Good Ener­max sup­port in Ger­many

The pow­er sup­ply of my serv­er at home failed at the end of last month. As I was busy with ren­o­va­tion at home, it took me a while to check if it is real­ly the PSU or some­thing else. When I was sure about the failed piece, I have sent the PSU to the RMA address the Ener­max sup­port gave me (the PSU has a 5 year war­ran­ty, and I have it since one year). Due to hol­i­days it took a while to get the repaired unit back, but I want to say thank you to the Ener­max sup­port:

  • Thank you for hand writ­ten respons­es, I did not get obvi­ous auto­mat­ic respons­es or canned respons­es (well, maybe they did some copy&paste for the RMA address and such, but each mail had at least a part which was not com­ing from copy&paste).
  • Thank you for get­ting back to me with­in a rea­son­able time.
  • Thank you for polite­ly answer­ing all my sup­port requests.
  • Thank you for being hon­est in your com­mu­ni­ca­tion (slow han­dling of the repair due to peo­ple being in hol­i­day, not because of miss­ing pieces from sup­pli­ers or oth­er excus­es out­side Ener­max).

This is how the sup­port shall be, unfor­tu­nate­ly this is not always the case, but at least here it was. Thank you!

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The Android EMail app on ICS

In the review of the Email app of Android 3.2, I com­plained that the message-list moves in a way that the select­ed mes­sage is in the first place of the message-list. This was annoy­ing for my work­flow. In the Android 4.0.4 app (at least as it comes from Sam­sung for the Galaxy Tab 10.1) this changed so that it is the sec­ond item in the list in some cir­cum­stances (this does not hap­pen always). This is bet­ter (some­what accept­able) for my work­flow, but still, I would pre­fer if it is at least con­fig­urable. Do not move the list when I select a mes­sage, except for mak­ing a par­tial­ly vis­i­ble list-item com­plete­ly vis­i­ble.

The oth­er point I did not like about the 3.2‑app was the fold­er list moved so that the inbox is first when return­ing to the list. Thank god this changed too.

The two big dis­ap­point­ing points I had about this app are most­ly fixed in the ICS ver­sion.

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A smart­watch I would buy

After read­ing an arti­cle about smart watch­es, I tried to come up with a spec of a smart watch I would buy:

  • It needs to look like a nor­mal watch (I wear a stain­less steel ana­log one, about two thumbs wide with the strap being one thumb wide) and needs to be thin (or at least give the impres­sion it is thin, even if it is not).
  • It needs to be an exten­sion to my smart­phone, but being able to dis­play date and time with­out it.
  • It needs to have an open pro­to­col, so that peo­ple can write smart­phone apps which are able to dis­play any­thing they want.
  • It would be nice if the vendor-supplied app would dis­play incom­ing calls/SMS and at least cal­en­dar noti­fi­ca­tions (addi­tion­al noti­fi­ca­tions should be con­fig­urable, I do not want to see “you are roam­ing now” mes­sages, but email mes­sages could be nice when you are wait­ing for an impor­tant one) from the smart­phone. I am not sure how many columns/rows for char­ac­ters there need to be or if it shall be a pixel-display with a spe­cif­ic min­i­mum amount of DPI.
  • There needs to be at least one easy to use by intend but hard to use by mis­take but­ton which switch­es back to the date/time dis­play (and/or switch­es between sev­er­al default dis­plays like weath­er, date/time, agen­da… when con­nect­ed to the smart­phone – again, ide­al­ly this is con­fig­urable in the app). Bonus points for an addi­tion­al con­text sen­si­tive but­ton (e.g. “snooze 5 min­utes” or “dis­miss” for cal­en­dar noti­fi­ca­tions, ide­al­ly this can be con­fig­ured in the app).
  • The bat­tery needs to last long and be easy to replace (like with my cur­rent watch, so it needs to last years). While I would pre­fer a recharge­able way of han­dling this, the cur­rent tech­nol­o­gy is clum­sy (stan­dard­ized con­nec­tors like micro-USB to charge are too big… non-standard con­nec­tors are not an option) and does not last enough (I would be OK if one charge would last near­ly a year).
  • I do not need col­ors, but a good con­trast even in full sun­light is manda­to­ry.
  • Med­ical or life-style sen­sors (com­pass, gyro­scope, blood pres­sure, accelerom­e­ters, radi­a­tion, air qual­i­ty, …) are not nec­es­sary, but as long as they come for free (read: do not make the watch much thick­er), I would not mind.
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Incom­pat­i­ble WP plu­g­ins

The geosmart plu­g­in is incom­pat­i­ble with the one-time-password (OTP) plu­g­in of Word­Press. The prob­lem is that the OTP plu­g­in does not dis­play the chal­lenge on the login page any­more when the geosmart plu­g­in is acti­vat­ed.

A work around may be to make sure the geosmart plu­g­in does not do some­thing on the login page, but this incom­pat­i­bil­i­ty could also cause prob­lems some­where else.

The prob­lem could be relat­ed to the way the geosmart plu­g­in uses jquery. I found a bug report for OTP where the prob­lem was the jquery han­dling in anoth­er plu­g­in. The spe­cif­ic prob­lem men­tioned there does not seem to be the same as in the geosmart plu­g­in, at least on the very quick look I had.

So… for now I dis­abled the geosmart plu­g­in, most of the time I guessed the sequence num­ber right, but some­times I did not.

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ICS on the Sam­sung Galaxy Tab 10.1

Last week I had a look if there are some news for an offi­cial update of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 to ICS. To my sur­prise there is one at least in Italy. The one I found to down­load was marked more or less for the Euro­pean mar­ket. Well… that was good enough for me and the night from Fri­day to Sat­ur­day I have spend to update the Tab by hand (unfor­tu­nate­ly this includes a fac­to­ry reset, no smooth migra­tion from an old ver­sion, but at least I still have root access).

What I noticed so far:

  • OpenGL ES speed improved from 4.2 to 6.6 FPS.
  • I had some lock-ups so far, I do not know if this may be relat­ed to some restored data (app data and e.g. Bluetooth/WLAN con­fig restored with Tita­ni­um­Back­up) or to bugs (Dalvik cache and cache par­ti­tion where clean, fac­to­ry reset was done too pri­or to restor­ing from the back­up). I had to press the pow­er but­ton for some sec­onds to ini­ti­ate a reboot. Most of the time it helped to wait a minute before enter­ing the PIN for the SIM. One time it did not help at all, the only way to get it work­ing was to take my WLAN Access Point (AP) offline, start the Tab, enter the PIN, and to restart the AP. At that point I had GPS and WLAN in the Tab acti­vat­ed, in the lock-ups before I did not have GPS active. I had some­thing sim­i­lar like this with my Nexus S when it got ICS, some­how this resolved itself. Update 2012-08-14: I googled a bit, there was a bug in ICS 4.0.3 relat­ed to WLAN, but I have 4.0.4 on the Tab, so this may not be this. I also got the freeze with­out WLAN but with the mobile data con­nec­tion active. 2nd update 2012-08-14: If I dis­able account sync­ing with the mobile data con­nec­tion it does not freeze. I have not yet tried this with the WLAN con­nec­tion. Update 2012-08-16: The syn­chro­niza­tion of the cal­en­dar data caused the prob­lem. Delet­ing all data for any app with cal­en­dar in the name and re-syncing fixed the prob­lem. No freeze since I did this yes­ter­day.
  • When I open/close a fold­er (much missed fea­ture in Android 3.x), the Tab speaks with me (some­thing like “Fold­er XXX opened” in the con­fig­ured lan­guage… that is a bit annoy­ing).
  • I like the default back­ground image.
  • Update 2012-08-14: The bat­tery icon does stay green even when the bat­tery is near­ly emp­ty. 🙁

I was not able to test the Email APP yet, I am wait­ing for a warranty-replacement of the PSU of my serv­er at home (Murphy’s law: Your PSU will break when you just start­ed a big ren­o­va­tion of your kitchen and do not have time to take care about it, and when you get time a lot of peo­ple from the PSU-manufacturer which take care about warranty-replacements are in hol­i­day).

I also need to check the mobile data con­nec­tiv­i­ty (qual­i­ty and speed), but I would expect that it is not worse than before. Update 2012-08-14: The down­load speed test shows sim­i­lar results than before, the upload speed test is slow­er, but this may be the mobile net­work here where I test­ed. At least I can con­firm that it works, mod­u­lo the prob­lem of the freezes described above.

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