Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The Edge Financial Daily app for smartphones and tablets

Digital format of The Edge Financial Daily business paper has been made available to smart mobile devices including iPad, iPhone, iPod, Android smartphones and Android tablets for quite some times.

It is delivered with the free The Edge Financial Daily app available in Google Play Store and iTune AppStore. Currently, the digital format of the paper can be downloaded for free too.

However, this app doesn't bring good and convenient user experience to its readers yet, and still need quite a lot of improvement.
  • The app is running on Adobe AIR, which requires user to install Adobe AIR app before able to run The Edge Financial Daily app. Adobe AIR consumes about 9 MB of storage space of your smartphone/tablet.
  • Before we are able to read the paper, we need to download it from the Internet. The file size is around 30 MB per paper, taking some times to download, and consuming quite a lot of precious storage space of your smartphone/tablet too. Worse still if you are not connecting to the Internet via WiFi or HSDPA and need to download with slow speed, it really tests your patient.
  • Probably because it is an Adobe AIR app instead of native app, its navigation respond is sluggish, page loading and rendering is slow too.
  • The navigation buttons don't respond well. Sometimes need to tap a few times before it start working.
  • It does not support multi-touch gesture. To zoom the text, you need to double tap the screen instead of pinching.
  • I don't find any feature to jump to a particular page. Everytime you open the paper, you need to start reading from its cover page.
  • Deleting the downloaded papers (especially to save valuable storage space) is a pain. There is no multi-select deletion. You need to delete the files one by one, and each deletion takes a few steps to complete.
It is very nice to be able to read the digital format of The Edge Financial Daily anytime, anywhere with our smart mobile devices. With this digital format delivered through the Internet, we no longer need to look for the paper in newspaper stand, or need to wait for the paper boy to deliver at our doorstep. Being paperless, it is environmental friendly too.

However, it would be better if the app can be redeveloped as native app instead of using Adobe AIR, optimize on the download time and file size, and improve on user interface and experience.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

MFM Custom POI 20121023 for Garmin released - including AES cameras alert

Contributors in MalFreeMaps (MFM) forum have just released MFM-CPOI 20121023 (WAV format only) Point-Of-Interest (POI) files for Garmin GPS navigators.

These custom POI will enable your Garmin GPS to alert you on the following points when you approaching them:

  • MFM-Accident Area v2.6
  • MFM-AES Cameras v2.1
  • MFM-AES Mobile Camera v1.8
  • MFM-AES Traffic Light v2.0
  • MFM-Checkpoints v3.0
  • MFM-Expressway R&R Stop areas v5.0
  • MFM-Latar_Toll v1.0
  • MFM-Ngvstations
  • MFM-Night Market POIs v2.22
  • MFM-NKVE_Cameras v1.0
  • MFM-Pasar Tani v2.3
  • MFM-Power Grids v2.0
  • MFM-Railway Crossing V2.5
  • MFM-Redlight Cameras v1.9
  • MFM-Road Junctions
  • MFM-School Zone v2.0
  • MFM-SGRC_B_W_091206
  • MFM-SGRC_S_W_091206
  • MFM-Sharp Bend v3.6
  • MFM-Speed Traps & Camera v5.3
  • MFM-State Border V1.0
  • MFM-Toll Plazas v2.1
  • MFM-Tunnel v1.3
  • MFM-Touch n Go Hubs v1.0
You can install the full list, or just some of them, by copying the respective GPI files into the Garmin\POI folder (create one if it doesn't exist) of your Garmin GPS.
This compilation contains POI alert for the Automatic Enforcement System (AES) installed by JPJ recently.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

yEd - freeware for professional diagrams drawing

Talking about professional diagrams drawing, including Organization Chart, Venn Diagram, Flow Chart, Entity-Relationship (ER) diagram, Use Case Diagram, UML Class Diagram, Network Diagram, BPMN Business Process Diagram, Semantic Diagram, Decision Tree, Family Tree, Swimlane Diagram, ... and so on, what would be in your mind?

I am sure you will think of MS Visio, which is now part of MS Office suite. Visio is superb, but it is not free. For the free one, you might think of the open source Dia, now under GNOME project. Dia is good enough for most of the people looking for free MS Visio alternative, only that you need a lot of effort to use Dia to produce nice looking diagrams, and to maintain a relatively large diagram.

I've found yEd, a freeware developed by yWorks of Germany, which enables us to draw and maintain professional diagrams easily, and able to produce nice looking diagrams. One of its selling point is that it has a powerful feature that enables us to automatically rearrange all the elements in the diagram into well organized nice looking position, just with a single click.

The video below is a 90 seconds introduction to yEd.

yEd is running on Java, therefore it is cross-platform, able to run in Windows, Linux, Unix, Mac OS X, etc. It can import diagram/data from multiple format, including GraphML, GML, MS Excel spreadsheet, GEDCOM, TGF, XML through XSLT, etc. It can also export to multiple format, including JPG, GIF, PNG, BMP, PDF, SWF (Flash), SVG, EMF, EPS, HTML imagemap, etc.

Here are some sample diagrams drawn with yEd:


Click here for more information and download of yEd.

Monday, October 22, 2012

The mobile network icons on smartphone and their speed

When your phone is connected to a mobile network, you will see an icon on its title bar (a.k.a. annunciator panel) indicating the type of mobile network it is connected to.

Have you been wondering what type of mobile network does that icon indicate, and what is its maximum upload and download speed? Here is the answer.

Icon             Network              Max Download         Max Upload
-----        ---------------       ----------------      -----------
  G               GPRS (2G)            14.4 kbps                 12 kbps
  E                EDGE (2.5G)        177.6 kbps               40 kbps
 3G              WCDMA / UMTS     384 kbps                 384 kbps
  H               HSDPA (old)        7.6 Mbps                 384 kbps
  H               HSUPA (old)       7.6 Mbps                     2 Mbps
  H               HSDPA              14.4 Mbps                   384 kbps
  H               HSUPA              14.4 Mbps                   5.7 Mbps
4G LTE          4G LTE               300 Mbps                 75 Mbps

Therefore, you will experience a slow network speed when the icon is either G, E or 3G; and you will experience a smooth network speed when the icon is H or 4G.

Note that most of the phones released earlier than 2012 are not supporting 4G Internet connection yet, and most handphone does not support HSUPA. HSUPA is more commonly used for home/office Internet broadband connected with wireless router device.

Both the phone and also the mobile operator's network infrastructure must support the network type in order for such Internet connection to be established for the phone.

Friday, October 12, 2012

What is the meaning of WORK to you?

If somebody asks you the question: "What do you do?", what will be your answer?

WORK can have different meaning to different people. In fact, what "work" means to you is a big part of who you are.

"Work" can be one of, or an intersection of more than one, of the following to you. Check it out!

Work as Job

This means working for the sake of a paycheck, without much personal involvement or satisfaction. Yet, jobs can produce valuable feelings of skill and satisfaction, not to mention sustenance that enables a worker to pursue meaning in other areas of life.

Work as Career

Work as career is motivated by the desire for success, achievement, and status. The careerist’s approach to work is not a passionate attachment to the work itself. Rather, it emphasizes the feedback about the self that comes in response to work. For the careerist, work is a means of creating, defining, expressing, proving, and glorifying the self. Work as career can be an important source of meaning and fulfi llment in life.

Work as Calling

The word “calling” derives from the idea that one is “called upon” to do a certain type of work: either externally, by God or community, or internally, by a natural gift demanding expression. It’s done out of a sense of personal obligation, duty, or destiny.

Work as Fulfillment

Work as fulfillment is best described as a strongly interest-driven (or even passionate) approach to work — but one lacking the overwhelming, allencompassing nature of a "calling". People pursuing work as fulfillment may choose unconventional career paths that favor personal interests over financial reward, recognition, or prestige. Such work can be an important source of meaning in life.

Note: The above is learnt from a book called Business Model You, which is derived from an earlier book called Business Model Generation.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Notes on trademark registration in Malaysia

A trademark is an important thing commonly used for branding and identity. It need to be legally registered in order to prohibit infridgement or unauthorized use of it. Although it is normally registered by business organization, individuals (such as freelancers) can also register trademark for their products and/or services.

Here are some guidelines to follow, according to the Trade Marks Act 1976 if Malaysia. By following the guidelines below, it will probably save you time, effort and cost in case you are trying to register your own trademark.

In order to be accepted for registration, a trade mark need to contain or consist of at least one of the following particulars:
  • The name of an individual, company or firm represented in a special or particular manner.
  • The signature of the applicant for registration or of some predecessor in his business.
  • An invented word or words.
  • A word having no direct reference to the character or quality of the goods or services not being, according to its ordinary meaning, a geographical name or surname.
  • A distinctive mark. It must be capable of distinguishing goods or services with which the proprietor of the trade mark is or may be connected in the course of trade from goods or services.
A trade mark is prohibited:
  • If the use of which is likely to deceive or cause confusionto the public or would be contrary to law.
  • If it contains or comprises any scandalous or offensive matter or would otherwise not be entitled to protection by any court of law.
  • If it contains a matter which in the opinion of the Registrar is or might be prejudicial to the interest or security of the nation.
  • If it is identical with or so nearly resembles a mark which is well known in Malaysia for the same goods or services of another proprietor.
  • If it is well known and registered in Malaysia for goods or services not the same as to those in respect of which registration is applied for: Provided that the use of the mark in relation to those goods or services would indicate a connection between those goods or services and the proprietor of the well known mark, and the interests of the proprietor of the well known mark are likely to be damaged by such use.
  • If it contains or consists of a geographical indication with respect to goods not originating in the territory indicated, if use of the indication in the mark for such goods in Malaysia is of such a nature as to mislead the public as to the true place of origin of the goods.
  • If it is a mark for wines which contains or consists of a geographical indication identifying wines, or is a mark for spirits which contains or consists of a geographical indication identifying spirits, not originating in the place indicated by the geographical indication in question.

90 precious experiences that entrepreneur Jason Goldberg learnt from founding 4 tech companies

Jason Goldberg, the founder and CEO of Fab.com, has shared a list of 90 things he has learnt from founding 4 tech companies, which is a revision and extension from the 57 things he learnt from founding 3 tech companies that he shared 2 years ago.

If you are running a start-up or working as employee in a start-up, this long list of sharing will probably be inspiring to you.

Click here to read about the 90 things that Jason has learnt from founding 4 tech companies.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Fixed Windows 7 Stop: 0x0000007B blue screen error during boot time

I have a HP Probook laptop running on Windows 7 Pro, which recently accepted an automated update to its BIOS.

After the BIOS update successfully, and system rebooted, I got a disaster! Now Windows will not reboot into login screen, it will reboot again halfway during the booting process, giving me 2 options: to enter recovery mode, or to boot normally.

I entered into the recovery mode, tried using Startup Repair, the problem was not fixed. Went into the same screen again, tried System Restore to previous checkpoint, still unable to fix.

Tried running Windows Memory Diagnostic, the RAM is fine. Tried entering Command Prompt and check the disk, fixed the MBR, all not working.

Then, I booted with the "Disable automatic restart on system failure" option, I found this Blue Screen of Death (BSOD) showing the infamous Stop: 0x0000007B error.

Here are other methods I tried to fix the problem, but all not working:
  • Download the latest BIOS from HP website, make the bootable USB drive and reflash the laptop BIOS with the USB drive
  • Download the previous BIOS from HP website, make the bootable USB drive and reflash the laptop BIOS with the USB drive
  • Boot with "Enable low resolution video (640x480)"
  • Boot with "Last Known Good Configuration (advanced)"
  • Boot with "Disable Driver Signature Enforcement"
  • Go into the BIOS, set the SATA mode from AHCI to IDE
  • Go into the BIOS, set back the SATA mode from IDE to AHCI
I was about to give up, boot using System Rescue CD, mounted the Windows 7 partition using ntfs-3g command copied my files in the /mnt/Windows directory to another PC using the SFTP method.

Then, I downloaded the ISO file of Windows 7 SP1 from this website, burn it into DVD, and boot the laptop with it.

Last try, run the Startup Repair from the Windows 7 SP1 installation DVD, reboot the laptop with its harddisk. It booted up using a longer time than normal, and Whoala! I got the login screen. Logged into the Windows, everything is still there, try rebooting it, and the Stop: 0x0000007B error has gone.

So, I finally managed to fixed this problem by running Startup Repair from the Windows 7 SP1 installation DVD, instead of the Startup Repair from the installed Windows 7 system in the harddisk.

Hint: Click on the "Older Posts" link to continue reading, or click here for a listing of all my past 3 months articles.