Monday, 31 October 2011

Overseas call Tip

24 November 2011

AT the time of this post, my patience run out. I can not make a call to the Philippines again. I still have more than 800 minutes to make but I can not use their service. I can say that this service of Vectone is plain rubbish. 


I called their costumer service 6 times and they are not very helpful at all. One CS told me a tutorial to tinker on my phone! OK, did what she "tutored" me. No luck! It seemed like she was telling my phone is the problem. Ha-ha!

Then she told me to wait a moment. I told her the service was out since the 7th of November, resumes on the 23rd, then out again today the 24th of November. That's not only a moment it was weeks, I am giving them to sort out one problem.

My account still has 800 minutes on it and I asked them what will happen. They said once the renewal date is due, I can not roll over the unused minutes. I understand if the fault is mine, but it's their system, so I am sure everyone agrees, that we should not buy this explanation.

My advice is not to take COUNTRY SAVER FROM VECTONE.




Do you have the same experience with Vectone Country Saver? What to do now?

 Report your experience to OFCOM !


Here's their response to my report:





___________________________________________________________________________________



22 November 2011
At the time of writing, the problem with Vectone is already resolved. They sent me an email confirming the problem is remedied already. They claimed to have called me and my phone was ringing however, I never received any call from them.
However, I can now make a call to the Philippines after almost 3 weeks.

_________________________________________________________________________________

20 November 2011

Important message.

At the time of writing this post, I have a problem with Vectone's country saver. I could not make a call to the sun cellular destination. The customer service, dial 111, always tell me to wait for 24 hours but until this time I can not make a call. I still have at least 900 minutes left in my account and I feel cheated.

I feel sorry that I have made below post quite too soon.

Original Post

Did you know that you can call the Philippines  for 1 pence a minute? £15 would get you 1500 minutes to call a Philippine mobile. .This deal has been around for a while and have seen it before. The fact that it's quite very cheap, I had a bit of a doubt, on signal strength, on network traffict, and the reliability of the affiliate network back in the Philippines. Here's the details

The deal is on vectone mobile. It is called country saver, different from world bundle,  and exclusive to Sri Lanka and Philippine destinations. Link below.

What do you need?
  • To start, you need a vectone sim card, you can get this at

The sim card will be dispatched within 3 days or less, iPhone 4 users and other mobiles that need micro card, need to specify and tick the iphone button, otherwise just choose the standard sim card. You can order up to 2 simcards at a time and if you need more than 2, you can get back to the site and order more.
  • Your contact in the Philippines will also need a sim card from Sun Cellular network
Why Sun Cellular? That's the affilliate network of Vectone in the Philippines and will only work with that network and only one mobile number.

What do you need to do?
  • Once you have received your sim card , you need to topup it up with at least £15 pounds.
  • Then you need to register the vectone simcard that you want to use for the service. You can register 3 vectone simcards and share the 1500 minutes allowance.
  • At the registration, you will also be asked for one Sun Cellular number and the details of your contact in the Philippines. Remember that this number is the only one you can use with your 1500minutes allowance. 
  • The service will be activated within 3 days, and in the website, it says that you will receive a confirmation text, but in my case, I did not receive a confirmation text after 3 days, what I did was, I've called them free by dialing 111 using the vectone mobile simcard. The customer service did confirmed that my account is already activated and I do not need to wait for the confirmation text.
  • If you want to call another Sun Cellular number or another cellular and land line numbers, you can do so but you need to purchase additional credit. Standard calls to Philippine mobile is 14 pence per minute, 9 pence for landline and 10 pence for sending a text.
*There is also a separate service called world bundle that can bring the price down to 10 pence per minute if you add up £5 more on top of the £15 you have used for the 1500minutes, then just text REG PHL05 to 345

See regular world rates here


And world bundles here

http://www.vectonemobile.co.uk/pay-as-you-go/bundles/world-bundle.aspx

* This service is the best if you make a call to a single destination to the Philippines very often.

My vectone experience.

I have been using the world bundle service before I have signed up for the my country saver for more than 3 years. In fact the sim card that I was using for the world bundle  is the one I signed up for the country saver. I can say that the service is good and can be as good as the popular mobile providers here in the UK. I've used the service south of England and at land's end without any signal problem.

Sun Cellular netwrok at our mountainous place in the Philippines has a nice signal as well. My contacts have a clear reception, and I can call them as often as I want without looking at the time. Start saving now, and get country saver. Feel free to share to your friends especially whose relatives do not have internet connections for SKYPE!

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Itunes and Apple account phishing attempt

Apple users who has apple account or itunes account, beware. As of yesterday, I received an email claiming to be from contact.support@apple.com, with subject Email Alert (Apple Store). If you hover your mouse over the link, the destination URL is

http://www.fundews.com//wp-content/maboot/store/update/store.apple.com-uk/store.apple.com.htm


which is very much different and dodgy site. The domain name fundews.com is never heard of. As this is a new attack, at least for me and my yahoo mail,  there is a chance that your ISP, which is responsible in filtering out web contents and translating URL's into web pages, hasn't yet filtered this link, so beware.

Screen shots on the attempted phishing attack below.

The message preview!




Message content, take note of the URL destination, will help if you zoom it at the bottom part of the window!


And the blocked destination URL. Thanks to openDNS!




Sunday, 23 October 2011

Facebook chat for iPAD Update 2

I haven't been using the iPad for a while to access FB, neither by using the default application or either by the customised aps to access FB contents, specially the chat function. Just recently I've found out that the FB's native application for iPAD already has a chat function on it.

 The updated native iPAD FB  app is neater , the interface is easier to follow and navigate. It's chat function is somewhat hidden, and  only is available on the landscape mode. If an iPAD user rarely use the device in the landscape mode, he surely will not know FB chat in official application.

Screen shots below.

At portrait mode, tapping the the menu button, squared with green box, will only show the sub menus at the left. and will not allow you to scroll left.


From the portrait mode, rotate your device into the  landscape mode and scroll the page to the left and the chat button will be shown on the left.



Pressing the box with the arrow will get you online.




And your online friends will be shown ready to chat!



 Buy IPAD now and pay in 2012 at 
PC World from £399.00

Buy IPAD accessories at 
Carphone Warehouse

Did you think you can not get an IPAD 2 as a free gift with a mobile contract? Yes you can, use the gift search from this blog and click high llighted bottom text to see all free gifts offered.


http://prakticality.blogspot.com/p/mobiles.html



Previous related posts

http://prakticality.blogspot.com/2011/05/facebook-chat-at-ipad.html
http://prakticality.blogspot.com/2011/10/facebook-chat-for-ipad-update.html
http://prakticality.blogspot.com/2011/07/how-to-facebook-video-chat.html



Saturday, 22 October 2011

How to make cheaper international calls with a UK mobile contract




Calling overseas with existing mobile company standard tariff can be very expensive. Calls ranges from 60 pence to £1.99 depending on country destination and mobile company. There is a way to put down the price to at least 30 to 70 percent lower using the mobile network's extra bundles for pay monthly. Most of the networks in the UK has this kind of additional service to their pay monthly customers. So if you forgot to buy international phone card, or too lazy to go out as you run out of credit or simply fed up using these cards, good news is you can use your existing contract to call overseas!


O2 Customers 

     1.   International Extras

 This can give up to 110 minutes for £5, depending on the destination and is available for 33 countries. See the 33 countries covered at

http://www.o2.co.uk/internationalextras

Philippines for example, can make 35 minutes call for £5. The £5 will be added to the monthly tariff on your bill, and you can only be charge when you purchase the service

If you want to try the the 02 service and get 35minutes to call the Philippines mobile or landline, text Philippines5 to  80282 
    
      2.   International Favourites

This additional service can boost you a 3000 landline minutes and 100 mobile minutes to countries like the US, Australia, Canada, Poland, India, Malaysia and more. See countries included below.

http://www.o2.co.uk/internationalfavourites

The cost is £10 on top of the monthly tariff, and this allows you to call three different international destination. If you want to add up to a total 5 international numbers, the cost is £20. You will have 3000 minutes to call landline international destination and 200 minutes for mobile calls.


3 Mobile Customers

  • Add International Saver Add-on

With the Add International Saver Add-on, you'll get 3,000 minutes to use for making international calls from the UK on your Three phone. They charge £15.32 a month if you are already with a 3 contract. Popular destination countries included are the USA, Canada, Australia, China, Hongkong, Ireland. Check out the whole list at and procedure at

http://support.three.co.uk/SRVS/CGI-BIN/WEBISAPI.DLL?Command=New,Kb=Mobile,Ts=Mobile,T=Article,varset_cat=roaming,varset_subcat=4161,Case=obj(4158)



Orange Customers

  • Call Abroad Subscription
Call abroad subscription is tailored to Orange monthly tariff  customers who make overseas calls often. It is priced at an additional £2.50 a month. With this extra bundle, Orange charges from 12 pence to 80 pence depending on the call destination, compared to 30 pence upto £1.20 per minute without the bundle.

To see the cost per country, click on the link below

http://www2.orange.co.uk/servlet/Satellite?pagename=OUKPersonal&c=OUKService&cid=1044129424979&t=Service&tab=3



T Mobile Customers

  • Flexible Tariff Booster

On T-mobile contract mobile tariff, there is a flexible tariff booster that you can choose which is free of charge. International call is included and can give you 120 international minutes to call mobiles and landlines in USA & Canada (calls from the UK to overseas customers), or 60 international minutes to call mobiles and landlines in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Channel Islands, China, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Rep, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Ireland, Isle of Man, Israel, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxemburg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Pakistan, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovak Rep, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey (calls from the UK to overseas customers).
For the rest of the booster additional tariff and monthly contract costs, please see

http://www.t-mobile.co.uk/shop/mobile-tariffs/#step2-flexible-plan

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

How to recover deleted file on a memory card

One of my friends, 'Te Lorna should remember this, accidentally deleted the files on her camera while transferring it to her computer. Wrong button was all it took, then all gone! Nada! No more happy memory pics! Did it happened to you? It did to me several times, and everytime it happens, I never thought of possibly recovering it, because I do not know how things are stored electronically and how they are deleted.

Deleted files, based on what I understand by reading posts and other resources, are not really deleted, they are just not allocated a name and place that can be seen by the computer. When you search an SD card's directory, the computer could not find any name on a particular address, and that makes the computer say, no file detected.

A specialist software scans for every digital data stored in a device, and could see anything invisible with the computer's point of view and could read and bring it back whatever is left. Just like a scavenger, finding pieces of trash in the bin, and bringing it back with the hope that there are still things unbroken and put into use!

A specialist software, although free, the one I used in the previous post will help us in this tutorial.

Oh no, my deleted files!

A friend of mine, way back in high school , Nora,  now in Germany, visited us en route her training here in London, and another classmate, Eya, joined us just to see each other again. Imagine not able to see one another for the last 26 years? Every pic we took counts a lot. Until I decided to transfer everything in my laptop. The laptop's battery is old and can not hold a charge any longer than 3 minutes, so it is always plugged into a wall socket every time I use it. And this time, I forgot to check if the wall socket's secondary switch was on. I did CUT on the pictures, which I always prefer than to COPY, from the SD card and started the transfer, when the unexpected happened, the power was cut, and so was the transfer, and the content of the memory card was wiped out, !

Thanks to GlarySoftUtility which is free to download at

http://www.glarysoft.com/products/utilities/glary-utilities/download/ ,

the same software I use in the last post.


Recovering the files

1. Open up Glarysoft Utilities, goto MODULES TAB, then select, PRIVACY AND SECURITY, FILE UNDELETE


2. A window of the utility will be shown and choose which directory the memory card you want to recover by using the dropdown menu. Highlight the directory, then click search
 


3. The Utility will search for files, damaged or not

 5. Click on the files you want to recover, at this moment I have chosen all, and click restore. , then specify a directory or folder for easier archiving. This time I decided to create a folder for recovered items at my desktop


6. The recovered and unrecovered files. The file recovery is not always perfect for some reasons like how long the item is already deleted, the longer it takes, the unlikeliness of recovery is higher, as the file allocation might have been overwritten by most recent photo, files shown here are the files recovered fully (with thumbnails), and the files not fully recovered(only represented by icons).





Monday, 17 October 2011

How to recover deleted file

Have you accidentally deleted a file, a photo, a video, document or anything that you want it back? If you have not emptied your recycle bin, you are fine, but what if you have just emptied it? Recovery softwares are there but might cost you something, and if you get somebody to recover it for you doubles or triples the cost.


This tutorial will show you that it is possible to recover digital files, deleted and emptied from the recycle bin with a FREE software, without experts help. To understand why it is possible, we need to know how digital files are deleted.

What happens when we delete a file?

When a file is deleted from the computer it is  not really deleted, but  is simply removed from the directory in the folder, just like tearing off a part of the telephone directory of your name and telephone number, this doesn't mean your telephone number is no longer active and exists. Although you cannot see the file in the folder, contents of the file are still intact at this point, the same with your phone number, even your name is teared and gone from the directory, your number still exist. On Windows system, the file will have been moved to the Recycle Bin if you deleted the file using Windows Explorer. Just like what we do when we put that part of the directory book we've teared into and bin it!.

Even if you emptied the Recycle Bin, the file is still not actually deleted from the system. For the operating system's viewpoint, the deleted file is no longer exists, (just like somebody looking at that directory where your entry is teared, he has the impression that you are not allocated a phone number), and the space it occupied will become available for reuse by other files soon. But the disk space won't get reused immediately, thus the data contained in the deleted files will stay on the hard disk drive for some time.


Is it still recoverable?


The answer is MAYBE! A deleted file can be undeleted right after it has been deleted and for some time afterwards, because the operating system will not reuse space from the deleted files immediately. But the chances of perfect data recovery will decrease the longer you leave the situation, as some or all of the space allocated with the deleted file will be reused by the system eventually. The chances of data recovery will also depend on how full the hard drive is. Windows operating system will try to avoid reusing disk space that has been recently freed, in order to give recovery software a better chance of performing its task. But as the drive gets near to its full capacity, there will be better chance of free space gets reused by other files sooner. If you happen to defragment the hard drive since the file was deleted, then this will seriously affect the chances of a file recovery process. The free space left by deleted files will be occupied by current files due to fragmentation process, making it much less likely that undelete software could find anything useful.

What Free Software To Use Then?

I blogged about the Glarysoft software, click here to see the previous post, for computer maintenance before and discovered another Glarysoft Utility software than can undelete files which I experimented.

1. Download the utility at http://www.glarysoft.com/products/utilities/glary-utilities/

2. After installation, start the software and click MODULES, PRIVACY AND SECURITY, FILE UNDELETE



3. A window will pop out and starts scanning

 

4. Scanned deleted result will give  you a description of whether the file is already overwritten or still on good condition. But even when it says good condition, the file might still be unrecoverable, just cross your fingers for luck!


 5. You can filter the type of file you want to recover from the result by typing * plus . plus file extension, in this case I am trying to recover an icon, that's with ico extension. So I typed *.ico to show all files with ico extensions. Pictures has jpg, png, gif, tiff , bmp extensions, the most common is jpg on windows and png on a mac.


6. I've choosen to recover rotate.ico and clicked restore, I've put desktop as my target directory.


7. The undeleted file is now in the desktop and in good condition when opened with a photo viewer!



Saturday, 15 October 2011

How To Take Screenshot on HTC Wildfire S







Mobile phones are becoming more sophisticated. It seems like the development of these devices are faster than we once thought. It is also one of the electrical devices that survived the evolution of gadgets. In fact, the features included in the phone made the demise of other devices. Since I had a mobile, I did no longer wear any watch, no longer interested with mp3 players, and did not bother  bringing in cameras at parties and  calculators at groceries as useful gadgets are squeezed inside these tiny devices which include digital camera, movie camera, compass, navigator and others on a long list, I am not able to mention.  I am sure there will be many more in the future.

But one significant function I noticed that is missing in a full of features smartphone is something I did not expect!

For a smart phone that can take videos, photos, has wi-fi, bluetooth, tethering, reverse tethering, android OS, and so on.  The HTC Wildfire S can not take screenshots!   Or is it? Here's how to get round the missing function.


The Boat Browser

 I have been searching the web on how to do this and solutions like using Boat Browser  seems a good start and the easiest. Just download it from the apps market and off you go.  The only problem with this method is it is only enabled when you are browsing the net using the specific browser. That means it does not function if you just want to show what's going on on your phone while not browsing.

Other applications that promise this functionality needed your phone to be modified, and some others charge you. Below is a screen shot with the boat browser.



Using Computer and Development Kit Software

Another solution is to download the development kit from android and java, two separate programs, that can make your phone capable of making screen shots on what it is shown in it's screen. It is a rather complicated thing and a long procedure for ordinary user like me, as there are many files to download, but you will get there I am sure.

1. Download the Java Development Kit SE first as this piece of software is needed before it would let you download the next software. You can choose the SDK for Windows or the version which is applicable for your computer if you are not running windows.


2. Download the Android Development Kit, choose the zip version over the recommended version because when I've chosen the later,  I could not find the  specific DDMS.BAT file . Or maybe I do not know where it was!



  • Make desktop your target destination  for easier archiving later, and I recommend personally to create a new folder for the downloaded file.

3. Extract the zip file into the same new folder . Below are the files, the bottom bit is the zip file and the high lighted one is the extracted file.



4,  Open the extracted file and double click the SDK manager and run, 


5. You will be presented a window where the items to be installed are listed. Tick "select all" and begin downloading and installing. This is the longest part of the procedure, it took more than 2 hours for me to complete this. My internet connection is rather slow at 2MBPS.



6. After installing the files,  close the application window and prepare the HTC.

  • At your HTC phone, click home button, settings, applications, development, and tick USB debugging..

  • Then go to settings again, select connect to PC, and choose charge only. Then plug in your phone into the PC's USB.

7. In your PC, go to the folder you have extracted the downloaded files, not the zip file, click tools then look for  DDMS BATCH file.



8. Run it and a command console (cmd.exe) will pop out followed by another  window (delvik debug monitor) after several seconds. The name of your device should appear on the left side of the device window and you need to highlight your device. 


9. Click the device menu located at the top of the window, and click screen capture. The picture should appear in your PC's screen and you can choose to save it on any destination you like! And that's it.







  • The only downside to this method is, you need your PC to do a screen shot! I am wishing for an app that do not require modifying the device, can make screen shot with the phone itself by just pressing key combinations like the iPhone and do not need to be connected to the internet or use a browser to do a screen shot, most of all, something FREE!

HTC Wildfire and Accessories


Monday, 10 October 2011

Facebook Chat For IPAD Update





I do not know what's happening with FB, they change the interface quite often. Not only the users are somewhat lost on the new arrangements, even specialized programs to access it in some devices like iPAD is somewhat can not cope up with the changes.

On IPAD, chat function can not be found in the native FB official application or even the built in browser. Friendly for facebook was a solution, click here to see previous post, but with all these changes, this app for FB on IPAD seems lost it's touch on FB's chat function. It became unpredictable, sometimes it can get through but takes sometime to connect but most of the time it can't or perhaps I lost patient in waiting and decide to close the application.

Good news is there are many free and new release apps out there that has this function. This new one which was just published this September works like a charm. Welcome Plus for Facebook free for iPAD. Just search for it at the apps page.


The interface is rather cleaner than the native iPAD application for FB. The navigation and menu is most to the left side of the screen and the chat function is at the bottom most right. Just tap at the rather little icon and  menu to go online will pop out.


Once online, list of friend who are online will be lit up with green dot and just tap your friends name you want to chat with and chat window will appear.


To go off line, just tap the online button and you can change your status or completely go offline!



Saturday, 8 October 2011

Browsing Tweaks 2: Speed Up Firefox

Did you noticed that firefox becomes sluggish the longer it is running? That's because the longer it is left on, the more memory it will consume and the slower your browsing will be.

Memory Restart

This is a firefox extension that you can download at https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/memory-restart/ . This add-on keeps an eye on the amount of remaining memory and will warn you when it becomes too low. Restarting the browser will free up wasted resources and speed up your browser in effect. Do not worry as the websites opened during restart will be the same websites that will be shown after the browser restarts.

After download and installation, the active add-ons including memory restart should be included at the toolbar below your browser. If you can not see the add ons there, you can click VIEW, TOOLBARS, the tick ADD ON BAR, then right click on the bar that appears at the bottom of the browser window and choose CUSTOMIZE. If the icon does not appear in the selection, click RESTORE DEFAULT SET. Drag and drop the icon to the add-on tool bar. Below is what it looks like after adding memory restart.


Increase Firefox Cache Size

Local copy of websites visited are stored in a browser's cache and these can be retrieved easier. Adjusting it with more than the default allocation will give this container more space to store website's data. You can adjust this by going to TOOLS, OPTIONS, NETWORK, then tick OVERRIDE CACHE. You can then add more MB's to the cache by pressing the arrows.


Speed Up Download

DownThemAll at http://www.downthemall.net/ is an advanced download manager for Firefox that chops data traffic into multiple smaller segments and then fetches each part in at the same time. It is like grinding a coffee bean first before putting it through a tightly weaven strainer. It also let's you pause and resume your download!



Browsing Tweaks 1: Speed Up Chrome

Internet browsing is affected by many factors, from the hardware's capabilities, the ISP's bandwidth, the amount of internet traffic at a given time, the data components of the sites you are visiting, and the things you want to do while online. Watching videos and making online communication with video or audio seem the most frustrating part, as these requires large bandwidths.

Remedy to this includes hardware acceleration which includes overclocking the system, buying components such as bigger RAM, upgrading ISP's into better and bigger bandwidth and so on, and these costs really a price, time and effort.

The average internet user can  speed up our browsing speed by just doing some practical solutions which includes enabling or disabling features from the browser you are already using, or by using lower bandwidth version of the sites you are visiting.

How to Speed Up Chrome

Improve Search Speed

In CHROME browser, type about:flags in the search bar and enable Preload Instant Search. This make things  faster as the search function is already enabled before even typing a search word into the address bar. When you click the top result on that page, the site will appear almost immediately.


Disable plug-ins

You can speed up the time chrome takes to bring up web pages by disabling plug-ins and letting them on manually. Still at about:flags, enable click to play option.


Then click on the I. Tools icon, Options, II Under the Bonnet, Content Settings, III tick Click to play under plug ins. If click to play is not in the option, manually disable all by clicking disable individual plug-ins.



Turn On Hardware Acceleration

Turn on hardware acceleration by enabling GPU Composting and GPU accelerated canvas 2D. You can compare the before and after results by going to http://ie.microsoft.com/testdrive/Performance/FishIETank/Default.html before and after enabling it, and see the difference at the frame rate speed.



See the frame rate difference between before on the left and after on the right.

 


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