Sunday, April 6, 2014

How to Run Android 4.4 KitKat on Windows with VirtualBox

Android-x86 is a project that ports Android OS to x86 platforms. It allows we to run Android right on our PC, instead of working exclusively on smartphones, tablets and handheld devices. This is the first Android 4.4 KitKat release candidate for PC. It is based on the Android 4.4.2 (KitKat-MR1 release). The key features contain:
  • Integrate the ffmpeg as the stagefright-plugins to support much more multimedia files. Now it runs HD and full HD videos in apps.
  • Use the latest longterm stable kernel 3.10.30 with more drivers enabled. Most netbooks can run Android-x86 in the native resolution.
  • OpenGL ES hardware acceleration for AMD Radeon and Intel chipsets (not include the PowerVR chips).
  • Enhance the installer to support upgrade from previous versions (since ics-x86). The text based GUI installer supports ext3/ext2/ntfs/fat32 filesystems.
  • KitKat style lanucher (Launcher3).
  • Support Multi-touch, Wifi, Audio, Bluetooth, G-sensor and Camera.
  • Simulate sdcard by internal storage.
  • External usb drive and sdcard are auto mounted to /storage/usbX on plugging.
  • Support hybrid mode of iso images.
  • Multi-user support (max 8).
  • Support Ethernet (DHCP only).
  • Support VM like Qemu and VMware.

In order to run Android on virtual machine, please take the following steps:

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Kingston DataTraveler SE9 16GB Review

The Kingston’s DataTraveler SE9 (DTSE9) USB Flash drive has a sleek metal casing made of solid metal in one piece with a large integrated key loop that can easily attach to keychain. Its practical and aesthetically pleasing design has won Red Dot Design Award Winner (2012) and iF Product Design Award (2013). DateTraveler SE9 is available in 8GB, 16GB, 32GB and 64GB capacities.

The DTSE9 is light, small and slim, so it is not bulky in a keychain with your keys.

Kingston DTSE9 dimensions, 39.00mm x 12.35mm x 4.55mm, which is much smaller than an AA battery.

The one-piece metal casing ensures it is durable with daily abuse on the keyring. On this point, you might wonder whether it has static electricity shock when it is plugged into USB port. So far, I did not experience this issue.

Structurally, DTSE9 is indeed an elegant accessory for tablets with USB port or good looking metal case laptops like Apple MacBook. However, the surface of the metal scratches easily, especially on the USB plug. DTSE9 does not have square holes at the top and bottom like most of the USB plug mechanism, you cannot feel whether it is fully inserted into the USB port.

I have a Kingston DataTraveler SE9 16GB model. The free space available is 14.5GB FAT32 format. I transferred a 100MB file to it and it did at average 15MB/sec of speed. The file transfer speed is ok on USB 2.0 standard.

Pros: Portable, Large key loop, Sturdy metal casing, Award winning design, Five-year warranty

Cons: Scratch-prone metal surface, slow transfer speed

Our ratings: 4 out of 5

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Go Linux: Install Ubuntu 13.10

Is your Windows PC on its last leg? Install a Linux distribution could resurrect your PC with fresh look and lightweight to run. The best of all, its free. Ubuntu is a user friendly Linux distribution to begin with. So my installation guide is based on Ubuntu. Of course you may have a go at Xubuntu if you want a much lighter operating system. The installation will basically same.

  1. Download Ubuntu here.
  2. Plug in a USB storage stick.
  3. Open UNetbootin. Choose Diskimage and select the Ubuntu ISO file you downloaded.
  4. Confirm UNetbootin has targeted your pendrive and click OK button.
  5. After created a bootable USB stick, restart computer and boot the USB stick. You may try out Ubuntu first without installing to see whether it is running well on your computer.
  6. Double click the 'Install Ubuntu 13.10' icon to install Ubuntu.
  7. Ubuntu desktop
  8. Choose your preferred language and continue.
  9. Ubuntu Language
  10. Check Install this third-party software and continue. Your computer will not support media files and etc. like MP3,if without installing the third-party software. However, you can install it later anytime.
  11. Ubuntu Installer
  12. If Ubuntu has the supported driver for your computer wireless card, connect to your WiFi access point. Else, skip it not to connect to the Internet.
  13. Ubuntu Installer - WiFi
  14. Now this is how you want Ubuntu to be installed in your computer. The Ubuntu installer has made a few easy options for you to choose. You can Dual boot Ubuntu with other operating systems (Windows), erase all files and install Ubuntu, or create/resize the partitions yourself.
  15. Select Something else and continue.
  16. Ubuntu Installer
  17. Click New Partition Table and click Continue. To install Ubuntu by creating or resize the partitions by yourself, my recommendation is create 100GB for system file storage (Ubuntu 13.10 took 50GB of space after my clean install), create the amount of space for swap area which is equivalent with the computer's RAM size, and the rest of the free space for your data/file storage.
  18. Ubuntu Installer
  19. This is my 250GB hard disk with 2GB RAM and this is my partition arrangements.
  20. Size ~100GB ~150GB 2GB
    Types Primary Logical Logical
    Use as Ext4 Ext4 N/A
    Mount point / /home swap area

    Ubuntu Installer

    Ubuntu Installer - partitions
  21. Click Install Now and let the installer to do rest of the job. One last thing, you must set up your username, password and computer settings while installing Ubuntu 13.10.
  22. Restart the computer after the installation is completed.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Some Tips to Improve iOS 7 Performance on Older iPod/iPhone/iPad

Upgraded your iDevice to iOS 7 but laggy and slow? Unfortunately, Apple don't allow the downgrade back to the iOS 6. So here are some tips how I have a smoother iOS 7 running on my iPhone 4S and iPad mini:

  1. Restart your iDevices
  2. Firstly, please sync with iTunes after the successful upgrade of iOS version. Then restart your iDevice to let it have a fresh start.
  3. Use still wallpaper
  4. Dynamic wallpaper burdens the CPU, especially the older devices.
    Steps: Settings > Wallpapers & Brightness > Choose Wallpaper > Stills
  5. Turn off the parallax effect of icons and alerts

  6. The parallax effect creates 3D illusion of app icons floating on the home screen. It is a cool but less practical feature. You may turn it off and end the iOS 7 motion sickness (to some users).
    Steps: Settings > General > Accessibility > Reduce Motion
  7. Turn off AssistiveTouch
  8. AssistiveTouch is the main cause of lagging my iPhone 4S. It significantly drags down the performance when I scrolling through photos and typing text message. However, frequent use of physical home button may sacrifice lifespan of the button.
    Steps: Settings > General > Accessibility > AssistiveTouch
  9. Remove Stocks from Notification Center
  10. iOS7’s new translucent Notification Center is laggy on older device. I removed Stock from Notification Center since reading stock price on Notification Center is not absolute necessary for me. Customize it with your own preferences. Just keep the Notification Center as minimalist as possible.
    Steps: Settings > Notification Center > Stocks
  11. Turn off Background App Refresh
  12. Turning off refresh of background app may not make any noticeably improvement. Some apps are not necessary to refresh their content with Wi-Fi/cellular or use Location Services in background. Plus, you get better iDevice battery life.
    Steps: Settings > General > Background App Refresh

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

How to access Spotify Web Player

Spotify Web Player
Old, good news! The Spotify Web Player has been launched quite some time ago. However, the web-based player is yet to graduate from beta and no direct link to it on Spotify official website.

Well, this is the link ( of Spotify Web Player for my own convenience as I always lost the link after clearing the cache of my web browser. The link enables the web browser to access the Spotify Web Player. Hopefully, it will be helpful for you too.

The full featured Spotify Web Player supports Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Internet Explorer. So you can still enjoy listening songs with Spotify from work or any computer even without Spotify software installed.