Archive for May 2009

Singapore got talent – sixtyfive.sg

We always complain that local talents doesn’t get enough exposure in the mainstream media. We have couple of great local bands/singers out there. Just that they haven’t got a chance to proof themselves.

I’m pretty excited when I saw sixtyfive.sg from Hisham’s twitter. Sixtyfive.sg is a site showcasing local bands. Visitors get to check out some great songs by local bands like Electrico, Leeson, Jack & Rai, Plainsunset and many more. You can cast your vote for these songs. A kiss means you like the song and a middle finger means…. oh well, you get the idea. Visitors can also post comments like they usually do on a blog. Love the concept although I wish there could be more user participation. But hey, this site is still very new and in beta.

Hope there will be more of such initiative that helps promote local talents. Honestly, Singapore has a lot of talents. Just that they don’t have skill and abilities to promote themselves. We can all do our part by supporting our local talents.

PS: Hisham thought I would complain about this website initially for playing music on default after seeing what I did to inSing.com. But hey, why would I complain a site that auto play good music?

Review: Toshiba NB200

The netbook war is back again with Intel coming out with new Atom processor and all netbook manufacturers refreshing their existing netbook model with the new N280 processor. I’m glad I got my hands on the new Toshiba NB200 netbook to review.

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The Toshiba NB200 is the first netbook with Intel Atom N280 processor that I get to review. Having previously reviewed 2 N270 netbook (and played briefly with a couple more), the Toshiba NB200 certainly feels faster in terms of booting up and shutting down. It might be because of the new Intel Atom N280 (1.66GHz) processor or some tuning that Toshiba has put in place.

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The design of the Toshiba NB200 is pretty interesting. The design on casing is simple yet good looking. Plus you can tell that its a Toshiba from far. Comes in Brown, White, Blue and Pink. (Or rather, Satin Brown, Snow White, Indigo Blue and Silky Pink) At 26.3 x 19.23 x 3.225 cm and 1.18 kg, its slightly bigger than most netbook around but weighs about the same. This make the 10.1 inch screen look smaller because of the bigger border around the screen. In fact, I lost count of the number of people who thought its a 8 or 9 inch screen from first look. (I’ve measured to confirm its a 10.1 inch)

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The Toshiba NB200 comes with 1gb RAM and a 160gb SATA harddisk with shock absorber. It’s always good to have harddisk shock absorber. It protects the harddisk when moving or when you drop it. This is one feature that a lot of netbook omits to cut down the cost.

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The NB200 comes with a VGA port, mic jack, earphone jack, ethernet port, SD card reader and 3 USB port. Yes, you hear me right, 3 USB port. Can throw away your USB hub already. (Kidding kidding) But its good to see more and more netbooks coming with 3 USB port.

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It’s weird that Toshiba decides to put the power button in the middle of the netbook. When turned on, the power on button is lighted and looks ugly. OK, maybe it depends on the eye of the beholder, but I’ve yet found anyone who likes the power button placement. Good thing to note is that the power on button is disabled when the netbook lid is closed.

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The keyboard isn’t very comfy to type with. According to the specs, its supposed to be a full sized keyboard. But I feel that it isn’t really full sized. The keys are smaller because of the tiled style and bigger spacing between the keys. It certainly takes a while longer than usual to get used to typing on the keyboard. And the tilde key (~) is positioned next to the SPACEBAR instead of being next to “1” where it is usually found on a Qwerty keyboard. Good thing is, touchpad is pretty big for a netbook and the touchpad buttons are generous in size.

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I’ve been using the Toshiba NB200 for almost 2 weeks. I quite like the fast boot up. Having 3 USB port is pretty handy, especially when you have lots of USB devices. I love the webcam, the resolution is the best so far among all the netbook I’ve laid my hands on. Strangely, I couldn’t find the specs for the webcam. Should be 1.3 megapixel, but I may be wrong judging on the picture quality. Might be higher. The NB200 might get a little warm after prolong usage. But I’ve seen warmer laptops before. Its funny that Toshiba have a warning label at the bottom of the netbook, advising users to avoid prolong contact with the base to avoid heat injury to the skin. The netbook might be warm, but I don’t think it will become so hot until it will injure the skin. You might want to take note of the measurements of the Toshiba NB200 when buying notebook sleeves as it is slightly bigger than most netbook.

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It seems like more and more netbook/notebook manufacturers are choosing commando style for their card readers. By saying commando style, I mean leaving their card reader uncovered and not providing a dummy card to prevent dust from entering. Sad to say, the Toshiba NB200 is one of those netbook with such commando style SD card reader. To make it worse, the SD card cannot be completely slotted into the card reader. It leaves just a little bit of the card protruding out. This might pose as a problem to some people when trying to remove the SD card, especially if you have short nails.

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The Toshiba NB200 is now available in the store for S$899.

In Short:
A fast netbook with shock absorbing harddisk but some rough edges still needs fine tuning.

Likes:
Fast boot up and shut down.
Harddisk with Shock absorber
3 USB port

Dislikes:
Keyboard
Hard to eject SD card
Position of the power on button

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Many thanks to Mary from Toshiba for sending the review unit.

Dee Kay Dot As Gee Recession Giveaway: Norton AntiVirus 2009 Gaming Edition

In these troubled times **Drink**, many of us forgotten about the basic virus protection for their PC. Many of us stop renewing our AntiVirus subscriptions because of the recession. This can be a bad choice. You see, many people are out of job, including those who knows how to create virus. When they are out of job, they got more free time. When they got more free time, they will start doing bo liao stuff like write virus. In these troubled times **Drink again**, you still need to keep your AntiVirus updated.

I got this Norton AntiVirus 2009 Gaming Edition not so long ago during a Norton event as door gift. Its not that I don’t want to use it. But also included in the same door gift is a copy of Norton AntiVirus 2009 which I’m happily using now on my trusty T43 Thinkpad. So I guess why not give it out the extra copy. Share the love and joy. Besides, one less person being infected by virus means one less person spreading it.

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This copy of Norton AntiVirus 2009 Gaming Edition includes a 1 year virus definition update. This Norton AntiVirus is specially made for the gamers with some features that the gamers will love. And for your info, gaming is one of the few industries that is not affected by recession. But even the non-gamers can use this to protect their PC.

Remember, although its the recession, anti virus protection is still important.

How to apply:
Just drop me an email me with the title: “Dee Kay Dot As Gee Recession Giveaway: Norton AntiVirus 2009 Gaming Edition”.
Refer to the rules for more details.

Update: Application for this Recession Giveaway is now closed.

Going back to camp

If you are reading this on Wednesday afternoon (27 May), I should be back in camp, wearing my number 4 and serving the nation. For 1/2 day only. I should be back to civilization by evening time. If I’m not wrong, we are going to do a route march to warm up for the big ICT in August.

Yes, I know you will be saying “Huh? How come you going back for reservist again?” Well, I guess my unit siao on ba. Plus I think its good to one shot finish my reservist. I don’t know if I’m able to perform my military duties as I get older. My unit can be quite xiong sometimes. If you read my blog entry about my previous ICT exercise, you will know that age is catching up with me.

PS: I hope they don’t issue us the new pixel number 4 today. Please, let me wear my garang old number 4 slightly longer.

Began, the Ovi Store has

I was surfing net at Starbucks last night when I felt a great disturbance in the Force, as if millions of voices suddenly cried out 3 letters. Ovi. Yes, Nokia Ovi store is now open worldwide. If you recall my Nokia N97 review, I mentioned that I tried accessing the Ovi store on the demo unit but failed. I thought the Ovi store will be open next with together with the launch of their flagship N97. Didn’t expect them to be open a week ahead of the launch.

This is indeed exciting news. Afterall, nowadays apps plays an important role in smartphones. Applications can extend the capabilities of your smartphone. iPhone’s Apps store is a huge success with over 1 billion apps being downloaded in nine months. Other smartphone operating system like Android and Blackberry has also launched their version of apps store. Apps store is the way to go for all smartphone. The Ovi store, like all apps store, allows users to browse for application and download the apps directly using the phone. No need to connect to the computer or transfer to memory card like in the olden days.

Singapore is one of the few selected countries with a dedicated Ovi Store which is specially customized to local users. (Other countries with dedicated Ovi Store includes Australia, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Russia and the United Kingdom) We should be able to see some of the localized applications like Straits Times, iGV, SG Buses and SGX in the dedicated Ovi Store for Singapore. On top of that, Singapore is also one of the few countries that supports operator billing. Which means that you can pay for your apps on your phone bill. Currently, this service is only available to Starhub users. But Nokia will make further announcement on operator support in coming weeks.

Do check out the Ovi Store if you are free, especially if you are considering buying a smart phone soon. Its still pretty new, but you can expect more exciting application coming soon.

PS: I was kidding about the “great disturbance in the Force”. I’m not a Jedi yet although I wish I know Jedi mind trick. Haha. In case you are wondering, the “millions of voices” I heard is from Twitter. :)

Update: The Ovi Store seems to be down currently. Most likely due to overload. All About Symbian also list out a few areas that need to be fine tuned.