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Hello 2011!

January 2, 2011

I danced and drank my way into year 2011 by celebrating with friends and family. It was crowded here at Kota Kinabalu Water Front where people from around Borneo gathered to watch the world prepare to greet 2011. The sound of whistles and the party poppers starts filling the air just half an hour before midnight as it gets louder every minute. I drowned my thirst with a bottle of Heineken as I waited for the party to begin.

And then the countdown begins. Ten… nine… eight… seven….. Goodbye 2010, Hello 2011!! Bright little objects propelled into the sky and ended with a loud bang. It lit and sparkled beautifully in the dark sky with green, red and gold which lasted about 15 minutes. When the fireworks ended, the music from the pubs and clubs nearby can be heard even clearer.

Finally a brand New Year has begun and I knew I had plenty to be grateful for last year. For one I’ve graduated with a Degree and became a CISCO certified person. Now I will begin year 2011 with a new job and hopefully everything will go well. I will try to stick with my regular exercise and to live healthily even after climbing up Mount Kinabalu by the end of January. Here’s to a fabulous 2011! Cheers…

Marina Court project theme v.1

November 20, 2010

 

Marina Court green theme

Green theme with black white background. Click on the image to enlarge

 

I have been working on the theme of my current project and I would appreciate any comments.

This is a WordPress site using the Lukoo theme. I tweaked the theme so that the contents look a bit more compact. Below are some of the changes I tweaked on the theme to my liking:

  • Used a black & white background image instead of a plain white-grey color background
  • Increased the width of the body wrapper
  • Decrease height of header wrapper
  • Decrease the bottom padding of the main content wrapper
  • Increased the width of the main content wrapper so that the main content and the sidebar are close to each other.
  • Changed the background image of the main content wrapper with opacity of 90% for transparency
  • Added opacity 0.9 to the sidebar wrapper with CSS

From the screenshot above, there are still a lot I can do to make the theme better. For example I need to create my own custom logo to replace the Lukoo logo. Probably change some of the text colors and sidebar. I would really love to hear some opinions on the design. If you do have some ideas to share, then don’t hesitate to drop some comments below.

Thanks

Notetaking service Evernote takes the spot

November 16, 2010

Evernote for windows

I had recently installed Evernote on my Windows and was surprised by how powerful the service is. I had used other notetaking apps like Windows build in Sticky Notes which basically saves notes that you write on it. Sticky note is only good if you’re just trying to quickly write and retrieve notes on your computer. There are also Linux-based notetaking apps like Tomboy Notes, and BasKet Note Pads but these apps are nowhere as powerful as Evernote.

Evernote can capture anything from text, websites, pictures, videos and audio as notes and then you can access them from the Internet, your computer or your phone. It also has a powerful search function that can scan for text in image files. Evernote supports a number of operating system platforms including Mac OS X, Windows, Android, and Web OS.

You can learn more from the official Evernote website.

Bookmarking with Xmarks

November 15, 2010

Xmarks: free bookmark syncHave you ever been in a situation where you forget to backup your bookmarks from your web browser when you format your computer? If you have, then you might want to check out Xmarks.

I overlook backing up my bookmarks whenever I wanted install a fresh Windows or Ubuntu operating system. I usually backup my most important stuff first which is my work; important bytes of data on my harddrive. Next I would export my bookmarks as a XML file, store it on an external drive then import it back once I have a fresh OS working. Usually I would forget to do this and I end up losing all my bookmarks.

I tried online bookmark services like Google Bookmarks and Delicious as an alternative and safer way to store my bookmarks. By using these services, I did not have to worry about ever losing my bookmarks again since it is stored online. But using these services was too much of a hassle to import and export bookmarks between the browser and the bookmark service.

Then I started searching for a bookmark synchronization application that could sync Google Bookmarks and your browser bookmarks. I have found that Chrome has a build in Sync function that does exactly that. It also syncs themes, preferences, extensions and applications which makes it a handy function to have.

Google Chrome Sync

But what if you want to sync those information across different web browser? I found Xmarks to be a very popular bookmark application that works as a plugin on Firefox, Chrome, Internet Explorer, and Safari (Mac OS). I really haven’t explored the application yet at the time of this writing but I am hoping that it is the answer to all the bookmarking hassle I had gone through. Below are some of the screenshots I took while installing Xmarks on Firefox and Chrome.

Firefox Xmarks secure password sync

Xmarks securely sync passwords

Firefox Xmarks sync open tabs

Xmarks save web pages open on web browsers

Firefox Xmarks sync history

Xmarks save browser history

Firefox Xmarks ready to sync

Ready for synchronize

Firefox Xmark Success

Successfully synchronize bookmarks

Chrome Xmark Extension

Chrome Xmark Extension

Cellular Telecommunication – GSM, CDMA

September 23, 2010

From my last post, I have written about telecommunication in general. Here I will write more about cellular telecommunication and its technologies particularly GSM and CDMA. Both are 2G technology.

Most people now associate telecommunication with modern technologies that provide mobile communications to users both in the form of voice and data transmissions. There are a number of different standards that telecommunication companies use to provide cellular services.

Cellular telecommunication was conducted over analog system that transmits waveforms which can degrade over long distances. Because of that, cellular telecommunication has transformed to digital converting the signals into groups of numbers that could not be broken down over time and distance. As a result of this digital transformation, cellular telecommunications are based on many different standards. Phones and systems that operate on the same standard can usually work with each other.

The most popular of the digital standards are Global System for Mobile Communication (GSM) and Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA). GSM is the standard used in much of the world. In Malaysia, GSM is most common, while CDMA and PHS (PHS) mobile phone is also very popular.

In terms of data transfer speed, both technologies continue to rapidly leapfrog one another. Both provide “3G” standards or 3rd generation technologies. CDMA2000 is CMDA’s answer to need for speed. GSM’s answer is EDGE (Enhanced Data Rates for GSM Evolution) with added technologies that include UMTS (Universal Mobile Telephone Standard) and HSDPA (High Speed Downlink Packet Access) This technology is also known as W-CDMA, but incompatible with CDMA networks.

GSM phones uses SIM cards that allow phones to be instantly activated, interchanged, swapped out and upgraded, all without carrier intervention. The SIM itself in tied to network, rather than the actual phone. CDMA carriers on the other hand require proprietary handsets that are linked to one carrier only. When upgrading a CDMA phone, the carrier must deactivate the old phone then activate the new one and the old phone becomes useless.

Getting to Know Telecommunication

September 15, 2010

It has been almost 6 weeks already since my job attachment here in a mobile telecommunication company. As a CISCO certified person, I am appointed as an IT technician who troubleshoots pc and networks around Sabah region. During my stay, I started to speculate on the things they do here. How do they provide services to subscribers located around the region? What technologies do they use to provide these services? How do wireless broadband work? What is telecommunication? All these questions started to build up so I took the effort to conduct my own research on the subject.

Although telecommunication is a totally different field from my IT/networking background, there are still some similarities. For one which is the most obvious, the company I’m at uses CISCO devices for their interconnection too. This is because they also provide data transmission services other than voice transmission. So I am going to spend some time here to explain briefly what I have researched so far. Good stuff…

Today telecommunication is all about providing wireless connection to wide range of areas around the globe with great transmission speeds. Although fixed lines are still widely used, mobile communication has grown rapidly that led to the significant decline in fixed network subscriptions. This leads me to believe that being in the mobile industry is and will be secure for a very long time. But nevertheless, both fixed lines and mobile communication are both extension to the word telecommunication; transmission of messages over significant distances for the purpose of communication. So how did it all began?

Earlier signs of telecommunication started when the electrical telegraph was invented in the 1840s. A telegraph is used to communicate over long distance by using Morse code. Then came the conventional telephone in 1876 which is now in use worldwide. The invention of radio in the late 19th century and television in the early 20th century has played an important role in wireless communication. At that time, only voice was transmitted through the transmission medium. Now in the digital age, we have packet switching (transmission of data packets) which then made the Internet possible.

Mobile Telecommunication Company for example Maxis, Celcom and Digi provide communication services to mobile devices which may move around freely unlike Telekom who provides fixed line network. These services include wireless telephony and broadband internet services. To be able to provides these services, wireless standards have to be used. These standards are like GSM, CDMA, UMTS and WiMAX. More on these technologies in my next post.

Installing Eclipse on Ubuntu

April 10, 2010

An easy way to install Eclipse on Ubuntu is through the Ubuntu repositories. This can be done by opening up the “Ubuntu Software Center” under Applications. Click on Developer Tools -> IDEs. Then look for Eclipse from the list of IDEs that shows up. If you click on Install, you will be asked to enter your user password then it will automatically install Eclipse for you. It should be pretty straight forward here. After installation is complete, you can start Eclipse in Applications -> Programming -> Eclipse.

Another way is to install it manually by downloading the Eclipse files from http://www.eclipse.org/downloads/. You will need to install JRE or JDK first before you can run Eclipse. You can do this by typing this in the terminal.

sudo apt-get install sun-java6-jre

Extract the Eclipse files to the /opt directory so that other users can have access to it.

tar xzf eclipse-SDK-3.5.2-linux-gtk.tar.gz
sudo mv eclipse /opt/eclipse

Then create an eclipse executable in your path.

sudo touch /usr/bin/eclipse
sudo chmod 755 /usr/bin/eclipse
sudo gedit /usr/bin/eclipse

Then type in the followings and save.

#!/bin/sh
#export MOZILLA_FIVE_HOME=”/usr/lib/mozilla/”
export ECLIPSE_HOME=”/opt/eclipse”
$ECLIPSE_HOME/eclipse $*

Then create a gnome menu item.

sudo gedit /usr/share/applications/eclipse.desktop

Enter the following and save.

[Desktop Entry]
Encoding=UTF-8
Name=Eclipse
Comment=Eclipse IDE
Exec=eclipse
Icon=/opt/eclipse/icon.xpm
Terminal=false
Type=Application
Categories=GNOME;Application;Development;
StartupNotify=true

Now you can run Eclipse from Applications -> Programming -> Eclipse. You can also install different Eclipse packages for example the Eclipse + PDT package by using the manual way of installing.