Sunday, September 30, 2012

Nitrous JavaScript engine for all apps–Jailbreak tweak

None of the 3rd party browsers on the iPhone are as snappy as Mobile Safari, because Apple is keeping the 3rd party browsers from using their in-house built vastly superior Nitro JavaScript Engine. Google recently released Chrome for iOS but it wasn’t as snappy as the desktop counterpart due to this reason. Mobile Safari was miles ahead of Chrome browser when it came to JavaScript performance.

But now there is a tweak to get Nitro JavaScript Engine working on 3rd party apps as well. Of course, you have to Jailbreak your iDevice first. It is called Nitrous and is available in Cydia’s BigBoss repo at $0.99
The first builds let us choose the apps you want to enable the tweak for individually. There were problems with that implementation. Now the developer simply enables it for all or disables it for all (excluding Safari I hope).

IMG_0787. IMG_0788

The difference is very noticeable. I checked the performance in SunSpider JavaScript Benchmark 0.91.

Diskeeper’s I-FAAST Technology in action

 
My data drive is used mainly for storage (music, pictures, videos), but I also use it to hold temporary, but large files – generated from downloads, video recordings, importing photos from the camera etc. There is no point keeping the files that are hardly accessed in the fastest area of the drive. The speed only matters to those temporary files. That’s where i-FAAST feature of Diskeeper comes in to play.
 
Diskeeper is a Defragmenting tool. They actually make the default defragmenter in Windows. It has a nifty little feature called i-FAAST. What it does is, it optimizes the placement of the files according to their access patterns. The files that are accessed frequently will be moved to the front of the drive, and the files that are hardly accessed will be moved to the end of the drive.
 
If you need to read more about this feature, go to this link. 
I monitored the status of the drive over a period.
 

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Google Nexus 7 finally available for purchase in Japan

Finally, Google Nexus 7 is available in Japan. Only the 16GB one though. Not the cheap 8GB model. But that's good. Because the 8GB model does not have enough space for a tablet.

It is priced at JPY19,980. (it is $249.99 in USA if I am not mistaken.) You also get a JPY2,000 worth of Google Play Store credits.

The method of payment is via Google Wallet. You have to add your credit card into your Google Wallet for it to work. It is pretty much the same as using PayPal. Let's just say this is Google's PayPal equivalent. They say it will take 3-5 days for it to arrive at the doorstep. I miss one day shipping service of Amazon. I wonder if Amazon are selling it as well. Maybe not. (Well, they are and it is way more expensive.) They have their own Tablet and ironically it is not available in their store. :/

Google Nexus 7 Tablet
Buy Nexus 7 from Google Play Store

(You can click the above banner to buy it from here.)
 
But the grand question is, should I buy one?
 

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

From crackling Corsair SP2200 speakers to Logitech (Logicool) Z623 speakers.

In a previous post I was asking which speaker system to get since my old Corsair SP2200 speakers went kaput. After a lot of consideration, I decided to go ahead with Logitech (Logicool in Japan) Z623 speakers.

The decision was mostly based on the warranty support. The last time I dealt with them, it went as smooth as it can get. I broke my G500 mouse and they sent me a replacement even without checking the broken mouse or asking me to send the mouse back to them first. (Of course I had to send them the broken mouse, but shipping was on their account.)

These speakers carry 2 years of warranty and I hope the support if these break down will be of the same quality. (Maybe they won’t break down at all.)logitech-speaker-system-z623That said, these speakers are not shabby at all.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

A faster way to delete large folders in Windows without using 3rd party apps

Ever since Microsoft released Windows Vista, file deletion had been very slow in Windows Explorer. It was very noticeable when you were deleting a huge folder with hundreds of thousands of files.

I frequently encounter this problem at work. The XPS driver source itself is huge and for certain tests I have to check out multiple versions of the source. Ultimately you crowd up the hard drive with files that you don’t even want to refer again. Then there comes the day you have to clean up the junk because you are running out of space in the drive. Deleting files using the Windows Explorer will take forever. I usually did this while we were out for lunch.

But I was curious. There should be a faster way. And I found one, which is about 2 to 3 times faster than deleting them through Windows Explorer. But you lose the progress bar and the fancy animations.

Friday, September 14, 2012

And….the new iPhone is called iPhone 5

But did they actually fix the problems the entire lineup had? What? iPhone had problems?

1. Frequent call drops. This has been a problem ever since I got my first iPhone. It's still there in the iPhone 4S. And now it is irritating because back in the iPhone 3GS days, I hardly had to make a phone call. Now I have to make at least a couple of calls everyday. And I get a dropped call almost every day. I've never experienced this back in SL with the feature phones or the Samsung Omnia 900.

You would wanna point the finger at SoftBank and their service is definitely "just OK" at best. But people with feature phones are not experiencing these call drops at the same areas, so it has to be Apple's fault.

I’m sure we will find out about this soon enough, unless people have become so used to dropped calls, that they don’t even know that it is a problem anymore.

2. Extreme fragility. You cannot use the iPhone without hiding it behind some sort of shield. It is not scratch resistant, nowhere near as good as most phones out there. Heck, you can even nail a nail with a Nokia Lumia 900 on the glass side! That's what we call quality. Not some fragile design that puts beauty at first, everything next.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

RMAing Corsair SP2200 speakers in Japan

I finally tried RMAing my Corsair SP2200 speakers that have developed a crackling in the left speaker and got RMA approved from Corsair. Why I reached Corsair for RMA was because the shop that I bought the speakers from, called Clevery, did not respond to my emails. But few days later I found out that the shop had gone bankrupt. So convenient for them! I could not think of any other way, other than to reach out Corsair for support.
 
I actually applied for RMA twice and got approved both times.
 
First time when the RMA got approved, I had to ship it to Hong Kong (from Japan). I didn't go through with it because it would cost a lot of money to ship that large thing across the sea. I decided to give up on RMA and live with the defective product even though it was painfully frustrating.
 
This is the address I had to ship it to.
 

Please also mark the RMA number clearly on your package, and ship your RMA to the following address:

Corsair Inc. ATTN: RMA Department
Unit B &C , 13th Floor, Tai Sang Container and Godown Centre
2-10 Cheung Fai Road, Tsing Yi, NT
Hong Kong
+852 2756 8118

 
I was searching the internet for a way to fix this myself, and I came across an interesting forum post. One guy who had the same problem, was awarded a set of SP2500 speakers for an additional $50 because the SP2200 speakers were no longer manufactured. SP2500 speakers don't seem to have this crackling issue, and they are their premium speakers. Switching to them for an additional $50 was well worth it. The actual price difference was $150. I was wondering if I will be given that option if I RMA now. So I applied for RMA again. It got approved as well, and I had to send it to the same address as before, but they didn't say anything about SP2200s were not manufactured anymore. Sucks! But I decided to send the speakers anyways.
 

Monday, September 10, 2012

How to remove the unwanted stuff in your hard drive automatically

CCleaner is a cool tool. It can remove a lot of unwanted junk from your hard drive on demand. You can choose what to remove of course.

Following is what I have chosen.

Windows settings

image

Application settings

image

You can also include specific folder to clean. For example, if you want to clean your temporary folder, you can specify it in the following page.

image

Now, you can clean it all on demand, or you can schedule it to do it at a specific time. You have to use the Windows Task Scheduler for that.

Note: Remember this app has other features as well.

This is how it works.

First you have to select what you want to clean, then close the program. Then you have to use the command line switch “/AUTO” when you run it. What that command line switch does is, it will run the CCleaner app in the background without opening the usual window and clean according to the options you selected last.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Guess I would stick with Apple after all

In the last couple of weeks, we were having trouble with my wife’s iPhone 4S’s earpiece. We did everything we could from out end, but it didn’t heal. It didn’t heal by itself either. So finally we decided to get the Genius Bar involved.

I called the Apple Support center and they came to the conclusion that they may have to replace the handset. There were two options. I could either tell them to pick the phone up free of charge (pretty cool, ha?) or I could head to an Apple Store. If they picked it up, it would take up to a week to get things resolved. I could not take that option. My wife has to go to work. There are a million things that can go wrong in an event of a big incident. So she had to have her phone with her at all times she was out of the house.

So it was decided that we went to an Apple Store. There were two Apple Stores close to our apartment. One in Shibuya and one in Ginza. Both were within an hour of travel time. Shibuya was closer and in addition to that, we were planning to attend the Sri Lankan Festival 2012 which was only a walking distance from the Shibuya station. So without further ado, we decided to pay a visit to the Apple Store in Shibuya.

meet_genius

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Why can’t Movie Maker upload to YouTube in the background?

I wanted to upload few videos to YouTube which I edited in Movie Maker and happened to come across two incapabilities. Don’t developers at Microsoft ever come across there?

The incapabilities

YouTube would not remember your username and password once you re-launch the app. Why the heck is that? How hard is it for them to save the username and password? Why can’t it be bundled with your Windows Live ID like everywhere else?

image

Monday, September 3, 2012

Pros and Cons of a Single-GPU system over a Multi-GPU system

Most people are in the opinion that you can get two low-end or midrange GPUs, set them up in SLI or Crossfire depending on the GPU maker, and get similar or more performance than a high-end single GPU. They would usually get that idea from the reviews. But most reviews would only talk about the FPS that is reported to them and conclude that the multi GPU setup gives more to the consumer, but they forget to mention a lot of things in the process.

But in reality, you should not build a multi-GPU setup if it is utmost necessary. Let’s first see why you should not build a multi-GPU setup.

Pros of Single-GPU setup over Multi-GPU setup

1. Smoother gameplay even at a lower reported FPS value

That is insane, right? How can lower FPS be smoother than higher FPS? That is because the phenomenon called micro-stuttering. You would get very annoying, small pauses that are noticeable to eye, but not to the FPS monitoring apps such as FRAPS which record the frame count in a second. The frames are spread equally inside that second. Say 30fps. You might get 20 frames in the first half second and 10 frames in the second half second. This difference is noticeable to the eye and it is very difficult to the eye. Basically, how much noticeable it is, depends on the person, the game and even the other components of the PC. There is no clear cut answer to this problem from either GPU maker.

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