Unboxing the Wee (after Wii)

Posted by Madbot on May 8, 2009 in Japan, Madbot Madness, Techno

Old DVD player died and decided to get a low cost replacement so the wife can continue to watch DVDs. A quick search on Amazon found me a DVD player that is low cost (around 3700yen) and region free. Its also one of the most sold plsyers on Amazon with great feedback ratings. Funniest of all, it seems to be a rip-off of the Nintendo Wii, excepts it plays DVDs not games.

So I placed my order and got it today. Behold! Same as what I had done two years ago with the unboxing of Wii, here is the unboxing (pics) of the Wee. The very last pic us the Wee (lying flat) next to the Wii (upright).


Access Hotmail from iPhone

Posted by Madbot on Mar 4, 2009 in Madbot Madness, Techno

Madbot says:

Since a long time ago, if you wanted pop3 access on your hotmail account you would need to sign up for something called Hotmail Premium – and pay for it. Being from the “free” generation of the Internet I never bothered with it because I have several hotmail accounts and Outlook Express is good enough.

With the iPhone this became a pain in the backside. All my yahoo, gmail, exchange, pop and IMAP accounts all sit happily on the iPhone except hotmail accounts.

Well apparently microsoft announced in jan that they are making pop access for hotmail on various devices in selected countries and will add more countries as they go. Luckily I am in one of these first countries. Yay! now I can finally get all my mails at the same place and all for free – other than data charge anyway.

To add hotmail, simply add a new mail account using the “other” category, putting the basic details and the phone will find the rest. Double yay..!

It’s not perfect. Only inbox is available and large email take a while to show – see pic below. Wish it’s IMAP instead of POP. But it’s good enough!



Must have iphone app – Stanza

Posted by Madbot on Jan 18, 2009 in Techno

Madbot says:

Discovered two great things this week.

One – a good ebook reader app for the iPhone, Stanza.
Two – some of my favourite books in pdf format.

Stanza is an absolutely fantastic ebook reader. There are plenty of links to online book stores where you can buy ans download book, and also free book sites where you can grab the classic novels and others that are available for free.

The best feature though for me Is that it has a desktop client. I don’t read ebooks on the desktop but Stanza’s desktop client has the capability to convert PDF to epub format for the Stanza client on the iPhone. The conversion is not perfect but it’s a top job nevertheless.

With the books in pdf format, I converted them to epub and transferred to the iPhone. The phone’s sharp display screen plus the easy to use Standa interface made this a beautiful combination. I had been reading one of the novels this week for some six hours everynight. No games, no TV. Just one of the novels from one of my favourite Chinese authors. Eyes hurt from being glued to the screen/story and tired from reading until five am but this allowed me read the addictive story in bed in the dark without disturbing the wife. I could even listen to music.. But it was not necessary.

I don’t remember ever being this happy with a phone/PDA.



Iphone wifi drop out fix – DNS

Posted by Madbot on Jan 2, 2009 in Techno

Madbot says:

Since getting the iphone I have been loving all the apps (free) available. But one thing kept bugging me. The wifi would cut out after some time or some app hopping. It’s easily fixed by reconnecting wifi on the iPhone but it was getting very annoying.

Interestingly it was happening to the wifi at home but not the more expensive wifi hubs at the office. It’s not an issue with ip conflict. The wifi remains connected but safari and other apps trying to connect to the net would come back with server timeouts. And wow, plenty of people complaining about the same problem..

Well I found a fix. It appears the phone has an issue with DNS. The phone was already configured to static ip so I know there are no issues with dhcp, with the router IP set as the dns on the iPhone wifi connection. Apparently that was the problem. A few forum posts suggested using an opendns server as DNS to solve this problem. I was skeptical but I was out of options on what I can change on the wifi router config. So I changed the iPhone wifi DNS to which is an opendns server and viola! It worked.

It’s been running great for over a week now. If you have connection issues with wifi, I suggest you give this a go.

So the specific steps:

1. Connect to your wifi point (the one you’re having problems with) with your iPhone as per normal.
2. On the iPhone, Open Settings, Wi-Fi (it should already be connected to your wifi point)
3. Click on the > arrow next to your connected wifi point to see its settings. You may have DHCP or Static, unless you have some special network settings (which you then know what to do already), don’t worry and just go with what you already have set.
4. Click on DNS lower down the page and type in “”. Save and exit.
5. Browse a few pages over wifi and check if the connection is stable. Good luck..!

Update (2010/10/14): readers Guy and Peter Vroom have kindly commented that if the above method does not fix the problem and you are using WPA2 for wifi encryption, try downgrading to use WPA. It may work for you.

Update (2011/6/14): readers Bec found an oldie but a goodie – check your router firmware for updates. An update will probably fix the problem. It did for Bec.

If you find this entry useful or can do with some additional info, leave me a comment.

You can also help me support this site by clicking on the Facebook “Like” or the Google “+1” button 🙂 Thanks..!



I bought an iPhone

Posted by Madbot on Jan 2, 2009 in Techno

Madbot says:

Actually bought it like two weeks ago. It’s only until today that I bothered to upgrade the blog and get the wordpress app – which is used to post this little scribble.

So far the phone has been quite satisfactory. There are several shortfalls like the short battery life, not enuf memory to handle browsing of large sites in safari while listening to music.. But these are things I can adjust my usage habits to cope. Other than those complaints, the iPhone is really much better than the windows mobile and the symbiand.

I remember reading somewhere that the president of Azus said netbooks like my EEEPC was designed to consume content instead of creating content like a desktop or laptop. Well, the iPhone is at least on par if not better at serving that function due to it’s easy connectivity, specifically designed apps for specific content, and its convenience due to the small form factor.

I am loving this phone and it’s not even jailbreak’ed yet.. It’s sweet.



My EEE PC (with Windows XP)

Posted by Madbot on Mar 31, 2008 in Madbot Madness, Techno

Madbot says:

On a recent trip to Taiwan I was able to pay a visit to the local computer stores. One thing I had been interested to see were the EEE PCs.


To be honest, I had only expected 1 ot 2 models in the types of EEE PC on offer. So much so that I thought there was only the Linux version. As it turned out, the shop(s) I visited had both the Linux version, Windows XP version, and another where the shop will install Win XP on the Linux version for you if you provide them with your XP serial number.

So what did I get? The wife is comfortable with XP and not linux.. being rushed on time, and remembering the pain of searching for unreliable Windows drivers for uncommon hardware, I picked the pre-installed XP version for NT$12490 (or approx 47,000 yen) for the convenience over the Linux version with various upgrades like 2G memory, a 4G SD card, web cam, a protective pouch etc for NT$12999.

I’ve come to learn that the model I purchased is 4G Surf, 1 of 4 and of the subset that came pre-installed with Windows XP.

Read more…


Google calendar sync

Posted by Madbot on Mar 8, 2008 in Madbot Madness, Techno

Madbot says:

Google has finally released their tool to sync Microsoft Outlook to Google Calendar. Get it.. don’t walk, run..!!

What this means is that finally the calendar and appointments in Outlook can be sync’ed to the Google calendar, you can use Google calendar to add other interest calendar (Eg., national holidays, TV schedules, whatever).

So what? Well, Outlook calendar had been the last missing link. With this last link now in place, I can now and see all calendars combined (or layer by layer) in cellphone/keitai via the php scripts by RCD Tokyo at anywhere where my keitai gets reception.

Not as convenient as having a smartphone/pda, but the phone is a lot smaller and easier to carry.



How to convert Docomo VNT files – for free

Posted by Madbot on Jan 19, 2008 in Madbot Madness, Techno

Madbot says:

If you use a Docomo phone to take photos or record videos and then transfer the files over to your PC for keeping or editing, you will usually find that the transferred file is “VNT” instead of being JPG or MPG which can be easily opened by say a photo or video editor.

This post is to help you convert these VNT files. If you are trying to convert:
– an image file to JPG, please look at this previous post. However, the following instructions can also convert images so feel free to keep reading and choose one that you are comfortable.
– a video file, please continue reading.

Read more…


Madbot’s top opensource / free software collection – 1

Posted by Madbot on Oct 9, 2007 in Madbot Madness, Techno

Madbot says:

Having started playing on the Internet when most things came as free (even had a free Internet connection once), I usually spend a bit of time looking around for free alternatives if I needed something.

Over the years I’ve built up a list of my favourites which I take with me from PC to PC, laptop to laptop. With the exponential growth that is the Internet and the open source movement, it seems everyday there is more good software becoming available or becoming more mature. This means there more and more choices..!! But which ones are good?

Here is the list of my favourites so far:


  • Browser:
  • ———————————————————————
    Firefox – Simply the best browser I’ve used in the past 10 years. The browsing speed is good. The extensions/addons add many more functionalities and flexibilities to the product. Simply the best browser out there.

    Read more…


    Early Norwegian tech help….

    Posted by Madbot on Sep 21, 2007 in Madbot Madness, Techno

    Madbot says:

    Amazing how little has changed.. Here’s a little video on Early Norwegian tech help..

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