Category Archives: Reviews

ASUS RT-AC66U Review Part 1 : Hello 802.11ac

Router is no doubt an essential in our home especially with the growing number of gadgets we have (Tablets , Laptops , Smartphones , Gaming Consoles , Smart TV). It’s no longer a luxury and with the emergence of high speed Internet access and the demand from consumers to stream HD content – hence it has become an essential equipment in our home network.

ASUS RT-AC66U Box
ASUS RT-AC66U Box – “The next generation router”

This is where ASUS RT-AC66U comes into play. If you have a huge home network which consists of HTPC (Home Theatre PC) , Tablets , Computers , Smartphones , Gaming Console and everything-else). I’ll be taking a look a the ASUS RT-AC66U , to determine if it is worthy 802.11ac router that is capable of meeting.

As usual , this review would be split into several paths. This is the first part which basically covers of what is inside the box , ease of use and the features that comes along

Continue reading ASUS RT-AC66U Review Part 1 : Hello 802.11ac

Comparison Between IPV4 & IPV6 [UniFi]

Recently , TM decided to roll out native IPV6 for its users. Currently UniFi and Streamyx users are able to get IPV6 Addresses if their ‘port’ supports it. In this article , basically we would take a look if there are any advantages of using IPV6 over IPV4 currently.

 

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I’ll be taking a look at everyday usage to see if there is an improvement in our Internet Usage. Keep in mind that this is not a full technical test , I’ll be just doing simple tests and observations on TM’s IPV6 . I will be also giving you a brief explanation of IPV6 and the advantages .

More after the jump

Continue reading Comparison Between IPV4 & IPV6 [UniFi]

Xperia E Comparison with DiGi and Maxis

This is a honest comparison on price , plan and coverage and my thoughts of it. I am not reviewing the phone itself but I am more covering on the plan to see which one is bang for buck. Since Hari Raya (Eid) is around the corner in Malaysia , and people would be shopping for gifts and such. I thought why don’t we take a look at these two devices offered by two different telcos

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The Xperia E is an entry-level smartphone. It retails about RM 499 , and it comes with 3.2MP camera , Android ‘Jelly Bean’ , Touch Screen , Sony Audio. Pretty much it is a basic entry phone that is good for people who do not want to pay a lot of money for an expensive smartphone. More after the jump

Continue reading Xperia E Comparison with DiGi and Maxis

Building a Home Server/HTPC – Part 1 (Hardware)

When it comes to your digital life things are different.  These days , we use smartphone , notebooks , tablets , desktop computers. Our lives are revolving around digital stuff and part of that is making sure all of your digital stuff is kept safe and sound, but along with that is making it equally easy to access.

 

HTPC - makes your dumb TV into a smart TV  Picture taken from pablotron.org
HTPC – makes your dumb TV into a smart TV Picture taken from pablotron.org

This is where the home server comes it . Frankly , it is  is nothing new – you might be running one already,(without you know). Home server is a PC that is going to run 24/7 , keeping all of your data , files , flims , music , photos (and even porn :P) .This PC would be running 24/7, so it is always going to be on. Don’t worry about power consumption , we would be going green That’s besides providing any network capabilities or streaming servers you might like to add such as streaming to your iPhone wirelessly , PS3  etc.

 

Initially , I thought of writing on how to build a home server ,but I am going to tweak it slightly for people who are going to build a HTPC or a hybrid. In this part , basically we would be spilling out the requirement and roughly estimate the cost that needed to build one of these beasts

Continue reading Building a Home Server/HTPC — Part 1 (Hardware)

[Thoughts/Review] Alcatel One Touch Glory 2S (RM 50 Smartphone)

Recently in conjunction with RM 200 Smartphone rebate which I blogged way back , a lot of changes had happened. For instance the limit for smartphones have been lifted (which means you could use the rebate for any smartphone). Various telcos are offering various things. For instance Maxis offers free smartphones when you sign with a contract (postpaid)

DiGi on the other hand seems to be the only telco that is offering a smartphone for RM 50 (after the rebate). The phone is free , you would just have to pay for the prepaid SIM Pack which is RM 50.

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There are a lot of people asking about this phone , if it is good or not. Sadly you are not able to find a review for this phone. So I decided to write up a short review , the time I spent playing with the phone. I did not get the chance to snap some photos otherwise it would be here as well.

To know more about the package , kindly visit here.

Phone specifications 

DiGi’s website does not specify much about the phone and if you Google it around you may not even find a lot of information. The reason being is that the phone is marketed as Alcatel One Touch T’Pop elsewhere in the world

The phone runs on Android 2.3 , 1Ghz processor , Bluetooth 4.0 , WiFi (802.11n) , 3G capable (HSDPA) and a basic screen resolution of 320×480. You can take a look at full specs here 

 

 

First Impression counts…..

At first glance , it seems to be a decent phone (have a look at the YouTube video). However , the screen feels cheap and very fragile (What do you expect – Gorilla Glass ? IPS panel ? AMOLED ?)

There is nothing to rave about quality. Well it is good enough to make home-made 3GP videos . That’s all I would say.

Worth it ?…..

Well if you are looking for a secondary phone or if you are looking for an entry-level smartphone and not willing to spend more than RM 100 , then this is the right phone. You could easily use it to WhatsApp , Tweet , Instagram , Facebook and do light surfing. It could handle CandyCrush too I suppose.

I would certainly pick this phone up and use it as a backup phone , no doubt about it. I’ll try to get the full phone and review it

 

If you have used the phone and have anything to add , please do not hesitate to comment

 

[label style=[label style=”warning”]Oh yes keep in mind that the phone is locked to DiGi. [/label][label style=”warning”]You need to contact them to get it unlocked !. [/label]

Philips AquaTouch AT750 Review Part Five: Conclusion

Like all great things , there is a start and there is an end to it. In this part of the review , I would be concluding my thoughts on the AquaTouch AT750 . So if you haven’t read my Philips Aqua Touch Review , please do so now. Read from part 1 so that you’ll understand the whole journey and how I am in love with the AquaTouch

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In this segment , I would be answering to some of the popular questions which I have compiled from my comments section and as well as via Twitter with the #Philips50Shaves hashtag or @direct mentions

Questions Asked By My Followers & Readers

Q : Would this make a suitable gift for my boyfriend/husband ?

A : Why not . If your boyfriend is using a razor or even an electric razor and you want to gift him this , it makes a prefect gift anyway. Trust me , I wouldn’t mind one for my birthday

Q : Is it worth it to spend RM 399 (~USD$ 131) on this ?

A: It depends if you have heaps of facial hair. If you do , yes this makes it much much more easier to maintain it. Otherwise I would say, you could stick it to a traditional razor.

Q : OMG I was following your reviews and it is ‘teh sucks’. I know that razors are the way to go , I have tried and electric razor sucks to the max. YOUR REVIEW IS BIASED !!!111oneoneone

A: Uh probably you have tried a different electric shaver and it may not be to your liking. It is unwise to generalize. Anyhow , if you like razors go with it. I am just sharing my experience here with my readers about my experience about the AquaTouch. It can be positive or even negative , but mostly my experience with the AquaTouch is positive 

Q : So what makes AquaTouch AT750  to stand out against other electric shavers ?

A: The word AquaTouch , to be honest , the biggest thing I like about the AquaTouch is that it is 100% water-proof and the ability to do a wet-shave. That’s about it

 

 

My Thoughts & Conclusion 

Well I have been using the AquaTouch for nearly a month and it has been a pretty good experience. Mostly I am enjoying the ability to either perform a wet-shave or a dry-shave. Being waterproof is another bonus as well. To make it easier , I have summed it up for on what are the aspects that I like & dislike about Philips AquaTouch AT750

 

 

Pros :-

  • Lightweight
  • 100% Waterproof
  • Works with Wet Shave (Ideal for Folks who are migrating from traditional Razor)
  • Eco-Friendly/Energy-Star Compliant (Drains ~ZERO Watts When it is fully Charged)

 

Cons :-

  • No Pop-up Trimmer
  • Poor Dry Shave Performance

 

As you can see , there are some drawbacks with the Philips AquaTouch AT750. Firstly and foremost , this model lacks of a pop-up trimmer . The trimmer can be found in higher end models , but however I think Philips should have included that as well as it would be handy-dandy for people like me who would want it to just trim my beard. Another thing which I quite didn’t like about the AquaTouch AT750 is that the dry shave performance isn’t that great. Even my old dad’s shaver outperforms the AquaTouch when it comes to dry shave (remember the small electric shaver – yep that is the one) .

 

Having said that , I think that Philips AquaTouch AT750 makes a great first time electric razor/shaver for those of us (like myself) who want to migrate into the world of electric shaver. It makes as a perfect gift for your son/husband/boyfriend/father (especially if they are still using one of the  old razors). It is reasonably priced well , although I would appreciate if Philips Malaysia would try to price it under RM 300 as it would attract a larger crowd here in Malaysia for people to migrate to an electric shaver. Overall my experience with AquaTouch has been smooth , I did not encounter a single technical problem or what-so-ever during the period of my review

 

Once again I would like to this this opportunity to Philips Malaysia for giving me this review unit and to review an electric razor and thank you to my readers as well for reading and commenting on the Philips AquaTouch AT750

 

 

Acknowledgment

I would like to say that its not a sponsored post by Philips Malaysia but more towards my experience with the Philips AquaTouch itself. The review can be negative or positive as they have spent out that each reviewers have their freedom of expression to express their thoughts. Stay tuned for that

 

My Journey with Philips AT750

Part 1 : Saying Hello

Part 2 : <3

Part 3 : Tips & Tricks

Part 4 : 100% Aqua

Part 5 : Conclusion

 

Philips AquaTouch AT750 Review Part Four: 100% Aqua

This is going to be my next epic. Just kidding , if you haven’t read my Philips Aqua Touch Review , please do so now. Read from part 1 so that you’ll understand the whole journey. This week , we take a look at how Philips AquaTouch even improvises lives of celebrity. The celebrity is no other than  Kuah Jenhan. Now some of you may not know who is he , well basically he is a part of MACC , no not Malaysian Anti Corruption Agency – it is  Malaysian Association of Chinese Comedian.

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Kuah Jenhan is Russell Peters of Malaysia , basically you can do a YouTube search and watch his comedies. Anyhow , he is also an ambassador for Philips AquaTouch in Malaysia. Here take a look on how Kuah Jenhan uses his Philips AquaTouch

So yeah , there you have it even celebrities love the AquaTouch 😛 I am just posting this to give you another reason to convince yourself or your loved ones to get an AquaTouch

 

If that is not convincing  enough , continue to read on

Is it really “AquaTouch” ?  As in 100% Waterproof

This is where I wanted to find out if it is indeed 100% water proof. I know that some companies tend to lie to their customers about their product being able to do it all and that comes with extra stuff. Philips did tell me that they have personally tested with up to depth of 4 meters. So I did a little test of my own which you can view it to see if it is indeed water-proof , you can see the video for yourself

 

I have not edited in any way , it is straight from my iPhone 4 itself

 

 

 

I have also not tested with soap water , oil , petrol , some chemical liquids and I am assume that it will be all be working. Oh keep in mind , let the AquaTouch be completed dried before plugging in into the charger , just to be on a safer side.

 

What’s next ? 

I would be concluding. I have received comments from my readers (both positive and negatives alike). I’ll sum it all up and say if it is indeed worth the money. Trust me you do not want to miss about that

You could also vote for me here , well by voting you would make yourself feel better and you give me a chance to get a complete make-over

Alternatively if you want AquaTouch for free , you could participate in #Philips50Shaves competition , just head over here to find out more (Be sure to like their Facebook Page)

 

Acknowledgment

I would like to say that its not a sponsored post by Philips Malaysia but more towards my experience with the Philips AquaTouch itself. The review can be negative or positive as they have spent out that each reviewers have their freedom of expression to express their thoughts. Stay tuned for that

 

My Journey with Philips AT750

Part 1 : Saying Hello

Part 2 : <3

Part 3 : Tips & Tricks

Part 4 : 100% Aqua

Part 5 : Conclusion

 

Windows 8 Storage Spaces – First Look

Windows 8 (and Server 2012) includes a ton of great new features  and one of the new features is (I’m not talking about the Start Menu , I still hate the new Start Menu Storage Spaces, a new Windows utility that allows you to connect multiple data storage devices , regardless of being Internal or External such as USB Hard Disks.

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So What Is Storage Space ? What about benefits ?

Now Storage Space itself is not new , Microsoft first introduced Storage Space for Windows Home Server version 1 and it is known as Drive Extender  and it was developed by the Server Team (which should be reliable and good). The beauty of storage space is that you can combine all these hard disks and create “pools” such as “Pictures” , “Movies” , “Documents” and they work just like any other hard disk. Of course this kind of technology is not something new , in fact RAID (Redudant Array of Independent Disks)allows you to the same thing and it offers variety of different settings and in Linux , you would have LVM . What Microsoft is done is that they made it easier for to combine multiple storage system which spans across different mediums (Internal & External) which offers redundancy and performance.

In simpler terms , imagine you can create a 3TB of storage pool (and you have 1TB of hard disk but you have plans of buying 2TB hard disk later). So what you can do is that you can create a storage pool of 3TB of hard disk with your current 1TB. Now as the storage nears the capacity , Storage Pool would alert you saying that you are low on capacity and you need to buy more storage to store. It is simple as that. Now you may ask , what is the purpose of using Storage Space

Simple , imagine your steam game collection , now on a normal hard disk when you run of space , you’ll have to delete and move , now with storage space , you just need to keep adding more hard disk without worrying about relocating and other stuff. Your storage grows with you as you expand. Plus with the option of providing mirror , it keeps your data safe

 

So How Does It Work ? 

Just Like RAID , Windows 8 Storage Spaces offers three sort of configuration

Stripe Data (RAID 0) – Just like in RAID , Storage Space would stripe data across a pool (several hard drives) and what you get is improved performance as Data is now written on multiple hard disks , this would give you a boost in hard disk read/write performance. However keep in mind that if one of the hard disks in the pool fails , your entire data is gone

Mirror (RAID 1) (Two/Three Way) – Storage Space offers RAID 1-like mirroring. So suppose if you have two hard disks in your pool and you have created a Mirror Drive , basically content are duplicated across both drives. So suppose if one of the drives fail , your data would be still accessible on the other drive . Three way offers extra protection as data is duplicated across three hard disks not just two

Parity (RAID 3/5)  -Blocks are striped just like RAID 0 , but now you have a parity bit (parity bit are like fail over things , so for instance , if Disk 1 stores 0 and Disk 1 stores 1 , by using the principle of XOR , the parity disk would store 1). The beauty of is that suppose if one of your hard disk fails , your data is still safe. All you have to do is get a new hard disk , fit it in and it is automatically recovered. It uses the beauty of XOR , it is able to restore data in lost disk

 

Keep in mind that in order to use Storage Space , data on existing disk would be lost completely and Storage Space will not work on the hard disk whereby the operating system resides.

So which one do I use ? 

It really depends on what you plan to do. In my configuration (on Server 2012 which is my File Server ) , this is how I have did. What I did is that I have added all 3 hard disks to create a pool. From the pool , I have created three different storage system (virtual disks) for different purposes

Documents – To Store Important Documents such as work related file or scanned copies of my passport. I just want to ensure that the data is replicated to all of my 3 disks. I did a 3-way mirroring. I do not care about performance , as I just want the data to be reliable

Pictures (I should rename it to Movies/Old Stuff/Archive) – These are stuffs which I plan to store them but do not have any plans to frequently access them but I want to ensure that they are protected against a disk failure. So in an event of disk failure , the data can be reconstructed by swapping out the failed drive and putting in a new one. However keep in mind that using parity has heavy performance penalty , it is recommended to be used as drive which you do not frequently access because of the parity calculations

Stuff – I use Raid 0 here , the reason is simple , I care about getting extended storage space (combining both of my 1TB) . However I do not care about the things which are stored in this virtual volume , which mainly includes downloaded things such as Movies , Songs. Suppose if one of my drive fails , I would lose my entire collection.

 

 

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These are my storage space settings. However in Windows 8 things are much more simplified , but the core principle remains the same. It is not complicated as how it is being done in Server 2012 but simply straight forward. Just go to Control Panel in Windows 8 and you can add drives very easily – bam

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What are the advantages and drawbacks of using Storage Space? 

Now let us talk about the positive aspects of Storage Spaces

Flexibility – Storage Space provides thin providing that allows you to create a volume with the size larger than the total capacity of all your actual hard disk. You can create a 5TB hard disk by only having 1TB of hard disk at the moment. As you run out of free space, Windows prompts you to put in more disk before you are allowed to use the storage pool.

Easy To Use – Storage Space provides straight forward way of setting up your own pool. You don’t have to go to BIOS or do complicated things like how you would setup RAID. It provides easy to use interface in setting it up which makes it very easy to setup your own storage pool 

Provides Fault Tolerance – Storage Space provides fault tolerance against hard disk failures for end-users , this is pretty much like the earlier advantage. Now home users (like you and me) could have enterprise-like feature which is bundled for free. There is no need to backup into two different hard disk manually. Storage Space takes care of that 

There are some disadvantage of using Storage Space

Hard Disk Requires Formatting – To add a hard disk into storage pool , Windows will format existing hard disk , so if you have important data , you would have to move it out. It does not work with existing hard disk which already contains data 

Complexity in Recovering Data  – Well if your Windows 8/Server 2012 computer does not work. You are pretty much dead , you can connect these storage-space hard disk into another Windows 8/Server 2012 computer and pray that it sees it and you are able to recover. If you try to plug them in a Linux/Windows 7/MacOS computer , they are un-readable 

Performance Hit – It is not as fast as hardware RAID controller especially if you use parity as parity count pretty much hits hard on the hard disks and CPU (in order for it to calculate the parity). Now RAID controller offloads the calculation by having a dedicated CPU which does exactly that. Storage Space uses your computer CPU to do the calculation. 

Bottom Line

Microsoft provides simple and easy to use way for consumers (like me and you) to build storage space in ever expanding world of storage. You do not have to be a wizard to use it. The advantage of using Storage Space clearly outweighs the disadvantage. However having said that I would not use Storage Space for mission critical data. If you want the data to be safe at all costs , be sure to make another backup (such as to dropbox or to somewhere).

Further Reading

This TechNet  article covers all you need to know about Storage Space . I highly recommend you to read if you want to know more about Storage Spaces

ZTE Acqua V880E Review Part 2

This is the second part of my ZTE Acqua V880E Review. I highly recommend you to take a look at the first part of the review , where I take a closer look into the phone (hardware) and you can have the taste of the phone itself

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In this part I would be looking at Multimedia capabilities (this includes camera !)  , Battery Life , Social Media experience and other goodies that the phone has to offer

Continue reading ZTE Acqua V880E Review Part 2

Philips AquaTouch AT750 Review Part Three : Tips & Tricks

This is my third segment (of my epic 5-segment review for this product).  Be sure to check out part 1 and part 2 first. If you are in a hurry no worries – in my previous segment I have discussed the advantages of using the AquaTouch compared to a conventional shaver. Now in this part , I would discuss some tips and tricks using the Philips AquaTouch AT750 and as well as being man of the 21st century. We’ll be looking closer on how to make you into a modern man. Let us all face it , by staying classy as PSY would call it – a lot of people would go ga-ga after you (especially if you are single and if you think you are attractive). Most importantly , find out how you can take home the AuqaTouch that I am having (yes – you have heard it correctly) 

 

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more after the jump

Continue reading Philips AquaTouch AT750 Review Part Three : Tips & Tricks