Technology

New way of Instant Messaging System

I believe almost everyone who uses a computer should use an instant messenger before such as Yahoo! Messenger, MSN Messenger, Skype, ICQ and etc. Not too long, just around 5 years ago, we always hooked on to the internet by using our PC (be it laptop or desktop) and fire up the instant messenger application and start chatting with friends. As long as you want to chat with friends, you need to sit in front of your PC, the chat information, history and chat room won’t follow where you go.

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With the introduction of push technology, more and more applications started to use it to push messages to the receiver. So here comes the birth of iMessage, WhatsApp, Kik, LINE, Viber, Facebook Messenger and etc.

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If you did use WhatsApp, Kik or Viber before, you will know that the concept of chatting with people is still the same, you are limited and forced to use your mobile device and squeeze your fingers on the small screen. When it comes to long hour chat, you will find that it is tiring and still found that using PC to chat is the fastest and most convenient way.

So the best is still a combination of both using mobile device and PC and even better if the chat history follows. Imagine that while you are chatting something important via PC and you need rush out, you don’t have to tell your friend you are going offline, just turn off your PC and fire up the apps in your smartphone. The chat will be resumed seamlessly, your friend might not even aware of it that you are not chatting via a mobile device.

iMessage has started to have a PC apps but it is still under beta and can only run in Mac OS. LINE also started to have a PC apps, it supports both Mac OS and Windows. For the time being Facebook Messenger PC apps is only for Windows 7 PC, not even for Mac or other Windows version (such as Win XP). Another advantage of having a PC version is for those who don’t own a smartphone can also send  messages to smartphones users for FREE by using a PC.

All these instant messaging system is like how we use sms to chat with each other, the differences are:
1. Send and receive messages are free
2. You can also share pictures, locations and so on.
3. Easier to coordinate things with a group of friends using the group chat feature
4. Non smartphone user can also participate in a group chat
5. Sometimes it is easier to compose messages via a normal physical keyboard 

Last but not least, all these instant messaging apps rely heavily on data connection, so make sure you sign up a data plan (for mobile). So…. happy texting. 

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Gaming with iPhone (Plants War & Tiny Defense)

Last time I seldom play game with my iphone because I scared that if I get addicted to games I will keep playing it or rely on the jailbreak apps to get free one. Recently I was quite boring with my iphone already, even twitter and facebook have nothing special and attractive.

I knew my brother likes game both in iphone or computer, so I ask him to introduce some interesting games to me. Ended up I get addicted to Plants War and Tiny Defense (it was introduced by another friend).

I started with Plants War, it is a strategy real-time game. Whoever played with DOTA before, they will know how this game looks like, it is exactly the same. You will see heroes, army, MP, HP, magic, self-healing, rebirth if died and etc.

I found that until certain stage I am stuck and can’t go further. One weak point about this game is that it only gives leaf to players randomly, players have no ways of earning it. The only way to get leaf faster is to purchase with real money, which I won’t be doing that (though I was addicted).

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Personally, I would suggest the developer to give us a way to earn leaf rather than randomly assign to us and forces the player to use real money to buy, very soon player will move away from this game and explore some other more interesting ones, just like me.

Therefore, I have started another game called, Tiny Defense. It is a Tower Defense-type of gam, it requires planning and strategy on how to place your forces to win in each stage. Placement of the forces depends on the terrain of the ground too. So again, planning is important in the game.

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This is a lot better than plants war, I can earn points to buy certain things without using real money and it is rather easy to do so. Oooppsssss… Hopefully the developer never read my blog else they are going to make it harder in the next release.

The free version can only let me play until the 3rd stage, there are another 2 more. As usual if you want to play all the stages, please pay for the full version and it costs USD2.99. If I wasn’t wrong, as long as we purchase the full version, we don’t need to use our real money to purchase “leaf” or other items in the game to proceed further. I might consider paying it since I like it so much even until the 3rd stage.

Happy gaming on iOS!!!

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iTunes and iOS Upgrade

When you plug in your phone and iTunes loaded. After that iTunes will check and see is there any new iOS version for your iPhone / iPod and inform you in there is one and ask you to click at the “download and upgrade” button. A lot of people did that by clicking at the “download and upgrade” button.

iTunes will now proceed to download the firmware from Apple’s website but due to network or Apple server congestion issues, people always complain that after waiting the download for hours and it is failed at the end. Some people even gave up upgrading their iOS because of this issue.

I will advice you to manually download the firmware and then ask iTunes to perform the upgrade for you. You can download the firmware from this website: http://www.iphonefirmware.com/firmwares-download/. Of course there are a few more websites hosting iPhone’s firmware but so far I have been using this site and the firmware is clean and original. I assume you know your device’s model such as iPhone 4, 4S, iPod which generation so please make sure you are selecting the right firmware to download.

After the download completed, launch your iTunes and make sure your iDevice is plugged in. If iTunes ask you about the firmware upgrade again, please say no to it. Go to the Summary page, you should see a “Restore” button. Press and hold the shift button and click at the “Restore” button. iTunes will now ask you to locate the firmware file (.ipsw). I assume you know where you downloaded it, so just point iTunes to the file. That’s it, you just wait for the rest of the process to be done by iTunes.

Good luck in upgrading your iOS. 🙂

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Yes Life for iOS 5 Updates

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There is an update for Yes Life for iOS again and from the update log we can see that there are some bug fixes, better handling of network switching and account balance display.

 

I always think of they should show the account balance some where in the apps, it is not that convenient to keep logging in from a phone browser to yes.my portal to check it out. So the good news now is you can check within the apps itself.

 

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I don’t know why the value displayed in Account Balance and Rebate Value being showed as negative as it suppose to be positive (showing correctly in the web portal). The value showed in Data (MB) also weird, do I really need to know until so precise for so many decimal points? Haha… Will it confuse non IT literate users?

 

I still have so much minutes and SMS to use. Argh… how am I going to finish them all? Oh ya, sometimes I just feel reluctant to use this apps to call because the the voice is too soft for both parties. Anyway, this is a new version, I don’t know whether they have enhance this part or not. Let me try it out later. If you have tested it out or face the same problem, you are welcome to share it out with me via my twitter, KevCKW.

 

Where to see the account balance display? Go to More –> Account Details.

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By the way, this is one of the bugs, a serious one that I encountered in the previous version.

 

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The screen went blank after tapping on the “voice call” button. Ya, I am making a voice call without control and the most important button that I want to tap on is “END CALL”. How am I going to end a call in this situation? The only way I can think of is kill the apps from the taskbar but does it really end the call? Am I still being charged? I am not sure and this is really freaking me out and make me feel very reluctant to use the apps for calling.

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Yes 4G Review (Part 3) – Customer Service

I couldn’t get connected to the Yes 4G although I have full coverage (as shown in the connection manager) so I have to call the customer service.

The customer service agent told me that the connection manager that I am using might have outdated. So he asked me to download a new one from the http://www.yes.my. Oh ya, this is very funny and do you know why? Let’s say I only rely on yes Internet connection, how do I get “connected” to download the new version? Is he expecting that everyone should be using the competitor’s service too? Funny, right?

Thanks God, I can still fall back to my not-so-fast slowmyx connection to do the download. Finally, I got it downloaded. I followed the instructions given by the agent, uninstall the current version, reboot pc, install the new one, reboot again. After countless time of rebooting the my machine, guess what? I STILL COULDN’T GET CONNECTED!!!

Hello, Mr. Support Guy do you know what are you telling me? Are you technically sound? Anyway, no point for me to complain to myself here, I just have to call the hotline (and it’s getting me hot either) and told another agent the whole story again. This time I was told by the guy there is an outage at my area. Ok, you should have told me this earlier but not wasting my precious time with nonsense.

The agent has promised to keep me updated once the service is restored. A few hours later, I received an email from him saying that the service is back to normal. Wow… So happy when I see that so I switched on my pc and try it out again. Surprise!!! I still can’t get connected.

Oh well, I started to suspect that could it be my desktop’s problem? I switched on my laptop and tested it again, same error message. Get cheated for the second time.

I tweeted @yes4g and @yescare, they do reply to me unlike some other companies account, they only tweet when they have promotion else they won’t reply you at all. So if you have any problem with your service you can choose to tweet yescare or yes4g instead of using calls.

I had a nice tweet “chat” with yescare and they ask me to provide some technical data for them to further troubleshoot but I wasn’t at home.

When I reached home and try it out again before I send the data over, I can actually get connected.

After a few days of service downtime and countless time of trying it out again and again… Finally, I get connected now. Anyway, there are still intermittent problem in between after the service recovery.

So the conclusion is always get a backup Internet service if it is so important to you.

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Yes 4G Review (Part 2) – User Experience

When I bought the USB dongle from the shop, the salesperson told me that a lot of people initially started with RM68 value pack and ended up with RM150 value pack. I don’t believe him initially but as time goes by, now I have to believe what he has told me.

When you have high speed Internet connection, you won’t use it to surf net only. Your itchy hands most probably will start with YouTube, watch short video clips. Later on, you will load longer clips to entertain yourself. You might have the extend of going to download some clips or long videos, worst full HD from the net. Let’s put the download aside since we are bounced to the limit / quota that we can’t do much. Anyway, back to the topic, if you have seen what I mentioned in my yes 4g part 1 post here you will know why. Blame the high speed connections. Lol…

I thought my RM68 can last for a month but ended up I was like what the salesperson told me, reload more than once within a month. 😦

I still have my super hopeless streamyx or we call it slowmyx at home, so for normal surfing i will use it if not, I’ll burst the Yes quota again.

After a few days of not using Yes, I felt like want to watch a long clip from YouTube so I load the Yes4G network manager. Once the connection manager loaded, it will power on the dongle and start to look for signal. Full bar was what I saw on the screen and I clicked on the “connect” button.

Surprise!!!! I couldn’t get connected and it keeps telling me error in connection. I was so disappointed with it, I thought it is something better and more stable than the others then only I realize that I was wrong. 😦

So I called up the hotline and I have a “funny” experience with the customer service agent. I will blog more about the customer service in part 3.

To be continued….

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Yes 4G Review (Part 1) – User Experience

Recently I have decided to give Yes 4G a try since friends are telling me it is fast and good to use and comparable to unifi 5mbps package.

I started to use it in Penang island and it was very good, the speed is amazing, no waiting while I watch YouTube. The YouTube loading is always ahead of where I’m watching. I have never seen this with my super hopeless “fast” streamyx at home.

According to the coverage map in http://www.yes.my website, I found that the coverage is along the whole north-south expressway. It’s all the way from Penang to KL then JB. I can’t believe what I saw on the map, as you know we have been cheated by a lot of telcos before, right? The super amazing information written on their website always cannot match with what you see, feel and use in the real life.

Since I need to travel back to KL from Penang, I was telling myself why not give it a try? So I have tested on the highway, randomly at any point of it, the result turned out to be fantastic. Imagine that my car is cruising at highspeed and I can still get 3 to 4mbps. Fuiyoh!!! Where maxis, digi and celcom are sucks to the max. Sorry for saying this, unless you are able to proof me wrong by the time this blog is written.

Of cause the coverage is great in the Klang Valley as well. I am expecting a good service and coverage in Klang Valley because this is its home base.

The most concern is that can I use it in my home? Therefore after reaching home, I have tested it and it worked, even faster than the maxis connection. I don’t know is it my area is so isolated or at least celcom and digi (notice that maxis is not in the list now?) make me feel that, because their coverage here is super duper useless.

Ok, I’ll stop here first. There is this part 2 of review for Yes 4G coming up soon. 🙂

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Facebook Apps v3.5 for iPhone

There is a new release of the facebook apps (version 3.5) for iPhone with some bugs fix. As you can read from the screen capture below, what are the bugs they have fixed it.

 

FB Apps Updates

 

As usual after each release of facebook apps, it will never fix certain bugs and in fact introduce more errors. Take a look at the screen shot below, some users (yes, only to some users) saw 2 same photos icon on the screen.

FB Apps Icons

The only solution is to delete it and install again from Apps Store. If you still can’t get this resolve and you have jailbroken your phone, congratz… please go to installous and download the previous version.

 

The most significant upgrade is the status update interface. If you do use some twitter apps, the interface looks like it which is good. Now the interface comes with more features (not just plain text like last time) such as tagging / mentioning friends, set your location and etc. See the screen shot below.

 

FB Apps Status

 

You can also “like” people’s comments which you can’t find this in the previous apps.

 

Please be warned that if you do use the face forward patch in iPad, please do not upgrade this apps because the patch will make the application freeze. You might want to wait for the face forward developer to come out a new version or wait until FB officially release it for iPad. I think only God knows when is this going to happen.

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Pentium 133

My 2nd home PC. It costs me RM4800++ that time. Now with that price I can get a very high end PC. Oh ya, even a tablet runs faster than it. This is how technology evolve over the years. 🙂

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Are we really on 4G?

Recently with the launch of the new service from YTL has been branded as YES 4G. Right before this we have P1 launched its WiMAX system and recently they marketed it as 4G as well.

 

A lot of people were asking what is 4G and how’s the performance of the new service called “YES 4G”?

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Seriously, I don’t have any idea on the performance on YES 4G yet and according to some blogs and feedback from the internet, it seems like running smooth and performing at what is expected. I think I am not going to comment too much on the service now and there are 2 reasons for this:

1. Unless YES 4G, give me some devices to test it out.

2. It is still new and they don’t have many users yet, so the network performance hasn’t been jammed up and should be performing what it suppose to be.

 

Why I am not signing up for the service and give it a try? First, it is a pay-per-use service, for heavy user like me, this is not advisable unless you don’t mind to pay more than 100 bucks (and still counting) per month. Second, I am still waiting for the sponsor. Third, they should have something like P1 and Maxis had before, 7 days trial period, if the user is not satisfied with the service, they can return the device with a full refund. If the 3rd reason exist, I will still give it a try but I still don’t think that pay-per-use suit my lifestyle because I am a heavy user.

 

According to ITU (International Telecommunication Union) Requirement, 4G should be running at the speed of 100Mb/s which means that we can download an average HD movie in 3 mins. Currently, our telcos (including YTL YES and P1) are not equipped with this technology yet. I believe they are on the LTE (Long-Term Evolution), that’s why they marketed the product as 4G.

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