Building a Home Server/HTPC – Part 2 (Picking the right OS)

This is continuation of my epic guide writing a step-by-step guide for Malaysians (and people from other countries too) on building their own Home Server/HTPC or something in-between. If you have not read my first part , kindly do so by clicking here
In this part , I would be focusing on the software aspect. Assuming that you have built your HTPC/Home Server or a hybrid. Now we want to get it to run. There are two options that we can go for either taking the Windows route or taking the Linux route. I’ll briefly explain pros and cons for each of the routes.
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A Closer look at HyppTV for Streamyx & Mobile Devices

I was fortunate enough to be invited to TM’s exclusive preview for bloggers on their next big thing – which was HyppTV for Streamyx and for Mobile Devices. I am not going to bore you with the details , but what I am here is to share few nifty things on HyppTV for STB
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TM is conducting trial runs for 8Mbps Streamyx users as we speak. The new STB (Setup box) has a WiFi card built in and as well supports regular ethernet connection . The setup box is much smaller compared to last time , but what attracted me is that the new box runs on Android
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Yep , that’s right. I was amazed that TM decided to go with Android or linux instead of using some proprietary software . They have got this right – kudos. I’ll explain further on how probably TM (hope if they are reading this) can improve this new HyppTV and take it to the next level
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The box itself has USB ports (you are able to connect USB drives , keyboard  and mouse and it works) , you have SPDIF/Out , HDMI , Ethernet connection and as well as WiFi
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It also allows you to playback various different file formats. Yes 3GP is included and you know what that means right *wink* *wink* . It also supports mkv up to 1080p. So it doubles as a media entertainment box for you to playback movies. I am not sure if it supports DLNA that allows you stream content from your PC to the STB.
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The device itself has 1GB of flash space , this is used for the OS and for TM to push new updates to the device.
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Yes they have a few applications installed – mainly Calculator , E-mail and Internet Browser
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The Internet Browser is the default browser (Chrome) that you get with Android phones .
Now I am not going to go much on HyppTV for mobile , but they have done a pretty amazing job that allows you to change channels on the fly without needing to go back and change. I’ll try to review it later if I get the chance
Now if folks from TM are reading this , there are few suggestions from me in order to make HyppTV the next-big-thing
1. Open up the market – kudos on using Android. Now get local developers (I mean Malaysian)  to develop applications. I think developing for Android is pretty easy thus allowing them to easily port it to HyppTV. This means that people can enjoy apps that they use in the phone as well. If possible get Google Play Store or probably come up with your own play store . Another example is would be for Muslims whereby it would send out push notification on prayer times which maybe handy dandy – i know such app exists in Android eco-system , bring it to the big screen 🙂  [UPDATE – Looks like HyppTV is hacked – Read more about it here ]
2. With Android it opens up a potential , now with a web camera + wireless keyboard and mouse , entire TV + HyppTV would be a skype box. It would be easier for kids who are overseas to easily communicate with their parents. Who wouldn’t mind seeing it in the big screen ? Instagram anyone ? Put these two in it and you have it
3. Make it accessible for hackers (like myself :P). We want to explore what this little device could do – probably we would root it , install Jelly Bean and tweak it. Please do this
I see that HyppTV is heading towards the right direction – combine that with content and ASTRO would have a serious competitor . What it means for me and you – more choices , more content , lesser price. We are the winner at the end of the day when there are lot of choices for consumers

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
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[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.
httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7wb8iEnt2JA
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]

myDefrag – Defragging Tool for Windows

It has been a long time since I have updated my blog. If you are wondering, if I am still alive – yes I am. I got myself a job and I am more into tweeting instead of writing articles. I choose to tweet because I can get responses instantly and sharing two-way works wonders. Anyhow , I decided that for some awesome stuff , I need to do a full-write up in my blog so that it stays here for a long time and becomes a point of reference for anyone who wants to learn or to discover new things.

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Source : Wikipedia

Today , let us take a look at fragmentation and why it happens and learn a little bit more about defragging your hard disk

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