear and trauma exist throughout.

I give this movie a solid 7/10.

SP2 again...

Updated my PC to Windows XP SP2 today. Kept getting the blue screen of death pointing to a software/hardware failure. I removed my Hauppauge WinTV Nova-T PCI card and still BSOD keeps haunting me. Damn it!

Finally using common sense, I removed all my USB & Firewire devices and plugged in a spare trillion year old PS2 mouse, defaulted my AMD processor to spec'ed clock speed, reboot to Safe Mode and started the installation. Finally after almost one hour its done.

Thank you God whoever you are.

I have yet to encounter a software that was crippled by the update. Most of the programs are video editing and encoding programs.

Hardware Review: Mugen 2000mAh iPAQ battery

I bought this battery two months ago at Proporta's headquarters in English Close, Brighton. Nice people but not a nice location (no direct bus there)! Their previous office in Hove, Brighton was a more convenient location wise but small.

They even have a little Japanese guy there who was helpful in getting me a discount (10%).

The battery in question is a made in Japan Mugen Power Lithium-Ion battery rated with charge capacity of 2000mAh. It was made specifically for Hewlett Packard's iPAQ h4150.

Yesterday's 13 hour flight was an excellent time to test the battery. And boy did it pass. Helped by a CPU hack utility (XCPU-Scalar) I managed to coax out an incredible 11 hours of total usage out of the battery. Wonderful.

It was mostly for listening to music (GSPlayer) although I did some light e-book reading (iSilo), some note taking and a short quick game of Michael Schumacher's Kart Racing 2002.

The audio files used were OggVorbis files encoded at 64kbps. The quality isn't bad. In fact in my ears it sounds the same quality as mp3 files encoded at 128kbps (using my Sony MDR-EX71SL).

Back to the battery. The battery itself is bigger than the original iPAQ's 1000mAh battery in terms of physical size. As a result, Mugen (or Proporta) has provided a new door. It creates an extra hump on the back. Manufacturing quality is so so. The black packaging around the battery has started to show signs of wear and tear since I frequently remove it. I have to add that it does not affect the performance.

The battery costs around £35. It is cheaper than HP's optional large battery (RRP around £70) and has a larger capacity (2000mAh Vs 1800mAh).

Update: The 2000mAh battery costs £39 ex. VAT. Proporta do ship worldwide standard shipping for £2.12. You will only need to pay VAT if you are a resident in the European Union. They also sell a version for the h2210 for £34.

Sunday news

Saw a Porsche Carrera GT yesterday on the way to the airport. Damn fast! It went past us and I did not even see it until it was some 50 meters away! It was heading towards to Sepang Formula One circuit. I am sure the owner had some fun!

KLIA was as boring as ever. Almost every thing was marked up in price (even magazines) although they claimed to be duty free. Lets see... CDs were going for RM50++ although in Kuala Lumpur, most major retailers were selling for RM40. Duty free my arse. Yes, these retailers do not pay duty to the Malaysian government. Instead they reaped it all for themselves.

Also note that
Telekom's iTalk freephone cards do not work in the terminal's pay phone. You would need to call the Seremban's phone number listed on your card to use it.

An interesting thing I saw on the plane - a woman who was reading a book, used her Apple PowerBook G4 (12") to play a CD. That is mad. Apart from wasting such a good computer for such a trivial task, she was also shaving off her expensive PowerBook's Lithium-Ion battery by a single charge (Li-Ion batteries has a rough total of 250-500 charges) just to listen to music! And she left the screen on!

The plane ride was as bad as ever. Next to me was a young Malaysian couple who were on holiday to London. The flight featured a couple of new movies such as Garfield, Day After Tomorrow and Harry Potter 3. I could not stand the crap quality of the headphones so I 'watched' the movies in silent mode! And lucky I did - most of the movies were interrupted with silent every few minutes for a total of 10 seconds each time.

The food served was marginally better than my last flight (Ldn to KL). This time I had Chicken Korma for my lunch and Lasagna (no beef!) for supper. Not too bad. Only finished half of the servings. I can never stand airplane food no matter how good it is.

Entering Heathrow Terminal 3 is a nightmare to every traveller. Personally I think it is the worst terminal of all the Heathrow terminals. Even after the recent renovation, it is just as bad. This time there are even no crowd controls. Upon entering the exit runway I was greeted with a large crowd who was blocking my path on the exit lane. Mad. I do hope that Terminal 5's contruction would go ahead and British Airways will move there. Hopefully Malaysia Airlines would then find a new home in Terminal 4.

Some good news today - The Europeans has shamed the Americans in this year's Ryder Cup competiton.

By the way, Blogger's spell checker needs to be checked for its lack of mental capacity. It suggested that I change PowerBook to previous.

Saturday, September 18, 2004


Look what I received in the mailbox today. My Windows XP Service Pack 2 CD. Well done Microsoft! And they did not charge me just as they promised. Apart from the CD, there is nothing much except an order sticker for a 'Microsoft Anti Virus Updates CD' which costs US$35. Bizarrely the form is in German!

Unfortunately I have already updated my sister's PC and both my parents laptop. But we are going to keep this just in case some idiot format our computers. Downloading the update is extremely slow even on broadband.

Once I have the time I will attempt to slipstream the original Windows XP CD with SP2 CD giving me a single installation CD. That way any future re-installation of Windows XP with SP2 will be much faster.

London call girl ends blog

London's most famous call girl has finally ended her Belle de Jour blog.

Her blog was one of the reason why I started blogging.

The nameless call girl shot to fame when her blog won the Guardian newspaper award. She has also signed a book deal which would be out soon.

You can read more about the controversial surrounding her blog

Current tracklist

Found an old album - Ministry of Sound's Best Of Chillout Session - last night, in one of my messed up travel bag. This was released late last year if I remembered correctly.

The first CD is fine and works well on most people. The 2nd CD is where most of the mixes are although there are alot of originals as well. Overall a good album. I have already ripped it off to OggVorbis format (64kbps) in order to listen on my iPAQ.

Most of the music presented can be found on various Ministry of Sound Chillout compilations (so its not worth buying if you have listened to most of the tracks before) but this bring all the best it all under one roof. Although some of the track listings here are dance anthems, most of them has been remixed to provide a great chillout listening suitable for lazing around in bed or on the beach.

CD 1 "Blissed Out Beats"

01 Dido - Here With Me
02 Moby - In This World
03 Aqualung - Strange & Beautiful (I'll Put A Spell On You)
04 I Monster - Daydream In Blue
05 Chicane - No Ordinary Morning
06 Badly Drawn Boy - The Shining
07 Sabres of Paradise - Smokebelch II – Beatless Mix
08 Kinobe Slip Into Something More Comfortable
09 Groove Armada - At The River
10 The Avalanches - Since I Left You
11 Rob Dougan - Clubbed To Death
12 Karminsky Experience - Exploration
13 Smoke City - Underwater Love
14 Sneaker Pimps - 6 Underground
15 Nightmares on Wax - Les Nuit
16 Alex Gold - Flying
17 Mr Natural feat Chantal Mar - Do You Feel What I’m Thinking?
18 Paul Jackson & Steve Smith - The Push (Far From Here) – Paul’s Chilled Remix
19 Santos - Hear My Soul
20 The Belles - (Who Will Be) Here To Hear?

CD 2 "Laidback House"

01 Royksopp - Eple
02 Goldfrapp - Strict Machine
03 Linus Loves featuring Sam Obernik - Standback
04 Underworld - Two Months Off
05 X Press 2 feat David Byrne - Lazy
06 Jakatta - American Dream
07 Milk & Sugar - Let The Sun Shine
08 Chicken Lips - He's Not In
09 Moloko - Sing It Back – Herbert’s Tasteful Dub
10 Wayne Wonder - No Letting Go – Smooth Summer Mix
11 Bent - Private Road
12 Shakedown - At Night – Afterlife Remix
13 Roger Sanchez - Another Chance – Afterlife Remix
14 Deepest Blue - Deepest Blue - Jon Hopkins Remix
15 Jason Nevins present UKNY feat Holly James - I’m In Heaven - Jason Bye Remix
16 DJ Sammy - Heaven - Candlelight Remix
17 Poloroid - So Damn Beautiful - Chris Coco Remix
18 Delerium - Silence - Michael Woods Remix
19 Agnelli & Nelson - Everyday - Chilled Out Remix
20 Iio - Rapture - Chilled Out Remix

Friday, September 17, 2004

SCO's case crumbling

Those who knows me will know I am a Linux advocate. Not that I use Linux much or do programming but because I believe in open source. Although Microsoft is a necessary evil to me, I do use a lot of open source programs such as Firefox and OpenOffice.

I did not know that one day I would be supporting the Goliath - in this case IBM! I won't bother you with the history of SCO Vs IBM. For those who wants to know more you can visit Linux.org or Groklaw for more information.

Anyway here is part of Dr. Randall Davis of MIT's second declaration:


16. Despite an extensive review, I could find no source code in any of the IBM Code that incorporates any portion of the source code contained in the Unix System V Code or is in any other manner similar to such source code. Accordingly, the IBM Code cannot be said, in my opinion, to be a modification or a derivative work based on Unix System V Code.

17. As explained in detail below, I used two programs, called COMPARATOR and SIM, to help automate the process. COMPARATOR looks for lines of text that are literally or nearly literally identical, while SIM looks for code that is syntactically the same.

18. I used both programs to compare all 26, 759 lines of the IBM Code identified by SCO against all 67,797,569 lines in the Unix System V Code.

19. I believe that the comparisons I performed using these tools are conservative and hence resulted in more potential matches than might otherwise be found using a less conservative approach.

20. These comparisons required on the order of 10 hours of computation time on a dual 3 GHz Xeon processor system with 2 GB of RAM. This is a high-end workstation routinely and easily available off the shelf from commercial vendors such as Dell.

21. COMPARATOR reported 15 potential hits. I reviewed each of these potential hits in detail and determined them not to be true matches of copied code, but rather coincidental matches of common terms in the C programming language. (Paragraphs 30 below discuss conincidental matches in COMPARATOR.

22. SIM did not report any potential hits.

It is pretty obvious that the courts would never find any so called 'SCO owned Unix' code in Linux and SCO's arguement is getting thinner by the day. You can find the whole text at Groklaw.

Source: Groklaw

Hair cut

Just had my first hair cut since April 2004. It was damn long already (but not as long as two years ago when it was heavy metal lenght) and now it averages only 2 inches lenght.

Costed me only RM14 (2 quid) and done by a nice lady.

Would post a picture of it but I am too lazy.

My hair grows damn fast. Some people might love that but I hate it. Imagine have to go to the saloon every month! That was what I was doing until I decided to grow it longer.

My barber in London 'loves' me and I can't blame him. I pay him 12 quid every month plus another 20 quid for 'styling products' every other month.

Thursday, September 16, 2004

Fictionwise - free e-books

There are loads of e-books at fictionwise for free. The books are unencrypted and downloadable in multiple format. So if you have one of the devices listed below and you enjoy reading, head there now. Registration is free.

Adobe Acrobat (PDF) for Macintosh and PCs
Palm DOC (PDB) for Palm compatible devices
Palm iSilo (PDB) for Palm compatible devices
Microsoft Reader (LIT) for PC and PocketPC devices
Franklin eBookman (FUB) for Franklin eBookMan devices
Hiebook (KML) for Hiebook devices
Mobipocket (PRC) (currently available for Palm, PocketPC, and Franklin eBookman devices)
Rocket (RB) for Rocket and REB/1100

Source: Pocket PC Thoughts

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Flux Challenge mini-review

From the makers of Snails comes that greatest PDA games we have ever seen, at least graphically wise. Like Snails, the concept of PDAmill's Flux Challenge isn't that unique. It plays like F-Zero, Descent and WipeOut, but that is a good thing because I love WipeOut.

The game is a futuristic racer and have you racing in pod racers a couple of laps around these MagLev tunnel tracks. Just choose your pod racer and race. There are various difficulties and racing longer will allow you to unlock more pod racers (our of six ships) as well as tracks. Tracks also have various routes around which provides good replayability. Controls are either via stylus or d-pad. You may think the d-pad on Pocket PCs would prove hazardous but it actually works pretty well.

Polygon models are high, though still isn't as high as you would get in a PS1 game, but respectable none-the-less. Pixelated textures are visible but because the game relies on high speed you won't notice them. You certainly won't see something as visually pleasing and high candy as this on any mobile phone or portable games console like the GBA until the Sony PSP comes out. I have this game on my iPAQ h4150 and there are no slow downs to be experienced. Everything is fluid and the framerate is excellent.

PDAMill has always excelled in providing a good soundtrack on their games and The Flux Challenge is no exception. A mix of techno meet futuristic club music is evident in their portfolio and provides Flux Challenge a unique experience. It is mind blowing that PDAmill has managed to cram all of these with the graphics and a number of tracks into a 4.5MB file.

There are many games on the Pocket PC platform. There are plenty of awful games out there but there good stuff too like PDAmill's own Athelion, Inverse's Michael Schumacher Racing Kart and Hexacto's Soccer Addict and Tennis Addict. Flux Challenge however raise the bar in terms of providing excellent gameplay with great graphics. It is without a doubt the most compelling example of the production quality that Pocket PC games can achieve if you have a team of efficient coders.


Villeneuve joins Sauber

Formula One team Sauber have signed Canada's former world champion Jacques Villeneuve on a two-year contract.

The 33-year-old, who will join Sauber on 1 November as team-mate to Brazilian Felipe Massa, will replace Renault-bound Giancarlo Fisichella.

Villeneuve had been tipped to join Fisichella at Renault following Italian Jarno Trulli's sacking on Tuesday.

Hopefully this will bring some excitement back into Formula One. Despite Sauber's engines being provided by Ferrari I just hope Jacques will attempt knock Schumi out!

Source: BBC Sport

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Nintendo DS thoughts

When the Nintendo DS was first announced, some speculated that it would cost close to £150 and predicted their doom. But today Nintendo announced the US pricing of the DS to be US$149.99 which translates to £84 or £76 if bought in Japan. This in my opinion is a great price for such an advance hardware that potentially have PDA functions.

The cheapest colour PDA on the market is
palmOne's Zire 31 which costs £99. It has no form of wireless (except IrDA) and has a low resolution screen. The only saving grace was it is running on the popular and mainstream PalmOS. At £99 it might sound cheap (and it is a good value for money PalmOS device) but when you start to compare the specifications with the cheaper DS then you can't help but think that the DS is much more attractive.

The DS has two screens both of which are higher resolution than the Zire 31. One of the screen would be touch sensitive. It even comes with a stylus! The DS would also have WiFi 802.11 built-in allowing true wireless and internet gaming something that not many sub £200 PDAs has. It also has the necessary hardware to perform audio and video playback. It has two proprietary slots one of which is already in use by the GameBoy Advance. There are already adaptors on sale that would allow normal flash memory such as SD format to be used. Oh... and it has two processors and built-in voice recognition.

PDA manufacturers are being attacked from two sides now. First by mobile phone companies running SymbianOS and now Nintendo. Sure the DS might not have a PDA operating system but do consumers care? PalmOS or Pocket PC might be popular but it is still not big enough. And because the pricing is excellent (no doubt helped by subsidising) who would want to pay for a high end PDA when gaming/audio/video/PIM/TV can be done on a cheap DS.

PalmOS has a great gaming device also known as the Zodiac. However the Zodiac costs much more, does not have retail presence around the World, has a pitiful collection of optimized games (despite being on the market for over a year), does not have WiFi 802.11 - something that is essential for multiplayer online gaming and more importantly do not own a brand name recognised by billions.

This device would also appeal to geeks. I can already see Linux nerds attempting to flash the ROM and putting the open source OS into it. Imagine running Qtopia on the DS. It would be a true multi-task device. Internet browsing on the bottom screen while watching the TV on the top. A better yet prospect would be Nintendo themselve release PDA software on add-on cards that would enable PIM functions with data saved straight to the cards. Here's hoping that a software similar to PalmOS would be released!

I am not suggesting that the DS would replace PDAs soon, but just like consoles are replacing computers as gaming devices and eventually in the future - as a whole computing device, this can also happen to pocket computers. palmOne and the likes need to keep innovating. I would also suggest PalmSource to get on their arse and start producing and licensing a proper gaming API for PalmOS.

Sony Clie PEG-VZ90

New Sony Clie PEG-VZ90 PalmOS PDA only for Japanese sale :(

JournalBar v3

Just upgraded my JournalBar program to v3 via the iPAQ Choice (two points to purchase with unlimited upgrades) website. For those who does not know, JournalBar is a program for Pocket PC that is able to fetch weather forecasts, news and stock market updates via ActiveSync, WiFi or GPRS.

The improvements are mainly graphical. But I do notice that premature disconnections are a rarity after applying the update. I do have a major complaint though. The number of cities available is still pathetically small. Where is Brighton? Where is Croydon?

View weather forecasts on up to four cities.

View detailed current weather status

You can scroll up and down to see cached news title

Example of a cached news


I see that my images hosted by Photobucket.com are missing. Damnit!

Monday, September 13, 2004

Campaign staged on palace balcony

Super Dad one man protest. Go man go!

BBC News

PayPal to levy fines for gambling, porn

According to CNet, PayPal is set to fine customer who flaunt PayPal's rulebook. The fines, up to US$500 is to take effect this coming September 24 and will apply to users who use PayPal for activities related to gambling, adult content or services and the dealing of prescription drugs from non certified sellers.

Personally I have no problem with PayPal's rule. It is their service after all. My only grip is the question on how are they going to enforce the violations. Are they going to siff through every piece of my transactions and reading through what I have bought from
eBay and the likes? Privacy could be an issue here.

I do hope PayPal can find a balance way of detecting illegal transactions as well as respecting user's right.


Software Review: TomTom Navigator 3

Every year I return to Malaysia and every year its the same old news - there are new roads! The development rate in this country is phenomenal! Its just mad. I always get lost travelling around Klang Valley. And I can't blame myself. Who to blame? Samy Vellu of course! And his craze for toll plazas. Mr Vellu is the only leader of the major Barisan Nasional (National Front) components (MIC) whom have yet to hand in power to a younger generation.

The roads are confusing with not enough signs indicating what road is what and where does it lead to. It also does not indicated if the roads are toll roads. In London and rest of Europe its just as confusing. However, the motorways there are managable with loads of signs and codes of major roads to help people find their way. But that does not make it any easier!

Luckily there is the vector based TomTom Navigator 3 for Pocket PC that I recently obtained. The version I got contains detailed maps of Great Britain and major roads of Europe. I have been a long time user of TomTom routing softwares, the previous versions being TomTom CityMaps 2001, TomTom CityMaps 2003 and TomTom Routeplanner. The major advantage of Navigator 3 is its usage of 3D maps in GPS mode as well as customisable points of interest (POI). It also has a nice female voice (there are several options) instructing me. Also door to door street planning and route planning has been integrated so now you won't need two separate programs (unlike CityMaps and Routeplanner).

The usage of POI is major. I am able to install POI's downloaded from the internet for various things such as the nearest WiFI hotspot, Safeway and more importantly Gatso speed cameras. :D

Note: TomTom Navigator 3 only works on Pocket PC. You have to buy another version for PalmOS and SymbianOS Series 6. Which is a bummer! The version of TomTom CityMaps that I own works with PalmOS 3/4, Pocket PC 2000-2003, Epoc and Nokia Communicator.

You can purchase TomTom Navigator 3 software or bundled with bluetooth GPS or serial connector GPS. Some of the detailed map options available for puchase includes France, Italy and Germany. Apart from a few quirks, he maps are generally of high quality and are sourced from TeleAtlas BV and Ordnance Survey.

Unfortunately there are no maps for any country outside Europe, North America and Australia. So my trips to Malaysia would always require the use of 'guessing' and outdated paper maps. I pray that one day, some enterprising company would see fit to release maps of Malaysia in vector format.

Below are some screenshots. GPS was simulated running demo mode as I have no access to a GPS hardware. And since I am in Malaysia now GPS is totally useless as there are no Malaysia maps available.

Screenshots: 3D maps are darn useful (but you either love it or hate it). However TTN3 does not support road names on navigation mode yet only in route planning mode (1st two screenshots). The new OS independant Navigator engine which is used by Navigator for Palm, Mobile and Go features road names.

If you want to find out more about TomTom Navigator 3 for Pocket PC I recommend that you read this review by Pocket GPS. The review for TomTom Navigator for PalmOS is here. And this one is for the GO.

For those without Pocket PC and planning to travel to Europe there are several options available including Navigator for PalmOS, Navigator Mobile (for SymbianOS Series 60) and TomTom GO, an OS independant GPS device that looks like a classic Apple iMac.

Gadget Galore! Screenshot from PocketGPS.co.uk; L-R: TomTom Navigator for Palm, TomTom Mobile, TomTom Go

Flurry of PalmOS news

A couple of news in connection to the PalmOS industry

First up, HTC has begun shipping for
PalmOne's new PDA smartphone aka PalmOne Treo 650 previously called the 'Ace' or Treo 610. The device would feature a 312Mhz Intel XScale, 32Mb RAM, 320x320 resolution LCD, Bluetooth, 1.3Mp digital camera and runs on PalmOS 5.4 (Garnet).

The Register UK

According to ABCNews.com,
Skype for PalmOS would be released next month. Skype is my favourite 'VoIP' program that I regularly use on my PC and Pocket PC device to make free international calls. Skype also features SkypeOut where users can make PC to landline/mobile calls for a small fee.


Hong Kong PalmPilot User Group has some pretty nice specs up regarding a new GSL PDA. The device is a new PalmOS PDA smartphone running PalmOS 5.4. The device is rumoured to have a 2.2" LCD 176x220 resolution LCD capable of 18-bit colour. It would contain 32Mb Flash ROM and 32Mb RAM. It would also contain a VGA digital camera. It is not known whether the device would be fitted with Bluetooth (if not a real shame). GSL only market their XPlore PDAs in Asia.


MantraGroup's (weird name) Causerie Messenger (even weirder name) is an instant messeging program for PalmOS which supports most major instand messeging clients. Users of AOL Instant Messenger (AIM), ICQ, MSN, Yahoo! Messenger and Jabber can now use their GPRS or WiFI connected PalmOS device to chat with each other anytime and anywhere they want. I think this is a cool nifty software. I am curious whether it can dethrone the ultimate IM PalmOS software


But where is the successor to the popular Palm's Tungsten T3?

Saturday, September 11, 2004

New Malaysia Hall in London opened

Received an e-mail today informing me that the Malaysia Hall Canteen in London has just reopened (since it was closed down last year) yesterday.

It would be situated in a new location. Instead of nearby Marble Arch where the old Malaysia Halll was it would now be located in Queensway, a popular hang out for Malaysians. The address is:

Malaysian Student Department
30-34 Queensborough Terrace
London W2 3ST

Nearest tube stations: Queensway, Bayswater

Map Aerial Map

The operating hours are:

Breakfast 7.30am - 10.00am
Lunch 12.00pm - 4.00pm
Dinner/Supper 5.00pm - 9.45pm

Call +44 (0) 7770 220 608 for more information. There are of course some rules. The restaurant would only be opened for Malaysians (please bring passport or IC). Non Malaysians are welcomed if accompanied by another Malaysian. This is because part of the costs are subsidised by the Malaysian goverment using Malaysian tax payers money.

Fags duty rise by 40%

Good news came out of the Malaysia 2005 budget report. Duties on ciggies are set to rise by 40%!!!

Why is it good news? Because prices of a pack of fags in Malaysia is dirt cheap. A pack of 20 usually costs around RM4-RM5 which equals to less than a British pound! For comparison on the UK the price of a pack of Dunhill costs roughly £4-£5.

Hopefully this would force people to give up or atleast cut back on smoking. I don't smoke so I don't really care but I do know people who do. Cronic smokers not only in KL but also in London and Paris are quire irresponsible in their smoking habit where they like to huff and puff at non-smokers.

Now I pray that the Malaysian government would next implement law to introduce mandatory non-smoking sections in public places such as restaurants.

Another good news came in the form of tax relief for book purchases. The previous limit of RM500 has been increased to RM700.

Friday, September 10, 2004

BBC Radio One Lottie's Essential Selection tracklisting

Below is the track selection listing for Pete Tong's Essential Selection show starting 10th September 2004 prepared by BBC Radio One's resident DJ Lottie.

And of course you can always listen to the week's show again on BBC Radio One online.

*** Lottie's Essential Selection 10/09/2004 ***

Danny Howells And Dick Trevor Feat Erire 'Dusk Till Dawn (Shapeshifters Edit)' (C2 Records) A Studio 'SOS (Skylark Radio Edit)' ( Ark Records) Deep Dish 'Flashdance (Guetta & Garraud F*** Me Im Famous Mix)' (Positiva) Greens Keepers 'Keep It Down' (Classic Records) Mylo 'Drop The Pressure' (Breastfed) Kelis Feat Andre 300 'Millionaire' (Virgin) Scissor Sisters 'Mary (Mylo Remix)' (Universal) Faithless 'Miss You Less, See You More (Pete Heller Newschool Vocal Remix)' (Cheeky) Shakedown 'Love Game (Galactic Boogie Club Mix)' (Kitsune) Ettienne De Crecy 'Grokster' (PIAS) Mutiny Feat Lorraine Cato 'Holding On' (Underwater) Two Culture Clash Presents Switch & Miss Thing 'Love Guide' (Wall Of Sound) Annie 'Chewing Gum (Vocal Mix)' (679 Recordings) Alter Ego 'Rocker (Erol Alkan's Deaf Disco Re-Edit)' (Skint)

***DJ On The Phone - Simon Marlin From The Shapeshifters***

Dr. Kucho 'Lies To Yourself' (Disc Doctors)
Julian Delfaud, Alex Gopher, & Ettienne De Crecy 'Fast Track' (Super Discount) Felix Da Housecat 'Rocket Ride (Soulwax Remix)' (Emperor Norton) Unknown - Unknown (White Label) Tiefschwarz 'Blow' (Inter nat ional Deejay Gigolos)

***House Rules With Ministry Of Sound In London ***

Tom Neville 'Buzz Junkie' (UMM) Hughes & Spier 'Revelation' (Elementary Group)

*** The Buzz Chart Compiled By DMC In London ***

Playford & Gray 'Symptoms Of You ( Lottie 's Mix)' (Missdemeanours) Wink '518 Acid' (Ovum) Superchumbo Feat Celeda 'Dirty Filthy' (Twisted) Freeform Five 'Eeeeaaooww!' (Ultimate Dilemma) Chemical Brothers 'Electronic Battle Weapon 7' (Freestyle Dust)

***Buzz No.1***

Dirty Vegas 'Walk Into The Sun (King Unique Sunstroke Vocal Mix)' (Parlophone)

***This Week's Essential New Tune***

Gisli 'TV - The Devil (Radioslave Remix)' (EMI)
Unknown - Unknown (White Label) Pick It Up E.P. 'How Y'all Funk' (Dubsided) Sean Dimitrie Feat Tim Fuller 'So Hot (Swags Refix)' (Odori)

***Eclectic Selection***

Hot Chip 'Playboy' (Moshi Moshi) Diefenbach 'Make Your Mind Up' (Wall of Sound)

***Weekend Hot Mix***

Kasabian - 'Unknown (Freaks Remix)' (White Label) Grant Nelson 'Etnicity Part 3' ( Swing City Records) Ttr.Oy 'Unknown' (White Label) The Electric Ecstasy Club 'Jesus Loves The Acid' (Bugged Out) Phonique Feat Die Elfen 'The Red Dress (Tiefschwarz Remix)' (Dessous) Rozlyne Clarkes
'Dancing Is Like Making Love' (ARS Productions)

This is Lottie's gig diary:


Fri 26 Dec - Lush, Portrush

Wed 31 Dec - Turnmills, LondonJanuary

Fri 16 Jan - Centro, Singapore

Sat 17 Jan - Atmosphere, Kuala Lumpar

Sat 24 Jan - Manipulate, North WalesS

at 31 Jan - Passion, Coalville

Sat 14 Feb - Bed, Sheffield (Radio 1 Live - Valentine Night with Pete Tong)


Sat 21 Feb - Turnmills, London

Sat 28 Feb - Lush, Portrush

Sat 6 Mar - Home, Sydney

Sat 13 Mar - Shindig, Newcastle

Sat 3 Mar - Basics, Leeds

Glad that she is coming to KL. But I would be in London then. Those in Sheffield are damn lucky. Lottie and Pete Tong!

Source: BBC Radio One

Mobile phone musing (I really have no life)

I have never been a fan of Nokia mobile phones. Not sure why. However for the past few days I have this crazy urge to purchase a Nokia 7610 from o2 for GBP100. I did a couple of checks on the internet. It has bluetooth, probably the most important feature on any mobile phones. It has a high resolution screen (for a mobile), has capability for mp3 (although I won't use this). Most importantly it runs on Symbian Series 60. This is important to me for only one reason:

Screen: The reason why I want to buy a Series 60 mobile. I also happened to own TomTom Navigator for Pocket PC but I don't bring my PDA everywhere whenever I get lost.

But you see there is a problem. GBP100 is just too expensive for a subsidised mobile phone. If they would just drop it a little bit maybe to GBP50 then I would be happy. However I am giving myself more time to think about it. But I have to say it again - I want it because I want to be able to use TomTom Navigator Mobile version once its released on the Series 60 platform.

Screen: K700i's camera is a disappointing VGA with interpolation cheat to gain 1.3Mp

My girlfriend has just upgraded to a Sony Ericsson K700i and I would be returning to London next week. That way I could test the unit to see if it is suitable for me for the next one year (I don't upgrade my mobile every other month unlike my fellow Malaysians). The K700i is free on any o2 tariffs and I am in the process of moving my high street account to the online account so hopefully no upgrade fees (in this case GBP60). Personally I think the K700i is well made although it is still not as nice as my classic T610 or my broken Ericsson T39m. If o2 does not budge and keeps selling the 7610 for GBP100 then I might just have to get the K700i. Mind you the K700i has some nice feature such as FM radio so now I won't be able to miss Pete Tong's Essential Selection and Sara Cox 3-5 (once she returns from maternity leave) and the ability to play mp3 proper.

Screen: Ah...what a beautiful sexy thing...the girl looks nice too.

Back to Nokia... They have just announced the paper release of three new mobile phones. All are shiny and totally aimed at the fashion slaves (me). I did stood out and that is the 7280. It would be in a 'candy bar' format and this time literally. Judging by the spec its probably the same thickness and width as a Mars Bar. It has no keys, not something new, Xelibri of Siemens has been offering non keypad mobiles for a year now. It has a slider too and a crappy VGA digital camera. This unit will run on the Symbian Series 40 operating system so its compatible with loads of applications out there. Wished they would fit in Series 60 SE though since that is the more popular Symbian OS. Bluetooth yes.

In other news evil Vodafone has announced the release of their second PDA cum phone called the VPA III. This is identical to the o2 XDA IIs that I posted yesterday and is based on HTC's platform.

Screen: I prefer o2's XDA IIs design. This one looks like a plain XDA II.

Thursday, September 9, 2004

o2 XDA II successors announced

The guys at TekGuru has managed to obtain a draft press release on the upcoming XDA II successors formerly known as XDA III and XDA IV. It would now be bizarrely called the XDA IIs and XDA IIi. I don't know what they were thinking, however lets have a look at the specs itself first.

o2 XDA IIs
* Windows Mobile 2003 2nd Edition Software for Pocket PCs
* 3.5" Transflective TFT-LCD 240 x 320 pixels, 65K Colour,
* Size: 125(L) x 72(W) x 19(T) mm
* Processor - Intel PXA263 400 MHz, memory - 96MB ROM, 128MB SDRAM
* GSM/GPRS o Internal antenna, Quad band, 850/900/1800/1900 o GPRS class 10
* Infrared, USB, Bluetooth and Wireless LAN (802.11b)
* Colour CMOS 0.3Megapixel camera, with mirror
* 205 grams with battery, expansion: MMC/SDIO
* 12 buttons, 5-way rocker, slide-out 39-key QWERTY keyboard
* 1490mAH LP battery * Standby/PDA/Recover/Talk: 168/17/72/4

Looks good to me. The 240x320 resolution is a little disappointing as is the heaviness of the darn thing. The inclusion of the slide out QWERTY thumboard should be interesting though. The XDA IIi would feature a 1.3Mp digital camera and probably a faster processor as well.

Looks a little too thick for my liking but the design is awesome and light years ahead of the XDA II and HP's new iPAQ h6xxx series. It is certainly way more beautiful and fashionable than the upcoming ugly brute known as the Motorola Mpx.

I happened to have just completed my yearly o2 contract and have been looking at mobile phones to complement my Palm Tungsten T3 and Hewlett Packard iPAQ h4150 when this news came out. However the specifications are very similar to my iPAQ but the cost is a bomb. Knowing o2 this would probably cost 300quid with a data plan contract. So its either the Sony Ericsson K700i (to be my sixth Ericsson phone) or Nokia 7610 (to be my first Nokia mobile).

Source: TekGuru UK

Tuesday, September 7, 2004


Updated my parent's PC, my father's Acer centrino laptop and my mother's Acer centrino laptop to Windows SP2. Also updated Office 2003 to SP1.

Took a damn fuckin' long time to update through out WiFi network although I have to point out that this has nothing to do with WiFi. Its more to do with Telekom's retarted StreamyX connection.

So far what has happened since I updated. Nothing. My 3rd party firewall seems to be holding on just fine against any attacks. SP2's firewall is a joke and does not guard against outgoing connections. Those who think that SP2 will protect your Windows PC needs to think again.

Invest in a bloody firewall or move to Linux!!!

Sunday, September 5, 2004

Current music playlist

Well Telekom finally sent a contractor to activate StreamyX in our home last week. Connection so far has been well done although it is usually slow at night. But no complain so far. We got the unlimited package at 512k/bits downstream and 128k/bits upstream. The engineer who was here told me Telekom would be upgrading everyone on the 512 by the end of the year to 768k/bits. How nice of them...

But with broadband finally I can access my favourite radio station in the whole World -
BBC Radio One and my favourite show - Pete Tong's Essential Selection on Friday evenings (GMT) and John Peel. The beauty of it is I can listen to last week's show anytime I want. The current playlist of Pete Tong's Essential Selection (which is great) due to expire tomorrow is:

*** Lottie's Essential Selection 3/09/2004 ***

Mutiny feat Lorraine Cato ‘Holding On’ (Underwater)
David Morales feat Lea Lorien‘How DO U Feel?’ (DMI Records)
Scissor Sisters ‘Mary (Mylo Remix)’ (Polydor)
Mylo ‘Drop The Pressure’ (Breastfed)
SFB ‘Happy House’ (Azuli)
Scratch Perverts feat Dynamite MC ‘Come Get It’ (Scratch Perverts Records)
Faithless ‘Miss You Less See You More (Alan Braxe Mix)’ (Cheeky)
Astrolab feat Natasha Bryce ‘Nightvision (Paul Woolford’s Electromagnetic Mix)’ (Automatic Records)
Greens Keepers ‘Filipino Phil’ (Classic Recordings)
Shakedown ‘Love Games (Prassay Remix)’ (Wall of Sound)
Two Culture Clash feat General Degree ‘… And Dance’ (Wall Of Sound)
Felix Da Housecat ‘Watching Cars Go By (Sasha Remix)’ (Emperor Norton)
Playford & Gray ‘Symptoms Of You’ (Missdemeanours Music)

***DJ On The Phone – David Guetta***

Deep Dish ‘Flashdance (Guetta & Garraud F*** Me I’m Famous Mix) (Positiva)
AB/DC ‘This Feelin (8 Bit Boy Mix) (Southern Fried)
West London Deep ‘Inside My Head’ (White Label)
Slam ‘Lie To Me’ (Soma Records)
Paterick Alavi ‘Power’ (Work It Baby)

***House Rules – Sankey’s Soap in Manchester***

Green Velvet ‘Flash’// Moodyman ‘Shades of Jae’

***The Buzz Chart – compiled by DMC***

Superchumbo feat Celeda ‘Dirty Filthy’ (Twisted)
Blaze ‘My Beat (Solid Groove Mix)’ (Slip n Slide)
Jentina ‘French Kisses (Switch Mix)’ (Virgin)
Sucker DJ’s ‘Lotta Lovin (Paradise Soul Mix)’ (Kinky Vinyl)

***Buzz No. 1***

Khia ‘My Neck My Back (Lick It) (Tom Neville Clean Mix)’ (Direction)

***This Week's Essential New Tune***

Freeform Five Feat Bounty Killar ‘Eeeeaaooww (Extended Version)’ (Ultimate Dilemma)
Unknown ‘Ttr.Oy’ (White Label)
Minus ‘A Walk In The Park (Josh Wink Runs Through The Park)’ (White Label)
Luca Baldini ‘Neoacid’ (Mantra Vibes)

***Eclectic Selection***

Seenluft ‘Baby Baby (Riton Remix)’ (Klein Records)
Zdar ‘World Order’ (Motorbase)

Pix: Armand Van Helden - sadly not on this week's list

***The Weekend Hot Mix with Lottie***

Etinenne De Crecy ‘Grokster’ (Super Discount)
Style Of Eve ‘Gioco’ (Classic Recordings)
Tiefschwartz ‘Blow’ (International Deejay Gigalos)
Wink ‘516 Acid’ (Ovum)
Nick Holder ‘Bad Girl (Solid Groove Remix)’ (NRK Records)
Stefan Goldman feat Kritina Tuomi ‘Pain (Freakspsychspeakeasy)’ (Classic Recordings)

Note: You would need RealOne Player installed to receive the stream.