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Monday, January 29, 2018

New EZ-Link App

EZ-Link has release a new app to replace their old one. You can now easily add multiple cards into your account in a quick glance.

What's new is in the recent update, it allows you to add your credit card for performing reloading on the fly. There is also a tied up with FWD insurance for a free coverage for your EZ-Link card u to $15 value in a year. You can also link up your NTUC Plus! membership to earn points when you use EZ-Link app to pay for your rides and purchases.

Now head down and download the app and sign up an account and activate your free coverage.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Receipts for Warranty Are They Important?

Earlier this year, visited US Premium Outlets in San Francisco.  Went to Dunhill and purchase a wallet and a belt.  The staff as friendly and reminded me to keep the Authentication Card which stated the purchase date for warranty purpose.  With a countercheck with them, are receipt still needed, they mention as long they have the authentication card, their system can verify it.  So in case you are giving it to someone as a gift, they won't know how much you have pay for it.  That makes sense. So trusting their words I didn't keep the receipt.  I paid in cash so the only form of payment would be the receipt.

Further down the road, in Sept this year, the belt gave way, not because I grew fatter on my waistline but the pin that whole the buckle came off.  The belt has been worn less than 10 times and obviously, this is a build issue.

I wrote into their customer service, they mention I would need the item, authentication card as well as the receipt.  I told them didn't their authentication card state the date of purchase and don't they record this in the system?  Apparently, they do not care and they don't even trust their own authentication card which they ask for.  In fact, to them the system is useless.  They need the receipt to prove that the record on their system if genuine.  Ironic right?  Either their system is a been hacked or completely unreliable for them to trust.

So end up my belt is useless to me now.

Learning from this case, never not keep your receipt.  Always have it in the original packaging that comes with the item.

One time experience with Dunhill is all I need to ever make a purchase from them.  Even companies like Samsonite is able to verify from their system and yet a company with such premium brand cannot.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Nikon Keymission 360: How to get it upload to Facebook and Youtube to work

Yes I made a 360 camera purchase but no those that most people would have got their hands on.  I decide to give Nikon a try though I am very attracted to Ricoh Theta.

I did a couple of review read online though Nikon does not support out of the box upload for Facebook 360 app, YouTube 360 video, it does support Facebook 360 video.  Strangely not the photo but video.  For 360 photo, Facebook have a list of compatible 360 cameras listed here.

So how do I get my picture on my Keymission to work on Facebook and video to work in YouTube?  For a start you just need to add a parameter in the picture for Facebook to allow the picture to work.  Found this article that mention it.  Basically to use a EXIFTOOL to add a ProjectionType.
  • exiftool -ProjectionType="equirectangular" photo.jpg

For Youtube to work with 360 video, you got to download a metadata tool from YouTube here.

I have tested it on both Facebook and YouTube with picture and video and it works.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Amazon Echo Configure Time and Address Outside US Guide

Got myself an Amazon Echo.  However it does not allow you to set a setting outside US.  The nearest possible is to a US state with GMT+10.  That however is still 2 hours ahead of Singapore.  It is an hassle to tabulate always the extra 2 hours.

Did a search and found many article and finally found in this thread.  Took me a while to understand what it takes.

Here I have simplify for anyone who needs an Amazon Echo and configure to their own address and Country Time.

First use Google Chrome browser.

  1. Go to the Extension and add Request Maker.  Make sure the white envelop is now on your taskbar.
  2. Make sure your browser is clean by removing any cookies that has Amazon.
  3. Open a new tab, head to Alexa setup page.
  4. Go to Settings>Your Echo's name> Device Location, just key in the postal code: 12345
  5. Now click on the Request Maker icon, Look for a PUT request with this URL:
  6. Amend your address and timezone in the Raw Data section also look for your < timeZoneId: "" > and put it between "". Do this bit by bit. After one amendment, click the send button, you will see 200 OK means it successful else you will see 500 Internal Error.
  7. E.g. "CELSIUS","timeZoneId":"Asia/Singapore",
  8. Once done, Test it on Amazon Echo. "Alexa, What is the time", "Alexa, What country am I in?".

Hope this helps.

Monday, May 30, 2016

How Fiber Internet is Connected in Your Home Guide

Each home will have OpenNet device installed.  It has two Fiber point at the bottom of it.  Technically you can subscribe to two ISP if you want to.

When subscribing to an ISP (Internet Service Provider), you will be normally issued a ONT (Optical Network Terminal).  The ONT consists of LAN jack and Telephone jack.  Depending on your ISP plan, you might have IP phone which you will connect phone to the Tel jack.
For internet you will connect the LAN jack to a computer or Router.

The OpenNet is then connected to the ONT.  The ONT is then connected normally to a Wireless Router.  Router is normally placed on a ceiling middle of a room clear of blockage.

If you have your Wireless Router in your Distribution Box (DB),  and the wireless signal is weak and have blind spots.  You can then consider two things:

  1. Wireless extender
This will need a few things:
  1. Placed at 50% of your wireless signal range so as to amplify the signal to blind spot.
  2. You will need a AC power to power the extender.

2) Wireless Access Point (AP)
This is used like in Hotel where this is placed around the premies to connect to the same HotSpot name.  As APis connected to a router, it is not amplifying a signal but providing internet access spots where there is no signal.

AP is normally used to enable a non wireless router to become wireless.  AP is best placed just like a router at top of ceiling middle of a room with clearance.
This will need few things:
  1. AC power to power this device.
  2. A LAN cable from your router.

The only exception for a AP only using a POE LAN point from a POE switch/router, will not need an AC power. However the LAN point need to be from a device which support POE.

POE (Power over Ethernet)
POE device are normally found in AP, switch, router, etc.  A POE router or switch need a AC power.  The LAN points from POE switch/router contains data and power.  Power to power a POE device e.g. a POE AP as show below a Ubiquiti AP.


What is POE?
POE stand for Power over Ethernet.  It means a LAN cable that carries Data and Power.

How is it different from our normal LAN cables?
Normal LAN cable only carry data.

Can I convert a normal LAN to a POE LAN to power up a POE Device?
Yes you can use a POE Injector.  Here is how it works:
Power + LAN> POE injector > POE LAN
This way you can use the POE LAN to connect to a POE device.

Can POE LAN damage non POE devices?

What other POE device other than AP?
POE IP Camera is also one of them.  Using a POE LAN to power up the CCTV and transmitting the IP Camera video footage.

Can I use POE LAN to power other device without using the data?
Yes you can getting a POE splitter, you can split data and power apart and use separately.

Does it make sense to run POE device at home?
Depends.  If you just have one device, then it might not as to have POE, you lightly need to get a POE switch connecting to your router.
So it will look like this:  OpenNet>ONT>Router>POE switch> POE AP + POE IP Cam + motion sensor with splitter
Can I use POE LAN to power up only certain device?
Yes you can using a POE splitter which will split the Power and Data to two separate connection.  Then you can use the DC power normally in 5/9/12 V to a device and LAN to something else or nothing.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Google Nexus 6p by Huawei - A User Experience

Finally in Singapore, Huawei decide to bring in the Nexus 6P in Graphite and Aluminum.  I finally got my hand on it on 24th Nov 2015.

Some might ask me why not Samsung, Sony, LG, etc?
  • I was very keen with LG but G4 has been out for awhile.  The only impressive thing LG did was their camera at F1.8 which is very decent.
  • Samsung TouchWiz UI is just too heavy, it can come with 4GB memory like Note 5, but it will still slow down due to the demand of the UI.  
  • Sony, almost vanilla Android, my previous phone is a SOny Xperia Z3.  It was decent but lots of Sony own apps like Music Play, Camera, etc. not that is not good but the inbuild storage was too little for me.  Yes Z5 might be a good choice, but I want a bigger phone and shortlisted Z5 Premium but drop the idea completely after see that the volume button is at the bottom half of the phone makes it hard to use when in a call.
Eventually I chose Huawei Google Nexus 6P been first it's stock Android and it's tuned on the hardware so it will be as good as a iPhone in terms of smoothness.

The case more of environmental material not very hardy or very premium.  The outer wrapper is the one that tie the box together.  However the IMEI tag is on it so after opening this wrapper need to be kept for warranty for sure since it doesn't stick after opening.

In Singapore, the phone does not comes with any $50 Play Store credit instead Huawei just throw in their own phone case (which I find it poor in quality as it has sharp edges) and ear phones (which I prefer using my own).  You can find accessories in Qoo10, Amazon or even Taobao easily.

Why Aluminum vs Graphite?
I got the the Aluminium one instead of the Graphite.  As Singapore only release these 2 colours to choose from reason for this was Graphite is a fingerprint magnet it's just like your glossy screen protector which make me switch to Aluminum after a hands on the real thing.

Free case and ear piece

In the box, is one power adapter, one USB-C to USB-C cable for use with the power adapter to charge the phone, a USB-C to USB-A cable to connect to a laptop or use with other power adapter using USB-A, Nexus 6p and the SIM card tray removal pin.  The instruction sheet is nicely done in diagram and pictures as you can see.

A few things you might want to take note that many reviews just mention the great features but left out some stuff.
  1. Most mobile phone charger is using 2A output however in Nexus 6p, it is a 3A.  You might use the old mobile phone power adapter with the USB-C to USB-A cable however do not the fast charging timing will not be the same since the current output is different.
  2. Buying a USB-C to USB-C or USB-C to USB-A cable online or from anywhere else, might not be able to leverage on the fast charge feature or it might damage your USB port if it does not meet the USB-C specification.  You can refer to Benson Leung from Google who has reviewed and explained which cable works to avoid this.  He also added almost every USB-C to USB-A cable in Amazon.  You can also download the CheckR, and connect the cable to your PC and your phone and switch your "Use USB for" to Photo transfer (PTP), if it turns green been the cable is USB-C compliant.
  3. USB-A to USB-C adapter that convert your micro USB cable, might not be able to use as a data cable anymore but end up been a charging cable (I have bought some and it turn my data cable to a charging cable).
  4. Buying a screen protector that covers the proximity sensor lying just under the bottom right of the upper speaker will cause black screen when in a call.
  5. Buying a case that covers the mic at the back below the finger scanner might cause your call quality to drop.
Option to choose which to use with the USB

CheckR showing green indicating cable to USB-C compliance

How do you know how much is fully charge and how long more?  There is an indicator on the time remaining only on the locked screen below.

If you are charging from a source that output too little power you will see the message below.

How do you enable the percentage shown on the battery and also change the quick settings icons and layout?  Just pull down your notification window and pull down one more time to have quick settings in sight, press and hold the setting icon (gear logo) for a few seconds and release.  Go into your settings and the last item of the list will be System UI.  You will see a percentage on you battery.  While charging, you can only see the percentage on the notification screen by pulling down twice.

If you want to save some battery power, you can turn on Battery saver from the Settings>Battery, click on the top right hand corner where the 3 dots are and choose Battery saver.  You will be directed to the below section.  Turning on the Battery saver switch your theme to orange.  Don't ask me why Google choose this colour.  Do note that Battery saver is automatically turn off when you charge your phone.  Do note that when Battery saver is turned on, the phone animation will be turn off which I find it rather appearing very fast as there is not transition animation.

Inbuild in the Settings menu also contain a Explorer.  I would recommend you to download one e.g. ES Explorer instead.  However if you want to use the internal one, you can go to Settings>Storage. You will see the section as below, click the last line Explore.

You will be brought to the below section.  This is an internal explorer where you can browse and copy and even delete files here.

While there are no major bugs or issue that I came across, there are some cosmetic interface bug I discovered so far:
  • Finger mark on the Google search bar left behind if you press and hold and slide off which is also found once left on the Google Now page on the extreme left of your dashboard.
  • Words correction prompt come out below the word covered by your keyboard which can be resolved by hiding your keyboard.

Taking screenshot can be done pressing the Volume Down button with Power button at the same time.  You will have to use the native Google Photo to view or share the photos.  I used it quite often and turn on the auto backup when charging.  Alternative photo app I used is QuickPic Gallery from Cheetah mobile (the one who also make Clean Master used by Samsung) where you get free online storage.

A new method introduced in the new Google Now, is to hold the Home button and Google Now will give you share icon, choosing that will allow you to share to your friends without saving a copy in your storage.  You need to be using Google Now as your default home button.  This needs to be turn on at the server side so you might not received it yet.  At time of writing (14th Dec 2015), you can join the beta release to use it join here.  I joined and after awhile I got the Share icon.

For those who find the colour of the display too high a contrast, you can switch the screen colour display to a sRGB scheme via the developer menu.  You will need to press a few times on Build Number in Settings>About Phone till it says Developer Options unlock.

One thing to note if you use the adaptive screen, often I find the sensor does not sense accurate either too bright or too dark.  I end up doing my own adjustment and turn off that adaptive function.

So far the camera is decent.  However you cannot shake too much of your hand else the picture will appear blurred.  Also the flash when taking people do have Red Eye which many reviews did not test this out.  Nothing can't be fixed with some photo editing apps.  (I will show some of the camera picture at later as to make sure I know how to use it completely and with other apps.)  You can enable quick camera launch in the Settings to Press Power Button twice to go to camera mode.

Something which I find most manufacturer camera app is focusing the right focus.  What do I mean, trying focusing on a lightup signboard with lights, likelihood it will be blur out.  But for Google Camera, it knows its too bright and will dim it down!

The battery life for me wasn't ideal for now it manage to last me about 10 hours from the time I left the charger till I am home.  Will update the battery further on this.  The main reason for this might be due to the use of my Moto360 which requires a constant connection over Bluetooth.

One thing to note, if you are using any Android Wear Smart watch, make sure you turn off "auto connect" if you are not wearing else Android Wear will constantly try to search and connect and this will run off some power.

You can now auto backup your photos using Google Photos.  Be Careful of what you choose for the setting especially only do when it is charging else you might end up wasting power trying to backup via Wifi or wasting data using your mobile.

Updating in progress...  While I am still using it, I will constant put up what I discover the good and bad of it.  Do check back.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Support Me!

Am participating in this contest below.
1) Login to your facebook.
2) Click on the comments in the post below.
3) Like this picture in the comments.


IT'S OUR BIRTHDAY - we are 34 this year! Here at Logitech, we believe in celebrating birthdays with a bang. If you're a...
Posted by Logitech on Friday, October 2, 2015