December 28, 2008

Must Have iPhone Apps

These are my must have iPhone apps in no particular order. Most of them require your iPhone to be jailbroken, so make sure you have a jailbroken iPhone 3G 2.2. Since this assumes your iPhone is already jailbroken, Cydia and Installer won't feature in the list :P. Here's the list in no particular order:

  1. OpenSSH (Cydia) - a must have if you wish to connect to the filesystem of your iPhone from your computer - the default root password is "alpine".
  2. Facebook (App Store) - Yes, we're all Facebook whores - this app works way better than the mobile browser version.
  3. mxTube (Cydia) - This allows you to save your YouTube videos for playing later, as well as choosing what quality (whether on WiFi or EDGE). Much better than the default player..
  4. Shazam (App Store) - Place your iPhone near a speaker or TV or radio, and this will identify what song is playing! It will also provide YouTube links to a video (if available)!
  5. Installous (Cydia) - This app is well an App Store replacement (of sorts). It accesses and allows you to install packages from The repository needs to be added into Cydia first. (Visit Hackulous for more info)
  6. SwirlyMMS (Cydia) - This app brings that which should've already been on the iPhone - MMS! Works as advertised and is actually not that bad!
  7. BeejiveIm (App Store) - This app brings all your instant messaging to the iPhone - AIM/MobileMe, GTalk, ICQ, Jabber, MSN, Myspace and Yahoo as well! Easy to use and supports landscape!
  8. iRealSMS (Cydia) - This app makes SMS on the iPhone what it should've been from the beginning. It supports landscape, forwarding sms, sending contact details, as well as searching through your messages. The latest version has Quick Reply, which lets you reply to an SMS without closing your current app!
  9. siax (Cydia) - This app is great for VOIP, supporting SIP and IAX. (Works fine with Nonoh :D)
  10. Now Playing (App Store) - This app shows you what is playing, which cinema it's playing at, and at what time! Complete with reviews and trailers and RT scores!

  11. iPhysics (App Store) - This game engine for the iPhone gives you endless amount of fun with its 2D engine. Make your own game or play one of the included ones! (I think you can download addons as well.)

  12. Winterboard (Cydia) - I almost forgot to mention this! This allows you to fully customise your iPhone's Springboard and download pre-designed themes as well!

Jailbreaking iPhone 2.2

Firstly, if you're still on an outdated firmware, go to iTunes right now and update to the latest firmware 2.2 (5G77).

Next, "jailbreak" your iPhone! If you're wondering what "jailbreaking" is, well essentially it is allowing your iPhone to install 3rd Party applications that you can't get through the App Store, due to various reasons.

Jailbreaking allows you to access the file system on your iPhone, send/receive MMS, improved SMS features, change themes, and also install Linux if you so wish.

To jailbreak, the easiest and most painless way is to go to QuickPWN and download the QuickPWN 2.2 for Windows or Mac.

You get the option of installing Installer and Cydia (both of which I recommend) which allow you to install applications. Installer and Cydia are in essence very similar to Synaptic for Ubuntu.

If you do have problems with jailbreaking you can always restore your iPhone from iTunes. Remember it's never a bad idea to backup your iPhone through iTunes before undertaking this procedure!


Well, a few weeks ago I finally did that which I myself would have considered blasphemous a few years back..bought an Apple product....yep, I bought an iPhone 3G with a new contract on Singtel.

Well now that I finally got my hands on it, I've been examining and "tinkering" with the iPhone in almost every way imaginable (short of taking it apart).

Over the next few weeks I'm going to be putting down tricks and tips - some commonly documented, others not so much so!

First, I must say straight out of the box the iPhone is crippled - with several key elements missing such as only 2 out of 35 profiles of Bluetooth supported - most noticeably DUN (The ability to use your iPhone as a modem to connect to the internet), A2DP (listen to music over Bluetooth stereo) and FTP (the ability to transfer files over Blueooth).

This by far isn't the only shortcoming of the so-called revolutionary phone; but that's not what my articles are going to be about. Anyone can read that online and make a decision for themselves. These articles are going to be about how to overcome some/most/all of these shortcomings.

Stay tuned!

December 27, 2008

NUS Central Library in 3D

Now, this my fellow readers is freaking cool. I came across this while googling the number of different postcodes in NUS. (I don't know how, and this was SO interesting I never really found out).

Well seeing that it was featured on Feature Projects on Google, I figured it'd be interesting and it was.

Basically this uses a few tools to come up with NUS Central Library in 3D, complete with Search!

Yes, that's right, search for a book and it will give you the exact location! :D

Now, all we need is for this to be actually implemented on Google Earth - i.e. when you search for NUS Central Library and zoom in enough, it should give you this!

December 2, 2008

Desktop - a web browser

What if your dektop is actually a web browser?

Wouldnt it be great that you dont need to open a window to surf the net when you can do it just off your desktop.

Also what if all the desktop applications such as Word and stuff are written using web languages and all run on the browser.

Note: I really dont know what I was talking about there but it doesnt mean we can get rid of an OS cause OS is still needed to communicate with the hardware of a PC.

November 29, 2008

AJAX Video Player

Before you read further, this post is about a totally random theoretical/hypothetical idea. So do not question me on how it works or for proof of existence. I have no idea if such an idea or product is available.

Coming to the actual post now...

Well we all know that using AJAX we can refresh just a part of the webpage. So I was wondering what if we do the following:

1) Put a box of lets say 200 x 200 pixels on a webpage (the size of the box can be anything). And yeah under a div tag with an id lets say "player".

2) We create a bunch of images maybe 1000 and put them in a folder. Also we number them from 1 to 1000. Example: 1.jpg, 3.jpg, 674.jpg, etc.
At this point we also assume that the bunch of images are actually 1000 frames of a video and are named such that 1.jpg corresponds to frame 1 and so on.

3) Now we use JavaScript on the webpage so as to refresh the "player" part of the page asynchrounously so as to display the images sequentially.

4) And now we make another assumption. (If you are wondering why so many assumptions, its cause this idea is hypothetical). Lets assume that we can refresh the page 50 times in a second and also display an image completely with each refresh.

Then wont we be able to make a video player for browser using just JavaScript. And get rid of Flash Video Player and other players that come as plugins to the browser.

Note: Dont ask me to why I came out with this weird idea. I just thought about it.

November 2, 2008

I got Chromed

I got a rather interesting warning message while I was on a Google site using Google Chrome. Ya ya I know it's still in beta, but I was amused!

November 1, 2008

ThinkPad R52 Opened up

This how ThinkPad R52 looks like when opened up... Guess I was a bit bored...

October 13, 2008

Gmail login problem

If you've had problems logging in, through the website or through an email client and you're positive you've got all the settings right AND you're positive you've typed and retyped AND retyped your username and password correcctly and it STILL doesn't work... here's something you should try.

Remember to close all other online and offline email activity related to the account in question first.

For Gmail users...

For Google Apps users...[your domain].com/UnlockCaptcha

Give it a few minutes and retry. It should be up and running.

September 15, 2008

Removing TREND MICRO OfficeScan

To all the NUS students who find TREND MICRO OfficeScan installed in you laptop by "default" and find it
- useless since it doesnt really do much
- use another Anti-Virus software such as AVG or Norton

You guys would have realised by now that if you try to uninstall TREND MICRO, it asks for an admin password and this admin password isnt your Windows password either. Unfortunately NUS Computer Center has locked it with their own password. So if you dont know the password you guys have to go all the way to IT Care (located at level 1 of Computer Center building) to get it uninstalled.

So here is the password to uninstall it.


Thanks to Shahzad for suggesting the password to try it out. It does work although takes ages to uninstall.

June 25, 2008

HyperTerminal & Code Page 437

Code Page 437 Link:

When you are setting up and testing a communication protocol you may need to send and receive some protocol flags such as SYN, ACK, STX, DLE, etc. In Windows (I am not sure if Vista has it) you can make use of the tool called HyperTerminal to do the testing. For more details on HyperTerminal refer to


After you have figured out how to use the HyperTerminal you will be wondering what are the characters that appear on the screen. Obviously they correspond to some ASCII value but what the values are is a big question. To find out that you can refer to the very first link in this post.

That link really helped me and my project mate when we were testing an asynchronous serial RS232 communication. Infact if we hadn't found it using Google we would have been stuck with our project for ages.

From the chart in the link you can interpret the ASCII value. You might also question how on earth can I send a for example DLE flag especially when none of the characters are present on the keyboard.

Here is the formula:
"Ctrl" + alphabet
alphabet = corresponding ASCII value of {64 + ASCII value corresponding to the flag}

- To send DLE (ASCII value = 16), find the sum of 64 and 16 (64 + 16 = 80).
- Now check which character corresponds to the ASCII value 80 in the chart. In this case it is 'P'.
- So press "Ctrl + P" to send a DLE.
Note: Although 80 corresponds to P in CAPS you can just press Ctrl + p (in small) as it works. I have never tested with capital letters.

June 20, 2008

Ad hoc wireless server

Having only one LAN point in your room is sometimes annoying especially since NUS on-campus housing doesnt have Wi-Fi available. To solve this issue you can obviously buy a wireless router and set a wireless server provided you are fine with spending on one. If you dont want to spend, and dont want the LAN point in your room to be barred since you have bridged your network cards trying to setup an ad hoc wireless server (NUS does block your LAN point if it detects that your Network cards are bridged as it considers it to be a Security threat. I have had my LAN point blocked from using the Internet for a fortnight.)... here is the solution.

Step 1: Go to any of these links - (or)

Step 2: Follow the instructions there carefully. The first link has better screen shots and is much more organised than the Microsoft link.

Step 3: Becareful of your Security. Try to make sure no one breaches your connection.

NOTE: 1) An ad hoc wireless server was successfully created and tested in DTU not NUS network. If any you manage to accomplish it in NUS network, please drop a comment on the results.
2) So far I have managed to get one friend of mine access Internet using the ad hoc wirelss server I set up. Couldnt find more people to test it out as most of them were asleep by the time this was accomplised.

Any comments are welcome.