RTFS (Read the Fucking Spec.)

Note to Self: Always, always read the marking criteria before doing an assignment. How has it taken me 3 years to figure this out? The significance of this issue is so bad that I’m blogging about it both as a reminder and as a piece of advice for all you people who just jump into an essay ‘knowing what it’s about’ and realising you screwed everything up when you took a quick glance at the specification.

COD4: MW2 – Game Informer, June 2009

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Well, kinda old but here it is. The very first look at MW2 over on Game Informer. Thought it was unfair that this magazine only printed in the US. But take a look..

Will update this post further on my reflections about this first impression.

10 Nit-Picked Reasons to not get an iPhone

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I am one of those rare individuals who got the iPhone in spite of not really wanting one. I wanted a new phone because I’d finished my contract under an Optus plan that gave me a phone and was still paying under the plan. Now, seeing as I have no reason to leave Australia for 24 months, I just had to make use of these contracts/plans – So I started a new one with Optus… Looking at the phones out, I had to decide between an iPhone 3G and a HTC Dream. Now, as much as I support Google and their venture into mobile software technology, this phone and the OS has been getting some not-so-decent reviews while the iPhone 3G has its fanbase for its reasons. So although I wasn’t very much into the iPhone 3G, I couldn’t think of any reasons not to get it apart from the fact that everyone had one. I could have waited for another phone to pop out, but the Asian side (score one for the stereotypes) took over so I didn’t want to waste money on a plan I wasn’t getting a phone for. Hehe.

Despite not really being into it, the iPhone was a toy that couldn’t just sit on my desk.. Immediately after getting it, I jailbreaked it and before I knew it I was addicted to downloading paid applications (for free ofcourse, score another one for the stereotypes). I definitely agree the iPhone has plenty of entertainment value, however, I do feel there are reasons not to get an iPhone – These, I have named nit-picked as they may not seem to be significant enough to justify owning one or not.

If I refer to my ‘Nokia’, I am referring to the previous N81 I had. Solid phone, but it got laggy (probably cause I archived all my text messages… I have about 13,000 text messages in it now.

Anyway, these aren’t sorted in any order. You can’t really rate the severity of the problems I’ve posted.

1. No forwarding of SMSes

That’s right. This has got to be the biggest pain among these issues. You just can’t forward any text messages at all. I think the reason why this wasn’t implemented is because it would be difficult. Since you can’t even select individual messages (due to the fact that they’re grouped by conversations), you don’t get to select any options for each message. Sucks doesn’t it? Although you might think it’s a small issue since you have that feature on your phone and don’t really use it… When the need arises, and you realize you have to re-type a 1~2 page message to send out to your colleagues, feel free to throw your iPhone out the window (rumours told of the iPhone being unscratchable back when it was in its development phase).

iphone_3g_defender2. Looks like shit… With casing.

The iPhone looks GREAT. But because of it’s glossed backing, it also attracts finger-prints like hell. So, to fix this up you usually buy a casing… And so far, all the casings I have seen, makes the iPhone look like a rubber/plastic brick. The rubber ones make it look like a portable hard disk and the plastic ones just make it look cheap or like a knock-off you’d find in China town (stereotypes on a role).

3. Silent mode isn’t very silent

Flick the silent mode switch on the side of your iPhone to reassure yourself of not being the centre of attention in class when your phone starts making sounds. But this isn’t always the case – Open an application that doesn’t recognize this switch and if you’re like me and set your volume to the max.. Well, be prepared to look innocently around with a convincing ‘who the hell didn’t silent their phone?’ face.

4. Alarms do not have their own volume settings

So regarding issue no. 3, I usually set my phone on silent and also turn the volume down all the way. Forget to turn your volume back up and your alarm doesn’t go off. This is why I still use my Nokia as an alarm clock.

5. Lack of Multi-tasking function

Unless the application you’re using allows it, multi-tasking is not an option. It’s ridiculous when I want to use a calculator and type a text at the same time. Also, to actually terminate an application, you have to hold the Home button for say, 10 seconds? Some applications that allow background mode actually require you to do this to close it.

6. No Copy and Paste

Before the Apple fanboys start raging… Yes, I know the new firmware will have this. But, it’s not what’s getting distributed with iPhones yet so go awayyy. This feature just has to be installed. Please hurry up, Apple.

7. POSSIBLY Low Battery Life

Why I say it possibly has low battery life is because the iPhone has so much entertainment factor. You can sit and use it for hours and then when you’re done, realize you don’t have enough battery to last you till you get to a charger. So, although this is both a pro and a con, I say it is possible that they could have made the iPhone a bit more boring to ensure the battery lasts more than 1.5 hours when in use (yes I’ve killed a full battery iPhone in 1.5 hours with continual usage).

8. Ringtones are so bitchy

I guess this can be attributed to me being lazy to actually figure out how to convert songs into ringtones… But still, considering I’ve done so much to the phone and have no idea how to set a custom ringtone, really sucks. Why not let you use a song in your playlist as a ringtone? Is there some kind of law prohibiting the use of a pirated MP3 as a ringtone – yet it does not protect against just listening to them?

img_3321_apple-iphone-main_450x3609. No “Standby Mode” or “Front Page”

What I mean is, there is no actual… ‘Front page’ to the phone. Like in Nokias you get to see some shortcut keys, wireless settings and what I found the most important, things from your calendar. With my Nokia I could just look at my phone to take note of both my To-do list and also note there is an exam in 4 days. For the iPhone, you get to set a wallpaper that has a clock above it and a ‘Slide to unlock’ bar. There might be an application for this, but I do NOT believe it would have been that difficult to implement this.

10. Auto-Lock

I hate this feature. It’s obviously a necessity, but I feel it could have been implemented more efficiently. Maybe an external switch or button that lets you toggle it or one on the taskbar of the interface (that wastes lots of space just to make it look like the Mac OS). When you need an application to run for a while, this little shit climbs out to black out your screen and all internet connectivity. Applications like Cydia and Installous may be the most common ones that get fucked over by this and since they aren’t legit, I guess I can’t really use them in my argument. Also, as noted in previous posts, sleep mode needs to be turned off for PdaNet and iPhoneModem too. Whatever, I hate this shit. Settings > General > Auto-Lock > Never … Way tedious. And if you’re about to say I should leave it on Never, well… I’m human and like I said, it’s not that I hate the feature, it’s that I hate that there is no shortcut to toggle it.

Yes there are a ton of other more severe limitations of iPhone like Bluetooth, GPS, Camera, and non-replaceable battery. However, I don’t really need/use these features. This is a personal review and I only acknowledge nit-picked issues.

Past my Bedtime…

6.47am and I’ve just finished some uni-work and the Game Watch pictures and countdown system. Yiish. As can be seen, I’ll be posting up a Starcraft II Game Watch too.

What do I have for tomorrow? An exciting day of jam-packed action. Readings for my Managing People essay and my Research Proposal. Fun!!

Sighh. Just thinking about what’s ahead makes me sad..

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Game Watch – Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare 2

Game Watch will be it’s very own category just to watch some specific games. Here’s the first.

This is the first trailer out for this game. Being a huge fan, I can’t help but wet my pants at the sight of all these new features… Diving? ‘Vertical-Horizon’-like Mountain Climbing!? I hate to say it but this is the first time the storyline of an FPS has gotten me excited.

And here are some screenshots. Nothing that has made me go WOW yet, but most of these are from the trailer anyway:

For (not that much) more information, check out Infinity Ward’s MW2 website.

Wireless tethering of iPhone 3G to your Laptop

After spending hours on the Internet searching for the best method, I’ve come up with two of the best methods with their pros and cons.

Before I lay these out, it’s important to note that you have to jailbreak your iPhone before trying any of these methods. Please visit QuickPwn for both the tools and the guide on jailbreaking. Also, just to be safe, ensure your iPhone is of firmware 2.x+.

To best judge these programs, I look towards their user-friendliness and ease of setup/configuration. This is probably the most important of all factors to any basic user. Considering I have only spent a couple of hours testing these methods, I think that is the sufficient amount of time that should be required to setup

Note: All instructions are also in terms of Windows Vista

PdaNet
www.junefabrics.com/iphone

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This is sofar the best and only fully working solution that I have found. This is an evaluation copy so I might not have all the features offered.

Quick Guide:

  1. Install PdaNet via Cydia.
  2. Set up an ad-hoc wireless network
    Right-click your Network Connection icon in the taskbar and click Connect to a Network
    Set up a connection or network
    > Set up a wireless ad hoc (computer-to-computer) network
    Network Name:
    <any SSID you would like to use>, Security type: Open
  3. Connect to this newly created network from your iPhone
    Settings > Wi-Fi Settings > Choose your newly created network
  4. Open PdaNet

Pros:

  • Very easy to set-up
  • Pretty stable
  • Both wireless ad-hoc and USB modes are available

Cons:

  • Several times when there was a connection failure it required me to both ‘Forget’ the network on my iPhone and delete the ad-hoc network off of my laptop’s saved wireless networks. This would be followed by starting over again. Seemed the only way to resolve the issues. These problems could, however, be attributed to weak wireless signals
  • Purchase a license ($29) or the software is limited to 14 day trial mode
  • I find the fact that traffic is recorded in bytes.

iPhone Modem
www.iphonemodem.com

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Quick Guide:

  1. Install iPhone Modem via Cydia.
  2. Install the iPhone Modem helper software for Windows
  3. Connect to the “iPhoneModem” network from your iPhone
    Settings > Wi-Fi Settings > iPhoneModem
  4. Open iPhone Modem software on iPhone

This method only worked for me a couple of times. I have no idea why it failed nor can I find anything online on what was wrong with it. Although there seem to be lesser steps involved, it just doesn’t work everytime.

Pros:

  • Looks pretty nice
  • As mentioned before, I like the fact that traffic is recorded in megabytes. This software does so!

Cons:

  • Worked only sometimes with my iPhone/Laptop set up. After running the Windows software and clicking “Connect”, it asks to run the iPhone software (after it is connected to the ad-hoc network) which I did.. This is followed by the Windows client getting disconnected. Big negative for me.
  • Does not have a USB mode

There are obviously other methods that I have not mentioned. There was the FAIL of Netshare – I followed every guide and tried everything to get this working but it just NEVER worked.

Also remember to remove automatic sleep mode for your iPhone when using tethered 3G. Just as proof. I’m on 3G posting this now!