MWC 2014

MWC 2014
MWC 2014
MWC 2014 by servicesmobiles on Flickr

Mobile World Congress 2014 is the talking shop for the all things related mobile phones, or specifically GSM.  Samsung announced the new iteration to the Galaxy  S family, the S5. There are minimal changes to the hardware.  What got most people talking is the pin cushion styled back.  It has an uncanny similarity with a piece of handy plaster, so much so that Samsung rivals started poking fun at them. link  Other styling changes includes a cap for the USB port to make it nearly water proof.  The battery and SD card are still removable.

Nokia announced their line of Android phones, yes, a forked version of Android phones to entice users onto the Windows platform.  The very low end specifications shows that they are serious in launching it in India.  Same as HP, but with tablets.  I hope the rupee exchange rates puts a dent on their plans.

Sony also showed off a new baby, the Sony Z2 with 3GB of RAM!

GSMarena comparision here.

There are so may SnapDragon 800s that is so confusing.  Hopefully this article should clear things up.  link

Lastly  a shot of local news.

Samsung 5S or S5
5S or S5



OpenNet Rolling out the last mile.

The crazy world of rolling out the last mile of fibre to the home by OpenNet. This is the dream of IDA  to enable  high speed internet access for the consumer. This is something I support, faster streaming of videos, music etc. The scheduling for the cabling crews to visit each apartment unit in Singapore will drive any sane project manager mad.

So when I saw the OpenNet installation letter at my relatives house, words escape me.

They just moved in to the brand new flat 3 months ago and now they want to install the fibre!  Why wasn’t the installation completed before it was occupied?  One possibility is the tender to build the flats may pre-date the OpenNet. Yeah right. Now the crews have to manage the occupiers, when 9 months earlier would have been a walk in the park.

More telling is the inability of HDB and IDA to work together.


Cyanogenmod 10.2 and Gustavo kernel

Cyanogenmod 10.2  is a good ROM.  It is lean with just enough bells and whistles to make  it as close as Google wanted.  I have always found that the kernel from the CM team has left much to be desired.  For example CM 10.1 ROM was an excellent work of art, for me it has a tendency to lose 3G connection after 24 hours.  Most irritating.  I solved that by using Dorimanx kernel.

Now on CM10.2, Dorimanx kernel, I felt it seems to be slow or laggy.  Another third party kernel is Apolo, it gave good battery life, but nothing like Gustavo kernel.  With the Gustavo kernel, I managed to use it for up to 4 days and the battery life per charge was excellent.  Unfortunately, it does not suffer app crashes well.  When there is a crash, for me, this kernel tends to kill the whole phone.  Not crash the whole OS, where a reboot will solve.  It crash in such a big way, it will be stuck on reboot.  So far the only way to recover is to wipe the system and data, ie reinstall everything back from scratch.

Recently, it crashed due to the famous USB MTP problem.  This was during work and I was short on time.  So I flashed back CM10.2 stock, no other kernel.  I did not want to go rearranging all the icons again, so I installed Aviate, the contextual launcher.

I might do a few runs of stability tests and see what the uptime is like.

Gustavo link Apolo link

Dorimanx link

Update 27 Feb

The stock CM10.2 was quite stable but I noticed that I keep losing the radio signal after about 2 days.  Airplane mode, set to 2G, simply did not bring it back. The only was to reboot.  I was browsing XDA threads and a post on the recovery.  It seems to be related to the dynamic fsync.  This was disabled and a new build made.  Now I have been running it for 3 days.

CM10.2 with Gustavo kernel  (jb-kernel-22-02-CWM)
CM10.2 with Gustavo kernel (jb-kernel-22-02-CWM) uptime 3 days.

XDA link


Lenovo A1 reports illegal battery

The first Android devices, Lenovo A1 tablet was left aside for a few weeks .  Recently I tried charging the device , after a few minutes, the screen will light up saying “Battery is illegal” in English and Chinese.  Then the device shuts down.

A quick noodling around, reveals that this is illegal battery problem is quite common,  except the repair method is uncommon.  The Lenovo A1 does not have a removable back.  The repair method is to unplug the battery, wait for a while and plug back.  The various U Tube videos showed a guy opening the back with his fingers, and another using a guitar pick.  I tried using a  normal credit card but it was too thick, so I put my expired IEEE membership card to good use.  It is a plastic covered cardboard and about half the thickness.

I ran the card round and round the table to free up in the internal plastic catches.  Took some time as I did not want the back to break.  After a few tries, I managed to take the back off.  The battery is connected via short cable.    Unplug it and wait for a few minutes.  Plug it back and charge.  After a few seconds the charging light started blinking.  Several minutes later the green battery bar showed up on the screen showing 1%.  Do not install back the cover yet.

After overnight charging, the device can be turned on.  Did a quick check through, looks like it is back.  Popped the back cover on.

Lenovo maintenance manual link