Slight trouble in Xiaomi land

Ter, 15 Setembro , 2015

Just so I don’t forget, yesterday, I ran into a bit of trouble with my new xiaomi redmi 2 prime.

The screen.

Well, actually, the screen’s reported dpi (pixels per inch).

It’s causing certain apps to gauge the screen size incorrectly.

This phone has a 4.7″ screen with 720×1240 pixels – with 10.4×5.8cm (or 4.095×2.28inches), which should yield 302×315 dpi, ~ 306dpi.

Instead, CPU-Z is giving me 287dpi and translating that into a 5.11″ diagonal!

I suspect this is behind the one handed mode showing a 4.0″ version that smaller than the real 4.0″.

Here’s a comparison with my old LG L5 II:

Maybe I can sort this out by changing some configuration file somewhere… will take time…

Why did I buy a Xiaomi Redmi2 Prime?

Dom, 13 Setembro , 2015

(Time to dust off this blog!)

 

I Really Need a Replacement

I was looking for a new phone for a while now…

My old LG L5 II was old after less than one year… With a single core 1GHz Mediatek processor and 512MB of RAM, it was laggy, constantly reloading the launcher and ending up without memory for a few apps. Why? With android 4.1.2, after a reboot, out of the 512MB of RAM, I only had 120MB available. Barely enough for my usage.

So, thinking that new android OSs are only going to take more RAM after a reboot, I wasn’t going for another low RAM device… 1GB would quickly lead me into another crappy experience. So, I had to go for a 2GB+ RAM device. That was settled. The first time I saw the Redmi2 it didn’t tick this box, as it only had 1GB RAM, so it was discarded with so many other devices.

I started looking into chinese phones after I saw an article on MoDaCo about the iOcean X7, with its 5″ FullHD screen, and getting a decent review. The price was about right… less than 200£ (at the time, 1£ ~1.15€). That was almost 2 years ago… but my LG L5 II was still newish, so I postponed until I actually needed a dual-SIM phone.

Now, my LG has worn out its welcome. I mean, it works fine, until you start using more than one app at the same time. And the GPS experience was abysmal! I could do a hole car trip for a full hour and it would just not get a fix. This was particularly exasperating when I really needed the GPS to know how to get to a particular place.

And, while using an app that requires some positioning info, would render multi-tasking unbearable… even when a call was incoming, it would take a few seconds until I could answer the phone.

I figured this was probably due to the processor… crappy early stage single-core Mediatek at 1GHz. So I was thinking that a Qualcomm could do the trick much better than the MTK.

This LG phone only had 4GB ROM… but I only had 1.8GB available for apps and everything else. Luckily, it has an SD-card slot and, after rooting the phone, I could use Link2SD to put most of the apps on the SD card, while the phone thinks they’re on internal memory. I figured, this is linux, it must have the ability to link files from other partitions… google… and link2SD came up as the perfect solution.

Even if not for linking apps, I really like having an SD-card so I can put my music files in there.🙂

 

Requirements

So, I need something with 2GB of RAM and a decent GPS functionality to replace that old guy.

But the old guy did have some decent things, like the screen, with its 233dpi, IPS LCD which was really nice. At the time I got it, I refused to get the Samsung Galaxy S3 mini due to its crappy Pentile matrix which gives a zigzaggy look to everything… even knowing I was trading a good processor for an inferior one. This means that 233dpi, for me, was good enough. A little more wouldn’t hurt, but not too much, as we know that each extra pixel requires some extra processing and consumes some extra battery. Also, retina display is defined at around 300dpi, so I figured that was a nice goal.

A 5inch 720p screen has about 294dpi which is spot on. But some phones sport a 4.7inch 720p screen which gives some 312dpi. A bit nicer.

A 5inch 1080p screen is overkill at 441dpi. Heck, even the now famous 5.5inch variety has 401dpi. Battery hogs for no discernible improvement in visual quality!

 

After all this talking, the list:

  • 4.7 or 5 inch 720p screen – no pentile crap
  • Decent GPS usage
  • 2GB+ RAM
  • 16GB+ ROM
  • Decent battery (I was going for 2500mAh+)
  • LED torch – sometimes, we need to light up a place, or take a nice photo.
  • 1080p capable camera
  • Quad-core processor
  • SD-card slot
  • Android 5

 

The Moto G Effect

Along comes 2015’s July and Motorola announces the Moto G (3rd generation) with a 2GB RAM version and a price tag, in India, equivalent to 200€…. I figured it would be my next phone!

Sadly, in Europe, it cost something between 260€ and 290€… Way beyond my budget.

But it did tick all the boxes… and the processor was a Qualcomm Snapdragon 410.

The same processor, as luck would have it, that can be found in Xiaomi’s Redmi2.

And the Redmi2 also ticks all the boxes. But it’s from a chinese company. And these chinese phones, while the price is very nice, the durability isn’t that great, as attested by a few friends of mine.

 

Is It Worth It?

So I wasn’t convinced to get a chinese phone… until I saw some reviews on youtube. Drop tests, screen scratch tests… the works! And the phone managed to come out relatively unscathed, similar to what happened to some similar tests made to the iphones and galaxy S’s. It seems these chinese phones can take a beating.

Xiaomi is known for using the MIUI ROM, a ROM filled with extra goodies, almost like the well known CyanogenMod. This means that official updates are almost certain to come, so the fact that the Redmi2 came with MIUI6 which is built over android 4.4.4 did not concern me too much. Actually, MIUI 7 is almost ready for updating (still on android 4.4.4, odd).

On the other hand, Xiaomi phones used to come with a Native Root mechanism, so you can just turn root access on and off. It’s no longer the case, apparently, but rooting isn’t difficult (http://en.miui.com/thread-121619-1-1.html).

 

Being in Europe, I figured it was better to order the phone from somewhere in Europe to avoid waiting for it for months and having to deal with customs and paying even more.

I found it at around 150€, plus shipping, on what looked like an official Xiaomi european vendor… looked like. But it wasn’t clear if the phone would actually be shipped from within Europe, so I didn’t get it from them.

Searched a bit for “european warehouse” and “redmi 2” and the good guys at GearBest surprised me with the 115€ price tag.

For something equivalent to the Moto G’s 270€? I’ll have some of that!

Ordered!

It got shipped from the UK, via DHL and took the maximum estimated time for arrival, 5 week days.

 

I’m now the proud owner of a Xiaomi Redmi2 Prime.🙂

 

(review to come)

 

Subscribe to a RSS feed from facebook

Qua, 13 Junho , 2012

Subscribe the RSS feed of a facebook page which you like (not a friend).

Just put the following URL on your browser address bar:

https://www.facebook.com/feeds/page.php?format=rss20&id=<PAGE_ID>

But now we need to find the <PAGE_ID> number. The easiest way is to look at a photo. Fan pages like to post photos. The link to a photo page looks like this:

https://www.facebook.com/phot_o.php?fbid=<some_huge_number>&set=a.<number_starts_with_the_same_sequence_as_the_fbid>.<5-digit_number>.<PAGE_ID>&type=3&permPage=1

Did you see the, there? good, copy it to the URL above and you’re set to go.

For other feeds, see here:

http://www.kristi-barrow.com/facebook-rss-feeds-what-is-available/#comment-158

Trânsito de Lisboa

Sex, 27 Novembro , 2009

Trânsito de Lisboa

Para quem anda de carro diariamente, este tipo de situações não deverá ser novidade, mas que moem a paciência de uma pessoa, lá isso moem.
Aqui apresento duas situações de estacionamento abusivo, sancionado pelo código da estrada, mas às quais as autoridades não ligam.
Se não tem o papel da EMEL, cai logo o bloqueador e, se uma pessoa não se acautela, o carro ainda é rebocado e depois é uma chatice monstra…. para não falar no pagamento.
Mas se está estacionado num sítio onde é proibido estacionar, a EMEL já não tem autoridade para autuar.
Os polícias de trânsito passam pela zona e fazem de conta que não vêem a situação. Não percebo porque é que há zonas que têm direito a este tratamento especial enquanto outras zonas da cidade são patrulhadas por autênticos gaviões da autoridade!

Ora aqui está um local por onde passo diariamente e está sempre assim:
Av Visconde de Santarém - Proibido estacionar

Sinalização vertical indicando proibição de estacionamento e, nessa zona, estão duas viaturas pertencentes a uma escola de condução das proximidades. Belo exemplo!

Mais uma beleza. Estacionamento em segunda fila… de ambos os lados!!!!!

Av. Miguel Bombarda - 3 files ou só uma?

Eram 3 filas de trânsito, mas chega uma, não é?!!
Todos os dias isto está assim…

IDL syntax highlighting in Notepad++

Dom, 25 Janeiro , 2009

I’ve been using notepad++ for about a year and I just love it.
I use it mainly to write my LaTeX files, but also for any programming language I need and standard text, such as .txt and .nfo.
It has syntax highlighting (excellent for programming), tabs to keep every open document easily accessible, double panel, support for plugins, etc, etc, etc
I use the explorer and spell-checker plugins and they work just as you’d expect! Great!
But there was one thing missing: syntax highlighting for the IDL programming language. I looked around google a bit and found it nowhere. So, I used another great feature on notepad++, custom syntax! After an hour of typing in all IDL functions and procedures, I’ve arrived at what I think isn’t a very bad scheme.
Then I wanted to know where it stored this info and I found it in the file C:\Documents and Settings\user\Application Data\Notepad++\userDefineLang.xml
You can get it  from: userDefineLang.xml (link updated – 2/11/2011)

EDIT (4-sep-2012) sorry for taking so long to update this. Thanks to Spencer, here’s the link to the notepad++  wiki where this file is: http://notepad-plus.sourceforge.net/commun/userDefinedLang/userDefineLang_IDL.xml

EDIT (15-Sep-2015) It seems notepad++ has made importing the XML file a bit easier. Just download the file above to wherever and then:

  • Language Menu -> Define your language…
  • Click the “Import…” button
  • Navigate to where you saved the file and select it.
  • Restart notepad++ and your user defined language should be ready to be used.

Please, let me know if you have any suggestions to improve it!

DM of the Rings

Qui, 8 Janeiro , 2009

Há uns dias, mostraram-me este Web-comic: The DM of the Rings
Essencialmente, é a história de LotR (Senhor dos Aneis), em versão Dungeons&Dragons, em que os principais intervenientes são jogadores de D&D e o narrador é o Dungeon Master (DM) que, supostamente, inventou a história para os amigos jogarem D&D naquele mundo.
Vale a pena lê-lo até ao fim e, depois do ban a quotes do Quest for the Holy Grail, dos Monty Python, o autor brinda-nos com esta maravilha: Edoras! Eu pus o video do youtube a tocar noutra ‘tab’ do Firefox e fui lendo a página do comic…. Lindo!🙂

Estacionamentos abusivos em Lisboa

Sáb, 8 Novembro , 2008

Já ando a matutar sobre isto há muito tempo e hoje fui espreitar nos mapas do maps.live.com e descobri que certos estacionamentos abusivos que eu vejo todos os dias também aparecem nas imagens aéreas.

A primeira é na Rua Visconde de Santarém, sentido Embaixada da Russia para a Av. Rovisco Pais. Uns 50 60 metros antes dos semáforos que dão para a Av. Rovisco Pais está um sinal de proibição de estacionar e parar, um destes:. Já tenho visto a polícia passar por ali no seu carrinho e não ligarem nenhuma e esta clara violação do código. Mas se eu deixar o carro estacionado em cima do passeio vão-mo logo bloquear e rebocar!!
Aqui está o link para irem direitos ao mapa: R. Visconde de Santarém.
E eis ao que me refiro (click para aumentar):
ruaviscondesantarem_estacionamento

A segunda é na Rotunda de Dona Estefânea que, na realidade se chama “Largo Dona Estefânea”. Das várias vezes que lá passei, reparei que tinha o sinal de rotunda, mas posso ter visto mal! Era um destes: .
Quando eu aprendi o código da estrada, dizia que é proíbido estacionar numa rotunda, mas ele já viu tantas revisões que já posso estar desactualizado… ou não! Este é outro caso flagrante em que passa a polícia de trânsito e não vê nada!
Aqui está o link para irem direitos ao mapa: Largo Dona Estefânea.
E o screenshot (click para aumentar):
largodonaestefanea_estacionamento

Para hoje, é só mais um.
Este não é estacionamento em que os condutores deixam os 4 piscas ligados enquanto vão ao cafézinho. Concerteza que este fenómeno acontece em vários sítios do país.
Na Rua Marquês de Sá da Bandeira, sentido da Av. Berna, quase a chegar ao cruzamento com a Av. Elias Garcia, existem uns semáforos. Os 50 metros que precedem os semáforos são localização de primeira para deixar o carro enquanto se vai à bica e nem o sinal de proibição de estacionar os demove. Ainda mais, um pouco mais atrás, há estacionamento, mas é comum verem-se carros estacionados em segunda fila obrigando autocarros e afins a invadirem a via onde se circula em sentido contrário.
Aqui está o link para irem direitos ao mapa: Rua Marquês de Sá da Bandeira
e o screenshot (click para aumentar):
ruamarquesdesadabandeira_estacionamento

Divine electromagnetics

Ter, 4 Novembro , 2008

God runs electromagnetics by wave theory on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, and the Devil runs them by quantum theory on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday.
– Sir William Bragg

bankomails is a SCAM!

Seg, 3 Novembro , 2008

After rolex-mails, it’s time for bankomails to show its true colors. scam!
I reached the minimum payout and even threw in the signup bonus, but there’s still no way to cashout.
Here are the shots:

Redemption page. Note that my account balance is $21.050,00

Redemption page. Note that my account balance is $21.050,00

After clicking the "Payout $20000 (1 Ads)" link, I arrived at the same page, but with no links to click!

After clicking the "Payout $20000 (1 Ads)" link, I arrived at the same page, but with no links!

I knew this kind of PTR was too good to be true, but it was worth a shot.

I have 3 more of these PTR’s in my list: Depacco, EuroTradeMails and BuxPTR. I haven’t reached payout yet, but as soon as I do, I’ll post the result here! I have high expectations for these sites… high probability of scam, that is!

ValePTR 1st Payment

Seg, 3 Novembro , 2008

Yesterday, I got my first payment from ValePTR!

$1.33… not much, but it’s a start!

Here is the proof:

Mail sent by Alertpay

Mail sent by Alertpay

Alertpay transaction details

Alertpay transaction details